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Sample records for eusocial honeybee apis

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  2. Rare royal families in honeybees, Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Seminal fluid of honeybees contains multiple mechanisms to combat infections of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yan; Grassl, Julia; Millar, A Harvey; Baer, Boris

    2016-01-27

    The societies of ants, bees and wasps are genetically closed systems where queens only mate during a brief mating episode prior to their eusocial life and males therefore provide queens with a lifetime supply of high-quality sperm. These ejaculates also contain a number of defence proteins that have been detected in the seminal fluid but their function and efficiency have never been investigated in great detail. Here, we used the honeybee Apis mellifera and quantified whether seminal fluid is able to combat infections of the fungal pathogen Nosema apis, a widespread honeybee parasite that is also sexually transmitted. We provide the first empirical evidence that seminal fluid has a remarkable antimicrobial activity against N. apis spores and that antimicrobial seminal fluid components kill spores in multiple ways. The protein fraction of seminal fluid induces extracellular spore germination, which disrupts the life cycle of N. apis, whereas the non-protein fraction of seminal fluid induces a direct viability loss of intact spores. We conclude that males provide their ejaculates with efficient antimicrobial molecules that are able to kill N. apis spores and thereby reduce the risk of disease transmission during mating. Our findings could be of broader significance to master honeybee diseases in managed honeybee stock in the future. PMID:26791609

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

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

  16. The prevalence of parasites and pathogens in Asian honeybees, Apis cerana, in China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pathogens and parasites threaten the health and well-being of honeybees, key pollinators of agricultural crops and flowers worldwide. We conducted a nationwide survey to determine the occurrence and prevalence of pathogens and parasites in Chinese populations of the Asian honeybee species, Apis cer...

  17. Social waves in giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) elicit nest vibrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Hoetzl, Thomas

    2013-07-01

    Giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have developed a wide array of strategies for colony defence, including the Mexican wave-like shimmering behaviour. In this collective response, the colony members perform upward flipping of their abdomens in coordinated cascades across the nest surface. The time-space properties of these emergent waves are response patterns which have become of adaptive significance for repelling enemies in the visual domain. We report for the first time that the mechanical impulse patterns provoked by these social waves and measured by laser Doppler vibrometry generate vibrations at the central comb of the nest at the basic (=`natural') frequency of 2.156 ± 0.042 Hz which is more than double the average repetition rate of the driving shimmering waves. Analysis of the Fourier spectra of the comb vibrations under quiescence and arousal conditions provoked by mass flight activity and shimmering waves gives rise to the proposal of two possible models for the compound physical system of the bee nest: According to the elastic oscillatory plate model, the comb vibrations deliver supra-threshold cues preferentially to those colony members positioned close to the comb. The mechanical pendulum model predicts that the comb vibrations are sensed by the members of the bee curtain in general, enabling mechanoreceptive signalling across the nest, also through the comb itself. The findings show that weak and stochastic forces, such as general quiescence or diffuse mass flight activity, cause a harmonic frequency spectrum of the comb, driving the comb as an elastic plate. However, shimmering waves provide sufficiently strong forces to move the nest as a mechanical pendulum. This vibratory behaviour may support the colony-intrinsic information hypothesis herein that the mechanical vibrations of the comb provoked by shimmering do have the potential to facilitate immediate communication of the momentary defensive state of the honeybee nest to the

  18. Social waves in giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) elicit nest vibrations.

    PubMed

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Hoetzl, Thomas

    2013-07-01

    Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have developed a wide array of strategies for colony defence, including the Mexican wave-like shimmering behaviour. In this collective response, the colony members perform upward flipping of their abdomens in coordinated cascades across the nest surface. The time-space properties of these emergent waves are response patterns which have become of adaptive significance for repelling enemies in the visual domain. We report for the first time that the mechanical impulse patterns provoked by these social waves and measured by laser Doppler vibrometry generate vibrations at the central comb of the nest at the basic (='natural') frequency of 2.156 ± 0.042 Hz which is more than double the average repetition rate of the driving shimmering waves. Analysis of the Fourier spectra of the comb vibrations under quiescence and arousal conditions provoked by mass flight activity and shimmering waves gives rise to the proposal of two possible models for the compound physical system of the bee nest: According to the elastic oscillatory plate model, the comb vibrations deliver supra-threshold cues preferentially to those colony members positioned close to the comb. The mechanical pendulum model predicts that the comb vibrations are sensed by the members of the bee curtain in general, enabling mechanoreceptive signalling across the nest, also through the comb itself. The findings show that weak and stochastic forces, such as general quiescence or diffuse mass flight activity, cause a harmonic frequency spectrum of the comb, driving the comb as an elastic plate. However, shimmering waves provide sufficiently strong forces to move the nest as a mechanical pendulum. This vibratory behaviour may support the colony-intrinsic information hypothesis herein that the mechanical vibrations of the comb provoked by shimmering do have the potential to facilitate immediate communication of the momentary defensive state of the honeybee nest to

  19. `Special agents' trigger social waves in giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmelzer, Evelyn; Kastberger, Gerald

    2009-12-01

    Giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have therefore evolved a variety of defence strategies. Against predatory wasps, they produce highly coordinated Mexican wavelike cascades termed ‘shimmering’, whereby hundreds of bees flip their abdomens upwards. Although it is well known that shimmering commences at distinct spots on the nest surface, it is still unclear how shimmering is generated. In this study, colonies were exposed to living tethered wasps that were moved in front of the experimental nest. Temporal and spatial patterns of shimmering were investigated in and after the presence of the wasp. The numbers and locations of bees that participated in the shimmering were assessed, and those bees that triggered the waves were identified. The findings reveal that the position of identified trigger cohorts did not reflect the experimental path of the tethered wasp. Instead, the trigger centres were primarily arranged in the close periphery of the mouth zone of the nest, around those parts where the main locomotory activity occurs. This favours the ‘special-agents’ hypothesis that suggest that groups of specialized bees initiate the shimmering.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  9. Characterization of bifidobacteria in the digestive tract of the Japanese honeybee, Apis cerana japonica.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Bifidobacteria were isolated from the intestinal tract of the Japanese honeybee, Apis cerana japonica, and investigated for potential application as a probiotic agent against Melissococcus plutonius, the causal agent of European foulbrood (EFB), based on the findings of in vitro inhibition assays. A total of 11 bifidobacteria strains (designated as AcjBF1-AcjBF11) were isolated using a culture-dependent method and their 16S rRNA gene sequences were analyzed. The AcjBF isolates belonged to three distinct bifidobacterial phylotypes that were similar to those found in the European honeybee, Apis mellifera. Although the Japanese and European honeybees are distinct species with different traits and habits, the observation that they share highly similar bifidobacterial phylotypes suggests that bifidobacteria are conserved among honeybee species. Despite having extremely high 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities, the AcjBF isolates had markedly different carbohydrate fermentation profiles. In addition, in vitro growth inhibition assays revealed that the cell-free supernatants of all AcjBF isolates exhibited antagonistic effects on M. plutonius growth. These results indicate that the bifidobacteria isolated from the gut of Japanese honeybee could potentially be employed as a new biological agent to control EFB. PMID:23069130

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Conservation of Bio synthetic pheromone pathways in honeybees Apis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Stephen J.; Jones, Graeme R.

    Social insects use complex chemical communication systems to govern many aspects of their life. We studied chemical changes in Dufour's gland secretions associated with ovary development in several genotypes of honeybees. We found that C28-C38 esters were associated only with cavity nesting honeybee queens, while the alcohol eicosenol was associated only with their non-laying workers. In contrast, both egg-laying anarchistic workers and all parasitic Cape workers from queenright colonies showed the typical queen pattern (i.e. esters present and eicosenol absent), while egg-laying wild-type and anarchistic workers in queenless colonies showed an intermediate pattern, producing both esters and eicosenol but at intermediate levels. Furthermore, neither esters nor eicosenol were found in aerial nesting honeybee species. Both esters and eicosenol are biosynthetically similar compounds since both are recognizable products of fatty acid biosynthesis. Therefore, we propose that in honeybees the biosynthesis of esters and eicosenol in the Dufour's gland is caste-regulated and this pathway has been conserved over evolutionary time.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  14. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species. PMID:25052414

  15. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species. PMID:25052414

  16. Relational learning in honeybees (Apis mellifera): Oddity and nonoddity discrimination.

    PubMed

    Muszynski, Nicole M; Couvillon, P A

    2015-06-01

    Honeybee learning is surprisingly similar to vertebrate learning and one implication is that the basic associative learning principles are also similar. This research extends the work to more complex cognitive phenomena. Forager bees were trained individually to visit a laboratory window for sucrose. On each training trial for all experiments, bees found three stimuli, two identical and one different. In Experiments 1 and 2, stimuli were three-dimensional two-color patterns, and in Experiments 3 and 4, stimuli were two-color patterns displayed on a computer monitor. Training was trial-unique, that is, a different triad of stimuli was presented on each trial. In Experiments 1 and 3, choice of odd was rewarded and choice of nonodd was punished. In Experiments 2 and 4, choice of nonodd was rewarded and choice of odd was punished. On every trial, the initial choice was recorded and correction permitted. Honeybees learned to choose the odd stimulus in Experiments 1 and 3 and the nonodd stimuli in Experiments 2 and 4. The results provide compelling evidence of oddity and nonoddity learning, often interpreted as relational learning in vertebrates. Whether the mechanism of such learning in honeybees is similar to that of vertebrate species remains to be determined. PMID:25746438

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  18. A high recombination rate in eusocial Hymenoptera: evidence from the common wasp Vespula vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background High recombination rates have previously been detected in two groups of eusocial insects; honeybees and ants. In this study we estimate recombination rate in a eusocial wasp Vespula vulgaris that represents a third phylogenetic lineage within eusocial hymenopterans. Results A genetic linkage map of V. vulgaris based on 210 markers shows that the total map length is 2129 cM and the recombination rate is 9.7 cM/Mb (or 103 kb/cM). The present estimate in V. vulgaris is somewhat smaller than in the honeybee Apis mellifera and intermediate between the estimates from two ant species (Acromyrmex echinatior, Pogonomyrmex rugosus). Altogether, the estimates from these eusocial species are higher than in any other insect reported so far. Conlusions The four species (V. vulgaris, A. mellifera, A. echinatior, P. rugosus) are characterized by advanced eusociality with large colonies, clear queen-worker dimorphism and well developed task specialization. They also have colonies with a single, normally multiply inseminated (polyandrous) queen. Benefits of genotypic diversity within colonies (e.g. through improved task specialization or pathogen and parasite resistance) may have selected for both polyandry and high recombination rate in such advanced eusocial insects. PMID:22054484

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Proteomic characterization of royal jelly proteins in Chinese (Apis cerana cerana) and European (Apis mellifera) honeybees.

    PubMed

    Qu, Ning; Jiang, Jie; Sun, Liangxian; Lai, Changcheng; Sun, Lifang; Wu, Xueji

    2008-06-01

    In this study, the proteins contained in royal jelly (RJ) derived from Chinese and European honeybees have been analyzed in detail and compared. Remarkable differences were found in the heterogeneity of major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), MRJP2 and MRJP3, in terms of molecular weight and isoelectric points between the two species of RJ. MRJP2 and MRJP3 produced by Chinese honeybee are less polymorphic than those produced by European honeybee. This study is a contribution to the description of the royal jelly proteome. PMID:18620533

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

    PubMed Central

    Correa-Fernandez, Fernanda; Cruz-Landim, Carminda

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Do honeybees, Apis mellifera scutellata, regulate humidity in their nest?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Human, Hannelie; Nicolson, Sue W.; Dietemann, Vincent

    2006-08-01

    Honeybees are highly efficient at regulating the biophysical parameters of their hive according to colony needs. Thermoregulation has been the most extensively studied aspect of nest homeostasis. In contrast, little is known about how humidity is regulated in beehives, if at all. Although high humidity is necessary for brood development, regulation of this parameter by honeybee workers has not yet been demonstrated. In the past, humidity was measured too crudely for a regulation mechanism to be identified. We reassess this issue, using miniaturised data loggers that allow humidity measurements in natural situations and at several places in the nest. We present evidence that workers influence humidity in the hive. However, there are constraints on potential regulation mechanisms because humidity optima may vary in different locations of the nest. Humidity could also depend on variable external factors, such as water availability, which further impair the regulation. Moreover, there are trade-offs with the regulation of temperature and respiratory gas exchanges that can disrupt the establishment of optimal humidity levels. As a result, we argue that workers can only adjust humidity within sub-optimal limits.

  3. Conditioning procedure and color discrimination in the honeybee Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giurfa, Martin

    We studied the influence of the conditioning procedure on color discrimination by free-flying honeybees. We asked whether absolute and differential conditioning result in different discrimination capabilities for the same pairs of colored targets. In absolute conditioning, bees were rewarded on a single color; in differential conditioning, bees were rewarded on the same color but an alternative, non-rewarding, similar color was also visible. In both conditioning procedures, bees learned their respective task and could also discriminate the training stimulus from a novel stimulus that was perceptually different from the trained one. Discrimination between perceptually closer stimuli was possible after differential conditioning but not after absolute conditioning. Differences in attention inculcated by these training procedures may underlie the different discrimination performances of the bees.

  4. [Study on foraging behaviors of honeybee Apis mellifera based on RFID technology].

    PubMed

    Tian, Liu-Qing; He, Xu-Jiang; Wu, Xiao-Bo; Gan, Hai-Yan; Han, Xu; Liu, Hao; Zeng, Zhi-Jiang

    2014-03-01

    Honeybee foragers can flexibly adjust their out-hive activities to ensure growth and reproduction of the colony. In order to explore the characteristics of honey bees foraging behaviors, in this study, their flight activities were monitored 24 hours per day for a duration of 38 days, using an radio frequency identification (RFID) system designed and manufactured by the Honeybee Research Institute of Jiangxi Agricultural University in cooperation with the Guangzhou Invengo Information Technology Co., Ltd. Our results indicated that 63.4% and 64.5% of foragers were found rotating more than one day off during the foraging period in two colonies, and 22.5% and 26.4% of the total foraging days were used for rest respectively. Further, although the total foraging time between rotating day-off foragers and continuously working foragers was equal, the former had a significant longer lifespan than the latter. Additionally, the lifespan of the early developed foragers was significantly lower than that of the normally developed foragers. This study enriched the content of foraging behaviors of honey bees, and it could be used as the basis for the further explorations on evolutionary mechanism of foraging behaviors of eusocial insects. PMID:24984504

  5. Characterization of the two distinct subtypes of metabotropic glutamate receptors from honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Funada, Masahiro; Yasuo, Shinobu; Yoshimura, Takashi; Ebihara, Shizufumi; Sasagawa, Hiromi; Kitagawa, Yasuo; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2004-04-15

    L-Glutamate is a major neurotransmitter at the excitatory synapses in the vertebrate brain. It is also the excitatory neurotransmitter at neuromuscular junctions in insects, however its functions in their brains remain to be established. We identified and characterized two different subtypes (AmGluRA and AmGluRB) of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) from an eusocial insect, honeybee. Both AmGluRA and AmGluRB form homodimers independently on disulfide bonds, and bind [3H]glutamate with K(D) values of 156.7 and 80.7 nM, respectively. AmGluRB is specifically expressed in the brain, while AmGluRA is expressed in the brain and other body parts, suggesting that AmGluRA is also present at the neuromuscular junctions. Both mGluRs are expressed in the mushroom bodies and the brain regions of honeybees, where motor neurons are clustered. Their expression in the brain apparently overlaps, suggesting that they may interact with each other to modulate the glutamatergic neurotransmission. PMID:15050695

  6. PROTEINS OF THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM OF THE HONEYBEE, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Micas, André Fernando Ditondo; Ferreira, Germano Aguiar; Laure, Helen Julie; Rosa, José Cesar; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile

    2016-09-01

    The integument of insects and other arthropods is composed of an inner basal lamina coated by the epidermis, which secretes the bulk of the outer integument layer, the cuticle. The genome sequencing of several insect species has allowed predicting classes of proteins integrating the cuticle. However, only a small proportion of them, as well as other proteins in the integumentary system, have been validated. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry, we identified 45 different proteins in a total of 112 selected gel spots derived from thoracic integument samples of developing honeybee workers, including 14 cuticular proteins (AmelCPR 3, AmelCPR 12, AmelCPR 16, AmelCPR 27, apidermin 2, apidermin 3, endocuticle structural glycoprotein SgAbd-8-like, LOC100577363, LOC408365, LOC413679, LOC725454, LOC100576916, LOC725838, and peritrophin 3-C analogous). Gene ontology functional analysis revealed that the higher proportions of the identified proteins have molecular functions related to catalytic and structural molecule activities, are involved in metabolic biological processes, and pertain to the protein class of structural or cytoskeletal proteins and hydrolases. It is noteworthy that 26.7% of the identified proteins, including five cuticular proteins, were revealed as protein species resulting from allelic isoforms or derived from posttranslational modifications. Also, 66.7% of the identified cuticular proteins were expressed in more than one developmental phase, thus indicating that they are part of the larval, pupal, and adult cuticle. Our data provide experimental support for predicted honeybee gene products and new information on proteins expressed in the developing integument. PMID:27160491

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Oliveira; Brandeburgo; Marcolino

    2000-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-05-01

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

  17. Temporal genetic structure of a drone congregation area of the giant Asian honeybee ( Apis dorsata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, F. B.; Koeniger, N.; Tingek, S.; Moritz, R. F. A.

    2005-12-01

    The giant Asian honeybee ( Apis dorsata), like all other members of the genus Apis, has a complex mating system in which the queens and males (drones) mate at spatially defined drone congregation areas (DCAs). Here, we studied the temporal genetic structure of a DCA of A. dorsata over an 8-day time window by the genotyping of sampled drones with microsatellite markers. Analysis of the genotypic data revealed a significant genetic differentiation between 3 sampling days and indicated that the DCA was used by at least two subpopulations at all days in varying proportions. The estimation of the number of colonies which used the DCA ranged between 20 and 40 colonies per subpopulation, depending on the estimation procedure and population. The overall effective population size was estimated as high as N e=140. The DCA seems to counteract known tendencies of A. dorsata for inbreeding within colony aggregations by facilitating gene flow among subpopulations and increasing the effective population size.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) mob wasps away from the nest by directed visual patterns.

    PubMed

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Zierler, Martina; Hötzl, Thomas

    2014-11-01

    The open nesting behaviour of giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) accounts for the evolution of a series of defence strategies to protect the colonies from predation. In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators. In shimmering, bees on the nest surface flip their abdomens in a highly coordinated manner to generate Mexican wave-like patterns. The paper documents a further-going capacity of this kind of collective defence: the visual patterns of shimmering waves align regarding their directional characteristics with the projected flight manoeuvres of the wasps when preying in front of the bees' nest. The honeybees take here advantage of a threefold asymmetry intrinsic to the prey-predator interaction: (a) the visual patterns of shimmering turn faster than the wasps on their flight path, (b) they "follow" the wasps more persistently (up to 100 ms) than the wasps "follow" the shimmering patterns (up to 40 ms) and (c) the shimmering patterns align with the wasps' flight in all directions at the same strength, whereas the wasps have some preference for horizontal correspondence. The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps. This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects. PMID:25169944

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

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) mob wasps away from the nest by directed visual patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Zierler, Martina; Hötzl, Thomas

    2014-08-01

    The open nesting behaviour of giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) accounts for the evolution of a series of defence strategies to protect the colonies from predation. In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators. In shimmering, bees on the nest surface flip their abdomens in a highly coordinated manner to generate Mexican wave-like patterns. The paper documents a further-going capacity of this kind of collective defence: the visual patterns of shimmering waves align regarding their directional characteristics with the projected flight manoeuvres of the wasps when preying in front of the bees' nest. The honeybees take here advantage of a threefold asymmetry intrinsic to the prey-predator interaction: (a) the visual patterns of shimmering turn faster than the wasps on their flight path, (b) they "follow" the wasps more persistently (up to 100 ms) than the wasps "follow" the shimmering patterns (up to 40 ms) and (c) the shimmering patterns align with the wasps' flight in all directions at the same strength, whereas the wasps have some preference for horizontal correspondence. The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps. This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

  2. Giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) mob wasps away from the nest by directed visual patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Zierler, Martina; Hötzl, Thomas

    2014-11-01

    The open nesting behaviour of giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) accounts for the evolution of a series of defence strategies to protect the colonies from predation. In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators. In shimmering, bees on the nest surface flip their abdomens in a highly coordinated manner to generate Mexican wave-like patterns. The paper documents a further-going capacity of this kind of collective defence: the visual patterns of shimmering waves align regarding their directional characteristics with the projected flight manoeuvres of the wasps when preying in front of the bees' nest. The honeybees take here advantage of a threefold asymmetry intrinsic to the prey-predator interaction: (a) the visual patterns of shimmering turn faster than the wasps on their flight path, (b) they "follow" the wasps more persistently (up to 100 ms) than the wasps "follow" the shimmering patterns (up to 40 ms) and (c) the shimmering patterns align with the wasps' flight in all directions at the same strength, whereas the wasps have some preference for horizontal correspondence. The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps. This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Comparative proteomic analysis reveals mite (Varroa destructor) resistance-related proteins in Eastern honeybees (Apis cerana).

    PubMed

    Ji, T; Shen, F; Liu, Z; Yin, L; Shen, J; Liang, Q; Luo, Y X

    2015-01-01

    The mite (Varroa destructor) has become the greatest threat to apiculture worldwide. As the original host of the mite, Apis cerana can effectively resist the mite. An increased understanding of the resistance mechanisms of Eastern honeybees against V. destructor may help researchers to protect other species against these parasites. In this study, the proteomes of 4 Apis cerana colonies were analyzed using an isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation technology. We determined the differences in gene and protein expression between susceptible and resistant colonies that were either unchallenged or challenged by V. destructor. The results showed that a total of 1532 proteins were identified. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis suggested that the transcription factors and basic metabolic and respiratory processes were efficient and feasible factors controlling this resistance, and 12 differentially expressed proteins were identified in Venn analysis. The results were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This study may provide insight into the genetic mechanisms underlying the resistance of honeybee to mites. PMID:26345948

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Gigantism in honeybees: Apis cerana queens reared in mixed-species colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Ken; Hepburn, H. R.; He, Shaoyu; Radloff, S. E.; Neumann, P.; Fang, Xiang

    2006-07-01

    The development of animals depends on both genetic and environmental effects to a varying extent. Their relative influences can be evaluated in the social insects by raising the intracolonial diversity to an extreme in nests consisting of workers from more than one species. In this study, we studied the effects of mixed honeybee colonies of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana on the rearing of grafted queen larvae of A. cerana. A. mellifera sealed worker brood was introduced into A. cerana colonies and on emergence, the adults were accepted. Then, A. cerana larvae were grafted for queen rearing into two of these mixed-species colonies. Similarly, A. cerana larvae and A. mellifera larvae were also grafted conspecifically as controls. The success rate of A. cerana queen rearing in the test colonies was 64.5%, surpassing all previous attempts at interspecific queen rearing. After emergence, all virgin queens obtained from the three groups ( N=90) were measured morphometrically. The A. cerana queens from the mixed-species colonies differed significantly in size and pigmentation from the A. cerana control queens and closely approximated the A. mellifera queens. It is inferred that these changes in the A. cerana queens reared in the mixed-species colonies can be attributed to feeding by heterospecific nurse bees and/or chemical differences in royal jelly. Our data show a strong impact of environment on the development of queens. The results further suggest that in honeybees the cues for brood recognition can be learned by heterospecific workers after eclosion, thereby providing a novel analogy to slave making in ants.

  2. Extensive population admixture on drone congregation areas of the giant honeybee, Apis dorsata (Fabricius, 1793).

    PubMed

    Beaurepaire, Alexis L; Kraus, Bernard F; Koeniger, Gudrun; Koeniger, Nikolaus; Lim, Herbert; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-12-01

    The giant honeybee Apis dorsata often forms dense colony aggregations which can include up to 200 often closely related nests in the same location, setting the stage for inbred matings. Yet, like in all other Apis species, A. dorsata queens mate in mid-air on lek like drone congregation areas (DCAs) where large numbers of males gather in flight. We here report how the drone composition of A. dorsata DCAs facilitates outbreeding, taking into the account both spatial (three DCAs) and temporal (subsequent sampling days) dynamics. We compared the drones' genotypes at ten microsatellite DNA markers with those of the queen genotypes of six drone-producing colonies located close to the DCAs (Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia). None of 430 sampled drones originated from any of these nearby colonies. Moreover, we estimated that 141 unidentified colonies were contributing to the three DCAs. Most of these colonies were participating multiple times in the different locations and/or during the consecutive days of sampling. The drones sampled in the DCAs could be attributed to six subpopulations. These were all admixed in all DCA samples, increasing the effective population size an order of magnitude and preventing matings between potentially related queens and drones. PMID:25558361

  3. Extensive population admixture on drone congregation areas of the giant honeybee, Apis dorsata (Fabricius, 1793)

    PubMed Central

    Beaurepaire, Alexis L; Kraus, Bernard F; Koeniger, Gudrun; Koeniger, Nikolaus; Lim, Herbert; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-01-01

    The giant honeybee Apis dorsata often forms dense colony aggregations which can include up to 200 often closely related nests in the same location, setting the stage for inbred matings. Yet, like in all other Apis species, A. dorsata queens mate in mid-air on lek like drone congregation areas (DCAs) where large numbers of males gather in flight. We here report how the drone composition of A. dorsata DCAs facilitates outbreeding, taking into the account both spatial (three DCAs) and temporal (subsequent sampling days) dynamics. We compared the drones’ genotypes at ten microsatellite DNA markers with those of the queen genotypes of six drone-producing colonies located close to the DCAs (Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia). None of 430 sampled drones originated from any of these nearby colonies. Moreover, we estimated that 141 unidentified colonies were contributing to the three DCAs. Most of these colonies were participating multiple times in the different locations and/or during the consecutive days of sampling. The drones sampled in the DCAs could be attributed to six subpopulations. These were all admixed in all DCA samples, increasing the effective population size an order of magnitude and preventing matings between potentially related queens and drones. PMID:25558361

  4. Honeybees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Platt, Season, Ed.

    1986-01-01

    The life patterns, behaviors, and functions of the social insects, the honeybees, are presented in this publication. Illustrations and information are offered on the topic areas of: (1) the honeybee society (explaining the jobs of the queen, worker, and drone bees); (2) the hive (describing how the hive is constructed, how new bees develop, and…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Notch signalling mediates reproductive constraint in the adult worker honeybee.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Elizabeth J; Hyink, Otto; Dearden, Peter K

    2016-01-01

    The hallmark of eusociality is the reproductive division of labour, in which one female caste reproduces, while reproduction is constrained in the subordinate caste. In adult worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) reproductive constraint is conditional: in the absence of the queen and brood, adult worker honeybees activate their ovaries and lay haploid male eggs. Here, we demonstrate that chemical inhibition of Notch signalling can overcome the repressive effect of queen pheromone and promote ovary activity in adult worker honeybees. We show that Notch signalling acts on the earliest stages of oogenesis and that the removal of the queen corresponds with a loss of Notch protein in the germarium. We conclude that the ancient and pleiotropic Notch signalling pathway has been co-opted into constraining reproduction in worker honeybees and we provide the first molecular mechanism directly linking ovary activity in adult worker bees with the presence of the queen. PMID:27485026

  7. Notch signalling mediates reproductive constraint in the adult worker honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Elizabeth J.; Hyink, Otto; Dearden, Peter K.

    2016-01-01

    The hallmark of eusociality is the reproductive division of labour, in which one female caste reproduces, while reproduction is constrained in the subordinate caste. In adult worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) reproductive constraint is conditional: in the absence of the queen and brood, adult worker honeybees activate their ovaries and lay haploid male eggs. Here, we demonstrate that chemical inhibition of Notch signalling can overcome the repressive effect of queen pheromone and promote ovary activity in adult worker honeybees. We show that Notch signalling acts on the earliest stages of oogenesis and that the removal of the queen corresponds with a loss of Notch protein in the germarium. We conclude that the ancient and pleiotropic Notch signalling pathway has been co-opted into constraining reproduction in worker honeybees and we provide the first molecular mechanism directly linking ovary activity in adult worker bees with the presence of the queen. PMID:27485026

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

    PubMed

    Lunau, Klaus; Unseld, Katrin; Wolter, Franziska

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Immunoprophylactic effects of administering honeybee (Apis melifera) venom spray against Salmonella gallinarum in broiler chicks.

    PubMed

    Jung, Bock-Gie; Lee, Jin-A; Park, Seong-Beom; Hyun, Pung-Mi; Park, Jin-Kyu; Suh, Guk-Hyun; Lee, Bong-Joo

    2013-10-01

    Antibiotics continue to be used as growth promoters in the poultry industry. Honeybee (Apis melifera) venom (HBV) possesses a number of beneficial biological activities, particularly for regulating the immune system. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the immunoprophylactic effects of HBV against Salmonella Gallinarum in broiler chicks as an initial step towards developing eco-friendly alternatives to reduce antibiotic use. HBV was administered using a spray technique. HBV improved body weight gain, particularly in the presence of infection. Moreover, HBV enhanced antibody production activity against formalin-killed S. Gallinarum. The CD4(+):CD8(+) T lymphocyte ratio, relative mRNA expression levels of interleukin-18 and interferon-γ, and serum lysozyme activity also increased following HBV administration before the infection period as well as during infection. HBV reinforced bacterial clearance and increased survivability against S. Gallinarum. Corresponding pathological analyses demonstrated that the HBV-sprayed group displayed mild and less severe abnormal changes compared with those in the control group. It was presumed that the prophylactic effects of HBV against S. Gallinarum were associated with its non-specific immune response stimulating activity. Thus, HBV may provide an alternative to reduce antibiotic use in the poultry industry. PMID:23719751

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  17. Essential oil of Indian propolis: chemical composition and repellency against the honeybee Apis florea.

    PubMed

    Naik, Dattatraya G; Vaidya, Harshada S; Namjoshi, Tejas P

    2013-04-01

    Hitherto unknown biological properties and the chemical composition of the essential oil isolated from propolis of Indian origin were established. GC/MS Analysis of the essential oil revealed the presence of 32 constituents, of which ten were major compounds, nine had intermediate contents, and 13 were minor compounds. With the exception of six minor constituents, that could not be identified, their identification was based on the comparison of their mass spectra and Kovats retention indices with those listed in the NIST and Wiley mass spectral libraries. Their structural assignment was confirmed by GC/MS co-injection of the essential oil with authentic compounds. Quantification of the components was done by GC-FID analyses. Moreover, the essential oil was shown to possess repellent activity against the honeybee Apis florea. The activity was found to be dose dependent. The average repellency (ΔR) increased with increasing essential-oil concentration up to 24 μg/ml and remained constant for the formulation with the higher concentration. These findings established the chemical constitution of the essential oil and might be useful to beekeepers for the improvement of the bee management. PMID:23576351

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. MtDNA COI-COII marker and drone congregation area: an efficient method to establish and monitor honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) conservation centres.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Bénédicte; Alburaki, Mohamed; Legout, Hélène; Moulin, Sibyle; Mougel, Florence; Garnery, Lionel

    2015-05-01

    Honeybee subspecies have been affected by human activities in Europe over the past few decades. One such example is the importation of nonlocal subspecies of bees which has had an adverse impact on the geographical repartition and subsequently on the genetic diversity of the black honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera. To restore the original diversity of this local honeybee subspecies, different conservation centres were set up in Europe. In this study, we established a black honeybee conservation centre Conservatoire de l'Abeille Noire d'Ile de France (CANIF) in the region of Ile-de-France, France. CANIF's honeybee colonies were intensively studied over a 3-year period. This study included a drone congregation area (DCA) located in the conservation centre. MtDNA COI-COII marker was used to evaluate the genetic diversity of CANIF's honeybee populations and the drones found and collected from the DCA. The same marker (mtDNA) was used to estimate the interactions and the haplotype frequency between CANIF's honeybee populations and 10 surrounding honeybee apiaries located outside of the CANIF. Our results indicate that the colonies of the conservation centre and the drones of the DCA show similar stable profiles compared to the surrounding populations with lower level of introgression. The mtDNA marker used on both DCA and colonies of the conservation centre seems to be an efficient approach to monitor and maintain the genetic diversity of the protected honeybee populations. PMID:25335970

  4. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for rapid detection and differentiation of Nosema apis and N. ceranae in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ptaszyńska, Aneta A; Borsuk, Grzegorz; Woźniakowski, Grzegorz; Gnat, Sebastian; Małek, Wanda

    2014-08-01

    Nosemosis is a contagious disease of honeybees (Apis mellifera) manifested by increased winter mortality, poor spring build-up and even the total extinction of infected bee colonies. In this paper, loop-mediated isothermal amplifications (LAMP) were used for the first time to identify and differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae, the causative agents of nosemosis. LAMP assays were performed at a constant temperature of 60 °C using two sets of six species-specific primers, recognising eight distinct fragments of 16S rDNA gene and GspSSD polymerase with strand displacement activity. The optimal time for LAMP and its Nosema species sensitivity and specificity were assessed. LAMP only required 30 min for robust identification of the amplicons. Ten-fold serial dilutions of total DNA isolated from bees infected with microsporidia were used to determine the detection limit of N. apis and N. ceranae DNAs by LAMP and standard PCR assays. LAMP appeared to be 10(3) -fold more sensitive than a standard PCR in detecting N. apis and N. ceranae. LAMP methods developed by us are highly Nosema species specific and allow to identify and differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae. PMID:24975021

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

    PubMed Central

    Wiitanen, Wayne; Varela, Francisco G.

    1971-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Kunieda, Takekazu; Kubo, Takeo

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

  8. Evidence for Ventilation through Collective Respiratory Movements in Giant Honeybee (Apis dorsata) Nests

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The Asian giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) build single-comb nests in the open, which makes this species particularly susceptible to environmental strains. Long-term infrared (IR) records documented cool nest regions (CNR) at the bee curtain (nCNR = 207, nnests > 20) distinguished by marked negative gradients (ΔTCNR/d < -3°C / 5 cm) at their margins. CNRs develop and recede within minutes, predominantly at higher ambient temperatures in the early afternoon. The differential size (ΔACNR) and temperature (ΔTCNR) values per time unit correlated mostly positively (RAT > 0) displaying the Venturi effect, which evidences funnel properties of CNRs. The air flows inwards through CNRs, which is verified by the negative spatial gradient ΔTCNR/d, by the positive grading of TCNR with Tamb and lastly by fanners which have directed their abdomens towards CNRs. Rare cases of RAT < 0 (< 3%) document closing processes (for ΔACNR/Δt < -0.4 cm2/s) but also suggest ventilation of the bee curtain (for ΔACNR/Δt > +0.4 cm2/s) displaying “inhalation” and “exhalation” cycling. “Inhalation” could be boosted by bees at the inner curtain layers, which stretch their extremities against the comb enlarging the inner nest lumen and thus causing a pressure fall which drives ambient air inwards through CNR funnels. The relaxing of the formerly “activated” bees could then trigger the “exhalation” process, which brings the bee curtain, passively by gravity, close to the comb again. That way, warm, CO2-enriched nest-borne air is pressed outwards through the leaking mesh of the bee curtain. This ventilation hypothesis is supported by IR imaging and laser vibrometry depicting CNRs in at least four aspects as low-resistance convection funnels for maintaining thermoregulation and restoring fresh air in the nest. PMID:27487188

  9. Evidence for Ventilation through Collective Respiratory Movements in Giant Honeybee (Apis dorsata) Nests.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    The Asian giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) build single-comb nests in the open, which makes this species particularly susceptible to environmental strains. Long-term infrared (IR) records documented cool nest regions (CNR) at the bee curtain (nCNR = 207, nnests > 20) distinguished by marked negative gradients (ΔTCNR/d < -3°C / 5 cm) at their margins. CNRs develop and recede within minutes, predominantly at higher ambient temperatures in the early afternoon. The differential size (ΔACNR) and temperature (ΔTCNR) values per time unit correlated mostly positively (RAT > 0) displaying the Venturi effect, which evidences funnel properties of CNRs. The air flows inwards through CNRs, which is verified by the negative spatial gradient ΔTCNR/d, by the positive grading of TCNR with Tamb and lastly by fanners which have directed their abdomens towards CNRs. Rare cases of RAT < 0 (< 3%) document closing processes (for ΔACNR/Δt < -0.4 cm2/s) but also suggest ventilation of the bee curtain (for ΔACNR/Δt > +0.4 cm2/s) displaying "inhalation" and "exhalation" cycling. "Inhalation" could be boosted by bees at the inner curtain layers, which stretch their extremities against the comb enlarging the inner nest lumen and thus causing a pressure fall which drives ambient air inwards through CNR funnels. The relaxing of the formerly "activated" bees could then trigger the "exhalation" process, which brings the bee curtain, passively by gravity, close to the comb again. That way, warm, CO2-enriched nest-borne air is pressed outwards through the leaking mesh of the bee curtain. This ventilation hypothesis is supported by IR imaging and laser vibrometry depicting CNRs in at least four aspects as low-resistance convection funnels for maintaining thermoregulation and restoring fresh air in the nest. PMID:27487188

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

  18. The prevalence of the honeybee brood pathogens Ascosphaera apis, Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius in Spanish apiaries determined with a new multiplex PCR assay

    PubMed Central

    Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Higes, Mariano; Martínez-Salvador, Amparo; Antúnez, Karina; Botías, Cristina; Meana, Aránzazu; Prieto, Lourdes; Martín-Hernández, Raquel

    2013-01-01

    The microorganisms Ascosphaera apis, Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius are the three most important pathogens that affect honeybee brood. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of these pathogens in honeybee colonies and to elucidate their role in the honeybee colony losses in Spain. In order to get it, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed to simultaneously amplify the16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene of P. larvae and M. plutonius, and the 5.8S rRNA gene of A. apis. The multiplex PCR assay provides a quick and specific tool that successfully detected the three infectious pathogens (P. larvae, M. plutonius and A. apis) in brood and adult honeybee samples without the need for microbiological culture. This technique was then used to evaluate the prevalence of these pathogens in Spanish honeybee colonies in 2006 and 2007, revealing our results a low prevalence of these pathogens in most of the geographic areas studied. PMID:23919248

  19. The prevalence of the honeybee brood pathogens Ascosphaera apis, Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius in Spanish apiaries determined with a new multiplex PCR assay.

    PubMed

    Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Higes, Mariano; Martínez-Salvador, Amparo; Antúnez, Karina; Botías, Cristina; Meana, Aránzazu; Prieto, Lourdes; Martín-Hernández, Raquel

    2013-11-01

    The microorganisms Ascosphaera apis, Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius are the three most important pathogens that affect honeybee brood. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of these pathogens in honeybee colonies and to elucidate their role in the honeybee colony losses in Spain. In order to get it, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed to simultaneously amplify the16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene of P. larvae and M. plutonius, and the 5.8S rRNA gene of A. apis. The multiplex PCR assay provides a quick and specific tool that successfully detected the three infectious pathogens (P. larvae, M. plutonius and A. apis) in brood and adult honeybee samples without the need for microbiological culture. This technique was then used to evaluate the prevalence of these pathogens in Spanish honeybee colonies in 2006 and 2007, revealing our results a low prevalence of these pathogens in most of the geographic areas studied. PMID:23919248

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  1. High-performance liquid chromatography combined with intrinsic fluorescence detection to analyse melittin in individual honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom sac.

    PubMed

    Dong, Jiangtao; Ying, Bihua; Huang, Shaokang; Ma, Shuangqin; Long, Peng; Tu, Xijuan; Yang, Wenchao; Wu, Zhenhong; Chen, Wenbin; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2015-10-01

    Melittin is the major toxin peptide in bee venom, which has diverse biological effects. In the present study, melittin was separated by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, and was then detected using intrinsic fluorescence signal of tryptophan residue. The accuracy, linearity, limit of quantitation (LOQ), intra-day and inter-day precision of the method were carefully validated in this study. Results indicate that the intrinsic fluorescence signal of melittin has linear range from 0.04μg/mL to 20μg/mL with LOQ of 0.04μg/mL. The recovery range of spiked samples is between 81.93% and 105.25%. The precision results are expressed as relative standard deviation (RSD), which is in the range of 2.1-7.4% for intra-day precision and 6.2-10.8% for inter-day precision. Because of the large linear dynamic range and the high sensitivity, intrinsic fluorescence detection (IFD) can be used for analyzing melittin contents in individual venom sac of honeybee (Apis mellifera). The detected contents of melittin in individual bee venom sac are 0.18±0.25μg for one-day old honeybees (n=30), and 114.98±43.51μg for 25-day old (n=30) honeybees, respectively. Results indicate that there is large bee-to-bee difference in melittin contents. The developed method can be useful for discovering the melittin related honeybee biology information, which might be covered in the complex samples. PMID:26319802

  2. Phantom alternatives influence food preferences in the eastern honeybee Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ken; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Chen, Weiweng; Wang, Yuchong; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Latty, Tanya

    2015-03-01

    Most models of animal choice behaviour assume that desirable but unavailable options, such as a high quality, but inhabited nest sites, do not influence an individual's preferences for the remaining options. However, experiments suggest that in mammals, the mere presence of such 'phantom' alternatives can alter, and even reverse, an individual's preferences for other items in a choice set. Phantom alternatives may be widespread in nature, as they occur whenever a resource is visible, but unavailable at the time of choice. They are particularly relevant for nectar-foraging animals, where previously rewarding flowers may sometimes be empty. Here, we investigate the effect of phantom alternatives on feeder preferences in the eastern honeybee, Apis cerana. First, we tested the effects of unattractive and attractive phantom alternatives by presenting individual bees with either a binary choice set containing two feeders that differed strongly in two qualities, but were equally preferred overall ('option 1' and 'option 2'), or a ternary choice set containing option 1, option 2 and one of two phantom types (unattractive and attractive). Secondly, we determined whether phantoms increase (similarity effect) or decrease (dissimilarity effect) preference for phantom-similar choices. In binary trials, bees had no significant preference for option 1 or option 2. However, after encountering an attractive phantom alternative, individual bees preferred option 2. The unattractive phantom did not influence bee preferences. Phantoms consistently changed individual bee preferences in favour of the phantom-similar choice. This means that the presence of an attractive food source, even if it is unavailable, can influence preference relationships between remaining items in the choice set. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the potential for phantom effects when studying the foraging behaviour of animals. Our results are particularly relevant for nectarivores, where

  3. Characterization of a metabotropic glutamate receptor in the honeybee (Apis mellifera): implications for memory formation.

    PubMed

    Kucharski, R; Mitri, C; Grau, Y; Maleszka, R

    2007-06-01

    G-protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate receptors (GPC mGluRs) are important constituents of glutamatergic synapses where they contribute to synaptic plasticity and development. Here we characterised a member of this family in the honeybee. We show that the honeybee genome encodes a genuine mGluR (AmGluRA) that is expressed at low to medium levels in both pupal and adult brains. Analysis of honeybee protein sequence places it within the type 3 GPCR family, which includes mGlu receptors, GABA-B receptors, calcium-sensing receptors, and pheromone receptors. Phylogenetic comparisons combined with pharmacological evaluation in HEK 293 cells transiently expressing AmGluRA show that the honeybee protein belongs to the group II mGluRs. With respect to learning and memory AmGluRA appears to be required for memory formation. Both agonists and antagonists selective against the group II mGluRs impair long-term (24 h) associative olfactory memory formation when applied 1 h before training, but have no effect when injected post-training or pre-testing. Our results strengthen the notion that glutamate is a key neurotransmitter in memory processes in the honeybee. PMID:17372777

  4. On the Front Line: Quantitative Virus Dynamics in Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Colonies along a New Expansion Front of the Parasite Varroa destructor

    PubMed Central

    Mondet, Fanny; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Kretzschmar, Andre; Le Conte, Yves; Mercer, Alison R.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past fifty years, annual honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony losses have been steadily increasing worldwide. These losses have occurred in parallel with the global spread of the honeybee parasite Varroa destructor. Indeed, Varroa mite infestations are considered to be a key explanatory factor for the widespread increase in annual honeybee colony mortality. The host-parasite relationship between honeybees and Varroa is complicated by the mite's close association with a range of honeybee viral pathogens. The 10-year history of the expanding front of Varroa infestation in New Zealand offered a rare opportunity to assess the dynamic quantitative and qualitative changes in honeybee viral landscapes in response to the arrival, spread and level of Varroa infestation. We studied the impact of de novo infestation of bee colonies by Varroa on the prevalence and titres of seven well-characterised honeybee viruses in both bees and mites, using a large-scale molecular ecology approach. We also examined the effect of the number of years since Varroa arrival on honeybee and mite viral titres. The dynamic shifts in the viral titres of black queen cell virus and Kashmir bee virus mirrored the patterns of change in Varroa infestation rates along the Varroa expansion front. The deformed wing virus (DWV) titres in bees continued to increase with Varroa infestation history, despite dropping infestation rates, which could be linked to increasing DWV titres in the mites. This suggests that the DWV titres in mites, perhaps boosted by virus replication, may be a major factor in maintaining the DWV epidemic after initial establishment. Both positive and negative associations were identified for several pairs of viruses, in response to the arrival of Varroa. These findings provide important new insights into the role of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor in influencing the viral landscape that affects honeybee colonies. PMID:25144447

  5. Detection of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies.

    PubMed

    Ergin, C; Ilkit, M; Kaftanoglu, O

    2004-10-01

    The plant flora has an important role in the ecology of Cryptococcus neoformans. It is estimated that the environmental spreading and contamination of human beings with this yeast occurs via contaminated particles of plants. Cultivation of canopy parts of plants in selective media is the most widely used isolation method of this yeast. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii was isolated from honeybee colonies in Eucalyptus forests but was not isolated from the places where this flora did not exist. Our results indicate that the occurrence of C. neoformans in honeybee colonies during the flowering season of Eucalyptus spp. trees can be an important bioindicator for environmental yeast presence. The screening of honeybee colonies is a practical and a rapid method for the monitoring of the C. neoformans presence in flowering plants. PMID:15504129

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

    PubMed

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

    1987-04-01

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

  7. Transcriptome Analysis of Honeybee (Apis Mellifera) Haploid and Diploid Embryos Reveals Early Zygotic Transcription during Cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Camilla Valente; Freitas, Flávia Cristina de Paula; Cristino, Alexandre S.; Dearden, Peter K.; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2016-01-01

    In honeybees, the haplodiploid sex determination system promotes a unique embryogenesis process wherein females develop from fertilized eggs and males develop from unfertilized eggs. However, the developmental strategies of honeybees during early embryogenesis are virtually unknown. Similar to most animals, the honeybee oocytes are supplied with proteins and regulatory elements that support early embryogenesis. As the embryo develops, the zygotic genome is activated and zygotic products gradually replace the preloaded maternal material. The analysis of small RNA and mRNA libraries of mature oocytes and embryos originated from fertilized and unfertilized eggs has allowed us to explore the gene expression dynamics in the first steps of development and during the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT). We localized a short sequence motif identified as TAGteam motif and hypothesized to play a similar role in honeybees as in fruit flies, which includes the timing of early zygotic expression (MZT), a function sustained by the presence of the zelda ortholog, which is the main regulator of genome activation. Predicted microRNA (miRNA)-target interactions indicated that there were specific regulators of haploid and diploid embryonic development and an overlap of maternal and zygotic gene expression during the early steps of embryogenesis. Although a number of functions are highly conserved during the early steps of honeybee embryogenesis, the results showed that zygotic genome activation occurs earlier in honeybees than in Drosophila based on the presence of three primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs) (ame-mir-375, ame-mir-34 and ame-mir-263b) during the cleavage stage in haploid and diploid embryonic development. PMID:26751956

  8. Quantitative comparison of caste differences in honeybee hemolymph.

    PubMed

    Chan, Queenie W T; Howes, Charles G; Foster, Leonard J

    2006-12-01

    The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an invaluable partner in agriculture around the world both for its production of honey and, more importantly, for its role in pollination. Honeybees are largely unexplored at the molecular level despite a long and distinguished career as a model organism for understanding social behavior. Like other eusocial insects, honeybees can be divided into several castes: the queen (fertile female), workers (sterile females), and drones (males). Each caste has different energetic and metabolic requirements, and each differs in its susceptibility to pathogens, many of which have evolved to take advantage of the close social network inside a colony. Hemolymph, arthropods' equivalent to blood, distributes nutrients throughout the bee, and the immune components contained within it form one of the primary lines of defense against invading microorganisms. In this study we have applied qualitative and quantitative proteomics to gain a better understanding of honeybee hemolymph and how it varies among the castes and during development. We found large differences in hemolymph protein composition, especially between larval and adult stage bees and between male and female castes but even between adult workers and queens. We also provide experimental evidence for the expression of several unannotated honeybee genes and for the detection of biomarkers of a viral infection. Our data provide an initial molecular picture of honeybee hemolymph, to a greater depth than previous studies in other insects, and will pave the way for future biochemical studies of innate immunity in this animal. PMID:16920818

  9. Spatial distributions of inorganic elements in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and possible relationships to dietary habits and surrounding environmental pollutants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tsing-Hai; Jian, Chia-Hung; Hsieh, Yi-Kong; Wang, Fu-Nien; Wang, Chu-Fang

    2013-05-29

    In this study, the laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) was adopted to determine the distribution of inorganic elements, including Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, S, P, Pb, and Zn, in honeybees (Apis melifera L.). Two features are particularly noteworthy. First, it was found there is a significant amount of Fe located at the fringe of the abdomen in worker bees; ultrasonic imaging, scanning electron microscopy, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed that it arose from magnetic Fe-bearing nanoparticles (NPs) having an average diameter of approximately 40 nm. Interestingly, only worker bees contained these magnetic Fe-bearing NPs; no similar features appeared in larvae, pupae, wasps, or drones. Second, a detectable amount of Pb accumulated particularly in the alimentary canals of worker bees. Again, no detectable amounts of Pb in larvae, pupae, drones, or wasps, yet a level of 0.24 ± 0.05 mg/kg of Pb in pollen; therefore, the diet appears to be the primary pathway for environmental pollutants entering the honeybees' food chain. PMID:23646931

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Interactions between Nosema microspores and a neonicotinoid weaken honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Alaux, Cédric; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Dussaubat, Claudia; Mondet, Fanny; Tchamitchan, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Brillard, Julien; Baldy, Aurelie; Belzunces, Luc P; Le Conte, Yves

    2010-01-01

    Global pollinators, like honeybees, are declining in abundance and diversity, which can adversely affect natural ecosystems and agriculture. Therefore, we tested the current hypotheses describing honeybee losses as a multifactorial syndrome, by investigating integrative effects of an infectious organism and an insecticide on honeybee health. We demonstrated that the interaction between the microsporidia Nosema and a neonicotinoid (imidacloprid) significantly weakened honeybees. In the short term, the combination of both agents caused the highest individual mortality rates and energetic stress. By quantifying the strength of immunity at both the individual and social levels, we showed that neither the haemocyte number nor the phenoloxidase activity of individuals was affected by the different treatments. However, the activity of glucose oxidase, enabling bees to sterilize colony and brood food, was significantly decreased only by the combination of both factors compared with control, Nosema or imidacloprid groups, suggesting a synergistic interaction and in the long term a higher susceptibility of the colony to pathogens. This provides the first evidences that interaction between an infectious organism and a chemical can also threaten pollinators, interactions that are widely used to eliminate insect pests in integrative pest management. PMID:20050872

  14. Parasites and Pathogens of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) and Their Influence on Inter-Colonial Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Eva; Rosenkranz, Peter; Paxton, Robert J.; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2015-01-01

    Pathogens and parasites may facilitate their transmission by manipulating host behavior. Honeybee pathogens and pests need to be transferred from one colony to another if they are to maintain themselves in a host population. Inter-colony transmission occurs typically through honeybee workers not returning to their home colony but entering a foreign colony (“drifting”). Pathogens might enhance drifting to enhance transmission to new colonies. We here report on the effects infection by ten honeybee viruses and Nosema spp., and Varroa mite infestation on honeybee drifting. Genotyping of workers collected from colonies allowed us to identify genuine drifted workers as well as source colonies sending out drifters in addition to sink colonies accepting them. We then used network analysis to determine patterns of drifting. Distance between colonies in the apiary was the major factor explaining 79% of drifting. None of the tested viruses or Nosema spp. were associated with the frequency of drifting. Only colony infestation with Varroa was associated with significantly enhanced drifting. More specifically, colonies with high Varroa infestation had a significantly enhanced acceptance of drifters, although they did not send out more drifting workers. Since Varroa-infested colonies show an enhanced attraction of drifting workers, and not only those infected with Varroa and its associated pathogens, infestation by Varroa may also facilitate the uptake of other pests and parasites. PMID:26451849

  15. Evaluating exposure and potential effects on honeybee brood (Apis mellifera) development using glyphosate as an example.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen M; Levine, Steven L; Doering, Janine; Norman, Steve; Manson, Philip; Sutton, Peter; von Mérey, Georg

    2014-07-01

    This study aimed to develop an approach to evaluate potential effects of plant protection products on honeybee brood with colonies at realistic worst-case exposure rates. The approach comprised 2 stages. In the first stage, honeybee colonies were exposed to a commercial formulation of glyphosate applied to flowering Phacelia tanacetifolia with glyphosate residues quantified in relevant matrices (pollen and nectar) collected by foraging bees on days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 postapplication and glyphosate levels in larvae were measured on days 4 and 7. Glyphosate levels in pollen were approximately 10 times higher than in nectar and glyphosate demonstrated rapid decline in both matrices. Residue data along with foraging rates and food requirements of the colony were then used to set dose rates in the effects study. In the second stage, the toxicity of technical glyphosate to developing honeybee larvae and pupae, and residues in larvae, were then determined by feeding treated sucrose directly to honeybee colonies at dose rates that reflect worst-case exposure scenarios. There were no significant effects from glyphosate observed in brood survival, development, and mean pupal weight. Additionally, there were no biologically significant levels of adult mortality observed in any glyphosate treatment group. Significant effects were observed only in the fenoxycarb toxic reference group and included increased brood mortality and a decline in the numbers of bees and brood. Mean glyphosate residues in larvae were comparable at 4 days after spray application in the exposure study and also following dosing at a level calculated from the mean measured levels in pollen and nectar, showing the applicability and robustness of the approach for dose setting with honeybee brood studies. This study has developed a versatile and predictive approach for use in higher tier honeybee toxicity studies. It can be used to realistically quantify exposure of colonies to pesticides to allow the

  16. Excitable properties of adult skeletal muscle fibres from the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Collet, Claude; Belzunces, Luc

    2007-02-01

    In the hive, a wide range of honeybees tasks such as cell cleaning, nursing, thermogenesis, flight, foraging and inter-individual communication (waggle dance, antennal contact and trophallaxy) depend on proper muscle activity. However, whereas extensive electrophysiological studies have been undertaken over the past ten years to characterize ionic currents underlying the physiological neuronal activity in honeybee, ionic currents underlying skeletal muscle fibre activity in this insect remain, so far, unexplored. Here, we show that, in contrast to many other insect species, action potentials in muscle fibres isolated from adult honeybee metathoracic tibia, are not graded but actual all-or-none responses. Action potentials are blocked by Cd(2+) and La(3+) but not by tetrodotoxin (TTX) in current-clamp mode of the patch-clamp technique, and as assessed under voltage-clamp, both Ca(2+) and K(+) currents are involved in shaping action potentials in single muscle fibres. The activation threshold potential for the voltage-dependent Ca(2+) current is close to -40 mV, its mean maximal amplitude is -8.5+/-1.9 A/F and the mean apparent reversal potential is near +40 mV. In honeybees, GABA does not activate any ionic membrane currents in muscle fibres from the tibia, but L-glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular synapse induces fast activation of an inward current when the membrane potential is voltage clamped close to its resting value. Instead of undergoing desensitization as is the case in many other preparations, a component of this glutamate-activated current has a sustained component, the reversal potential of which is close to 0 mV, as demonstrated with voltage ramps. Future investigations will allow extensive pharmacological characterization of membrane ionic currents and excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle from honeybee, a useful insect that became a model to study many physiological phenomena and which plays a major role in

  17. Molecular identification and expressive characterization of an olfactory co-receptor gene in the Asian honeybee, Apis cerana cerana.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Huiting; Gao, Pengfei; Zhang, Chunxiang; Ma, Weihua; Jiang, Yusuo

    2013-01-01

    Olfaction recognition process is extraordinarily complex in insects, and the olfactory receptors play an important function in the process. In this paper, a highly conserved olfactory co-receptor gene, AcerOr2 (ortholog to the Drosophila melanogaster Or83b), cloned from the antennae of the Asian honeybee, Apis cerana cerana Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Apidae), using reverse transcriptase PCR and rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The full-length sequence of the gene was 1763 bp long, and the cDNA open reading frame encoded 478 amino acid residues, including 7 putative transmembrane domains. Alignment analysis revealed that AcerOr2 shares high homology (> 74%) with similar olfactory receptors found in other Hymenoptera species. The amino acid identity with the closely related species Apis mellifera reached 99.8%. The developmental expression analysis using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR suggested that the AcerOr2 transcript was expressed at a relatively low level in the larval stage, whereas it was expressed broadly in the pupal and adult stages, with a significantly high level on the days just before and after eclosion. In situ hybridization showed that AcerOr2 mRNA was expressed in sensilla placodea and on the basal region of the worker antennal cuticle, in accordance with the previous conclusions that the conserved genes are expressed in most olfactory receptor neurons. PMID:24224665

  18. Lactobacillus apis sp. nov., from the stomach of honeybees (Apis mellifera), having an in vitro inhibitory effect on the causative agents of American and European foulbrood.

    PubMed

    Killer, J; Dubná, S; Sedláček, I; Švec, P

    2014-01-01

    A taxonomic study was performed on Gram-stain-positive, catalase-negative and regular rod-shaped bacterial strains R4B(T) and R4C, isolated from the stomachs of honeybees. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that the phylogenetic position of the novel strains was within the genus Lactobacillus; the highest sequence similarity to R4B(T) was shown by Lactobacillus acidophilus BCRC 10695(T) (93.6 %). Lower sequence similarities were found to other obligately homofermentative lactobacilli. A PCR-DGGE method could detect the sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of strain R4B(T) at different developmental stages of honeybees occurring in two different locations in the Czech Republic. The distinctiveness of the strains from other lactobacilli was also confirmed by analysis of sequences of other phylogenetic markers applicable to the taxonomy of the genus Lactobacillus, ribotyping and rep-PCR analysis. The DNA G+C content of strain R4B(T) was 41.3 mol%. The predominant cellular fatty acids of strain R4B(T) were C18 : 1ω9c, summed C19 : 1ω6c/C19 : 0 cyclo ω10c, C16 : 0, summed C18 : 1ω7c/C18 : 1ω6c and summed C16 : 1ω7c/C16 : 1ω6c. The major polar lipids of strain R4B(T) were glycolipids, lipids and phospholipids. Phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics also confirmed the independent status of the strains at the species level. Interestingly, strain R4B(T) was able to inhibit growth in vitro of Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae (causal agent of American foulbrood in honeybees) and Melissococcus plutonius (causal agent of European foulbrood). The name Lactobacillus apis sp. nov. is proposed for this novel taxon; the type strain is R4B(T) ( = CCM 8403(T) = LMG 26964(T)). PMID:24096349

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. Lower disease infections in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies headed by polyandrous vs monandrous queens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarpy, David R.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2006-04-01

    We studied the relationship between genetic diversity and disease susceptibility in honeybee colonies living under natural conditions. To do so, we created colonies in which each queen was artificially inseminated with sperm from either one or ten drones. Of the 20 colonies studied, 80% showed at least one brood disease. We found strong differences between the two types of colonies in the infection intensity of chalkbrood and in the total intensity of all brood diseases (chalkbrood, sacbrood, American foulbrood, and European foulbrood) with both variables lower for the colonies with higher genetic diversity. Our findings demonstrate that disease can be an important factor in the ecology of honeybee colonies and they provide strong support for the disease hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry by social insect queens.

  1. Identification of two piwi genes and their expression profile in honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Liao, Zhen; Jia, Qidong; Li, Fei; Han, Zhaojun

    2010-06-01

    Piwi genes play an important role in regulating spermatogenesis and oogenesis because they participate in the biogenesis of piRNAs, a new class of noncoding RNAs. However, these genes are not well understood in most insects. To understand the function of piwi genes in honeybee reproduction, we amplified two full-length piwi-like genes, Am-aub and Am-ago3. Both the cloned Am-aub and Am-ago3 genes contained typical PAZ and PIWI domains and active catalytic motifs "Asp-Asp-Asp/His/Glu/Lys," suggesting that the two piwi-like genes possessed slicer activity. We examined the expression levels of Am-aub and Am-ago3 in workers, queens, drones, and female larvae by quantitative PCR. Am-aub was more abundant than Am-ago3 in all the tested samples. Both Am-aub and Am-ago3 were highly expressed in drones but not in workers and queens. The significant finding was that the larval food stream influenced the expression of Piwi genes in adult honeybees. This helps to understand the nutritional control of reproductive status in honeybees at the molecular level. PMID:20513057

  2. Detection of Methyl Salicylate Transforted by Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Using Solid Phase Microextration (SPME) Fibers

    SciTech Connect

    BENDER, SUSAN FAE ANN; RODACY, PHILIP J.; BARNETT, JAMES L.; BENDER, GARY L.

    2001-12-01

    The ultimate goal of many environmental measurements is to determine the risk posed to humans or ecosystems by various contaminants. Conventional environmental monitoring typically requires extensive sampling grids covering several media including air, water, soil and vegetation. A far more efficient, innovative and inexpensive tactic has been found using honeybees as sampling mechanisms. Members from a single bee colony forage over large areas ({approx}2 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 2}), making tens of thousands of trips per day, and return to a fixed location where sampling can be conveniently conducted. The bees are in direct contact with the air, water, soil and vegetation where they encounter and collect any contaminants that are present in gaseous, liquid and particulate form. The monitoring of honeybees when they return to the hive provides a rapid method to assess chemical distributions and impacts (1). The primary goal of this technology is to evaluate the efficiency of the transport mechanism (honeybees) to the hive using preconcentrators to collect samples. Once the extent and nature of the contaminant exposure has been characterized, resources can be distributed and environmental monitoring designs efficiently directed to the most appropriate locations. Methyl salicylate, a chemical agent surrogate was used as the target compound in this study.

  3. Diversity of honey stores and their impact on pathogenic bacteria of the honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Erler, Silvio; Denner, Andreas; Bobiş, Otilia; Forsgren, Eva; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-01-01

    Honeybee colonies offer an excellent environment for microbial pathogen development. The highest virulent, colony killing, bacterial agents are Paenibacillus larvae causing American foulbrood (AFB), and European foulbrood (EFB) associated bacteria. Besides the innate immune defense, honeybees evolved behavioral defenses to combat infections. Foraging of antimicrobial plant compounds plays a key role for this “social immunity” behavior. Secondary plant metabolites in floral nectar are known for their antimicrobial effects. Yet, these compounds are highly plant specific, and the effects on bee health will depend on the floral origin of the honey produced. As worker bees not only feed themselves, but also the larvae and other colony members, honey is a prime candidate acting as self-medication agent in honeybee colonies to prevent or decrease infections. Here, we test eight AFB and EFB bacterial strains and the growth inhibitory activity of three honey types. Using a high-throughput cell growth assay, we show that all honeys have high growth inhibitory activity and the two monofloral honeys appeared to be strain specific. The specificity of the monofloral honeys and the strong antimicrobial potential of the polyfloral honey suggest that the diversity of honeys in the honey stores of a colony may be highly adaptive for its “social immunity” against the highly diverse suite of pathogens encountered in nature. This ecological diversity may therefore operate similar to the well-known effects of host genetic variance in the arms race between host and parasite. PMID:25505523

  4. Identification, recombinant production and structural characterization of four silk proteins from the Asiatic honeybee Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Shi, Jiahai; Lua, Shixiong; Du, Ning; Liu, Xiangyang; Song, Jianxing

    2008-06-01

    Unlike silkworm and spider silks assembled from very large and repetitive fibrous proteins, the bee and ant silks were recently demonstrated to consist of four small and non-repetitive coiled-coil proteins. The design principle for this silk family remains largely unknown and so far no structural study is available on them in solution. The present study aimed to identify, express and characterize the Asiatic honeybee silk proteins using DLS, CD and NMR spectroscopy. Consequently, (1) four silk proteins are identified, with approximately 6, 10, 9 and 8% variations, respectively, from their European honeybee homologs. Strikingly, their recombinant forms can be produced in Escherichia coil with yields of 10-60 mg/l. (2) Despite containing approximately 65% coiled-coil sequences, four proteins have very low alpha-helix (9-27%) but unusually high random coil (45-56%) contents. Surprisingly, beta-sheet is also detected in four silk proteins (26-35%), implying the possible presence of beta-sheet in the bee and ant silks. (3) Four proteins lacking of the tight tertiary packing appear capable of interacting with each other weakly but this interaction triggers no significant formation of the tight tertiary packing. The study not only implies the promising potential to produce recombinant honeybee silk proteins for the development of various biomaterials; but also provides the first structural insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the formation of the coiled-coil silks. PMID:18394700

  5. Diversity of honey stores and their impact on pathogenic bacteria of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Erler, Silvio; Denner, Andreas; Bobiş, Otilia; Forsgren, Eva; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-10-01

    Honeybee colonies offer an excellent environment for microbial pathogen development. The highest virulent, colony killing, bacterial agents are Paenibacillus larvae causing American foulbrood (AFB), and European foulbrood (EFB) associated bacteria. Besides the innate immune defense, honeybees evolved behavioral defenses to combat infections. Foraging of antimicrobial plant compounds plays a key role for this "social immunity" behavior. Secondary plant metabolites in floral nectar are known for their antimicrobial effects. Yet, these compounds are highly plant specific, and the effects on bee health will depend on the floral origin of the honey produced. As worker bees not only feed themselves, but also the larvae and other colony members, honey is a prime candidate acting as self-medication agent in honeybee colonies to prevent or decrease infections. Here, we test eight AFB and EFB bacterial strains and the growth inhibitory activity of three honey types. Using a high-throughput cell growth assay, we show that all honeys have high growth inhibitory activity and the two monofloral honeys appeared to be strain specific. The specificity of the monofloral honeys and the strong antimicrobial potential of the polyfloral honey suggest that the diversity of honeys in the honey stores of a colony may be highly adaptive for its "social immunity" against the highly diverse suite of pathogens encountered in nature. This ecological diversity may therefore operate similar to the well-known effects of host genetic variance in the arms race between host and parasite. PMID:25505523

  6. The genetic architecture of sucrose responsiveness in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Rueppell, Olav; Chandra, Sathees B C; Pankiw, Tanya; Fondrk, M Kim; Beye, Martin; Hunt, Greg; Page, Robert E

    2006-01-01

    One of the best examples of a natural behavioral syndrome is the pollen-hoarding syndrome in honeybees that ties together multiple behavioral phenotypes, ranging from foraging behavior to behavioral ontogeny and learning performance. A central behavioral factor is the bees' responsiveness to sucrose, measured as their proboscis extension reflex. This study examines the genetics of this trait in diploid worker and haploid male honeybees (drones) to learn more about the genetic architecture of the overall behavioral syndrome, using original strains selected for pollen-hoarding behavior. We show that a significant proportion of the phenotypic variability is determined by genotype in males and workers. Second, our data present overwhelming evidence for pleiotropic effects of previously identified quantitative trait loci for foraging behavior (pln-QTL) and epistatic interactions among them. Furthermore, we report on three genomic QTL scans (two reciprocal worker backcrosses and one drone hybrid population) derived from our selection strains. We present at least one significant and two putative new QTL directly affecting the sucrose response of honeybees. Thus, this study demonstrates the modular genetic architecture of behavioral syndromes in general, and elucidates the genetic architecture of the pollen-hoarding behavioral syndrome in particular. Understanding this behavioral syndrome is important for understanding the division of labor in social insects and social evolution itself. PMID:16172502

  7. Modification of the brain proteome of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera) exposed to a sub-lethal doses of the insecticide fipronil.

    PubMed

    Roat, T C; dos Santos-Pinto, J R A; Dos Santos, L D; Santos, K S; Malaspina, O; Palma, M S

    2014-11-01

    Fipronil is a phenylpyrazole insecticide that is widely used in Brazilian agriculture for pest control. Although honeybees are not targets of fipronil, studies indicate that this pesticide can be harmful to honeybees. To assess the effects of fipronil in the brain of Africanized Apis mellifera workers, this study focused on the toxico-proteome profiling of the brain of newly emerged and aged honeybee workers that were exposed to a sub-lethal dose (10 pg fipronil per day. i.e. (1)/100 of LD50/bee/day during 5 days) of the insecticide. Proteomic analysis identified 25 proteins that were differentially up-regulated or down-regulated when the fipronil-exposed and non-exposed groups were compared. These proteins are potentially related to pathogen susceptibility, neuronal chemical stress, neuronal protein misfolding, and occurrence of apoptosis, ischemia, visual impairment, damaged synapse formation, brain degeneration, memory and learning impairment. The exposure of honeybees to a very low dose of fipronil, even for a short period of time (5 days), was sufficient to cause a series of important neuroproteomic changes in the brains of honeybees. PMID:25139030

  8. Frischella perrara gen. nov., sp. nov., a gammaproteobacterium isolated from the gut of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-10-01

    The gut of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, is colonized by a characteristic set of bacteria. Two distinct gammaproteobacteria are consistent members of this unique microbial community, and one has recently been described in a new genus and species with the name Gilliamella apicola. Here, we present the isolation and characterization of PEB0191(T), a strain belonging to the second gammaproteobacterial species present in the honeybee gut microbiota, formerly referred to as 'Gammaproteobacterium-2'. Cells of strain PEB0191(T) were mesophilic and had a mean length of around 2 µm, and optimal growth was achieved under anaerobic conditions. Growth was not obtained under aerobic conditions and was reduced in a microaerophilic environment. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, strain PEB0191(T) belongs to the family Orbaceae, and its closest relatives, with around 95 % sequence similarity, are species of the genera Orbus and Gilliamella. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that PEB0191(T) is more closely related to the genus Orbus than to the genus Gilliamella. In accordance with its evolutionary relationship, further similarities between strain PEB0191(T) and other members of the family Orbaceae were revealed based on the respiratory quinone type (ubiquinone 8), the fatty acid profile and the DNA G+C content. Interestingly, like strains of the genus Gilliamella, PEB0191(T) exhibited a high level of resistance to oxytetracycline. The similar levels of sequence divergence from the genera Gilliamella and Orbus and its uncertain phylogenetic position within the family Orbaceae indicate that strain PEB0191(T) represents a novel species of a new genus, with the proposed name Frischella perrara gen. nov., sp. nov. The type strain of Frischella perrara is PEB0191(T) ( = NCIMB 14821(T) = ATCC BAA-2450(T)). PMID:23606484

  9. Aging and demographic plasticity in response to experimental age structures in honeybees (Apis mellifera L)

    PubMed Central

    Linford, Robyn; Gardner, Preston; Coleman, Jennifer; Fine, Kari

    2008-01-01

    Honeybee colonies are highly integrated functional units characterized by a pronounced division of labor. Division of labor among workers is mainly age-based, with younger individuals focusing on in-hive tasks and older workers performing the more hazardous foraging activities. Thus, experimental disruption of the age composition of the worker hive population is expected to have profound consequences for colony function. Adaptive demography theory predicts that the natural hive age composition represents a colony-level adaptation and thus results in optimal hive performance. Alternatively, the hive age composition may be an epiphenomenon, resulting from individual life history optimization. We addressed these predictions by comparing individual worker longevity and brood production in hives that were composed of a single age cohort, two distinct age cohorts, and hives that had a continuous, natural age distribution. Four experimental replicates showed that colonies with a natural age composition did not consistently have a higher life expectancy and/or brood production than the single cohort or double cohort hives. Instead, a complex interplay of age structure, environmental conditions, colony size, brood production, and individual mortality emerged. A general trade-off between worker life expectancy and colony productivity was apparent, and the transition from in-hive tasks to foraging was the most significant predictor of worker lifespan irrespective of the colony age structure. We conclude that the natural age structure of honeybee hives is not a colony-level adaptation. Furthermore, our results show that honeybees exhibit pronounced demographic plasticity in addition to behavioral plasticity to react to demographic disturbances of their societies. PMID:18663386

  10. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Learn Color Discriminations via Differential Conditioning Independent of Long Wavelength (Green) Photoreceptor Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Wijesekara Witharanage, Randika; Rosa, Marcello G. P.

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent studies on colour discrimination suggest that experience is an important factor in how a visual system processes spectral signals. In insects it has been shown that differential conditioning is important for processing fine colour discriminations. However, the visual system of many insects, including the honeybee, has a complex set of neural pathways, in which input from the long wavelength sensitive (‘green’) photoreceptor may be processed either as an independent achromatic signal or as part of a trichromatic opponent-colour system. Thus, a potential confound of colour learning in insects is the possibility that modulation of the ‘green’ photoreceptor could underlie observations. Methodology/Principal Findings We tested honeybee vision using light emitting diodes centered on 414 and 424 nm wavelengths, which limit activation to the short-wavelength-sensitive (‘UV’) and medium-wavelength-sensitive (‘blue’) photoreceptors. The absolute irradiance spectra of stimuli was measured and modelled at both receptor and colour processing levels, and stimuli were then presented to the bees in a Y-maze at a large visual angle (26°), to ensure chromatic processing. Sixteen bees were trained over 50 trials, using either appetitive differential conditioning (N = 8), or aversive-appetitive differential conditioning (N = 8). In both cases the bees slowly learned to discriminate between the target and distractor with significantly better accuracy than would be expected by chance. Control experiments confirmed that changing stimulus intensity in transfers tests does not significantly affect bee performance, and it was possible to replicate previous findings that bees do not learn similar colour stimuli with absolute conditioning. Conclusion Our data indicate that honeybee colour vision can be tuned to relatively small spectral differences, independent of ‘green’ photoreceptor contrast and brightness cues. We thus show that colour vision

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. High mobility group (HMG-box) genes in the honeybee fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genome of the honey bee fungal pathogen, Ascosphaera apis (Maassen), encodes three putative high mobility group (HMG-box) transcription factors. The predicted proteins (MAT1-2, STE11 and HTF), each of which contain a single strongly conserved HMG-box, exhibit high similarity to mating type prote...

  13. Differential antennal proteome comparison of adult honeybee drone, worker and queen (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    To understand the olfactory mechanism of honeybee antennae in detecting specific volatile compounds in the atmosphere, antennal proteome differences of drone, worker and queen were compared using 2-DE, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics. Therefore, 107 proteins were altered their expressions in the antennae of drone, worker and queen bees. There were 54, 21 and 32 up-regulated proteins in the antennae of drone, worker and queen, respectively. Proteins upregulated in the drone antennae were involved in fatty acid metabolism, antioxidation, carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, protein folding and cytoskeleton. Proteins upregulated in the antennae of worker and queen bees were related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production while molecular transporters were upregulated in the queen antennae. Our results explain the role played by the antennae of drone is to aid in perceiving the queen sexual pheromones, in the worker antennae to assist for food search and social communication and in the queen antennae to help pheromone communication with the worker and the drone during the mating flight. This first proteomic study significantly extends our understanding of honeybee olfactory activities and the possible mechanisms played by the antennae in response to various environmental, social, biological and biochemical signals. PMID:21982827

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bloch, Guy; Meshi, Avital

    2007-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

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

  17. Foraging reactivation in the honeybee Apis mellifera L.: factors affecting the return to known nectar sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil, Mariana; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2002-05-01

    This paper addresses, what determines that experienced forager honeybees return to places where they have previously exploited nectar. Although there was already some evidence that dance and trophallaxis can cause bees to return to feed, the fraction of unemployed foragers that follow dance or receive food from employed foragers before revisiting the feeder was unknown. We found that 27% of the experienced foragers had no contact with the returning foragers inside the hive. The most common interactions were dance following (64%) and trophallaxis (21%). The great variability found in the amount of interactions suggests that individual bees require different stimulation before changing to the foraging mode. This broad disparity negatively correlated with the number of days after marking at the feeder, a variable that is closely related to the foraging experience, suggesting that a temporal variable might affect the decision-making in reactivated foragers.

  18. Reassessing the role of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) Dufour's gland in egg marking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Stephen; Jones, Graeme; Châline, Nicolas; Middleton, Helen; Ratnieks, Francis

    2002-10-01

    Dufour's gland secretion may allow worker honeybees to discriminate between queen-laid and worker-laid eggs. To investigate this, we combined the chemical analysis of individually treated eggs with an egg removal bioassay. We partitioned queen Dufour's gland into hydrocarbon and ester fractions. The bioassay showed that worker-laid eggs treated with either whole gland extract, ester fraction or synthetic gland esters were removed more slowly than untreated worker-laid eggs. However, the effect only lasted up to 20 h. Worker-laid eggs treated with the hydrocarbon fraction were removed at the same rate as untreated eggs. The amount of ester which reduced the egg removal rate was far higher than that naturally found on queen-laid or worker-laid eggs, and at natural ester levels no effect was found. Our results indicate that esters or hydrocarbons probably do not function as the signal by which eggs can be discriminated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. A new antigenic marker specifically labels a subpopulation of the class II Kenyon cells in the brain of the European honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takayuki; Kubo, Takeo

    2015-01-01

    The mushroom bodies are the higher-order integration center in the insect brain and are involved in higher brain functions such as learning and memory. In the social hymenopteran insects such as honeybees, the mushroom bodies are the prominent brain structures. The mushroom bodies are composed of lobed neuropils formed by thousands of parallel-projecting axons of intrinsic neurons, and the lobes are divided into parallel subdivisions. In the present paper, we report a new antigenic marker to label a single layer in the vertical lobes of the European honeybee Apis mellifera. In the brain of A. mellifera, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) 15C3, which was originally developed against an insect ecdysone receptor (EcR) protein, immunolabels a single layer of the vertical lobes that correspond to the most dorsal layer of the γ-lobe. The 15C3 mAb recognizes a single ~200 kDa protein expressed in the adult honeybee brain. In addition, the 15C3 mAb immunoreactivity was also observed in the lobes of the developing pupal mushroom bodies. Since γ-lobe is well known to their extensive reorganization that occurs during metamorphosis in Drosophila, the novel antigenic marker for the honeybee γ-lobe allows us to investigate morphological changes of the mushroom bodies during metamorphosis. PMID:27493518

  1. Expression of amylase and glucose oxidase in the hypopharyngeal gland with an age-dependent role change of the worker honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Ohashi, K; Natori, S; Kubo, T

    1999-10-01

    Worker honeybees change their behaviour from the role of nurse to that of forager with age. We have isolated cDNA clones for two honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) genes, encoding alpha-amylase and glucose oxidase homologues, that are expressed in the hypopharyngeal gland of forager bees. The predicted amino acid sequence of the putative Apis amylase showed 60.5% identity with Drosophila melanogaster alpha-amylase, whereas that of Apis glucose oxidase showed 23.8% identity with Aspergillus niger glucose oxidase. To determine whether the isolated cDNAs actually encode these enzymes, we purified amylase and glucose oxidase from homogenized forager-bee hypopharyngeal glands. We sequenced the N-terminal regions of the purified enzymes and found that they matched the corresponding cDNAs. mRNAs for both enzymes were detected by Northern blotting in the hypopharyngeal gland of the forager bee but not in the nurse-bee gland. These results clearly indicate that expression of the genes for these carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes, which are needed to process nectar into honey, in the hypopharyngeal gland is associated with the age-dependent role change of the worker. PMID:10491166

  2. Chemosensory proteins of the eastern honeybee, Apis cerana: Identification, tissue distribution and olfactory related functional characterization.

    PubMed

    Li, Hong-Liang; Ni, Cui-Xia; Tan, Jing; Zhang, Lin-Ya; Hu, Fu-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Chemosensory proteins (CSPs), a class of small soluble proteins, are thought to be involved in insect chemoreceptive behavior. Here, six CSP genes, AcerCSP1-6 from Apis cerana, were cloned and characterized from worker bees' antennae. Results revealed that the AcerCSPs' amino acid sequences shared high similarity with the homologous genes of Apis mellifera, but low similarity with other insect species. Compared with corresponding CSPs of A. mellifera, AcerCSPs (1, 3, 4, and 6) exhibit quite similar gene expression profiling. On the contrary, AcerCSP2 showed a higher expression level in the forager antennae and legs than CSP2 of A. mellifera. Furthermore, AcerCSP5 was not specifically expressed in larvae, unlike CSP5 of A. mellifera. In a ligand-binding assay, AcerCSP1 and AcerCSP2, which exhibited the highest expression in antennae of A. cerana, had a stronger affinity with candidate floral chemicals and pheromones than AcerCSP4, the results of which was supported by docking analysis, suggesting that the relevance of them with A. cerana olfactory functions. Taken together, these results suggest that despite the quasi-similarity of protein sequences between A. cerana and A. mellifera, differences in tissue expression and functional characteristics between the two species still exist, indicating that homologous proteins potentially perform different tasks even in related species. PMID:26773657

  3. Optimization of γ-aminobutyric acid production by Lactobacillus plantarum Taj-Apis362 from honeybees.

    PubMed

    Tajabadi, Naser; Ebrahimpour, Afshin; Baradaran, Ali; Rahim, Raha Abdul; Mahyudin, Nor Ainy; Manap, Mohd Yazid Abdul; Bakar, Fatimah Abu; Saari, Nazamid

    2015-01-01

    Dominant strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from honey bees were evaluated for their γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-producing ability. Out of 24 strains, strain Taj-Apis362 showed the highest GABA-producing ability (1.76 mM) in MRS broth containing 50 mM initial glutamic acid cultured for 60 h. Effects of fermentation parameters, including initial glutamic acid level, culture temperature, initial pH and incubation time on GABA production were investigated via a single parameter optimization strategy. The optimal fermentation condition for GABA production was modeled using response surface methodology (RSM). The results showed that the culture temperature was the most significant factor for GABA production. The optimum conditions for maximum GABA production by Lactobacillus plantarum Taj-Apis362 were an initial glutamic acid concentration of 497.97 mM, culture temperature of 36 °C, initial pH of 5.31 and incubation time of 60 h, which produced 7.15 mM of GABA. The value is comparable with the predicted value of 7.21 mM. PMID:25884548

  4. Trophallaxis in filled-crop honeybees (Apis mellifera L.): food-loading time affects unloading behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wainselboim, A. J.; Farina, W. M.

    Honeybees ingested 50% w/w (1.8M) sucrose solution at a rate feeder offering either 16.5, 32.5 or 65 μl/min. While the time spent ingesting solution at the feeder decreased significantly with increasing flow of solution, bees attained maximum crop loads with this range of flows. Different parameters related to mouth-to-mouth food exchange (trophallaxis) showed important modulations as the offered flow of solution was incremented. Trophallactic transfer rate, i.e. the speed at which liquid food is transferred from donor to recipient bee, was found to increase along with increasing profitability at the rate feeder. In the present case, food source profitability could have been evaluated by foragers either by measuring the time invested in ingesting the solution, or by direct assessment of the flow rate of the feeder. Thus it seems that perception of profitability conditions at the food sourcesuffices for later representation in the hive through trophallactic contacts, independently of crop-filling state.

  5. Uncoupling fertility from fertility-associated pheromones in worker honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Malka, Osnat; Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Hefetz, Abraham

    2009-03-01

    Fertility-associated pheromones, chemical signals delineating ovarian development, were favourably selected in the course of evolution because it is in the best interest of both the signallers (in recruiting help from other colony members) and the receivers (in assisting them to reach an informed decision of how to maximize fitness). Such signals therefore should constitute honest, deception-proof indicators of ovarian development, suggesting, theoretically, that the processes of ovarian development and signal production are irreversibly coupled. Here we demonstrate that these processes can be uncoupled by treating queenless (QL) honeybee callow workers with methoprene, a juvenile hormone (JH) analog. While methoprene effectively inhibited ovarian development, it neither inhibited Dufour's fertility signal nor the mandibular glands' dominance signal. In fact, there was even a slight augmentation of both in the methoprene-treated bees. Thus, although fertility and fertility signals are tightly associated, they can be uncoupled by experimental manipulation. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that ovarian development and fertility-associated signal production are triggered by a common event/signal (e.g. queen pheromone disappearance) but comprise different regulatory systems. The evolutionary implication is that these two traits have evolved independently and may have been co-opted to emphasize the reproductive status of workers in the competition for reproduction. PMID:19041321

  6. An Alarm Pheromone Modulates Appetitive Olfactory Learning in the Honeybee (Apis Mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Urlacher, Elodie; Francés, Bernard; Giurfa, Martin; Devaud, Jean-Marc

    2010-01-01

    In honeybees, associative learning is embedded in a social context as bees possess a highly complex social organization in which communication among individuals is mediated by dance behavior informing about food sources, and by a high variety of pheromones that maintain the social links between individuals of a hive. Proboscis extension response conditioning is a case of appetitive learning, in which harnessed bees learn to associate odor stimuli with sucrose reward in the laboratory. Despite its recurrent use as a tool for uncovering the behavioral, cellular, and molecular bases underlying associative learning, the question of whether social signals (pheromones) affect appetitive learning has not been addressed in this experimental framework. This situation contrasts with reports underlining that foraging activity of bees is modulated by alarm pheromones released in the presence of a potential danger. Here, we show that appetitive learning is impaired by the sting alarm pheromone (SAP) which, when released by guards, recruits foragers to defend the hive. This effect is mimicked by the main component of SAP, isopentyl acetate, is dose-dependent and lasts up to 24 h. Learning impairment is specific to alarm signal exposure and is independent of the odorant used for conditioning. Our results suggest that learning impairment may be a response to the biological significance of SAP as an alarm signal, which would detract bees from responding to any appetitive stimuli in a situation in which such responses would be of secondary importance. PMID:20838475

  7. Six quantitative trait loci influence task thresholds for hygienic behaviour in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Oxley, Peter R; Spivak, Marla; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2010-04-01

    Honeybee hygienic behaviour provides colonies with protection from many pathogens and is an important model system of the genetics of a complex behaviour. It is a textbook example of complex behaviour under simple genetic control: hygienic behaviour consists of two components--uncapping a diseased brood cell, followed by removal of the contents--each of which are thought to be modulated independently by a few loci of medium to large effect. A worker's genetic propensity to engage in hygienic tasks affects the intensity of the stimulus required before she initiates the behaviour. Genetic diversity within colonies leads to task specialization among workers, with a minority of workers performing the majority of nest-cleaning tasks. We identify three quantitative trait loci that influence the likelihood that workers will engage in hygienic behaviour and account for up to 30% of the phenotypic variability in hygienic behaviour in our population. Furthermore, we identify two loci that influence the likelihood that a worker will perform uncapping behaviour only, and one locus that influences removal behaviour. We report the first candidate genes associated with engaging in hygienic behaviour, including four genes involved in olfaction, learning and social behaviour, and one gene involved in circadian locomotion. These candidates will allow molecular characterization of this distinctive behavioural mode of disease resistance, as well as providing the opportunity for marker-assisted selection for this commercially significant trait. PMID:20298472

  8. Differentially methylated obligatory epialleles modulate context-dependent LAM gene expression in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wedd, Laura; Kucharski, Robert; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2016-01-01

    Differential intragenic methylation in social insects has been hailed as a prime mover of environmentally driven organismal plasticity and even as evidence for genomic imprinting. However, very little experimental work has been done to test these ideas and to prove the validity of such claims. Here we analyze in detail differentially methylated obligatory epialleles of a conserved gene encoding lysosomal α-mannosidase (AmLAM) in the honeybee. We combined genotyping of progenies derived from colonies founded by single drone inseminated queens, ultra-deep allele-specific bisulfite DNA sequencing, and gene expression to reveal how sequence variants, DNA methylation, and transcription interrelate. We show that both methylated and non-methylated states of AmLAM follow Mendelian inheritance patterns and are strongly influenced by polymorphic changes in DNA. Increased methylation of a given allele correlates with higher levels of context-dependent AmLAM expression and appears to affect the transcription of an antisense long noncoding RNA. No evidence of allelic imbalance or imprinting involved in this process has been found. Our data suggest that by generating alternate methylation states that affect gene expression, sequence variants provide organisms with a high level of epigenetic flexibility that can be used to select appropriate responses in various contexts. This study represents the first effort to integrate DNA sequence variants, gene expression, and methylation in a social insect to advance our understanding of their relationships in the context of causality. PMID:26507253

  9. Quantitative trait loci associated with reversal learning and latent inhibition in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Chandra, S B; Hunt, G J; Cobey, S; Smith, B H

    2001-05-01

    A study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect learning in honeybees. Two F1 supersister queens were produced from a cross between two established lines that had been selected for differences in the speed at which they reverse a learned discrimination between odors. Different families of haploid drones from two of these F1 queens were evaluated for two kinds of learning performance--reversal learning and latent inhibition--which previously showed correlated selection responses. Random amplified polymorphic DNA markers were scored from recombinant, haploid drone progeny that showed extreme manifestations of learning performance. Composite interval mapping procedures identified two QTLs for reversal learning (lrn2 and lrn3: LOD, 2.45 and 2.75, respectively) and one major QTL for latent inhibition (lrn1: LOD, 6.15). The QTL for latent inhibition did not map to either of the linkage groups that were associated with reversal learning. Identification of specific genes responsible for these kinds of QTL associations will open up new windows for better understanding of genes involved in learning and memory. PMID:11699600

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

    PubMed Central

    Mestriner, Moacyr Antonio; Contel, Eucleia Primo Betioli

    1972-01-01

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

  11. RT-PCR analysis of Deformed wing virus in honeybees (Apis mellifera) and mites (Varroa destructor).

    PubMed

    Yue, Constanze; Genersch, Elke

    2005-12-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a honeybee viral pathogen either persisting as an inapparent infection or resulting in wing deformity. The occurrence of deformity is associated with the transmission of DWV through Varroa destructor during pupal stages. Such infections with DWV add to the pathology of V. destructor and play a major role in colony collapse in the course of varroosis. Using a recently developed RT-PCR protocol for the detection of DWV, individual bees and mites originating from hives differing in Varroa infestation levels and the occurrence of crippled bees were analysed. It was found that 100 % of both crippled and asymptomatic bees were positive for DWV. However, a significant difference in the spatial distribution of DWV between asymptomatic and crippled bees could be demonstrated: when analysing head, thorax and abdomen of crippled bees, all body parts were always strongly positive for viral sequences. In contrast, for asymptomatic bees viral sequences could be detected in RNA extracted from the thorax and/or abdomen but never in RNA extracted from the head. DWV replication was demonstrated in almost all DWV-positive body parts of infected bees. Analysing individual mites for the presence of DWV revealed that the percentage of DWV-positive mites differed between mite populations. In addition, it was demonstrated that DWV was able to replicate in some but not all mites. Interestingly, virus replication in mites was correlated with wing deformity. DWV was also detected in the larval food, implicating that in addition to transmission by V. destructor DWV is also transmitted by feeding. PMID:16298989

  12. Brain modulation of Dufour's gland ester biosynthesis in vitro in the honeybee ( Apis mellifera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Hefetz, Abraham; Soroker, Victoria

    2007-05-01

    Caste-specific pheromone biosynthesis is a prerequisite for reproductive skew in the honeybee. Nonetheless, this process is not hardwired but plastic, in that egg-laying workers produce a queen-like pheromone. Studies with Dufour’s gland pheromone revealed that, in vivo, workers’ gland biosynthesis matches the social status of the worker, i.e., sterile workers showed a worker-like pattern whereas fertile workers showed a queen-like pattern (production of the queen-specific esters). However, when incubated in vitro, the gland spontaneously exhibits the queen-like pattern, irrespective of its original worker type, prompting the notion that ester production in workers is under inhibitory control that is queen-dependent. We tested this hypothesis by exposing queen or worker Dufour’s glands in vitro to brain extracts of queens, queenright (sterile) workers and males. Unexpectedly, worker brain extracts activated the queen-like esters biosynthesis in workers’ Dufour’s gland. This stimulation was gender-specific; queen or worker brains demonstrated a stimulatory activity, but male brains did not. Queen gland could not be further stimulated. Bioassays with heated and filtered extracts indicate that the stimulatory brain factor is below 3,000 Da. We suggest that pheromone production in Dufour’s gland is under dual, negative positive control. Under queenright conditions, the inhibitor is released and blocks ester biosynthesis, whereas under queenless conditions, the activator is released, activating ester biosynthesis in the gland. This is consistent with the hypothesis that queenright workers are unequivocally recognized as non-fertile, whereas queenless workers try to become “false queens” as part of the reproductive competition.

  13. RNAi-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function turns honeybee ( Apis mellifera) workers into extremely precocious foragers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marco Antonio, David Santos; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; Do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2008-10-01

    The switch from within-hive activities to foraging behavior is a major transition in the life cycle of a honeybee ( Apis mellifera) worker. A prominent regulatory role in this switch has long been attributed to juvenile hormone (JH), but recent evidence also points to the yolk precursor protein vitellogenin as a major player in behavioral development. In the present study, we injected vitellogenin double-stranded RNA (dsVg) into newly emerged worker bees of Africanized genetic origin and introduced them together with controls into observation hives to record flight behavior. RNA interference-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function shifted the onset of long-duration flights (>10 min) to earlier in life (by 3 4 days) when compared with sham and untreated control bees. In fact, dsVg bees were observed conducting such flights extremely precociously, when only 3 days old. Short-duration flights (<10 min), which bees usually perform for orientation and cleaning, were not affected. Additionally, we found that the JH titer in dsVg bees collected after 7 days was not significantly different from the controls. The finding that depletion of the vitellogenin titer can drive young bees to become extremely precocious foragers could imply that vitellogenin is the primary switch signal. At this young age, downregulation of vitellogenin gene activity apparently had little effect on the JH titer. As this unexpected finding stands in contrast with previous results on the vitellogenin/JH interaction at a later age, when bees normally become foragers, we propose a three-step sequence in the constellation of physiological parameters underlying behavioral development.

  14. How does the mite Varroa destructor kill the honeybee Apis mellifera? Alteration of cuticular hydrcarbons and water loss in infested honeybees.

    PubMed

    Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Nazzi, Francesco

    2012-12-01

    Several factors threaten the health of honeybees; among them the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and the Deformed Wing Virus play a major role. Recently, the dangerous interplay between the mite and the virus was studied in detail and the transition, triggered by mite feeding, from a benign covert infection to a devastating viral outbreak, characterized by an intense viral replication, associated with some characteristic symptoms, was described. In order to gain insight into the events preceding that crucial transition we carried out standardized lab experiments aiming at studying the effects of parasitization in asymptomatic bees to establish a relationship between such effects and bee mortality. It appears that parasitization alters the capacity of the honeybee to regulate water exchange; this, in turn, has severe effects on bee survival. These results are discussed in light of possible novel strategies aiming at mitigating the impact of the parasite on honeybee health. PMID:23041382

  15. Purification and characterization of alpha-glucosidase I from Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) and molecular cloning of its cDNA.

    PubMed

    Wongchawalit, Jintanart; Yamamoto, Takeshi; Nakai, Hiroyuki; Kim, Young-Min; Sato, Natsuko; Nishimoto, Mamoru; Okuyama, Masayuki; Mori, Haruhide; Saji, Osamu; Chanchao, Chanpen; Wongsiri, Siriwat; Surarit, Rudee; Svasti, Jisnuson; Chiba, Seiya; Kimura, Atsuo

    2006-12-01

    alpha-Glucosidase (JHGase I) was purified from a Japanese subspecies of eastern honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) as an electrophoretically homogeneous protein. Enzyme activity of the crude extract was mainly separated into two fractions (component I and II) by salting-out chromatography. JHGase I was isolated from component I by further purification procedure using CM-Toyopearl 650M and Sephacryl S-100. JHGase I was a monomeric glycoprotein (containing 15% carbohydrate), of which the molecular weight was 82,000. Enzyme displayed the highest activity at pH 5.0, and was stable up to 40 degrees C and in a pH-range of 4.5-10.5. JHGase I showed unusual kinetic features: the negative cooperative behavior on the intrinsic reaction on cleavage of sucrose, maltose, and p-nitrophenyl alpha-glucoside, and the positive cooperative behavior on turanose. We isolated cDNA (1,930 bp) of JHGase I, of which the deduced amino-acid sequence (577 residues) confirmed that JHGase I was a member of alpha-amylase family enzymes. Western honeybees (Apis mellifera) had three alpha-glucosidase isoenzymes (WHGase I, II, and III), in which JHGase I was considered to correspond to WHGase I. PMID:17151473

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Magnetoreception in eusocial insects: an update

    PubMed Central

    Wajnberg, Eliane; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; Alves, Odivaldo Cambraia; de Oliveira, Jandira Ferreira; Srygley, Robert B.; Esquivel, Darci M. S.

    2010-01-01

    Behavioural experiments for magnetoreception in eusocial insects in the last decade are reviewed. Ants and bees use the geomagnetic field to orient and navigate in areas around their nests and along migratory paths. Bees show sensitivity to small changes in magnetic fields in conditioning experiments and when exiting the hive. For the first time, the magnetic properties of the nanoparticles found in eusocial insects, obtained by magnetic techniques and electron microscopy, are reviewed. Different magnetic oxide nanoparticles, ranging from superparamagnetic to multi-domain particles, were observed in all body parts, but greater relative concentrations in the abdomens and antennae of honeybees and ants have focused attention on these segments. Theoretical models for how these specific magnetosensory apparatuses function have been proposed. Neuron-rich ant antennae may be the most amenable to discovering a magnetosensor that will greatly assist research into higher order processing of magnetic information. The ferromagnetic hypothesis is believed to apply to eusocial insects, but interest in a light-sensitive mechanism is growing. The diversity of compass mechanisms in animals suggests that multiple compasses may function in insect orientation and navigation. The search for magnetic compasses will continue even after a magnetosensor is discovered in eusocial insects. PMID:20106876

  19. Fever in honeybee colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starks, P. T.; Blackie, Caroline A.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    Honeybees, Apis spp., maintain elevated temperatures inside their nests to accelerate brood development and to facilitate defense against predators. We present an additional defensive function of elevating nest temperature: honeybees generate a brood-comb fever in response to colonial infection by the heat-sensitive pathogen Ascosphaera apis. This response occurs before larvae are killed, suggesting that either honeybee workers detect the infection before symptoms are visible, or that larvae communicate the ingestion of the pathogen. This response is a striking example of convergent evolution between this "superorganism" and other fever-producing animals.

  20. Laboratory bioassays on the impact of cadmium, copper and lead on the development and survival of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) larvae and foragers.

    PubMed

    Di, Ning; Hladun, Kristen R; Zhang, Kai; Liu, Tong-Xian; Trumble, John T

    2016-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have been widely distributed around the world to serve as pollinators for agriculture. They can encounter metal pollutants through various routes of exposure, including foraging on contaminated plant resources. Chronic and acute toxicity tests were conducted on larvae using artificial diets and on foragers using solutions of 50% sucrose, which contained cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb). We found that mortality increased in both larvae and foragers in a dose-dependent manner. Control larvae had higher relative growth indices (RGI) from day 6 to day 10 compared to all metal treatments, demonstrating substantial negative effects of metals on development. Copper was the least toxic to larvae with an LC50 of 6.97 mg L(-1). For foragers, Pb had the highest LC50, which was 345 mg L(-1). Foragers and larvae accumulated substantial quantities of all metals, and subsequent sucrose consumption decreased after dosing. Overall, honeybee larvae and foragers suffered detrimental effects when they were exposed to ecologically-relevant concentrations of Cd, Cu and Pb. PMID:27011322

  1. Identification and characterization of a novel corticotropin-releasing hormone-binding protein (CRH-BP) gene from Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana).

    PubMed

    Liu, Li; Yu, Xiaoli; Meng, Fei; Guo, Xingqi; Xu, Baohua

    2011-11-01

    Corticotropin-releasing hormone-binding protein (CRH-BP) is an essential secreted glycoprotein for coordinating the neuroendocrine responses to stress by binding either CRHs or its related peptides. A novel CRH-BP gene AccCRH-BP from Apis cerana cerana was identified and characterized. Its genomic DNA was consisted of seven exons and six introns, and shared high similarity with the homologous members from other insects and vertebrates. Homologous and phylogenetic analysis indicated that AccCRH-BP was highly conserved, suggesting the maintenance of conservative structure might be necessary for its biological function. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that AccCRH-BP was highly expressed in pupa and adult, especially in the head of pupa. However, there was no expression in larval stage. Furthermore, the transcripts of AccCRH-BP in the brain of honeybees were induced by exposure to environmental stresses including UV-light, heat, and cold. The expression level of AccCRH-BP in workers or queens was significantly higher than that of drones. Additionally, analysis of 5'-flanking region of AccCRH-BP revealed a number of putative development and stress transcription factor-binding sites. These data suggest that AccCRH-BP may play important roles in the regulation of honeybee development, and in the central nervous system of the brain to regulate the neuroendocrine stress responses. PMID:22006535

  2. Winter losses of honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera): The role of infestations with Aethina tumida and Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Multiple infections and infestations of honeybee colonies with pathogens and parasites are inevitable due to the ubiquitous ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and might be one of the mechanisms underlying winter losses. Here we investigated the role of adult small hive beetles, Aethina tumida, alo...

  3. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of the interactions between honeybee larvae and Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Yue, Dominique; Nordhoff, Marcel; Wieler, Lothar H; Genersch, Elke

    2008-06-01

    American foulbrood (AFB) is a bacterial disease of honeybee larvae caused by the spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. Although AFB and its aetiological agent are described now for more than a century, the general and molecular pathogenesis of this notifiable disease is poorly understood. We used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) performed with P. larvae-specific, 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes to analyse the early steps in the pathogenesis of American foulbrood. The following chain of events could be demonstrated: (i) the spores germinate in the midgut lumen, (ii) the vegetative bacteria massively proliferate within the midgut before, and (iii) they start to locally breach the epithelium and invade the haemocoel. The paracellular route was shown to be the main mechanism for invasion contrasting earlier hypotheses of phagocytosis of P. larvae. Invasion coincided with the death of the host implicating that the penetration of the midgut epithelium is a critical step determining the time of death. PMID:18331334

  4. Analysis of the Differentiation of Kenyon Cell Subtypes Using Three Mushroom Body-Preferential Genes during Metamorphosis in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Okude, Genta; Fujiyuki, Tomoko; Shirai, Kenichi; Kubo, Takeo

    2016-01-01

    The adult honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) mushroom bodies (MBs, a higher center in the insect brain) comprise four subtypes of intrinsic neurons: the class-I large-, middle-, and small-type Kenyon cells (lKCs, mKCs, and sKCs, respectively), and class-II KCs. Analysis of the differentiation of KC subtypes during metamorphosis is important for the better understanding of the roles of KC subtypes related to the honeybee behaviors. In the present study, aiming at identifying marker genes for KC subtypes, we used a cDNA microarray to comprehensively search for genes expressed in an MB-preferential manner in the honeybee brain. Among the 18 genes identified, we further analyzed three genes whose expression was enriched in the MBs: phospholipase C epsilon (PLCe), synaptotagmin 14 (Syt14), and discs large homolog 5 (dlg5). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that expression of PLCe, Syt14, and dlg5 was more enriched in the MBs than in the other brain regions by approximately 31-, 6.8-, and 5.6-fold, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 was enriched in the lKCs but not in the mKCs and sKCs, whereas expression of PLCe was similar in all KC subtypes (the entire MBs) in the honeybee brain, suggesting that Syt14 and dlg5, and PLCe are available as marker genes for the lKCs, and all KC subtypes, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of PLCe is already detectable in the class-II KCs at the larval fifth instar feeding stage, indicating that PLCe expression is a characteristic common to the larval and adult MBs. In contrast, expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 became detectable at the day three pupa, indicating that Syt14 and dlg5 expressions are characteristic to the late pupal and adult MBs and the lKC specific molecular characteristics are established during the late pupal stages. PMID:27351839

  5. Analysis of the Differentiation of Kenyon Cell Subtypes Using Three Mushroom Body-Preferential Genes during Metamorphosis in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Suenami, Shota; Paul, Rajib Kumar; Takeuchi, Hideaki; Okude, Genta; Fujiyuki, Tomoko; Shirai, Kenichi; Kubo, Takeo

    2016-01-01

    The adult honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) mushroom bodies (MBs, a higher center in the insect brain) comprise four subtypes of intrinsic neurons: the class-I large-, middle-, and small-type Kenyon cells (lKCs, mKCs, and sKCs, respectively), and class-II KCs. Analysis of the differentiation of KC subtypes during metamorphosis is important for the better understanding of the roles of KC subtypes related to the honeybee behaviors. In the present study, aiming at identifying marker genes for KC subtypes, we used a cDNA microarray to comprehensively search for genes expressed in an MB-preferential manner in the honeybee brain. Among the 18 genes identified, we further analyzed three genes whose expression was enriched in the MBs: phospholipase C epsilon (PLCe), synaptotagmin 14 (Syt14), and discs large homolog 5 (dlg5). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that expression of PLCe, Syt14, and dlg5 was more enriched in the MBs than in the other brain regions by approximately 31-, 6.8-, and 5.6-fold, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 was enriched in the lKCs but not in the mKCs and sKCs, whereas expression of PLCe was similar in all KC subtypes (the entire MBs) in the honeybee brain, suggesting that Syt14 and dlg5, and PLCe are available as marker genes for the lKCs, and all KC subtypes, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of PLCe is already detectable in the class-II KCs at the larval fifth instar feeding stage, indicating that PLCe expression is a characteristic common to the larval and adult MBs. In contrast, expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 became detectable at the day three pupa, indicating that Syt14 and dlg5 expressions are characteristic to the late pupal and adult MBs and the lKC specific molecular characteristics are established during the late pupal stages. PMID:27351839

  6. Acute exposure to a sublethal dose of imidacloprid and coumaphos enhances olfactory learning and memory in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Sally M; Baker, Daniel D; Wright, Geraldine A

    2013-06-01

    The decline of honeybees and other pollinating insects is a current cause for concern. A major factor implicated in their decline is exposure to agricultural chemicals, in particular the neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid. Honeybees are also subjected to additional chemical exposure when beekeepers treat hives with acaricides to combat the mite Varroa destructor. Here, we assess the effects of acute sublethal doses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, and the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos, on honey bee learning and memory. Imidacloprid had little effect on performance in a six-trial olfactory conditioning assay, while coumaphos caused a modest impairment. We report a surprising lack of additive adverse effects when both compounds were administered simultaneously, which instead produced a modest improvement in learning and memory. PMID:23160709

  7. Proteome and phosphoproteome analysis of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom collected from electrical stimulation and manual extraction of the venom gland

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Honeybee venom is a complicated defensive toxin that has a wide range of pharmacologically active compounds. Some of these compounds are useful for human therapeutics. There are two major forms of honeybee venom used in pharmacological applications: manually (or reservoir disrupting) extracted glandular venom (GV), and venom extracted through the use of electrical stimulation (ESV). A proteome comparison of these two venom forms and an understanding of the phosphorylation status of ESV, are still very limited. Here, the proteomes of GV and ESV were compared using both gel-based and gel-free proteomics approaches and the phosphoproteome of ESV was determined through the use of TiO2 enrichment. Results Of the 43 proteins identified in GV, < 40% were venom toxins, and > 60% of the proteins were non-toxic proteins resulting from contamination by gland tissue damage during extraction and bee death. Of the 17 proteins identified in ESV, 14 proteins (>80%) were venom toxic proteins and most of them were found in higher abundance than in GV. Moreover, two novel proteins (dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 11-like and histone H2B.3-like) and three novel phosphorylation sites (icarapin (S43), phospholipase A-2 (T145), and apamin (T23)) were identified. Conclusions Our data demonstrate that venom extracted manually is different from venom extracted using ESV, and these differences may be important in their use as pharmacological agents. ESV may be more efficient than GV as a potential pharmacological source because of its higher venom protein content, production efficiency, and without the need to kill honeybee. The three newly identified phosphorylated venom proteins in ESV may elicit a different immune response through the specific recognition of antigenic determinants. The two novel venom proteins extend our proteome coverage of honeybee venom. PMID:24199871

  8. Components of the dorsal-ventral pathway also contribute to anterior-posterior patterning in honeybee embryos (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A key early step in embryogenesis is the establishment of the major body axes; the dorsal-ventral (DV) and anterior-posterior (AP) axes. Determination of these axes in some insects requires the function of different sets of signalling pathways for each axis. Patterning across the DV axis requires interaction between the Toll and Dpp/TGF-β pathways, whereas patterning across the AP axis requires gradients of bicoid/orthodenticle proteins and the actions of a hierarchy of gene transcription factors. We examined the expression and function of Toll and Dpp signalling during honeybee embryogenesis to assess to the role of these genes in DV patterning. Results Pathway components that are required for dorsal specification in Drosophila are expressed in an AP-restricted pattern in the honeybee embryo, including Dpp and its receptor Tkv. Components of the Toll pathway are expressed in a more conserved pattern along the ventral axis of the embryo. Late-stage embryos from RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of Toll and Dpp pathways had both DV and AP patterning defects, confirmed by staining with Am-sna, Am-zen, Am-eve, and Am-twi at earlier stages. We also identified two orthologues of dorsal in the honeybee genome, with one being expressed during embryogenesis and having a minor role in axis patterning, as determined by RNAi and the other expressed during oogenesis. Conclusions We found that early acting pathways (Toll and Dpp) are involved not only in DV patterning but also AP patterning in honeybee embryogenesis. Changes to the expression patterns and function of these genes may reflect evolutionary changes in the placement of the extra-embryonic membranes during embryogenesis with respect to the AP and DV axes. PMID:24620747

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee's locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48 h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case of

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee’s locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case

  11. A Virulent Strain of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) of Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Prevails after Varroa destructor-Mediated, or In Vitro, Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ryabov, Eugene V.; Wood, Graham R.; Fannon, Jessica M.; Moore, Jonathan D.; Bull, James C.; Chandler, Dave; Mead, Andrew; Burroughs, Nigel; Evans, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The globally distributed ectoparasite Varroa destructor is a vector for viral pathogens of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera), in particular the Iflavirus Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). In the absence of Varroa low levels DWV occur, generally causing asymptomatic infections. Conversely, Varroa-infested colonies show markedly elevated virus levels, increased overwintering colony losses, with impairment of pupal development and symptomatic workers. To determine whether changes in the virus population were due Varroa amplifying and introducing virulent virus strains and/or suppressing the host immune responses, we exposed Varroa-naïve larvae to oral and Varroa-transmitted DWV. We monitored virus levels and diversity in developing pupae and associated Varroa, the resulting RNAi response and transcriptome changes in the host. Exposed pupae were stratified by Varroa association (presence/absence) and virus levels (low/high) into three groups. Varroa-free pupae all exhibited low levels of a highly diverse DWV population, with those exposed per os (group NV) exhibiting changes in the population composition. Varroa-associated pupae exhibited either low levels of a diverse DWV population (group VL) or high levels of a near-clonal virulent variant of DWV (group VH). These groups and unexposed controls (C) could be also discriminated by principal component analysis of the transcriptome changes observed, which included several genes involved in development and the immune response. All Varroa tested contained a diverse replicating DWV population implying the virulent variant present in group VH, and predominating in RNA-seq analysis of temporally and geographically separate Varroa-infested colonies, was selected upon transmission from Varroa, a conclusion supported by direct injection of pupae in vitro with mixed virus populations. Identification of a virulent variant of DWV, the role of Varroa in its transmission and the resulting host transcriptome changes furthers our

  12. Developmental regulation of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and EcR-controlled gene expression during pharate-adult development of honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Mello, Tathyana R. P.; Aleixo, Aline C.; Pinheiro, Daniel G.; Nunes, Francis M. F.; Bitondi, Márcia M. G.; Hartfelder, Klaus; Barchuk, Angel R.; Simões, Zilá L. P.

    2014-01-01

    Major developmental transitions in multicellular organisms are driven by steroid hormones. In insects, these, together with juvenile hormone (JH), control development, metamorphosis, reproduction and aging, and are also suggested to play an important role in caste differentiation of social insects. Here, we aimed to determine how EcR transcription and ecdysteroid titers are related during honeybee postembryonic development and what may actually be the role of EcR in caste development of this social insect. In addition, we expected that knocking-down EcR gene expression would give us information on the participation of the respective protein in regulating downstream targets of EcR. We found that in Apis mellifera females, EcR-A is the predominantly expressed variant in postembryonic development, while EcR-B transcript levels are higher in embryos, indicating an early developmental switch in EcR function. During larval and pupal stages, EcR-B expression levels are very low, while EcR-A transcripts are more variable and abundant in workers compared to queens. Strikingly, these transcript levels are opposite to the ecdysteroid titer profile. 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) application experiments revealed that low 20E levels induce EcR expression during development, whereas high ecdysteroid titers seem to be repressive. By means of RNAi-mediated knockdown (KD) of both EcR transcript variants we detected the differential expression of 234 poly-A+ transcripts encoding genes such as CYPs, MRJPs and certain hormone response genes (Kr-h1 and ftz-f1). EcR-KD also promoted the differential expression of 70 miRNAs, including highly conserved ones (e.g., miR-133 and miR-375), as well honeybee-specific ones (e.g., miR-3745 and miR-3761). Our results put in evidence a broad spectrum of EcR-controlled gene expression during postembryonic development of honeybees, revealing new facets of EcR biology in this social insect. PMID:25566327

  13. Developmental regulation of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and EcR-controlled gene expression during pharate-adult development of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Mello, Tathyana R P; Aleixo, Aline C; Pinheiro, Daniel G; Nunes, Francis M F; Bitondi, Márcia M G; Hartfelder, Klaus; Barchuk, Angel R; Simões, Zilá L P

    2014-01-01

    Major developmental transitions in multicellular organisms are driven by steroid hormones. In insects, these, together with juvenile hormone (JH), control development, metamorphosis, reproduction and aging, and are also suggested to play an important role in caste differentiation of social insects. Here, we aimed to determine how EcR transcription and ecdysteroid titers are related during honeybee postembryonic development and what may actually be the role of EcR in caste development of this social insect. In addition, we expected that knocking-down EcR gene expression would give us information on the participation of the respective protein in regulating downstream targets of EcR. We found that in Apis mellifera females, EcR-A is the predominantly expressed variant in postembryonic development, while EcR-B transcript levels are higher in embryos, indicating an early developmental switch in EcR function. During larval and pupal stages, EcR-B expression levels are very low, while EcR-A transcripts are more variable and abundant in workers compared to queens. Strikingly, these transcript levels are opposite to the ecdysteroid titer profile. 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) application experiments revealed that low 20E levels induce EcR expression during development, whereas high ecdysteroid titers seem to be repressive. By means of RNAi-mediated knockdown (KD) of both EcR transcript variants we detected the differential expression of 234 poly-A(+) transcripts encoding genes such as CYPs, MRJPs and certain hormone response genes (Kr-h1 and ftz-f1). EcR-KD also promoted the differential expression of 70 miRNAs, including highly conserved ones (e.g., miR-133 and miR-375), as well honeybee-specific ones (e.g., miR-3745 and miR-3761). Our results put in evidence a broad spectrum of EcR-controlled gene expression during postembryonic development of honeybees, revealing new facets of EcR biology in this social insect. PMID:25566327

  14. Pyrethroids and Nectar Toxins Have Subtle Effects on the Motor Function, Grooming and Wing Fanning Behaviour of Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Sally M.; Stevenson, Philip C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    Sodium channels, found ubiquitously in animal muscle cells and neurons, are one of the main target sites of many naturally-occurring, insecticidal plant compounds and agricultural pesticides. Pyrethroids, derived from compounds found only in the Asteraceae, are particularly toxic to insects and have been successfully used as pesticides including on flowering crops that are visited by pollinators. Pyrethrins, from which they were derived, occur naturally in the nectar of some flowering plant species. We know relatively little about how such compounds—i.e., compounds that target sodium channels—influence pollinators at low or sub-lethal doses. Here, we exposed individual adult forager honeybees to several compounds that bind to sodium channels to identify whether these compounds affect motor function. Using an assay previously developed to identify the effect of drugs and toxins on individual bees, we investigated how acute exposure to 10 ng doses (1 ppm) of the pyrethroid insecticides (cyfluthrin, tau-fluvalinate, allethrin and permethrin) and the nectar toxins (aconitine and grayanotoxin I) affected honeybee locomotion, grooming and wing fanning behaviour. Bees exposed to these compounds spent more time upside down and fanning their wings. They also had longer bouts of standing still. Bees exposed to the nectar toxin, aconitine, and the pyrethroid, allethrin, also spent less time grooming their antennae. We also found that the concentration of the nectar toxin, grayanotoxin I (GTX), fed to bees affected the time spent upside down (i.e., failure to perform the righting reflex). Our data show that low doses of pyrethroids and other nectar toxins that target sodium channels mainly influence motor function through their effect on the righting reflex of adult worker honeybees. PMID:26280999

  15. Effect of a thymol application on olfactory memory and gene expression levels in the brain of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Bonnafé, Elsa; Drouard, Florian; Hotier, Lucie; Carayon, Jean-Luc; Marty, Pierre; Treilhou, Michel; Armengaud, Catherine

    2015-06-01

    Essential oils are used by beekeepers to control the Varroa mites that infest honeybee colonies. So, bees can be exposed to thymol formulations in the hive. The effects of the monoterpenoid thymol were explored on olfactory memory and gene expression in the brain of the honeybee. In bees previously exposed to thymol (10 or 100 ng/bee), the specificity of the response to the conditioned stimulus (CS) was lost 24 h after learning. Besides, the octopamine receptor OA1 gene Amoa1 showed a significant decrease of expression 3 h after exposure with 10 or 100 ng/bee of thymol. With the same doses, expression of Rdl gene, coding for a GABA receptor subunit, was not significantly modified but the trpl gene was upregulated 1 and 24 h after exposure to thymol. These data indicated that the genes coding for the cellular targets of thymol could be rapidly regulated after exposure to this molecule. Memory and sensory processes should be investigated in bees after chronic exposure in the hive to thymol-based preparations. PMID:24590599

  16. The influence of hybridization between African and European honeybees, Apis mellifera, on asymmetries in wing size and shape.

    PubMed

    Schneider, S S; Leamy, L J; Lewis, L A; DeGrandi-Hoffman, G

    2003-10-01

    We examined the possible role of hybridization in the invasion process of the African honeybee by testing two hypotheses regarding fluctuating asymmetry (FA), a measure of developmental stability, in wing characteristics: (1) FA should be higher in hybrid versus parental genotypes of African and European races; (2) FA should be lower in African bees compared to hybrid and European workers. Parental and reciprocal hybrid worker genotypes were cross fostered in common-hive rearing environments. We did not find greater FA for wing size and shape in the hybrids compared to both parental types. However, we did find significantly lower FA of shape in the African workers compared to the European and hybrid workers, suggesting that European bees and their hybrids may have compromised fitness relative to African bees. We also found that the two hybrid genotypes significantly differed in overall wing size and shape. If these differences affect wing aerodynamics, then the paternity of hybrids may influence worker performance and could potentially contribute to the loss of European matrilines. Hybridization had few consistent effects on directional asymmetry for wing size and shape. Genotypic factors played a far greater role in determining the effect of hybridization on wing morphology than did differences in rearing environment. Thus, African bees may have lower FA for wing shape (and by inference greater developmental stability) relative to European and hybrid workers, which may contribute to the ability of African bees to displace European honeybee races in invaded regions. PMID:14628923

  17. Characterization of the 5-HT1A receptor of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and involvement of serotonin in phototactic behavior.

    PubMed

    Thamm, Markus; Balfanz, Sabine; Scheiner, Ricarda; Baumann, Arnd; Blenau, Wolfgang

    2010-07-01

    Serotonin plays a key role in modulating various physiological and behavioral processes in both protostomes and deuterostomes. The vast majority of serotonin receptors belong to the superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors. We report the cloning of a cDNA from the honeybee (Am5-ht1A) sharing high similarity with members of the 5-HT(1) receptor class. Activation of Am5-HT(1A) by serotonin inhibited the production of cAMP in a dose-dependent manner (EC(50) = 16.9 nM). Am5-HT(1A) was highly expressed in brain regions known to be involved in visual information processing. Using in vivo pharmacology, we could demonstrate that Am5-HT(1A) receptor ligands had a strong impact on the phototactic behavior of individual bees. The data presented here mark the first comprehensive study-from gene to behavior-of a 5-HT(1A) receptor in the honeybee, paving the way for the eventual elucidation of additional roles of this receptor subtype in the physiology and behavior of this social insect. PMID:20349263

  18. Proteome analysis of hemolymph changes during the larval to pupal development stages of honeybee workers (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    PubMed

    Woltedji, Dereje; Fang, Yu; Han, Bin; Feng, Mao; Li, Rongli; Lu, Xiaoshan; Li, Jianke

    2013-11-01

    Hemolymph is vital for the flow and transportation of nutrients, ions, and hormones in the honey bee and plays role in innate immune defense. The proteome of the hemolymph changes over the life of a honey bee, but many of these changes are not well characterized, including changes during the life cycle transition from the larval to pupal stages of workers. We used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and Western blot to analyze the proteome changes of the honeybee hemolymph during the transition from newly hatched larvae to five-day-old pupae. Of the 49 nonredundant proteins that changed in abundance (identified by 80 protein spots), 29 (59.2%) and 20 (40.8%) were strongly expressed in the larvae and the pupae, respectively. The larval hemolymph had high expressions of major royal jelly proteins and proteins related to metabolism of carbohydrates and energy, folding activities, development, and the cytoskeleton and antioxidant systems. Proteins involved in food storage and the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids were abundantly expressed during the late larval to pupal development stages. The proteins expressed by the young larvae are used to enhance their development process and as a temporal innate immune protection mechanism until they gain immunity with age development. The pupae use more energy storage related proteins as they prepare for their non-diet-driven pupation. Our data provide new evidence that changes in the hemolymph at the proteome level match the processes during life transitions in the honeybee. PMID:24006915

  19. South American native bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) infected by Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia), an emerging pathogen of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Prieto, Lourdes; Lucía, Mariano; Botías, Cristina; Meana, Aránzazu; Abrahamovich, Alberto H; Lange, Carlos; Higes, Mariano

    2009-04-01

    As pollination is a critical process in both human-managed and natural terrestrial ecosystems, pollinators provide essential services to both nature and humans. Pollination is mainly due to the action of different insects, such as the bumblebee and the honeybee. These important ecological and economic roles have led to widespread concern over the recent decline in pollinator populations that has been detected in many regions of the world. While this decline has been attributed in some cases to changes in the use of agricultural land, the effects of parasites could play a significant role in the reduction of these populations. For the first time, we describe here the presence of Nosema ceranae, an emerging honeybee pathogen, in three species of Argentine native bumblebees. A total of 455 bumblebees belonging to six species of genus Bombus were examined. PCR results showed that three of the species are positive to N. ceranae (Bombus atratus, Bombus morio and Bombus bellicosus). We discuss the appearance of this pathogen in the context of the population decline of this pollinators. PMID:23765744

  20. Proteome Analysis Unravels Mechanism Underling the Embryogenesis of the Honeybee Drone and Its Divergence with the Worker (Apis mellifera lingustica).

    PubMed

    Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Fan, Pei; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Li, Jianke

    2015-09-01

    The worker and drone bees each contain a separate diploid and haploid genetic makeup, respectively. Mechanisms regulating the embryogenesis of the drone and its mechanistic difference with the worker are still poorly understood. The proteomes of the two embryos at three time-points throughout development were analyzed by applying mass spectrometry-based proteomics. We identified 2788 and 2840 proteins in the worker and drone embryos, respectively. The age-dependent proteome driving the drone embryogenesis generally follows the worker's. The two embryos however evolve a distinct proteome setting to prime their respective embryogenesis. The strongly expressed proteins and pathways related to transcriptional-translational machinery and morphogenesis at 24 h drone embryo relative to the worker, illustrating the earlier occurrence of morphogenesis in the drone than worker. These morphogenesis differences remain through to the middle-late stage in the two embryos. The two embryos employ distinct antioxidant mechanisms coinciding with the temporal-difference organogenesis. The drone embryo's strongly expressed cytoskeletal proteins signify key roles to match its large body size. The RNAi induced knockdown of the ribosomal protein offers evidence for the functional investigation of gene regulating of honeybee embryogenesis. The data significantly expand novel regulatory mechanisms governing the embryogenesis, which is potentially important for honeybee and other insects. PMID:26260241

  1. Functional and topographic segregation of glomeruli revealed by local staining of antennal sensory neurons in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Nishino, Hiroshi; Nishikawa, Michiko; Mizunami, Makoto; Yokohari, Fumio

    2009-07-10

    In the primary olfactory center of animals, glomeruli are the relay stations where sensory neurons expressing cognate odorant receptors converge onto interneurons. In cockroaches, moths, and honeybees, sensory afferents from sensilla on the anterodorsal surface and the posteroventral surface of the flagellum form two nerves of almost equal thicknesses. In this study, double labeling of the two nerves, or proximal/distal regions of the nerves, with fluorescent dyes was used to investigate topographic organization of sensory afferents in the honeybee. The sensory neurons of ampullaceal sensilla responsive to CO2, coelocapitular sensilla responsive to hygrosensory, and thermosensory stimuli and coeloconic sensilla of unknown function were characterized with large somata and supplied thick axons exclusively to the ventral nerve. Correspondingly, all glomeruli innervated by sensory tract (T) 4 received thick axonal processes exclusively from the ventral nerve. Almost all T1-3 glomeruli received a similar number of sensory afferents from the two nerves. In the macroglomerular complexes of the drone, termination fields of afferents from the two nerves almost completely overlapped; this differs from moths and cockroaches, which show heterogeneous terminations in the glomerular complex. In T1-3 glomeruli, sensory neurons originating from more distal flagellar segments tended to terminate within the inner regions of the cortical layer. These results suggest that some degree of somatotopic organization of sensory afferents exist in T1-3 glomeruli, and part of T4 glomeruli serve for processing of hygro- and thermosensory signals. PMID:19412930

  2. Characterization of a sigma class glutathione S-transferase gene in the larvae of the honeybee (Apis cerana cerana) on exposure to mercury.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaoli; Sun, Rujiang; Yan, Huiru; Guo, Xingqi; Xu, Baohua

    2012-04-01

    Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are multifunctional enzymes that are mainly involved in detoxification of endogenous and xenobiotic compounds and oxidative stress resistance in insects. In this study, we identified a sigma class GST from Apis cerana cerana (AccGSTs4). The open reading frame of cDNA was 612 bp and encoded a 203 amino acid polypeptide, which exhibited the structural motif and domain organization characteristic of GST. Homology and evolutionary analysis indicated that the induced amino acid sequence of AccGSTs4 belonged to an insect sigma class group. Expression analysis indicated that AccGSTs4 was presented in all stages of development with high level in 4th instar larvae. Immunolocalization further revealed the distribution of AccGSTs4 in 4th instar larvae. RT-qPCR showed that the transcripts of AccGSTs4 from the larvae were upregulated under dietary HgCl(2). The GST activity under stress was higher than the controls fed on HgCl(2)-free diet. Disc diffusion assay provided evidence of recAccGSTs4 resistance to long-term exposure of HgCl(2) stress. Additionally, analysis of 5'-flanking region further clarified the probable expression patterns of AccGSTs4. Taken together, our findings indicate that the larvae AccGSTs4 may play a role in mercury stress response, and it will help to protect honeybees from heavy metals. PMID:22248933

  3. MicroRNA signatures characterizing caste-independent ovarian activity in queen and worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Macedo, L M F; Nunes, F M F; Freitas, F C P; Pires, C V; Tanaka, E D; Martins, J R; Piulachs, M-D; Cristino, A S; Pinheiro, D G; Simões, Z L P

    2016-06-01

    Queen and worker honeybees differ profoundly in reproductive capacity. The queen of this complex society, with 200 highly active ovarioles in each ovary, is the fertile caste, whereas the workers have approximately 20 ovarioles as a result of receiving a different diet during larval development. In a regular queenright colony, the workers have inactive ovaries and do not reproduce. However, if the queen is sensed to be absent, some of the workers activate their ovaries, producing viable haploid eggs that develop into males. Here, a deep-sequenced ovary transcriptome library of reproductive workers was used as supporting data to assess the dynamic expression of the regulatory molecules and microRNAs (miRNAs) of reproductive and nonreproductive honeybee females. In this library, most of the differentially expressed miRNAs are related to ovary physiology or oogenesis. When we quantified the dynamic expression of 19 miRNAs in the active and inactive worker ovaries and compared their expression in the ovaries of virgin and mated queens, we noted that some miRNAs (miR-1, miR-31a, miR-13b, miR-125, let-7 RNA, miR-100, miR-276, miR-12, miR-263a, miR-306, miR-317, miR-92a and miR-9a) could be used to identify reproductive and nonreproductive statuses independent of caste. Furthermore, integrative gene networks suggested that some candidate miRNAs function in the process of ovary activation in worker bees. PMID:26853694

  4. Effects of an insect growth regulator and a solvent on honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) brood development and queen viability.

    PubMed

    Milchreit, Kathrin; Ruhnke, Haike; Wegener, Jakob; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2016-04-01

    Honeybee toxicology is complex because effects on individual bees are modulated by social interactions between colony members. In the present study, we applied high doses of the insect growth regulator fenoxycarb to honeybee colonies to elucidate a possible interplay of individually- and colony-mediated effects regarding honey bee toxicology. Additionally, possible effects of the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) were assessed. We conducted studies on egg hatching and brood development to assess brood care by nurse bees as well as queen viability. Egg hatching was determined by the eclosion rate of larvae from eggs originating from colonies (i) treated with sugar syrup only, (ii) treated with sugar syrup containing DMSO and (iii) treated with sugar syrup containing fenoxycarb (dissolved in DMSO). To evaluate brood development, combs with freshly laid eggs were reciprocally transferred between colonies, and development of brood was examined in the recipient hive. Brood reared inside DMSO- and fenoxycarb-treated colonies as well as brood from DMSO- and from fenoxycarb-exposed queens showed higher mortality than brood not exposed to the chemicals. No differences were found in egg hatching among the treatments, but there was a higher variability of eclosion rates after queens were exposed to fenoxycarb. We also observed queen loss and absconding of whole colonies. Based on our results we infer that fenoxycarb has queen- as well as nurse bee-mediated effects on brood quality and development which can lead to the queen's death. There also is an effect of DMSO on the nurse bees' performance that could disturb the colony's equilibrium, at least for a delimited timespan. PMID:26821233

  5. Transmedulla Neurons in the Sky Compass Network of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Are a Possible Site of Circadian Input.

    PubMed

    Zeller, Maximilian; Held, Martina; Bender, Julia; Berz, Annuska; Heinloth, Tanja; Hellfritz, Timm; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees are known for their ability to use the sun's azimuth and the sky's polarization pattern for spatial orientation. Sky compass orientation in bees has been extensively studied at the behavioral level but our knowledge about the underlying neuronal systems and mechanisms is very limited. Electrophysiological studies in other insect species suggest that neurons of the sky compass system integrate information about the polarization pattern of the sky, its chromatic gradient, and the azimuth of the sun. In order to obtain a stable directional signal throughout the day, circadian changes between the sky polarization pattern and the solar azimuth must be compensated. Likewise, the system must be modulated in a context specific way to compensate for changes in intensity, polarization and chromatic properties of light caused by clouds, vegetation and landscape. The goal of this study was to identify neurons of the sky compass pathway in the honeybee brain and to find potential sites of circadian and neuromodulatory input into this pathway. To this end we first traced the sky compass pathway from the polarization-sensitive dorsal rim area of the compound eye via the medulla and the anterior optic tubercle to the lateral complex using dye injections. Neurons forming this pathway strongly resembled neurons of the sky compass pathway in other insect species. Next we combined tracer injections with immunocytochemistry against the circadian neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor and the neuromodulators serotonin, and γ-aminobutyric acid. We identified neurons, connecting the dorsal rim area of the medulla to the anterior optic tubercle, as a possible site of neuromodulation and interaction with the circadian system. These neurons have conspicuous spines in close proximity to pigment dispersing factor-, serotonin-, and GABA-immunoreactive neurons. Our data therefore show for the first time a potential interaction site between the sky compass pathway and the circadian

  6. Transmedulla Neurons in the Sky Compass Network of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Are a Possible Site of Circadian Input

    PubMed Central

    Zeller, Maximilian; Held, Martina; Bender, Julia; Berz, Annuska; Heinloth, Tanja; Hellfritz, Timm; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees are known for their ability to use the sun’s azimuth and the sky’s polarization pattern for spatial orientation. Sky compass orientation in bees has been extensively studied at the behavioral level but our knowledge about the underlying neuronal systems and mechanisms is very limited. Electrophysiological studies in other insect species suggest that neurons of the sky compass system integrate information about the polarization pattern of the sky, its chromatic gradient, and the azimuth of the sun. In order to obtain a stable directional signal throughout the day, circadian changes between the sky polarization pattern and the solar azimuth must be compensated. Likewise, the system must be modulated in a context specific way to compensate for changes in intensity, polarization and chromatic properties of light caused by clouds, vegetation and landscape. The goal of this study was to identify neurons of the sky compass pathway in the honeybee brain and to find potential sites of circadian and neuromodulatory input into this pathway. To this end we first traced the sky compass pathway from the polarization-sensitive dorsal rim area of the compound eye via the medulla and the anterior optic tubercle to the lateral complex using dye injections. Neurons forming this pathway strongly resembled neurons of the sky compass pathway in other insect species. Next we combined tracer injections with immunocytochemistry against the circadian neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor and the neuromodulators serotonin, and γ-aminobutyric acid. We identified neurons, connecting the dorsal rim area of the medulla to the anterior optic tubercle, as a possible site of neuromodulation and interaction with the circadian system. These neurons have conspicuous spines in close proximity to pigment dispersing factor-, serotonin-, and GABA-immunoreactive neurons. Our data therefore show for the first time a potential interaction site between the sky compass pathway and the circadian

  7. Eusociality: Origin and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Edward O.; Hölldobler, Bert

    2005-01-01

    In this new assessment of the empirical evidence, an alternative to the standard model is proposed: group selection is the strong binding force in eusocial evolution; individual selection, the strong dissolutive force; and kin selection (narrowly defined), either a weak binding or weak dissolutive force, according to circumstance. Close kinship may be more a consequence of eusociality than a factor promoting its origin. A point of no return to the solitary state exists, as a rule when workers become anatomically differentiated. Eusociality has been rare in evolution, evidently due to the scarcity of environmental pressures adequate to tip the balance among countervailing forces in favor of group selection. Eusociality in ants and termites in the irreversible stage is the key to their ecological dominance and has (at least in ants) shaped some features of internal phylogeny. Their colonies are consistently superior to solitary and preeusocial competitors, due to the altruistic behavior among nestmates and their ability to organize coordinated action by pheromonal communication. PMID:16157878

  8. A circadian neuropeptide PDF in the honeybee, Apis mellifera: cDNA cloning and expression of mRNA.

    PubMed

    Sumiyoshi, Miho; Sato, Seiji; Takeda, Yukimasa; Sumida, Kazunori; Koga, Keita; Itoh, Tsunao; Nakagawa, Hiroyuki; Shimohigashi, Yasuyuki; Shimohigashi, Miki

    2011-12-01

    Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) is a pacemaker hormone regulating the locomotor rhythm in insects. In the present study, we cloned the cDNAs encoding the Apis PDF precursor protein, and found that there are at least seven different pdf mRNAs yielded by an alternative splicing site and five alternative polyadenylation sites in the 5'UTR and 3'UTR regions. The amino acid sequence of Apis PDF peptide has a characteristic novel amino acid residue, aspargine (Asn), at position 17. Quantitative real-time PCR of total and 5'UTR insertion-type pdf mRNAs revealed, for the first time, that the expression levels change in a circadian manner with a distinct trough at the beginning of night in LD conditions, and at the subjective night under DD conditions. In contrast, the expression level of 5'UTR deletion-type pdf mRNAs was about half of that of the insertion type, and the expression profile failed to show a circadian rhythm. As the expression profile of the total pdf mRNA exhibited a circadian rhythm, transcription regulated at the promoter region was supposed to be controlled by some of the clock components. Whole mount in situ hybridization revealed that 14 lateral neurons at the frontal margin of the optic lobe express these mRNA isoforms. PDF expressing cells examined with a newly produced antibody raised against Apis PDF were also found to have a dense supply of axon terminals in the optic lobes and the central brain. PMID:22132787

  9. Experimental bacteriophage treatment of honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American Foulbrood Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yost, Diane G.; Tsourkas, Philippos; Amy, Penny S.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT American Foulbrood Disease (AFB) is an infection of honeybees caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. One potential remedy involves using biocontrol, such as bacteriophages (phages) to lyse P. larvae. Therefore, bacteriophages specific for P. larvae were isolated to determine their efficacy in lysing P. larvae cells. Samples from soil, beehive materials, cosmetics, and lysogenized P. larvae strains were screened; of 157 total samples, 28 were positive for at least one P. larvae bacteriophage, with a total of 30. Newly isolated bacteriophages were tested for the ability to lyse each of 11 P. larvae strains. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the phage isolates were from the family Siphoviridae. Seven phages with the broadest host ranges were combined into a cocktail for use in experimental treatments of infected bee larvae; both prophylactic and post-infection treatments were conducted. Results indicated that although both pre- and post-treatments were effective, prophylactic administration of the phages increased the survival of larvae more than post-treatment experiments. These preliminary experiments demonstrate the likelihood that phage therapy could be an effective method to control AFB. PMID:27144085

  10. Fine Scale Analysis of Crossover and Non-Crossover and Detection of Recombination Sequence Motifs in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Bessoltane, Nadia; Toffano-Nioche, Claire; Solignac, Michel; Mougel, Florence

    2012-01-01

    Background Meiotic exchanges are non-uniformly distributed across the genome of most studied organisms. This uneven distribution suggests that recombination is initiated by specific signals and/or regulations. Some of these signals were recently identified in humans and mice. However, it is unclear whether or not sequence signals are also involved in chromosomal recombination of insects. Methodology We analyzed recombination frequencies in the honeybee, in which genome sequencing provided a large amount of SNPs spread over the entire set of chromosomes. As the genome sequences were obtained from a pool of haploid males, which were the progeny of a single queen, an oocyte method (study of recombination on haploid males that develop from unfertilized eggs and hence are the direct reflect of female gametes haplotypes) was developed to detect recombined pairs of SNP sites. Sequences were further compared between recombinant and non-recombinant fragments to detect recombination-specific motifs. Conclusions Recombination events between adjacent SNP sites were detected at an average distance of 92 bp and revealed the existence of high rates of recombination events. This study also shows the presence of conversion without crossover (i. e. non-crossover) events, the number of which largely outnumbers that of crossover events. Furthermore the comparison of sequences that have undergone recombination with sequences that have not, led to the discovery of sequence motifs (CGCA, GCCGC, CCGCA), which may correspond to recombination signals. PMID:22567142

  11. Caps and gaps: a computer model for studies on brood incubation strategies in honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fehler, Manuel; Kleinhenz, Marco; Klügl, Franziska; Puppe, Frank; Tautz, Jürgen

    2007-08-01

    In addition to heat production on the comb surface, honeybee workers frequently visit open cells (“gaps”) that are scattered throughout the sealed brood area, and enter them to incubate adjacent brood cells. We examined the efficiency of this heating strategy under different environmental conditions and for gap proportions from 0 to 50%. For gap proportions from 4 to 10%, which are common to healthy colonies, we find a significant reduction in the incubation time per brood cell to maintain the correct temperature. The savings make up 18 to 37% of the time, which would be required for this task in completely sealed brood areas without any gaps. For unnatural high proportions of gaps (>20%), which may be the result of inbreeding or indicate a poor condition of the colony, brood nest thermoregulation becomes less efficient, and the incubation time per brood cell has to increase to maintain breeding temperature. Although the presence of gaps is not essential to maintain an optimal brood nest temperature, a small number of gaps make heating more economical by reducing the time and energy that must be spent on this vital task. As the benefit depends on the availability, spatial distribution and usage of gaps by the bees, further studies need to show the extent to which these results apply to real colonies.

  12. Differences in long-term memory stability and AmCREB level between forward and backward conditioned honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Felsenberg, Johannes; Dyck, Yan; Feige, Janina; Ludwig, Jenny; Plath, Jenny Aino; Froese, Anja; Karrenbrock, Melanie; Nölle, Anna; Heufelder, Karin; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    In classical conditioning a predictive relationship between a neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus; CS) and a meaningful stimulus (unconditioned stimulus; US) is learned when the CS precedes the US. In backward conditioning the sequence of the stimuli is reversed. In this situation animals might learn that the CS signals the end or the absence of the US. In honeybees 30 min and 24 h following backward conditioning a memory for the excitatory and inhibitory properties of the CS could be retrieved, but it remains unclear whether a late long-term memory is formed that can be retrieved 72 h following backward conditioning. Here we examine this question by studying late long-term memory formation in forward and backward conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER). We report a difference in the stability of memory formed upon forward and backward conditioning with the same number of conditioning trials. We demonstrate a transcription-dependent memory 72 h after forward conditioning but do not observe a 72 h memory after backward conditioning. Moreover we find that protein degradation is differentially involved in memory formation following these two conditioning protocols. We report differences in the level of a transcription factor, the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) known to induce transcription underlying long-term memory formation, following forward and backward conditioning. Our results suggest that these alterations in CREB levels might be regulated by the proteasome. We propose that the differences observed are due to the sequence of stimulus presentation between forward and backward conditioning and not to differences in the strength of the association of both stimuli. PMID:25964749

  13. Cloning, structural characterization and expression analysis of a novel lipid storage droplet protein-1 (LSD-1) gene in Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana).

    PubMed

    Liu, Li; Gong, Zhihong; Guo, Xingqi; Xu, Baohua

    2012-03-01

    Lipid storage droplet 1 (LSD-1), a PAT family protein located around lipid droplets in insects, is intimately linked to lipid droplets formation and lipid metabolism. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and rosiglitazone (Rosi) have previously been shown to modulate the expression of several PAT family proteins through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ). In the present study, we isolated and characterized a novel LSD-1 gene, referred to AccLSD-1, from Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana). Sequence analysis indicated that the central region of LSD-1 protein had significant sequence similarity and a typical LSD-1 gene was composed of 8 exons and 7 introns. Interestingly, the first intron of AccLSD-1 including several PPARγ-response elements (PPREs) was located in 5' UTR. Analysis of 5'-flanking region of AccLSD-1 revealed a number of putative cis-acting elements, including three PPREs. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that AccLSD-1 expressed ubiquitously from feeding larva to adult, and its expression level was highest at brown-eyed pupae (Pb) stage. The effect of CLA, Rosi and combination on AccLSD-1 expressions indicated 1% CLA and 0.5 mg/ml Rosi were considered as the suitable diets for rearing adult workers in laboratory, and AccLSD-1 was down-regulated by CLA whereas up-regulated by Rosi. Furthermore, the combination of CLA and Rosi remarkly rescued the suppression of AccLSD-1 expression by CLA alone. These results suggest that AccLSD-1 is associated with A. cerana cerana development, especially during pupal metamorphosis, and can be regulated by CLA or Rosi possibly via activating PPARγ. PMID:21695433

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Intraspecific queen parasitism in a highly eusocial bee

    PubMed Central

    Wenseleers, Tom; Alves, Denise A.; Francoy, Tiago M.; Billen, Johan; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L.

    2011-01-01

    Insect societies are well-known for their advanced cooperation, but their colonies are also vulnerable to reproductive parasitism. Here, we present a novel example of an intraspecific social parasitism in a highly eusocial bee, the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. In particular, we provide genetic evidence which shows that, upon loss of the mother queen, many colonies are invaded by unrelated queens that fly in from unrelated hives nearby. The reasons for the occurrence of this surprising form of social parasitism may be linked to the fact that unlike honeybees, Melipona bees produce new queens in great excess of colony needs, and that this exerts much greater selection on queens to seek alternative reproductive options, such as by taking over other nests. Overall, our results are the first to demonstrate that queens in highly eusocial bees can found colonies not only via supersedure or swarming, but also by infiltrating and taking over other unrelated nests. PMID:20961883

  16. Variable induction of vitellogenin genes in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) by the honeybee, Apis mellifera L, host and its environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transcript levels of vitellogenins (Vgs) in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) were variably induced by interactions between the developing honeybee as a food source and the capped honeybee cell environment. Transcripts for 2 Vgs of varroa mites were sequenced and putative Vg pr...

  17. Africanized honeybees are slower learners than their European counterparts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couvillon, Margaret J.; Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2010-02-01

    Does cognitive ability always correlate with a positive fitness consequence? Previous research in both vertebrates and invertebrates provides mixed results. Here, we compare the learning and memory abilities of Africanized honeybees ( Apis mellifera scutellata hybrid) and European honeybees ( Apis mellifera ligustica). The range of the Africanized honeybee continues to expand, superseding the European honeybee, which led us to hypothesize that they might possess greater cognitive capabilities as revealed by a classical conditioning assay. Surprisingly, we found that fewer Africanized honeybees learn to associate an odor with a reward. Additionally, fewer Africanized honeybees remembered the association a day later. While Africanized honeybees are replacing European honeybees, our results show that they do so despite displaying a relatively poorer performance on an associative learning paradigm.

  18. Eusociality in history.

    PubMed

    Betzig, Laura

    2014-03-01

    For more than 100,000 years, H. sapiens lived as foragers, in small family groups with low reproductive variance. A minority of men were able to father children by two or three women; and a majority of men and women were able to breed. But after the origin of farming around 10,000 years ago, reproductive variance increased. In civilizations which began in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China, and then moved on to Greece and Rome, kings collected thousands of women, whose children were supported and guarded by thousands of eunuchs. Just a few hundred years ago, that trend reversed. Obligate sterility ended, and reproductive variance declined. For H. sapiens, as for other organisms, eusociality seems to be an effect of ecological constraints. Civilizations rose up in lake and river valleys, hemmed in by mountains and deserts. Egalitarianism became an option after empty habitats opened up. PMID:24402403

  19. Whole-genome scan in thelytokous-laying workers of the Cape honeybee (Apis mellifera capensis): central fusion, reduced recombination rates and centromere mapping using half-tetrad analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Baudry, Emmanuelle; Kryger, Per; Allsopp, Mike; Koeniger, Nikolaus; Vautrin, Dominique; Mougel, Florence; Cornuet, Jean-Marie; Solignac, Michel

    2004-01-01

    While workers of almost all subspecies of honeybee are able to lay only haploid male eggs, Apis mellifera capensis workers are able to produce diploid female eggs by thelytokous parthenogenesis. Cytological analyses have shown that during parthenogenesis, egg diploidy is restored by fusion of the two central meiotic products. This peculiarity of the Cape bee preserves two products of a single meiosis in the daughters and can be used to map centromere positions using half-tetrad analysis. In this study, we use the thelytokous progenies of A. m. capensis workers and a sample of individuals from a naturally occurring A. m. capensis thelytokous clone to map centromere position for most of the linkage groups of the honeybee. We also show that the recombination rate is reduced by >10-fold during the meiosis of A. m. capensis workers. This reduction is restricted to thelytokous parthenogenesis of capensis workers and is not observed in the meiosis of queen within the same subspecies or in arrhenotokous workers of another subspecies. The reduced rate of recombination seems to be associated with negative crossover interference. These results are discussed in relation to evolution of thelytokous parthenogenesis and maintenance of heterozygosity and female sex after thelytoky. PMID:15166151

  20. Role of the Varroa mite in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony loss: A case study for adverse outcome pathway development with a nonchemical stressor

    EPA Science Inventory

    Significant honeybee colony losses have been reported across North America and Europe in recent years. A number of factors, both chemical and nonchemical, have been associated with such losses. Adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) provide a conceptual framework to describe and evalu...

  1. Concentrated expression of Ca2+/ calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and protein kinase C in the mushroom bodies of the brain of the honeybee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Kamikouchi, A; Takeuchi, H; Sawata, M; Natori, S; Kubo, T

    2000-02-21

    We have previously used the differential display method to identify a gene that is expressed preferentially in the mushroom bodies of worker honeybees and to show that it encodes a putative inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) homologue (Kamikouchi et al. [1998] Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 242:181-186). In the present study, we examined whether the expression of some of the genes for proteins involved in the intracellular Ca2+ signal transduction is also concentrated in the mushroom bodies of the honeybee by isolating cDNA fragments that encode the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and protein kinase C (PKC) homologues of the honeybee. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that the expression of these genes was also concentrated in the mushroom bodies of the honeybee brain: The CaMKII gene was expressed preferentially in the large-type Kenyon cells of the mushroom bodies, whereas that for PKC was expressed in both the large and small types of Kenyon cells. The expression of the genes for IP3R and CaMKII was concentrated in the mushroom bodies of the queen and drone as well as in those of the worker bee. Furthermore, the enzymatic activities of CaMKII and PKC were found to be higher in the mushroom bodies/central bodies than in the optic and antennal lobes of the worker bee brain. These results suggest that the function of the intracellular Ca2+ signal transduction is enhanced in Kenyon cells in comparison to other neuronal cell types in the honeybee brain. PMID:10701869

  2. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in eusocial Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Rabeling, Christian; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2013-01-01

    Female parthenogenesis, or thelytoky, is particularly common in solitary Hymenoptera. Only more recently has it become clear that many eusocial species also regularly reproduce thelytokously, and here we provide a comprehensive overview. Especially in ants, thelytoky underlies a variety of idiosyncratic life histories with unique evolutionary and ecological consequences. In all eusocial species studied, thelytoky probably has a nuclear genetic basis and the underlying cytological mechanism retains high levels of heterozygosity. This is in striking contrast to many solitary wasps, in which thelytoky is often induced by cytoplasmic bacteria and results in an immediate loss of heterozygosity. These differences are likely related to differences in haplodiploid sex determination mechanisms, which in eusocial species usually require heterozygosity for female development. At the same time, haplodiploidy might account for important preadaptations that can help explain the apparent ease with which Hymenoptera transition between sexual and asexual reproduction. PMID:23072461

  3. Strategies of the honeybee Apis mellifera during visual search for vertical targets presented at various heights: a role for spatial attention?

    PubMed Central

    Morawetz, Linde; Chittka, Lars; Spaethe, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    When honeybees are presented with a colour discrimination task, they tend to choose swiftly and accurately when objects are presented in the ventral part of their frontal visual field. In contrast, poor performance is observed when objects appear in the dorsal part. Here we investigate if this asymmetry is caused by fixed search patterns or if bees can use alternative search mechanisms such as spatial attention, which allows flexible focusing on different areas of the visual field. We asked individual honeybees to choose an orange rewarded target among blue distractors. Target and distractors were presented in the ventral visual field, the dorsal field or both. Bees presented with targets in the ventral visual field consistently had the highest search efficiency, with rapid decisions, high accuracy and direct flight paths. In contrast, search performance for dorsally located targets was inaccurate and slow at the beginning of the test phase, but bees increased their search performance significantly after a few learning trials: they found the target faster, made fewer errors and flew in a straight line towards the target. However, bees needed thrice as long to improve the search for a dorsally located target when the target’s position changed randomly between the ventral and the dorsal visual field. We propose that honeybees form expectations of the location of the target’s appearance and adapt their search strategy accordingly. Different possible mechanisms of this behavioural adaptation are discussed. PMID:25254109

  4. The effects of four insect growth-regulating (IGR) insecticides on honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colony development, queen rearing and drone sperm production.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen M; Wilkins, Selwyn; Battersby, Alastair H; Waite, Ruth J; Wilkinson, David

    2005-10-01

    This study assessed the effects of exposure to IGRs on the long-term development of the honeybee colony, viability of queens and sperm production in drones and integrated the data into a honeybee population model. Colonies treated with diflubenzuron resulted in a short-term reduction in the numbers of adult bees and brood. Colonies treated with fenoxycarb declined during the season earlier and started the season slower. The number of queens that successfully mated and laid eggs was affected in the fenoxycarb treatment group but there were no significant differences in the drone sperm counts between the colonies. An existing honeybee population model was modified to include exposure to IGRs. In the model, fenoxycarb reduced the winter size of the colony, with the greatest effects following a June or an August application. Assuming a 'larvae per nurse bee' ratio of 1.5 for brood rearing capability, the reduction in winter size of a colony following a fenoxycarb application was at its worst about 8%. However, even if only those bees reared within 2 weeks of the IGR being applied are subject to premature ageing, this might significantly reduce the size of over-wintering colonies, and increase the chance of the bee population dwindling and dying in late winter or early spring. PMID:16160749

  5. RNAi-induced phenotypes suggest a novel role for a chemosensory protein CSP5 in the development of embryonic integument in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Maleszka, J; Forêt, S; Saint, R; Maleszka, R

    2007-03-01

    Small chemosensory proteins (CSPs) belong to a conserved, but poorly understood, protein family found in insects and other arthropods. They exhibit both broad and restricted expression patterns during development. In this paper, we used a combination of genome annotation, transcriptional profiling and RNA interference to unravel the functional significance of a honeybee gene (csp5) belonging to the CSP family. We show that csp5 expression resembles the maternal-zygotic pattern that is characterized by the initiation of transcription in the ovary and the replacement of maternal mRNA with embryonic mRNA. Blocking the embryonic expression of csp5 with double-stranded RNA causes abnormalities in all body parts where csp5 is highly expressed. The treated embryos show a "diffuse", often grotesque morphology, and the head skeleton appears to be severely affected. They are 'unable-to-hatch' and cannot progress to the larval stages. Our findings reveal a novel, essential role for this gene family and suggest that csp5 (unable-to-hatch) is an ectodermal gene involved in embryonic integument formation. Our study confirms the utility of an RNAi approach to functional characterization of novel developmental genes uncovered by the honeybee genome project and provides a starting point for further studies on embryonic integument formation in this insect. PMID:17216269

  6. Lactobacillus apinorum sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellifer sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellis sp. nov., Lactobacillus melliventris sp. nov., Lactobacillus kimbladii sp. nov., Lactobacillus helsingborgensis sp. nov. and Lactobacillus kullabergensis sp. nov., isolated from the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Alsterfjord, Magnus; Nilson, Bo; Butler, Èile; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2014-01-01

    We previously discovered a symbiotic lactic acid bacterial (LAB) microbiota in the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera. The microbiota was composed of several phylotypes of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses and phenotypic and genetic characteristics revealed that the phylotypes isolated represent seven novel species. One grouped with Lactobacillus kunkeei and the others belong to the Lactobacillus buchneri and Lactobacillus delbrueckiisubgroups of Lactobacillus. We propose the names Lactobacillus apinorum sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellifer sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellis sp. nov., Lactobacillus melliventris sp. nov., Lactobacillus kimbladii sp. nov., Lactobacillus helsingborgensis sp. nov. and Lactobacillus kullabergensis sp. nov. for these novel species, with the respective type strains being Fhon13NT ( = DSM 26257T = CCUG 63287T), Bin4NT ( = DSM 26254T = CCUG 63291T), Hon2NT ( = DSM 26255T = CCUG 63289T), Hma8NT ( = DSM 26256T = CCUG 63629T), Hma2NT ( = DSM 26263T = CCUG 63633T), Bma5NT ( = DSM 26265T = CCUG 63301T) and Biut2NT ( = DSM 26262T = CCUG 63631T). PMID:24944337

  7. Chemoreceptor Evolution in Hymenoptera and Its Implications for the Evolution of Eusociality

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L.; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J.

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory receptors in recently sequenced Hymenoptera genomes and systematically compare >4,000 chemoreceptors from 13 hymenopterans, representing one solitary lineage (wasps) and three independently evolved eusocial lineages (ants and two bees). We observe a strong general tendency for chemoreceptors to expand in Hymenoptera, whereas the specifics of gene gains/losses are highly diverse between lineages. We also find more frequent positive selection on chemoreceptors in a facultative eusocial bee and in the common ancestor of ants compared with solitary wasps. Our results suggest that the frequent expansions of chemoreceptors have facilitated the transition to eusociality. Divergent expression patterns of odorant receptors between honeybee and ants further indicate differential roles of chemoreceptors in parallel trajectories of social evolution. PMID:26272716

  8. Chemoreceptor Evolution in Hymenoptera and Its Implications for the Evolution of Eusociality.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J

    2015-08-01

    Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory receptors in recently sequenced Hymenoptera genomes and systematically compare >4,000 chemoreceptors from 13 hymenopterans, representing one solitary lineage (wasps) and three independently evolved eusocial lineages (ants and two bees). We observe a strong general tendency for chemoreceptors to expand in Hymenoptera, whereas the specifics of gene gains/losses are highly diverse between lineages. We also find more frequent positive selection on chemoreceptors in a facultative eusocial bee and in the common ancestor of ants compared with solitary wasps. Our results suggest that the frequent expansions of chemoreceptors have facilitated the transition to eusociality. Divergent expression patterns of odorant receptors between honeybee and ants further indicate differential roles of chemoreceptors in parallel trajectories of social evolution. PMID:26272716

  9. Endangered Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bourne, Russell

    1975-01-01

    Because of pesticides, the disappearance of open farmland, chemical fertilizers, and our own indifference and ignorance, the number of United States honeybee colonies has been reduced an average of 2 percent per year. (BT)

  10. Nutrition and dopamine: An intake of tyrosine in royal jelly can affect the brain levels of dopamine in male honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Ken

    2016-04-01

    Precursors of neuroactive substances can be obtained from dietary sources, which can affect the resulting production of such substances in the brain. In social species, an intake of the precursor in food could be controlled by social interactions. To test the effects of dietary tyrosine on the brain dopamine levels in social insect colonies, male and worker honeybees were fed tyrosine or royal jelly under experimental conditions and the brain levels of dopamine and its metabolite were then measured. The results showed that the levels of dopamine and its metabolite in the brains of 4- and 8-day-old workers and 8-day-old males were significantly higher in tyrosine-fed bees than in control bees, but the levels in 4-day-old males were not. The brain levels of dopamine and its metabolite in 4- and 8-day-old males and workers were significantly higher in royal jelly-fed bees than in control bees, except for one group of 4-day-old workers. Food exchanges with workers were observed in males during 1-3 days, but self-feedings were also during 5-7 days. These results suggest that the brain levels of dopamine in males can be controlled by an intake of tyrosine in food via exchanging food with nestmates and by self-feeding. PMID:26868722

  11. Expression analysis of Egr-1 ortholog in metamorphic brain of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.): Possible evolutionary conservation of roles of Egr in eye development in vertebrates and insects.

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Watanabe, Takayuki; Uchiyama, Hironobu; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Yajima, Shunsuke; Ono, Masato

    2016-09-16

    Specific genes quickly transcribed after extracellular stimuli without de novo protein synthesis are known as immediate early genes (IEGs) and are thought to contribute to learning and memory processes in the mature nervous system of vertebrates. A recent study revealed that the homolog of Early growth response protein-1 (Egr-1), which is one of the best-characterized vertebrate IEGs, shared similar properties as a neural activity-dependent gene in the adult brain of insects. With regard to the roles of vertebrate Egr-1 in neural development, the contribution to the development and growth of visual systems has been reported. However, in insects, the expression dynamics of the Egr-1 homologous gene during neural development remains poorly understood. Our expression analysis demonstrated that AmEgr, a honeybee homolog of Egr-1, was transiently upregulated in the developing brain during the early to mid pupal stages. In situ hybridization and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunohistochemistry revealed that AmEgr was mainly expressed in post-mitotic cells in optic lobes, the primary visual center of the insect brain. These findings suggest the evolutionarily conserved role of Egr homologs in the development of visual systems in vertebrates and insects. PMID:27392711

  12. Social versus individual behaviour: a comparative approach to thermal behaviour of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) and the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana L.).

    PubMed

    Grodzicki, Przemysław; Caputa, Michał

    2005-03-01

    To study the relationship between the individual and social thermoregulatory behaviour, we used honeybee workers and American cockroaches. Single insects or groups of 10-20 individuals were placed in a temperature gradient chamber, and their thermal preference was recorded for 48 h under natural summer photoperiod. Single bees showed diurnal changes in selected ambient temperature, which culminated at 14:00 reaching 34+/-2 degrees C, and then slowly decreased, reaching a nocturnal minimum of 28+/-2 degrees C at 04:00. In contrast, the zenith of temperature selected by groups of bees (31+/-1 degrees C) was reached at 04:00 and the nadir (29+/-2 degrees C) was recorded at 14:00. Groups of bees clustered together during the night time, and dispersed during intense day time activity. Such changes were absent in groups of cockroaches. Cockroaches selected an ambient temperature of 30+/-1 degrees C both during day and night. In conclusion, there is a striking analogy in the diurnal thermal behaviour between a colony of bees and mammals. During their nychthemeral rest phase, both of them select higher temperatures than during the activity phase and, simultaneously, they reduce their overall surface area of heat loss to conserve metabolic heat. Therefore, the colony behaves as a homeothermic superorganism. In contrast, a single bee, isolated from the colony, utilizes a heterothermic strategy to save energy for a morning warm up. PMID:15749114

  13. Inclusive fitness theory and eusociality.

    PubMed

    Abbot, Patrick; Abe, Jun; Alcock, John; Alizon, Samuel; Alpedrinha, Joao A C; Andersson, Malte; Andre, Jean-Baptiste; van Baalen, Minus; Balloux, Francois; Balshine, Sigal; Barton, Nick; Beukeboom, Leo W; Biernaskie, Jay M; Bilde, Trine; Borgia, Gerald; Breed, Michael; Brown, Sam; Bshary, Redouan; Buckling, Angus; Burley, Nancy T; Burton-Chellew, Max N; Cant, Michael A; Chapuisat, Michel; Charnov, Eric L; Clutton-Brock, Tim; Cockburn, Andrew; Cole, Blaine J; Colegrave, Nick; Cosmides, Leda; Couzin, Iain D; Coyne, Jerry A; Creel, Scott; Crespi, Bernard; Curry, Robert L; Dall, Sasha R X; Day, Troy; Dickinson, Janis L; Dugatkin, Lee Alan; El Mouden, Claire; Emlen, Stephen T; Evans, Jay; Ferriere, Regis; Field, Jeremy; Foitzik, Susanne; Foster, Kevin; Foster, William A; Fox, Charles W; Gadau, Juergen; Gandon, Sylvain; Gardner, Andy; Gardner, Michael G; Getty, Thomas; Goodisman, Michael A D; Grafen, Alan; Grosberg, Rick; Grozinger, Christina M; Gouyon, Pierre-Henri; Gwynne, Darryl; Harvey, Paul H; Hatchwell, Ben J; Heinze, Jürgen; Helantera, Heikki; Helms, Ken R; Hill, Kim; Jiricny, Natalie; Johnstone, Rufus A; Kacelnik, Alex; Kiers, E Toby; Kokko, Hanna; Komdeur, Jan; Korb, Judith; Kronauer, Daniel; Kümmerli, Rolf; Lehmann, Laurent; Linksvayer, Timothy A; Lion, Sébastien; Lyon, Bruce; Marshall, James A R; McElreath, Richard; Michalakis, Yannis; Michod, Richard E; Mock, Douglas; Monnin, Thibaud; Montgomerie, Robert; Moore, Allen J; Mueller, Ulrich G; Noë, Ronald; Okasha, Samir; Pamilo, Pekka; Parker, Geoff A; Pedersen, Jes S; Pen, Ido; Pfennig, David; Queller, David C; Rankin, Daniel J; Reece, Sarah E; Reeve, Hudson K; Reuter, Max; Roberts, Gilbert; Robson, Simon K A; Roze, Denis; Rousset, Francois; Rueppell, Olav; Sachs, Joel L; Santorelli, Lorenzo; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schwarz, Michael P; Scott-Phillips, Tom; Shellmann-Sherman, Janet; Sherman, Paul W; Shuker, David M; Smith, Jeff; Spagna, Joseph C; Strassmann, Beverly; Suarez, Andrew V; Sundström, Liselotte; Taborsky, Michael; Taylor, Peter; Thompson, Graham; Tooby, John; Tsutsui, Neil D; Tsuji, Kazuki; Turillazzi, Stefano; Ubeda, Francisco; Vargo, Edward L; Voelkl, Bernard; Wenseleers, Tom; West, Stuart A; West-Eberhard, Mary Jane; Westneat, David F; Wiernasz, Diane C; Wild, Geoff; Wrangham, Richard; Young, Andrew J; Zeh, David W; Zeh, Jeanne A; Zink, Andrew

    2011-03-24

    Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. Nowak et al. argue that inclusive fitness theory has been of little value in explaining the natural world, and that it has led to negligible progress in explaining the evolution of eusociality. However, we believe that their arguments are based upon a misunderstanding of evolutionary theory and a misrepresentation of the empirical literature. We will focus our comments on three general issues. PMID:21430721

  14. Anarchy in the UK: Detailed genetic analysis of worker reproduction in a naturally occurring British anarchistic honeybee, Apis mellifera, colony using DNA microsatellites.

    PubMed

    Châline, N; Ratnieks, F L W; Burke, T

    2002-09-01

    Anarchistic behaviour is a very rare phenotype of honeybee colonies. In an anarchistic colony, many workers' sons are reared in the presence of the queen. Anarchy has previously been described in only two Australian colonies. Here we report on a first detailed genetic analysis of a British anarchistic colony. Male pupae were present in great abundance above the queen excluder, which was clearly indicative of extensive worker reproduction and is the hallmark of anarchy. Seventeen microsatellite loci were used to analyse these male pupae, allowing us to address whether all the males were indeed workers' sons, and how many worker patrilines and individual workers produced them. In the sample, 95 of 96 of the males were definitely workers' sons. Given that approximately 1% of workers' sons were genetically indistinguishable from queen's sons, this suggests that workers do not move any queen-laid eggs between the part of the colony where the queen is present to the area above the queen excluder which the queen cannot enter. The colony had 16 patrilines, with an effective number of patrilines of 9.85. The 75 males that could be assigned with certainty to a patriline came from 7 patrilines, with an effective number of 4.21. They were the offspring of at least 19 workers. This is in contrast to the two previously studied Australian naturally occurring anarchist colonies, in which most of the workers' sons were offspring of one patriline. The high number of patrilines producing males leads to a low mean relatedness between laying workers and males of the colony. We discuss the importance of studying such colonies in the understanding of worker policing and its evolution. PMID:12207729

  15. Early Development of Mushroom Bodies in the Brain of the Honeybee Apis mellifera as Revealed by BrdU Incorporation and Ablation Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Malun, Dagmar

    1998-01-01

    In the honeybee the mushroom bodies are prominent neuropil structures arranged as pairs in the dorsal protocerebrum of the brain. Each mushroom body is composed of a medial and a lateral subunit. To understand their development, the proliferation pattern of mushroom body intrinsic cells, the Kenyon cells, were examined during larval and pupal stages using the bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) technique and chemical ablation with hydroxyurea. By larval stage 1, ∼40 neuroblasts are located in the periphery of the protocerebrum. Many of these stem cells divide asymmetrically to produce a chain of ganglion mother cells. Kenyon cell precursors underly a different proliferation pattern. With the beginning of larval stage 3, they are arranged in two large distinct cell clusters in each side of the brain. BrdU incorporation into newly synthesized DNA and its immunohistochemical detection show high mitotic activity in these cell clusters that lasts until mid-pupal stages. The uniform diameter of cells, the homogeneous distribution of BrdU-labeled nuclei, and the presence of equally dividing cells in these clusters indicate symmetrical cell divisions of Kenyon cell precursors. Hydroxyurea applied to stage 1 larvae caused the selective ablation of mushroom bodies. Within these animals a variety of defects were observed. In the majority of brains exhibiting mushroom body defects, either one mushroom body subunit on one or on both sides, or three or four subunits (e.g., complete mushroom body ablation) were missing. In contrast, partial ablation of mushroom body subunits resulting in small Kenyon cell clusters and peduncles was observed very rarely. These findings indicate that hydroxyurea applied during larval stage 1 selectively deletes Kenyon stem cells. The results also show that each mushroom body subunit originates from a very small number of stem cells and develops independently of its neighboring subunit. PMID:10454374

  16. Proteomic Analysis Reveals the Molecular Underpinnings of Mandibular Gland Development and Lipid Metabolism in Two Lines of Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    The mandibular glands (MGs) of honeybee workers are vital for the secretion of lipids, for both larval nutrition and pheromones. However, knowledge of how the proteome controls MG development and functionality at the different physiological stages of worker bees is still lacking. We characterized and compared the proteome across different ages of MGs in Italian bees (ITBs) and Royal Jelly (RJ) bees (RJBs), the latter being a line bred for increasing RJ yield, originating from the ITB. All 2000 proteins that were shared by differently aged MGs in both bee lines (>4000 proteins identified in all) were strongly enriched in metabolizing protein, nucleic acid, small molecule, and lipid functional groups. The fact that these shared proteins are enriched in similar groups in both lines suggests that they are essential for basic cellular maintenance and MG functions. However, great differences were found when comparing the proteome across different MG phases in each line. In newly emerged bees (NEBs), the unique and highly abundant proteins were enriched in protein synthesis, cytoskeleton, and development related functional groups, suggesting their importance to initialize young MG development. In nurse bees (NBs), specific and highly abundant proteins were mainly enriched in substance transport and lipid synthesis, indicating their priority may be in priming high secretory activity in lipid synthesis as larval nutrition. The unique and highly abundant proteins in forager bees (FBs) were enriched in lipid metabolism, small molecule, and carbohydrate metabolism. This indicates their emphasis on 2-heptanone synthesis as an alarm pheromone to enhance colony defense or scent marker for foraging efficiency. Furthermore, a wide range of different biological processes was observed between ITBs and RJBs at different MG ages. Both bee stocks may adapt different proteome programs to drive gland development and functionality. The RJB nurse bee has reshaped its proteome by enhancing

  17. Evaluation of pesticide toxicity at their field recommended doses to honeybees, Apis cerana and A. mellifera through laboratory, semi-field and field studies.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Johnson; Sah, Khushboo; Jain, S K; Bhatt, J C; Sushil, S N

    2015-01-01

    A series of experiments were carried out to determine the acute toxicity of pesticides in the laboratory, toxicity through spray on flowering plants of mustard (Tier II evaluation) and field on both Apis cerana and A. mellifera bees. The overall mortality of honey bees through topical (direct contact) were found significantly higher than that of indirect filter paper contamination assays. Insecticides viz., chlorpyriphos, dichlorvos, malathion, profenofos, monocrotophos and deltamethrin when exposed directly or indirectly at their field recommended doses caused very high mortality up to 100% to both the bees at 48 HAT. The insecticides that caused less mortality through filter paper contamination viz., flubendiamide, methyl demeton, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused very high morality through direct exposure. Apart from all the fungicides tested, carbendazim, mancozeb, chlorothalonil and propiconazole, insecticides acetamiprid and endosulfan were found safer to both the bees either by direct or indirect exposures. Tier II evaluation by spray of pesticides at their field recommended doses on potted mustard plants showed monocrotophos as the highly toxic insecticide with 100% mortality even with 1h of exposure followed by thiamethoxam, dichlorvos, profenofos and chlorpyriphos which are not to be recommended for use in pollinator attractive flowering plants. Acetamiprid and endosulfan did not cause any repellent effect on honey bees in the field trials endorse the usage of acetamiprid against sucking pest in flowering plants. PMID:25150969

  18. Trans-generational immune priming in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Hernández López, Javier; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Crailsheim, Karl; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike

    2014-01-01

    Maternal immune experience acquired during pathogen exposure and passed on to progeny to enhance resistance to infection is called trans-generational immune priming (TgIP). In eusocial insects like honeybees, TgIP would result in a significant improvement of health at individual and colony level. Demonstrated in invertebrates other than honeybees, TgIP has not yet been fully elucidated in terms of intensity and molecular mechanisms underlying this response. Here, we immune-stimulated honeybee queens with Paenibacillus larvae (Pl), a spore-forming bacterium causing American Foulbrood, the most deadly bee brood disease worldwide. Subsequently, offspring of stimulated queens were exposed to spores of Pl and mortality rates were measured to evaluate maternal transfer of immunity. Our data substantiate the existence of TgIP effects in honeybees by direct evaluation of offspring resistance to bacterial infection. A further aspect of this study was to investigate a potential correlation between immune priming responses and prohaemocytes–haemocyte differentiation processes in larvae. The results point out that a priming effect triggers differentiation of prohaemocytes to haemocytes. However, the mechanisms underlying TgIP responses are still elusive and require future investigation. PMID:24789904

  19. Trans-generational immune priming in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Hernández López, Javier; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Crailsheim, Karl; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike

    2014-06-22

    Maternal immune experience acquired during pathogen exposure and passed on to progeny to enhance resistance to infection is called trans-generational immune priming (TgIP). In eusocial insects like honeybees, TgIP would result in a significant improvement of health at individual and colony level. Demonstrated in invertebrates other than honeybees, TgIP has not yet been fully elucidated in terms of intensity and molecular mechanisms underlying this response. Here, we immune-stimulated honeybee queens with Paenibacillus larvae (Pl), a spore-forming bacterium causing American Foulbrood, the most deadly bee brood disease worldwide. Subsequently, offspring of stimulated queens were exposed to spores of Pl and mortality rates were measured to evaluate maternal transfer of immunity. Our data substantiate the existence of TgIP effects in honeybees by direct evaluation of offspring resistance to bacterial infection. A further aspect of this study was to investigate a potential correlation between immune priming responses and prohaemocytes-haemocyte differentiation processes in larvae. The results point out that a priming effect triggers differentiation of prohaemocytes to haemocytes. However, the mechanisms underlying TgIP responses are still elusive and require future investigation. PMID:24789904

  20. Physicochemical attributes of Nigerian natural honey from honeybees (Apis mellifera adansonii) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and its shelf life in storage at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Fasasi, K A

    2012-11-01

    Nigerian honey competes globally in the world honey market. The physicochemical parameters of honey samples sourced from colonies of Apis mellifera adansonii were studied with the effect of storage-time over a period of two years. This was done by analyzing and evaluating eleven common physicochemical parameters including colour, moisture content, ash content, sugar content, acidity, pH value, hydroxymethylfurfural, diastase activity, nitrogen content, insoluble matter and viscosity of honey samples with the effect of storage-time on the physicochemical parameters using Association of Official Analytical Chemists methods. Most of the honey samples showed proper maturity considering the moisture content (17.9 +/- 2.0%). The total acidity (21.5 +/- 5.6 meq kg(-1)) indicated absence of undesirable fermentation after harvest and extraction. The Mean +/- SD pH value (3.9 +/- 0.2) of the honey samples was within acceptable standards of Economic European Community (EEC) and Codex. The ash content (0.4 +/- 0.2%) (0.2-0.6%) was slightly higher than 0-0.50% of EEC and Codex standards. The fructose and glucose mean values were 38.9 +/- 0.8% and 28.3 +/- 2.4%, respectively. The Mean +/- S.D value of hydroxymethylfurfural content (8.5 +/- 2.7 mg kg(-1)) was low, while the Mean +/- SD value of diastase activity was high depicting freshness. The evaluated physicochemical parameters of two years old honey samples exhibited no significant deviation (p > 0.05) from that of the fresh samples. This study showed that natural honey if properly harvested, extracted hygienically, preserved and stored can maintain their stability relatively for at least two years at room temperature without undue interference. PMID:24163945

  1. East Learns from West: Asiatic Honeybees Can Understand Dance Language of European Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Su, Songkun; Cai, Fang; Si, Aung; Zhang, Shaowu; Tautz, Jürgen; Chen, Shenglu

    2008-01-01

    The honeybee waggle dance, through which foragers advertise the existence and location of a food source to their hive mates, is acknowledged as the only known form of symbolic communication in an invertebrate. However, the suggestion, that different species of honeybee might possess distinct ‘dialects’ of the waggle dance, remains controversial. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether different species of honeybee can learn from and communicate with each other. This study reports experiments using a mixed-species colony that is composed of the Asiatic bee Apis cerana cerana (Acc), and the European bee Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml). Using video recordings made at an observation hive, we first confirm that Acc and Aml have significantly different dance dialects, even when made to forage in identical environments. When reared in the same colony, these two species are able to communicate with each other: Acc foragers could decode the dances of Aml to successfully locate an indicated food source. We believe that this is the first report of successful symbolic communication between two honeybee species; our study hints at the possibility of social learning between the two honeybee species, and at the existence of a learning component in the honeybee dance language. PMID:18523550

  2. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fairbrother, Anne; Purdy, John; Anderson, Troy; Fell, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an important pollinator of agricultural crops. Since 2006, when unexpectedly high colony losses were first reported, articles have proliferated in the popular press suggesting a range of possible causes and raising alarm over the general decline of bees. Suggested causes include pesticides, genetically modified crops, habitat fragmentation, and introduced diseases and parasites. Scientists have concluded that multiple factors in various combinations—including mites, fungi, viruses, and pesticides, as well as other factors such as reduction in forage, poor nutrition, and queen failure—are the most probable cause of elevated colony loss rates. Investigators and regulators continue to focus on the possible role that insecticides, particularly the neonicotinoids, may play in honeybee health. Neonicotinoid insecticides are insect neurotoxicants with desirable features such as broad-spectrum activity, low application rates, low mammalian toxicity, upward systemic movement in plants, and versatile application methods. Their distribution throughout the plant, including pollen, nectar, and guttation fluids, poses particular concern for exposure to pollinators. The authors describe how neonicotinoids interact with the nervous system of honeybees and affect individual honeybees in laboratory situations. Because honeybees are social insects, colony effects in semifield and field studies are discussed. The authors conclude with a review of current and proposed guidance in the United States and Europe for assessing the risks of pesticides to honeybees. PMID:24692231

  3. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees.

    PubMed

    Fairbrother, Anne; Purdy, John; Anderson, Troy; Fell, Richard

    2014-04-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an important pollinator of agricultural crops. Since 2006, when unexpectedly high colony losses were first reported, articles have proliferated in the popular press suggesting a range of possible causes and raising alarm over the general decline of bees. Suggested causes include pesticides, genetically modified crops, habitat fragmentation, and introduced diseases and parasites. Scientists have concluded that multiple factors in various combinations-including mites, fungi, viruses, and pesticides, as well as other factors such as reduction in forage, poor nutrition, and queen failure-are the most probable cause of elevated colony loss rates. Investigators and regulators continue to focus on the possible role that insecticides, particularly the neonicotinoids, may play in honeybee health. Neonicotinoid insecticides are insect neurotoxicants with desirable features such as broad-spectrum activity, low application rates, low mammalian toxicity, upward systemic movement in plants, and versatile application methods. Their distribution throughout the plant, including pollen, nectar, and guttation fluids, poses particular concern for exposure to pollinators. The authors describe how neonicotinoids interact with the nervous system of honeybees and affect individual honeybees in laboratory situations. Because honeybees are social insects, colony effects in semifield and field studies are discussed. The authors conclude with a review of current and proposed guidance in the United States and Europe for assessing the risks of pesticides to honeybees. PMID:24692231

  4. Heat-balling wasps by honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ken, Tan; Hepburn, H. R.; Radloff, S. E.; Yusheng, Yu; Yiqiu, Liu; Danyin, Zhou; Neumann, P.

    2005-10-01

    Defensiveness of honeybee colonies of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera (actively balling the wasps but reduction of foraging) against predatory wasps, Vespa velutina, and false wasps was assessed. There were significantly more worker bees in balls of the former than latter. Core temperatures in a ball around a live wasp of A. cerana were significantly higher than those of A. mellifera, and also significantly more when exposed to false wasps. Core temperatures of bee balls exposed to false wasps were significantly lower than those exposed to V. velutina for both A. cerana and for A. mellifera. The lethal thermal limits for V. velutina, A. cerana and A. mellifera were significantly different, so that both species of honeybees have a thermal safety factor in heat-killing such wasp predators. During wasps attacks at the hives measured at 3, 6 and 12 min, the numbers of Apis cerana cerana and Apis cerana indica bees continuing to forage were significantly reduced with increased wasp attack time. Tropical lowland A. c. indica reduced foraging rates significantly more than the highland A. c. cerana bees; but, there was no significant effect on foraging by A. mellifera. The latency to recovery of honeybee foraging was significantly greater the longer the duration of wasp attacks. The results show remarkable thermal fine-tuning in a co-evolving predator prey relationship.

  5. Haplodiploidy, sex-ratio adjustment, and eusociality.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Ross, Laura

    2013-03-01

    Hamilton's "haplodiploidy hypothesis" holds that inflated sororal relatedness has promoted altruistic sib rearing in haplodiploids, potentially explaining their apparent predisposition to eusociality. Here, we suggest that haplodiploidy may instead promote eusociality simply by facilitating sex-ratio adjustment. Specifically, haplodiploidy may enable sex-ratio bias toward the more helpful sex, owing to "local resource enhancement," and such sex-ratio bias may promote the evolution of helping by individuals of that sex, owing to the "rarer-sex effect." This could explain why haplodiploidy appears to have been important for eusociality in taxa with only female helpers, such as ants, wasps, and bees, but not in taxa with both male and female helpers, such as termites. PMID:23448893

  6. Bee-hawking by the wasp, Vespa velutina, on the honeybees Apis cerana and A. mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, K.; Radloff, S. E.; Li, J. J.; Hepburn, H. R.; Yang, M. X.; Zhang, L. J.; Neumann, P.

    2007-06-01

    The vespine wasps, Vespa velutina, specialise in hawking honeybee foragers returning to their nests. We studied their behaviour in China using native Apis cerana and introduced A. mellifera colonies. When the wasps are hawking, A. cerana recruits threefold more guard bees to stave off predation than A. mellifera. The former also utilises wing shimmering as a visual pattern disruption mechanism, which is not shown by A. mellifera. A. cerana foragers halve the time of normal flight needed to dart into the nest entrance, while A. mellifera actually slows down in sashaying flight manoeuvres. V. velutina preferentially hawks A. mellifera foragers when both A. mellifera and A. cerana occur in the same apiary. The pace of wasp-hawking was highest in mid-summer but the frequency of hawking wasps was three times higher at A. mellifera colonies than at the A. cerana colonies. The wasps were taking A. mellifera foragers at a frequency eightfold greater than A. cerana foragers. The final hawking success rates of the wasps were about three times higher for A. mellifera foragers than for A. cerana. The relative success of native A. cerana over European A. mellifera in thwarting predation by the wasp V. velutina is interpreted as the result of co-evolution between the Asian wasp and honeybee, respectively.

  7. Dancing to different tunes: heterospecific deciphering of the honeybee waggle dance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, K.; Yang, M. X.; Radloff, S. E.; Hepburn, H. R.; Zhang, Z. Y.; Luo, L. J.; Li, H.

    2008-12-01

    Although the structure of the dance language is very similar among species of honeybees, communication of the distance component of the message varies both intraspecifically and interspecifically. However, it is not known whether different honeybee species would attend interspecific waggle dances and, if so, whether they can decipher such dances. Using mixed-species colonies of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera, we show that, despite internal differences in the structure of the waggle dances of foragers, both species attend, and act on the information encoded in each other’s waggle dances but with limited accuracy. These observations indicate that direction and distance communication pre-date speciation in honeybees.

  8. Lifetime monogamy and the evolution of eusociality

    PubMed Central

    Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2009-01-01

    All evidence currently available indicates that obligatory sterile eusocial castes only arose via the association of lifetime monogamous parents and offspring. This is consistent with Hamilton's rule (brs > roc), but implies that relatedness cancels out of the equation because average relatedness to siblings (rs) and offspring (ro) are both predictably 0.5. This equality implies that any infinitesimally small benefit of helping at the maternal nest (b), relative to the cost in personal reproduction (c) that persists throughout the lifespan of entire cohorts of helpers suffices to establish permanent eusociality, so that group benefits can increase gradually during, but mostly after the transition. The monogamy window can be conceptualized as a singularity comparable with the single zygote commitment of gametes in eukaryotes. The increase of colony size in ants, bees, wasps and termites is thus analogous to the evolution of multicellularity. Focusing on lifetime monogamy as a universal precondition for the evolution of obligate eusociality simplifies the theory and may help to resolve controversies about levels of selection and targets of adaptation. The monogamy window underlines that cooperative breeding and eusociality are different domains of social evolution, characterized by different sectors of parameter space for Hamilton's rule. PMID:19805427

  9. Magnetoreception in Eusocial Insects: An Update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Behavioral experiments for magnetoreception in eusocial insects in the last decade are reviewed. Ants and bees use the geomagnetic field to orient and navigate in areas around their nests and in migratory paths. Bees show sensitivity to small changes in magnetic fields in conditioning experiments a...

  10. Relatedness, conflict, and the evolution of eusociality.

    PubMed

    Liao, Xiaoyun; Rong, Stephen; Queller, David C

    2015-03-01

    The evolution of sterile worker castes in eusocial insects was a major problem in evolutionary theory until Hamilton developed a method called inclusive fitness. He used it to show that sterile castes could evolve via kin selection, in which a gene for altruistic sterility is favored when the altruism sufficiently benefits relatives carrying the gene. Inclusive fitness theory is well supported empirically and has been applied to many other areas, but a recent paper argued that the general method of inclusive fitness was wrong and advocated an alternative population genetic method. The claim of these authors was bolstered by a new model of the evolution of eusociality with novel conclusions that appeared to overturn some major results from inclusive fitness. Here we report an expanded examination of this kind of model for the evolution of eusociality and show that all three of its apparently novel conclusions are essentially false. Contrary to their claims, genetic relatedness is important and causal, workers are agents that can evolve to be in conflict with the queen, and eusociality is not so difficult to evolve. The misleading conclusions all resulted not from incorrect math but from overgeneralizing from narrow assumptions or parameter values. For example, all of their models implicitly assumed high relatedness, but modifying the model to allow lower relatedness shows that relatedness is essential and causal in the evolution of eusociality. Their modeling strategy, properly applied, actually confirms major insights of inclusive fitness studies of kin selection. This broad agreement of different models shows that social evolution theory, rather than being in turmoil, is supported by multiple theoretical approaches. It also suggests that extensive prior work using inclusive fitness, from microbial interactions to human evolution, should be considered robust unless shown otherwise. PMID:25799485