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Sample records for adult honeybees honeybee

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. Lysophosphatidylcholine acts in the constitutive immune defence against American foulbrood in adult honeybees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Honeybee (Apis mellifera) imagines are resistant to the Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae), causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), whereas honeybee larvae show susceptibility against this pathogen only during the first 48 h of their life. It is known that midgut homogenate of adult honeybees as well as a homogenate of aged larvae exhibit strong anti-P. larvae activity. A bioactivity-guided LC-HRMS analysis of midgut homogenate resulted in the identification of 1-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (LPC) pointing to a yet unknown immune defence in adult honeybees against P. larvae. Antimicrobial activity of LPC was also demonstrated against Melissococcus plutonius, causative agent of European Foulbrood. To demonstrate an AFB-preventive effect of LPC in larvae, artificially reared larvae were supplemented with LPC to evaluate its toxicity and to assess whether, after infection with P. larvae spores, LPC supplementation prevents AFB infection. 10 μg LPC per larva applied for 3 d significantly lowered mortality due to AFB in comparison to controls. A potential delivery route of LPC to the larvae in a colony via nurse bees was assessed through a tracking experiment using fluorescent-labelled LPC. This yet undescribed and non-proteinous defense of honeybees against P. larvae may offer new perspectives for a treatment of AFB without the utilization of classic antibiotics. PMID:27480379

  5. 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.

  6. Real World: Honeybees

    NASA Video Gallery

    Join NASA scientists and beekeepers in a citizen science project to collect important data about climate change. Learn how honeybees pollinate over 130 crops in the United States each year and what...

  7. The Brazilian Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michener, Charles D.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the unusually aggressive Brazilian honeybee, which exhibits many of the attributes of its African antecedants. Describes its abundance and distribution, behaviorial characteristics, future spread, and the potential impact of the Brazilian bee in North America. (JR)

  8. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  9. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  10. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  11. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  12. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  13. Reward expectations in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Gil, Mariana

    2010-03-01

    The study of expectations of reward helps to understand rules controlling goal-directed behavior as well as decision making and planning. I shall review a series of recent studies focusing on how the food gathering behavior of honeybees depends upon reward expectations. These studies document that free-flying honeybees develop long-term expectations of reward and use them to regulate their investment of energy/time during foraging. Also, they present a laboratory procedure suitable for analysis of neural substrates of reward expectations in the honeybee brain. I discuss these findings in the context of individual and collective foraging, on the one hand, and neurobiology of learning and memory of reward.

  14. 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

  15. Anatomy of the Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postiglione, Ralph

    1977-01-01

    In this insect morphology exercise, students study the external anatomy of the worker honeybee. The structures listed and illustrated are discussed in relation to their functions. A goal of the exercise is to establish the bee as a well-adapted, social insect. (MA)

  16. Effects of Sublethal Doses of Imidacloprid on Young Adult Honeybee Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Mengoni Goñalons, Carolina; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Imidacloprid (IMI), a neonicotinoid used for its high selective toxicity to insects, is one of the most commonly used pesticides. However, its effect on beneficial insects such as the honeybee Apis mellifera L is still controversial. As young adult workers perform in-hive duties that are crucial for colony maintenance and survival, we aimed to assess the effect of sublethal IMI doses on honeybee behaviour during this period. Also, because this insecticide acts as a cholinergic-nicotinic agonist and these pathways take part in insect learning and memory processes; we used IMI to assess their role and the changes they suffer along early adulthood. We focused on appetitive behaviours based on the proboscis extension response. Laboratory reared adults of 2 to 10 days of age were exposed to sublethal IMI doses (0.25 or 0.50ng) administered orally or topically prior to behavioural assessment. Modification of gustatory responsiveness and impairment of learning and memory were found as a result of IMI exposure. These outcomes differed depending on age of evaluation, type of exposure and IMI dose, being the youngest bees more sensitive and the highest oral dose more toxic. Altogether, these results imply that IMI administered at levels found in agroecosystems can reduce sensitivity to reward and impair associative learning in young honeybees. Therefore, once a nectar inflow with IMI traces is distributed within the hive, it could impair in-door duties with negative consequences on colony performance. PMID:26488410

  17. Effects of Sublethal Doses of Imidacloprid on Young Adult Honeybee Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Mengoni Goñalons, Carolina; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Imidacloprid (IMI), a neonicotinoid used for its high selective toxicity to insects, is one of the most commonly used pesticides. However, its effect on beneficial insects such as the honeybee Apis mellifera L is still controversial. As young adult workers perform in-hive duties that are crucial for colony maintenance and survival, we aimed to assess the effect of sublethal IMI doses on honeybee behaviour during this period. Also, because this insecticide acts as a cholinergic-nicotinic agonist and these pathways take part in insect learning and memory processes; we used IMI to assess their role and the changes they suffer along early adulthood. We focused on appetitive behaviours based on the proboscis extension response. Laboratory reared adults of 2 to 10 days of age were exposed to sublethal IMI doses (0.25 or 0.50ng) administered orally or topically prior to behavioural assessment. Modification of gustatory responsiveness and impairment of learning and memory were found as a result of IMI exposure. These outcomes differed depending on age of evaluation, type of exposure and IMI dose, being the youngest bees more sensitive and the highest oral dose more toxic. Altogether, these results imply that IMI administered at levels found in agroecosystems can reduce sensitivity to reward and impair associative learning in young honeybees. Therefore, once a nectar inflow with IMI traces is distributed within the hive, it could impair in-door duties with negative consequences on colony performance.

  18. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P.; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M.

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3–5- and 17–19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects. PMID:27375445

  19. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3-5- and 17-19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects.

  20. Larval Exposure to the Juvenile Hormone Analog Pyriproxyfen Disrupts Acceptance of and Social Behavior Performance in Adult Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fourrier, Julie; Deschamps, Matthieu; Droin, Léa; Alaux, Cédric; Fortini, Dominique; Beslay, Dominique; Le Conte, Yves; Devillers, James; Aupinel, Pierrick; Decourtye, Axel

    2015-01-01

    Background Juvenile hormone (JH) plays an important role in honeybee development and the regulation of age-related division of labor. However, honeybees can be exposed to insect growth regulators (IGRs), such as JH analogs developed for insect pest and vector control. Although their side effects as endocrine disruptors on honeybee larval or adult stages have been studied, little is known about the subsequent effects on adults of a sublethal larval exposure. We therefore studied the impact of the JH analog pyriproxyfen on larvae and resulting adults within a colony under semi-field conditions by combining recent laboratory larval tests with chemical analysis and behavioral observations. Oral and chronic larval exposure at cumulative doses of 23 or 57 ng per larva were tested. Results Pyriproxyfen-treated bees emerged earlier than control bees and the highest dose led to a significant rate of malformed adults (atrophied wings). Young pyriproxyfen-treated bees were more frequently rejected by nestmates from the colony, inducing a shorter life span. This could be linked to differences in cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles between control and pyriproxyfen-treated bees. Finally, pyriproxyfen-treated bees exhibited fewer social behaviors (ventilation, brood care, contacts with nestmates or food stocks) than control bees. Conclusion Larval exposure to sublethal doses of pyriproxyfen affected several life history traits of the honeybees. Our results especially showed changes in social integration (acceptance by nestmates and social behaviors performance) that could potentially affect population growth and balance of the colony. PMID:26171610

  1. Disease dynamics of honeybees with Varroa destructor as parasite and virus vector.

    PubMed

    Kang, Yun; Blanco, Krystal; Davis, Talia; Wang, Ying; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria

    2016-05-01

    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses carried by Varroa mites. In this paper, we propose a honeybee-mite-virus model that incorporates (1) parasitic interactions between honeybees and the Varroa mites; (2) five virus transmission terms between honeybees and mites at different stages of Varroa mites: from honeybees to honeybees, from adult honeybees to the phoretic mites, from brood to the reproductive mites, from the reproductive mites to brood, and from adult honeybees to the phoretic mites; and (3) Allee effects in the honeybee population generated by its internal organization such as division of labor. We provide completed local and global analysis for the full system and its subsystems. Our analytical and numerical results allow us have a better understanding of the synergistic effects of parasitism and virus infections on honeybee population dynamics and its persistence. Interesting findings from our work include: (a) due to Allee effects experienced by the honeybee population, initial conditions are essential for the survival of the colony. (b) Low adult honeybees to brood ratios have destabilizing effects on the system which generate fluctuating dynamics that lead to a catastrophic event where both honeybees and mites suddenly become extinct. This catastrophic event could be potentially linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honeybee colonies. (c) Virus infections may have stabilizing effects on the system, and parasitic mites could make disease more persistent. Our model illustrates how the synergy between the parasitic mites and virus infections consequently generates rich dynamics including multiple attractors where all species can coexist or go extinct depending on initial conditions. Our findings may provide important insights on honeybee viruses and parasites and how to best control them.

  2. Insulin effects on honeybee appetitive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Mengoni Goñalons, Carolina; Guiraud, Marie; de Brito Sanchez, María Gabriela; Farina, Walter M

    2016-10-01

    Worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) carry out multiple tasks throughout their adult lifespan. It has been suggested that the insulin/insulin-like signalling pathway participates in regulating behavioural maturation in eusocial insects. Insulin signalling increases as the honeybee worker transitions from nurse to food processor to forager. As behavioural shifts require differential usage of sensory modalities, our aim was to assess insulin effects on olfactory and gustatory responsiveness as well as on olfactory learning in preforaging honeybee workers of different ages. Adults were reared in the laboratory or in the hive. Immediately after being injected with insulin or vehicle (control), and focusing on the proboscis extension response, bees were tested for their spontaneous response to odours, sucrose responsiveness and ability to discriminate odours through olfactory conditioning. Bees injected with insulin have higher spontaneous odour responses. Sucrose responsiveness and odour discrimination are differentially affected by treatment according to age: whereas insulin increases gustatory responsiveness and diminishes learning abilities of younger workers, it has the opposite effect on older bees. In summary, insulin can improve chemosensory responsiveness in young workers, but also worsens their learning abilities to discriminate odours. The insulin signalling pathway is responsive in young workers, although they are not yet initiating outdoor activities. Our results show strong age-dependent effects of insulin on appetitive behaviour, which uncover differences in insulin signalling regulation throughout the honeybee worker's adulthood.

  3. Dancing for Food: The Language of the Honeybees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Agostino, Jo Beth; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Presents an activity that teaches children the language of the honeybee--and which transforms the classroom into a honeybee colony. Children mimic the foraging behavior of honeybees and learn to appreciate the importance of community effort among animals. (PR)

  4. Two odometers in honeybees?

    PubMed

    Dacke, M; Srinivasan, M V

    2008-10-01

    Although several studies have examined how honeybees gauge and report the distance and direction of a food source to their nestmates, relatively little is known about how this information is combined to obtain a representation of the position of the food source. In this study we manipulate the amount of celestial compass information available to the bee during flight, and analyse the encoding of spatial information in the waggle dance as well as in the navigation of the foraging bee. We find that the waggle dance encodes information about the total distance flown to the food source, even when celestial compass cues are available only for a part of the journey. This stands in contrast to how a bee gauges distance flown when it navigates back to a food source that it already knows. When bees were trained to find a feeder placed at a fixed distance in a tunnel in which celestial cues were partially occluded and then tested in a tunnel that was fully open to the sky, they searched for the feeder at a distance that corresponds closely to the distance that was flown under the open sky during the training. Thus, when navigating back to a food source, information about distance travelled is disregarded when there is no concurrent input from the celestial compass. We suggest that bees may possess two different odometers - a 'community' odometer that is used to provide information to nestmates via the dance, and a 'personal' odometer that is used by an experienced individual to return to a previously visited source.

  5. Selection for varroatosis resistance in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Moritz, R F

    1994-06-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni is a major problem for beekeeping worldwide. It can be controlled efficiently with a variety of ocaracides. However, Robin F.A. Moritz argues that, owing to the risk of honey contamination and the costs involved with continuous treatment of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies, there is a pressing need to find alternative ways of varroatosis control. A variety of physiological and behavioural traits of the honeybee are known to control efficiently the development and spread of V. jacobsoni infestation. Breeding of a varroatosis-resistant honeybee seems possible and selection could offer swift results if one capitalizes on the male haploid population structure of the honeybee.

  6. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Honeybee payment calculations. 760.210 Section 760.210... AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program § 760.210 Honeybee payment calculations. (a) An eligible honeybee producer...

  7. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Honeybee payment calculations. 760.210 Section 760.210... AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program § 760.210 Honeybee payment calculations. (a) An eligible honeybee producer...

  8. The Magnetic Attraction of Honeybee Navigation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayres, David

    1991-01-01

    Discussed are the division of labor, defenses, genetics and evolution, communication, and navigation power of honeybees. The scientific and cross-curricular themes that can be offered using the economically important honeybee are described. Research that suggests that bees may be flying magnets is also discussed. (KR)

  9. 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.

  10. Disposition of ampicillin in honeybees and hives.

    PubMed

    Nakajima, C; Okayama, A; Sakogawa, T; Nakamura, A; Hayama, T

    1997-09-01

    Disposition profile of ampicillin (ABPC) among honeybees, larvae, honey and royal jelly in a hive after oral dosing to adult bees was studied. Four honeybee colonies were administered the single dose of ABPC at the rate of 30 mg/hive by addition to sugar syrup or pollen substitute (paste) for 1 day intake. The colonies received ABPC in syrup showed high drug residue levels in honey and it lasted over 14 days beyond the detection limit of residual analysis. In the hives given ABPC in paste, relatively low honey residues were found, however, the distributions of the drug in young larvae and jelly which was the food of the larvae were very low. ABPC was considered to be a promising drug for the control of American foulbrood, an important bacterial disease of honeybee larvae, because of its high antibacterial activity to the pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae, and instability of residue in honey as human food. The low distribution in young larvae, the target of the disease, threw a doubt on the efficacy of ABPC for American foulbrood control.

  11. Proteomic analysis of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) pupae head development.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Aijuan; Li, Jianke; Begna, Desalegn; Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Song, Feifei

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee pupae development influences its future adult condition as well as honey and royal jelly productions. However, the molecular mechanism that regulates honeybee pupae head metamorphosis is still poorly understood. To further our understand of the associated molecular mechanism, we investigated the protein change of the honeybee pupae head at 5 time-points using 2-D electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. Accordingly, 58 protein spots altered their expression across the 5 time points (13-20 days), of which 36 proteins involved in the head organogenesis were upregulated during early stages (13-17 days). However, 22 proteins involved in regulating the pupae head neuron and gland development were upregulated at later developmental stages (19-20 days). Also, the functional enrichment analysis further suggests that proteins related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, development, cytoskeleton and protein folding were highly involved in the generation of organs and development of honeybee pupal head. Furthermore, the constructed protein interaction network predicted 33 proteins acting as key nodes of honeybee pupae head growth of which 9 and 4 proteins were validated at gene and protein levels, respectively. In this study, we uncovered potential protein species involved in the formation of honeybee pupae head development along with their specific temporal requirements. This first proteomic result allows deeper understanding of the proteome profile changes during honeybee pupae head development and provides important potential candidate proteins for future reverse genetic research on honeybee pupae head development to improve the performance of related organs.

  12. 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

    2012-01-04

    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.

  13. What physicians should know about Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Sherman, R A

    1995-01-01

    The Africanized honeybee, popularly known as the "killer bee," is already well established in Texas and has recently entered California and Arizona. As the Africanized honeybee spreads in North America, the medical community must become aware of the problems associated with this insect and ensure that sting emergencies can be handled quickly and appropriately. The major differences between Africanized and European honeybees are that the former are more irritable, they swarm more readily and frequently, they defend their hives more vehemently, and they sting more collectively. It is not the composition nor the volume of an individual bee's venom, but rather the cumulative dose of multiple stings that accounts for the morbidity and mortality associated with Africanized honeybee-sting incidents. Even nonallergic persons are susceptible to the toxic effects of these large combined venom loads. Africanized honeybee-sting victims are treated the same as victims of European honeybee stings. Authorities will prepare for the bees' arrival by expanding public awareness, teaching risk-avoidance behavior, providing for the removal of troublesome hives, and developing sting treatment protocols that can be initiated rapidly in the field or emergency departments. Health care professionals should participate in the educational efforts and in the development of needed emergency response protocols so that the effects of the Africanized honeybee will be merely a nuisance rather than a plague. PMID:8553637

  14. Neuronal plasticity in the mushroom body calyx during adult maturation in the honeybee and possible pheromonal influences.

    PubMed

    Muenz, Thomas S; Groh, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Le Conte, Yves; Plettner, Erika; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2015-12-01

    Honeybee workers express a pronounced age-dependent polyethism switching from various indoor duties to foraging outside the hive. This transition is accompanied by tremendous changes in the sensory environment that sensory systems and higher brain centers have to cope with. Foraging and age have earlier been shown to be associated with volume changes in the mushroom bodies (MBs). Using age- and task-controlled bees this study provides a detailed framework of neuronal maturation processes in the MB calyx during the course of natural behavioral maturation. We show that the MB calyx volume already increases during the first week of adult life. This process is mainly driven by broadening of the Kenyon cell dendritic branching pattern and then followed by pruning of projection neuron axonal boutons during the actual transition from indoor to outdoor duties. To further investigate the flexible regulation of division of labor and its neuronal correlates in a honeybee colony, we studied the modulation of the nurse-forager transition via a chemical communication system, the primer pheromone ethyl oleate (EO). EO is found at high concentrations on foragers in contrast to nurse bees and was shown to delay the onset of foraging. In this study, EO effects on colony behavior were not as robust as expected, and we found no direct correlation between EO treatment and synaptic maturation in the MB calyx. In general, we assume that the primer pheromone EO rather acts in concert with other factors influencing the onset of foraging with its effect being highly adaptive.

  15. Impact of Varroa destructor on honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) colony development in South Africa.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The devastating effects of Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman on European honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera L.) have been well documented. Not only do these mites cause physical damage to parasitised individuals when they feed on them, they also transmit viruses and other pathogens, weaken colonies and can ultimately cause their death. Nevertheless, not all honeybee colonies are doomed once Varroa mites become established. Some populations, such as the savannah honeybee, A. m. scutellata, have become tolerant after the introduction of the parasite and are able to withstand the presence of these mites without the need for acaricides. In this study, we measured daily Varroa mite fall, Varroa infestation rates of adult honeybees and worker brood, and total Varroa population size in acaricide treated and untreated honeybee colonies. In addition, honeybee colony development was compared between these groups in order to measure the cost incurred by Varroa mites to their hosts. Daily Varroa mite fall decreased over the experimental period with different dynamics in treated and untreated colonies. Varroa infestation rates in treated adult honeybees and brood were lower than in untreated colonies, but not significantly so. Thus, indicating a minimal benefit of treatment thereby suggesting that A. m. scutellata have the ability to maintain mite populations at low levels. We obtained baseline data on Varroa population dynamics in a tolerant honeybee over the winter period. Varroa mites appeared to have a low impact on this honeybee population, given that colony development was similar in the treated and untreated colonies.

  16. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    Members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Stealthy Insect Sensor Project team have been able to harness the honeybee's exceptional olfactory sense by using the bees' natural reaction to nectar, a proboscis extension reflex (sticking out their tongue)

  17. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    SciTech Connect

    2008-03-21

    Members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Stealthy Insect Sensor Project team have been able to harness the honeybee's exceptional olfactory sense by using the bees' natural reaction to nectar, a proboscis extension reflex (sticking out their tongue)

  18. 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

  19. (Collection of high quality acoustical records for honeybees)

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, H.T.; Buchanan, M.E.

    1987-02-19

    High quality acoustical data records were collected for both European and Africanized honeybees under various field conditions. This data base was needed for more rigorous evaluation of a honeybee identification technique previously developed by the travelers from preliminary data sets. Laboratory-grade recording equipment was used to record sounds made by honeybees in and near their nests and during foraging flights. Recordings were obtained from European and Africanized honeybees in the same general environment. Preliminary analyses of the acoustical data base clearly support the general identification algorithm: Africanized honeybee noise has significantly higher frequency content than does European honeybee noise. As this algorithm is refined, it may result in the development of a simple field-portable device for identifying subspecies of honeybees. Further, the honeybee's acoustical signals appear to be correlated with specific colony conditions. Understanding these variations may have enormous benefit for entomologists and for the beekeeping industry.

  20. 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.

  1. Africanized honeybees are slower learners than their European counterparts

    PubMed Central

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:19904521

  2. Africanized honeybees are slower learners than their European counterparts.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. A strong immune response in young adult honeybees masks their increased susceptibility to infection compared to older bees.

    PubMed

    Bull, James C; Ryabov, Eugene V; Prince, Gill; Mead, Andrew; Zhang, Cunjin; Baxter, Laura A; Pell, Judith K; Osborne, Juliet L; Chandler, Dave

    2012-12-01

    Honeybees, Apis mellifera, show age-related division of labor in which young adults perform maintenance ("housekeeping") tasks inside the colony before switching to outside foraging at approximately 23 days old. Disease resistance is an important feature of honeybee biology, but little is known about the interaction of pathogens and age-related division of labor. We tested a hypothesis that older forager bees and younger "house" bees differ in susceptibility to infection. We coupled an infection bioassay with a functional analysis of gene expression in individual bees using a whole genome microarray. Forager bees treated with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae s.l. survived for significantly longer than house bees. This was concomitant with substantial differences in gene expression including genes associated with immune function. In house bees, infection was associated with differential expression of 35 candidate immune genes contrasted with differential expression of only two candidate immune genes in forager bees. For control bees (i.e. not treated with M. anisopliae) the development from the house to the forager stage was associated with differential expression of 49 candidate immune genes, including up-regulation of the antimicrobial peptide gene abaecin, plus major components of the Toll pathway, serine proteases, and serpins. We infer that reduced pathogen susceptibility in forager bees was associated with age-related activation of specific immune system pathways. Our findings contrast with the view that the immunocompetence in social insects declines with the onset of foraging as a result of a trade-off in the allocation of resources for foraging. The up-regulation of immune-related genes in young adult bees in response to M. anisopliae infection was an indicator of disease susceptibility; this also challenges previous research in social insects, in which an elevated immune status has been used as a marker of increased disease resistance and

  4. The automatic pilot of honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Riley, J R; Greggers, U; Smith, A D; Stach, S; Reynolds, D R; Stollhoff, N; Brandt, R; Schaupp, F; Menzel, R

    2003-01-01

    Using scanning harmonic radar, we make visible for the first time the complete trajectories of "goal-vector" flights in honeybees. We demonstrate that bees captured at an established feeding station, and released elsewhere, nevertheless embark on the previously learned vector flight that would have taken them directly home from the station, had they not been artificially displaced. Almost all of the bees maintained accurate compensation for lateral wind drift, and many completed the full length of the vector flight before starting to search for their hive. Our results showed that bees tend to disregard landscape cues during these vector flights, at least initially, and rely on the "optic flow" of the ground beneath them, and their sun compass, to judge both direction and distance. PMID:14667330

  5. Exposure to neonicotinoids influences the motor function of adult worker honeybees.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Sally M; Willis, Sarah J; Wright, Geraldine A

    2014-10-01

    Systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids are commonly used on flowering crops visited by pollinators, and their use has been implicated in the decline of insect pollinator populations in Europe and North America. Several studies show that neonicotinoids affect navigation and learning in bees but few studies have examined whether these substances influence their basic motor function. Here, we investigated how prolonged exposure to sublethal doses of four neonicotinoid pesticides (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, dinotefuran) and the plant toxin, nicotine, affect basic motor function and postural control in foraging-age worker honeybees. We used doses of 10 nM for each neonicotinoid: field-relevant doses that we determined to be sublethal and willingly consumed by bees. The neonicotinoids were placed in food solutions given to bees for 24 h. After the exposure period, bees were more likely to lose postural control during the motor function assay and fail to right themselves if exposed to imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin. Bees exposed to thiamethoxam and nicotine also spent more time grooming. Other behaviours (walking, sitting and flying) were not significantly affected. Expression of changes in motor function after exposure to imidacloprid was dose-dependent and affected all measured behaviours. Our data illustrate that 24 h exposure to sublethal doses of neonicotinoid pesticides has a subtle influence on bee behaviour that is likely to affect normal function in a field setting.

  6. Visually guided decision making in foraging honeybees.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shaowu; Si, Aung; Pahl, Mario

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees can easily be trained to perform different types of discrimination tasks under controlled laboratory conditions. This review describes a range of experiments carried out with free-flying forager honeybees under such conditions. The research done over the past 30 or so years suggests that cognitive abilities (learning and perception) in insects are more intricate and flexible than was originally imagined. It has become apparent that honeybees are capable of a variety of visually guided tasks, involving decision making under challenging situations: this includes simultaneously making use of different sensory modalities, such as vision and olfaction, and learning to use abstract concepts such as "sameness" and "difference." Many studies have shown that decision making in foraging honeybees is highly flexible. The trained animals learn how to solve a task, and do so with a high accuracy, but when they are presented with a new variation of the task, they apply the learnt rules from the earlier setup to the new situation, and solve the new task as well. Honeybees therefore not only feature a rich behavioral repertoire to choose from, but also make decisions most apt to the current situation. The experiments in this review give an insight into the environmental cues and cognitive resources that are probably highly significant for a forager bee that must continually make decisions regarding patches of resources to be exploited.

  7. Virus Infections of Honeybees Apis Mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Tantillo, Giuseppina; Bottaro, Marilisa; Di Pinto, Angela; Martella, Vito; Di Pinto, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The health and vigour of honeybee colonies are threatened by numerous parasites (such as Varroa destructor and Nosema spp.) and pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa. Among honeybee pathogens, viruses are one of the major threats to the health and well-being of honeybees and cause serious concern for researchers and beekeepers. To tone down the threats posed by these invasive organisms, a better understanding of bee viral infections will be of crucial importance in developing effective and environmentally benign disease control strategies. Here we summarize recent progress in the understanding of the morphology, genome organization, transmission, epidemiology and pathogenesis of eight honeybee viruses: Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Kakugo virus (KV); Sacbrood virus (SBV); Black Queen cell virus (BQCV); Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV); Kashmir bee virus (KBV); Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV); Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV). The review has been designed to provide researchers in the field with updated information about honeybee viruses and to serve as a starting point for future research. PMID:27800411

  8. Method and device for identifying different species of honeybees

    DOEpatents

    Kerr, Howard T.; Buchanan, Michael E.; Valentine, Kenneth H.

    1989-01-01

    A method and device have been provided for distinguishing Africanized honeybees from European honeybees. The method is based on the discovery of a distinct difference in the acoustical signatures of these two species of honeybees in flight. The European honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 210 to 240 Hz range while the Africanized honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 260 to 290 Hz range. The acoustic signal produced by honeybees is analyzed by means of a detecting device to quickly determine the honeybee species through the detection of the presence of frequencies in one of these distinct ranges. The device includes a microphone for acoustical signal detection which feeds the detected signal into a frequency analyzer which is designed to detect the presence of either of the known fundamental wingbeat frequencies unique to the acoustical signatures of these species as an indication of the identity of the species and indicate the species identity on a readout device.

  9. Entomology: Asian honeybees parasitize the future dead.

    PubMed

    Nanork, Piyamas; Paar, Jürgen; Chapman, Nadine C; Wongsiri, Siriwat; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2005-10-06

    The queen of a honeybee colony has a reproductive monopoly because her workers' ovaries are normally inactive and any eggs that they do lay are eaten by their fellow workers. But if a colony becomes queenless, the workers start to lay eggs, stop policing and rear a last batch of males before the colony finally dies out. Here we show that workers of the Asian dwarf red honeybee Apis florea from other colonies exploit this interval as an opportunity to move in and lay their own eggs while no policing is in force. Such parasitism of queenless colonies does not occur in the western honeybee A. mellifera and may be facilitated by the accessibility of A. florea nests, which are built out in the open.

  10. 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.

  11. Negative impact of manganese on honeybee foraging

    PubMed Central

    Søvik, Eirik; Perry, Clint J.; LaMora, Angie; Barron, Andrew B.; Ben-Shahar, Yehuda

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic accumulation of metals such as manganese is a well-established health risk factor for vertebrates. By contrast, the long-term impact of these contaminants on invertebrates is mostly unknown. Here, we demonstrate that manganese ingestion alters brain biogenic amine levels in honeybees and fruit flies. Furthermore, we show that manganese exposure negatively affects foraging behaviour in the honeybee, an economically important pollinator. Our findings indicate that in addition to its direct impact on human health, the common industrial contaminant manganese might also have indirect environmental and economical impacts via the modulation of neuronal and behavioural functions in economically important insects. PMID:25808001

  12. RNAi-Mediated Functional Analysis of Bursicon Genes Related to Adult Cuticle Formation and Tanning in the Honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Elias-Neto, Moysés; Falcon, Tiago; Dallacqua, Rodrigo Pires; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Marcia Maria Gentile

    2016-01-01

    Bursicon is a heterodimeric neurohormone that acts through a G protein-coupled receptor named rickets (rk), thus inducing an increase in cAMP and the activation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the cuticular tanning pathway. In insects, the role of bursicon in the post-ecdysial tanning of the adult cuticle and wing expansion is well characterized. Here we investigated the roles of the genes encoding the bursicon subunits during the adult cuticle development in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. RNAi-mediated knockdown of AmBurs α and AmBurs β bursicon genes prevented the complete formation and tanning (melanization/sclerotization) of the adult cuticle. A thinner, much less tanned cuticle was produced, and ecdysis toward adult stage was impaired. Consistent with these results, the knockdown of bursicon transcripts also interfered in the expression of genes encoding its receptor, AmRk, structural cuticular proteins, and enzymes in the melanization/sclerotization pathway, thus evidencing roles for bursicon in adult cuticle formation and tanning. Moreover, the expression of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and AmRk is contingent on the declining ecdysteroid titer that triggers the onset of adult cuticle synthesis and deposition. The search for transcripts of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and candidate targets in RNA-seq libraries prepared with brains and integuments strengthened our data on transcript quantification through RT-qPCR. Together, our results support our premise that bursicon has roles in adult cuticle formation and tanning, and are in agreement with other recent studies pointing for roles during the pharate-adult stage, in addition to the classical post-ecdysial ones. PMID:27907116

  13. RNAi-Mediated Functional Analysis of Bursicon Genes Related to Adult Cuticle Formation and Tanning in the Honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Costa, Claudinéia Pereira; Elias-Neto, Moysés; Falcon, Tiago; Dallacqua, Rodrigo Pires; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Marcia Maria Gentile

    2016-01-01

    Bursicon is a heterodimeric neurohormone that acts through a G protein-coupled receptor named rickets (rk), thus inducing an increase in cAMP and the activation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the cuticular tanning pathway. In insects, the role of bursicon in the post-ecdysial tanning of the adult cuticle and wing expansion is well characterized. Here we investigated the roles of the genes encoding the bursicon subunits during the adult cuticle development in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. RNAi-mediated knockdown of AmBurs α and AmBurs β bursicon genes prevented the complete formation and tanning (melanization/sclerotization) of the adult cuticle. A thinner, much less tanned cuticle was produced, and ecdysis toward adult stage was impaired. Consistent with these results, the knockdown of bursicon transcripts also interfered in the expression of genes encoding its receptor, AmRk, structural cuticular proteins, and enzymes in the melanization/sclerotization pathway, thus evidencing roles for bursicon in adult cuticle formation and tanning. Moreover, the expression of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and AmRk is contingent on the declining ecdysteroid titer that triggers the onset of adult cuticle synthesis and deposition. The search for transcripts of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and candidate targets in RNA-seq libraries prepared with brains and integuments strengthened our data on transcript quantification through RT-qPCR. Together, our results support our premise that bursicon has roles in adult cuticle formation and tanning, and are in agreement with other recent studies pointing for roles during the pharate-adult stage, in addition to the classical post-ecdysial ones.

  14. Analysis of the Waggle Dance Motion of Honeybees for the Design of a Biomimetic Honeybee Robot

    PubMed Central

    Landgraf, Tim; Rojas, Raúl; Nguyen, Hai; Kriegel, Fabian; Stettin, Katja

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee dance “language” is one of the most popular examples of information transfer in the animal world. Today, more than 60 years after its discovery it still remains unknown how follower bees decode the information contained in the dance. In order to build a robotic honeybee that allows a deeper investigation of the communication process we have recorded hundreds of videos of waggle dances. In this paper we analyze the statistics of visually captured high-precision dance trajectories of European honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica). The trajectories were produced using a novel automatic tracking system and represent the most detailed honeybee dance motion information available. Although honeybee dances seem very variable, some properties turned out to be invariant. We use these properties as a minimal set of parameters that enables us to model the honeybee dance motion. We provide a detailed statistical description of various dance properties that have not been characterized before and discuss the role of particular dance components in the commmunication process. PMID:21857906

  15. Honeybees, Butterflies, and Ladybugs: Partners to Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ashley

    2009-01-01

    Honeybees, butterflies, and ladybugs all have fascinating mutually beneficial relationships with plants and play important ecosystem roles. Children also love these creatures. But how do we teach children about these symbiotic interactions and help them appreciate their vital roles in our environment? One must is to give children direct experience…

  16. Side-Specific Reward Memories in Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gil, Mariana; Menzel, Randolf; De Marco, Rodrigo J.

    2009-01-01

    We report a hitherto unknown form of side-specific learning in honeybees. We trained bees individually by coupling gustatory and mechanical stimulation of each antenna with either increasing or decreasing volumes of sucrose solution offered to the animal's proboscis along successive learning trials. Next, we examined their proboscis extension…

  17. The function of resilin in honeybee wings.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yun; Ning, Jian Guo; Ren, Hui Lan; Zhang, Peng Fei; Zhao, Hong Yan

    2015-07-01

    The present work aimed to reveal morphological characteristics of worker honeybee (Apis mellifera) wings and demonstrate the function of resilin on camber changes during flapping flight. Detailed morphological investigation of the wings showed that different surface characteristics appear on the dorsal and ventral side of the honeybee wings and the linking structure connecting the forewing and hindwing plays an indispensable role in honeybee flapping flight. Resilin stripes were found on both the dorsal and ventral side of the wings, and resilin patches mostly existed on the ventral side. On the basis of resilin distribution, five flexion lines and three cambered types around the lines of passive deformation of the coupled-wing profile were obtained, which defined the deformation mechanism of the wing along the chord, i.e. concave, flat plate and convex. From a movie obtained using high-speed photography from three orthogonal views of free flight in honeybees, periodic changes of the coupled-wing profile were acquired and further demonstrated that the deformation mechanism is a fundamental property for variable deformed shapes of the wing profile during flapping flight, and, in particular, the flat wing profile achieves a nice transition between downstrokes and upstrokes.

  18. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials.

    PubMed

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads.

  19. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials

    PubMed Central

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  20. Antibacterial activity of honey from stingless honeybees (Hymenoptera; Apidae; Meliponinae).

    PubMed

    Temaru, Emi; Shimura, Satoshi; Amano, Kazuhiro; Karasawa, Tadahiro

    2007-01-01

    The aim of the study was to examine antibacterial activity of the honey of stingless honeybees (Meliponinae). An agar well diffusion assay demonstrated that many honey samples of stingless honeybees inhibited the growth of test strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa; moreover, they exhibited non-peroxide antibacterial activity against those strains. This is the first time that non-peroxide antimicrobial activity of honey from a number of species of stingless honeybees has been demonstrated. These antibacterial activities appear to be powerful, even when compared to those of"manuka honey" from Apinae honeybees.

  1. Honeybee colony collapse due to Nosema ceranae in professional apiaries.

    PubMed

    Higes, Mariano; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; González-Porto, Amelia V; García-Palencia, Pilar; Meana, Aranzazu; Del Nozal, María J; Mayo, R; Bernal, José L

    2009-04-01

    Honeybee colony collapse is a sanitary and ecological worldwide problem. The features of this syndrome are an unexplained disappearance of adult bees, a lack of brood attention, reduced colony strength, and heavy winter mortality without any previous evident pathological disturbances. To date there has not been a consensus about its origins. This report describes the clinical features of two professional bee-keepers affecting by this syndrome. Anamnesis, clinical examination and analyses support that the depopulation in both cases was due to the infection by Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia), an emerging pathogen of Apis mellifera. No other significant pathogens or pesticides (neonicotinoids) were detected and the bees had not been foraging in corn or sunflower crops. The treatment with fumagillin avoided the loss of surviving weak colonies. This is the first case report of honeybee colony collapse due to N. ceranae in professional apiaries in field conditions reported worldwide.

  2. Guidance by odors in honeybee navigation.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Randolf; Greggers, Uwe

    2013-10-01

    Animal navigation is guided by multiple sensory cues. Here, we ask whether and how olfactory stimuli emanating from places other than the trained feeding site redirect the flight paths of honeybees. The flight trajectories of individual bees were registered using harmonic radar tracking. Sensory cues (compass direction, distance, visual cues en route and close to the feeding site) associated with the trained flight route dominated wayfinding, but a learned odorant carried by air flow induced excursions into the wind. These redirections were largely restricted to rather small deviations from the trained route (<60°, <200 m) and occurred only if the animal did not receive the trained odorant stimulus at the trained feeding site. Under certain conditions, larger excursions were observed. These findings are discussed in the context of odor guidance of honeybees over longer distances (>300 m from the hive).

  3. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once.

  4. Appetitive floral odours prevent aggression in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Nouvian, Morgane; Hotier, Lucie; Claudianos, Charles; Giurfa, Martin; Reinhard, Judith

    2015-12-22

    Honeybees defend their colonies aggressively against intruders and release a potent alarm pheromone to recruit nestmates into defensive tasks. The effect of floral odours on this behaviour has never been studied, despite the relevance of these olfactory cues for the biology of bees. Here we use a novel assay to investigate social and olfactory cues that drive defensive behaviour in bees. We show that social interactions are necessary to reveal the recruiting function of the alarm pheromone and that specific floral odours-linalool and 2-phenylethanol-have the surprising capacity to block recruitment by the alarm pheromone. This effect is not due to an olfactory masking of the pheromone by the floral odours, but correlates with their appetitive value. In addition to their potential applications, these findings provide new insights about how honeybees make the decision to engage into defence and how conflicting information affects this process.

  5. Appetitive floral odours prevent aggression in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Nouvian, Morgane; Hotier, Lucie; Claudianos, Charles; Giurfa, Martin; Reinhard, Judith

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees defend their colonies aggressively against intruders and release a potent alarm pheromone to recruit nestmates into defensive tasks. The effect of floral odours on this behaviour has never been studied, despite the relevance of these olfactory cues for the biology of bees. Here we use a novel assay to investigate social and olfactory cues that drive defensive behaviour in bees. We show that social interactions are necessary to reveal the recruiting function of the alarm pheromone and that specific floral odours—linalool and 2-phenylethanol—have the surprising capacity to block recruitment by the alarm pheromone. This effect is not due to an olfactory masking of the pheromone by the floral odours, but correlates with their appetitive value. In addition to their potential applications, these findings provide new insights about how honeybees make the decision to engage into defence and how conflicting information affects this process. PMID:26694599

  6. Conceptualization of relative size by honeybees.

    PubMed

    Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; d'Amaro, Daniele; Metzler, Marita; Dyer, Adrian G

    2014-01-01

    The ability to process visual information using relational rules allows for decisions independent of the specific physical attributes of individual stimuli. Until recently, the manipulation of relational concepts was considered as a prerogative of large mammalian brains. Here we show that individual free flying honeybees can learn to use size relationship rules to choose either the larger or smaller stimulus as the correct solution in a given context, and subsequently apply the learnt rule to novel colors and shapes providing that there is sufficient input to the long wavelength (green) photoreceptor channel. Our results add a novel, size-based conceptual rule to the set of relational concepts that honeybees have been shown to master and underline the value of bees as an animal model for studying the emergence of conceptualization abilities.

  7. Conceptualization of relative size by honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; d’Amaro, Daniele; Metzler, Marita; Dyer, Adrian G.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to process visual information using relational rules allows for decisions independent of the specific physical attributes of individual stimuli. Until recently, the manipulation of relational concepts was considered as a prerogative of large mammalian brains. Here we show that individual free flying honeybees can learn to use size relationship rules to choose either the larger or smaller stimulus as the correct solution in a given context, and subsequently apply the learnt rule to novel colors and shapes providing that there is sufficient input to the long wavelength (green) photoreceptor channel. Our results add a novel, size-based conceptual rule to the set of relational concepts that honeybees have been shown to master and underline the value of bees as an animal model for studying the emergence of conceptualization abilities. PMID:24672444

  8. Collective fluid mechanics of honeybee nest ventilation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gravish, Nick; Combes, Stacey; Wood, Robert J.; Peters, Jacob

    2014-11-01

    Honeybees thermoregulate their brood in the warm summer months by collectively fanning their wings and creating air flow through the nest. During nest ventilation workers flap their wings in close proximity in which wings continuously operate in unsteady oncoming flows (i.e. the wake of neighboring worker bees) and near the ground. The fluid mechanics of this collective aerodynamic phenomena are unstudied and may play an important role in the physiology of colony life. We have performed field and laboratory observations of the nest ventilation wing kinematics and air flow generated by individuals and groups of honeybee workers. Inspired from these field observations we describe here a robotic model system to study collective flapping wing aerodynamics. We microfabricate arrays of 1.4 cm long flapping wings and observe the air flow generated by arrays of two or more fanning robotic wings. We vary phase, frequency, and separation distance among wings and find that net output flow is enhanced when wings operate at the appropriate phase-distance relationship to catch shed vortices from neighboring wings. These results suggest that by varying position within the fanning array honeybee workers may benefit from collective aerodynamic interactions during nest ventilation.

  9. Social Waves in Giant Honeybees Repel Hornets

    PubMed Central

    Kastberger, Gerald; Schmelzer, Evelyn; Kranner, Ilse

    2008-01-01

    Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have evolved a plethora of defence behaviors. Against predatory wasps, including hornets, they display highly coordinated Mexican wave-like cascades termed ‘shimmering’. Shimmering starts at distinct spots on the nest surface and then spreads across the nest within a split second whereby hundreds of individual bees flip their abdomens upwards. However, so far it is not known whether prey and predator interact and if shimmering has anti-predatory significance. This article reports on the complex spatial and temporal patterns of interaction between Giant honeybee and hornet exemplified in 450 filmed episodes of two A. dorsata colonies and hornets (Vespa sp.). Detailed frame-by-frame analysis showed that shimmering elicits an avoidance response from the hornets showing a strong temporal correlation with the time course of shimmering. In turn, the strength and the rate of the bees' shimmering are modulated by the hornets' flight speed and proximity. The findings suggest that shimmering creates a ‘shelter zone’ of around 50 cm that prevents predatory wasps from foraging bees directly from the nest surface. Thus shimmering appears to be a key defence strategy that supports the Giant honeybees' open-nesting life-style. PMID:18781205

  10. Honeybee colonies achieve fitness through dancing.

    PubMed

    Sherman, Gavin; Visscher, P Kirk

    2002-10-31

    The honeybee dance language, in which foragers perform dances containing information about the distance and direction to food sources, is the quintessential example of symbolic communication in non-primates. The dance language has been the subject of controversy, and of extensive research into the mechanisms of acquiring, decoding and evaluating the information in the dance. The dance language has been hypothesized, but not shown, to increase colony food collection. Here we show that colonies with disoriented dances (lacking direction information) recruit less effectively to syrup feeders than do colonies with oriented dances. For colonies foraging at natural sources, the direction information sometimes increases food collected, but at other times it makes no difference. The food-location information in the dance is presumably important when food sources are hard to find, variable in richness and ephemeral. Recruitment based simply on arousal of foragers and communication of floral odour, as occurs in honeybees, bumble bees and some stingless bees, can be equally effective under other circumstances. Clarifying the condition-dependent payoffs of the dance language provides new insight into its function in honeybee ecology.

  11. 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.

  12. Social waves in giant honeybees repel hornets.

    PubMed

    Kastberger, Gerald; Schmelzer, Evelyn; Kranner, Ilse

    2008-09-10

    Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have evolved a plethora of defence behaviors. Against predatory wasps, including hornets, they display highly coordinated Mexican wave-like cascades termed 'shimmering'. Shimmering starts at distinct spots on the nest surface and then spreads across the nest within a split second whereby hundreds of individual bees flip their abdomens upwards. However, so far it is not known whether prey and predator interact and if shimmering has anti-predatory significance. This article reports on the complex spatial and temporal patterns of interaction between Giant honeybee and hornet exemplified in 450 filmed episodes of two A. dorsata colonies and hornets (Vespa sp.). Detailed frame-by-frame analysis showed that shimmering elicits an avoidance response from the hornets showing a strong temporal correlation with the time course of shimmering. In turn, the strength and the rate of the bees' shimmering are modulated by the hornets' flight speed and proximity. The findings suggest that shimmering creates a 'shelter zone' of around 50 cm that prevents predatory wasps from foraging bees directly from the nest surface. Thus shimmering appears to be a key defence strategy that supports the Giant honeybees' open-nesting life-style.

  13. Olfactory Blocking and Odorant Similarity in the Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerber, Bertram; Giurfa, Martin; Guerrieri, Fernando; Lachnit, Harald

    2005-01-01

    Blocking occurs when previous training with a stimulus A reduces (blocks) subsequent learning about a stimulus B, when A and B are trained in compound. The question of whether blocking exists in olfactory conditioning of proboscis extension reflex (PER) in honeybees is under debate. The last published accounts on blocking in honeybees state that…

  14. Associative Mechanosensory Conditioning of the Proboscis Extension Reflex in Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giurfa, Martin; Malun, Dagmar

    2004-01-01

    The present work introduces a form of associative mechanosensory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) in honeybees. In our paradigm, harnessed honeybees learn the elemental association between mechanosensory, antennal stimulation and a reward of sucrose solution delivered to the proboscis. Thereafter, bees extend their proboscis to…

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. How natural infection by Nosema ceranae causes honeybee colony collapse.

    PubMed

    Higes, Mariano; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Botías, Cristina; Bailón, Encarna Garrido; González-Porto, Amelia V; Barrios, Laura; Del Nozal, M Jesús; Bernal, José L; Jiménez, Juan J; Palencia, Pilar García; Meana, Aránzazu

    2008-10-01

    In recent years, honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been strangely disappearing from their hives, and strong colonies have suddenly become weak and died. The precise aetiology underlying the disappearance of the bees remains a mystery. However, during the same period, Nosema ceranae, a microsporidium of the Asian bee Apis cerana, seems to have colonized A. mellifera, and it's now frequently detected all over the world in both healthy and weak honeybee colonies. For first time, we show that natural N. ceranae infection can cause the sudden collapse of bee colonies, establishing a direct correlation between N. ceranae infection and the death of honeybee colonies under field conditions. Signs of colony weakness were not evident until the queen could no longer replace the loss of the infected bees. The long asymptomatic incubation period can explain the absence of evident symptoms prior to colony collapse. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that healthy colonies near to an infected one can also become infected, and that N. ceranae infection can be controlled with a specific antibiotic, fumagillin. Moreover, the administration of 120 mg of fumagillin has proven to eliminate the infection, but it cannot avoid reinfection after 6 months. We provide Koch's postulates between N. ceranae infection and a syndrome with a long incubation period involving continuous death of adult bees, non-stop brood rearing by the bees and colony loss in winter or early spring despite the presence of sufficient remaining pollen and honey.

  18. [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.

  19. Side-specific reward memories in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Gil, Mariana; Menzel, Randolf; De Marco, Rodrigo J

    2009-07-01

    We report a hitherto unknown form of side-specific learning in honeybees. We trained bees individually by coupling gustatory and mechanical stimulation of each antenna with either increasing or decreasing volumes of sucrose solution offered to the animal's proboscis along successive learning trials. Next, we examined their proboscis extension response (PER) after stimulation of each antenna 1, 2, 3, and 24 h after training. The bees extended their proboscises earlier after stimulation of the antenna that had been coupled with increasing volumes than after stimulation of the antenna that had been coupled with decreasing volumes, thereby revealing short- and long-term side differences in the bees' PE reaction time. The bees' reaction time correlated well with the reaction time of the muscles M17. Long-term side differences in reaction time were prevented by repetitive antennal stimulation. Mechanosensory input was indispensable and sufficient for revealing side differences in reaction time. Such differences were specific to the gustatory input that the bees experienced during training. Our results show that side differences in the bees' PE reaction time depend upon the activation of side-specific reward memories. These memories are formed via the combined effect of a specific property of reward, i.e., that its magnitude increases or decreases over time, and side information seemingly relying on mechanosensory input. We present a learning procedure suitable to study reward learning in honeybees, which includes precise behavioral measures, physiological correlates of behavior, and within-animal controls. This procedure will prove fruitful in pharmacological and electrophysiological analyses of the neural substrates underlying reward memories in honeybees.

  20. Honeybee foraging in differentially structured landscapes.

    PubMed Central

    Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kuhn, Arno

    2003-01-01

    Honeybees communicate the distance and location of resource patches by bee dances, but this spatial information has rarely been used to study their foraging ecology. We analysed, for the first time to the best of the authors' knowledge, foraging distances and dance activities of honeybees in relation to landscape structure, season and colony using a replicated experimental approach on a landscape scale. We compared three structurally simple landscapes characterized by a high proportion of arable land and large patches, with three complex landscapes with a high proportion of semi-natural perennial habitats and low mean patch size. Four observation hives were placed in the centre of the landscapes and switched at regular intervals between the six landscapes from the beginning of May to the end of July. A total of 1137 bee dances were observed and decoded. Overall mean foraging distance was 1526.1 +/- 37.2 m, the median 1181.5 m and range 62.1-10037.1 m. Mean foraging distances of all bees and foraging distances of nectar-collecting bees did not significantly differ between simple and complex landscapes, but varied between month and colonies. Foraging distances of pollen-collecting bees were significantly larger in simple (1743 +/- 95.6 m) than in complex landscapes (1543.4 +/- 71 m) and highest in June when resources were scarce. Dancing activity, i.e. the number of observed bee dances per unit time, was significantly higher in complex than in simple landscapes, presumably because of larger spatial and temporal variability of resource patches in complex landscapes. The results facilitate an understanding of how human landscape modification may change the evolutionary significance of bee dances and ecological interactions, such as pollination and competition between honeybees and other bee species. PMID:12769455

  1. Method and device for identifying different species of honeybees

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, H.T.; Buchanan, M.E.; Valentine, K.H.

    1989-10-24

    A method and device have been provided for distinguishing Africanized honeybees from European honeybees. The method is based on the discovery of a distinct difference in the acoustical signatures of these two species of honeybees in flight. The European honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 210 to 240 Hz range while the Africanized honeybee signature has a fundamental power peak in the 260 to 290 Hz range. The acoustic signal produced by honeybees is analyzed by means of a detecting device to quickly determine the honeybee species through the detection of the presence of frequencies in one of these distinct ranges. The device includes a microphone for acoustical signal detection which feeds the detected signal into a frequency analyzer which is designed to detect the presence of either of the known fundamental wingbeat frequencies unique to the acoustical signatures of these species as an indication of the identity of the species and indicate the species identity on a readout device. 8 figs.

  2. Caste-Selective Pheromone Biosynthesis in Honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plettner, Erika; Slessor, Keith N.; Winston, Mark L.; Oliver, James E.

    1996-03-01

    Queen and worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) produce a caste-related blend of functionalized 8- and 10-carbon fatty acids in their mandibular glands. The biological functions of these compounds match the queen's reproductive and the worker's nonreproductive roles in the colony. Studies with deuterated substrates revealed that the biosynthesis of these acids begins with stearic acid, which is hydroxylated at the 17th or 18th position. The 18-carbon hydroxy acid chains are shortened, and the resulting 10-carbon hydroxy acids are oxidized in a caste-selective manner, thereby determining many of the functional differences between queens and workers.

  3. Gene expression of ecdysteroid-regulated gene E74 of the honeybee in ovary and brain.

    PubMed

    Paul, R K; Takeuchi, H; Matsuo, Y; Kubo, T

    2005-01-01

    To facilitate studies of hormonal control in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.), a cDNA for a honeybee homologue of the ecdysteroid-regulated gene E74 (AmE74) was isolated and its expression was analysed. Northern blot analysis indicated strong expression in the adult queen abdomen, and no significant expression in the adult drone and worker abdomens. In situ hybridization demonstrated that this gene was expressed selectively in the ovary and gut in the queen abdomen. Furthermore, this gene was also expressed selectively in subsets of mushroom body interneurones in the brain of the adult worker bees. These findings suggest that AmE74 is involved in neural function as well as in reproduction in adult honeybees.

  4. 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.

  5. Agitated Honeybees Exhibit Pessimistic Cognitive Biases

    PubMed Central

    Bateson, Melissa; Desire, Suzanne; Gartside, Sarah E.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Whether animals experience human-like emotions is controversial and of immense societal concern [1–3]. Because animals cannot provide subjective reports of how they feel, emotional state can only be inferred using physiological, cognitive, and behavioral measures [4–8]. In humans, negative feelings are reliably correlated with pessimistic cognitive biases, defined as the increased expectation of bad outcomes [9–11]. Recently, mammals [12–16] and birds [17–20] with poor welfare have also been found to display pessimistic-like decision making, but cognitive biases have not thus far been explored in invertebrates. Here, we ask whether honeybees display a pessimistic cognitive bias when they are subjected to an anxiety-like state induced by vigorous shaking designed to simulate a predatory attack. We show for the first time that agitated bees are more likely to classify ambiguous stimuli as predicting punishment. Shaken bees also have lower levels of hemolymph dopamine, octopamine, and serotonin. In demonstrating state-dependent modulation of categorization in bees, and thereby a cognitive component of emotion, we show that the bees' response to a negatively valenced event has more in common with that of vertebrates than previously thought. This finding reinforces the use of cognitive bias as a measure of negative emotional states across species and suggests that honeybees could be regarded as exhibiting emotions. Video Abstract PMID:21636277

  6. Olfactory coding in the honeybee lateral horn.

    PubMed

    Roussel, Edith; Carcaud, Julie; Combe, Maud; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2014-03-03

    Olfactory systems dynamically encode odor information in the nervous system. Insects constitute a well-established model for the study of the neural processes underlying olfactory perception. In insects, odors are detected by sensory neurons located in the antennae, whose axons project to a primary processing center, the antennal lobe. There, the olfactory message is reshaped and further conveyed to higher-order centers, the mushroom bodies and the lateral horn. Previous work has intensively analyzed the principles of olfactory processing in the antennal lobe and in the mushroom bodies. However, how the lateral horn participates in olfactory coding remains comparatively more enigmatic. We studied odor representation at the input to the lateral horn of the honeybee, a social insect that relies on both floral odors for foraging and pheromones for social communication. Using in vivo calcium imaging, we show consistent neural activity in the honeybee lateral horn upon stimulation with both floral volatiles and social pheromones. Recordings reveal odor-specific maps in this brain region as stimulations with the same odorant elicit more similar spatial activity patterns than stimulations with different odorants. Odor-similarity relationships are mostly conserved between antennal lobe and lateral horn, so that odor maps recorded in the lateral horn allow predicting bees' behavioral responses to floral odorants. In addition, a clear segregation of odorants based on pheromone type is found in both structures. The lateral horn thus contains an odor-specific map with distinct representations for the different bee pheromones, a prerequisite for eliciting specific behaviors.

  7. Neuroscience: Intelligence in the Honeybee Mushroom Body.

    PubMed

    Caron, Sophie; Abbott, Larry F

    2017-03-20

    Intelligence, in most people's conception, involves combining pieces of evidence to reach non-obvious conclusions. A recent theoretical study shows that intelligence-like brain functions can emerge from simple neural circuits, in this case the honeybee mushroom body.

  8. Propolis chemical composition and honeybee resistance against Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Popova, M; Reyes, M; Le Conte, Y; Bankova, V

    2014-01-01

    Propolis is known as honeybee chemical defence against infections and parasites. Its chemical composition is variable and depends on the specificity of the local flora. However, there are no data concerning the relationship between propolis chemical composition and honeybee colony health. We tried to answer this question, studying the chemical composition of propolis of bee colonies from an apiary near Avignon, which are tolerant to Varroa destructor, comparing it with colonies from the same apiary which are non-tolerant to the mites. The results indicated that non-tolerant colonies collected more resin than the tolerant ones. The percentage of four biologically active compounds - caffeic acid and pentenyl caffeates - was higher in propolis from tolerant colonies. The results of this study pave the way to understanding the effect of propolis in individual and social immunity of the honeybees. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between propolis chemical composition and honeybee colony health.

  9. Cholinergic pesticides cause mushroom body neuronal inactivation in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Palmer, Mary J.; Moffat, Christopher; Saranzewa, Nastja; Harvey, Jenni; Wright, Geraldine A.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2013-01-01

    Pesticides that target cholinergic neurotransmission are highly effective, but their use has been implicated in insect pollinator population decline. Honeybees are exposed to two widely used classes of cholinergic pesticide: neonicotinoids (nicotinic receptor agonists) and organophosphate miticides (acetylcholinesterase inhibitors). Although sublethal levels of neonicotinoids are known to disrupt honeybee learning and behaviour, the neurophysiological basis of these effects has not been shown. Here, using recordings from mushroom body Kenyon cells in acutely isolated honeybee brain, we show that the neonicotinoids imidacloprid and clothianidin, and the organophosphate miticide coumaphos oxon, cause a depolarization-block of neuronal firing and inhibit nicotinic responses. These effects are observed at concentrations that are encountered by foraging honeybees and within the hive, and are additive with combined application. Our findings demonstrate a neuronal mechanism that may account for the cognitive impairments caused by neonicotinoids, and predict that exposure to multiple pesticides that target cholinergic signalling will cause enhanced toxicity to pollinators. PMID:23535655

  10. An improved test for Africanized honeybee mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Crozier, Y C; Koulianos, S; Crozier, R H

    1991-09-15

    Mitochondrial DNA derived from Apis mellifera scutellata, the ancestor of the Africanized bees of the New World, lacks a BglII restriction site found in other types of honeybee. We present primers allowing amplification of a 485-bp section of the cytochrome b gene containing this site, using the polymerase chain reaction. Digestion of the amplified product with BglII yields contrasting patterns between Africanized and other honeybees.

  11. Antimicrosporidian activity of sulphated polysaccharides from algae and their potential to control honeybee nosemosis.

    PubMed

    Roussel, M; Villay, A; Delbac, F; Michaud, P; Laroche, C; Roriz, D; El Alaoui, H; Diogon, M

    2015-11-20

    Nosemosis is one of the most common and widespread diseases of adult honeybees. The causative agents, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, belong to microsporidia some obligate intracellular eukaryotic parasites. In this study, 10 sulphated polysaccharides from algae were evaluated for their antimicrosporidian activity. They were first shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of the mammal microsporidian model, Encephalitozoon cuniculi. The most efficient polysaccharides were then tested for their ability to inhibit the growth of Nosema ceranae in experimentally-infected adult honeybees. Two polysaccharides extracted from Porphyridium spp. did not show any toxicity in honeybees and one of them allowed a decrease of both parasite load and mortality rate due to N. ceranae infection. A decrease in parasite abundance but not in mortality rate was also observed with an iota carrageenan. Our results are promising and suggest that algal sulphated polysaccharides could be used to prevent and/or control bee nosemosis.

  12. Do honeybees shape the bacterial community composition in floral nectar?

    PubMed

    Aizenberg-Gershtein, Yana; Izhaki, Ido; Halpern, Malka

    2013-01-01

    Floral nectar is considered the most important reward animal-pollinated plants offer to attract pollinators. Here we explore whether honeybees, which act as pollinators, affect the composition of bacterial communities in the nectar. Nectar and honeybees were sampled from two plant species: Amygdalus communis and Citrus paradisi. To prevent the contact of nectar with pollinators, C. paradisi flowers were covered with net bags before blooming (covered flowers). Comparative analysis of bacterial communities in the nectar and on the honeybees was performed by the 454-pyrosequencing technique. No significant differences were found among bacterial communities in honeybees captured on the two different plant species. This resemblance may be due to the presence of dominant bacterial OTUs, closely related to the Arsenophonus genus. The bacterial communities of the nectar from the covered and uncovered C. paradisi flowers differed significantly; the bacterial communities on the honeybees differed significantly from those in the covered flowers' nectar, but not from those in the uncovered flowers' nectar. We conclude that the honeybees may introduce bacteria into the nectar and/or may be contaminated by bacteria introduced into the nectar by other sources such as other pollinators and nectar thieves.

  13. Do Honeybees Shape the Bacterial Community Composition in Floral Nectar?

    PubMed Central

    Aizenberg-Gershtein, Yana; Izhaki, Ido; Halpern, Malka

    2013-01-01

    Floral nectar is considered the most important reward animal-pollinated plants offer to attract pollinators. Here we explore whether honeybees, which act as pollinators, affect the composition of bacterial communities in the nectar. Nectar and honeybees were sampled from two plant species: Amygdalus communis and Citrus paradisi. To prevent the contact of nectar with pollinators, C. paradisi flowers were covered with net bags before blooming (covered flowers). Comparative analysis of bacterial communities in the nectar and on the honeybees was performed by the 454-pyrosequencing technique. No significant differences were found among bacterial communities in honeybees captured on the two different plant species. This resemblance may be due to the presence of dominant bacterial OTUs, closely related to the Arsenophonus genus. The bacterial communities of the nectar from the covered and uncovered C. paradisi flowers differed significantly; the bacterial communities on the honeybees differed significantly from those in the covered flowers’ nectar, but not from those in the uncovered flowers’ nectar. We conclude that the honeybees may introduce bacteria into the nectar and/or may be contaminated by bacteria introduced into the nectar by other sources such as other pollinators and nectar thieves. PMID:23844027

  14. Deformed wing virus implicated in overwintering honeybee colony losses.

    PubMed

    Highfield, Andrea C; El Nagar, Aliya; Mackinder, Luke C M; Noël, Laure M-L J; Hall, Matthew J; Martin, Stephen J; Schroeder, Declan C

    2009-11-01

    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses. Recently in the United States, dramatic honeybee losses (colony collapse disorder) have been reported; however, there remains no clear explanation for these colony losses, with parasitic mites, viruses, bacteria, and fungal diseases all being proposed as possible candidates. Common characteristics that most failing colonies share is a lack of overt disease symptoms and the disappearance of workers from what appears to be normally functioning colonies. In this study, we used quantitative PCR to monitor the presence of three honeybee viruses, deformed wing virus (DWV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV), during a 1-year period in 15 asymptomatic, varroa mite-positive honeybee colonies in Southern England, and 3 asymptomatic colonies confirmed to be varroa mite free. All colonies with varroa mites underwent control treatments to ensure that mite populations remained low throughout the study. Despite this, multiple virus infections were detected, yet a significant correlation was observed only between DWV viral load and overwintering colony losses. The long-held view has been that DWV is relatively harmless to the overall health status of honeybee colonies unless it is in association with severe varroa mite infestations. Our findings suggest that DWV can potentially act independently of varroa mites to bring about colony losses. Therefore, DWV may be a major factor in overwintering colony losses.

  15. Deformed Wing Virus Implicated in Overwintering Honeybee Colony Losses ▿

    PubMed Central

    Highfield, Andrea C.; El Nagar, Aliya; Mackinder, Luke C. M.; Noël, Laure M.-L. J.; Hall, Matthew J.; Martin, Stephen J.; Schroeder, Declan C.

    2009-01-01

    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses. Recently in the United States, dramatic honeybee losses (colony collapse disorder) have been reported; however, there remains no clear explanation for these colony losses, with parasitic mites, viruses, bacteria, and fungal diseases all being proposed as possible candidates. Common characteristics that most failing colonies share is a lack of overt disease symptoms and the disappearance of workers from what appears to be normally functioning colonies. In this study, we used quantitative PCR to monitor the presence of three honeybee viruses, deformed wing virus (DWV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV), during a 1-year period in 15 asymptomatic, varroa mite-positive honeybee colonies in Southern England, and 3 asymptomatic colonies confirmed to be varroa mite free. All colonies with varroa mites underwent control treatments to ensure that mite populations remained low throughout the study. Despite this, multiple virus infections were detected, yet a significant correlation was observed only between DWV viral load and overwintering colony losses. The long-held view has been that DWV is relatively harmless to the overall health status of honeybee colonies unless it is in association with severe varroa mite infestations. Our findings suggest that DWV can potentially act independently of varroa mites to bring about colony losses. Therefore, DWV may be a major factor in overwintering colony losses. PMID:19783750

  16. Prevalence of honeybee viruses in different regions of China and Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ding, G; Fondevila, N; Palacio, M A; Merke, J; Martinez, A; Camacho, B; Aignasse, A; Figini, E; Rodriguez, G; Lv, L; Liu, Z; Shi, W

    2016-12-01

    Honeybees are threatened by various pathogens and parasites. More than 18 viruses have been described in honeybees and many of them have been detected in China and Argentina. In China, both Apis cerana and Apis mellifera are raised. In Argentina, beekeepers raise different ecotypes of A. mellifera: European honeybees (in both temperate and subtropical regions) and Africanised honeybees (in subtropical areas only). A thorough study was carried out in both China and Argentina to analyse the current virus presence and distribution in different climatic zones and gather information on different bee species/subspecies. Adult honeybees were collected from apiaries in temperate and subtropical regions of China (including areas with exclusive populations of A. mellifera, areas where A. mellifera and A. cerana co-exist, and areas with exclusive populations of A. cerana) and Argentina. Six viruses, namely, deformed wing virus (DWV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), sacbrood virus (SBV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) were detected in China, both in A. cerana and in A. mellifera, while four viruses (DWV, BQCV, CBPV and ABPV) were present in Argentina. Interestingly, multiple infections were commonly found in China, with up to five different viruses co-circulating in some colonies without apparent abnormalities. In this study, no Chinese samples were positive for slow bee paralysis virus. The most prevalent viruses were BQCV (China) and DWV (Argentina). Kashmir bee virus was absent from samples analysed for both countries.

  17. Honeybee nutrition is linked to landscape composition

    PubMed Central

    Donkersley, Philip; Rhodes, Glenn; Pickup, Roger W; Jones, Kevin C; Wilson, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    Declines in insect pollinators in Europe have been linked to changes in land use. Pollinator nutrition is dependent on floral resources (i.e., nectar and pollen), which are linked to landscape composition. Here, we present a stratified analysis of the nutritional composition of beebread in managed honeybee hives with a view to examining potential sources of variation in its nutritional composition. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that beebread composition correlates with local land use and therefore available floral resources. The results demonstrated that the starch, lipid, and moisture contents of beebread are all highly conserved across hives, whereas levels of protein and nonreducing sugar increased as the year progressed, reducing sugars, however, decreased during the first half of the year and then increased toward the end. Local land use around hives was quantified using data from the Countryside Survey 2007 Land Cover Map. Bee-bread protein content was negatively correlated with increasing levels of arable and horticultural farmland surrounding hives and positively correlated with the cover of natural grasslands and broadleaf woodlands. Reducing sugar content was also positively correlated with the amount of broad-leaved woodland in a 3 Km² radius from the hives. Previous studies on a range of invertebrates, including honeybees, indicate that dietary protein intake may have a major impact on correlates of fitness, including longevity and immune function. The finding that beebread protein content correlates with land use suggests that landscape composition may impact on insect pollinator well-being and provides a link between landscape and the nutritional ecology of socially foraging insects in a way not previously considered. PMID:25505544

  18. Disease dynamics of honeybees with Varroa destructor as parasite and virus vector

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The worldwide decline in honeybee colonies during the past 50 years has often been linked to the spread of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and its interaction with certain honeybee viruses carried by Varroa mites. In this article, we propose a honeybee-mite-virus model that incorporates (1) par...

  19. Rapid detection of immunity against bacteria in Asian honeybee and Western honeybee with quantification of royalisin in the hemolymphe by fast ELISA.

    PubMed

    Shen, Li-Rong; Dilireba, Shatar; Zhou, Wen-Xiu; Wang, Yi-Ran; Li, Mei-Lu; Zhai, Liang

    2014-09-24

    Royalisin from royal jelly (RJ) is a valuable peptide both for the prevention of honeybee diseases and for RJ preservation. ELISA for fast determination of royalisin content in hemolymphe (RCH) of honeybees with polyclonal antibody against recombinant royalisin from Asian honeybee was established. Assay on RCHs of health samples from Asian honeybee and Western honeybee showed the former (7.06 μg/mL) was significantly higher than that of the latter (5.64 μg/mL, p < 0.01). Moreover, relative to the non infection, the RCHs of Asian honeybees at 24 and 48 h post infection of Eschericha coli were higher than those of Western honeybees by 32.90% and 29.66%, respectively. Evidence revealed that Asian honeybee possesses higher innate immunity and immune response against bacteria in relation to the Western honeybee. The method will be a potential tool for detection of resistant levels to pathogens in honeybees and for quantification of royalisin in RJ products.

  20. Pesticide residues in honeybees, honey and bee pollen by LC-MS/MS screening: reported death incidents in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Kasiotis, Konstantinos M; Anagnostopoulos, Chris; Anastasiadou, Pelagia; Machera, Kyriaki

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate reported cases of honeybee death incidents with regard to the potential interrelation to the exposure to pesticides. Thus honeybee, bee pollen and honey samples from different areas of Greece were analyzed for the presence of pesticide residues. In this context an LC-ESI-MS/MS multiresidue method of total 115 analytes of different chemical classes such as neonicotinoids, organophosphates, triazoles, carbamates, dicarboximides and dinitroanilines in honeybee bodies, honey and bee pollen was developed and validated. The method presents good linearity over the ranges assayed with correlation coefficient values r(2)≥0.99, recoveries ranging for all matrices from 59 to 117% and precision (RSD%) values ranging from 4 to 27%. LOD and LOQ values ranged - for honeybees, honey and bee pollen - from 0.03 to 23.3 ng/g matrix weight and 0.1 up to 78 ng/g matrix weight, respectively. Therefore this method is sufficient to act as a monitoring tool for the determination of pesticide residues in cases of suspected honeybee poisoning incidents. From the analysis of the samples the presence of 14 active substances was observed in all matrices with concentrations ranging for honeybees from 0.3 to 81.5 ng/g, for bee pollen from 6.1 to 1273 ng/g and for honey one sample was positive to carbendazim at 1.6 ng/g. The latter confirmed the presence of such type of compounds in honeybee body and apicultural products.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Reconciling laboratory and field assessments of neonicotinoid toxicity to honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Henry, Mickaël; Cerrutti, Nicolas; Aupinel, Pierrick; Decourtye, Axel; Gayrard, Mélanie; Odoux, Jean-François; Pissard, Aurélien; Rüger, Charlotte; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    European governments have banned the use of three common neonicotinoid pesticides due to insufficiently identified risks to bees. This policy decision is controversial given the absence of clear consistency between toxicity assessments of those substances in the laboratory and in the field. Although laboratory trials report deleterious effects in honeybees at trace levels, field surveys reveal no decrease in the performance of honeybee colonies in the vicinity of treated fields. Here we provide the missing link, showing that individual honeybees near thiamethoxam-treated fields do indeed disappear at a faster rate, but the impact of this is buffered by the colonies' demographic regulation response. Although we could ascertain the exposure pathway of thiamethoxam residues from treated flowers to honeybee dietary nectar, we uncovered an unexpected pervasive co-occurrence of similar concentrations of imidacloprid, another neonicotinoid normally restricted to non-entomophilous crops in the study country. Thus, its origin and transfer pathways through the succession of annual crops need be elucidated to conveniently appraise the risks of combined neonicotinoid exposures. This study reconciles the conflicting laboratory and field toxicity assessments of neonicotinoids on honeybees and further highlights the difficulty in actually detecting non-intentional effects on the field through conventional risk assessment methods. PMID:26582026

  4. Impaired Olfactory Associative Behavior of Honeybee Workers Due to Contamination of Imidacloprid in the Larval Stage

    PubMed Central

    Yang, En-Cheng; Chang, Hui-Chun; Wu, Wen-Yen; Chen, Yu-Wen

    2012-01-01

    The residue of imidacloprid in the nectar and pollens of the plants is toxic not only to adult honeybees but also the larvae. Our understanding of the risk of imidacloprid to larvae of the honeybees is still in a very early stage. In this study, the capped-brood, pupation and eclosion rates of the honeybee larvae were recorded after treating them directly in the hive with different dosages of imidacloprid. The brood-capped rates of the larvae decreased significantly when the dosages increased from 24 to 8000 ng/larva. However, there were no significant effects of DMSO or 0.4 ng of imidacloprid per larva on the brood-capped, pupation and eclosion rates. Although the sublethal dosage of imidacloprid had no effect on the eclosion rate, we found that the olfactory associative behavior of the adult bees was impaired if they had been treated with 0.04 ng/larva imidacloprid in the larval stage. These results demonstrate that a sublethal dosage of imidacloprid given to the larvae affects the subsequent associative ability of the adult honeybee workers. Thus, a low dose of imidacloprid may affect the survival condition of the entire colony, even though the larvae survive to adulthood. PMID:23166680

  5. Energy saving strategies of honeybees in dipping nectar.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianing; Yang, Heng; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-10-08

    The honeybee's drinking process has generally been simplified because of its high speed and small scale. In this study, we clearly observed the drinking cycle of the Italian honeybee using a specially designed high-speed camera system. We analysed the pattern of glossal hair erection and the movement kinematics of the protracting tongue (glossa). Results showed that the honeybee used two special protraction strategies to save energy. First, the glossal hairs remain adpressed until the end of the protraction, which indicates that the hydraulic resistance is reduced to less than 1/3 of that in the case if the hairs remain erect. Second, the glossa protracts with a specific velocity profile and we quantitatively demonstrated that this moving strategy helps reduce the total energy needed for protraction compared with the typical form of protraction with constant acceleration and deceleration. These findings suggest effective methods to optimise the control policies employed by next-generation microfluidic pumps.

  6. Effects of sublethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation.

    PubMed

    Balbuena, María Sol; Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Greggers, Uwe; Menzel, Randolf; Farina, Walter M

    2015-09-01

    Glyphosate (GLY) is a herbicide that is widely used in agriculture for weed control. Although reports about the impact of GLY in snails, crustaceans and amphibians exist, few studies have investigated its sublethal effects in non-target organisms such as the honeybee Apis mellifera, the main pollen vector in commercial crops. Here, we tested whether exposure to three sublethal concentrations of GLY (2.5, 5 and 10 mg l(-1): corresponding to 0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 μg per animal) affects the homeward flight path of honeybees in an open field. We performed an experiment in which forager honeybees were trained to an artificial feeder, and then captured, fed with sugar solution containing traces of GLY and released from a novel site either once or twice. Their homeward trajectories were tracked using harmonic radar technology. We found that honeybees that had been fed with solution containing 10 mg l(-1) GLY spent more time performing homeward flights than control bees or bees treated with lower concentrations. They also performed more indirect homing flights. Moreover, the proportion of direct homeward flights performed after a second release from the same site increased in control bees but not in treated bees. These results suggest that, in honeybees, exposure to levels of GLY commonly found in agricultural settings impairs the cognitive capacities needed to retrieve and integrate spatial information for a successful return to the hive. Therefore, honeybee navigation is affected by ingesting traces of the most widely used herbicide worldwide, with potential long-term negative consequences for colony foraging success.

  7. Honeybee product therapeutic as stem cells homing for ovary failure

    PubMed Central

    Safitri, Erma; Widiyatno, Thomas V.; Prasetyo, R. Heru

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Complexity of the method of isolation, cultivation in vitro and the expensive cost of transplantation process of stem cells, it would require an innovation to homing and differentiation of stem cells and increase folliculogenesis. The stem cells homing was achieved through the provision of food or beverages derived from natural materials like honeybee product. Through honeybee product, there will be homing of stem cells and accompany with the sources from the body itself will take place in regeneration of the ovary. Materials and Methods: Female rats model of degenerative ovary was obtained through food fasting but still have drinking water for 5 days. It caused malnutrition and damage of the ovarian tissue. The administration of 50% honeybee product (T1) was performed for 10 consecutive days, while the positive control group (T0+) was fasted and not given honeybee product and the negative control (T0−) not fasted and without honeybee product. Observations were taken for homing of stem cells, raised of folliculogenesis, differentiation of stem cells, and regeneration of the ovarian tissue using routine H&E staining. Results: Homing of stem cells shown the vascular endothelial growth factor and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor expression; enhancement of folliculogenesis was indicated by an increase of follicle dee Graaf count; enhancement of differentiation of stem cells was indicated by growth differentiation factor-9 expression; and regeneration of ovarian tissue indicated by intact ovarian tissue with growing follicles. Conclusion: Honeybee product can be induced endogenous stem cells in regeneration of ovary failure due to malnutrition. PMID:27956789

  8. Starving honeybees lose self-control.

    PubMed

    Mayack, Christopher; Naug, Dhruba

    2015-01-01

    Impulsivity, the widespread preference for a smaller and more immediate reward over a larger and more delayed reward, is known to vary across species, and the metabolic and social hypotheses present contrasting explanations for this variation. However, this presents a paradox for an animal such as the honeybee, which is highly social, yet has a high metabolic rate. We test between these two competing hypotheses by investigating the effect of hunger on impulsivity in bees isolated from their social environment. Using an olfactory conditioning assay, we trained individuals to associate a small and a large reward with or without a delay, and we tested their choice between the two rewards at different levels of starvation. We found an increase in impulsive behaviour and an associated increase in dopamine levels in the brain with increasing starvation. These results suggest that the energetic state of an individual, even in a eusocial group, is a critical driver of impulsivity, and that the social harmony of a group can be threatened when the energetic states of the group members are in conflict.

  9. Honeybees consolidate navigation memory during sleep.

    PubMed

    Beyaert, Lisa; Greggers, Uwe; Menzel, Randolf

    2012-11-15

    Sleep is known to support memory consolidation in animals, including humans. Here we ask whether consolidation of novel navigation memory in honeybees depends on sleep. Foragers were exposed to a forced navigation task in which they learned to home more efficiently from an unexpected release site by acquiring navigational memory during the successful homing flight. This task was quantified using harmonic radar tracking and applied to bees that were equipped with a radio frequency identification device (RFID). The RFID was used to record their outbound and inbound flights and continuously monitor their behavior inside the colony, including their rest during the day and sleep at night. Bees marked with the RFID behaved normally inside and outside the hive. Bees slept longer during the night following forced navigation tasks, but foraging flights of different lengths did not lead to different rest times during the day or total sleep time during the night. Sleep deprivation before the forced navigation task did not alter learning and memory acquired during the task. However, sleep deprivation during the night after forced navigation learning reduced the probability of returning successfully to the hive from the same release site. It is concluded that consolidation of novel navigation memory is facilitated by night sleep in bees.

  10. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    Members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Stealthy Insect Sensor Project team have been able to harness the honeybee's exceptional olfactory sense by using the bees' natural reaction to nectar, a proboscis extension reflex (sticking out their tongue) to record an unmistakable response to a scent. Using Pavlovian techniques, researchers were able to train the bees to give a positive detection response via the PER when exposed to vapors from TNT, C4, and TATP explosives. The Stealthy Insect Sensor Project was born out of a global threat from the growing use of improvised explosive devices or IEDs, especially those that present a critical vulnerability for American military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as an emerging danger for civilians worldwide. Current strategies to detect explosives are expensive and, in the case of trained detection dogs, too obtrusive to be used very discreetly. With bees however, they are small and discreet, offering the element of surprise. They're also are inexpensive to maintain and even easier to train than dogs. As a result of this need, initial funding for the work was provided by a development grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

  11. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    SciTech Connect

    2008-03-21

    Members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Stealthy Insect Sensor Project team have been able to harness the honeybee's exceptional olfactory sense by using the bees' natural reaction to nectar, a proboscis extension reflex (sticking out their tongue) to record an unmistakable response to a scent. Using Pavlovian techniques, researchers were able to train the bees to give a positive detection response via the PER when exposed to vapors from TNT, C4, and TATP explosives. The Stealthy Insect Sensor Project was born out of a global threat from the growing use of improvised explosive devices or IEDs, especially those that present a critical vulnerability for American military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as an emerging danger for civilians worldwide. Current strategies to detect explosives are expensive and, in the case of trained detection dogs, too obtrusive to be used very discreetly. With bees however, they are small and discreet, offering the element of surprise. They're also are inexpensive to maintain and even easier to train than dogs. As a result of this need, initial funding for the work was provided by a development grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

  12. Small hive beetles survive in honeybee prisons by behavioural mimicry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, J. D.; Pirk, C. W. W.; Hepburn, H. R.; Kastberger, G.; Elzen, P. J.

    2002-05-01

    We report the results of a simple experiment to determine whether honeybees feed their small hive beetle nest parasites. Honeybees incarcerate the beetles in cells constructed of plant resins and continually guard them. The longevity of incarcerated beetles greatly exceeds their metabolic reserves. We show that survival of small hive beetles derives from behavioural mimicry by which the beetles induce the bees to feed them trophallactically. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at htpp://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-002-0326-y.

  13. Mast Cells Can Enhance Resistance to Snake and Honeybee Venoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metz, Martin; Piliponsky, Adrian M.; Chen, Ching-Cheng; Lammel, Verena; Åbrink, Magnus; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J.

    2006-07-01

    Snake or honeybee envenomation can cause substantial morbidity and mortality, and it has been proposed that the activation of mast cells by snake or insect venoms can contribute to these effects. We show, in contrast, that mast cells can significantly reduce snake-venom-induced pathology in mice, at least in part by releasing carboxypeptidase A and possibly other proteases, which can degrade venom components. Mast cells also significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality induced by honeybee venom. These findings identify a new biological function for mast cells in enhancing resistance to the morbidity and mortality induced by animal venoms.

  14. 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.

  15. Forward and Backward Second-Order Pavlovian Conditioning in Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Komischke, Bernhard; Menzel, Randolf; Lachnit, Harald

    2007-01-01

    Second-order conditioning (SOC) is the association of a neutral stimulus with another stimulus that had previously been combined with an unconditioned stimulus (US). We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) in honeybees ("Apis mellifera") with odors (CS) and sugar (US). Previous SOC experiments in bees were…

  16. Sleep Deprivation affects Extinction but Not Acquisition Memory in Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Bogusch, Lisa; Landgraf, Tim; Menzel, Randolf

    2009-01-01

    Sleep-like behavior has been studied in honeybees before, but the relationship between sleep and memory formation has not been explored. Here we describe a new approach to address the question if sleep in bees, like in other animals, improves memory consolidation. Restrained bees were observed by a web camera, and their antennal activities were…

  17. 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.

  18. Honeybees as monitors of low levels of radioactivity

    SciTech Connect

    Simmons, M.A. ); Bromenshenk, J.J.; Gudatis, J.L. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1990-07-01

    Large-scale environmental monitoring programs rely on sampling many media -- air, water, food, et cetera -- from a large network of sampling stations. For describing the total region possibly impacted by contaminants, the most efficient sampler would be one that covered a large region and simultaneously sampled many different media, such as water, air, soil, and vegetation. Honeybees have been shown to be useful monitors of the environment in this context for detecting both radionuclides and heavy metals. This study sought to determine the effectiveness of honeybees as monitors of low levels of radioactivity in the form of tritium and gamma-emitting radionuclides. For the study, approximately 50 honeybee colonies were placed on the Hanford Site and along the Columbia River in areas downwind of the site. The mini-hive colonies were sampled after 1 month and tested for tritium and for gamma-emitting radionuclides. From this and other studies, it is known that honeybees can be used to detect radionuclides present in the environment. Their mobility and their ability to integrate all exposure pathways could expand and add another level of confidence to the present monitoring program. 6 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  19. Influence of honeybee sting on peptidome profile in human serum.

    PubMed

    Matysiak, Jan; Światły, Agata; Hajduk, Joanna; Matysiak, Joanna; Kokot, Zenon J

    2015-05-22

    The aim of this study was to explore the serum peptide profiles from honeybee stung and non-stung individuals. Two groups of serum samples obtained from 27 beekeepers were included in our study. The first group of samples was collected within 3 h after a bee sting (stung beekeepers), and the samples were collected from the same person a second time after at least six weeks after the last bee sting (non-stung beekeepers). Peptide profile spectra were determined using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry combined with Omix, ZipTips and magnetic beads based on weak-cation exchange (MB-WCX) enrichment strategies in the mass range of 1-10 kDa. The samples were classified, and discriminative models were established by using the quick classifier, genetic algorithm and supervised neural network algorithms. All of the statistical algorithms used in this study allow distinguishing analyzed groups with high statistical significance, which confirms the influence of honeybee sting on the serum peptidome profile. The results of this study may broaden the understanding of the human organism's response to honeybee venom. Due to the fact that our pilot study was carried out on relatively small datasets, it is necessary to conduct further proteomic research of the response to honeybee sting on a larger group of samples.

  20. Honeybee economics: optimisation of foraging in a variable world.

    PubMed

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2016-06-20

    In honeybees fast and efficient exploitation of nectar and pollen sources is achieved by persistent endothermy throughout the foraging cycle, which means extremely high energy costs. The need for food promotes maximisation of the intake rate, and the high costs call for energetic optimisation. Experiments on how honeybees resolve this conflict have to consider that foraging takes place in a variable environment concerning microclimate and food quality and availability. Here we report, in simultaneous measurements of energy costs, gains, and intake rate and efficiency, how honeybee foragers manage this challenge in their highly variable environment. If possible, during unlimited sucrose flow, they follow an 'investment-guided' ('time is honey') economic strategy promising increased returns. They maximise net intake rate by investing both own heat production and solar heat to increase body temperature to a level which guarantees a high suction velocity. They switch to an 'economizing' ('save the honey') optimisation of energetic efficiency if the intake rate is restricted by the food source when an increased body temperature would not guarantee a high intake rate. With this flexible and graded change between economic strategies honeybees can do both maximise colony intake rate and optimise foraging efficiency in reaction to environmental variation.

  1. Nosema spp. infections cause no energetic stress in tolerant honeybees.

    PubMed

    Kurze, Christoph; Mayack, Christopher; Hirche, Frank; Stangl, Gabriele I; Le Conte, Yves; Kryger, Per; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-06-01

    Host-pathogen coevolution leads to reciprocal adaptations, allowing pathogens to increase host exploitation or hosts to minimise costs of infection. As pathogen resistance is often associated with considerable costs, tolerance may be an evolutionary alternative. Here, we examined the effect of two closely related and highly host dependent intracellular gut pathogens, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, on the energetic state in Nosema tolerant and sensitive honeybees facing the infection. We quantified the three major haemolymph carbohydrates fructose, glucose, and trehalose using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as a measure for host energetic state. Trehalose levels in the haemolymph were negatively associated with N. apis infection intensity and with N. ceranae infection regardless of the infection intensity in sensitive honeybees. Nevertheless, there was no such association in Nosema spp. infected tolerant honeybees. These findings suggest that energy availability in tolerant honeybees was not compromised by the infection. This result obtained at the individual level may also have implications at the colony level where workers in spite of a Nosema infection can still perform as well as healthy bees, maintaining colony efficiency and productivity.

  2. 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.

  3. Honeybee economics: optimisation of foraging in a variable world

    PubMed Central

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    In honeybees fast and efficient exploitation of nectar and pollen sources is achieved by persistent endothermy throughout the foraging cycle, which means extremely high energy costs. The need for food promotes maximisation of the intake rate, and the high costs call for energetic optimisation. Experiments on how honeybees resolve this conflict have to consider that foraging takes place in a variable environment concerning microclimate and food quality and availability. Here we report, in simultaneous measurements of energy costs, gains, and intake rate and efficiency, how honeybee foragers manage this challenge in their highly variable environment. If possible, during unlimited sucrose flow, they follow an ‘investment-guided’ (‘time is honey’) economic strategy promising increased returns. They maximise net intake rate by investing both own heat production and solar heat to increase body temperature to a level which guarantees a high suction velocity. They switch to an ‘economizing’ (‘save the honey’) optimisation of energetic efficiency if the intake rate is restricted by the food source when an increased body temperature would not guarantee a high intake rate. With this flexible and graded change between economic strategies honeybees can do both maximise colony intake rate and optimise foraging efficiency in reaction to environmental variation. PMID:27320240

  4. Genetic structure of Balearic honeybee populations based on microsatellite polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    De la Rúa, Pilar; Galián, José; Serrano, José; Moritz, Robin FA

    2003-01-01

    The genetic variation of honeybee colonies collected in 22 localities on the Balearic Islands (Spain) was analysed using eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Previous studies have demonstrated that these colonies belong either to the African or west European evolutionary lineages. These populations display low variability estimated from both the number of alleles and heterozygosity values, as expected for the honeybee island populations. Although genetic differentiation within the islands is low, significant heterozygote deficiency is present, indicating a subpopulation genetic structure. According to the genetic differentiation test, the honeybee populations of the Balearic Islands cluster into two groups: Gimnesias (Mallorca and Menorca) and Pitiusas (Ibiza and Formentera), which agrees with the biogeography postulated for this archipelago. The phylogenetic analysis suggests an Iberian origin of the Balearic honeybees, thus confirming the postulated evolutionary scenario for Apis mellifera in the Mediterranean basin. The microsatellite data from Formentera, Ibiza and Menorca show that ancestral populations are threatened by queen importations, indicating that adequate conservation measures should be developed for protecting Balearic bees. PMID:12729553

  5. 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

  6. Impact of Chronic Neonicotinoid Exposure on Honeybee Colony Performance and Queen Supersedure

    PubMed Central

    Sandrock, Christoph; Tanadini, Matteo; Tanadini, Lorenzo G.; Fauser-Misslin, Aline; Potts, Simon G.; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Background Honeybees provide economically and ecologically vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. During the last decade elevated colony losses have been documented in Europe and North America. Despite growing consensus on the involvement of multiple causal factors, the underlying interactions impacting on honeybee health and colony failure are not fully resolved. Parasites and pathogens are among the main candidates, but sublethal exposure to widespread agricultural pesticides may also affect bees. Methodology/Principal Findings To investigate effects of sublethal dietary neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance, a fully crossed experimental design was implemented using 24 colonies, including sister-queens from two different strains, and experimental in-hive pollen feeding with or without environmentally relevant concentrations of thiamethoxam and clothianidin. Honeybee colonies chronically exposed to both neonicotinoids over two brood cycles exhibited decreased performance in the short-term resulting in declining numbers of adult bees (−28%) and brood (−13%), as well as a reduction in honey production (−29%) and pollen collections (−19%), but colonies recovered in the medium-term and overwintered successfully. However, significantly decelerated growth of neonicotinoid-exposed colonies during the following spring was associated with queen failure, revealing previously undocumented long-term impacts of neonicotinoids: queen supersedure was observed for 60% of the neonicotinoid-exposed colonies within a one year period, but not for control colonies. Linked to this, neonicotinoid exposure was significantly associated with a reduced propensity to swarm during the next spring. Both short-term and long-term effects of neonicotinoids on colony performance were significantly influenced by the honeybees’ genetic background. Conclusions/Significance Sublethal neonicotinoid exposure did not provoke increased winter losses. Yet

  7. Deformed wing virus is a recent global epidemic in honeybees driven by Varroa mites.

    PubMed

    Wilfert, L; Long, G; Leggett, H C; Schmid-Hempel, P; Butlin, R; Martin, S J M; Boots, M

    2016-02-05

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) and its vector, the mite Varroa destructor, are a major threat to the world's honeybees. Although the impact of Varroa on colony-level DWV epidemiology is evident, we have little understanding of wider DWV epidemiology and the role that Varroa has played in its global spread. A phylogeographic analysis shows that DWV is globally distributed in honeybees, having recently spread from a common source, the European honeybee Apis mellifera. DWV exhibits epidemic growth and transmission that is predominantly mediated by European and North American honeybee populations and driven by trade and movement of honeybee colonies. DWV is now an important reemerging pathogen of honeybees, which are undergoing a worldwide manmade epidemic fueled by the direct transmission route that the Varroa mite provides.

  8. Learning and memory in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Hammer, M; Menzel, R

    1995-03-01

    Insects are favorable subjects for neuroethological studies. Their nervous systems are relatively small and contain many individually identifiable cells. The CNS is highly compartmentalized with clear separations between multisensory higher order neuropiles in the brain and neuropiles serving sensory-motor routines in the ventral cord (Huber, 1974). The rich behavior of insects includes orientation in space and time, visual, chemical, and mechanical communication, and complex motor routines for flying, walking, swimming, nest building, defense, and attack. Learning and memory, though, are not usually considered to be a strong point of insects. Rather, insect behavior is often regarded as highly stereotyped and under tight control of genetically programmed neural circuits. This view, however, does not do justice to the insect order of Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants). Most Hymenopteran species care for their brood either as individual females or as a social group of females. Consequently, they regularly return to their nest site to feed, protect, and nurse the larvae, store food, and hide from adverse environmental conditions. Since they search for food (prey; nectar and pollen on flowers) at unpredictable sites, they have to learn the celestial and terrestrial cues that guide their foraging trips over long distances and allow them to find their nest sites (central place foraging; von Frisch, 1967; Seeley, 1985). They learn to relate the sun's position and sky pattern of polarized light to the time of the day (Lindauer, 1959), and landmarks are learned in relationship to the nest site within the framework of the time-compensated sun compass. The honeybee communicates direction and distance of a feeding place to hive mates by performing a ritualized body movement, the waggle dance (von Frisch, 1967). Associative learning is an essential component of the bee's central place foraging behavior and dance communication. Hive mates attending a dance performance learn the

  9. Covert deformed wing virus infections have long-term deleterious effects on honeybee foraging and survival.

    PubMed

    Benaets, Kristof; Van Geystelen, Anneleen; Cardoen, Dries; De Smet, Lina; de Graaf, Dirk C; Schoofs, Liliane; Larmuseau, Maarten H D; Brettell, Laura E; Martin, Stephen J; Wenseleers, Tom

    2017-02-08

    Several studies have suggested that covert stressors can contribute to bee colony declines. Here we provide a novel case study and show using radiofrequency identification tracking technology that covert deformed wing virus (DWV) infections in adult honeybee workers seriously impact long-term foraging and survival under natural foraging conditions. In particular, our experiments show that adult workers injected with low doses of DWV experienced increased mortality rates, that DWV caused workers to start foraging at a premature age, and that the virus reduced the workers' total activity span as foragers. Altogether, these results demonstrate that covert DWV infections have strongly deleterious effects on honeybee foraging and survival. These results are consistent with previous studies that suggested DWV to be an important contributor to the ongoing bee declines in Europe and the USA. Overall, our study underlines the strong impact that covert pathogen infections can have on individual and group-level performance in bees.

  10. Multiple pesticide residues in live and poisoned honeybees - Preliminary exposure assessment.

    PubMed

    Kiljanek, Tomasz; Niewiadowska, Alicja; Gaweł, Marta; Semeniuk, Stanisław; Borzęcka, Milena; Posyniak, Andrzej; Pohorecka, Krystyna

    2017-02-08

    Study combines data about the exposure of honeybees to pesticides from plant protection products and veterinary medicinal products. Residues of 200 pesticide and pesticide metabolites in 343 live and 74 poisoned honeybee samples, obtained during the years of 2014-2015, were determined by LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS. In 44% of live honeybee 48 different pesticide residues were found, mainly amitraz metabolites (DMF, DMPF) and chlorpyrifos. In 98% of poisoned honeybee 57 pesticides and metabolites were detected, mainly chlorpyrifos, dimethoate and clothianidin. In total 84 different pesticides were detected both in live and poisoned honeybees, they indicate 30 various modes of action. Differences between mean number of pesticide residues detected in live and poisoned honeybees clearly indicate the impact of multiple pesticides on honeybee health. Possible impact of systemic fungicides on the health of honeybees was studied. Applicability of hazard quotient counted as ratio between concentration of pesticides in honeybees and lethal dose in the interpretation whether detected concentration indicates acute toxic effects was shown.

  11. Longevity and food consumption of microwave-treated (2. 45 GHz CW) honeybees in the laboratory

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-01-01

    Adult honeybees, confined singly or in small clusters, were exposed for 0.5, 6, and 24 hours to 2.45-GHz continuous wave microwave radiation at power densities of 3, 6, 12, 25, and 50 mW/cm2. Following exposure, bees were held in the incubator for 21 days to determine the consumption of sucrose syrup and to observe mortality. No significant differences were found between microwave-treated and sham-treated or control bees.

  12. Modeling colony collapse disorder in honeybees as a contagion.

    PubMed

    Kribs-Zaleta, Christopher M; Mitchell, Christopher

    2014-12-01

    Honeybee pollination accounts annually for over $14 billion in United States agriculture alone. Within the past decade there has been a mysterious mass die-off of honeybees, an estimated 10 million beehives and sometimes as much as 90% of an apiary. There is still no consensus on what causes this phenomenon, called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. Several mathematical models have studied CCD by only focusing on infection dynamics. We created a model to account for both healthy hive dynamics and hive extinction due to CCD, modeling CCD via a transmissible infection brought to the hive by foragers. The system of three ordinary differential equations accounts for multiple hive population behaviors including Allee effects and colony collapse. Numerical analysis leads to critical hive sizes for multiple scenarios and highlights the role of accelerated forager recruitment in emptying hives during colony collapse.

  13. Energy saving strategies of honeybees in dipping nectar

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jianing; Yang, Heng; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-01-01

    The honeybee’s drinking process has generally been simplified because of its high speed and small scale. In this study, we clearly observed the drinking cycle of the Italian honeybee using a specially designed high-speed camera system. We analysed the pattern of glossal hair erection and the movement kinematics of the protracting tongue (glossa). Results showed that the honeybee used two special protraction strategies to save energy. First, the glossal hairs remain adpressed until the end of the protraction, which indicates that the hydraulic resistance is reduced to less than 1/3 of that in the case if the hairs remain erect. Second, the glossa protracts with a specific velocity profile and we quantitatively demonstrated that this moving strategy helps reduce the total energy needed for protraction compared with the typical form of protraction with constant acceleration and deceleration. These findings suggest effective methods to optimise the control policies employed by next-generation microfluidic pumps. PMID:26446300

  14. Vision and air flow combine to streamline flying honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Gavin J.; Luu, Tien; Ball, David; Srinivasan, Mandyam V.

    2013-01-01

    Insects face the challenge of integrating multi-sensory information to control their flight. Here we study a ‘streamlining' response in honeybees, whereby honeybees raise their abdomen to reduce drag. We find that this response, which was recently reported to be mediated by optic flow, is also strongly modulated by the presence of air flow simulating a head wind. The Johnston's organs in the antennae were found to play a role in the measurement of the air speed that is used to control the streamlining response. The response to a combination of visual motion and wind is complex and can be explained by a model that incorporates a non-linear combination of the two stimuli. The use of visual and mechanosensory cues increases the strength of the streamlining response when the stimuli are present concurrently. We propose this multisensory integration will make the response more robust to transient disturbances in either modality. PMID:24019053

  15. Vision and air flow combine to streamline flying honeybees.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Gavin J; Luu, Tien; Ball, David; Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2013-01-01

    Insects face the challenge of integrating multi-sensory information to control their flight. Here we study a 'streamlining' response in honeybees, whereby honeybees raise their abdomen to reduce drag. We find that this response, which was recently reported to be mediated by optic flow, is also strongly modulated by the presence of air flow simulating a head wind. The Johnston's organs in the antennae were found to play a role in the measurement of the air speed that is used to control the streamlining response. The response to a combination of visual motion and wind is complex and can be explained by a model that incorporates a non-linear combination of the two stimuli. The use of visual and mechanosensory cues increases the strength of the streamlining response when the stimuli are present concurrently. We propose this multisensory integration will make the response more robust to transient disturbances in either modality.

  16. Self assessment in insects: honeybee queens know their own strength.

    PubMed

    Dietemann, Vincent; Zheng, Huo-Qing; Hepburn, Colleen; Hepburn, H Randall; Jin, Shui-Hua; Crewe, Robin M; Radloff, Sarah E; Hu, Fu-Liang; Pirk, Christian W W

    2008-01-09

    Contests mediate access to reproductive opportunities in almost all species of animals. An important aspect of the evolution of contests is the reduction of the costs incurred during intra-specific encounters to a minimum. However, escalated fights are commonly lethal in some species like the honeybee, Apis mellifera. By experimentally reducing honeybee queens' fighting abilities, we demonstrate that they refrain from engaging in lethal contests that typically characterize their reproductive dominance behavior and coexist peacefully within a colony. This suggests that weak queens exploit an alternative reproductive strategy and provides an explanation for rare occurrences of queen cohabitation in nature. Our results further indicate that self-assessment, but not mutual assessment of fighting ability occurs prior to and during the agonistic encounters.

  17. 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

  18. Behavioral genomics of honeybee foraging and nest defense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, Greg J.; Amdam, Gro V.; Schlipalius, David; Emore, Christine; Sardesai, Nagesh; Williams, Christie E.; Rueppell, Olav; Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto; Arechavaleta-Velasco, Miguel; Chandra, Sathees; Fondrk, M. Kim; Beye, Martin; Page, Robert E.

    2007-04-01

    The honeybee has been the most important insect species for study of social behavior. The recently released draft genomic sequence for the bee will accelerate honeybee behavioral genetics. Although we lack sufficient tools to manipulate this genome easily, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence natural variation in behavior have been identified and tested for their effects on correlated behavioral traits. We review what is known about the genetics and physiology of two behavioral traits in honeybees, foraging specialization (pollen versus nectar), and defensive behavior, and present evidence that map-based cloning of genes is more feasible in the bee than in other metazoans. We also present bioinformatic analyses of candidate genes within QTL confidence intervals (CIs). The high recombination rate of the bee made it possible to narrow the search to regions containing only 17-61 predicted peptides for each QTL, although CIs covered large genetic distances. Knowledge of correlated behavioral traits, comparative bioinformatics, and expression assays facilitated evaluation of candidate genes. An overrepresentation of genes involved in ovarian development and insulin-like signaling components within pollen foraging QTL regions suggests that an ancestral reproductive gene network was co-opted during the evolution of foraging specialization. The major QTL influencing defensive/aggressive behavior contains orthologs of genes involved in central nervous system activity and neurogenesis. Candidates at the other two defensive-behavior QTLs include modulators of sensory signaling ( Am5HT 7 serotonin receptor, AmArr4 arrestin, and GABA-B-R1 receptor). These studies are the first step in linking natural variation in honeybee social behavior to the identification of underlying genes.

  19. 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.

  20. Laurel leaf extracts for honeybee pest and disease management: antimicrobial, microsporicidal, and acaricidal activity.

    PubMed

    Damiani, Natalia; Fernández, Natalia J; Porrini, Martín P; Gende, Liesel B; Álvarez, Estefanía; Buffa, Franco; Brasesco, Constanza; Maggi, Matías D; Marcangeli, Jorge A; Eguaras, Martín J

    2014-02-01

    A diverse set of parasites and pathogens affects productivity and survival of Apis mellifera honeybees. In beekeeping, traditional control by antibiotics and molecules of synthesis has caused problems with contamination and resistant pathogens. In this research, different Laurus nobilis extracts are tested against the main honeybee pests through an integrated point of view. In vivo effects on bee survival are also evaluated. The ethanol extract showed minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 208 to 416 μg/mL, having the best antimicrobial effect on Paenibacillus larvae among all substances tested. Similarly, this leaf extract showed a significant antiparasitic activity on Varroa destructor, killing 50 % of mites 24 h after a 30-s exposure, and on Nosema ceranae, inhibiting the spore development in the midgut of adult bees ingesting 1 × 10(4) μg/mL of extract solution. Both ethanol extract and volatile extracts (essential oil, hydrolate, and its main component) did not cause lethal effects on adult honeybees. Thus, the absence of topical and oral toxicity of the ethanol extract on bees and the strong antimicrobial, microsporicidal, and miticidal effects registered in this study place this laurel extract as a promising integrated treatment of bee diseases and stimulates the search for other bioactive phytochemicals from plants.

  1. Modelling the spread of American foulbrood in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Datta, Samik; Bull, James C; Budge, Giles E; Keeling, Matt J

    2013-11-06

    We investigate the spread of American foulbrood (AFB), a disease caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, that affects bees and can be extremely damaging to beehives. Our dataset comes from an inspection period carried out during an AFB epidemic of honeybee colonies on the island of Jersey during the summer of 2010. The data include the number of hives of honeybees, location and owner of honeybee apiaries across the island. We use a spatial SIR model with an underlying owner network to simulate the epidemic and characterize the epidemic using a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) scheme to determine model parameters and infection times (including undetected 'occult' infections). Likely methods of infection spread can be inferred from the analysis, with both distance- and owner-based transmissions being found to contribute to the spread of AFB. The results of the MCMC are corroborated by simulating the epidemic using a stochastic SIR model, resulting in aggregate levels of infection that are comparable to the data. We use this stochastic SIR model to simulate the impact of different control strategies on controlling the epidemic. It is found that earlier inspections result in smaller epidemics and a higher likelihood of AFB extinction.

  2. Detection and quantification of boscalid and its metabolites in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Jabot, Claire; Daniele, Gaëlle; Giroud, Barbara; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Belzunces, Luc P; Casabianca, Hervé; Vulliet, Emmanuelle

    2016-08-01

    Boscalid is a new-generation fungicide that has been detected in several bee matrices. The objective of this work was to characterize boscalid metabolites in honeybees based on in vivo experimentation, and next to verify the presence of theses metabolites into honeybees from colonies presenting troubles. A methodology based on complementary mass spectrometric tools, namely ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QToF) or triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QqQ) was implemented. Honeybees were sprayed with boscalid, at field rate (to induce the metabolization process) and the parent compound with its generated metabolites were then extracted using modified EU-QuEChERS method. The mass characteristics including exact mass, isotopic profile and mass fragments allowed assuming the structure of several metabolites. Some of them were unambiguously identified by comparison with synthesized analytical standards. The metabolites were resulted from hydroxylation and dechlorination of the parent compound as well as the substitution of a chlorine atom with an hydroxyl group. The metabolites were then quantified in bee samples collected from various beehives located in France. Boscalid and three of its metabolites were present in some samples at a level ranged between 0.2 and 36.3 ng/g.

  3. Reproduction, social behavior, and aging trajectories in honeybee workers.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Luke; Kuster, Ryan; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-02-01

    While a negative correlation between reproduction and life span is commonly observed, specialized reproductive individuals outlive their non-reproductive nestmates in all eusocial species, including the honeybee, Apis mellifera (L). The consequences of reproduction for individual life expectancy can be studied directly by comparing reproductive and non-reproductive workers. We quantified the life span consequences of reproduction in honeybee workers by removal of the queen to trigger worker reproduction. Furthermore, we observed the social behavior of large cohorts of workers under experimental and control conditions to test for associations with individual life expectancy. Worker life expectancy was moderately increased by queen removal. Queenless colonies contained a few long-lived workers, and oviposition behavior was associated with a strong reduction in mortality risk, indicating that a reproductive role confers a significant survival advantage. This finding is further substantiated by an association between brood care behavior and worker longevity that depends on the social environment. In contrast, other in-hive activities, such as fanning, trophallaxis, and allogrooming did not consistently affect worker life expectancy. The influence of foraging varied among replicates. An earlier age of transitioning from in-hive tasks to outside foraging was always associated with shorter life spans, in accordance with previous studies. In sum, our studies quantify how individual mortality is affected by particular social roles and colony environments and demonstrate interactions between the two. The exceptional, positive association between reproduction and longevity in honeybees extends to within-caste plasticity, which may be exploited for mechanistic studies.

  4. Impaired tactile learning is related to social role in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Scheiner, Ricarda; Amdam, Gro V

    2009-04-01

    Aging is commonly accompanied by a decline in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. In social insects, aging is tightly linked to social role. The honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) offers the unique opportunity to separate chronological age from social role. In the present paper, we tested whether chronological age, social role and the duration of performing this role affect tactile learning in honeybees. We compared acquisition, retention and discrimination between foragers with short and long foraging durations and age-matched nurse bees. Our data show that chronological age is of minor importance for tactile learning, retention and discrimination whereas social role has a decisive impact. Tactile acquisition is severely impaired in bees that have foraged for more than two weeks but not in nurse bees of the same chronological age. Interestingly, neither discrimination nor retention appear to be impaired by long foraging duration. The complex associations between acquisition, discrimination and retention in bees of different social roles open up rich possibilities for future studies on the neuronal correlates of behavioural performance and underline that the honeybee has great potential as a model system in the biology of aging.

  5. Social learning of floral odours inside the honeybee hive.

    PubMed

    Farina, Walter M; Grüter, Christoph; Díaz, Paula C

    2005-09-22

    A honeybee hive serves as an information centre in which communication among bees allows the colony to exploit the most profitable resources in a continuously changing environment. The best-studied communication behaviour in this context is the waggle dance performed by returning foragers, which encodes information about the distance and direction to the food source. It has been suggested that another information cue, floral scents transferred within the hive, is also important for recruitment to food sources, as bee recruits are more strongly attracted to odours previously brought back by foragers in both honeybees and bumble-bees. These observations suggested that honeybees learn the odour from successful foragers before leaving the hive. However, this has never been shown directly and the mechanisms and properties of the learning process remain obscure. We tested the learning and memory of recruited bees in the laboratory using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, and show that recruits indeed learn the nectar odours brought back by foragers by associative learning and retrieve this memory in the PER paradigm. The associative nature of this learning reveals that information was gained during mouth-to-mouth contacts among bees (trophallaxis). Results further suggest that the information is transferred to long-term memory. Associative learning of food odours in a social context may help recruits to find a particular food source faster.

  6. Social learning of floral odours inside the honeybee hive

    PubMed Central

    Farina, Walter M; Grüter, Christoph; Díaz, Paula C

    2005-01-01

    A honeybee hive serves as an information centre in which communication among bees allows the colony to exploit the most profitable resources in a continuously changing environment. The best-studied communication behaviour in this context is the waggle dance performed by returning foragers, which encodes information about the distance and direction to the food source. It has been suggested that another information cue, floral scents transferred within the hive, is also important for recruitment to food sources, as bee recruits are more strongly attracted to odours previously brought back by foragers in both honeybees and bumble-bees. These observations suggested that honeybees learn the odour from successful foragers before leaving the hive. However, this has never been shown directly and the mechanisms and properties of the learning process remain obscure. We tested the learning and memory of recruited bees in the laboratory using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, and show that recruits indeed learn the nectar odours brought back by foragers by associative learning and retrieve this memory in the PER paradigm. The associative nature of this learning reveals that information was gained during mouth-to-mouth contacts among bees (trophallaxis). Results further suggest that the information is transferred to long-term memory. Associative learning of food odours in a social context may help recruits to find a particular food source faster. PMID:16191598

  7. 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.

  8. Male fitness of honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Kraus, F B; Neumann, P; Scharpenberg, H; van Praagh, J; Moritz, R F A

    2003-09-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have an extreme polyandrous mating system. Worker offspring of 19 naturally mated queens was genotyped with DNA microsatellites, to estimate male reproductive success of 16 drone producing colonies. This allowed for estimating the male mating success on both the colony level and the level of individual drones. The experiment was conducted in a closed population on an isolated island to exclude interferences of drones from unknown colonies. Although all colonies had produced similar numbers of drones, differences among the colonies in male mating success exceeded one order of magnitude. These differences were enhanced by the siring success of individual drones within the offspring of mated queens. The siring success of individual drones was correlated with the mating frequency at the colony level. Thus more successful colonies not only produced drones with a higher chance of mating, but also with a significantly higher proportion of offspring sired than drones from less successful colonies. Although the life cycle of honeybee colonies is very female centred, the male reproductive success appears to be a major driver of natural selection in honeybees.

  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. Parallel reinforcement pathways for conditioned food aversions in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Wright, Geraldine A; Mustard, Julie A; Simcock, Nicola K; Ross-Taylor, Alexandra A R; McNicholas, Lewis D; Popescu, Alexandra; Marion-Poll, Frédéric

    2010-12-21

    Avoiding toxins in food is as important as obtaining nutrition. Conditioned food aversions have been studied in animals as diverse as nematodes and humans [1, 2], but the neural signaling mechanisms underlying this form of learning have been difficult to pinpoint. Honeybees quickly learn to associate floral cues with food [3], a trait that makes them an excellent model organism for studying the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Here we show that honeybees not only detect toxins but can also learn to associate odors with both the taste of toxins and the postingestive consequences of consuming them. We found that two distinct monoaminergic pathways mediate learned food aversions in the honeybee. As for other insect species conditioned with salt or electric shock reinforcers [4-7], learned avoidances of odors paired with bad-tasting toxins are mediated by dopamine. Our experiments are the first to identify a second, postingestive pathway for learned olfactory aversions that involves serotonin. This second pathway may represent an ancient mechanism for food aversion learning conserved across animal lineages.

  11. The behavioral relevance of landmark texture for honeybee homing.

    PubMed

    Dittmar, Laura; Egelhaaf, Martin; Stürzl, Wolfgang; Boeddeker, Norbert

    2011-01-01

    Honeybees visually pinpoint the location of a food source using landmarks. Studies on the role of visual memories have suggested that bees approach the goal by finding a close match between their current view and a memorized view of the goal location. The most relevant landmark features for this matching process seem to be their retinal positions, the size as defined by their edges, and their color. Recently, we showed that honeybees can use landmarks that are statically camouflaged, suggesting that motion cues are relevant as well. Currently it is unclear how bees weight these different landmark features when accomplishing navigational tasks, and whether this depends on their saliency. Since natural objects are often distinguished by their texture, we investigate the behavioral relevance and the interplay of the spatial configuration and the texture of landmarks. We show that landmark texture is a feature that bees memorize, and being given the opportunity to identify landmarks by their texture improves the bees' navigational performance. Landmark texture is weighted more strongly than landmark configuration when it provides the bees with positional information and when the texture is salient. In the vicinity of the landmark honeybees changed their flight behavior according to its texture.

  12. The defensive response of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Nouvian, Morgane; Reinhard, Judith; Giurfa, Martin

    2016-11-15

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are insects living in colonies with a complex social organization. Their nest contains food stores in the form of honey and pollen, as well as the brood, the queen and the bees themselves. These resources have to be defended against a wide range of predators and parasites, a task that is performed by specialized workers, called guard bees. Guards tune their response to both the nature of the threat and the environmental conditions, in order to achieve an efficient trade-off between defence and loss of foraging workforce. By releasing alarm pheromones, they are able to recruit other bees to help them handle large predators. These chemicals trigger both rapid and longer-term changes in the behaviour of nearby bees, thus priming them for defence. Here, we review our current understanding on how this sequence of events is performed and regulated depending on a variety of factors that are both extrinsic and intrinsic to the colony. We present our current knowledge on the neural bases of honeybee aggression and highlight research avenues for future studies in this area. We present a brief overview of the techniques used to study honeybee aggression, and discuss how these could be used to gain further insights into the mechanisms of this behaviour.

  13. Broom and honeybees in Australia: an alien liaison.

    PubMed

    Simpson, S R; Gross, C L; Silberbauer, L X

    2005-09-01

    Facilitative interactions between non-indigenous species are gaining recognition as a major driver of invasion success. Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link (Fabaceae), or Scotch broom, is a cosmopolitan invasive shrub that lacks the capacity for vegetative reproduction and is a good model to study facilitative interactions. Its success in pioneer environments is determined by constraints on its reproduction. We determined whether pollinators were required for seed set in C. scoparius at Barrington Tops, NSW, Australia, where the species has infested ca. 14,000 ha across the plateau. Field and laboratory experiments showed that C. scoparius is an obligate outcrossing species at Barrington Tops. Monitoring of plants (10.7 h) showed that the flowers of C. scoparius have to be tripped to effect seed set and the only pollinator to do this was the introduced honeybee, Apis mellifera L. Most floral visits by honeybees result in fruit set (84 %) and because fruits have many ovules (10 - 18 per ovary) a single bee on an average foraging day can effect the production of over 6000 seeds. A review of C. scoparius pollination across four continents revealed major differences in pollen quantity, which may explain differences in the efficiencies of honeybees as pollinators of C. scoparius. The incorporation of pollinator management in an integrated approach for the control of C. scoparius is discussed.

  14. Presence of Nosema ceranae associated with honeybee queen introductions.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Pinto, Maria Alice; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2014-04-01

    Microsporidiosis caused by Nosema species is one of the factors threatening the health of the honeybee (Apis mellifera), which is an essential element in agriculture mainly due to its pollination function. The dispersion of this pathogen may be influenced by many factors, including various aspects of beekeeping management such as introduction of queens with different origin. Herein we study the relation of the presence and distribution of Nosema spp. and the replacement of queens in honeybee populations settled on the Atlantic Canary Islands. While Nosema apis has not been detected, an increase of the presence and distribution of Nosema ceranae during the last decade has been observed in parallel with a higher frequency of foreign queens. On the other hand, a reduction of the number of N. ceranae positive colonies was observed on those islands with continued replacement of queens. We suggest that such replacement could help maintaining low rates of Nosema infection, but healthy queens native to these islands should be used in order to conserve local honeybee diversity.

  15. Lethal fighting between honeybee queens and parasitic workers (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Moritz, Robin F A; Pflugfelder, Jochen; Crewe, Robin M

    2003-08-01

    Pheromonal signals associated with queen and worker policing prevent worker reproduction and have been identified as important factors for establishing harmony in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony. However, "anarchic workers", which can evade both mechanisms, have been detected at low frequency in several honeybee populations. Worker bees of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, also show this anarchistic trait but to an extreme degree. They can develop into so called "pseudoqueens", which release a pheromonal bouquet very similar to that of queens. They prime and release very similar reactions in sterile workers to those of true queens (e.g. suppress ovary activation; release retinue behavior). Here we show in an experimental bioassay that lethal fights between these parasitic workers and the queen (similar to queen-queen fights) occur, resulting in the death of either queen or worker. Although it is usually the queen that attacks the parasitic workers and kills many of them, in a few cases the workers succeeded in killing the queen. If this also occurs in a parasitized colony where the queen encounters many parasitic workers, she may eventually be killed in one of the repeated fights she engages in.

  16. Distinguishing African and European honeybee matrilines using amplified mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Hall, H G; Smith, D R

    1991-01-01

    Previous DNA studies have revealed that feral neotropical African bees have largely retained an African genetic integrity. Additional DNA testing is needed to confirm these findings, to understand the processes responsible, and to follow African bee spread into the temperate United States. To facilitate surveys, the polymerase chain reaction was utilized. African and European honeybee mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was identified through amplified segments that carry informative restriction site and length polymorphisms. The ability to discriminate among honeybee subspecies was established by testing a total of 129 colonies from Africa and Europe. Matriline identities could thus be determined for imported New World bees. Among 41 managed and feral colonies in the United States and north Mexico, two European lineages (west and east) were distinguished. From neotropical regions, 72 feral colonies had African mtDNA and 4 had European mtDNA. The results support earlier conclusions that neotropical African bees have spread as unbroken African maternal lineages. Old and New World African honeybee populations exhibit different frequencies of a mtDNA length polymorphism. Through standard analyses, a north African mtDNA type that may have been imported previously from Spain or Portugal was not detected among neotropical African bees. Images PMID:1674608

  17. 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.

  18. Mechanisms, functions and ecology of colour vision in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Hempel de Ibarra, N; Vorobyev, M; Menzel, R

    2014-06-01

    Research in the honeybee has laid the foundations for our understanding of insect colour vision. The trichromatic colour vision of honeybees shares fundamental properties with primate and human colour perception, such as colour constancy, colour opponency, segregation of colour and brightness coding. Laborious efforts to reconstruct the colour vision pathway in the honeybee have provided detailed descriptions of neural connectivity and the properties of photoreceptors and interneurons in the optic lobes of the bee brain. The modelling of colour perception advanced with the establishment of colour discrimination models that were based on experimental data, the Colour-Opponent Coding and Receptor Noise-Limited models, which are important tools for the quantitative assessment of bee colour vision and colour-guided behaviours. Major insights into the visual ecology of bees have been gained combining behavioural experiments and quantitative modelling, and asking how bee vision has influenced the evolution of flower colours and patterns. Recently research has focussed on the discrimination and categorisation of coloured patterns, colourful scenes and various other groupings of coloured stimuli, highlighting the bees' behavioural flexibility. The identification of perceptual mechanisms remains of fundamental importance for the interpretation of their learning strategies and performance in diverse experimental tasks.

  19. Parallel Reinforcement Pathways for Conditioned Food Aversions in the Honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Geraldine A.; Mustard, Julie A.; Simcock, Nicola K.; Ross-Taylor, Alexandra A.R.; McNicholas, Lewis D.; Popescu, Alexandra; Marion-Poll, Frédéric

    2010-01-01

    Summary Avoiding toxins in food is as important as obtaining nutrition. Conditioned food aversions have been studied in animals as diverse as nematodes and humans [1, 2], but the neural signaling mechanisms underlying this form of learning have been difficult to pinpoint. Honeybees quickly learn to associate floral cues with food [3], a trait that makes them an excellent model organism for studying the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Here we show that honeybees not only detect toxins but can also learn to associate odors with both the taste of toxins and the postingestive consequences of consuming them. We found that two distinct monoaminergic pathways mediate learned food aversions in the honeybee. As for other insect species conditioned with salt or electric shock reinforcers [4–7], learned avoidances of odors paired with bad-tasting toxins are mediated by dopamine. Our experiments are the first to identify a second, postingestive pathway for learned olfactory aversions that involves serotonin. This second pathway may represent an ancient mechanism for food aversion learning conserved across animal lineages. PMID:21129969

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Characterization of secreted proteases of Paenibacillus larvae, potential virulence factors in honeybee larval infection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American Foulbrood (AFB), the most severe bacterial disease that affects honeybee larvae. AFB causes a significant decrease in the honeybee population affecting the beekeeping industry and agricultural production. After infection of larvae, P. larvae se...

  3. Honeybees enhance reproduction without affecting the outcrossing rate in endemic Pedicularis densispica (Orobanchaceae).

    PubMed

    Xia, J; Sun, S G; Guo, Y H

    2007-11-01

    There has been substantial debate in recent years surrounding the impact of introduced honeybees on native biota. This study reports on an investigation of Pedicularis densispica, a subalpine annual herb endemic to Southwest China, in an attempt to determine the impact of introduced domestic honeybees on pollen dispersal and thus on their reproductive success and mating system. Honeybees were introduced into the study site in 2004, and a sudden seasonal pollinator shift from bumblebees to honeybees was observed. Intra- and inter-plant visits by different pollinators were recorded in the field in 2003 and 2004. Fruit and seed sets prior to and after the pollinator shift were measured. Experimental pollinations were performed to characterize the breeding system. Outcrossing rates at the seed stage were estimated for both years using RAPD markers. Our results indicated that honeybees foraged between plants more frequently than bumblebees did. Our results also revealed that the introduction of honeybees significantly enhanced reproductive success. However, no significant difference was detected between the outcrossing rates due to bumblebee and honeybee pollination. P. densispica was almost completely outcrossing ( T(m) = 0.956 and 0.967, respectively in 2003 and 2004) but partially self-compatible. This study presents the first report of the outcrossing rate in the genus pedicularis and reveals a limited influence of pollination on the mating system in P. densispica. The pollinator shift did not reduce reproductive success of the plants and honeybees may be used to augment pollinator services for nectariferous P. densispica.

  4. Small hive beetles, honeybees, yeast and plants: evolution of an insect pest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, is seemingly an anomaly among Nitidulids because it thrives in honeybee hives feeding on pollen and bee brood. Attraction to bee hives is mediated by the Honeybee alarm pheromone. We have discovered that when feeding on pollen resources in bee hives the beetl...

  5. Whole-genome sequence of Nocardiopsis alba strain ATCC BAA-2165, associated with honeybees.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Jianjun; Chen, Lei; Li, Yongli; Wang, Jiangxin; Zhang, Weiwen; Chen, Shawn

    2012-11-01

    The actinomycete Nocardiopsis alba was reportedly associated with honeybees in separate occurrences. We report the complete genome of Nocardiopsis alba ATCC BAA-2165 isolated from honeybee guts. It will provide insights into the metabolism and genetic regulatory networks of this genus of bacteria that enable them to live in a range of environments.

  6. How Do Honeybees Attract Nestmates Using Waggle Dances in Dark and Noisy Hives?

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Yuji; Ikeno, Hidetoshi

    2011-01-01

    It is well known that honeybees share information related to food sources with nestmates using a dance language that is representative of symbolic communication among non-primates. Some honeybee species engage in visually apparent behavior, walking in a figure-eight pattern inside their dark hives. It has been suggested that sounds play an important role in this dance language, even though a variety of wing vibration sounds are produced by honeybee behaviors in hives. It has been shown that dances emit sounds primarily at about 250–300 Hz, which is in the same frequency range as honeybees' flight sounds. Thus the exact mechanism whereby honeybees attract nestmates using waggle dances in such a dark and noisy hive is as yet unclear. In this study, we used a flight simulator in which honeybees were attached to a torque meter in order to analyze the component of bees' orienting response caused only by sounds, and not by odor or by vibrations sensed by their legs. We showed using single sound localization that honeybees preferred sounds around 265 Hz. Furthermore, according to sound discrimination tests using sounds of the same frequency, honeybees preferred rhythmic sounds. Our results demonstrate that frequency and rhythmic components play a complementary role in localizing dance sounds. Dance sounds were presumably developed to share information in a dark and noisy environment. PMID:21603608

  7. A SNP test to identify Africanized honeybees via proportion of 'African' ancestry.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Nadine C; Harpur, Brock A; Lim, Julianne; Rinderer, Thomas E; Allsopp, Michael H; Zayed, Amro; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2015-11-01

    The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is the world's most important pollinator and is ubiquitous in most agricultural ecosystems. Four major evolutionary lineages and at least 24 subspecies are recognized. Commercial populations are mainly derived from subspecies originating in Europe (75-95%). The Africanized honeybee is a New World hybrid of A. m. scutellata from Africa and European subspecies, with the African component making up 50-90% of the genome. Africanized honeybees are considered undesirable for bee-keeping in most countries, due to their extreme defensiveness and poor honey production. The international trade in honeybees is restricted, due in part to bans on the importation of queens (and semen) from countries where Africanized honeybees are extant. Some desirable strains from the United States of America that have been bred for traits such as resistance to the mite Varroa destructor are unfortunately excluded from export to countries such as Australia due to the presence of Africanized honeybees in the USA. This study shows that a panel of 95 single nucleotide polymorphisms, chosen to differentiate between the African, Eastern European and Western European lineages, can detect Africanized honeybees with a high degree of confidence via ancestry assignment. Our panel therefore offers a valuable tool to mitigate the risks of spreading Africanized honeybees across the globe and may enable the resumption of queen and bee semen imports from the Americas.

  8. Ceropegia sandersonii Mimics Attacked Honeybees to Attract Kleptoparasitic Flies for Pollination.

    PubMed

    Heiduk, Annemarie; Brake, Irina; von Tschirnhaus, Michael; Göhl, Matthias; Jürgens, Andreas; Johnson, Steven D; Meve, Ulrich; Dötterl, Stefan

    2016-10-24

    Four to six percent of plants, distributed over different angiosperm families, entice pollinators by deception [1]. In these systems, chemical mimicry is often used as an efficient way to exploit the olfactory preferences of animals for the purpose of attracting them as pollinators [2,3]. Here, we report a very specific type of chemical mimicry of a food source. Ceropegia sandersonii (Apocynaceae), a deceptive South African plant with pitfall flowers, mimics attacked honeybees. We identified kleptoparasitic Desmometopa flies (Milichiidae) as the main pollinators of C. sandersonii. These flies are well known to feed on honeybees that are eaten by spiders, which we thus predicted as the model chemically mimicked by the plant. Indeed, we found that the floral scent of C. sandersonii is comparable to volatiles released from honeybees when under simulated attack. Moreover, many of these shared compounds elicited physiological responses in antennae of pollinating Desmometopa flies. A mixture of four compounds-geraniol, 2-heptanone, 2-nonanol, and (E)-2-octen-1-yl acetate-was highly attractive to the flies. We conclude that C. sandersonii is specialized on kleptoparasitic fly pollinators by deploying volatiles linked to the flies' food source, i.e., attacked and/or freshly killed honeybees. The blend of compounds emitted by C. sandersonii is unusual among flowering plants and lures kleptoparasitic flies into the trap flowers. This study describes a new example of how a plant can achieve pollination through chemical mimicry of the food sources of adult carnivorous animals.

  9. Exposure to Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors Alters the Physiology and Motor Function of Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Sally M.; Moffat, Christopher; Gomersall, Martha A. E.; Saranzewa, Nastja; Connolly, Christopher N.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2013-01-01

    Cholinergic signaling is fundamental to neuromuscular function in most organisms. Sub-lethal doses of neurotoxic pesticides that target cholinergic signaling can alter the behavior of insects in subtle ways; their influence on non-target organisms may not be readily apparent in simple mortality studies. Beneficial arthropods such as honeybees perform sophisticated behavioral sequences during foraging that, if influenced by pesticides, could impair foraging success and reduce colony health. Here, we investigate the behavioral effects on honeybees of exposure to a selection of pesticides that target cholinergic signaling by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase (AChE). To examine how continued exposure to AChE inhibitors affected motor function, we fed adult foraging worker honeybees sub-lethal concentrations of these compounds in sucrose solution for 24 h. Using an assay for locomotion in bees, we scored walking, stopped, grooming, and upside down behavior continuously for 15 min. At a 10 nM concentration, all the AChE inhibitors caused similar effects on behavior, notably increased grooming activity and changes in the frequency of bouts of behavior such as head grooming. Coumaphos caused dose-dependent effects on locomotion as well as grooming behavior, and a 1 μM concentration of coumaphos induced symptoms of malaise such as abdomen grooming and defecation. Biochemical assays confirmed that the four compounds we assayed (coumaphos, aldicarb, chlorpyrifos, and donepezil) or their metabolites acted as AChE inhibitors in bees. Furthermore, we show that transcript expression levels of two honeybee AChE inhibitors were selectively upregulated in the brain and in gut tissues in response to AChE inhibitor exposure. The results of our study imply that the effects of pesticides that rely on this mode of action have subtle yet profound effects on physiological effects on behavior that could lead to reduced survival. PMID:23386834

  10. Honeybees and beehives are rich sources for fructophilic lactic acid bacteria.

    PubMed

    Endo, Akihito; Salminen, Seppo

    2013-09-01

    Fructophilic lactic acid bacteria (FLAB) are a specific group of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) characterized and described only recently. They prefer fructose as growth substrate and inhabit only fructose-rich niches. Honeybees are high-fructose-consuming insects and important pollinators in nature, but reported to be decreasing in the wild. In the present study, we analyzed FLAB microbiota in honeybees, larvae, fresh honey and bee pollen. A total of 66 strains of LAB were isolated from samples using a selective isolation technique for FLAB. Surprisingly, all strains showed fructophilic characteristics. The 66 strains and ten FLAB strains isolated from flowers in a separate study were genotypically separated into six groups, four of which being identified as Lactobacillus kunkeei and two as Fructobacillus fructosus. One of the L. kunkeei isolates showed antibacterial activity against Melissococcus plutonius, a causative pathogen of European foulbrood, this protection being attributable to production of an antibacterial peptide or protein. Culture-independent analysis suggested that bee products and larvae contained simple Lactobacillus-group microbiota, dominated by L. kunkeei, although adult bees carried a more complex microbiota. The findings clearly demonstrate that honeybees and their products are rich sources of FLAB, and FLAB are potential candidates for future bee probiotics.

  11. Genetic parameters for five traits in Africanized honeybees using Bayesian inference

    PubMed Central

    Padilha, Alessandro Haiduck; Sattler, Aroni; Cobuci, Jaime Araújo; McManus, Concepta Margaret

    2013-01-01

    Heritability and genetic correlations for honey (HP) and propolis production (PP), hygienic behavior (HB), syrup-collection rate (SCR) and percentage of mites on adult bees (PMAB) of a population of Africanized honeybees were estimated. Data from 110 queen bees over three generations were evaluated. Single and multi-trait models were analyzed by Bayesian Inference using MTGSAM. The localization of the hive was significant for SCR and HB and highly significant for PP. Season-year was highly significant only for SCR. The number of frames with bees was significant for HP and PP, including SCR. The heritability estimates were 0.16 for HP, 0.23 for SCR, 0.52 for HB, 0.66 for PP, and 0.13 for PMAB. The genetic correlations were positive among productive traits (PP, HP and SCR) and negative between productive traits and HB, except between PP and HB. Genetic correlations between PMAB and other traits, in general, were negative, except with PP. The study permitted to identify honeybees for improved propolis and honey production. Hygienic behavior may be improved as a consequence of selecting for improved propolis production. The rate of syrup consumption and propolis production may be included in a selection index to enhance honeybee traits. PMID:23885203

  12. 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.

  13. Effectiveness of tilmicosin against Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American Foulbrood disease of honeybees.

    PubMed

    Reynaldi, Francisco J; Albo, Graciela N; Alippi, Adriana M

    2008-11-25

    American Foulbrood (AFB) of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.), caused by the Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae is one of the most serious diseases affecting the larval and pupal stages of honeybees (A. mellifera L.). The aim of the present work was to asses the response of 23 strains of P. larvae from diverse geographical origins to tilmicosin, a macrolide antibiotic developed for exclusive use in veterinary medicine, by means of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the agar diffusion test (ADT). All the strains tested were highly susceptible to tilmicosin with MIC values ranging between 0.0625 and 0.5 microg ml(-1), and with MIC(50) and MIC(90) values of 0.250 microg ml(-1). The ADT tests results for 23 P. larvae strains tested showed that all were susceptible to tilmicosin with inhibition zones around 15 microg tilmicosin disks ranging between 21 and 50mm in diameter. Oral acute toxicity of tilmicosin was evaluated and the LD(50) values obtained demonstrated that it was virtually non-toxic for adult bees and also resulted non-toxic for larvae when compared with the normal brood mortality. Dosage of 1000 mg a.i. of tilmicosin applied in a 55 g candy resulted in a total suppression of AFB clinical signs in honeybee colonies 60 days after initial treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the effectiveness of tilmicosin against P. larvae both in vitro and in vivo.

  14. Resistance of developing honeybee larvae during chronic exposure to dietary nicotine.

    PubMed

    Human, H; Archer, C R; du Rand, E E; Pirk, C W W; Nicolson, S W

    2014-10-01

    The effects of pesticides on honeybee larvae are less understood than for adult bees, even though larvae are chronically exposed to pesticide residues that accumulate in comb and food stores in the hive. We investigated how exposure to a plant alkaloid, nicotine, affects survival, growth and body composition of honeybee larvae. Larvae of Apis mellifera scutellata were reared in vitro and fed throughout development on standard diets with nicotine included at concentrations from 0 to 1000μg/100g diet. Overall mortality across all nicotine treatments was low, averaging 9.8% at the prepupal stage and 18.1% at the white-eyed pupal stage, but survival was significantly reduced by nicotine. The mass of prepupae and white-eyed pupae was not affected by nicotine. In terms of body composition, nicotine affected water content but did not influence either protein or lipid stores of white-eyed pupae. We attribute the absence of consistent negative effects of dietary nicotine to detoxification mechanisms in developing honeybees, which enable them to resist both natural and synthetic xenobiotics.

  15. Distribution of mitochondrial DNA fragments in the nuclear genome of the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Du, W X; Qin, Y C

    2015-10-27

    Nuclear mitochondrial pseudogenes (numts), which originated from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) insertions in the nuclear genome, have been detected in many species. The distribution of numts in the honeybee nuclear genome has not yet been fully reported. By referring to the whole honeybee mtDNA sequence and to the recent version of the honeybee nuclear genome, 236 reference sequences were identified by BLAST, with 90 unmapped. The size of the numts ranged from 219 to 3788 bp, and the homologous identity between numts and their corresponding mtDNA fragments varied from 71 to 93%. Furthermore, identified honeybee numts covered nearly all mitochondrial genes and were distributed over all chromosomes. This study provides useful information for further research related to mitochondrial genes and the evolution of the honeybee.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  17. Are commercial probiotics and prebiotics effective in the treatment and prevention of honeybee nosemosis C?

    PubMed

    Ptaszyńska, Aneta A; Borsuk, Grzegorz; Zdybicka-Barabas, Agnieszka; Cytryńska, Małgorzata; Małek, Wanda

    2016-01-01

    The study was conducted to investigate the effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a commercial probiotic) and inulin (a prebiotic) on the survival rates of honeybees infected and uninfected with Nosema ceranae, the level of phenoloxidase (PO) activity, the course of nosemosis, and the effect on the prevention of nosemosis development in bees. The cells of L. rhamnosus exhibited a high rate of survival in 56.56 % sugar syrup, which was used to feed the honeybees. Surprisingly, honeybees fed with sugar syrup supplemented with a commercial probiotic and a probiotic + prebiotic were more susceptible to N. ceranae infection, and their lifespan was much shorter. The number of microsporidian spores in the honeybees fed for 9 days prior to N. ceranae infection with a sugar syrup supplemented with a commercial probiotic was 25 times higher (970 million spores per one honeybee) than in a control group fed with pure sucrose syrup (38 million spores per one honeybee). PO activity reached its highest level in the hemolymph of this honeybee control group uninfected with N. ceranae. The addition of probiotics or both probiotics and prebiotics to the food of uninfected bees led to the ~2-fold decrease in the PO activity. The infection of honeybees with N. ceranae accompanied an almost 20-fold decrease in the PO level. The inulin supplemented solely at a concentration of 2 μg/mL was the only administrated factor which did not significantly affect honeybees' survival, the PO activity, or the nosemosis infection level. In conclusion, the supplementation of honeybees' diet with improperly selected probiotics or both probiotics and prebiotics does not prevent nosemosis development, can de-regulate insect immune systems, and may significantly increase bee mortality.

  18. "Double-trick" visual and chemical mimicry by the juvenile orchid mantis hymenopus coronatus used in predation of the oriental honeybee apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, Takafumi; Yamaguchi, Susumu; Yamamoto, Ichiro; Yamaoka, Ryohei; Akino, Toshiharu

    2014-12-01

    It has long been hypothesized that the flower-like appearance of the juvenile orchid mantis is used as visual camouflage to capture flower-visiting insects, although it is doubtful whether such morphological resemblance alone could increase their success in hunting. We confirmed that juvenile female orchid mantes often succeed in capturing oriental honeybees, while adult females often fail. Since most of the honeybees approached the juveniles from the front, we hypothesized that juvenile orchid mantes might attract honeybees by emitting some volatile chemical cues. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses revealed that the mantes' mandibular adducts contained 3-hydroxyoctanoic acid (3HOA) and 10-hydroxy-(E)-2-decenoic acid (10HDA), both of which are also features of the pheromone communication of the oriental honeybee. We also successfully detected 3HOA emitted in the head space air only at the time when the juvenile mantes were attempting to capture their prey. Field bioassay showed that the Oriental Honeybee predominantly preferred to visit dummies impregnated with a mixture of the appropriate amounts and ratios of 3HOA and 10HDA. We therefore conclude that the juvenile mantes utilize these as allelochemicals to trick and attract oriental honeybees.

  19. Honeybee flight metabolic rate: does it depend upon air temperature?

    PubMed

    Woods, William A; Heinrich, Bernd; Stevenson, Robert D

    2005-03-01

    Differing conclusions have been reached as to how or whether varying heat production has a thermoregulatory function in flying honeybees Apis mellifera. We investigated the effects of air temperature on flight metabolic rate, water loss, wingbeat frequency, body segment temperatures and behavior of honeybees flying in transparent containment outdoors. For periods of voluntary, uninterrupted, self-sustaining flight, metabolic rate was independent of air temperature between 19 and 37 degrees C. Thorax temperatures (T(th)) were very stable, with a slope of thorax temperature on air temperature of 0.18. Evaporative heat loss increased from 51 mW g(-1) at 25 degrees C to 158 mW g(-1) at 37 degrees C and appeared to account for head and abdomen temperature excess falling sharply over the same air temperature range. As air temperature increased from 19 to 37 degrees C, wingbeat frequency showed a slight but significant increase, and metabolic expenditure per wingbeat showed a corresponding slight but significant decrease. Bees spent an average of 52% of the measurement period in flight, with 19 of 78 bees sustaining uninterrupted voluntary flight for periods of >1 min. The fraction of time spent flying declined as air temperature increased. As the fraction of time spent flying decreased, the slope of metabolic rate on air temperature became more steeply negative, and was significant for bees flying less than 80% of the time. In a separate experiment, there was a significant inverse relationship of metabolic rate and air temperature for bees requiring frequent or constant agitation to remain airborne, but no dependence for bees that flew with little or no agitation; bees were less likely to require agitation during outdoor than indoor measurements. A recent hypothesis explaining differences between studies in the slope of flight metabolic rate on air temperature in terms of differences in metabolic capacity and thorax temperature is supported for honeybees in voluntary

  20. Honeybees learn the sign and magnitude of reward variations.

    PubMed

    Gil, Mariana; De Marco, Rodrigo J

    2009-09-01

    In this study, we asked whether honeybees learn the sign and magnitude of variations in the level of reward. We designed an experiment in which bees first had to forage on a three-flower patch offering variable reward levels, and then search for food at the site in the absence of reward and after a long foraging pause. At the time of training, we presented the bees with a decrease in reward level or, instead, with either a small or a large increase in reward level. Testing took place as soon as they visited the patch on the day following training, when we measured the bees' food-searching behaviours. We found that the bees that had experienced increasing reward levels searched for food more persistently than the bees that had experienced decreasing reward levels, and that the bees that had experienced a large increase in reward level searched for food more persistently than the bees that had experienced a small increase in reward level. Because these differences at the time of testing cannot be accounted for by the bees' previous crop loads and food-intake rates, our results unambiguously demonstrate that honeybees adjust their investment of time/energy during foraging in relation to both the sign and the magnitude of past variations in the level of reward. It is likely that such variations lead to the formation of reward expectations enhancing a forager's reliance on a feeding site. Ultimately, this would make it more likely for honeybees to find food when forage is scarce.

  1. A fifth major genetic group among honeybees revealed in Syria

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Apiculture has been practiced in North Africa and the Middle-East from antiquity. Several thousand years of selective breeding have left a mosaic of Apis mellifera subspecies in the Middle-East, many uniquely adapted and survived to local environmental conditions. In this study we explore the genetic diversity of A. mellifera from Syria (n = 1258), Lebanon (n = 169) and Iraq (n = 35) based on 14 short tandem repeat (STR) loci in the context of reference populations from throughout the Old World (n = 732). Results Our data suggest that the Syrian honeybee Apis mellifera syriaca occurs in both Syrian and Lebanese territories, with no significant genetic variability between respective populations from Syria and Lebanon. All studied populations clustered within a new fifth independent nuclear cluster, congruent with an mtDNA Z haplotype identified in a previous study. Syrian honeybee populations are not associated with Oriental lineage O, except for sporadic introgression into some populations close to the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Southern Syrian and Lebanese populations demonstrated high levels of genetic diversity compared to the northern populations. Conclusion This study revealed the effects of foreign queen importations on Syrian bee populations, especially for the region of Tartus, where extensive introgression of A. m. anatolica and/or A. m. caucasica alleles were identified. The policy of creating genetic conservation centers for the Syrian subspecies should take into consideration the influence of the oriental lineage O from the northern Syrian border and the large population of genetically divergent indigenous honeybees located in southern Syria. PMID:24314104

  2. Movement Analysis of Flexion and Extension of Honeybee Abdomen Based on an Adaptive Segmented Structure.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jieliang; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) curl their abdomens for daily rhythmic activities. Prior to determining this fact, people have concluded that honeybees could curl their abdomen casually. However, an intriguing but less studied feature is the possible unidirectional abdominal deformation in free-flying honeybees. A high-speed video camera was used to capture the curling and to analyze the changes in the arc length of the honeybee abdomen not only in free-flying mode but also in the fixed sample. Frozen sections and environment scanning electron microscope were used to investigate the microstructure and motion principle of honeybee abdomen and to explore the physical structure restricting its curling. An adaptive segmented structure, especially the folded intersegmental membrane (FIM), plays a dominant role in the flexion and extension of the abdomen. The structural features of FIM were utilized to mimic and exhibit movement restriction on honeybee abdomen. Combining experimental analysis and theoretical demonstration, a unidirectional bending mechanism of honeybee abdomen was revealed. Through this finding, a new perspective for aerospace vehicle design can be imitated.

  3. Movement Analysis of Flexion and Extension of Honeybee Abdomen Based on an Adaptive Segmented Structure

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jieliang; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) curl their abdomens for daily rhythmic activities. Prior to determining this fact, people have concluded that honeybees could curl their abdomen casually. However, an intriguing but less studied feature is the possible unidirectional abdominal deformation in free-flying honeybees. A high-speed video camera was used to capture the curling and to analyze the changes in the arc length of the honeybee abdomen not only in free-flying mode but also in the fixed sample. Frozen sections and environment scanning electron microscope were used to investigate the microstructure and motion principle of honeybee abdomen and to explore the physical structure restricting its curling. An adaptive segmented structure, especially the folded intersegmental membrane (FIM), plays a dominant role in the flexion and extension of the abdomen. The structural features of FIM were utilized to mimic and exhibit movement restriction on honeybee abdomen. Combining experimental analysis and theoretical demonstration, a unidirectional bending mechanism of honeybee abdomen was revealed. Through this finding, a new perspective for aerospace vehicle design can be imitated. PMID:26223946

  4. Honeybee combs: how the circular cells transform into rounded hexagons

    PubMed Central

    Karihaloo, B. L.; Zhang, K.; Wang, J.

    2013-01-01

    We report that the cells in a natural honeybee comb have a circular shape at ‘birth’ but quickly transform into the familiar rounded hexagonal shape, while the comb is being built. The mechanism for this transformation is the flow of molten visco-elastic wax near the triple junction between the neighbouring circular cells. The flow may be unconstrained or constrained by the unmolten wax away from the junction. The heat for melting the wax is provided by the ‘hot’ worker bees. PMID:23864500

  5. Polarization lidar measurements of honeybees for locating buried landmines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-08-01

    A polarization-sensitive lidar was used to detect honeybees trained to locate buried landmines by smell. Lidar measurements of bee location agree reasonably well with maps of chemical plume strength and bee density determined by visual and video counts, indicating that the bees are preferentially located near the explosives and that the lidar identifies the locations of higher bee concentration. The co-polarized lidar backscatter signal is more effective than the cross-polarized signal for bee detection. Laboratory measurements show that the depolarization ratio of scattered light is near zero for bee wings and up to approximately thirty percent for bee bodies.

  6. Effect of Temperature on the Biotic Potential of Honeybee Microsporidia▿

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; García-Palencia, Pilar; Marín, Pilar; Botías, Cristina; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Barrios, Laura; Higes, Mariano

    2009-01-01

    The biological cycle of Nosema spp. in honeybees depends on temperature. When expressed as total spore counts per day after infection, the biotic potentials of Nosema apis and N. ceranae at 33°C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37°C, the biotic potential of N. ceranae was higher than that of N. apis. The better adaptation of N. ceranae to complete its endogenous cycle at different temperatures clearly supports the observation of the different epidemiological patterns. PMID:19233948

  7. DNA differences found between Africanized and European honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Hall, H G

    1986-01-01

    The harmful en masse introduction of Africanized honeybees into the United States will occur within 5 years. Possible means of control are dependent on a reliable way to distinguish the Africanized bees from the extant European bees. Current means of identification are inadequate. Reported here are the encouraging initial results to distinguish the bees by their nuclear DNA. With 9 restriction enzymes and 16 probes, six genetic differences have been found among three samples of European bees from California. Twelve additional differences were detected between the European samples and a sample of Africanized bees from Costa Rica. Images PMID:3014516

  8. Subchronic exposure of honeybees to sublethal doses of pesticides: effects on behavior.

    PubMed

    Aliouane, Yassine; El Hassani, Adessalam K; Gary, Vincent; Armengaud, Catherine; Lambin, Michel; Gauthier, Monique

    2009-01-01

    Laboratory bioassays were conducted to evaluate the effects on honeybee behavior of sublethal doses of insecticides chronically administered orally or by contact. Emergent honeybees received a daily dose of insecticide ranging from one-fifth to one-five-hundredth of the median lethal dose (LD50) during 11 d. After exposure to fipronil (0.1 and 0.01 ng/bee), acetamiprid (1 and 0.1 microg/bee), or thiamethoxam (1 and 0.1 ng/bee), behavioral functions of honeybees were tested on day 12. Fipronil, used at the dose of 0.1 ng/bee, induced mortality of all honeybees after one week of treatment. As a result of contact treatment at 0.01 ng/bee, honeybees spent significantly more time immobile in an open-field apparatus and ingested significantly more water. In the olfactory conditioning paradigm, fipronil-treated honeybees failed to discriminate between a known and an unknown odorant. Thiamethoxam by contact induced either a significant decrease of olfactory memory 24 h after learning at 0.1 ng/bee or a significant impairment of learning performance with no effect on memory at 1 ng/bee. Responsiveness to antennal sucrose stimulation was significantly decreased for high sucrose concentrations in honeybees treated orally with thiamethoxam (1 ng/bee). The only significant effect of acetamiprid (administered orally, 0.1 microg/bee) was an increase in responsiveness to water. The neonicotinoids acetamiprid and thiamethoxam tested at the highest dose (one-tenth and one-fifth of their oral LD50, respectively) and fipronil at one-five-hundredth of LD50 have limited effects on the motor, sensory, and cognitive functions of the honeybee. Our data on the intrinsic toxicity of the compounds after chronic exposure have to be taken into account for evaluation of risk to honeybees in field conditions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. 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.

  11. Achievement of thermal stability by varying metabolic heat production in flying honeybees.

    PubMed

    Harrison, J F; Fewell, J H; Roberts, S P; Hall, H G

    1996-10-04

    Thermoregulation of the thorax allows endothermic insects to achieve power outputs during flight that are among the highest in the animal kingdom. Flying endothermic insects, including the honeybee Apis mellifera, are believed to thermoregulate almost exclusively by varying heat loss. Here it is shown that a rise in air temperature from 20 degrees to 40 degrees C causes large decreases in metabolic heat production and wing-beat frequency in honeybees during hovering, agitated, or loaded flight. Thus, variation in heat production may be the primary mechanism for achieving thermal stability in flying honeybees, and this mechanism may occur commonly in endothermic insects.

  12. 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.

  13. A DNA Barcoding Approach to Characterize Pollen Collected by Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Bruni, Ilaria; Scaccabarozzi, Daniela; Sandionigi, Anna; Barbuto, Michela; Casiraghi, Maurizio; Labra, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated DNA barcoding effectiveness to characterize honeybee pollen pellets, a food supplement largely used for human nutrition due to its therapeutic properties. We collected pollen pellets using modified beehives placed in three zones within an alpine protected area (Grigna Settentrionale Regional Park, Italy). A DNA barcoding reference database, including rbcL and trnH-psbA sequences from 693 plant species (104 sequenced in this study) was assembled. The database was used to identify pollen collected from the hives. Fifty-two plant species were identified at the molecular level. Results suggested rbcL alone could not distinguish among congeneric plants; however, psbA-trnH identified most of the pollen samples at the species level. Substantial variability in pollen composition was observed between the highest elevation locality (Alpe Moconodeno), characterized by arid grasslands and a rocky substrate, and the other two sites (Cornisella and Ortanella) at lower altitudes. Pollen from Ortanella and Cornisella showed the presence of typical deciduous forest species; however in samples collected at Ortanella, pollen of the invasive Lonicera japonica, and the ornamental Pelargonium x hortorum were observed. Our results indicated pollen composition was largely influenced by floristic local biodiversity, plant phenology, and the presence of alien flowering species. Therefore, pollen molecular characterization based on DNA barcoding might serve useful to beekeepers in obtaining honeybee products with specific nutritional or therapeutic characteristics desired by food market demands. PMID:25296114

  14. A DNA barcoding approach to characterize pollen collected by honeybees.

    PubMed

    Galimberti, Andrea; De Mattia, Fabrizio; Bruni, Ilaria; Scaccabarozzi, Daniela; Sandionigi, Anna; Barbuto, Michela; Casiraghi, Maurizio; Labra, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated DNA barcoding effectiveness to characterize honeybee pollen pellets, a food supplement largely used for human nutrition due to its therapeutic properties. We collected pollen pellets using modified beehives placed in three zones within an alpine protected area (Grigna Settentrionale Regional Park, Italy). A DNA barcoding reference database, including rbcL and trnH-psbA sequences from 693 plant species (104 sequenced in this study) was assembled. The database was used to identify pollen collected from the hives. Fifty-two plant species were identified at the molecular level. Results suggested rbcL alone could not distinguish among congeneric plants; however, psbA-trnH identified most of the pollen samples at the species level. Substantial variability in pollen composition was observed between the highest elevation locality (Alpe Moconodeno), characterized by arid grasslands and a rocky substrate, and the other two sites (Cornisella and Ortanella) at lower altitudes. Pollen from Ortanella and Cornisella showed the presence of typical deciduous forest species; however in samples collected at Ortanella, pollen of the invasive Lonicera japonica, and the ornamental Pelargonium x hortorum were observed. Our results indicated pollen composition was largely influenced by floristic local biodiversity, plant phenology, and the presence of alien flowering species. Therefore, pollen molecular characterization based on DNA barcoding might serve useful to beekeepers in obtaining honeybee products with specific nutritional or therapeutic characteristics desired by food market demands.

  15. First report of viral infections that affect argentine honeybees.

    PubMed

    Reynaldi, Francisco José; Sguazza, Guillermo Hernán; Pecoraro, Marcelo Ricardo; Tizzano, Marco Andrés; Galosi, Cecilia Mónica

    2010-12-01

    Honey is one of the most important agricultural products for export in Argentina. In fact, more than 3.5 million beehives and 50 000 beekeepers are related with this production, mainly located in Buenos Aires province. Honeybee mortality is a serious problem that beekeepers in Argentina have had to face during the last 3 years. It is known that the consequence of the complex interactions between environmental and beekeeping parameters added to the effect of different disease agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasitic mites may result in a sudden collapse of the colony. In addition, multiple viral infections are frequently detected concomitantly in bee colonies. We describe here the preliminary results of a survey of three honeybee-pathogenic viruses, acute bee paralysis viruses (ABPV), chronic bee paralysis viruses (CBPV) and Sacbrood viruses (SBV) detected during a screening of 61 apiaries located in the main honey producer province using a RT-PCR assay. This is the first molecular report of the presence of these viruses in Argentine apiaries.

  16. Selective Behaviour of Honeybees in Acquiring European Propolis Plant Precursors.

    PubMed

    Isidorov, Valery A; Bakier, Sławomir; Pirożnikow, Ewa; Zambrzycka, Monika; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2016-06-01

    Honey bees harvest resins from various plant species and use them in the hive as propolis. While there have been a number of studies concerning the chemical composition of this antimicrobial product, little is known about selective behavior and bee preference when different potential plant sources of resin are available. The main objective of this paper was to investigate some aspects of behavioral patterns of honeybees in the context of resin acquisition. Samples of propolis originating from temperate zones of Europe and the supposed botanical precursors of the product were analyzed. Taxonomical markers of bud resins of two white birch species, aspen, black poplar, horse-chestnut, black alder, and Scots pine were determined through GC-MS analysis. All these trees have been reported as sources of propolis, but comparisons of the chemical composition of their bud resins with the compositions of propolis samples from seven European countries have demonstrated the presence of taxonomical markers only from black poplar, aspen, and one species of birch. This suggests selective behavior during the collection of bud resins by honeybees. To examine the causes of such selectivity, the antimicrobial properties of bud resins were determined. Horse-chestnut resins had lower antimicrobial activity than the other resins which did not differ significantly.

  17. Climate rather than geography separates two European honeybee subspecies.

    PubMed

    Coroian, Cristian O; Muñoz, Irene; Schlüns, Ellen A; Paniti-Teleky, Orsolya R; Erler, Silvio; Furdui, Emilia M; Mărghitaş, Liviu A; Dezmirean, Daniel S; Schlüns, Helge; de la Rúa, Pilar; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-05-01

    Both climatic and geographical factors play an important role for the biogeographical distribution of species. The Carpathian mountain ridge has been suggested as a natural geographical divide between the two honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera carnica and A. m. macedonica. We sampled one worker from one colony each at 138 traditional apiaries located across the Carpathians spanning from the Hungarian plains to the Danube delta. All samples were sequenced at the mitochondrial tRNA(Leu)-cox2 intergenic region and genotyped at twelve microsatellite loci. The Carpathians had only limited impact on the biogeography because both subspecies were abundant on either side of the mountain ridge. In contrast, subspecies differentiation strongly correlated with the various temperature zones in Romania. A. m. carnica is more abundant in regions with the mean average temperature below 9 °C, whereas A. m. macedonica honeybees are more frequent in regions with mean temperatures above 9 °C. This range selection may have impact on the future biogeography in the light of anticipated global climatic changes.

  18. The organization of honeybee ocelli: Regional specializations and rhabdom arrangements.

    PubMed

    Ribi, Willi; Warrant, Eric; Zeil, Jochen

    2011-11-01

    We have re-investigated the organization of ocelli in honeybee workers and drones. Ocellar lenses are divided into a dorsal and a ventral part by a cusp-shaped indentation. The retina is also divided, with a ventral retina looking skywards and a dorsal retina looking at the horizon. The focal plane of lenses lies behind the retina in lateral ocelli, but within the dorsal retina in the median ocellus of both workers and drones. Ventral retinula cells are ca. 25μm long with dense screening pigments. Dorsal retinula cells are ca. 60μm long with sparse pigmentation mainly restricted to their proximal parts. Pairs of retinula cells form flat, non-twisting rhabdom sheets with elongated, straight, rectangular cross-sections, on average 8.7μm long and 1μm wide. Honeybee ocellar rhabdoms have shorter and straighter cross-sections than those recently described in the night-active bee Megalopta genalis. Across the retina, rhabdoms form a fan-shaped pattern of orientations. In each ocellus, ventral and dorsal retinula cell axons project into two separate neuropils, converging on few large neurons in the dorsal, and on many small neurons in the ventral neuropil. The divided nature of the ocelli, together with the particular construction and arrangement of rhabdoms, suggest that ocelli are not only involved in attitude control, but might also provide skylight polarization compass information.

  19. Neonicotinoid-induced impairment of odour coding in the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Andrione, Mara; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Antolini, Renzo; Haase, Albrecht

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides is considered one of the possible causes of honeybee (Apis mellifera) population decline. At sublethal doses, these chemicals have been shown to negatively affect a number of behaviours, including performance of olfactory learning and memory, due to their interference with acetylcholine signalling in the mushroom bodies. Here we provide evidence that neonicotinoids can affect odour coding upstream of the mushroom bodies, in the first odour processing centres of the honeybee brain, i.e. the antennal lobes (ALs). In particular, we investigated the effects of imidacloprid, the most common neonicotinoid, in the AL glomeruli via in vivo two-photon calcium imaging combined with pulsed odour stimulation. Following acute imidacloprid treatment, odour-evoked calcium response amplitude in single glomeruli decreases, and at the network level the representations of different odours are no longer separated. This demonstrates that, under neonicotinoid influence, olfactory information might reach the mushroom bodies in a form that is already incorrect. Thus, some of the impairments in olfactory learning and memory caused by neonicotinoids could, in fact, arise from the disruption in odor coding and olfactory discrimination ability of the honey bees. PMID:27905515

  20. From where did the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) originate?

    PubMed

    Han, Fan; Wallberg, Andreas; Webster, Matthew T

    2012-08-01

    The native range of the honeybee Apis mellifera encompasses Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, whereas the nine other species of Apis are found exclusively in Asia. It is therefore commonly assumed that A. mellifera arose in Asia and expanded into Europe and Africa. However, other hypotheses for the origin of A. mellifera have also been proposed based on phylogenetic trees constructed from genetic markers. In particular, an analysis based on >1000 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers placed the root of the tree of A. mellifera subspecies among samples from Africa, suggestive of an out-of-Africa expansion. Here, we re-evaluate the evidence for this and other hypotheses by testing the robustness of the tree topology to different tree-building methods and by removing specimens with a potentially hybrid background. These analyses do not unequivocally place the root of the tree of A. mellifera subspecies within Africa, and are potentially consistent with a variety of hypotheses for honeybee evolution, including an expansion out of Asia. Our analyses also support high divergence between western and eastern European populations of A. mellifera, suggesting they are likely derived from two distinct colonization routes, although the sources of these expansions are still unclear.

  1. Interspecific utilisation of wax in comb building by honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepburn, H. Randall; Radloff, Sarah E.; Duangphakdee, Orawan; Phaincharoen, Mananya

    2009-06-01

    Beeswaxes of honeybee species share some homologous neutral lipids; but species-specific differences remain. We analysed behavioural variation for wax choice in honeybees, calculated the Euclidean distances for different beeswaxes and assessed the relationship of Euclidean distances to wax choice. We tested the beeswaxes of Apis mellifera capensis, Apis florea, Apis cerana and Apis dorsata and the plant and mineral waxes Japan, candelilla, bayberry and ozokerite as sheets placed in colonies of A. m. capensis, A. florea and A. cerana. A. m. capensis accepted the four beeswaxes but removed Japan and bayberry wax and ignored candelilla and ozokerite. A. cerana colonies accepted the wax of A. cerana, A. florea and A. dorsata but rejected or ignored that of A. m. capensis, the plant and mineral waxes. A. florea colonies accepted A. cerana, A. dorsata and A. florea wax but rejected that of A. m. capensis. The Euclidean distances for the beeswaxes are consistent with currently prevailing phylogenies for Apis. Despite post-speciation chemical differences in the beeswaxes, they remain largely acceptable interspecifically while the plant and mineral waxes are not chemically close enough to beeswax for their acceptance.

  2. Brood comb as a humidity buffer in honeybee nests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, Michael B.; Nicolson, Sue W.; Crewe, Robin M.; Dietemann, Vincent

    2010-04-01

    Adverse environmental conditions can be evaded, tolerated or modified in order for an organism to survive. During their development, some insect larvae spin cocoons which, in addition to protecting their occupants against predators, modify microclimatic conditions, thus facilitating thermoregulation or reducing evaporative water loss. Silk cocoons are spun by honeybee ( Apis mellifera) larvae and subsequently incorporated into the cell walls of the wax combs in which they develop. The accumulation of this hygroscopic silk in the thousands of cells used for brood rearing may significantly affect nest homeostasis by buffering humidity fluctuations. This study investigates the extent to which the comb may influence homeostasis by quantifying the hygroscopic capacity of the cocoons spun by honeybee larvae. When comb containing cocoons was placed at high humidity, it absorbed 11% of its own mass in water within 4 days. Newly drawn comb composed of hydrophobic wax and devoid of cocoons absorbed only 3% of its own mass. Therefore, the accumulation of cocoons in the comb may increase brood survivorship by maintaining a high and stable humidity in the cells.

  3. Neural representation of olfactory mixtures in the honeybee antennal lobe.

    PubMed

    Deisig, Nina; Giurfa, Martin; Lachnit, Harald; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2006-08-01

    Natural olfactory stimuli occur as mixtures of many single odors. We studied whether the representation of a mixture in the brain retains single-odor information and how much mixture-specific information it includes. To understand mixture representation in the honeybee brain, we used in vivo calcium imaging at the level of the antennal lobe, and systematically measured odor-evoked activity in 24 identified glomeruli in response to four single odorants and all their possible binary, ternary and quaternary mixtures. Qualitatively, mixture-induced activity patterns always contained glomeruli belonging to the pattern of at least one of the components, suggesting a high conservation of component information in olfactory mixtures. Quantitatively, glomerular activity saturated quickly and increasing the number of components resulted in an increase of cases in which the response of a glomerulus to the mixture was lower than that to the strongest component ('suppression'). This shows global inhibition in the antennal lobe, probably acting as overall gain control. Single components were not equally salient (in terms of number of active glomeruli) and mixture activity patterns were always more similar to the more salient components, in a way that could be predicted linearly. Thus, although a gain control system in the honeybee antennal lobe prevents saturation of the olfactory system, mixture representation follows essentially elemental rules.

  4. Neonicotinoids interfere with specific components of navigation in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Johannes; Müller, Teresa; Spatz, Anne-Kathrin; Greggers, Uwe; Grünewald, Bernd; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-01-01

    Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection.

  5. Neonicotinoids Interfere with Specific Components of Navigation in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Johannes; Müller, Teresa; Spatz, Anne-Kathrin; Greggers, Uwe; Grünewald, Bernd; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-01-01

    Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection. PMID:24646521

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

    PubMed

    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.

  7. Genetic Variation in Virulence among Chalkbrood Strains Infecting Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Jensen, Annette B.; Markussen, Bo; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2011-01-01

    Ascosphaera apis causes chalkbrood in honeybees, a chronic disease that reduces the number of viable offspring in the nest. Although lethal for larvae, the disease normally has relatively low virulence at the colony level. A recent study showed that there is genetic variation for host susceptibility, but whether Ascosphaera apis strains differ in virulence is unknown. We exploited a recently modified in vitro rearing technique to infect honeybee larvae from three colonies with naturally mated queens under strictly controlled laboratory conditions, using four strains from two distinct A. apis clades. We found that both strain and colony of larval origin affected mortality rates. The strains from one clade caused 12–14% mortality while those from the other clade induced 71–92% mortality. Larvae from one colony showed significantly higher susceptibility to chalkbrood infection than larvae from the other two colonies, confirming the existence of genetic variation in susceptibility across colonies. Our results are consistent with antagonistic coevolution between a specialized fungal pathogen and its host, and suggest that beekeeping industries would benefit from more systematic monitoring of this chronic stress factor of their colonies. PMID:21966406

  8. Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) as potential antiviral treatment in naturally BQCV infected honeybees.

    PubMed

    Aurori, Adriana C; Bobiş, Otilia; Dezmirean, Daniel S; Mărghitaş, Liviu A; Erler, Silvio

    2016-08-15

    Viral diseases are one of the multiple factors associated with honeybee colony losses. Apart from their innate immune system, including the RNAi machinery, honeybees can use secondary plant metabolites to reduce or fully cure pathogen infections. Here, we tested the antiviral potential of Laurus nobilis leaf ethanolic extracts on forager honeybees naturally infected with BQCV (Black queen cell virus). Total viral loads were reduced even at the lowest concentration tested (1mg/ml). Higher extract concentrations (≥5mg/ml) significantly reduced virus replication. Measuring vitellogenin gene expression as an indicator for transcript homeostasis revealed constant RNA levels before and after treatment, suggesting that its expression was not impacted by the L. nobilis treatment. In conclusion, plant secondary metabolites can reduce virus loads and virus replication in naturally infected honeybees.

  9. Behavioral Evidence for Olfactory-Based Location of Honeybee Colonies by the Scarab Oplostomus haroldi.

    PubMed

    Fombong, Ayuka T; Mutunga, Jacqueline M; Teal, Peter E A; Torto, Baldwyn

    2016-10-01

    The Afro-tropical scarab Oplostomus haroldi (Witte) is a pest of honeybees in East Africa with little information available on its chemical ecology. Recently, we identified a female-produced contact sex pheromone, (Z)-9-pentacosene, from the cuticular lipids that attracted males. Here, we investigated the kairomonal basis of host location in O. haroldi. We used coupled gas chromatography/electroantennographic detection (GC/EAD) and GC/mass spectrometry to identify antennally-active compounds from volatiles collected from honeybee colonies. Antennae of both sexes of the beetle consistently detected seven components, which were identified as 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, 2,3-butanediol, butyl acetate, isopentyl acetate, butyl butyrate, hexyl acetate, and methyl benzoate. In olfactometer bioassays, both sexes responded to the full seven-component synthetic blend over solvent controls, but chose honeybee colony odors over the blend. These findings suggest that the seven compounds are components of a kairomone from honeybee colonies used by O. haroldi.

  10. Behavioural mimicry of honeybees (Apis mellifera) by droneflies (Diptera: Syrphidae: Eristalis spp.).

    PubMed

    Golding, Y C; Edmunds, M

    2000-05-07

    Droneflies (Syrphidae: Eristalis spp. resemble honeybees (Apis mellifera) in appearance and have often been considered to be Batesian mimics. This study used a focal watch technique in order to compare the foraging behaviour of droneflies Eristalis tenax, Eristalis pertinax, Eristalis arbustorum and Eristalis nemorum) whilst they were feeding on patches of flowers with the behaviour of honeybees and other hymenopterans and dipterans. It was found that, on a range of plant species, the time droneflies spent on individual flowers and the time spent flying between them was more similar to that of honeybees than to the times of other hymenopterans and dipterans. These results suggest that dronefly behaviour has evolved to become more similar to that of honeybees and they support the hypothesis that droneflies are Batesian mimics.

  11. Questioning public perception, conservation policy, and recovery actions for honeybees in North America.

    PubMed

    Colla, Sheila R; MacIvor, J Scott

    2016-09-14

    Global pollinator declines have resulted in an increasing number of policies and actions to help bee populations. In North America, there is strong public engagement, but also growing controversies over how to address declines. This is fueled by complex scientific evidence across species, habitat types, geographic regions, as well as intense lobbying by NGOs, beekeeping, agro-chemical and farming industries. Policy and conservation initiatives often focus on the Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera Linnaeus, a domesticated species not native to North America. Although losses of managed honeybee colonies are recorded annually, we argue that honeybee losses are not a conservation problem, but instead a domesticated animal management issue. By focusing attention on honeybees, policies and subsequent resources may undermine native bee conservation and have negative impacts ecologically and socially. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. From honeybees to robots and back: division of labour based on partitioning social inhibition.

    PubMed

    Zahadat, Payam; Hahshold, Sibylle; Thenius, Ronald; Crailsheim, Karl; Schmickl, Thomas

    2015-10-26

    In this paper, a distributed adaptive partitioning algorithm inspired by division of labor in honeybees is investigated for its applicability in a swarm of underwater robots in one hand and is qualitatively compared with the behavior of honeybee colonies on the other hand. The algorithm, partitioning social inhibition (PSI), is based on local interactions and uses a simple logic inspired from age-polyethism and task allocation in honeybee colonies. The algorithm is analyzed in simulation and is successfully applied here to partition a swarm of underwater robots into groups demonstrating its adaptivity to changes and applicability in real world systems. In a turn towards the inspiration origins of the algorithm, three honeybee colonies are then studied for age-polyethism behaviors and the results are contrasted with a simulated swarm running the PSI algorithm. Similar effects are detected in both the biological and simulated swarms suggesting biological plausibility of the mechanisms employed by the artificial system.

  14. Drag reduction effects facilitated by microridges inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones.

    PubMed

    Li, Chu-Chu; Wu, Jia-Ning; Yang, Yun-Qiang; Zhu, Ren-Gao; Yan, Shao-Ze

    2016-01-21

    The mouthpart of a honeybee is a natural well-designed micropump that uses a reciprocating glossa through a temporary tube comprising a pair of galeae and labial palpi for loading nectar. The shapes and sizes of mouthparts differ among castes of honeybees, but the diversities of the functional microstructures inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones remain poorly understood. Through scanning electron microscopy, we found the dimensional difference of uniformly distributed microridges on the inner galeae walls of Apis mellifera ligustica workers and drones. Subsequently, we recorded the feeding process of live honeybees by using a specially designed high-speed camera system. Considering the microridges and kinematics of the glossa, we constructed a hydrodynamic model to calculate the friction coefficient of the mouthpart. In addition, we test the drag reduction through the dimensional variations of the microridges on the inner walls of mouthparts. Theoretical estimations of the friction coefficient with respect to dipping frequency show that inner microridges can reduce friction during the feeding process of honeybees. The effects of drag reduction regulated by specific microridges were then compared. The friction coefficients of the workers and drones were found to be 0.011±0.007 (mean±s.d.) and 0.045±0.010, respectively. These results indicate that the mouthparts of workers are more capable of drag reduction compared with those of drones. The difference was analyzed by comparing the foraging behavior of the workers and drones. Workers are equipped with well-developed hypopharyngeal, and their dipping frequency is higher than that of drones. Our research establishes a critical link between microridge dimensions and drag reduction capability during the nectar feeding of honeybees. Our results reveal that microridges inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones reflect the caste-related life cycles of honeybees.

  15. A descriptive study of the prevalence of parasites and pathogens in Chinese black honeybees.

    PubMed

    Peng, Wenjun; Li, Jilian; Zhao, Yazhou; Chen, Yanping; Zeng, Zhijiang

    2015-09-01

    The Chinese black honey bee is a distinct honey bee subspecies distributed in the Xinjiang, Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces of China. We conducted a study to investigate the genetic origin and the parasite/pathogen profile on Chinese black honeybees. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that Chinese black honeybees were two distinct groups: one group of bees formed a distinct clade that was most similar to Apis mellifera mellifera and the other group was a hybrid of the subspecies, Apis mellifera carnica, Apis mellifera anatolica and Apis mellifera caucasica. This suggests that the beekeeping practices might have promoted gene flow between different subspecies. Screening for pathogens and parasites showed that Varroa destructor and viruses were detected at low prevalence in Chinese black honeybees, compared with Italian bees. Further, a population of pure breeding black honeybees, A. m. mellifera, displayed a high degree of resistance to Varroa. No Varroa mites or Deformed wing virus could be detected in any examined bee colonies. This finding suggests that a population of pure breeding Chinese black honeybees possess some natural resistance to Varroa and indicated the need or importance for the conservation of the black honeybees in China.

  16. Tailless patterning functions are conserved in the honeybee even in the absence of Torso signaling.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Megan J; Dearden, Peter K

    2009-11-01

    In Drosophila, the maternal Torso terminal signaling pathway activates expression of the gene tailless (tll), which is required for the patterning of anterior and posterior termini. We cloned the honeybee orthologue of tll (Am-tll) and found that embryonic expression of Am-tll resembles that of Drosophila, with expression in triangular anterior dorsal-lateral domains and a posterior cap. Functional studies revealed that Am-tll has an essential role in patterning the posterior terminal segments and the brain, similar to the activity of tll in other insects. As the honeybee genome lacks many of the components of the Torso pathway required for terminal patterning, we investigated the regulation of honeybee tailless (Am-tll). Am-tll is expressed maternally and, in the honeybee ovary, Am-tll mRNA becomes localized to the dorsal side of the oocyte, a process requiring the actin cytoskeleton. This RNA becomes redistributed in early embryos to a posterior domain. We also show that the activation of the anterior domain of Am-tll is dependent on honeybee orthodenticle-1. Together these findings indicate major differences in post-transcriptional regulation of tailless in the honeybee compared to other insects but that this regulation leads to a conserved expression pattern. These results provide an example of an early event in development evolving and yet still producing a conserved output for the rest of development to build upon.

  17. Disease associations between honeybees and bumblebees as a threat to wild pollinators.

    PubMed

    Fürst, M A; McMahon, D P; Osborne, J L; Paxton, R J; Brown, M J F

    2014-02-20

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) pose a risk to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, by affecting managed livestock and wildlife that provide valuable resources and ecosystem services, such as the pollination of crops. Honeybees (Apis mellifera), the prevailing managed insect crop pollinator, suffer from a range of emerging and exotic high-impact pathogens, and population maintenance requires active management by beekeepers to control them. Wild pollinators such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are in global decline, one cause of which may be pathogen spillover from managed pollinators like honeybees or commercial colonies of bumblebees. Here we use a combination of infection experiments and landscape-scale field data to show that honeybee EIDs are indeed widespread infectious agents within the pollinator assemblage. The prevalence of deformed wing virus (DWV) and the exotic parasite Nosema ceranae in honeybees and bumblebees is linked; as honeybees have higher DWV prevalence, and sympatric bumblebees and honeybees are infected by the same DWV strains, Apis is the likely source of at least one major EID in wild pollinators. Lessons learned from vertebrates highlight the need for increased pathogen control in managed bee species to maintain wild pollinators, as declines in native pollinators may be caused by interspecies pathogen transmission originating from managed pollinators.

  18. 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.

  19. Differential proteomic analysis of midguts from Nosema ceranae-infected honeybees reveals manipulation of key host functions.

    PubMed

    Vidau, Cyril; Panek, Johan; Texier, Catherine; Biron, David G; Belzunces, Luc P; Le Gall, Morgane; Broussard, Cédric; Delbac, Frédéric; El Alaoui, Hicham

    2014-09-01

    Many invasive pathogens effectively bypass the insect defenses to ensure the completion of their life cycle. Among those, an invasive microsporidian species, Nosema ceranae, can cause nosemosis in honeybees. N. ceranae was first described in the Asian honeybee Apis cerana and is suspected to be involved in Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) declines worldwide. The midgut of honeybees is the first barrier against N. ceranae attacks. To bring proteomics data on honeybee/N. ceranae crosstalk and more precisely to decipher the worker honeybee midgut response after an oral inoculation of N. ceranae (10days post-infection), we used 2D-DIGE (2-Dimensional Differential In-Gel Electrophoresis) combined with mass spectrometry. Forty-five protein spots produced by the infected worker honeybee group were shown to be differentially expressed when compared to the uninfected group; 14 were subsequently identified by mass spectrometry. N. ceranae mainly caused a modulation of proteins involved in three key host biological functions: (i) energy production, (ii) innate immunity (reactive oxygen stress) and (iii) protein regulation. The modulation of these host biological functions suggests that N. ceranae creates a zone of "metabolic habitat modification" in the honeybee midgut favoring its development by enhancing availability of nutrients and reducing the worker honeybee defense.

  20. Antennal proteome comparison of sexually mature drone and forager honeybees.

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

    Honeybees have evolved an intricate system of chemical communication to regulate their complex social interactions. Specific proteins involved in odorant detection most likely supported this chemical communication. Odorant reception takes place mainly in the antennae within hairlike structures called olfactory sensilla. Antennal proteomes of sexually mature drone and forager worker bees (an age group of bees assigned to perform field tasks) were compared using two-dimensional electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and bioinformatics. Sixty-one differentially expressed proteins were identified in which 67% were highly upregulated in the drones' antennae whereas only 33% upregulated in the worker bees' antennae. The antennae of the worker bees strongly expressed carbohydrate and energy metabolism and molecular transporters signifying a strong demand for metabolic energy and odorant binding proteins for their foraging activities and other olfactory responses, while proteins related to fatty acid metabolism, antioxidation, and protein folding were strongly upregulated in the drones' antennae as an indication of the importance for the detection and degradation of sex pheromones during queen identification for mating. On the basis of both groups of altered antenna proteins, carbohydrate metabolism and energy production and molecular transporters comprised more than 80% of the functional enrichment analysis and 45% of the constructed biological interaction networks (BIN), respectively. This suggests these two protein families play crucial roles in the antennal olfactory function of sexually mature drone and forager worker bees. Several key node proteins in the BIN were validated at the transcript level. This first global proteomic comparative analysis of antennae reveals sex-biased protein expression in both bees, indicating that odorant response mechanisms are sex-specific because of natural selection for different olfactory

  1. 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

  2. Insights into DNA hydroxymethylation in the honeybee from in-depth analyses of TET dioxygenase.

    PubMed

    Wojciechowski, Marek; Rafalski, Dominik; Kucharski, Robert; Misztal, Katarzyna; Maleszka, Joanna; Bochtler, Matthias; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2014-08-01

    In mammals, a family of TET enzymes producing oxidized forms of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) plays an important role in modulating DNA demethylation dynamics. In contrast, nothing is known about the function of a single TET orthologue present in invertebrates. Here, we show that the honeybee TET (AmTET) catalytic domain has dioxygenase activity and converts 5mC to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) in a HEK293T cell assay. In vivo, the levels of 5hmC are condition-dependent and relatively low, but in testes and ovaries 5hmC is present at approximately 7-10% of the total level of 5mC, which is comparable to that reported for certain mammalian cells types. AmTET is alternatively spliced and highly expressed throughout development and in adult tissues with the highest expression found in adult brains. Our findings reveal an additional level of flexible genomic modifications in the honeybee that may be important for the selection of multiple pathways controlling contrasting phenotypic outcomes in this species. In a broader context, our study extends the current, mammalian-centred attention to TET-driven DNA hydroxymethylation to an easily manageable organism with attractive and unique biology.

  3. Differential Odour Coding of Isotopomers in the Honeybee Brain

    PubMed Central

    Paoli, Marco; Anesi, Andrea; Antolini, Renzo; Guella, Graziano; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Haase, Albrecht

    2016-01-01

    The shape recognition model of olfaction maintains that odorant reception probes physicochemical properties such as size, shape, electric charge, and hydrophobicity of the ligand. Recently, insects were shown to distinguish common from deuterated isotopomers of the same odorant, suggesting the involvement of other molecular properties to odorant reception. Via two-photon functional microscopy we investigated how common and deuterated isoforms of natural odorants are coded within the honeybee brain. Our results provide evidence that (i) different isotopomers generate different neuronal activation maps, (ii) isotopomer sensitivity is a general mechanism common to multiple odorant receptors, and (iii) isotopomer specificity is highly consistent across individuals. This indicates that honeybee’s olfactory system discriminates between isotopomers of the same odorant, suggesting that other features, such as molecular vibrations, may contribute to odour signal transduction. PMID:26899989

  4. Airflow and optic flow mediate antennal positioning in flying honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Roy Khurana, Taruni; Sane, Sanjay P

    2016-01-01

    To maintain their speeds during navigation, insects rely on feedback from their visual and mechanosensory modalities. Although optic flow plays an essential role in speed determination, it is less reliable under conditions of low light or sparse landmarks. Under such conditions, insects rely on feedback from antennal mechanosensors but it is not clear how these inputs combine to elicit flight-related antennal behaviours. We here show that antennal movements of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, are governed by combined visual and antennal mechanosensory inputs. Frontal airflow, as experienced during forward flight, causes antennae to actively move forward as a sigmoidal function of absolute airspeed values. However, corresponding front-to-back optic flow causes antennae to move backward, as a linear function of relative optic flow, opposite the airspeed response. When combined, these inputs maintain antennal position in a state of dynamic equilibrium. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14449.001 PMID:27097104

  5. The flight paths of honeybees recruited by the waggle dance.

    PubMed

    Riley, J R; Greggers, U; Smith, A D; Reynolds, D R; Menzel, R

    2005-05-12

    In the 'dance language' of honeybees, the dancer generates a specific, coded message that describes the direction and distance from the hive of a new food source, and this message is displaced in both space and time from the dancer's discovery of that source. Karl von Frisch concluded that bees 'recruited' by this dance used the information encoded in it to guide them directly to the remote food source, and this Nobel Prize-winning discovery revealed the most sophisticated example of non-primate communication that we know of. In spite of some initial scepticism, almost all biologists are now convinced that von Frisch was correct, but what has hitherto been lacking is a quantitative description of how effectively recruits translate the code in the dance into flight to their destinations. Using harmonic radar to record the actual flight paths of recruited bees, we now provide that description.

  6. An Algorithmic Analysis of the Honey-Bee Game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischer, Rudolf; Woeginger, Gerhard J.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Honeybee society destruction by losing control of self-reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Peipei; Su, Beibei; He, Da-Ren

    2004-03-01

    Recently the mechanism of the damage caused by invasion of Apis mellifera capensis honeybee into the normal A. M. Scutellata colonies became interesting for scientists due to the fact that the mechanism may resemble those of cancer vicious hyperplasia, spreading of some epidemic, and turbulence of society induced by some bad society groups. For the mechanism, we suggest a new guess, which means that the losing control of self-reproduction disturbs and throws information structure of the society into confuse. We also simulate the damage process with a cellular automata based on the idea. The simulation shows that the process is equivalent to a non-equilibrium percolation phase transition. This discussion remind us that the management and monitor on the information network between society members may be a more effective way for avoiding the overflow of the destructor sub-colonies.

  10. Multiple host shifts by the emerging honeybee parasite, Varroa jacobsoni.

    PubMed

    Roberts, J M K; Anderson, D L; Tay, W T

    2015-05-01

    Host shifts are a key mechanism of parasite evolution and responsible for the emergence of many economically important pathogens. Varroa destructor has been a major factor in global honeybee (Apis mellifera) declines since shifting hosts from the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) > 50 years ago. Until recently, only two haplotypes of V. destructor (Korea and Japan) had successfully host shifted to A. mellifera. In 2008, the sister species V. jacobsoni was found for the first time parasitizing A. mellifera in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This recent host shift presents a serious threat to world apiculture but also provides the opportunity to examine host shifting in this system. We used 12 microsatellites to compare genetic variation of V. jacobsoni on A. mellifera in PNG with mites on A. cerana in both PNG and surrounding regions. We identified two distinct lineages of V. jacobsoni reproducing on A. mellifera in PNG. Our analysis indicated independent host shift events have occurred through small numbers of mites shifting from local A. cerana populations. Additional lineages were found in the neighbouring Papua and Solomon Islands that had partially host shifted to A. mellifera, that is producing immature offspring on drone brood only. These mites were likely in transition to full colonization of A. mellifera. Significant population structure between mites on the different hosts suggested host shifted V. jacobsoni populations may not still reproduce on A. cerana, although limited gene flow may exist. Our studies provide further insight into parasite host shift evolution and help characterize this new Varroa mite threat to A. mellifera worldwide.

  11. Olfactory subsystems in the honeybee: sensory supply and sex specificity.

    PubMed

    Kropf, Jan; Kelber, Christina; Bieringer, Kathrin; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2014-09-01

    The antennae of honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers and drones differ in various aspects. One striking difference is the presence of Sensilla basiconica in (female) workers and their absence in (male) drones. We investigate the axonal projection patterns of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) housed in S. basiconica in honeybee workers by using selective anterograde labeling with fluorescent tracers and confocal-microscopy analysis of axonal projections in antennal lobe glomeruli. Axons of S. basiconica-associated ORNs preferentially projected into a specific glomerular cluster in the antennal lobe, namely the sensory input-tract three (T3) cluster. T3-associated glomeruli had previously been shown to be innervated by uniglomerular projection (output) neurons of the medial antennal lobe tract (mALT). As the number of T3 glomeruli is reduced in drones, we wished to determine whether this was associated with the reduction of glomeruli innervated by medial-tract projection neurons. We retrogradely traced mALT projection neurons in drones and counted the innervated glomeruli. The number of mALT-associated glomeruli was strongly reduced in drones compared with workers. The preferential projections of S. basiconica-associated ORNs in T3 glomeruli together with the reduction of mALT-associated glomeruli support the presence of a female (worker)-specific olfactory subsystem that is partly innervated by ORNs from S. basiconica and is associated with the T3 cluster of glomeruli and mALT projection neurons. We propose that this olfactory subsystem supports parallel olfactory processing related to worker-specific olfactory tasks such as the coding of colony odors, colony pheromones and/or odorants associated with foraging on floral resources.

  12. 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

  13. Widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early Neolithic farmers.

    PubMed

    Roffet-Salque, Mélanie; Regert, Martine; Evershed, Richard P; Outram, Alan K; Cramp, Lucy J E; Decavallas, Orestes; Dunne, Julie; Gerbault, Pascale; Mileto, Simona; Mirabaud, Sigrid; Pääkkönen, Mirva; Smyth, Jessica; Šoberl, Lucija; Whelton, Helen L; Alday-Ruiz, Alfonso; Asplund, Henrik; Bartkowiak, Marta; Bayer-Niemeier, Eva; Belhouchet, Lotfi; Bernardini, Federico; Budja, Mihael; Cooney, Gabriel; Cubas, Miriam; Danaher, Ed M; Diniz, Mariana; Domboróczki, László; Fabbri, Cristina; González-Urquijo, Jesus E; Guilaine, Jean; Hachi, Slimane; Hartwell, Barrie N; Hofmann, Daniela; Hohle, Isabel; Ibáñez, Juan J; Karul, Necmi; Kherbouche, Farid; Kiely, Jacinta; Kotsakis, Kostas; Lueth, Friedrich; Mallory, James P; Manen, Claire; Marciniak, Arkadiusz; Maurice-Chabard, Brigitte; Mc Gonigle, Martin A; Mulazzani, Simone; Özdoğan, Mehmet; Perić, Olga S; Perić, Slaviša R; Petrasch, Jörg; Pétrequin, Anne-Marie; Pétrequin, Pierre; Poensgen, Ulrike; Pollard, C Joshua; Poplin, François; Radi, Giovanna; Stadler, Peter; Stäuble, Harald; Tasić, Nenad; Urem-Kotsou, Dushka; Vuković, Jasna B; Walsh, Fintan; Whittle, Alasdair; Wolfram, Sabine; Zapata-Peña, Lydia; Zoughlami, Jamel

    2015-11-12

    The pressures on honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations, resulting from threats by modern pesticides, parasites, predators and diseases, have raised awareness of the economic importance and critical role this insect plays in agricultural societies across the globe. However, the association of humans with A. mellifera predates post-industrial-revolution agriculture, as evidenced by the widespread presence of ancient Egyptian bee iconography dating to the Old Kingdom (approximately 2400 BC). There are also indications of Stone Age people harvesting bee products; for example, honey hunting is interpreted from rock art in a prehistoric Holocene context and a beeswax find in a pre-agriculturalist site. However, when and where the regular association of A. mellifera with agriculturalists emerged is unknown. One of the major products of A. mellifera is beeswax, which is composed of a complex suite of lipids including n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids and fatty acyl wax esters. The composition is highly constant as it is determined genetically through the insect's biochemistry. Thus, the chemical 'fingerprint' of beeswax provides a reliable basis for detecting this commodity in organic residues preserved at archaeological sites, which we now use to trace the exploitation by humans of A. mellifera temporally and spatially. Here we present secure identifications of beeswax in lipid residues preserved in pottery vessels of Neolithic Old World farmers. The geographical range of bee product exploitation is traced in Neolithic Europe, the Near East and North Africa, providing the palaeoecological range of honeybees during prehistory. Temporally, we demonstrate that bee products were exploited continuously, and probably extensively in some regions, at least from the seventh millennium cal BC, likely fulfilling a variety of technological and cultural functions. The close association of A. mellifera with Neolithic farming communities dates to the early onset of agriculture and may provide

  14. Behavioral and neural plasticity caused by early social experiences: the case of the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Arenas, Andrés; Ramírez, Gabriela P.; Balbuena, María Sol; Farina, Walter M.

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive experiences during the early stages of life play an important role in shaping future behavior. Behavioral and neural long-term changes after early sensory and associative experiences have been recently reported in the honeybee. This invertebrate is an excellent model for assessing the role of precocious experiences on later behavior due to its extraordinarily tuned division of labor based on age polyethism. These studies are mainly focused on the role and importance of experiences occurred during the first days of the adult lifespan, their impact on foraging decisions, and their contribution to coordinate food gathering. Odor-rewarded experiences during the first days of honeybee adulthood alter the responsiveness to sucrose, making young hive bees more sensitive to assess gustatory features about the nectar brought back to the hive and affecting the dynamic of the food transfers and the propagation of food-related information within the colony. Early olfactory experiences lead to stable and long-term associative memories that can be successfully recalled after many days, even at foraging ages. Also they improve memorizing of new associative learning events later in life. The establishment of early memories promotes stable reorganization of the olfactory circuits inducing structural and functional changes in the antennal lobe (AL). Early rewarded experiences have relevant consequences at the social level too, biasing dance and trophallaxis partner choice and affecting recruitment. Here, we revised recent results in bees' physiology, behavior, and sociobiology to depict how the early experiences affect their cognition abilities and neural-related circuits. PMID:23986708

  15. A critical number of workers in a honeybee colony triggers investment in reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

    Social insect colonies, like individual organisms, must decide as they develop how to allocate optimally their resources among survival, growth, and reproduction. Only when colonies reach a certain state do they switch from investing purely in survival and growth to investing also in reproduction. But how do worker bees within a colony detect that their colony has reached the state where it is adaptive to begin investing in reproduction? Previous work has shown that larger honeybee colonies invest more in reproduction (i.e., the production of drones and queens), however, the term `larger' encompasses multiple colony parameters including number of adult workers, size of the nest, amount of brood, and size of the honey stores. These colony parameters were independently increased in this study to test which one(s) would increase a colony's investment in reproduction via males. This was assayed by measuring the construction of drone comb, the special type of comb in which drones are reared. Only an increase in the number of workers stimulated construction of drone comb. Colonies with over 4,000 workers began building drone comb, independent of the other colony parameters. These results show that attaining a critical number of workers is the key parameter for honeybee colonies to start to shift resources towards reproduction. These findings are relevant to other social systems in which a group's members must adjust their behavior as a function of the group's size.

  16. Behavioral and neural plasticity caused by early social experiences: the case of the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Arenas, Andrés; Ramírez, Gabriela P; Balbuena, María Sol; Farina, Walter M

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive experiences during the early stages of life play an important role in shaping future behavior. Behavioral and neural long-term changes after early sensory and associative experiences have been recently reported in the honeybee. This invertebrate is an excellent model for assessing the role of precocious experiences on later behavior due to its extraordinarily tuned division of labor based on age polyethism. These studies are mainly focused on the role and importance of experiences occurred during the first days of the adult lifespan, their impact on foraging decisions, and their contribution to coordinate food gathering. Odor-rewarded experiences during the first days of honeybee adulthood alter the responsiveness to sucrose, making young hive bees more sensitive to assess gustatory features about the nectar brought back to the hive and affecting the dynamic of the food transfers and the propagation of food-related information within the colony. Early olfactory experiences lead to stable and long-term associative memories that can be successfully recalled after many days, even at foraging ages. Also they improve memorizing of new associative learning events later in life. The establishment of early memories promotes stable reorganization of the olfactory circuits inducing structural and functional changes in the antennal lobe (AL). Early rewarded experiences have relevant consequences at the social level too, biasing dance and trophallaxis partner choice and affecting recruitment. Here, we revised recent results in bees' physiology, behavior, and sociobiology to depict how the early experiences affect their cognition abilities and neural-related circuits.

  17. First Detection of Nosema ceranae, a Microsporidian Protozoa of European Honeybees (Apis mellifera) In Iran

    PubMed Central

    Nabian, S; Ahmadi, K; Nazem Shirazi, MH; Gerami Sadeghian, A

    2011-01-01

    Background Nosemosis of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is present in bee colonies worldwide. Until recently, Nosema apis had been regarded as the causative agent of the disease, that causes heavy economic losses in apicultures. Nosema ceranae is an emerging microsporidian parasite of European honeybees, A. mellifera, but its distribution is not well known. Previously, nosemosis in honeybees in Iran was attributed exclusively to N. apis. Methods Six Nosema positive samples (determined from light microscopy of spores) of adult worker bees from one province of Iran (Savadkouh- Mazandaran, northern Iran) were tested to determine Nosema species using previously- developed PCR primers of the 16 S rRNA gene. As it is difficult to distinguish N. ceranae and N. apis morphologically, a PCR assay based on 16 S ribosomal RNA has been used to differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae. Results Only N. ceranae was found in all samples, indicating that this species present in Iran apiaries. Conclusion This is the first report of N. ceranae in colonies of A. mellifera in Iran. It seems that intensive surveys are needed to determine the distribution and prevalence of N. ceranae in different regions of Iran. PMID:22347302

  18. Interpatch foraging in honeybees-rational decision making at secondary hubs based upon time and motivation.

    PubMed

    Najera, Daniel A; McCullough, Erin L; Jander, Rudolf

    2012-11-01

    For honeybees, Apis mellifera, the hive has been well known to function as a primary decision-making hub, a place from which foragers decide among various directions, distances, and times of day to forage efficiently. Whether foraging honeybees can make similarly complex navigational decisions from locations away from the hive is unknown. To examine whether or not such secondary decision-making hubs exist, we trained bees to forage at four different locations. Specifically, we trained honeybees to first forage to a distal site "CT" 100 m away from the hive; if food was present, they fed and then chose to go home. If food was not present, the honeybees were trained to forage to three auxiliary sites, each at a different time of the day: A in the morning, B at noon, and C in the afternoon. The foragers learned to check site CT for food first and then efficiently depart to the correct location based upon the time of day if there was no food at site CT. Thus, the honeybees were able to cognitively map motivation, time, and five different locations (Hive, CT, A, B, and C) in two spatial dimensions; these are the contents of the cognitive map used by the honeybees here. While at site CT, we verified that the honeybees could choose between 4 different directions (to A, B, C, and the Hive) and thus label it as a secondary decision-making hub. The observed decision making uncovered here is inferred to constitute genuine logical operations, involving a branched structure, based upon the premises of motivational state, and spatiotemporal knowledge.

  19. Mechanism of action of recombinant Acc-royalisin from royal jelly of Chinese honeybee against gram-positive bacteria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The antibacterial activity of royalisin, an antimicrobial peptide from the royal jelly produced by honeybees has been addressed extensively. However, its mechanism of action remains unclear. In this study, a recombinant royalisin, RAcc-royalisin from the royal jelly of Chinese honeybee Apis cerana...

  20. Associative Learning during Early Adulthood Enhances Later Memory Retention in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Arenas, Andrés; Fernández, Vanesa M.; Farina, Walter M.

    2009-01-01

    Background Cognitive experiences during the early stages of life play an important role in shaping the future behavior in mammals but also in insects, in which precocious learning can directly modify behaviors later in life depending on both the timing and the rearing environment. However, whether olfactory associative learning acquired early in the adult stage of insects affect memorizing of new learning events has not been studied yet. Methodology Groups of adult honeybee workers that experienced an odor paired with a sucrose solution 5 to 8 days or 9 to 12 days after emergence were previously exposed to (i) a rewarded experience through the offering of scented food, or (ii) a non-rewarded experience with a pure volatile compound in the rearing environment. Principal Findings Early rewarded experiences (either at 1–4 or 5–8 days of adult age) enhanced retention performance in 9–12-day-conditioned bees when they were tested at 17 days of age. The highest retention levels at this age, which could not be improved with prior rewarded experiences, were found for memories established at 5–8 days of adult age. Associative memories acquired at 9–12 days of age showed a weak effect on retention for some pure pre-exposed volatile compounds; whereas the sole exposure of an odor at any younger age did not promote long-term effects on learning performance. Conclusions The associative learning events that occurred a few days after adult emergence improved memorizing in middle-aged bees. In addition, both the timing and the nature of early sensory inputs interact to enhance retention of new learning events acquired later in life, an important matter in the social life of honeybees. PMID:19956575

  1. Transcriptome Analyses of the Honeybee Response to Nosema ceranae and Insecticides

    PubMed Central

    Aufauvre, Julie; Misme-Aucouturier, Barbara; Viguès, Bernard; Texier, Catherine; Delbac, Frédéric; Blot, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are constantly exposed to a wide variety of environmental stressors such as parasites and pesticides. Among them, Nosema ceranae and neurotoxic insecticides might act in combination and lead to a higher honeybee mortality. We investigated the molecular response of honeybees exposed to N. ceranae, to insecticides (fipronil or imidacloprid), and to a combination of both stressors. Midgut transcriptional changes induced by these stressors were measured in two independent experiments combining a global RNA-Seq transcriptomic approach with the screening of the expression of selected genes by quantitative RT-PCR. Although N. ceranae-insecticide combinations induced a significant increase in honeybee mortality, we observed that they did not lead to a synergistic effect. According to gene expression profiles, chronic exposure to insecticides had no significant impact on detoxifying genes but repressed the expression of immunity-related genes. Honeybees treated with N. ceranae, alone or in combination with an insecticide, showed a strong alteration of midgut immunity together with modifications affecting cuticle coatings and trehalose metabolism. An increasing impact of treatments on gene expression profiles with time was identified suggesting an absence of stress recovery which could be linked to the higher mortality rates observed. PMID:24646894

  2. Pollination of rapeseed (Brassica napus) by Africanized honeybees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on two sowing dates.

    PubMed

    Chambó, Emerson D; De Oliveira, Newton T E; Garcia, Regina C; Duarte-Júnior, José B; Ruvolo-Takasusuki, Maria Claudia C; Toledo, Vagner A

    2014-12-01

    In this study, performed in the western part of the state of Paraná, Brazil, two self-fertile hybrid commercial rapeseed genotypes were evaluated for yield components and physiological quality using three pollination tests and spanning two sowing dates. The treatments consisted of combinations of two rapeseed genotypes (Hyola 61 and Hyola 433), three pollination tests (uncovered area, covered area without insects and covered area containing a single colony of Africanized Apis mellifera honeybees) and two sowing dates (May 25th, 2011 and June 25th, 2011). The presence of Africanized honeybees during flowering time increased the productivity of the rapeseed. Losses in the productivity of the hybrids caused by weather conditions unfavorable for rapeseed development were mitigated through cross-pollination performed by the Africanized honeybees. Weather conditions may limit the foraging activity of Africanized honeybees, causing decreased cross-pollination by potential pollinators, especially the Africanized A. mellifera honeybee. The rapeseed hybrids respond differently depending on the sowing date, and the short-cycle Hyola 433 hybrid is the most suitable hybrid for sowing under less favorable weather conditions.

  3. Mate number, kin selection and social conflicts in stingless bees and honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Peters, J. M.; Queller, D. C.; Imperatriz-Fonseca, V. L.; Roubik, D. W.; Strassmann, J. E.

    1999-01-01

    Microsatellite genotyping of workers from 13 species (ten genera) of stingless bees shows that genetic relatedness is very high. Workers are usually daughters of a single, singly mated queen. This observation, coupled with the multiple mating of honeybee queens, permits kin selection theory to account for many differences in the social biology of the two taxa. First, in contrast to honeybees, where workers are predicted to and do police each other's male production, stingless bee workers are predicted to compete directly with the queen for rights to produce males. This leads to behavioural and reproductive conflict during oviposition. Second, the risk that a daughter queen will attack the mother queen is higher in honeybees, as is the cost of such an attack to workers. This explains why stingless bees commonly have virgin queens in the nest, but honeybees do not. It also explains why in honeybees the mother queen leaves to found a new nest, while in stingless bees it is the daughter queen who leaves.

  4. Experimental evidence that honeybees depress wild insect densities in a flowering crop.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Bommarco, Riccardo; Smith, Henrik G

    2016-11-30

    While addition of managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) improves pollination of many entomophilous crops, it is unknown if it simultaneously suppresses the densities of wild insects through competition. To investigate this, we added 624 honeybee hives to 23 fields of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) over 2 years and made sure that the areas around 21 other fields were free from honeybee hives. We demonstrate that honeybee addition depresses the densities of wild insects (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, marchflies, other flies, and other flying and flower-visiting insects) even in a massive flower resource such as oilseed rape. The effect was independent of the complexity of the surrounding landscape, but increased with the size of the crop field, which suggests that the effect was caused by spatial displacement of wild insects. Our results have potential implications both for the pollination of crops (if displacement of wild pollinators offsets benefits achieved by adding honeybees) and for conservation of wild insects (if displacement results in negative fitness consequences).

  5. Visual attention in a complex search task differs between honeybees and bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Morawetz, Linde; Spaethe, Johannes

    2012-07-15

    Mechanisms of spatial attention are used when the amount of gathered information exceeds processing capacity. Such mechanisms have been proposed in bees, but have not yet been experimentally demonstrated. We provide evidence that selective attention influences the foraging performance of two social bee species, the honeybee Apis mellifera and the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Visual search tasks, originally developed for application in human psychology, were adapted for behavioural experiments on bees. We examined the impact of distracting visual information on search performance, which we measured as error rate and decision time. We found that bumblebees were significantly less affected by distracting objects than honeybees. Based on the results, we conclude that the search mechanism in honeybees is serial like, whereas in bumblebees it shows the characteristics of a restricted parallel-like search. Furthermore, the bees differed in their strategy to solve the speed-accuracy trade-off. Whereas bumblebees displayed slow but correct decision-making, honeybees exhibited fast and inaccurate decision-making. We propose two neuronal mechanisms of visual information processing that account for the different responses between honeybees and bumblebees, and we correlate species-specific features of the search behaviour to differences in habitat and life history.

  6. First detection of Paenibacillus larvae the causative agent of American Foulbrood in a Ugandan honeybee colony.

    PubMed

    Chemurot, Moses; Brunain, Marleen; Akol, Anne M; Descamps, Tine; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2016-01-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is a highly contagious and often lethal widely distributed pathogen of honeybees, Apis mellifera but has not been reported in eastern Africa to date. We investigated the presence of P. larvae in the eastern and western highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda by collecting brood and honey samples from 67 honeybee colonies in two sampling occasions and cultivated them for P. larvae. Also, 8 honeys imported and locally retailed in Uganda were sampled and cultivated for P. larvae. Our aim was to establish the presence and distribution of P. larvae in honeybee populations in the two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda and to determine if honeys that were locally retailed contained this lethal pathogen. One honeybee colony without clinical symptoms for P. larvae in an apiary located in a protected area of the western highlands of Uganda was found positive for P. larvae. The strain of this P. larvae was genotyped and found to be ERIC I. In order to compare its virulence with P. larvae reference strains, in vitro infection experiments were conducted with carniolan honeybee larvae from the research laboratory at Ghent University, Belgium. The results show that the virulence of the P. larvae strain found in Uganda was at least equally high. The epidemiological implication of the presence of P. larvae in a protected area is discussed.

  7. Neural organization and visual processing in the anterior optic tubercle of the honeybee brain.

    PubMed

    Mota, Theo; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Giurfa, Martin; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2011-08-10

    The honeybee Apis mellifera represents a valuable model for studying the neural segregation and integration of visual information. Vision in honeybees has been extensively studied at the behavioral level and, to a lesser degree, at the physiological level using intracellular electrophysiological recordings of single neurons. However, our knowledge of visual processing in honeybees is still limited by the lack of functional studies of visual processing at the circuit level. Here we contribute to filling this gap by providing a neuroanatomical and neurophysiological characterization at the circuit level of a practically unstudied visual area of the bee brain, the anterior optic tubercle (AOTu). First, we analyzed the internal organization and neuronal connections of the AOTu. Second, we established a novel protocol for performing optophysiological recordings of visual circuit activity in the honeybee brain and studied the responses of AOTu interneurons during stimulation of distinct eye regions. Our neuroanatomical data show an intricate compartmentalization and connectivity of the AOTu, revealing a dorsoventral segregation of the visual input to the AOTu. Light stimuli presented in different parts of the visual field (dorsal, lateral, or ventral) induce distinct patterns of activation in AOTu output interneurons, retaining to some extent the dorsoventral input segregation revealed by our neuroanatomical data. In particular, activity patterns evoked by dorsal and ventral eye stimulation are clearly segregated into distinct AOTu subunits. Our results therefore suggest an involvement of the AOTu in the processing of dorsoventrally segregated visual information in the honeybee brain.

  8. Do the honeybee pathogens Nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus act synergistically?

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Stephen J; Hardy, Jennifer; Villalobos, Ethel; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Nikaido, Scott; Higes, Mariano

    2013-01-01

    The honeybee pathogens Nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus (DWV) cause the collapse of honeybee colonies. Therefore, it is plausible that these two pathogens act synergistically to increase colony losses, since N. ceranae causes damage to the mid-gut epithelial ventricular cells and actively suppresses the honeybees’ immune response, either of which could increase the virulence of viral pathogens within the bee. To test this hypothesis we exploited 322 Hawaiian honeybee colonies for which DWV prevalence and load is known. We determined via PCR that N. ceranae was present in 89–95% of these colonies, with no Nosema apis being detected. We found no significant difference in spore counts in colonies infected with DWV and those in which DWV was not detected, either on any of the four islands or across the entire honeybee population. Furthermore, no significant correlation between DWV loads (ΔCT levels) and N. ceranae spore counts was found, so these two pathogens are not acting synergistically. Although the Hawaiian honeybees have the highest known prevalence of N. ceranae in the world, with average number of spores been 2.7 million per bee, no acute Nosema related problems i.e. large-scale colony deaths, have been reported by Hawaiian beekeepers. PMID:23864563

  9. Geographical overlap of two mitochondrial genomes in Spanish honeybees (Apis mellifera iberica).

    PubMed

    Smith, D R; Palopoli, M F; Taylor, B R; Garnery, L; Cornuet, J M; Solignac, M; Brown, W M

    1991-01-01

    Restriction enzyme cleavage maps of mitochondrial DNA from the Spanish honeybee, Apis mellifera iberica (Hymenoptera: Apidae), were compared with those from the European subspecies A. m. mellifera, A. m. ligustica, and A. m. carnica, and the African subspecies A. m. intermissa and A. m. scutellata. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the two African subspecies can be distinguished by restriction fragment polymorphisms revealed by Hinf I digests. Two distinct mtDNA types were found among Spanish honeybees: a west European mellifera-like type, which predominates in the north of Spain, and an African intermissa-like type, which predominates in the south. Spain appears to be a region of contact and hybridization between the two subspecies A. m. intermissa and A. m. mellifera, which respectively represent African and west European honeybee lineages. This natural boundary between European and African honeybee populations in the Old World may provide a model for predicting the eventual outcome of the colonization of North America by introduced African honeybees.

  10. Comparative psychophysics of bumblebee and honeybee colour discrimination and object detection.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Adrian G; Spaethe, Johannes; Prack, Sabina

    2008-07-01

    Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) discrimination of targets with broadband reflectance spectra was tested using simultaneous viewing conditions, enabling an accurate determination of the perceptual limit of colour discrimination excluding confounds from memory coding (experiment 1). The level of colour discrimination in bumblebees, and honeybees (Apis mellifera) (based upon previous observations), exceeds predictions of models considering receptor noise in the honeybee. Bumblebee and honeybee photoreceptors are similar in spectral shape and spacing, but bumblebees exhibit significantly poorer colour discrimination in behavioural tests, suggesting possible differences in spatial or temporal signal processing. Detection of stimuli in a Y-maze was evaluated for bumblebees (experiment 2) and honeybees (experiment 3). Honeybees detected stimuli containing both green-receptor-contrast and colour contrast at a visual angle of approximately 5 degrees , whilst stimuli that contained only colour contrast were only detected at a visual angle of 15 degrees . Bumblebees were able to detect these stimuli at a visual angle of 2.3 degrees and 2.7 degrees , respectively. A comparison of the experiments suggests a tradeoff between colour discrimination and colour detection in these two species, limited by the need to pool colour signals to overcome receptor noise. We discuss the colour processing differences and possible adaptations to specific ecological habitats.

  11. The bite of the honeybee: 2-heptanone secreted from honeybee mandibles during a bite acts as a local anaesthetic in insects and mammals.

    PubMed

    Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Kagiava, Alexia; Papaefthimiou, Chrisovalantis; Termentzi, Aikaterini; Fokialakis, Nikolas; Skaltsounis, Alexios-Leandros; Watkins, Max; Arnold, Gérard; Theophilidis, George

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees secrete 2-heptanone (2-H) from their mandibular glands when they bite. Researchers have identified several possible functions: 2-H could act as an alarm pheromone to recruit guards and soldiers, it could act as a chemical marker, or it could have some other function. The actual role of 2-H in honeybee behaviour remains unresolved. In this study, we show that 2-H acts as an anaesthetic in small arthropods, such as wax moth larva (WML) and Varroa mites, which are paralysed after a honeybee bite. We demonstrated that honeybee mandibles can penetrate the cuticle of WML, introducing less than one nanolitre of 2-H into the WML open circulatory system and causing instantaneous anaesthetization that lasts for a few minutes. The first indication that 2-H acts as a local anaesthetic was that its effect on larval response, inhibition and recovery is very similar to that of lidocaine. We compared the inhibitory effects of 2-H and lidocaine on voltage-gated sodium channels. Although both compounds blocked the hNav1.6 and hNav1.2 channels, lidocaine was slightly more effective, 2.82 times, on hNav.6. In contrast, when the two compounds were tested using an ex vivo preparation-the isolated rat sciatic nerve-the function of the two compounds was so similar that we were able to definitively classify 2-H as a local anaesthetic. Using the same method, we showed that 2-H has the fastest inhibitory effect of all alkyl-ketones tested, including the isomers 3- and 4-heptanone. This suggests that natural selection may have favoured 2-H over other, similar compounds because of the associated fitness advantages it confers. Our results reveal a previously unknown role of 2-H in honeybee defensive behaviour and due to its minor neurotoxicity show potential for developing a new local anaesthetic from a natural product, which could be used in human and veterinary medicine.

  12. Extending standard testing period in honeybees to predict lifespan impacts of pesticides and heavy metals using dynamic energy budget modelling

    PubMed Central

    Hesketh, H.; Lahive, E.; Horton, A. A.; Robinson, A. G.; Svendsen, C.; Rortais, A.; Dorne, J.- L.; Baas, J.; Spurgeon, D. J.; Heard, M. S.

    2016-01-01

    Concern over reported honeybee (Apis mellifera spp.) losses has highlighted chemical exposure as a risk. Current laboratory oral toxicity tests in A. mellifera spp. use short-term, maximum 96 hour, exposures which may not necessarily account for chronic and cumulative toxicity. Here, we use extended 240 hour (10 day) exposures to examine seven agrochemicals and trace environmental pollutant toxicities for adult honeybees. Data were used to parameterise a dynamic energy budget model (DEBtox) to further examine potential survival effects up to 30 day and 90 day summer and winter worker lifespans. Honeybees were most sensitive to insecticides (clothianidin > dimethoate ≫ tau-fluvalinate), then trace metals/metalloids (cadmium, arsenic), followed by the fungicide propiconazole and herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). LC50s calculated from DEBtox parameters indicated a 27 fold change comparing exposure from 48 to 720 hours (summer worker lifespan) for cadmium, as the most time-dependent chemical as driven by slow toxicokinetics. Clothianidin and dimethoate exhibited more rapid toxicokinetics with 48 to 720 hour LC50s changes of <4 fold. As effects from long-term exposure may exceed those measured in short-term tests, future regulatory tests should extend to 96 hours as standard, with extension to 240 hour exposures further improving realism. PMID:27995934

  13. [New SNP markers of the honeybee vitellogenin gene (Vg) used for identification of subspecies Apis mellifera mellifera L].

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Preservation of the gene pool of honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera mellifera is of vital importance for successful beekeeping development in the northern regions of Eurasia. An effective method of genotyping honeybee colonies used in modern science is the mapping of sites of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). The honeybee vitellogenin gene (Vg) encodes a protein that affects reproductive function, behavior, immunity, longevity, and social organization in the honeybee Apis mellifera and is therefore a topical research subject. The results of comparative analysis of honeybee Vg sequences show that there are 26 SNP sites that differentiate M and C evolutionary branches and can be used as markers in selective breeding, DNA-barcoding, and the creation of genetic passports for A. m. mellifera colonies.

  14. Exposure to Sublethal Doses of Fipronil and Thiacloprid Highly Increases Mortality of Honeybees Previously Infected by Nosema ceranae

    PubMed Central

    Vidau, Cyril; Diogon, Marie; Aufauvre, Julie; Fontbonne, Régis; Viguès, Bernard; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Texier, Catherine; Biron, David G.; Blot, Nicolas; El Alaoui, Hicham; Belzunces, Luc P.; Delbac, Frédéric

    2011-01-01

    Background The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is undergoing a worldwide decline whose origin is still in debate. Studies performed for twenty years suggest that this decline may involve both infectious diseases and exposure to pesticides. Joint action of pathogens and chemicals are known to threaten several organisms but the combined effects of these stressors were poorly investigated in honeybees. Our study was designed to explore the effect of Nosema ceranae infection on honeybee sensitivity to sublethal doses of the insecticides fipronil and thiacloprid. Methodology/Finding Five days after their emergence, honeybees were divided in 6 experimental groups: (i) uninfected controls, (ii) infected with N. ceranae, (iii) uninfected and exposed to fipronil, (iv) uninfected and exposed to thiacloprid, (v) infected with N. ceranae and exposed 10 days post-infection (p.i.) to fipronil, and (vi) infected with N. ceranae and exposed 10 days p.i. to thiacloprid. Honeybee mortality and insecticide consumption were analyzed daily and the intestinal spore content was evaluated 20 days after infection. A significant increase in honeybee mortality was observed when N. ceranae-infected honeybees were exposed to sublethal doses of insecticides. Surprisingly, exposures to fipronil and thiacloprid had opposite effects on microsporidian spore production. Analysis of the honeybee detoxification system 10 days p.i. showed that N. ceranae infection induced an increase in glutathione-S-transferase activity in midgut and fat body but not in 7-ethoxycoumarin-O-deethylase activity. Conclusions/Significance After exposure to sublethal doses of fipronil or thiacloprid a higher mortality was observed in N. ceranae-infected honeybees than in uninfected ones. The synergistic effect of N. ceranae and insecticide on honeybee mortality, however, did not appear strongly linked to a decrease of the insect detoxification system. These data support the hypothesis that the combination of the increasing

  15. 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.

  16. From honeybees to Internet servers: biomimicry for distributed management of Internet hosting centers.

    PubMed

    Nakrani, Sunil; Tovey, Craig

    2007-12-01

    An Internet hosting center hosts services on its server ensemble. The center must allocate servers dynamically amongst services to maximize revenue earned from hosting fees. The finite server ensemble, unpredictable request arrival behavior and server reallocation cost make server allocation optimization difficult. Server allocation closely resembles honeybee forager allocation amongst flower patches to optimize nectar influx. The resemblance inspires a honeybee biomimetic algorithm. This paper describes details of the honeybee self-organizing model in terms of information flow and feedback, analyzes the homology between the two problems and derives the resulting biomimetic algorithm for hosting centers. The algorithm is assessed for effectiveness and adaptiveness by comparative testing against benchmark and conventional algorithms. Computational results indicate that the new algorithm is highly adaptive to widely varying external environments and quite competitive against benchmark assessment algorithms. Other swarm intelligence applications are briefly surveyed, and some general speculations are offered regarding their various degrees of success.

  17. Genomic and transcriptional analysis of protein heterogeneity of the honeybee venom allergen Api m 6.

    PubMed

    Peiren, N; de Graaf, D C; Evans, J D; Jacobs, F J

    2006-10-01

    Several components of honeybee venom are known to cause allergenic responses in humans and other vertebrates. One such component, the minor allergen Api m 6, has been known to show amino acid variation but the genetic mechanism for this variation is unknown. Here we show that Api m 6 is derived from a single locus, and that substantial protein-level variation has a simple genome-level cause, without the need to invoke multiple loci or alternatively spliced exons. Api m 6 sits near a misassembled section of the honeybee genome sequence, and we propose that a substantial number of indels at and near Api m 6 might be the root cause of this misassembly. We suggest that genes such as Api m 6 with coding-region or untranslated region indels might have had a strong effect on the assembly of this draft of the honeybee genome.

  18. 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.

  19. Agricultural Policies Exacerbate Honeybee Pollination Service Supply-Demand Mismatches Across Europe

    PubMed Central

    Breeze, Tom D.; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Petanidou, Theodora; Seraphides, Nicos; Kozák, Lajos; Scheper, Jeroen; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Kleijn, David; Gyldenkærne, Steen; Moretti, Marco; Holzschuh, Andrea; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C.; Pärtel, Meelis; Zobel, Martin; Potts, Simon G.

    2014-01-01

    Declines in insect pollinators across Europe have raised concerns about the supply of pollination services to agriculture. Simultaneously, EU agricultural and biofuel policies have encouraged substantial growth in the cultivated area of insect pollinated crops across the continent. Using data from 41 European countries, this study demonstrates that the recommended number of honeybees required to provide crop pollination across Europe has risen 4.9 times as fast as honeybee stocks between 2005 and 2010. Consequently, honeybee stocks were insufficient to supply >90% of demands in 22 countries studied. These findings raise concerns about the capacity of many countries to cope with major losses of wild pollinators and highlight numerous critical gaps in current understanding of pollination service supplies and demands, pointing to a pressing need for further research into this issue. PMID:24421873

  20. Agricultural policies exacerbate honeybee pollination service supply-demand mismatches across Europe.

    PubMed

    Breeze, Tom D; Vaissière, Bernard E; Bommarco, Riccardo; Petanidou, Theodora; Seraphides, Nicos; Kozák, Lajos; Scheper, Jeroen; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Kleijn, David; Gyldenkærne, Steen; Moretti, Marco; Holzschuh, Andrea; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stout, Jane C; Pärtel, Meelis; Zobel, Martin; Potts, Simon G

    2014-01-01

    Declines in insect pollinators across Europe have raised concerns about the supply of pollination services to agriculture. Simultaneously, EU agricultural and biofuel policies have encouraged substantial growth in the cultivated area of insect pollinated crops across the continent. Using data from 41 European countries, this study demonstrates that the recommended number of honeybees required to provide crop pollination across Europe has risen 4.9 times as fast as honeybee stocks between 2005 and 2010. Consequently, honeybee stocks were insufficient to supply >90% of demands in 22 countries studied. These findings raise concerns about the capacity of many countries to cope with major losses of wild pollinators and highlight numerous critical gaps in current understanding of pollination service supplies and demands, pointing to a pressing need for further research into this issue.

  1. Honeybees and honey as monitors for heavy metal contamination near thermal power plants in Mugla, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Silici, Sibel; Uluozlu, Ozgur Dogan; Tuzen, Mustafa; Soylak, Mustafa

    2016-03-01

    In the present work, 6 honeydew samples of known geographical and botanical origins and 11 honeybee samples were analyzed to detect possible contamination by the thermoelectric power plants in Mugla, Turkey. The contents of trace elements were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry after application of microwave digestion. The samples from the thermal power plants, which were 10-22 km away from the hives, that did not cause pollution in honeydew honeys were also analyzed. The levels of copper, cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), zinc, manganese, iron, chromium, nickel, and aluminum were similar to the values found in other recent studies in literature. However, it was found that the contamination levels of the toxic elements such as Pb and Cd in honeybee samples measured relatively higher than that of honey samples. The study concludes that honeybees may be better bioindicators of heavy metal pollution than honey.

  2. Pheromonal dominance and the selection of a socially parasitic honeybee worker lineage (Apis mellifera capensis Esch.).

    PubMed

    Dietemann, V; Neumann, P; Härtel, S; Pirk, C W W; Crewe, R M

    2007-05-01

    The recent invasion by self-replicating socially parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, of colonies of the neighbouring African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata represents an opportunity to study evolution of intraspecific parasitism in real time. As honeybee workers compete pheromonally for reproductive dominance, and as A. m. capensis workers readily produce queen-like pheromones, we hypothesized that these semiochemicals promoted the evolution of intraspecific social parasitism. Remarkably, the offspring of a single worker became established as a parasite in A. m. scutellata's range. This could have resulted from extreme selection among different clonal parasitic worker lineages. Using pheromonal contest experiments, we show that the selected parasitic lineage dominates in the production of mandibular gland pheromones over all other competitors to which it is exposed. Our results suggest that mandibular gland pheromones played a key role in the evolution of intraspecific social parasitism in the honeybee and in the selection of a single genotype of parasitic workers.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Jilian; Qin, Haoran; Wu, Jie; Sadd, Ben M; Wang, Xiuhong; Evans, Jay D; Peng, Wenjun; Chen, Yanping

    2012-01-01

    Pathogens and parasites represent significant threats to the health and well-being of honeybee species that are key pollinators of agricultural crops and flowers worldwide. We conducted a nationwide survey to determine the occurrence and prevalence of pathogens and parasites in Asian honeybees, Apis cerana, in China. Our study provides evidence of infections of A. cerana by pathogenic Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Nosema ceranae, and C. bombi species that have been linked to population declines of European honeybees, A. mellifera, and bumble bees. However, the prevalence of DWV, a virus that causes widespread infection in A. mellifera, was low, arguably a result of the greater ability of A. cerana to resist the ectoprasitic mite Varroa destructor, an efficient vector of DWV. Analyses of microbial communities from the A. cerana digestive tract showed that Nosema infection could have detrimental effects on the gut microbiota. Workers infected by N. ceranae tended to have lower bacterial quantities, with these differences being significant for the Bifidobacterium and Pasteurellaceae bacteria groups. The results of this nationwide screen show that parasites and pathogens that have caused serious problems in European honeybees can be found in native honeybee species kept in Asia. Environmental changes due to new agricultural practices and globalization may facilitate the spread of pathogens into new geographic areas. The foraging behavior of pollinators that are in close geographic proximity likely have played an important role in spreading of parasites and pathogens over to new hosts. Phylogenetic analyses provide insights into the movement and population structure of these parasites, suggesting a bidirectional flow of parasites among pollinators. The presence of these parasites and pathogens may have considerable implications for an observed population decline of Asian honeybees.

  6. Effects of sub-lethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation.

    PubMed

    Sol Balbuena, María; Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Greggers, Uwe; Menzel, Randolf; Farina, Walter M

    2015-07-10

    Glyphosate (GLY) is a herbicide that is widely used in agriculture for weed control. Although reports about the impact of GLY in snails, crustaceans and amphibians exist, few studies have investigated its sub-lethal effects in non-target organisms such as the honeybee Apis mellifera, the main pollen vector in commercial crops. Here, we tested whether exposure to three sub-lethal concentrations of GLY (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/L corresponding to 0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 µg/animal) affects the homeward flight path of honeybees in an open field. We performed an experiment in which forager honeybees were trained to an artificial feeder, and then captured, fed with sugar solution containing GLY traces and released from a novel site (the release site, RS) either once or twice. Their homeward trajectories were tracked using harmonic radar technology. We found that honeybees that had been fed with solution containing 10 mg/L GLY spent more time performing homeward flights than control bees or bees treated with lower GLY concentrations. They also performed more indirect homing flights. Moreover, the proportion of direct homeward flights performed after a second release at the RS increased in control bees but not in treated bees. These results suggest that, in honeybees, exposure to GLY doses commonly found in agricultural settings impairs the cognitive capacities needed to retrieve and integrate spatial information for a successful return to the hive. Therefore, honeybee navigation is affected by ingesting traces of the most widely used herbicide worldwide, with potential long-term negative consequences for colony foraging success.

  7. Ethanol increases HSP70 concentrations in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) brain tissue.

    PubMed

    Hranitz, John M; Abramson, Charles I; Carter, Richard P

    2010-05-01

    Previous research on the honeybee ethanol model established how acute ethanol exposure altered function at different levels of organization: behavior and learning, ecology, and physiology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether ethanol doses that affect honeybee behavior also induce a significant stress response, measured by heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) concentrations, in honeybee brain tissues. Experiment 1 examined how pretreatment handling influenced brain HSP70 concentrations in three pretreatment groups of bees; immediately after being collected, after being harnessed and fed, and after 22-24h in a harness. HSP70 concentrations did not differ among pretreatment groups within replicates, although we observed significantly different HSP70 concentrations between the two replicates. Experiment 2 investigated the relationship between ethanol dose and brain HSP70 concentrations. Bees were placed in seven experimental groups, the three pretreatment groups as in Experiment 1 and four ethanol-fed groups. Bees in ethanol treatments were fed 1.5M sucrose (control) and 1.5M sucrose-ethanol solutions containing 2.5, 5, and 10% ethanol, allowed to sit for 4h, and dissected brains were assayed for HSP70. We observed ethanol-induced increases in honeybee brain HSP70 concentrations from the control group through the 5% ethanol group. Only bees in the 5% ethanol group had HSP70 concentrations significantly higher than the control group. The inverted U-shaped ethanol dose-HSP70 concentration response curve indicated that ingestion of 2.5% ethanol and 5% ethanol stimulated the stress response, whereas ingestion of 10% ethanol inhibited the stress response. Doses that show maximum HSP70 concentration (5% ethanol) or HSP70 inhibition (10% ethanol) correspond to those (> or =5% ethanol) that also impaired honeybees in previous studies. We conclude that acute ethanol intoxication by solutions containing > or =5% ethanol causes significant ethanol-induced stress in brain

  8. Honeybees' Speed Depends on Dorsal as Well as Lateral, Ventral and Frontal Optic Flows

    PubMed Central

    Portelli, Geoffrey; Ruffier, Franck; Roubieu, Frédéric L.; Franceschini, Nicolas

    2011-01-01

    Flying insects use the optic flow to navigate safely in unfamiliar environments, especially by adjusting their speed and their clearance from surrounding objects. It has not yet been established, however, which specific parts of the optical flow field insects use to control their speed. With a view to answering this question, freely flying honeybees were trained to fly along a specially designed tunnel including two successive tapering parts: the first part was tapered in the vertical plane and the second one, in the horizontal plane. The honeybees were found to adjust their speed on the basis of the optic flow they perceived not only in the lateral and ventral parts of their visual field, but also in the dorsal part. More specifically, the honeybees' speed varied monotonically, depending on the minimum cross-section of the tunnel, regardless of whether the narrowing occurred in the horizontal or vertical plane. The honeybees' speed decreased or increased whenever the minimum cross-section decreased or increased. In other words, the larger sum of the two opposite optic flows in the horizontal and vertical planes was kept practically constant thanks to the speed control performed by the honeybees upon encountering a narrowing of the tunnel. The previously described ALIS (“AutopiLot using an Insect-based vision System”) model nicely matches the present behavioral findings. The ALIS model is based on a feedback control scheme that explains how honeybees may keep their speed proportional to the minimum local cross-section of a tunnel, based solely on optic flow processing, without any need for speedometers or rangefinders. The present behavioral findings suggest how flying insects may succeed in adjusting their speed in their complex foraging environments, while at the same time adjusting their distance not only from lateral and ventral objects but also from those located in their dorsal visual field. PMID:21589861

  9. Honeybees' speed depends on dorsal as well as lateral, ventral and frontal optic flows.

    PubMed

    Portelli, Geoffrey; Ruffier, Franck; Roubieu, Frédéric L; Franceschini, Nicolas

    2011-05-12

    Flying insects use the optic flow to navigate safely in unfamiliar environments, especially by adjusting their speed and their clearance from surrounding objects. It has not yet been established, however, which specific parts of the optical flow field insects use to control their speed. With a view to answering this question, freely flying honeybees were trained to fly along a specially designed tunnel including two successive tapering parts: the first part was tapered in the vertical plane and the second one, in the horizontal plane. The honeybees were found to adjust their speed on the basis of the optic flow they perceived not only in the lateral and ventral parts of their visual field, but also in the dorsal part. More specifically, the honeybees' speed varied monotonically, depending on the minimum cross-section of the tunnel, regardless of whether the narrowing occurred in the horizontal or vertical plane. The honeybees' speed decreased or increased whenever the minimum cross-section decreased or increased. In other words, the larger sum of the two opposite optic flows in the horizontal and vertical planes was kept practically constant thanks to the speed control performed by the honeybees upon encountering a narrowing of the tunnel. The previously described ALIS ("AutopiLot using an Insect-based vision System") model nicely matches the present behavioral findings. The ALIS model is based on a feedback control scheme that explains how honeybees may keep their speed proportional to the minimum local cross-section of a tunnel, based solely on optic flow processing, without any need for speedometers or rangefinders. The present behavioral findings suggest how flying insects may succeed in adjusting their speed in their complex foraging environments, while at the same time adjusting their distance not only from lateral and ventral objects but also from those located in their dorsal visual field.

  10. Antioxidant supplementation can reduce the survival costs of excess amino acid intake in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Archer, C Ruth; Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W W; Oosthuizen, Vinette; Apostolides, Zeno; Nicolson, Susan W

    2014-12-01

    Over-consuming amino acids is associated with reduced survival in many species, including honeybees. The mechanisms responsible for this are unclear but one possibility is that excessive intake of amino acids increases oxidative damage. If this is the case, antioxidant supplementation may help reduce the survival costs of high amino acid intake. We tested this hypothesis in African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) using the major antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). We first determined the dose-range of EGCG that improved survival of caged honeybees fed sucrose solution. We then provided bees with eight diets that differed in their ratio of essential amino acids (EAA) to carbohydrate (C) (0:1, 1:250, 1:100, 1:75, 1:50, 1:25, 1:10, 1:5 EAA:C) and also in their EGCG dose (0.0 or 0.4 mM). We found that bees fed sucrose only solution survived better than bees fed EAA diets. Despite this, bees preferred a diet that contained intermediate ratios of EAA:C (ca. 1:25), which may represent the high demands for nitrogen of developing nurse bees. EGCG supplementation improved honeybee survival but only at an intermediate dose (0.3-0.5 mM) and in bees fed low EAA diets (1:250, 1:100 EAA:C). That EGCG counteracted the lifespan reducing effects of eating low EAA diets suggests that oxidative damage may be involved in the association between EAAs and lifespan in honeybees. However, that EGCG had no effect on survival in bees fed high EAA diets suggests that there are other physiological costs of over-consuming EAAs in honeybees.

  11. Kin composition effects on reproductive competition among queenless honeybee workers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inbar, Shani; Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Hefetz, Abraham

    2008-05-01

    Kin selection and inclusive fitness theories predict that, in hopeless queenless (QL) groups, competition or cooperation will occur over male production among workers of different patrilines. Competition is expected to involve mutual inhibition of reproduction and to affect fertility advertisement. To examine kin effect on these phenomena, we studied QL groups of honeybee workers comprising three types of kin structure: groups composed of pure single patrilines, groups composed of three mixed patrilines (all originating from colonies headed by single-drone-inseminated queens), and control groups composed of bees originating from naturally mated queens. Global assessment of ovarian development, irrespective of patriline composition, revealed no differences among group types. In contrast, the performance of specific patrilines revealed that, in the three-mixed-patriline groups, some patrilines were reproductively suppressed compared to their performance when reared as a pure single patriline, resulting in an uneven share of reproduction. Analysis of the fertility signal produced by Dufour’s gland revealed kin composition effects, which may reflect the bees’ competitive efforts. Although patriline effects on worker reproductive superiority have been shown in QL colonies, we were able to investigate specific patriline performance both in competitive and noncompetitive situations here for the first time. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that reproductive and pheromonal competitions in QL groups are affected by the number of subfamilies populating a colony and that these act as coalitions. The results also emphasize that within-colony heterogeneity, in the form of multiple patrilines, has far-reaching consequences on social evolution.

  12. Sleep deprivation affects extinction but not acquisition memory in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Bogusch, Lisa; Landgraf, Tim; Menzel, Randolf

    2009-11-01

    Sleep-like behavior has been studied in honeybees before, but the relationship between sleep and memory formation has not been explored. Here we describe a new approach to address the question if sleep in bees, like in other animals, improves memory consolidation. Restrained bees were observed by a web camera, and their antennal activities were used as indicators of sleep. We found that the bees sleep more during the dark phase of the day compared with the light phase. Sleep phases were characterized by two distinct patterns of antennal activities: symmetrical activity, more prominent during the dark phase; and asymmetrical activity, more common during the light phase. Sleep-deprived bees showed rebound the following day, confirming effective deprivation of sleep. After appetitive conditioning of the bees to various olfactory stimuli, we observed their sleep. Bees conditioned to odor with sugar reward showed lesser sleep compared with bees that were exposed to either reward alone or air alone. Next, we asked whether sleep deprivation affects memory consolidation. While sleep deprivation had no effect on retention scores after odor acquisition, retention for extinction learning was significantly reduced, indicating that consolidation of extinction memory but not acquisition memory was affected by sleep deprivation.

  13. The connection between landscapes and the solar ephemeris in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Towne, William F; Moscrip, Heather

    2008-12-01

    Honeybees connect the sun's daily pattern of azimuthal movement to some aspect of the landscape around their nests. In the present study, we ask what aspect of the landscape is used in this context--the entire landscape panorama or only sectors seen along familiar flight routes. Previous studies of the solar ephemeris memory in bees have generally used bees that had experience flying a specific route, usually along a treeline, to a feeder. When such bees were moved to a differently oriented treeline on overcast days, the bees oriented their communicative dances as if they were still at the first treeline, based on a memory of the sun's course in relation to some aspect of the site, possibly the familiar route along the treeline or possibly the entire landscape or skyline panorama. Our results show that bees lacking specific flight-route training can nonetheless recall the sun's compass bearing relative to novel flight routes in their natal landscape. Specifically, we moved a hive from one landscape to a differently oriented twin landscape, and only after transplantation under overcast skies did we move a feeder away from the hive. These bees nonetheless danced accurately by memory of the sun's course in relation to their natal landscape. The bees' knowledge of the relationship between the sun and landscape, therefore, is not limited to familiar flight routes and so may encompass, at least functionally, the entire panorama. Further evidence suggests that the skyline in particular may be the bees' preferred reference in this context.

  14. Rapid learning dynamics in individual honeybees during classical conditioning.

    PubMed

    Pamir, Evren; Szyszka, Paul; Scheiner, Ricarda; Nawrot, Martin P

    2014-01-01

    Associative learning in insects has been studied extensively by a multitude of classical conditioning protocols. However, so far little emphasis has been put on the dynamics of learning in individuals. The honeybee is a well-established animal model for learning and memory. We here studied associative learning as expressed in individual behavior based on a large collection of data on olfactory classical conditioning (25 datasets, 3298 animals). We show that the group-averaged learning curve and memory retention score confound three attributes of individual learning: the ability or inability to learn a given task, the generally fast acquisition of a conditioned response (CR) in learners, and the high stability of the CR during consecutive training and memory retention trials. We reassessed the prevailing view that more training results in better memory performance and found that 24 h memory retention can be indistinguishable after single-trial and multiple-trial conditioning in individuals. We explain how inter-individual differences in learning can be accommodated within the Rescorla-Wagner theory of associative learning. In both data-analysis and modeling we demonstrate how the conflict between population-level and single-animal perspectives on learning and memory can be disentangled.

  15. Crop scents affect the occurrence of trophallaxis among forager honeybees.

    PubMed

    Gil, M; Farina, W M

    2003-05-01

    Previous evidence indicates that the recognition of the nectar delivered by forager honeybees within the colony may have been a primitive method of communication on food resources. Thus, the association between scent and reward that nectar foragers establish while they collect on a given flower species should be retrieved during trophallaxis, i.e., the transfer of liquid food by mouth, and, accordingly, foraging experience could affect the occurrence of these interactions inside the nest. We used experimental arenas to analyze how crop scents carried by donor bees affect trophallaxis among foragers, i.e., donors and receivers, which differ in their foraging experience. Results showed that whenever the foragers had collected unscented sugar solution from a feeder the presence of scents in the solution carried by donors did not affect the occurrence of trophallaxis nor its dynamics. In contrast, whenever the foragers had previous olfactory information, new scents present in the crop of the donors negatively affected the occurrence, but not the dynamics of trophallaxis. Thus, the association learned at the food source seems to be retrieved during trophallaxis, and it is possible that known scents present in the mouthparts of nest-mates may operate as a triggering stimulus to elicit trophallactic behavior within the hive.

  16. `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.

  17. Error in the honeybee waggle dance improves foraging flexibility.

    PubMed

    Okada, Ryuichi; Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Kimura, Toshifumi; Ohashi, Mizue; Aonuma, Hitoshi; Ito, Etsuro

    2014-02-26

    The honeybee waggle dance communicates the location of profitable food sources, usually with a certain degree of error in the directional information ranging from 10-15° at the lower margin. We simulated one-day colonial foraging to address the biological significance of information error in the waggle dance. When the error was 30° or larger, the waggle dance was not beneficial. If the error was 15°, the waggle dance was beneficial when the food sources were scarce. When the error was 10° or smaller, the waggle dance was beneficial under all the conditions tested. Our simulation also showed that precise information (0-5° error) yielded great success in finding feeders, but also caused failures at finding new feeders, i.e., a high-risk high-return strategy. The observation that actual bees perform the waggle dance with an error of 10-15° might reflect, at least in part, the maintenance of a successful yet risky foraging trade-off.

  18. Inhibitory connections in the honeybee antennal lobe are spatially patchy.

    PubMed

    Girardin, Cyrille C; Kreissl, Sabine; Galizia, C Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    The olfactory system is a classical model for studying sensory processing. The first olfactory brain center [the olfactory bulb of vertebrates and the antennal lobe (AL) of insects] contains spherical neuropiles called glomeruli. Each glomerulus receives the information from one olfactory receptor type. Interglomerular computation is accomplished by lateral connectivity via interneurons. However, the spatial and functional organization of these lateral connections is not completely understood. Here we studied the spatial logic in the AL of the honeybee. We combined topical application of neurotransmitters, olfactory stimulations, and in vivo calcium imaging to visualize the arrangement of lateral connections. Suppression of activity in a single glomerulus with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) while presenting an odor reveals the existence of inhibitory interactions. Stimulating a glomerulus with acetylcholine (ACh) activates inhibitory interglomerular connections that can reduce odor-evoked responses. We show that this lateral network is patchy, in that individual glomeruli inhibit other glomeruli with graded strength, but in a spatially discontinuous manner. These results suggest that processing of olfactory information requires combinatorial activity patterns with complex topologies across the AL.

  19. Contribution of honeybee drones of different age to colonial thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Kovac, Helmut; Stabentheiner, Anton; Brodschneider, Robert

    2009-01-01

    In addition to honeybee workers, drones also contribute to colonial thermoregulation. We show the drones' contribution to thermoregulation at 5 different experimental temperatures ranging from 15-34 °C. The frequency and the degree of endothermy depended on the drones' local ambient temperature and age. Location on brood or non-brood areas had no influence. The frequency of endothermic drones and the intensity of endothermy increased with decreasing temperature. 30% of drones of 8 days and older heated their thorax by more than 1 °C above the abdomen. The youngest drones (0-2 days) did not exceed this level of endothermy. Though young drones were less often engaged in active heat production, their contribution to brood warming was not insignificant because their abundance on the brood nest was 3.5 times higher than that of the oldest drones (≥13 days). Results suggest that the stimulus for the drones' increased frequency of heating at low experimental temperatures was their low local ambient air and/or comb temperature.

  20. The Genetic Basis of Transgressive Ovary Size in Honeybee Workers

    PubMed Central

    Linksvayer, Timothy A.; Rueppell, Olav; Siegel, Adam; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E.; Amdam, Gro V.

    2009-01-01

    Ovarioles are the functional unit of the female insect reproductive organs and the number of ovarioles per ovary strongly influences egg-laying rate and fecundity. Social evolution in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) has resulted in queens with 200–360 total ovarioles and workers with usually 20 or less. In addition, variation in ovariole number among workers relates to worker sensory tuning, foraging behavior, and the ability to lay unfertilized male-destined eggs. To study the genetic architecture of worker ovariole number, we performed a series of crosses between Africanized and European bees that differ in worker ovariole number. Unexpectedly, these crosses produced transgressive worker phenotypes with extreme ovariole numbers that were sensitive to the social environment. We used a new selective pooled DNA interval mapping approach with two Africanized backcrosses to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying the transgressive ovary phenotype. We identified one QTL on chromosome 11 and found some evidence for another QTL on chromosome 2. Both QTL regions contain plausible functional candidate genes. The ovariole number of foragers was correlated with the sugar concentration of collected nectar, supporting previous studies showing a link between worker physiology and foraging behavior. We discuss how the phenotype of extreme worker ovariole numbers and the underlying genetic factors we identified could be linked to the development of queen traits. PMID:19620393

  1. Modelling honeybee visual guidance in a 3-D environment.

    PubMed

    Portelli, G; Serres, J; Ruffier, F; Franceschini, N

    2010-01-01

    In view of the behavioral findings published on bees during the last two decades, it was proposed to decipher the principles underlying bees' autopilot system, focusing in particular on these insects' use of the optic flow (OF). Based on computer-simulated experiments, we developed a vision-based autopilot that enables a "simulated bee" to travel along a tunnel, controlling both its speed and its clearance from the right wall, left wall, ground, and roof. The flying agent thus equipped enjoys three translational degrees of freedom on the surge (x), sway (y), and heave (z) axes, which are uncoupled. This visuo-motor control system, which is called ALIS (AutopiLot using an Insect based vision System), is a dual OF regulator consisting of two interdependent feedback loops, each of which has its own OF set-point. The experiments presented here showed that the simulated bee was able to navigate safely along a straight or tapered tunnel and to react appropriately to any untoward OF perturbations, such as those resulting from the occasional lack of texture on one wall or the tapering of the tunnel. The minimalistic visual system used here (involving only eight pixels) suffices to jointly control both the clearance from the four walls and the forward speed, without having to measure any speeds or distances. The OF sensors and the simple visuo-motor control system we have developed account well for the results of ethological studies performed on honeybees flying freely along straight and tapered corridors.

  2. Differential coding by two olfactory subsystems in the honeybee brain.

    PubMed

    Carcaud, Julie; Hill, Thomas; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2012-08-01

    Sensory systems use parallel processing to extract and process different features of environmental stimuli. Parallel processing has been studied in the auditory, visual, and somatosensory systems, but equivalent research in the olfactory modality is scarce. The honeybee Apis mellifera is an interesting model for such research as its relatively simple brain contains a dual olfactory system, with a clear neural dichotomy from the periphery to higher-order centers, based on two main neuronal tracts [medial (m) and lateral (l) antenno-protocerebral tract (APT)]. The function of this dual system is as yet unknown, and attributes like odor quality and odor quantity might be separately encoded in these subsystems. We have thus studied olfactory coding at the input of both subsystems, using in vivo calcium imaging. As one of the subsystems (m-APT) has never been imaged before, a novel imaging preparation was developed to this end, and responses to a panel of aliphatic odorants at different concentrations were compared in both subsystems. Our data show a global redundancy of olfactory coding at the input of both subsystems but unravel some specificities for encoding chemical group and carbon chain length of odor molecules.

  3. 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.

  4. Flow currents and ventilation in Langstroth beehives due to brood thermoregulation efforts of honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sudarsan, Rangarajan; Thompson, Cody; Kevan, Peter G; Eberl, Hermann J

    2012-02-21

    Beekeepers universally agree that ensuring sufficient ventilation is vital for sustaining a thriving, healthy honeybee colony. Despite this fact, surprisingly little is known about the ventilation and flow patterns in bee hives. We take a first step towards developing a model-based approach that uses computational fluid dynamics to simulate natural ventilation flow inside a standard Langstroth beehive. A 3-D model of a Langstroth beehive with one brood chamber and one honey super was constructed and inside it the honeybee colony was distributed among different clusters each occupying the different bee-spaces between frames in the brood chamber. For the purpose of modeling, each honeybee cluster was treated as an air-saturated porous medium with constant porosity. Heat and mass transfer interactions of the honeybees with the air, the outcome of metabolism, were captured in the porous medium model as source and sink terms appearing in the governing equations of fluid dynamics. The temperature of the brood that results from the thermoregulation efforts of the colony is applied as a boundary condition for the governing equations. The governing equations for heat, mass transport and fluid flow were solved using Fluent(©), a commercially available CFD program. The results from the simulations indicate that (a) both heat and mass transfer resulting from honeybee metabolism play a vital role in determining the structure of the flow inside the beehive and mass transfer cannot be neglected, (b) at low ambient temperatures, the nonuniform temperature profile on comb surfaces that results from brood incubation enhances flow through the honeybee cluster which removes much of the carbon-dioxide produced by the cluster resulting in lower carbon-dioxide concentration next to the brood, (c) increasing ambient (outside) air temperature causes ventilation flow rate to drop resulting in weaker flow inside the beehive. Flow visualization indicates that at low ambient air temperatures

  5. Parasite resistance and tolerance in honeybees at the individual and social level.

    PubMed

    Kurze, Christoph; Routtu, Jarkko; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-08-01

    Organisms living in large groups, such as social insects, are particularly vulnerable to parasite transmission. However, they have evolved diverse defence mechanisms which are not only restricted to the individual's immune response, but also include social defences. Here, we review cases of adaptations at the individual and social level in the honeybee Apis mellifera against the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and the endoparasitic microsporidians Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis. They are considered important threats to honeybee health worldwide. We highlight how individual resistance may result in tolerance at the colony level and vice versa.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Sex and Caste-Specific Variation in Compound Eye Morphology of Five Honeybee Species

    PubMed Central

    Streinzer, Martin; Brockmann, Axel; Nagaraja, Narayanappa; Spaethe, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    Ranging from dwarfs to giants, the species of honeybees show remarkable differences in body size that have placed evolutionary constrains on the size of sensory organs and the brain. Colonies comprise three adult phenotypes, drones and two female castes, the reproductive queen and sterile workers. The phenotypes differ with respect to tasks and thus selection pressures which additionally constrain the shape of sensory systems. In a first step to explore the variability and interaction between species size-limitations and sex and caste-specific selection pressures in sensory and neural structures in honeybees, we compared eye size, ommatidia number and distribution of facet lens diameters in drones, queens and workers of five species (Apis andreniformis, A. florea, A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. cerana). In these species, male and female eyes show a consistent sex-specific organization with respect to eye size and regional specialization of facet diameters. Drones possess distinctly enlarged eyes with large dorsal facets. Aside from these general patterns, we found signs of unique adaptations in eyes of A. florea and A. dorsata drones. In both species, drone eyes are disproportionately enlarged. In A. dorsata the increased eye size results from enlarged facets, a likely adaptation to crepuscular mating flights. In contrast, the relative enlargement of A. florea drone eyes results from an increase in ommatidia number, suggesting strong selection for high spatial resolution. Comparison of eye morphology and published mating flight times indicates a correlation between overall light sensitivity and species-specific mating flight times. The correlation suggests an important role of ambient light intensities in the regulation of species-specific mating flight times and the evolution of the visual system. Our study further deepens insights into visual adaptations within the genus Apis and opens up future perspectives for research to better understand the timing mechanisms

  10. Sex and caste-specific variation in compound eye morphology of five honeybee species.

    PubMed

    Streinzer, Martin; Brockmann, Axel; Nagaraja, Narayanappa; Spaethe, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    Ranging from dwarfs to giants, the species of honeybees show remarkable differences in body size that have placed evolutionary constrains on the size of sensory organs and the brain. Colonies comprise three adult phenotypes, drones and two female castes, the reproductive queen and sterile workers. The phenotypes differ with respect to tasks and thus selection pressures which additionally constrain the shape of sensory systems. In a first step to explore the variability and interaction between species size-limitations and sex and caste-specific selection pressures in sensory and neural structures in honeybees, we compared eye size, ommatidia number and distribution of facet lens diameters in drones, queens and workers of five species (Apis andreniformis, A. florea, A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. cerana). In these species, male and female eyes show a consistent sex-specific organization with respect to eye size and regional specialization of facet diameters. Drones possess distinctly enlarged eyes with large dorsal facets. Aside from these general patterns, we found signs of unique adaptations in eyes of A. florea and A. dorsata drones. In both species, drone eyes are disproportionately enlarged. In A. dorsata the increased eye size results from enlarged facets, a likely adaptation to crepuscular mating flights. In contrast, the relative enlargement of A. florea drone eyes results from an increase in ommatidia number, suggesting strong selection for high spatial resolution. Comparison of eye morphology and published mating flight times indicates a correlation between overall light sensitivity and species-specific mating flight times. The correlation suggests an important role of ambient light intensities in the regulation of species-specific mating flight times and the evolution of the visual system. Our study further deepens insights into visual adaptations within the genus Apis and opens up future perspectives for research to better understand the timing mechanisms

  11. Hox gene expression leads to differential hind leg development between honeybee castes.

    PubMed

    Bomtorin, Ana Durvalina; Barchuk, Angel Roberto; Moda, Livia Maria; Simoes, Zila Luz Paulino

    2012-01-01

    Beyond the physiological and behavioural, differences in appendage morphology between the workers and queens of Apis mellifera are pre-eminent. The hind legs of workers, which are highly specialized pollinators, deserve special attention. The hind tibia of worker has an expanded bristle-free region used for carrying pollen and propolis, the corbicula. In queens this structure is absent. Although the morphological differences are well characterized, the genetic inputs driving the development of this alternative morphology remain unknown. Leg phenotype determination takes place between the fourth and fifth larval instar and herein we show that the morphogenesis is completed at brown-eyed pupa. Using results from the hybridization of whole genome-based oligonucleotide arrays with RNA samples from hind leg imaginal discs of pre-pupal honeybees of both castes we present a list of 200 differentially expressed genes. Notably, there are castes preferentially expressed cuticular protein genes and members of the P450 family. We also provide results of qPCR analyses determining the developmental transcription profiles of eight selected genes, including abdominal-A, distal-less and ultrabithorax (Ubx), whose roles in leg development have been previously demonstrated in other insect models. Ubx expression in workers hind leg is approximately 25 times higher than in queens. Finally, immunohistochemistry assays show that Ubx localization during hind leg development resembles the bristles localization in the tibia/basitarsus of the adult legs in both castes. Our data strongly indicate that the development of the hind legs diphenism characteristic of this corbiculate species is driven by a set of caste-preferentially expressed genes, such as those encoding cuticular protein genes, P450 and Hox proteins, in response to the naturally different diets offered to honeybees during the larval period.

  12. Honeybee navigation: critically examining the role of the polarization compass

    PubMed Central

    Evangelista, C.; Kraft, P.; Dacke, M.; Labhart, T.; Srinivasan, M. V.

    2014-01-01

    Although it is widely accepted that honeybees use the polarized-light pattern of the sky as a compass for navigation, there is little direct evidence that this information is actually sensed during flight. Here, we ask whether flying bees can obtain compass cues derived purely from polarized light, and communicate this information to their nest-mates through the ‘waggle dance’. Bees, from an observation hive with vertically oriented honeycombs, were trained to fly to a food source at the end of a tunnel, which provided overhead illumination that was polarized either parallel to the axis of the tunnel, or perpendicular to it. When the illumination was transversely polarized, bees danced in a predominantly vertical direction with waggles occurring equally frequently in the upward or the downward direction. They were thus using the polarized-light information to signal the two possible directions in which they could have flown in natural outdoor flight: either directly towards the sun, or directly away from it. When the illumination was axially polarized, the bees danced in a predominantly horizontal direction with waggles directed either to the left or the right, indicating that they could have flown in an azimuthal direction that was 90° to the right or to the left of the sun, respectively. When the first half of the tunnel provided axial illumination and the second half transverse illumination, bees danced along all of the four principal diagonal directions, which represent four equally likely locations of the food source based on the polarized-light information that they had acquired during their journey. We conclude that flying bees are capable of obtaining and signalling compass information that is derived purely from polarized light. Furthermore, they deal with the directional ambiguity that is inherent in polarized light by signalling all of the possible locations of the food source in their dances, thus maximizing the chances of recruitment to it. PMID

  13. Identification of Multiple Loci Associated with Social Parasitism in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Pirk, Christian W.; Allsopp, Mike H.

    2016-01-01

    In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers) by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis), worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis. PMID:27280405

  14. Mind the gap: olfactory trace conditioning in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Szyszka, Paul; Demmler, Christiane; Oemisch, Mariann; Sommer, Ludwig; Biergans, Stephanie; Birnbach, Benjamin; Silbering, Ana F; Galizia, C Giovanni

    2011-05-18

    Trace conditioning is a form of classical conditioning, where a neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS) is associated with a following appetitive or aversive stimulus (unconditioned stimulus, US). Unlike classical delay conditioning, in trace conditioning there is a stimulus-free gap between CS and US, and thus a poststimulus neural representation (trace) of the CS is required to bridge the gap until its association with the US. The properties of such stimulus traces are not well understood, nor are their underlying physiological mechanisms. Using behavioral and physiological approaches, we studied appetitive olfactory trace conditioning in honeybees. We found that single-odor presentation created a trace containing information about odor identity. This trace conveyed odor information about the initial stimulus and was robust against interference by other odors. Memory acquisition decreased with increasing CS-US gap length. The maximum learnable CS-US gap length could be extended by previous trace-conditioning experience. Furthermore, acquisition improved when an additional odor was presented during the CS-US gap. Using calcium imaging, we tested whether projection neurons in the primary olfactory brain area, the antennal lobe, contain a CS trace. We found odor-specific persistent responses after stimulus offset. These post-odor responses, however, did not encode the CS trace, and perceived odor quality could be predicted by the initial but not by the post-odor response. Our data suggest that olfactory trace conditioning is a less reflexive form of learning than classical delay conditioning, indicating that odor traces might involve higher-level cognitive processes.

  15. A successful new approach to honeybee semen cryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Wegener, Jakob; May, Tanja; Kamp, Günter; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2014-10-01

    Honeybee biodiversity is under massive threat, and improved methods for gamete cryopreservation could be a precious tool for both the in situ- and ex situ-conservation of subspecies and ecotypes. Recent cryoprotocols for drone semen have improved the viability and fertility of frozen-thawed semen by using increased diluent:semen-ratios, but there is still much room for progress. As semen cryopreserved after dilution often appeared hyperactive, we speculated that the disruption of sperm-sperm interactions during dilution and cryopreservation could reduce the fertile lifespan of the cells. We therefore developed protocols to reduce admixture, or abolish it altogether by dialyzing semen against a hypertonic solution of cryoprotectant. Additionally, we tested methods to reduce the cryoprotectant concentration after thawing. Insemination of queens with semen cryopreserved after dialysis yielded 49%, 59% and 79% female (= stemming from fertilized eggs) pupae in three separate experiments, and the numbers of sperm found in the spermathecae of the queens were significantly higher than those previously reported. Post-thaw dilution and reconcentration of semen for cryoprotectant removal reduced fertility, but sizeable proportions of female brood were still produced. Workers stemming from cryopreserved semen did not differ from bees stemming from untreated semen with regard to indicators of fluctuating asymmetry, but were slightly heavier. Cryopreservation after dialysis tended to increase the proportion of cells with DNA-nicks, as measured by the TUNEL-assay, but this increase appears small when compared to the baseline variations of this indicator. Overall, we conclude that cryoprotectant-addition through dialysis can improve the quality of cryopreserved drone semen. Testing of offspring for vitality and genetic integrity should continue.

  16. Identification of Multiple Loci Associated with Social Parasitism in Honeybees.

    PubMed

    Wallberg, Andreas; Pirk, Christian W; Allsopp, Mike H; Webster, Matthew T

    2016-06-01

    In colonies of the honeybee Apis mellifera, the queen is usually the only reproductive female, which produces new females (queens and workers) by laying fertilized eggs. However, in one subspecies of A. mellifera, known as the Cape bee (A. m. capensis), worker bees reproduce asexually by thelytoky, an abnormal form of meiosis where two daughter nucleii fuse to form single diploid eggs, which develop into females without being fertilized. The Cape bee also exhibits a suite of phenotypes that facilitate social parasitism whereby workers lay such eggs in foreign colonies so their offspring can exploit their resources. The genetic basis of this switch to social parasitism in the Cape bee is unknown. To address this, we compared genome variation in a sample of Cape bees with other African populations. We find genetic divergence between these populations to be very low on average but identify several regions of the genome with extreme differentiation. The regions are strongly enriched for signals of selection in Cape bees, indicating that increased levels of positive selection have produced the unique set of derived phenotypic traits in this subspecies. Genetic variation within these regions allows unambiguous genetic identification of Cape bees and likely underlies the genetic basis of social parasitism. The candidate loci include genes involved in ecdysteroid signaling and juvenile hormone and dopamine biosynthesis, which may regulate worker ovary activation and others whose products localize at the centrosome and are implicated in chromosomal segregation during meiosis. Functional analysis of these loci will yield insights into the processes of reproduction and chemical signaling in both parasitic and non-parasitic populations and advance understanding of the process of normal and atypical meiosis.

  17. A Test of Transitive Inferences in Free-Flying Honeybees: Unsuccessful Performance Due to Memory Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benard, Julie; Giurfa, Martin

    2004-01-01

    We asked whether honeybees, "Apis mellifera," could solve a transitive inference problem. Individual free-flying bees were conditioned with four overlapping premise pairs of five visual patterns in a multiple discrimination task (A+ vs. B-, B+ vs. C-, C+ vs. D-, D+ vs. E-, where + and - indicate sucrose reward or absence of it,…

  18. Appetitive but Not Aversive Olfactory Conditioning Modifies Antennal Movements in Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cholé, Hanna; Junca, Pierre; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2015-01-01

    In honeybees, two olfactory conditioning protocols allow the study of appetitive and aversive Pavlovian associations. Appetitive conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) involves associating an odor, the conditioned stimulus (CS) with a sucrose solution, the unconditioned stimulus (US). Conversely, aversive conditioning of the sting…

  19. Spontaneous Recovery after Extinction of the Conditioned Proboscis Extension Response in the Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Pham-Delegue, Minh-Ha

    2004-01-01

    In honeybees, the proboscis extension response (PER) can be conditioned by associating an odor stimulus (CS) to a sucrose reward (US). Conditioned responses to the CS, which are acquired by most bees after a single CS-US pairing, disappear after repeated unrewarded presentations of the CS, a process called extinction. Extinction is usually thought…

  20. Two Waves of Transcription Are Required for Long-Term Memory in the Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lefer, Damien; Perisse, Emmanuel; Hourcade, Benoit; Sandoz, JeanChristophe; Devaud, Jean-Marc

    2013-01-01

    Storage of information into long-term memory (LTM) usually requires at least two waves of transcription in many species. However, there is no clear evidence of this phenomenon in insects, which are influential models for memory studies. We measured retention in honeybees after injecting a transcription inhibitor at different times before and after…

  1. Long-term effect of temperature on honey yield and honeybee phenology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langowska, Aleksandra; Zawilak, Michał; Sparks, Tim H.; Glazaczow, Adam; Tomkins, Peter W.; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-12-01

    There is growing concern about declines in pollinator species, and more recently reservations have been expressed about mismatch in plant-pollinator synchrony as a consequence of phenological change caused by rising temperatures. Long-term changes in honeybee Apis mellifera phenology may have major consequences for agriculture, especially the pollinator market, as well as for honey production. To date, these aspects have received only modest attention. In the current study, we examine honeybee and beekeeping activity in southern Poland for the period 1965-2010, supplemented by hive yields from a beekeeper in southern UK in the same period. We show that despite negative reports on honeybee condition, and documented climate change, the studied apiary managed to show a marked increase in honey production over the 46 year study period, as did that from the UK. The proportion of the annual yield originating from the first harvest decreased during the study period and was associated with rising temperatures in summer. Honeybee spring phenology showed strong negative relationships with temperature but no overall change through time because temperatures of key early spring months had not increased significantly. In contrast, increasing yields and an increased number of harvests (and hence a later final harvest and longer season) were detected and were related to rising temperatures in late spring and in summer.

  2. 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

  3. Honeybees prefer warmer nectar and less viscous nectar, regardless of sugar concentration.

    PubMed

    Nicolson, Susan W; de Veer, Leo; Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W W

    2013-09-22

    The internal temperature of flowers may be higher than air temperature, and warmer nectar could offer energetic advantages for honeybee thermoregulation, as well as being easier to drink owing to its lower viscosity. We investigated the responses of Apis mellifera scutellata (10 colonies) to warmed 10% w/w sucrose solutions, maintained at 20-35°C, independent of low air temperatures, and to 20% w/w sucrose solutions with the viscosity increased by the addition of the inert polysaccharide Tylose (up to the equivalent of 34.5% sucrose). Honeybee crop loads increased with nectar temperature, as did the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h by all bees visiting the feeders. In addition, the preference of marked honeybees shifted towards higher nectar temperatures with successive feeder visits. Crop loads were inversely proportional to the viscosity of the artificial nectar, as was the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h. Marked honeybees avoided higher nectar viscosities with successive feeder visits. Bees thus showed strong preferences for both warmer and less viscous nectar, independent of changes in its sugar concentration. Bees may benefit from foraging on nectars that are warmer than air temperature for two reasons that are not mutually exclusive: reduced thermoregulatory costs and faster ingestion times due to the lower viscosity.

  4. Dead or alive: deformed wing virus and Varroa destructor reduce the life span of winter honeybees.

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

    Elevated winter losses of managed honeybee colonies are a major concern, but the underlying mechanisms remain controversial. Among the suspects are the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, and associated viruses. Here we hypothesize that pathogens reduce the life expectancy of winter bees, thereby constituting a proximate mechanism for colony losses. A monitoring of colonies was performed over 6 months in Switzerland from summer 2007 to winter 2007/2008. Individual dead workers were collected daily and quantitatively analyzed for deformed wing virus (DWV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), N. ceranae, and expression levels of the vitellogenin gene as a biomarker for honeybee longevity. Workers from colonies that failed to survive winter had a reduced life span beginning in late fall, were more likely to be infected with DWV, and had higher DWV loads. Colony levels of infection with the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and individual infections with DWV were also associated with reduced honeybee life expectancy. In sharp contrast, the level of N. ceranae infection was not correlated with longevity. In addition, vitellogenin gene expression was significantly positively correlated with ABPV and N. ceranae loads. The findings strongly suggest that V. destructor and DWV (but neither N. ceranae nor ABPV) reduce the life span of winter bees, thereby constituting a parsimonious possible mechanism for honeybee colony losses.

  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. 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. Steroid Hormone (20-Hydroxyecdysone) Modulates the Acquisition of Aversive Olfactory Memories in Pollen Forager Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geddes, Lisa H.; McQuillan, H. James; Aiken, Alastair; Vergoz, Vanina; Mercer, Alison R.

    2013-01-01

    Here, we examine effects of the steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20-E), on associative olfactory learning in the honeybee, "Apis mellifera." 20-E impaired the bees' ability to associate odors with punishment during aversive conditioning, but did not interfere with their ability to associate odors with a food reward (appetitive…

  9. Olfactory Attraction of the Hornet Vespa velutina to Honeybee Colony Odors and Pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Couto, Antoine; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Thiéry, Denis; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Since the beginning of the last century, the number of biological invasions has continuously increased worldwide. Due to their environmental and economical consequences, invasive species are now a major concern. Social wasps are particularly efficient invaders because of their distinctive biology and behavior. Among them, the yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, is a keen hunter of domestic honeybees. Its recent introduction to Europe may induce important beekeeping, pollination, and biodiversity problems. Hornets use olfactory cues for the long-range detection of food sources, in this case the location of honeybee colonies, but the exact nature of these cues remains unknown. Here, we studied the orientation behavior of V. velutina workers towards a range of hive products and protein sources, as well as towards prominent chemical substances emitted by these food sources. In a multiple choice test performed under controlled laboratory conditions, we found that hornets are strongly attracted to the odor of some hive products, especially pollen and honey. When testing specific compounds, the honeybee aggregation pheromone, geraniol, proved highly attractive. Pheromones produced by honeybee larvae or by the queen were also of interest to hornet workers, albeit to a lesser extent. Our results indicate that V. velutina workers are selectively attracted towards olfactory cues from hives (stored food, brood, and queen), which may signal a high prey density. This study opens new perspectives for understanding hornets’ hunting behavior and paves the way for developing efficient trapping strategies against this invasive species. PMID:25549358

  10. Learning, gustatory responsiveness and tyramine differences across nurse and forager honeybees.

    PubMed

    Scheiner, Ricarda; Reim, Tina; Søvik, Eirik; Entler, Brian V; Barron, Andrew B; Thamm, Markus

    2017-02-06

    Honeybees are well known for their complex division of labor. Each bee sequentially performs a series of social tasks during its life. The changes in social task performance are linked to gross differences in behavior and physiology. We here tested whether honeybees performing different social tasks (nursing vs. foraging) would differ in their gustatory responsiveness and associative learning behavior in addition to their daily tasks in the colony. Further, we investigated the role of the biogenic amine tyramine and its receptors in the behavior of nurse bees and foragers. Tyramine is an important insect neurotransmitter, which has long been neglected in behavioral studies since it was believed to only act as the metabolic precursor of the better-known amine octopamine. With the increasing number of characterized tyramine receptors in diverse insects, we need to understand the functions of tyramine on its own account.Our findings suggest an important role for tyramine and its two receptors in regulating honeybee gustatory responsiveness, social organization and learning behavior. Foragers, which were more responsive to gustatory stimuli than nurse bees and performed better in appetitive learning, also differed from nurse bees in their tyramine brain titers and in the mRNA expression of a tyramine receptor in the brain. Pharmacological activation of tyramine receptors increased gustatory responsiveness of nurse bees and foragers and improved appetitive learning in nurse bees. These data suggest that a large part of behavioral differences between honeybees may be directly linked to tyramine signaling in the brain.

  11. Re-evaluation of honeybees and wind on pollination of avocado

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Avocado (Persea americana Mill) flowers, with their synchronously dichogamous behavior, are considered to be pollinated by honeybees, despite the lack of any direct evidence. Results in south Florida showed that avocado pollen was transferable by wind and dispersed over a brief period of time (15-60...

  12. Single honeybee silk protein mimics properties of multi-protein silk.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Tara D; Church, Jeffrey S; Hu, Xiao; Huson, Mickey G; Kaplan, David L; Weisman, Sarah

    2011-02-02

    Honeybee silk is composed of four fibrous proteins that, unlike other silks, are readily synthesized at full-length and high yield. The four silk genes have been conserved for over 150 million years in all investigated bee, ant and hornet species, implying a distinct functional role for each protein. However, the amino acid composition and molecular architecture of the proteins are similar, suggesting functional redundancy. In this study we compare materials generated from a single honeybee silk protein to materials containing all four recombinant proteins or to natural honeybee silk. We analyse solution conformation by dynamic light scattering and circular dichroism, solid state structure by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy, and fiber tensile properties by stress-strain analysis. The results demonstrate that fibers artificially generated from a single recombinant silk protein can reproduce the structural and mechanical properties of the natural silk. The importance of the four protein complex found in natural silk may lie in biological silk storage or hierarchical self-assembly. The finding that the functional properties of the mature material can be achieved with a single protein greatly simplifies the route to production for artificial honeybee silk.

  13. Age structure is critical to the population dynamics and survival of honeybee colonies

    PubMed Central

    Betti, M. I.; Wahl, L. M.

    2016-01-01

    Age structure is an important feature of the division of labour within honeybee colonies, but its effects on colony dynamics have rarely been explored. We present a model of a honeybee colony that incorporates this key feature, and use this model to explore the effects of both winter and disease on the fate of the colony. The model offers a novel explanation for the frequently observed phenomenon of ‘spring dwindle’, which emerges as a natural consequence of the age-structured dynamics. Furthermore, the results indicate that a model taking age structure into account markedly affects the predicted timing and severity of disease within a bee colony. The timing of the onset of disease with respect to the changing seasons may also have a substantial impact on the fate of a honeybee colony. Finally, simulations predict that an infection may persist in a honeybee colony over several years, with effects that compound over time. Thus, the ultimate collapse of the colony may be the result of events several years past. PMID:28018627

  14. 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

  15. Antibiotic exposure perturbs the gut microbiota and elevates mortality in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Shaffer, Zack; Moran, Nancy A.

    2017-01-01

    Gut microbiomes play crucial roles in animal health, and shifts in the gut microbial community structure can have detrimental impacts on hosts. Studies with vertebrate models and human subjects suggest that antibiotic treatments greatly perturb the native gut community, thereby facilitating proliferation of pathogens. In fact, persistent infections following antibiotic treatment are a major medical issue. In apiculture, antibiotics are frequently used to prevent bacterial infections of larval bees, but the impact of antibiotic-induced dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) on bee health and susceptibility to disease has not been fully elucidated. Here, we evaluated the effects of antibiotic exposure on the size and composition of honeybee gut communities. We monitored the survivorship of bees following antibiotic treatment in order to determine if dysbiosis of the gut microbiome impacts honeybee health, and we performed experiments to determine whether antibiotic exposure increases susceptibility to infection by opportunistic pathogens. Our results show that antibiotic treatment can have persistent effects on both the size and composition of the honeybee gut microbiome. Antibiotic exposure resulted in decreased survivorship, both in the hive and in laboratory experiments in which bees were exposed to opportunistic bacterial pathogens. Together, these results suggest that dysbiosis resulting from antibiotic exposure affects bee health, in part due to increased susceptibility to ubiquitous opportunistic pathogens. Not only do our results highlight the importance of the gut microbiome in honeybee health, but they also provide insights into how antibiotic treatment affects microbial communities and host health. PMID:28291793

  16. Sublethal effects of acaricides and Nosema ceranae infection on immune related gene expression in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Garrido, Paula Melisa; Porrini, Martín Pablo; Antúnez, Karina; Branchiccela, Belén; Martínez-Noël, Giselle María Astrid; Zunino, Pablo; Salerno, Graciela; Eguaras, Martín Javier; Ieno, Elena

    2016-04-26

    Nosema ceranae is an obligate intracellular parasite and the etiologic agent of Nosemosis that affects honeybees. Beside the stress caused by this pathogen, honeybee colonies are exposed to pesticides under beekeeper intervention, such as acaricides to control Varroa mites. These compounds can accumulate at high concentrations in apicultural matrices. In this work, the effects of parasitosis/acaricide on genes involved in honeybee immunity and survival were evaluated. Nurse bees were infected with N. ceranae and/or were chronically treated with sublethal doses of coumaphos or tau-fluvalinate, the two most abundant pesticides recorded in productive hives. Our results demonstrate the following: (1) honeybee survival was not affected by any of the treatments; (2) parasite development was not altered by acaricide treatments; (3) coumaphos exposure decreased lysozyme expression; (4) N. ceranae reduced levels of vitellogenin transcripts independently of the presence of acaricides. However, combined effects among stressors on imagoes were not recorded. Sublethal doses of acaricides and their interaction with other ubiquitous parasites in colonies, extending the experimental time, are of particular interest in further research work.

  17. Inside Honeybee Hives: Impact of Natural Propolis on the Ectoparasitic Mite Varroa destructor and Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Drescher, Nora; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando; Leonhardt, Sara D.

    2017-01-01

    Social immunity is a key factor for honeybee health, including behavioral defense strategies such as the collective use of antimicrobial plant resins (propolis). While laboratory data repeatedly show significant propolis effects, field data are scarce, especially at the colony level. Here, we investigated whether propolis, as naturally deposited in the nests, can protect honeybees against ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and associated viruses, which are currently considered the most serious biological threat to European honeybee subspecies, Apis mellifera, globally. Propolis intake of 10 field colonies was manipulated by either reducing or adding freshly collected propolis. Mite infestations, titers of deformed wing virus (DWV) and sacbrood virus (SBV), resin intake, as well as colony strength were recorded monthly from July to September 2013. We additionally examined the effect of raw propolis volatiles on mite survival in laboratory assays. Our results showed no significant effects of adding or removing propolis on mite survival and infestation levels. However, in relation to V. destructor, DWV titers increased significantly less in colonies with added propolis than in propolis-removed colonies, whereas SBV titers were similar. Colonies with added propolis were also significantly stronger than propolis-removed colonies. These findings indicate that propolis may interfere with the dynamics of V. destructor-transmitted viruses, thereby further emphasizing the importance of propolis for honeybee health. PMID:28178181

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

    PubMed

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; 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.

  19. Long-term effect of temperature on honey yield and honeybee phenology.

    PubMed

    Langowska, Aleksandra; Zawilak, Michał; Sparks, Tim H; Glazaczow, Adam; Tomkins, Peter W; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-12-24

    There is growing concern about declines in pollinator species, and more recently reservations have been expressed about mismatch in plant-pollinator synchrony as a consequence of phenological change caused by rising temperatures. Long-term changes in honeybee Apis mellifera phenology may have major consequences for agriculture, especially the pollinator market, as well as for honey production. To date, these aspects have received only modest attention. In the current study, we examine honeybee and beekeeping activity in southern Poland for the period 1965-2010, supplemented by hive yields from a beekeeper in southern UK in the same period. We show that despite negative reports on honeybee condition, and documented climate change, the studied apiary managed to show a marked increase in honey production over the 46 year study period, as did that from the UK. The proportion of the annual yield originating from the first harvest decreased during the study period and was associated with rising temperatures in summer. Honeybee spring phenology showed strong negative relationships with temperature but no overall change through time because temperatures of key early spring months had not increased significantly. In contrast, increasing yields and an increased number of harvests (and hence a later final harvest and longer season) were detected and were related to rising temperatures in late spring and in summer.

  20. Honeybees Increase Fruit Set in Native Plant Species Important for Wildlife Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P.

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wildcherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  1. Temperature dependent virulence of obligate and facultative fungal pathogens of honeybee brood

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood (Ascosphaera apis) and stonebrood (Aspergillus flavus) are well known fungal brood diseases of honeybees (Apis mellifera), but they have hardly been systematically studied because the difficulty of rearing larvae in vitro has precluded controlled experimentation. Chalkbrood is a chronic h...

  2. Honeybees prefer warmer nectar and less viscous nectar, regardless of sugar concentration

    PubMed Central

    Nicolson, Susan W.; de Veer, Leo; Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W. W.

    2013-01-01

    The internal temperature of flowers may be higher than air temperature, and warmer nectar could offer energetic advantages for honeybee thermoregulation, as well as being easier to drink owing to its lower viscosity. We investigated the responses of Apis mellifera scutellata (10 colonies) to warmed 10% w/w sucrose solutions, maintained at 20–35°C, independent of low air temperatures, and to 20% w/w sucrose solutions with the viscosity increased by the addition of the inert polysaccharide Tylose (up to the equivalent of 34.5% sucrose). Honeybee crop loads increased with nectar temperature, as did the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h by all bees visiting the feeders. In addition, the preference of marked honeybees shifted towards higher nectar temperatures with successive feeder visits. Crop loads were inversely proportional to the viscosity of the artificial nectar, as was the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h. Marked honeybees avoided higher nectar viscosities with successive feeder visits. Bees thus showed strong preferences for both warmer and less viscous nectar, independent of changes in its sugar concentration. Bees may benefit from foraging on nectars that are warmer than air temperature for two reasons that are not mutually exclusive: reduced thermoregulatory costs and faster ingestion times due to the lower viscosity. PMID:23902913

  3. Honeybees increase fruit set in native plant species important for wildlife conservation.

    PubMed

    Cayuela, Luis; Ruiz-Arriaga, Sarah; Ozers, Christian P

    2011-11-01

    Honeybee colonies are declining in some parts of the world. This may have important consequences for the pollination of crops and native plant species. In Spain, as in other parts of Europe, land abandonment has led to a decrease in the number of non professional beekeepers, which aggravates the problem of honeybee decline as a result of bee diseases In this study, we investigated the effects of honeybees on the pollination of three native plant species in northern Spain, namely wildcherry Prunus avium L., hawthorn Crataegus monogyna Jacq., and bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus L. We quantified fruit set of individuals from the target species along transects established from an apiary outwards. Half the samples were bagged in a nylon mesh to avoid insect pollination. Mixed-effects models were used to test the effect of distance to the apiary on fruit set in non-bagged samples. The results showed a negative significant effect of distance from the apiary on fruit set for hawthorn and bilberry, but no significant effects were detected for wild cherry. This suggests that the use of honeybees under traditional farming practices might be a good instrument to increase fruit production of some native plants. This may have important consequences for wildlife conservation, since fruits, and bilberries in particular, constitute an important feeding resource for endangered species, such as the brown bear Ursus arctos L. or the capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus L.

  4. Olfactory attraction of the hornet Vespa velutina to honeybee colony odors and pheromones.

    PubMed

    Couto, Antoine; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Thiéry, Denis; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Since the beginning of the last century, the number of biological invasions has continuously increased worldwide. Due to their environmental and economical consequences, invasive species are now a major concern. Social wasps are particularly efficient invaders because of their distinctive biology and behavior. Among them, the yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, is a keen hunter of domestic honeybees. Its recent introduction to Europe may induce important beekeeping, pollination, and biodiversity problems. Hornets use olfactory cues for the long-range detection of food sources, in this case the location of honeybee colonies, but the exact nature of these cues remains unknown. Here, we studied the orientation behavior of V. velutina workers towards a range of hive products and protein sources, as well as towards prominent chemical substances emitted by these food sources. In a multiple choice test performed under controlled laboratory conditions, we found that hornets are strongly attracted to the odor of some hive products, especially pollen and honey. When testing specific compounds, the honeybee aggregation pheromone, geraniol, proved highly attractive. Pheromones produced by honeybee larvae or by the queen were also of interest to hornet workers, albeit to a lesser extent. Our results indicate that V. velutina workers are selectively attracted towards olfactory cues from hives (stored food, brood, and queen), which may signal a high prey density. This study opens new perspectives for understanding hornets' hunting behavior and paves the way for developing efficient trapping strategies against this invasive species.

  5. Long-term trends in the honeybee ‘whooping signal’ revealed by automated detection

    PubMed Central

    Newton, Michael I.

    2017-01-01

    It is known that honeybees use vibrational communication pathways to transfer information. One honeybee signal that has been previously investigated is the short vibrational pulse named the ‘stop signal’, because its inhibitory effect is generally the most accepted interpretation. The present study demonstrates long term (over 9 months) automated in-situ non-invasive monitoring of a honeybee vibrational pulse with the same characteristics of what has previously been described as a stop signal using ultra-sensitive accelerometers embedded in the honeycomb located at the heart of honeybee colonies. We show that the signal is very common and highly repeatable, occurring mainly at night with a distinct decrease in instances towards midday, and that it can be elicited en masse from bees following the gentle shaking or knocking of their hive with distinct evidence of habituation. The results of our study suggest that this vibrational pulse is generated under many different circumstances, thereby unifying previous publication’s conflicting definitions, and we demonstrate that this pulse can be generated in response to a surprise stimulus. This work suggests that, using an artificial stimulus and monitoring the changes in the features of this signal could provide a sensitive tool to assess colony status. PMID:28178291

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Synergistic parasite-pathogen interactions mediated by host immunity can drive the collapse of honeybee colonies.

    PubMed

    Nazzi, Francesco; Brown, Sam P; Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Varricchio, Paola; Della Vedova, Giorgio; Cattonaro, Federica; Caprio, Emilio; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and molecular changes associated with the collapse of honeybee colonies infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we show that this parasite can de-stabilise the within-host dynamics of Deformed wing virus (DWV), transforming a cryptic and vertically transmitted virus into a rapidly replicating killer, which attains lethal levels late in the season. The de-stabilisation of DWV infection is associated with an immunosuppression syndrome, characterized by a strong down-regulation of the transcription factor NF-κB. The centrality of NF-κB in host responses to a range of environmental challenges suggests that this transcription factor can act as a common currency underlying colony collapse that may be triggered by different causes. Our results offer an integrated account for the multifactorial origin of honeybee losses and a new framework for assessing, and possibly mitigating, the impact of environmental challenges on honeybee health.

  9. Long-term trends in the honeybee 'whooping signal' revealed by automated detection.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Michael; Bencsik, Martin; Newton, Michael I

    2017-01-01

    It is known that honeybees use vibrational communication pathways to transfer information. One honeybee signal that has been previously investigated is the short vibrational pulse named the 'stop signal', because its inhibitory effect is generally the most accepted interpretation. The present study demonstrates long term (over 9 months) automated in-situ non-invasive monitoring of a honeybee vibrational pulse with the same characteristics of what has previously been described as a stop signal using ultra-sensitive accelerometers embedded in the honeycomb located at the heart of honeybee colonies. We show that the signal is very common and highly repeatable, occurring mainly at night with a distinct decrease in instances towards midday, and that it can be elicited en masse from bees following the gentle shaking or knocking of their hive with distinct evidence of habituation. The results of our study suggest that this vibrational pulse is generated under many different circumstances, thereby unifying previous publication's conflicting definitions, and we demonstrate that this pulse can be generated in response to a surprise stimulus. This work suggests that, using an artificial stimulus and monitoring the changes in the features of this signal could provide a sensitive tool to assess colony status.

  10. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in unmated queen honeybees (Apis mellifera capensis): central fusion and high recombination rates.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Allsopp, Michael H; Gloag, Rosalyn S; Lim, Julianne; Jordan, Lyndon A; Beekman, Madeleine

    2008-09-01

    The subspecies of honeybee indigenous to the Cape region of South Africa, Apis mellifera capensis, is unique because a high proportion of unmated workers can lay eggs that develop into females via thelytokous parthenogenesis involving central fusion of meiotic products. This ability allows pseudoclonal lineages of workers to establish, which are presently widespread as reproductive parasites within the honeybee populations of South Africa. Successful long-term propagation of a parthenogen requires the maintenance of heterozygosity at the sex locus, which in honeybees must be heterozygous for the expression of female traits. Thus, in successful lineages of parasitic workers, recombination events are reduced by an order of magnitude relative to meiosis in queens of other honeybee subspecies. Here we show that in unmated A. m. capensis queens treated to induce oviposition, no such reduction in recombination occurs, indicating that thelytoky and reduced recombination are not controlled by the same gene. Our virgin queens were able to lay both arrhenotokous male-producing haploid eggs and thelytokous female-producing diploid eggs at the same time, with evidence that they have some voluntary control over which kind of egg was laid. If so, they are able to influence the kind of second-division meiosis that occurs in their eggs post partum.

  11. Antibiotic exposure perturbs the gut microbiota and elevates mortality in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Raymann, Kasie; Shaffer, Zack; Moran, Nancy A

    2017-03-01

    Gut microbiomes play crucial roles in animal health, and shifts in the gut microbial community structure can have detrimental impacts on hosts. Studies with vertebrate models and human subjects suggest that antibiotic treatments greatly perturb the native gut community, thereby facilitating proliferation of pathogens. In fact, persistent infections following antibiotic treatment are a major medical issue. In apiculture, antibiotics are frequently used to prevent bacterial infections of larval bees, but the impact of antibiotic-induced dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) on bee health and susceptibility to disease has not been fully elucidated. Here, we evaluated the effects of antibiotic exposure on the size and composition of honeybee gut communities. We monitored the survivorship of bees following antibiotic treatment in order to determine if dysbiosis of the gut microbiome impacts honeybee health, and we performed experiments to determine whether antibiotic exposure increases susceptibility to infection by opportunistic pathogens. Our results show that antibiotic treatment can have persistent effects on both the size and composition of the honeybee gut microbiome. Antibiotic exposure resulted in decreased survivorship, both in the hive and in laboratory experiments in which bees were exposed to opportunistic bacterial pathogens. Together, these results suggest that dysbiosis resulting from antibiotic exposure affects bee health, in part due to increased susceptibility to ubiquitous opportunistic pathogens. Not only do our results highlight the importance of the gut microbiome in honeybee health, but they also provide insights into how antibiotic treatment affects microbial communities and host health.

  12. Temporal pattern of africanization in a feral honeybee population from Texas inferred from mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Pinto, M Alice; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Patton, John C; Johnston, J Spencer

    2004-05-01

    The invasion of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) in the Americas provides a window of opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of subspecies of bees that evolved in allopatry in ecologically distinctive habitats of the Old World. We report here the results of an 11-year mitochondrial DNA survey of a feral honeybee population from southern United States (Texas). The mitochondrial haplotype (mitotype) frequencies changed radically during the 11-year study period. Prior to immigration of Africanized honeybees, the resident population was essentially of eastern and western European maternal ancestry. Three years after detection of the first Africanized swarm there was a mitotype turnover in the population from predominantly eastern European to predominantly A. m. scutellata (ancestor of Africanized honeybees). This remarkable change in the mitotype composition coincided with arrival of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which was likely responsible for severe losses experienced by colonies of European ancestry. From 1997 onward the population stabilized with most colonies of A. m. scutellata maternal origin.

  13. Male reproductive parasitism: a factor in the africanization of European honey-bee populations.

    PubMed

    Rinderer, T E; Hellmich, R L; Danka, R G; Collins, A M

    1985-05-31

    Africanized drone honey bees (Apis mellifera) migrate into European honey-bee colonies in large numbers, but Africanized colonies only rarely host drones from other colonies. This migration leads to a strong mating advantage for Africanized bees since it both inhibits European drone production and enhances Africanized drone production.

  14. Queen reproductive state modulates pheromone production and queen-worker interactions in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Kocher, Sarah D.; Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Tarpy, David R.

    2009-01-01

    The mandibular glands of queen honeybees produce a pheromone that modulates many aspects of worker honeybee physiology and behavior and is critical for colony social organization. The exact chemical blend produced by the queen differs between virgin and mated, laying queens. Here, we investigate the role of mating and reproductive state on queen pheromone production and worker responses. Virgin queens, naturally mated queens, and queens instrumentally inseminated with either semen or saline were collected 2 days after mating or insemination. Naturally mated queens had the most activated ovaries and the most distinct chemical profile in their mandibular glands. Instrumentally inseminated queens were intermediate between virgins and naturally mated queens for both ovary activation and chemical profiles. There were no significant differences between semen- and saline-inseminated queens. Workers were preferentially attracted to the mandibular gland extracts from queens with significantly more activated ovaries. These studies suggest that the queen pheromone blend is modulated by the reproductive status of the queens, and workers can detect these subtle differences and are more responsive to queens with higher reproductive potential. Furthermore, it appears as if insemination substance does not strongly affect physiological characteristics of honeybee queens 2 days after insemination, suggesting that the insemination process or volume is responsible for stimulating these early postmating changes in honeybee queens. PMID:22476212

  15. Synergistic Parasite-Pathogen Interactions Mediated by Host Immunity Can Drive the Collapse of Honeybee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Nazzi, Francesco; Brown, Sam P.; Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Varricchio, Paola; Della Vedova, Giorgio; Cattonaro, Federica; Caprio, Emilio; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    The health of the honeybee and, indirectly, global crop production are threatened by several biotic and abiotic factors, which play a poorly defined role in the induction of widespread colony losses. Recent descriptive studies suggest that colony losses are often related to the interaction between pathogens and other stress factors, including parasites. Through an integrated analysis of the population and molecular changes associated with the collapse of honeybee colonies infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we show that this parasite can de-stabilise the within-host dynamics of Deformed wing virus (DWV), transforming a cryptic and vertically transmitted virus into a rapidly replicating killer, which attains lethal levels late in the season. The de-stabilisation of DWV infection is associated with an immunosuppression syndrome, characterized by a strong down-regulation of the transcription factor NF-κB. The centrality of NF-κB in host responses to a range of environmental challenges suggests that this transcription factor can act as a common currency underlying colony collapse that may be triggered by different causes. Our results offer an integrated account for the multifactorial origin of honeybee losses and a new framework for assessing, and possibly mitigating, the impact of environmental challenges on honeybee health. PMID:22719246

  16. Visual generalization in honeybees: evidence of peak shift in color discrimination.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Harms, J; Márquez, N; Menzel, R; Vorobyev, M

    2014-04-01

    In the present study, we investigated color generalization in the honeybee Apis mellifera after differential conditioning. In particular, we evaluated the effect of varying the position of a novel color along a perceptual continuum relative to familiar colors on response biases. Honeybee foragers were differentially trained to discriminate between rewarded (S+) and unrewarded (S-) colors and tested on responses toward the former S+ when presented against a novel color. A color space based on the receptor noise-limited model was used to evaluate the relationship between colors and to characterize a perceptual continuum. When S+ was tested against a novel color occupying a locus in the color space located in the same direction from S- as S+, but further away, the bees shifted their stronger response away from S- toward the novel color. These results reveal the occurrence of peak shift in the color vision of honeybees and indicate that honeybees can learn color stimuli in relational terms based on chromatic perceptual differences.

  17. Draft Genome of Chilean Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Gut Strain Lactobacillus kunkeei MP2

    PubMed Central

    Olmos, Alejandro; Henríquez-Piskulich, Patricia; Sanchez, Carolina; Rojas-Herrera, Marcelo; Moreno-Pino, Mario; Gómez, Marcela; Rodríguez Da Silva, Rafael; Maracaja-Coutinho, Vinicius; Aldea, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, isolated from a Chilean honeybee gut. The sequenced genome has a total size of 1.58 Mb distributed into 44 contigs and 1,356 protein-coding sequences. PMID:25301653

  18. Biphasic responses of the honeybee heart to nanomolar concentrations of amitraz.

    PubMed

    Papaefthimiou, Chrisovalantis; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Theophilidis, George

    2013-09-01

    Amitraz is a pesticide targeting the octopaminergic receptors. In a previous study, octopamine, a biogenic amine, was found to induce a biphasic effect on the honeybee heart, inhibition at low concentrations and excitation at high concentrations. Furthermore, the honeybee heart was found to be far more sensitive to octopamine compared to other insect hearts. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of amitraz on the electrical and mechanical properties of the honeybee heart ex vivo and on the heart rate in vivo. In ex vivo conditions, amitraz at 10(-12) M caused a significant inhibition in the mechanical (p<0.05, n=4) and electrical properties (p<0.05, n=4). Higher concentrations such as 10(-9) and 10(-6) M induced a biphasic effect, with total inhibition for 7.86±1.26 min (n=7), followed by strong excitation of spontaneously-generated contractions (n=7). The initial elimination of heart activity was caused by strong hyperpolarization, while the subsequent excitation was caused by a depolarization in the membrane potential of pacemaker cells at 10(-9) M (n=8). In the in vivo experiments, abdominal injection or oral application of 0.20 ng of amitraz per bee induced a persistent increase of 134.28±4.07% (p<0.05, n=4) in the frequency of the cardiac action potentials. The above responses clearly show that the heart of the honeybee is extremely vulnerable to amitraz, which is nevertheless still used inside beehives, ostensibly to "protect" the honeybees against their main parasite, Varroa destructor.

  19. Honeybee Colony Disorder in Crop Areas: The Role of Pesticides and Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Simon-Delso, Noa; San Martin, Gilles; Bruneau, Etienne; Minsart, Laure-Anne; Mouret, Coralie; Hautier, Louis

    2014-01-01

    As in many other locations in the world, honeybee colony losses and disorders have increased in Belgium. Some of the symptoms observed rest unspecific and their causes remain unknown. The present study aims to determine the role of both pesticide exposure and virus load on the appraisal of unexplained honeybee colony disorders in field conditions. From July 2011 to May 2012, 330 colonies were monitored. Honeybees, wax, beebread and honey samples were collected. Morbidity and mortality information provided by beekeepers, colony clinical visits and availability of analytical matrix were used to form 2 groups: healthy colonies and colonies with disorders (n = 29, n = 25, respectively). Disorders included: (1) dead colonies or colonies in which part of the colony appeared dead, or had disappeared; (2) weak colonies; (3) queen loss; (4) problems linked to brood and not related to any known disease. Five common viruses and 99 pesticides (41 fungicides, 39 insecticides and synergist, 14 herbicides, 5 acaricides and metabolites) were quantified in the samples.The main symptoms observed in the group with disorders are linked to brood and queens. The viruses most frequently found are Black Queen Cell Virus, Sac Brood Virus, Deformed Wing Virus. No significant difference in virus load was observed between the two groups. Three acaricides, 5 insecticides and 13 fungicides were detected in the analysed samples. A significant correlation was found between the presence of fungicide residues and honeybee colony disorders. A significant positive link could also be established between the observation of disorder and the abundance of crop surface around the beehive. According to our results, the role of fungicides as a potential stressor for honeybee colonies should be further studied, either by their direct and/or indirect impacts on bees and bee colonies. PMID:25048715

  20. Honeybee colony disorder in crop areas: the role of pesticides and viruses.

    PubMed

    Simon-Delso, Noa; San Martin, Gilles; Bruneau, Etienne; Minsart, Laure-Anne; Mouret, Coralie; Hautier, Louis

    2014-01-01

    As in many other locations in the world, honeybee colony losses and disorders have increased in Belgium. Some of the symptoms observed rest unspecific and their causes remain unknown. The present study aims to determine the role of both pesticide exposure and virus load on the appraisal of unexplained honeybee colony disorders in field conditions. From July 2011 to May 2012, 330 colonies were monitored. Honeybees, wax, beebread and honey samples were collected. Morbidity and mortality information provided by beekeepers, colony clinical visits and availability of analytical matrix were used to form 2 groups: healthy colonies and colonies with disorders (n = 29, n = 25, respectively). Disorders included: (1) dead colonies or colonies in which part of the colony appeared dead, or had disappeared; (2) weak colonies; (3) queen loss; (4) problems linked to brood and not related to any known disease. Five common viruses and 99 pesticides (41 fungicides, 39 insecticides and synergist, 14 herbicides, 5 acaricides and metabolites) were quantified in the samples.The main symptoms observed in the group with disorders are linked to brood and queens. The viruses most frequently found are Black Queen Cell Virus, Sac Brood Virus, Deformed Wing Virus. No significant difference in virus load was observed between the two groups. Three acaricides, 5 insecticides and 13 fungicides were detected in the analysed samples. A significant correlation was found between the presence of fungicide residues and honeybee colony disorders. A significant positive link could also be established between the observation of disorder and the abundance of crop surface around the beehive. According to our results, the role of fungicides as a potential stressor for honeybee colonies should be further studied, either by their direct and/or indirect impacts on bees and bee colonies.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Honeybees and nectar nicotine: deterrence and reduced survival versus potential health benefits.

    PubMed

    Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W

    2012-02-01

    Secondary metabolites produced by plants for herbivore defence are often found in floral nectar, but their effect on the foraging behaviour and physiological performance of pollinators is largely unknown. Nicotine is highly toxic to most herbivores, and nicotine-based insecticides may contribute to current pollinator declines. We examined the effects of nectar nicotine on honeybee foraging choices and worker longevity. Free-flying honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) workers from six colonies were given a choice between multiple nicotine concentrations (0-1000 μM) in artificial nectar (0.15-0.63 M sucrose). The dose-dependent deterrent effect of nicotine was stronger in lower sugar concentrations, but even the highest nicotine concentrations did not completely repel honeybees, i.e., bees did not stop feeding on these diets. Nicotine in nectar acts as a partial repellent, which may keep pollinators moving between plants and enhance cross-pollination. In the second part of the study, newly emerged workers from 12 colonies were caged and fed one of four nicotine concentrations (0-300 μM) in 0.63 M sucrose for 21 days. Moderate (≤30 μM) nicotine concentrations had no significant detrimental effect, but high nicotine concentrations reduced the survival of caged workers and their nectar storage in the honey comb. In contrast, worker groups that survived poorly on sugar-only diets demonstrated increased survival on all nicotine diets. In the absence of alternative nectar sources, honeybees tolerate naturally occurring nectar nicotine concentrations; and low concentrations can even be beneficial to honeybees. However, high nicotine concentrations may have a detrimental effect on colony fitness.

  5. Improvement of identification methods for honeybee specific Lactic Acid Bacteria; future approaches

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yue O. O.; Olofsson, Tobias C.; Andersson, Anders F.; Forsgren, Eva; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2017-01-01

    Honeybees face many parasites and pathogens and consequently rely on a diverse set of individual and group-level defenses to prevent disease. The crop microbiota of Apis mellifera, composed of 13 Lactic Acid Bacterial (LAB) species within the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, form a beneficial symbiotic relationship with each other and the honeybee to protect their niche and their host. Possibly playing a vital role in honeybee health, it is important that these honeybee specific Lactic Acid Bacterial (hbs-LAB) symbionts can be correctly identified, isolated and cultured, to further investigate their health promoting properties. We have previously reported successful identification to the strain level by culture-dependent methods and we recently sequenced and annotated the genomes of the 13 hbs-LAB. However, the hitherto applied techniques are unfortunately very time consuming, expensive and not ideal when analyzing a vast quantity of samples. In addition, other researchers have constantly failed to identify the 13 hbs-LAB from honeybee samples by using inadequate media and/or molecular techniques based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing with insufficient discriminatory power. The aim of this study was to develop better and more suitable methods for the identification and cultivation of hbs-LAB. We compared currently used bacterial cultivation media and could for the first time demonstrate a significant variation in the hbs-LAB basic requirements for optimal growth. We also present a new bacterial identification approach based on amplicon sequencing of a region of the 16S rRNA gene using the Illumina platform and an error correction software that can be used to successfully differentiate and rapidly identify the 13 hbs-LAB to the strain level. PMID:28346815

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

    PubMed

    Oliver, Caitlin J; Softley, Samantha; 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.

  7. 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

  8. Changes in sulfhydryl groups of honeybee glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase associated with generation of the intermediate plateau in its saturation kinetics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gelb, W. G.; Brandts, J. F.; Nordin, J. H.

    1973-01-01

    Honeybee and rabbit muscle GPDH were studied to obtain information at the chemical level regarding anomolous saturation kinetics of the honeybee enzyme. Results demonstrate that the enzyme's sulfhydryl groups are implicated in the process. Measured by DTNB titration, native honeybee GPDH has one less active SH than the native rabbit muscle enzyme and displays changes in overall sulfhydryl reactivity after preincubation with G-3-P or G-3-P plus NAD+. The total DTNB reactive sulfhydryls of rabbit muscle GPDH are not changed by preincubation with NAD+ or G-3-P; honeybee GPDH, under certain conductions of preincubation with these ligands, shows a decrease of two total DTNB reactive SH groups. This difference has been confirmed by an independent experiment in which the two enzymes were carboxymethylated with C-14 bromoacetic acid.

  9. Estimating the density of honeybee colonies across their natural range to fill the gap in pollinator decline censuses.

    PubMed

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Dietemann, Vincent; Allsopp, Mike H; Costa, Cecilia; Crewe, Robin M; Dall'olio, Raffaele; DE LA Rúa, Pilar; El-Niweiri, Mogbel A A; Fries, Ingemar; Kezic, Nikola; Meusel, Michael S; Paxton, Robert J; Shaibi, Taher; Stolle, Eckart; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-04-01

    Although pollinator declines are a global biodiversity threat, the demography of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera) has not been considered by conservationists because it is biased by the activity of beekeepers. To fill this gap in pollinator decline censuses and to provide a broad picture of the current status of honeybees across their natural range, we used microsatellite genetic markers to estimate colony densities and genetic diversity at different locations in Europe, Africa, and central Asia that had different patterns of land use. Genetic diversity and colony densities were highest in South Africa and lowest in Northern Europe and were correlated with mean annual temperature. Confounding factors not related to climate, however, are also likely to influence genetic diversity and colony densities in honeybee populations. Land use showed a significantly negative influence over genetic diversity and the density of honeybee colonies over all sampling locations. In Europe honeybees sampled in nature reserves had genetic diversity and colony densities similar to those sampled in agricultural landscapes, which suggests that the former are not wild but may have come from managed hives. Other results also support this idea: putative wild bees were rare in our European samples, and the mean estimated density of honeybee colonies on the continent closely resembled the reported mean number of managed hives. Current densities of European honeybee populations are in the same range as those found in the adverse climatic conditions of the Kalahari and Saharan deserts, which suggests that beekeeping activities do not compensate for the loss of wild colonies. Our findings highlight the importance of reconsidering the conservation status of honeybees in Europe and of regarding beekeeping not only as a profitable business for producing honey, but also as an essential component of biodiversity conservation.

  10. Effects of Varroa destructor on temperature and humidity conditions and expression of energy metabolism genes in infested honeybee colonies.

    PubMed

    Hou, C S; Li, B B; Deng, S; Diao, Q Y

    2016-09-23

    Varroa destructor mites pose an increasing global threat to the apicultural industry and agricultural ecology; however, the issue of whether certain environmental factors reflect the level of mite infection is far from resolved. Here, a wireless sensor network (WSN) system was used to examine how V. destructor, which has vital impacts on honeybee (Apis mellifera) health and survival, affects the temperature and humidity of honeybee hives in a field experiment. This approach may facilitate early identification of V. destructor in hives, and thus enable timely remedial action. Using quantitative PCR, we also evaluated the expression of two genes, adipokinetic hormone (AKH) and adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR).The results showed that temperature in highly infested broods was higher than that in broods with low infestation. Moreover, mite infection in honeybee colonies was positively correlated with temperature but negatively correlated with humidity (P < 0.05). Similar to previous observations, quantitative analysis suggested that the expression levels of AKH and AKHR from honeybees with low infection were significantly higher than those from bees with high infection (P < 0.01). These results showed that the expression levels of these genes in colonies with high mite infestation were closely associated with changes in hive temperature and humidity. This study demonstrates that Varroa infection not only causes changes in temperature inside honeybee colonies, but also affects the expression of honeybee energy metabolism genes.

  11. Detection and identification of a novel lactic acid bacterial flora within the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Olofsson, Tobias C; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2008-10-01

    This investigation concerned the question of whether honeybees collect bacteria that are beneficial for humans from the flowers that contribute to formation of their honey. Bacteria originating from the types of flowers involved, and found in different anatomic parts of the bees, in larvae, and in honey of different types, were sampled during a 2-year period. 16S rRNA sequencing of isolates and clones was employed. A novel bacterial flora composed of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which originated in the honey stomach of the honeybee, was discovered. It varied with the sources of nectar and the presence of other bacterial genera within the honeybee and ended up eventually in the honey. It appeared that honeybees and the novel LAB flora may have evolved in mutual dependence on one another. It was suggested that honey be considered a fermented food product because of the LAB involved in honey production. The findings are seen as having clear implications for future research in the area, as providing a better understanding the health of honeybees and of their production and storage of honey, and as having clear relevance for future honeybee and human probiotics.

  12. Africanization in the United States: replacement of feral European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) by an African hybrid swarm.

    PubMed

    Pinto, M Alice; Rubink, William L; Patton, John C; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, J Spencer

    2005-08-01

    The expansion of Africanized honeybees from South America to the southwestern United States in <50 years is considered one of the most spectacular biological invasions yet documented. In the American tropics, it has been shown that during their expansion Africanized honeybees have low levels of introgressed alleles from resident European populations. In the United States, it has been speculated, but not shown, that Africanized honeybees would hybridize extensively with European honeybees. Here we report a continuous 11-year study investigating temporal changes in the genetic structure of a feral population from the southern United States undergoing Africanization. Our microsatellite data showed that (1) the process of Africanization involved both maternal and paternal bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honeybees and (2) the panmitic European population was replaced by panmitic mixtures of A. m. scutellata and European genes within 5 years after Africanization. The post-Africanization gene pool (1998-2001) was composed of a diverse array of recombinant classes with a substantial European genetic contribution (mean 25-37%). Therefore, the resulting feral honeybee population of south Texas was best viewed as a hybrid swarm.

  13. 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.

  14. Optical detection of honeybees by use of wing-beat modulation of scattered laser light for locating explosives and land mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Repasky, Kevin S.; Shaw, Joseph A.; Scheppele, Ryan; Melton, Christopher; Carsten, John L.; Spangler, Lee H.

    2006-03-01

    An instrument is demonstrated that can be used for optical detection of honeybees in a cluttered environment. The instrument uses a continuous-wave diode laser with a center wavelength of 808 nm and an output power of 28 mW as the laser transmitter source. Light scattered from moving honeybee wings will produce an intensity-modulated signal at a characteristic wing-beat frequency (170-270 Hz) that can be used to detect the honeybees against a cluttered background. The optical detection of honeybees has application in the biological detection of land mines and explosives, as was recently demonstrated.

  15. Experience-Expectant Plasticity in the Mushroom Bodies of the Honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Fahrbach, Susan E.; Moore, Darrell; Capaldi, Elizabeth A.; Farris, Sarah M.; Robinson, Gene E.

    1998-01-01

    Worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) were reared in social isolation in complete darkness to assess the effects of experience on growth of the neuropil of the mushroom bodies (MBs) during adult life. Comparison of the volume of the MBs of 1-day-old and 7-day-old bees showed that a significant increase in volume in the MB neuropil occurred during the first week of life in bees reared under these highly deprived conditions. All regions of the MB neuropil experienced a significant increase in volume with the exception of the basal ring. Measurement of titers of juvenile hormone (JH) in a subset of bees indicated that, as in previous studies, these rearing conditions induced in some bees the endocrine state of high JH associated with foraging, but there was no correlation between JH titer and volume of MB neuropil. Treatment of another subset of dark-reared bees with the JH analog, methoprene, also had no effect of the growth of the MB neuropil. These results demonstrate that there is a phase of MB neuropil growth early in the adult life of bees that occurs independent of light or any form of social interaction. Together with previous findings showing that an increase in MB neuropil volume begins around the time that orientation flights occur and then continues throughout the phase of life devoted to foraging, these results suggest that growth of the MB neuropil in adult bees may have both experience-expectant and experience-dependent components. PMID:10454376

  16. In-depth phosphoproteomic analysis of royal jelly derived from western and eastern honeybee species.

    PubMed

    Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Lu, Xiaoshan; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Wu, Bin; Li, Jianke

    2014-12-05

    The proteins in royal jelly (RJ) play a pivotal role in the nutrition, immune defense, and cast determination of honeybee larvae and have a wide range of pharmacological and health-promoting functions for humans as well. Although the importance of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in protein function is known, investigation of protein phosphorylation of RJ proteins is still very limited. To this end, two complementary phosphopeptide enrichment materials (Ti(4+)-IMAC and TiO2) and high-sensitivity mass spectrometry were applied to establish a detailed phosphoproteome map and to qualitatively and quantitatively compare the phosphoproteomes of RJ produced by Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc). In total, 16 phosphoproteins carrying 67 phosphorylation sites were identified in RJ derived from western bees, and nine proteins phosphorylated on 71 sites were found in RJ produced by eastern honeybees. Of which, eight phosphorylated proteins were common to both RJ samples, and the same motif ([S-x-E]) was extracted, suggesting that the function of major RJ proteins as nutrients and immune agents is evolutionary preserved in both of these honeybee species. All eight overlapping phosphoproteins showed significantly higher abundance in Acc-RJ than in Aml-RJ, and the phosphorylation of Jelleine-II (an antimicrobial peptide, TPFKLSLHL) at S(6) in Acc-RJ had stronger antimicrobial properties than that at T(1) in Aml-RJ even though the overall antimicrobial activity of Jelleine-II was found to decrease after phosphorylation. The differences in phosphosites, peptide abundance, and antimicrobial activity of the phosphorylated RJ proteins indicate that the two major honeybee species employ distinct phosphorylation strategies that align with their different biological characteristics shaped by evolution. The phosphorylation of RJ proteins are potentially driven by the activity of extracellular serine/threonine protein kinase FAM20C-like protein (FAM20C

  17. Virion Structure of Black Queen Cell Virus, a Common Honeybee Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Spurny, Radovan; Přidal, Antonín; Pálková, Lenka; Kiem, Hoa Khanh Tran; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Viral diseases are a major threat to honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations worldwide and therefore an important factor in reliable crop pollination and food security. Black queen cell virus (BQCV) is the etiological agent of a fatal disease of honeybee queen larvae and pupae. The virus belongs to the genus Triatovirus from the family Dicistroviridae, which is part of the order Picornavirales. Here we present a crystal structure of BQCV determined to a resolution of 3.4 Å. The virion is formed by 60 copies of each of the major capsid proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3; however, there is no density corresponding to a 75-residue-long minor capsid protein VP4 encoded by the BQCV genome. We show that the VP4 subunits are present in the crystallized virions that are infectious. This aspect of the BQCV virion is similar to that of the previously characterized triatoma virus and supports the recent establishment of the separate genus Triatovirus within the family Dicistroviridae. The C terminus of VP1 and CD loops of capsid proteins VP1 and VP3 of BQCV form 34-Å-tall finger-like protrusions at the virion surface. The protrusions are larger than those of related dicistroviruses. IMPORTANCE The western honeybee is the most important pollinator of all, and it is required to sustain the agricultural production and biodiversity of wild flowering plants. However, honeybee populations worldwide are suffering from virus infections that cause colony losses. One of the most common, and least known, honeybee pathogens is black queen cell virus (BQCV), which at high titers causes queen larvae and pupae to turn black and die. Here we present the three-dimensional virion structure of BQCV, determined by X-ray crystallography. The structure of BQCV reveals large protrusions on the virion surface. Capsid protein VP1 of BQCV does not contain a hydrophobic pocket. Therefore, the BQCV virion structure provides evidence that capsid-binding antiviral compounds that can prevent the

  18. Honeybee Colony Thermoregulation – Regulatory Mechanisms and Contribution of Individuals in Dependence on Age, Location and Thermal Stress

    PubMed Central

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut; Brodschneider, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Honeybee larvae and pupae are extremely stenothermic, i.e. they strongly depend on accurate regulation of brood nest temperature for proper development (33–36°C). Here we study the mechanisms of social thermoregulation of honeybee colonies under changing environmental temperatures concerning the contribution of individuals to colony temperature homeostasis. Beside migration activity within the nest, the main active process is “endothermy on demand” of adults. An increase of cold stress (cooling of the colony) increases the intensity of heat production with thoracic flight muscles and the number of endothermic individuals, especially in the brood nest. As endothermy means hard work for bees, this eases much burden of nestmates which can stay ectothermic. Concerning the active reaction to cold stress by endothermy, age polyethism is reduced to only two physiologically predetermined task divisions, 0 to ∼2 days and older. Endothermic heat production is the job of bees older than about two days. They are all similarly engaged in active heat production both in intensity and frequency. Their active heat production has an important reinforcement effect on passive heat production of the many ectothermic bees and of the brood. Ectothermy is most frequent in young bees (<∼2 days) both outside and inside of brood nest cells. We suggest young bees visit warm brood nest cells not only to clean them but also to speed up flight muscle development for proper endothermy and foraging later in their life. Young bees inside brood nest cells mostly receive heat from the surrounding cell wall during cold stress, whereas older bees predominantly transfer heat from the thorax to the cell wall. Endothermic bees regulate brood comb temperature more accurately than local air temperature. They apply the heat as close to the brood as possible: workers heating cells from within have a higher probability of endothermy than those on the comb surface. The findings show that thermal

  19. 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

    2012-09-07

    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

  20. A Foreign Body Granuloma of the Buccal Mucosa Induced by Honeybee Sting

    PubMed Central

    Nakayama, Yohei; Matsusue, Yumiko; Kurihara, Miyako; Yagyuu, Takahiro; Kirita, Tadaaki

    2017-01-01

    A foreign body granuloma of the buccal mucosa induced by honeybee sting was reported. The patient was an 82-year-old female who presented with a submucous mass at the right buccal mucosa. The mass was 20 mm in diameter, elastically firm, partly mobile without pain or tenderness, and covered with almost normal mucosa. MR image did not delineate the lesion clearly. Under clinical diagnosis of a benign tumor, the lesion was excised under local anesthesia. The excised lesion was 14 × 11 × 9 mm in size and solid and yellowish in cut surface. Histologically, the lesion consisted of granulomatous tissue with a few narrow, curved, eosinophilic structures compatible with decomposed fragments of a honeybee sting and was diagnosed as a foreign body granuloma, although the patient did not recall being stung.

  1. Identification and punctate nuclear localization of a novel noncoding RNA, Ks-1, from the honeybee brain.

    PubMed Central

    Sawata, Miyuki; Yoshino, Daisuke; Takeuchi, Hideaki; Kamikouchi, Azusa; Ohashi, Kazuaki; Kubo, Takeo

    2002-01-01

    We identified a novel gene, Ks-1, which is expressed preferentially in the small-type Kenyon cells of the honeybee brain. This gene is also expressed in some of the large soma neurons in the brain and in the suboesophageal ganglion. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction experiments indicated that Ks-1 transcripts are enriched in the honeybee brain. cDNA cloning revealed that the consensus Ks-1 cDNA is over 17 kbp and contains no significant open reading frames. Furthermore, fluorescent in situ hybridization revealed that Ks-1 transcripts are located in the nuclei of the neural cells, accumulating in some scattered spots. These findings demonstrate that Ks-1 encodes a novel class of noncoding nuclear RNA and is possibly involved in the regulation of neural functions. PMID:12088150

  2. The Darwin cure for apiculture? Natural selection and managed honeybee health.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Peter; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2017-03-01

    Recent major losses of managed honeybee, Apis mellifera, colonies at a global scale have resulted in a multitude of research efforts to identify the underlying mechanisms. Numerous factors acting singly and/or in combination have been identified, ranging from pathogens, over nutrition to pesticides. However, the role of apiculture in limiting natural selection has largely been ignored. This is unfortunate, because honeybees are more exposed to environmental stressors compared to other livestock and management can severely compromise bee health. Here, we briefly review apicultural factors that influence bee health and focus on those most likely interfering with natural selection, which offers a broad range of evolutionary applications for field practice. Despite intense breeding over centuries, natural selection appears to be much more relevant for the health of managed A. mellifera colonies than previously thought. We conclude that sustainable solutions for the apicultural sector can only be achieved by taking advantage of natural selection and not by attempting to limit it.

  3. Comparison of homeobox-containing genes of the honeybee and Drosophila.

    PubMed Central

    Walldorf, U; Fleig, R; Gehring, W J

    1989-01-01

    We report the isolation of seven homeobox-containing genes from the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Sequence analysis of all homeoboxes and some flanking sequences showed that six of seven genes are more than 90% identical to their corresponding Drosophila homologues within the homeobox and, with one exception, also in the flanking sequences. The homologues that were identified include three homeotic selector genes [Sex combs reduced (Scr), Antennapedia (Antp), and abdominal-A (abd-A); the two engrailed (en) genes; and the muscle segment homeobox (msh)]. Surprisingly, no homologue of the segmentation gene fushi tarazu was found in the honeybee. For the remaining bee gene, a Drosophila homologue is not known. This indicates that, with some exceptions, structurally homologous genes are involved in the control of bee and Drosophila development, although Hymenoptera differ significantly in their embryogenesis from Diptera and have evolved separately for some 250 million years. Images PMID:2574865

  4. Lateralization of gene expression in the honeybee brain during olfactory learning

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Yu; Wang, Zilong; Li, You; Wei, Guifeng; Yuan, Jiao; Sun, Yu; Wang, Huan; Qin, Qiuhong; Zeng, Zhijiang; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Runsheng

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade, it has been demonstrated that brain functional asymmetry occurs not only in vertebrates but also in invertebrates. However, the mechanisms underlying functional asymmetry remain unclear. In the present study, we trained honeybees of the same parentage and age, on the proboscis extension reflex (PER) paradigm with only one antenna in use. The comparisons of gene expression between the left and right hemispheres were carried out using high throughput sequencing. Our research revealed that gene expression in the honeybee brain is also asymmetric, with more genes having higher expression in the right hemisphere than the left hemisphere. Our studies show that during olfactory learning, the left hemisphere is more responsible for long term memory and the right hemisphere is more responsible for the learning and short term memory. PMID:27703214

  5. Phylogenetic analysis of Nosema ceranae isolated from European and Asian honeybees in Northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Chen, Yanping; Pettis, Jeffery S; Scott Cornman, R; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2011-07-01

    Nosema ceranae was found to infect four different host species including the European honeybee (A. mellifera) and the Asian honeybees (Apis florea, A. cerana and Apis dorsata) collected from apiaries and forests in Northern Thailand. Significant sequence variation in the polar tube protein (PTP1) gene of N. ceranae was observed with N. ceranae isolates from A. mellifera and A. cerana, they clustered into the same phylogenetic lineage. N. ceranae isolates from A. dorsata and A. florea were grouped into two other distinct clades. This study provides the first elucidation of a genetic relationship among N. ceranae strains isolated from different host species and demonstrates that the N. ceranae PTP gene was shown to be a suitable and reliable marker in revealing genetic relationships within species.

  6. 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

    2015-08-21

    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.

  7. Cooperative random Lévy flight searches and the flight patterns of honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, A. M.

    2006-06-01

    The most efficient Lévy flight (scale-free) searching strategy for N independent searchers to adopt when target sites are randomly and sparsely distributed is identified. For N=1, it is well known that the optimal searching strategy is attained when μ=2, where the exponent μ characterizes the Lévy distribution, P(l)=l, of flight-lengths. For N>1, the optimal searching strategy is attained as μ→1. It is suggested that the orientation flights of honeybees can be understood within the context of such an optimal cooperative random Lévy flight searching strategy. Upon returning to their hive after surveying a landscape honeybees can exchange information about the locations of target sites through the waggle dance. In accordance with observations it is predicted that the waggle dance can be disrupted without noticeable influence on a hive's ability to maintain weight when forage is plentiful.

  8. Development and evolution of caste dimorphism in honeybees - a modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Leimar, Olof; Hartfelder, Klaus; Laubichler, Manfred D; Page, Robert E

    2012-12-01

    The difference in phenotypes of queens and workers is a hallmark of the highly eusocial insects. The caste dimorphism is often described as a switch-controlled polyphenism, in which environmental conditions decide an individual's caste. Using theoretical modeling and empirical data from honeybees, we show that there is no discrete larval developmental switch. Instead, a combination of larval developmental plasticity and nurse worker feeding behavior make up a colony-level social and physiological system that regulates development and produces the caste dimorphism. Discrete queen and worker phenotypes are the result of discrete feeding regimes imposed by nurses, whereas a range of experimental feeding regimes produces a continuous range of phenotypes. Worker ovariole numbers are reduced through feeding-regime-mediated reduction in juvenile hormone titers, involving reduced sugar in the larval food. Based on the mechanisms identified in our analysis, we propose a scenario of the evolutionary history of honeybee development and feeding regimes.

  9. RNA-sequence analysis of gene expression from honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Nosema ceranae

    PubMed Central

    Fougeroux, André; Petit, Fabien; Anselmo, Anna; Gorni, Chiara; Cucurachi, Marco; Cersini, Antonella; Granato, Anna; Cardeti, Giusy; Formato, Giovanni; Mutinelli, Franco; Giuffra, Elisabetta; Williams, John L.; Botti, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are constantly subjected to many biotic stressors including parasites. This study examined honeybees infected with Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae). N. ceranae infection increases the bees energy requirements and may contribute to their decreased survival. RNA-seq was used to investigate gene expression at days 5, 10 and 15 Post Infection (P.I) with N. ceranae. The expression levels of genes, isoforms, alternative transcription start sites (TSS) and differential promoter usage revealed a complex pattern of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation suggesting that bees use a range of tactics to cope with the stress of N. ceranae infection. N. ceranae infection may cause reduced immune function in the bees by: (i)disturbing the host amino acids metabolism (ii) down-regulating expression of antimicrobial peptides (iii) down-regulation of cuticle coatings and (iv) down-regulation of odorant binding proteins. PMID:28350872

  10. Molecular characterization of MRJP3, highly polymorphic protein of honeybee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly.

    PubMed

    Albert, S; Klaudiny, J; Simúth, J

    1999-05-01

    Major proteins of honey bee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly are members of the MRJP protein family. One MRJP protein termed MRJP3 exhibits a size polymorphism as detected by SDS-PAGE. In this report we show that polymorphism of the MRJP3 protein is a consequence of the polymorphism of a region with a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) located at the C-terminal part of the MRJP3 coding region. We present the characterization of five polymorphic alleles of MRJP3 by DNA sequencing. By PCR analyses, at least 10 alleles of distinct sizes were found in randomly sampled bees. Studies with nurse bees from a single honeybee colony revealed both Mendelian inheritance and very high variability of the MRJP3 genomic locus. The high variability and simple detection of the MRJP3 polymorphism may be useful for genotyping of individuals in studies of the honeybee.

  11. Nutraceutical potential of monofloral honeys produced by the Sicilian black honeybees (Apis mellifera ssp. sicula).

    PubMed

    Tenore, Gian Carlo; Ritieni, Alberto; Campiglia, Pietro; Novellino, Ettore

    2012-06-01

    In the light of the growing interest in food and food products obtained through organic and environmentally friendly techniques, the present work represents the first approach to the evaluation of the biological profile of some Sicilian honeys produced in purity by the local black honeybees. Samples exhibited up to 10 times more total phenolics and higher antioxidant capacity than what already reported for the same variety of honeys produced by other honeybee subspecies from Sicily, other Italian regions and abroad. Noteworthy, the gallic acid contents in medlar and almond honeys represented the highest level of single phenolic acid reported in honey so far. A broad antimicrobial spectrum was showed by all of the honey samples and a good correlation between their inhibition capacity and polyphenolic contents was measured. Experimental results highlighted samples among the honeys characterised by the highest nutraceutical added value and most excellent quality.

  12. Genetic evaluation of a novel system for controlled mating of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Oxley, Peter R; Hinhumpatch, Pantip; Gloag, Rosalyn; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2010-01-01

    Many apiculturally important traits of the honeybee have medium to high heritabilities and are therefore capable of strong response to selection. However, the natural mating system of honeybees makes it difficult to exclude unselected males from matings and necessitates expensive procedures like artificial insemination or isolated mating stations. By manipulating ambient light and temperature, an Australian queen breeder has developed a novel system that delays the flight time of selected queens and drones. To assess the efficacy of this "Horner system," drones and their assumed worker offspring were genotyped using microsatellite loci to test whether the workers were exclusively sired by the selected drones. The Horner system was found to provide at least 85% control of matings, equivalent to a 48% increase in the selection differential, when queens and drones are selected in a breeding program.

  13. Spatial memory and navigation by honeybees on the scale of the foraging range

    PubMed

    Dyer

    1996-01-01

    Honeybees and other nesting animals face the problem of finding their way between their nest and distant feeding sites. Many studies have shown that insects can learn foraging routes in reference to both landmarks and celestial cues, but it is a major puzzle how spatial information obtained from these environmental features is encoded in memory. This paper reviews recent progress by my colleagues and me towards understanding three specific aspects of this problem in honeybees: (1) how bees learn the spatial relationships among widely separated locations in a familiar terrain; (2) how bees learn the pattern of movement of the sun over the day; and (3) whether, and if so how, bees learn the relationships between celestial cues and landmarks.

  14. 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.

  15. Sensing the intruder: a quantitative threshold for recognition cues perception in honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cappa, Federico; Bruschini, Claudia; Cipollini, Maria; Pieraccini, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita

    2014-02-01

    The ability to discriminate among nestmates and non-nestmate is essential to defend social insect colonies from intruders. Over the years, nestmate recognition has been extensively studied in the honeybee Apis mellifera; nevertheless, the quantitative perceptual aspects at the basis of the recognition system represent an unexplored subject in this species. To test the existence of a cuticular hydrocarbons' quantitative perception threshold for nestmate recognition cues, we conducted behavioural assays by presenting different amounts of a foreign forager's chemical profile to honeybees at the entrance of their colonies. We found an increase in the explorative and aggressive responses as the amount of cues increased based on a threshold mechanism, highlighting the importance of the quantitative perceptual features for the recognition processes in A. mellifera.

  16. Invertebrate learning and memory: Fifty years of olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2012-02-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has emerged as a robust and influential model for the study of classical conditioning, thanks to the existence of a powerful Pavlovian conditioning protocol, the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER). In 2011, the olfactory PER conditioning protocol celebrates 50 years since it was first introduced by Kimihisa Takeda in 1961. Here, we review its origins, developments, and perspectives in order to define future research avenues and necessary methodological and conceptual evolutions. We show that olfactory PER conditioning has become a versatile tool for the study of questions in extremely diverse fields in addition to the study of learning and memory and that it has allowed behavioral characterizations, not only of honeybees, but also of other insect species, for which the protocol was adapted. We celebrate, therefore, Takeda's original work and prompt colleagues to conceive and establish further robust behavioral tools for an accurate characterization of insect learning and memory at multiple levels of analysis.

  17. RNA-sequence analysis of gene expression from honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Nosema ceranae.

    PubMed

    Badaoui, Bouabid; Fougeroux, André; Petit, Fabien; Anselmo, Anna; Gorni, Chiara; Cucurachi, Marco; Cersini, Antonella; Granato, Anna; Cardeti, Giusy; Formato, Giovanni; Mutinelli, Franco; Giuffra, Elisabetta; Williams, John L; Botti, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are constantly subjected to many biotic stressors including parasites. This study examined honeybees infected with Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae). N. ceranae infection increases the bees energy requirements and may contribute to their decreased survival. RNA-seq was used to investigate gene expression at days 5, 10 and 15 Post Infection (P.I) with N. ceranae. The expression levels of genes, isoforms, alternative transcription start sites (TSS) and differential promoter usage revealed a complex pattern of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation suggesting that bees use a range of tactics to cope with the stress of N. ceranae infection. N. ceranae infection may cause reduced immune function in the bees by: (i)disturbing the host amino acids metabolism (ii) down-regulating expression of antimicrobial peptides (iii) down-regulation of cuticle coatings and (iv) down-regulation of odorant binding proteins.

  18. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach.

    PubMed

    Danneels, Ellen L; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-10-30

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings.

  19. Training and deployment of honeybees to detect explosives and other agents of harm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodacy, Philip J.; Bender, Susan; Bromenshenk, Jerry; Henderson, Colin; Bender, Gary

    2002-08-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has been collaborating with the University of Montana's (UM) engineered honeybee colony research under DARPA's Controlled Biological and Biomimetric Systems (CBBS) program. Prior work has shown that the monitoring of contaminants that are returned to a hive by honeybees (Apis mellifera) provides a rapid, inexpensive method to assess chemical distributions and environmental impacts. Members from a single colony make many tens of thousands of foraging trips per day over areas as large as 2 km2. During these foraging trips, the insects are in direct contact with most environmental media (air, water, plants, and soil) and, in the process, encounter contaminants in gaseous, liquid and particulate form. These contaminants are carried back to the hive where analysis can be conveniently conducted. Three decades of work by UM and other investigators has demonstrated that honeybees can effectively and rapidly screen large areas for the presence of a wide array of chemical contaminants and for the effects of exposures to these chemicals. Recently, UM has been exploring how bee-based environmental measurements can be used to quantify risks to humans or ecosystems. The current DARPA program extends this work to the training of honeybees to actively search for contaminants such as the explosive residue being released by buried landmines. UM developed the methods to train bees to detect explosives and chemical agent surrogates. Sandia provided the explosives expertise, test facilities, electronics support, and state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation. We will present an overview of the training procedures, test parameters employed, and a summary of the results of field trials that were performed in Montana and at DARPA field trials in San Antonio, TX. Data showing the detection limits of the insects will be included.

  20. Honeybee Kenyon cells are regulated by a tonic GABA receptor conductance.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Mary J; Harvey, Jenni

    2014-10-15

    The higher cognitive functions of insects are dependent on their mushroom bodies (MBs), which are particularly large in social insects such as honeybees. MB Kenyon cells (KCs) receive multisensory input and are involved in associative learning and memory. In addition to receiving sensory input via excitatory nicotinic synapses, KCs receive inhibitory GABAergic input from MB feedback neurons. Cultured honeybee KCs exhibit ionotropic GABA receptor currents, but the properties of GABA-mediated inhibition in intact MBs are currently unknown. Here, using whole cell recordings from KCs in acutely isolated honeybee brain, we show that KCs exhibit a tonic current that is inhibited by picrotoxin but not by bicuculline. Bath application of GABA (5 μM) and taurine (1 mM) activate a tonic current in KCs, but l-glutamate (0.1-0.5 mM) has no effect. The tonic current is strongly potentiated by the allosteric GABAA receptor modulator pentobarbital and is reduced by inhibition of Ca(2+) channels with Cd(2+) or nifedipine. Noise analysis of the GABA-evoked current gives a single-channel conductance value for the underlying receptors of 27 ± 3 pS, similar to that of resistant to dieldrin (RDL) receptors. The amount of injected current required to evoke action potential firing in KCs is significantly lower in the presence of picrotoxin. KCs recorded in an intact honeybee head preparation similarly exhibit a tonic GABA receptor conductance that reduces neuronal excitability, a property that is likely to contribute to the sparse coding of sensory information in insect MBs.

  1. Fighting Off Wound Pathogens in Horses with Honeybee Lactic Acid Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Olofsson, Tobias C; Butler, Éile; Lindholm, Christina; Nilson, Bo; Michanek, Per; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2016-10-01

    In the global perspective of antibiotic resistance, it is urgent to find potent topical antibiotics for the use in human and animal infection. Healing of equine wounds, particularly in the limbs, is difficult due to hydrostatic factors and exposure to environmental contaminants, which can lead to heavy bio-burden/biofilm formation and sometimes to infection. Therefore, antibiotics are often prescribed. Recent studies have shown that honeybee-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB), involved in honey production, and inhibit human wound pathogens. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the effects on the healing of hard-to-heal equine wounds after treatment with these LAB symbionts viable in a heather honey formulation. For this, we included ten horses with wound duration of >1 year, investigated the wound microbiota, and treated wounds with the novel honeybee LAB formulation. We identified the microbiota using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and DNA sequencing. In addition, the antimicrobial properties of the honeybee LAB formulation were tested against all wound isolates in vitro. Our results indicate a diverse wound microbiota including fifty-three bacterial species that showed 90 % colonization by at least one species of Staphylococcus. Treatment with the formulation promoted wound healing in all cases already after the first application and the wounds were either completely healed (n = 3) in less than 20 days or healing was in progress. Furthermore, the honeybee LAB formulation inhibited all pathogens when tested in vitro. Consequently, this new treatment option presents as a powerful candidate for the topical treatment of hard-to-heal wounds in horses.

  2. Genotype effect on regulation of behaviour by vitellogenin supports reproductive origin of honeybee foraging bias

    PubMed Central

    Ihle, Kate E.; Page, Robert E.; Frederick, Katy; Fondrk, M. Kim; Amdam, Gro V.

    2010-01-01

    In honeybee colonies, food collection is performed by a group of mostly sterile females called workers. After an initial nest phase, workers begin foraging for nectar and pollen, but tend to bias their collection towards one or the other. The foraging choice of honeybees is influenced by vitellogenin (vg), an egg-yolk precursor protein that is expressed although workers typically do not lay eggs. The forager reproductive ground plan hypothesis (RGPH) proposes an evolutionary path in which the behavioural bias toward collecting nectar or pollen on foraging trips is influenced by variation in reproductive physiology, such as hormone levels and vg gene expression. Recently, the connections between vg and foraging behaviour were challenged by Oldroyd and Beekman (2008), who concluded from their study that the ovary, and especially vg, played no role in foraging behaviour of bees. We address their challenge directly by manipulating vg expression by RNA interference- (RNAi) mediated gene knockdown in two honeybee genotypes with different foraging behaviour and reproductive physiology. We show that the effect of vg on the food-loading decisions of the workers occurs only in the genotype where timing of foraging onset (by age) is also sensitive to vg levels. In the second genotype, changing vg levels do not affect foraging onset or bias. The effect of vg on workers' age at foraging onset is explained by the well-supported double repressor hypothesis (DHR), which describes a mutually inhibitory relationship between vg and juvenile hormone (JH) — an endocrine factor that influences development, reproduction, and behaviour in many insects. These results support the RGPH and demonstrate how it intersects with an established mechanism of honeybee behavioural control. PMID:20454635

  3. Alternative splicing of a single transcription factor drives selfish reproductive behavior in honeybee workers (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Jarosch, Antje; Stolle, Eckart; Crewe, Robin M.; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2011-01-01

    In eusocial insects the production of daughters is generally restricted to mated queens, and unmated workers are functionally sterile. The evolution of this worker sterility has been plausibly explained by kin selection theory [Hamilton W (1964) J Theor Biol 7:1–52], and many traits have evolved to prevent conflict over reproduction among the females in an insect colony. In honeybees (Apis mellifera), worker reproduction is regulated by the queen, brood pheromones, and worker policing. However, workers of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, can evade this control and establish themselves as social parasites by activating their ovaries, parthenogenetically producing diploid female offspring (thelytoky) and producing queen-like amounts of queen pheromones. All these traits have been shown to be strongly influenced by a single locus on chromosome 13 [Lattorff HMG, et al. (2007) Biol Lett 3:292–295]. We screened this region for candidate genes and found that alternative splicing of a gene homologous to the gemini transcription factor of Drosophila controls worker sterility. Knocking out the critical exon in a series of RNAi experiments resulted in rapid worker ovary activation—one of the traits characteristic of the social parasites. This genetic switch may be controlled by a short intronic splice enhancer motif of nine nucleotides attached to the alternative splice site. The lack of this motif in parasitic Cape honeybee clones suggests that the removal of nine nucleotides from the altruistic worker genome may be sufficient to turn a honeybee from an altruistic worker into a parasite. PMID:21896748

  4. Honeybee Venom Proteome Profile of Queens and Winter Bees as Determined by a Mass Spectrometric Approach

    PubMed Central

    Danneels, Ellen L.; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2015-01-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings. PMID:26529016

  5. Behavioral and neurophysiological study of olfactory perception and learning in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Jean Christophe

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has been a central insect model in the study of olfactory perception and learning for more than a century, starting with pioneer work by Karl von Frisch. Research on olfaction in honeybees has greatly benefited from the advent of a range of behavioral and neurophysiological paradigms in the Lab. Here I review major findings about how the honeybee brain detects, processes, and learns odors, based on behavioral, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological approaches. I first address the behavioral study of olfactory learning, from experiments on free-flying workers visiting artificial flowers to laboratory-based conditioning protocols on restrained individuals. I explain how the study of olfactory learning has allowed understanding the discrimination and generalization ability of the honeybee olfactory system, its capacity to grant special properties to olfactory mixtures as well as to retain individual component information. Next, based on the impressive amount of anatomical and immunochemical studies of the bee brain, I detail our knowledge of olfactory pathways. I then show how functional recordings of odor-evoked activity in the brain allow following the transformation of the olfactory message from the periphery until higher-order central structures. Data from extra- and intracellular electrophysiological approaches as well as from the most recent optical imaging developments are described. Lastly, I discuss results addressing how odor representation changes as a result of experience. This impressive ensemble of behavioral, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological data available in the bee make it an attractive model for future research aiming to understand olfactory perception and learning in an integrative fashion.

  6. Spider movement, UV reflectance and size, but not spider crypsis, affect the response of honeybees to Australian crab spiders.

    PubMed

    Llandres, Ana L; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A

    2011-02-16

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees.

  7. The Influence of Gustatory and Olfactory Experiences on Responsiveness to Reward in the Honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Gabriela P.; Martínez, Andrés S.; Fernández, Vanesa M.; Corti Bielsa, Gonzalo; Farina, Walter M.

    2010-01-01

    Background Honeybees (Apis mellifera) exhibit an extraordinarily tuned division of labor that depends on age polyethism. This adjustment is generally associated with the fact that individuals of different ages display different response thresholds to given stimuli, which determine specific behaviors. For instance, the sucrose-response threshold (SRT) which largely depends on genetic factors may also be affected by the nectar sugar content. However, it remains unknown whether SRTs in workers of different ages and tasks can differ depending on gustatory and olfactory experiences. Methodology Groups of worker bees reared either in an artificial environment or else in a queen-right colony, were exposed to different reward conditions at different adult ages. Gustatory response scores (GRSs) and odor-memory retrieval were measured in bees that were previously exposed to changes in food characteristics. Principal Findings Results show that the gustatory responses of pre-foraging-aged bees are affected by changes in sucrose solution concentration and also to the presence of an odor provided it is presented as scented sucrose solution. In contrast no differences in worker responses were observed when presented with odor only in the rearing environment. Fast modulation of GRSs was observed in older bees (12–16 days of age) which are commonly involved in food processing tasks within the hive, while slower modulation times were observed in younger bees (commonly nurse bees, 6–9 days of age). This suggests that older food-processing bees have a higher plasticity when responding to fluctuations in resource information than younger hive bees. Adjustments in the number of trophallaxis events were also found when scented food circulated inside the nest, and this was positively correlated with the differences in timing observed in gustatory responsiveness and memory retention for hive bees of different age classes. Conclusions This work demonstrates the accessibility of

  8. 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.

  9. Phage Therapy is Effective in Protecting Honeybee Larvae from American Foulbrood Disease.

    PubMed

    Ghorbani-Nezami, Sara; LeBlanc, Lucy; Yost, Diane G; Amy, Penny S

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood disease has a major impact on honeybees (Apis melifera) worldwide. It is caused by a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. The disease can only affect larval honeybees, and the bacterial endospores are the infective unit of the disease. Antibiotics are not sufficient to combat the disease due to increasing resistance among P. larvae strains. Because of the durability and virulence of P. larvae endospores, infections spread rapidly, and beekeepers are often forced to burn beehives and equipment. To date, very little information is available on the use of bacteriophage therapy in rescuing and preventing American foulbrood disease, therefore the goal of this study was to test the efficacy of phage therapy against P. larvae infection. Out of 32 previously isolated P. larvae phages, three designated F, WA, and XIII were tested on artificially reared honeybee larvae infected with P. larvae strain NRRL B-3650 spores. The presence of P. larvae DNA in dead larvae was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification. Survival rates for phage-treated larvae were approximately the same as for larvae never infected with spores (84%), i.e., the phages had no deleterious effect on the larvae. Additionally, prophylactic treatment of larvae with phages before spore infection was more effective than administering phages after infection, although survival in both cases was higher than spores alone (45%). Further testing to determine the optimal combination and concentration of phages, and testing in actual hive conditions are needed.

  10. Phage Therapy is Effective in Protecting Honeybee Larvae from American Foulbrood Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ghorbani-Nezami, Sara; LeBlanc, Lucy; Yost, Diane G.; Amy, Penny S.

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood disease has a major impact on honeybees (Apis melifera) worldwide. It is caused by a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. The disease can only affect larval honeybees, and the bacterial endospores are the infective unit of the disease. Antibiotics are not sufficient to combat the disease due to increasing resistance among P. larvae strains. Because of the durability and virulence of P. larvae endospores, infections spread rapidly, and beekeepers are often forced to burn beehives and equipment. To date, very little information is available on the use of bacteriophage therapy in rescuing and preventing American foulbrood disease, therefore the goal of this study was to test the efficacy of phage therapy against P. larvae infection. Out of 32 previously isolated P. larvae phages, three designated F, WA, and XIII were tested on artificially reared honeybee larvae infected with P. larvae strain NRRL B-3650 spores. The presence of P. larvae DNA in dead larvae was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification. Survival rates for phage-treated larvae were approximately the same as for larvae never infected with spores (84%), i.e., the phages had no deleterious effect on the larvae. Additionally, prophylactic treatment of larvae with phages before spore infection was more effective than administering phages after infection, although survival in both cases was higher than spores alone (45%). Further testing to determine the optimal combination and concentration of phages, and testing in actual hive conditions are needed. PMID:26136497

  11. Effects of a honeybee sting on the serum free amino acid profile in humans.

    PubMed

    Matysiak, Jan; Dereziński, Paweł; Klupczyńska, Agnieszka; Matysiak, Joanna; Kaczmarek, Elżbieta; Kokot, Zenon J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the response to a honeybee venom by analyzing serum levels of 34 free amino acids. Another goal of this study was to apply complex analytic-bioinformatic-clinical strategy based on up-to-date achievements of mass spectrometry in metabolomic profiling. The amino acid profiles were determined using hybrid triple quadrupole/linear ion trap mass spectrometer coupled with a liquid chromatography instrument. Serum samples were collected from 27 beekeepers within 3 hours after they were stung and after a minimum of 6 weeks following the last sting. The differences in amino acid profiles were evaluated using MetaboAnalyst and ROCCET web portals. Chemometric tests showed statistically significant differences in the levels of L-glutamine (Gln), L-glutamic acid (Glu), L-methionine (Met) and 3-methyl-L-histidine (3MHis) between the two analyzed groups of serum samples. Gln and Glu appeared to be the most important metabolites for distinguishing the beekeepers tested shortly after a bee sting from those tested at least 6 weeks later. The role of some amino acids in the response of an organism to the honeybee sting was also discussed. This study indicated that proposed methodology may allow to identify the individuals just after the sting and those who were stung at least 6 weeks earlier. The results we obtained will contribute to better understanding of the human body response to the honeybee sting.

  12. Effects of a Honeybee Sting on the Serum Free Amino Acid Profile in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Matysiak, Jan; Dereziński, Paweł; Klupczyńska, Agnieszka; Matysiak, Joanna; Kaczmarek, Elżbieta; Kokot, Zenon J.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the response to a honeybee venom by analyzing serum levels of 34 free amino acids. Another goal of this study was to apply complex analytic-bioinformatic-clinical strategy based on up-to-date achievements of mass spectrometry in metabolomic profiling. The amino acid profiles were determined using hybrid triple quadrupole/linear ion trap mass spectrometer coupled with a liquid chromatography instrument. Serum samples were collected from 27 beekeepers within 3 hours after they were stung and after a minimum of 6 weeks following the last sting. The differences in amino acid profiles were evaluated using MetaboAnalyst and ROCCET web portals. Chemometric tests showed statistically significant differences in the levels of L-glutamine (Gln), L-glutamic acid (Glu), L-methionine (Met) and 3-methyl-L-histidine (3MHis) between the two analyzed groups of serum samples. Gln and Glu appeared to be the most important metabolites for distinguishing the beekeepers tested shortly after a bee sting from those tested at least 6 weeks later. The role of some amino acids in the response of an organism to the honeybee sting was also discussed. This study indicated that proposed methodology may allow to identify the individuals just after the sting and those who were stung at least 6 weeks earlier. The results we obtained will contribute to better understanding of the human body response to the honeybee sting. PMID:25072247

  13. Plant origin of Okinawan propolis: honeybee behavior observation and phytochemical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumazawa, Shigenori; Nakamura, Jun; Murase, Masayo; Miyagawa, Mariko; Ahn, Mok-Ryeon; Fukumoto, Shuichi

    2008-08-01

    Propolis is a natural resinous product collected by honeybees from certain plants. It has gained popularity as a food and alternative medicine. Poplar and Baccharis are well known as the source plants of European and Brazilian propolis, respectively. However, the propolis from Okinawa, Japan, contains some prenylflavonoids not seen in other regions such as Europe and Brazil, suggesting that the plant origin of Okinawan propolis is a particular plant that grows in Okinawa. To identify the plant origin of Okinawan propolis, we observed the behavior of honeybees as they collected material from plants and caulked it inside the hive. Honeybees scraped resinous material from the surface of plant fruits of Macaranga tanarius and brought it back to their hive to use it as propolis. We collected samples of the plant and propolis, and compared their constituents by high-performance liquid chromatography with a photo-diode array detector. We also compared their 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl radical scavenging activity. The chemical constituents and biological activity of the ethanol extracts of the plant did not differ from those of propolis. This indicates directly that the plant origin of Okinawan propolis is M. tanarius.

  14. 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.

  15. The role of dopamine and serotonin in conditioned food aversion learning in the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    For most animals, eating entails the risk of being poisoned. Learning how to identify foods with toxins is an important mechanism that reduces the risk of poisoning. While conditioned food aversions have been studied in vertebrates for over 50 years, the neural circuits underlying this form of learning have been difficult to elucidate because of their complexity. Insects, such as fruit flies and honeybees, are important models for the study of the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, but conditioned food aversions have not yet been reported from either species. My collaborators and I recently established that the honeybee has the ability to learn to avoid odors associated with toxins in food using two independent neural pathways. In these experiments, we found that honeybees can learn to associate scents with toxins that they can pre-ingestively detect using their proboscis. This form of learning is primarily mediated by the neurotransmitter, dopamine. We also found a second mechanism: bees can learn to avoid odors associated with the malaise caused by ingesting toxins. This form of learning is mediated by serotonin. Our data are the first to show that two different mechanisms account for conditioned food aversions in insects. PMID:21980568

  16. Ontogeny of orientation flight in the honeybee revealed by harmonic radar.

    PubMed

    Capaldi, E A; Smith, A D; Osborne, J L; Fahrbach, S E; Farris, S M; Reynolds, D R; Edwards, A S; Martin, A; Robinson, G E; Poppy, G M; Riley, J R

    2000-02-03

    Cognitive ethology focuses on the study of animals under natural conditions to reveal ecologically adapted modes of learning. But biologists can more easily study what an animal learns than how it learns. For example, honeybees take repeated 'orientation' flights before becoming foragers at about three weeks of age. These flights are a prerequisite for successful homing. Little is known about these flights because orienting bees rapidly fly out of the range of human observation. Using harmonic radar, we show for the first time a striking ontogeny to honeybee orientation flights. With increased experience, bees hold trip duration constant but fly faster, so later trips cover a larger area than earlier trips. In addition, each flight is typically restricted to a narrow sector around the hive. Orientation flights provide honeybees with repeated opportunities to view the hive and landscape features from different viewpoints, suggesting that bees learn the local landscape in a progressive fashion. We also show that these changes in orientation flight are related to the number of previous flights taken instead of chronological age, suggesting a learning process adapted to changes in weather conditions, flower availability and the needs of bee colonies.

  17. Heat and carbon dioxide generated by honeybees jointly act to kill hornets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugahara, Michio; Sakamoto, Fumio

    2009-09-01

    We have found that giant hornets ( Vespa mandarinia japonica) are killed in less than 10 min when they are trapped in a bee ball created by the Japanese honeybees Apis cerana japonica, but their death cannot be solely accounted for by the elevated temperature in the bee ball. In controlled experiments, hornets can survive for 10 min at the temperature up to 47°C, whereas the temperature inside the bee balls does not rise higher than 45.9°C. We have found here that the CO2 concentration inside the bee ball also reaches a maximum (3.6 ± 0.2%) in the initial 0-5 min phase after bee ball formation. The lethal temperature of the hornet (45-46°C) under conditions of CO2 concentration (3.7 ± 0.44%) produced using human expiratory air is almost the same as that in the bee ball. The lethal temperature of the honeybee is 50-51°C under the same air conditions. We concluded that CO2 produced inside the bee ball by honeybees is a major factor together with the temperature involved in defense against giant hornets.

  18. The role of retinal photoisomerase in the visual cycle of the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    The compound eye of the honeybee has previously been shown to contain a soluble retinal photoisomerase which, in vitro, is able to catalyze stereospecifically the photoconversion of all-trans retinal to 11-cis retinal. In this study we combine in vivo and in vitro techniques to demonstrate how the retinal photoisomerase is involved in the visual cycle, creating 11-cis retinal for the generation of visual pigment. Honeybees have approximately 2.5 pmol/eye of retinal associated with visual pigments, but larger amounts (4-12 pmol/eye) of both retinal and retinol bound to soluble proteins. When bees are dark adapted for 24 h or longer, greater than 80% of the endogenous retinal, mostly in the all-trans configuration, is associated with the retinal photoisomerase. On exposure to blue light the retinal is isomerized to 11-cis, which makes it available to an alcohol dehydrogenase. Most of it is then reduced to 11-cis retinol. The retinol is not esterified and remains associated with a soluble protein, serving as a reservoir of 11-cis retinoid available for renewal of visual pigment. Alternatively, 11-cis retinal can be transferred directly to opsin to regenerate rhodopsin, as shown by synthesis of rhodopsin in bleached frog rod outer segments. This retinaldehyde cycle from the honeybee is the third to be described. It appears very similar to the system in another group of arthropods, flies, and differs from the isomerization processes in vertebrates and cephalopod mollusks. PMID:2007885

  19. EPIDEMIOLOGY OF HONEYBEE STING CASES IN THE STATE OF CEARÁ, NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL

    PubMed Central

    DINIZ, Ana Gilza Quaresma; BELMINO, José Franscidavid Barbosa; de ARAÚJO, Kaliany Adja Medeiros; VIEIRA, Aluska Tavares; LEITE, Renner de Souza

    2016-01-01

    In the American continent, honeybee envenomation is a public health problem due to the high incidence and severity of the cases. Despite its medical importance, there is a lack of epidemiological studies on this topic in Brazil, especially referring to the Northeastern states. The present study has aimed to describe the epidemiological features of honeybee envenomation cases in the state of the Ceará, Northeastern Brazil, from 2007 to 2013. Data were collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Ceará. A total of 1,307 cases were analyzed. Cases were shown to be distributed in all the months of the studied years, reaching higher frequencies in August. The majority of cases occurred in urban areas and involved men aged between 20 and 29 years. Victims were mainly stung on the head and torso, and they received medical assistance predominantly within 3 hours after being stung. Local manifestations were more frequent than systemic ones. Most cases were classified as mild and progressed to cure. The high number of honeybee sting cases shows that Ceará may be an important risk area for such injuries. Moreover, the current study provides data for the development of strategies to promote control and prevention of bee stings in this area. PMID:27253742

  20. Antifungal activity of the honeybee products against Candida spp. and Trichosporon spp.

    PubMed

    Koç, Ayşe Nedret; Silici, Sibel; Kasap, Filiz; Hörmet-Oz, Hatice Tuna; Mavus-Buldu, Hikmet; Ercal, Bariş Derya

    2011-01-01

    Honeybee products (honey, royal jelly, pollen, and propolis) were evaluated for their ability to inhibit the growth of 40 yeast strains of Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, and Trichosporon spp. The broth microdilution method was used to assess the antifungal activity of honeybee products against yeasts. Fluconazole was selected as the antifungal control agent. Using the broth microdilution method, minimal inhibitory concentration ranges with regard to all isolates were 5-80% (vol/vol), 0.06-1 μg/mL, 0.002-0.25 μg/mL, 0.006-0.1 μg/mL, and 0.02-96 μg/mL for honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and fluconazole, respectively. The antifungal activities of each product decreased in the following order: propolis >pollen > royal jelly > > honey. This study demonstrated that honeybee products, particularly propolis and pollen, can help to control some fluconazole-resistant fungal strains.

  1. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees.

  2. Novel biopesticide based on a spider venom peptide shows no adverse effects on honeybees.

    PubMed

    Nakasu, Erich Y T; Williamson, Sally M; Edwards, Martin G; Fitches, Elaine C; Gatehouse, John A; Wright, Geraldine A; Gatehouse, Angharad M R

    2014-07-22

    Evidence is accumulating that commonly used pesticides are linked to decline of pollinator populations; adverse effects of three neonicotinoids on bees have led to bans on their use across the European Union. Developing insecticides that pose negligible risks to beneficial organisms such as honeybees is desirable and timely. One strategy is to use recombinant fusion proteins containing neuroactive peptides/proteins linked to a 'carrier' protein that confers oral toxicity. Hv1a/GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin), containing an insect-specific spider venom calcium channel blocker (ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a) linked to snowdrop lectin (GNA) as a 'carrier', is an effective oral biopesticide towards various insect pests. Effects of Hv1a/GNA towards a non-target species, Apis mellifera, were assessed through a thorough early-tier risk assessment. Following feeding, honeybees internalized Hv1a/GNA, which reached the brain within 1 h after exposure. However, survival was only slightly affected by ingestion (LD50>100 µg bee(-1)) or injection of fusion protein. Bees fed acute (100 µg bee(-1)) or chronic (0.35 mg ml(-1)) doses of Hv1a/GNA and trained in an olfactory learning task had similar rates of learning and memory to no-pesticide controls. Larvae were unaffected, being able to degrade Hv1a/GNA. These tests suggest that Hv1a/GNA is unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees, indicating that atracotoxins targeting calcium channels are potential alternatives to conventional pesticides.

  3. 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.

  4. Symbionts as major modulators of insect health: lactic acid bacteria and honeybees.

    PubMed

    Vásquez, Alejandra; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; Paxton, Robert J; Flaberg, Emilie; Szekely, Laszlo; Olofsson, Tobias C

    2012-01-01

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are well recognized beneficial host-associated members of the microbiota of humans and animals. Yet LAB-associations of invertebrates have been poorly characterized and their functions remain obscure. Here we show that honeybees possess an abundant, diverse and ancient LAB microbiota in their honey crop with beneficial effects for bee health, defending them against microbial threats. Our studies of LAB in all extant honeybee species plus related apid bees reveal one of the largest collections of novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium ever discovered within a single insect and suggest a long (>80 mya) history of association. Bee associated microbiotas highlight Lactobacillus kunkeei as the dominant LAB member. Those showing potent antimicrobial properties are acquired by callow honey bee workers from nestmates and maintained within the crop in biofilms, though beekeeping management practices can negatively impact this microbiota. Prophylactic practices that enhance LAB, or supplementary feeding of LAB, may serve in integrated approaches to sustainable pollinator service provision. We anticipate this microbiota will become central to studies on honeybee health, including colony collapse disorder, and act as an exemplar case of insect-microbe symbiosis.

  5. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees. PMID:27053744

  6. The role of dopamine and serotonin in conditioned food aversion learning in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Wright, Geraldine A

    2011-05-01

    For most animals, eating entails the risk of being poisoned. Learning how to identify foods with toxins is an important mechanism that reduces the risk of poisoning. While conditioned food aversions have been studied in vertebrates for over 50 years, the neural circuits underlying this form of learning have been difficult to elucidate because of their complexity. Insects, such as fruit flies and honeybees, are important models for the study of the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, but conditioned food aversions have not yet been reported from either species. My collaborators and I recently established that the honeybee has the ability to learn to avoid odors associated with toxins in food using two independent neural pathways. In these experiments, we found that honeybees can learn to associate scents with toxins that they can pre-ingestively detect using their proboscis. This form of learning is primarily mediated by the neurotransmitter, dopamine. We also found a second mechanism: bees can learn to avoid odors associated with the malaise caused by ingesting toxins. This form of learning is mediated by serotonin. Our data are the first to show that two different mechanisms account for conditioned food aversions in insects.

  7. 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

  8. Identification of Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus and Lactobacillus fermentum from honey stomach of honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Tajabadi, Naser; Mardan, Makhdzir; Saari, Nazamid; Mustafa, Shuhaimi; Bahreini, Rasoul; Manap, Mohd Yazid Abdul

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to isolate and identify Lactobacillus in the honey stomach of honeybee Apis dorsata. Samples of honeybee were collected from A. dorsata colonies in different bee trees and Lactobacillus bacteria isolated from honey stomachs. Ninety two isolates were Gram-stained and tested for catalase reaction. By using bacterial universal primers, the 16S rDNA gene from DNA of bacterial colonies amplified with polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Forty-nine bacterial 16S rDNA gene were sequenced and entrusted in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis showed they were different phylotypes of Lactobacillus. Two of them were most closely relevant to the previously described species Lactobacillus plantarum. Other two phylotypes were identified to be closely related to Lactobacillus pentosus. However, only one phylotype was found to be distantly linked to the Lactobacillus fermentum. The outcomes of the present study indicated that L. plantarum, L. pentosus, and L. fermentum were the dominant lactobacilli in the honey stomach of honeybee A. dorsata collected during the dry season from Malaysia forest area - specifically “Melaleuca in Terengganu”. PMID:24516438

  9. Elevated virulence of an emerging viral genotype as a driver of honeybee loss

    PubMed Central

    Weging, Silvio; Gogol-Döring, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) have contributed significantly to the current biodiversity crisis, leading to widespread epidemics and population loss. Owing to genetic variation in pathogen virulence, a complete understanding of species decline requires the accurate identification and characterization of EIDs. We explore this issue in the Western honeybee, where increasing mortality of populations in the Northern Hemisphere has caused major concern. Specifically, we investigate the importance of genetic identity of the main suspect in mortality, deformed wing virus (DWV), in driving honeybee loss. Using laboratory experiments and a systematic field survey, we demonstrate that an emerging DWV genotype (DWV-B) is more virulent than the established DWV genotype (DWV-A) and is widespread in the landscape. Furthermore, we show in a simple model that colonies infected with DWV-B collapse sooner than colonies infected with DWV-A. We also identify potential for rapid DWV evolution by revealing extensive genome-wide recombination in vivo. The emergence of DWV-B in naive honeybee populations, including via recombination with DWV-A, could be of significant ecological and economic importance. Our findings emphasize that knowledge of pathogen genetic identity and diversity is critical to understanding drivers of species decline. PMID:27358367

  10. Symbionts as Major Modulators of Insect Health: Lactic Acid Bacteria and Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez, Alejandra; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; Paxton, Robert J.; Flaberg, Emilie; Szekely, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are well recognized beneficial host-associated members of the microbiota of humans and animals. Yet LAB-associations of invertebrates have been poorly characterized and their functions remain obscure. Here we show that honeybees possess an abundant, diverse and ancient LAB microbiota in their honey crop with beneficial effects for bee health, defending them against microbial threats. Our studies of LAB in all extant honeybee species plus related apid bees reveal one of the largest collections of novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium ever discovered within a single insect and suggest a long (>80 mya) history of association. Bee associated microbiotas highlight Lactobacillus kunkeei as the dominant LAB member. Those showing potent antimicrobial properties are acquired by callow honey bee workers from nestmates and maintained within the crop in biofilms, though beekeeping management practices can negatively impact this microbiota. Prophylactic practices that enhance LAB, or supplementary feeding of LAB, may serve in integrated approaches to sustainable pollinator service provision. We anticipate this microbiota will become central to studies on honeybee health, including colony collapse disorder, and act as an exemplar case of insect-microbe symbiosis. PMID:22427985

  11. Honeybees as a model for the study of visually guided flight, navigation, and biologically inspired robotics.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2011-04-01

    Research over the past century has revealed the impressive capacities of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, in relation to visual perception, flight guidance, navigation, and learning and memory. These observations, coupled with the relative ease with which these creatures can be trained, and the relative simplicity of their nervous systems, have made honeybees an attractive model in which to pursue general principles of sensorimotor function in a variety of contexts, many of which pertain not just to honeybees, but several other animal species, including humans. This review begins by describing the principles of visual guidance that underlie perception of the world in three dimensions, obstacle avoidance, control of flight speed, and orchestrating smooth landings. We then consider how navigation over long distances is accomplished, with particular reference to how bees use information from the celestial compass to determine their flight bearing, and information from the movement of the environment in their eyes to gauge how far they have flown. Finally, we illustrate how some of the principles gleaned from these studies are now being used to design novel, biologically inspired algorithms for the guidance of unmanned aerial vehicles.

  12. Odour aversion after olfactory conditioning of the sting extension reflex in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Carcaud, Julie; Roussel, Edith; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2009-03-01

    In Pavlovian conditioning, an originally neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus or CS) gains control over an animal's reflex after its association with a biologically relevant stimulus (unconditioned stimulus or US). As a consequence, a conditioned response is emitted by the animal upon further CS presentations. In such a situation, the subject exhibits a reflex response, so that whether the CS thereby acquires a positive or a negative value for the animal is difficult to assess. In honeybees, Apis mellifera, an odour (CS) can be associated either with sucrose solution (US) in the appetitive conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER), or with an electric shock (US) in the aversive conditioning of the sting extension reflex (SER). The term ;aversive' may not apply to the latter as bees do not suppress SER as a consequence of learning but, on the contrary, start emitting SER to the CS. To determine whether the CS acquires a positive or a negative value in these conditioning forms, we compared the orientation behaviour of freely walking honeybees in an olfactory-cued Y-maze after training them with an odour-sucrose association (PER conditioning) or an odour-shock association (SER conditioning). We show that the same odours can acquire either a positive value when associated to sucrose, or a negative value when associated to an electric shock, as bees respectively approach or avoid the CS in the Y-maze. Importantly, these results clearly establish the aversive nature of SER conditioning in honeybees.

  13. 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.

  14. Evidence for instantaneous e-vector detection in the honeybee using an associative learning paradigm.

    PubMed

    Sakura, Midori; Okada, Ryuichi; Aonuma, Hitoshi

    2012-02-07

    Many insects use the polarization pattern of the sky for obtaining compass information during orientation or navigation. E-vector information is collected by a specialized area in the dorsal-most part of the compound eye, the dorsal rim area (DRA). We tested honeybees' capability of learning certain e-vector orientations by using a classical conditioning paradigm with the proboscis extension reflex. When one e-vector orientation (CS+) was associated with sugar water, while another orientation (CS-) was not rewarded, the honeybees could discriminate CS+ from CS-. Bees whose DRA was inactivated by painting did not learn CS+. When ultraviolet (UV) polarized light (350 nm) was used for CS, the bees discriminated CS+ from CS-, but no discrimination was observed in blue (442 nm) or green light (546 nm). Our data indicate that honeybees can learn and discriminate between different e-vector orientations, sensed by the UV receptors of the DRA, suggesting that bees can determine their flight direction from polarized UV skylight during foraging. Fixing the bees' heads during the experiments did not prevent learning, indicating that they use an 'instantaneous' algorithm of e-vector detection; that is, the bees do not need to actively scan the sky with their DRAs ('sequential' method) to determine e-vector orientation.

  15. Optimisation of a honeybee-colony's energetics via social learning based on queuing delays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thenius, Ronald; Schmickl, Thomas; Crailsheim, Karl

    2008-06-01

    Natural selection shaped the foraging-related processes of honeybees in such a way that a colony can react to changing environmental conditions optimally. To investigate this complex dynamic social system, we developed a multi-agent model of the nectar flow inside and outside of a honeybee colony. In a honeybee colony, a temporal caste collects nectar in the environment. These foragers bring their harvest into the colony, where they unload their nectar loads to one or more storer bees. Our model predicts that a cohort of foragers, collecting nectar from a single nectar source, is able to detect changes in quality in other food sources they have never visited, via the nectar processing system of the colony. We identified two novel pathways of forager-to-forager communication. Foragers can gain information about changes in the nectar flow in the environment via changes in their mean waiting time for unloadings and the number of experienced multiple unloadings. This way two distinct groups of foragers that forage on different nectar sources and that never communicate directly can share information via a third cohort of worker bees. We show that this noisy and loosely knotted social network allows a colony to perform collective information processing, so that a single forager has all necessary information available to be able to 'tune' its social behaviour, like dancing or dance-following. This way the net nectar gain of the colony is increased.

  16. Isolation and characterization of a novel phage lysin active against Paenibacillus larvae, a honeybee pathogen

    PubMed Central

    LeBlanc, Lucy; Nezami, Sara; Yost, Diane; Tsourkas, Philippos; Amy, Penny S

    2015-01-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB) disease which affects early larval stages during honeybee development. Due to its virulence, transmissibility, capacity to develop antibiotic resistance, and the inherent resilience of its endospores, Paenibacillus larvae is extremely difficult to eradicate from infected hives which often must be burned. AFB contributes to the worldwide decline of honeybee populations, which are crucial for pollination and the food supply. We have isolated a novel bacteriophage lysin, PlyPalA, from the genome of a novel Paenibacillus larvae bacteriophage originally extracted from an environmental sample. PlyPalA has an N-terminal N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase catalytic domain and possesses lytic activity against infectious strains of Paenibacillus larvae without harming commensal bacteria known to compose the honeybee larval microbiota. A single dose of PlyPalA rescued 75% of larvae infected with endospores, showing that it represents a powerful tool for future treatment of AFB. This represents the first time that lysins have been tested for therapeutic use in invertebrates. PMID:26904379

  17. Genome-wide analysis of admixture and adaptation in the Africanized honeybee.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Ronald M; Wallberg, Andreas; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Lawson, Daniel J; Webster, Matthew T

    2017-04-05

    Genetic exchange by hybridization or admixture can make an important contribution to evolution, and introgression of favourable alleles can facilitate adaptation to new environments. A small number of honeybees (Apis mellifera) with African ancestry were introduced to Brazil ~60 years ago, which dispersed and hybridized with existing managed populations of European origin, quickly spreading across much of the Americas in an example of a massive biological invasion. Here we analyse whole genome sequences of 32 Africanized honeybees sampled from throughout Brazil in order to study the effect of this process on genome diversity. By comparison with ancestral populations from Europe and Africa, we infer that these samples have 84% African ancestry, with the remainder from western European populations. However, this proportion varies across the genome and we identify signals of positive selection in regions with high European ancestry proportions. These observations are largely driven by one large gene-rich 1.4-Mbp segment on chromosome 11 where European haplotypes are present at a significantly elevated frequency and likely confer an adaptive advantage in the Africanized honeybee population. This region has previously been implicated in reproductive traits and foraging behaviour in worker bees. Finally, by analysing the distribution of ancestry tract lengths in the context of the known time of the admixture event, we are able to infer an average generation time of 2.0 years. Our analysis highlights the processes by which populations of mixed genetic ancestry form and adapt to new environments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  18. A parent-of-origin effect on honeybee worker ovary size.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Allsopp, Michael H; Roth, Katherine M; Remnant, Emily J; Drewell, Robert A; Beekman, Madeleine

    2014-01-22

    Apis mellifera capensis is unique among honeybees in that unmated workers can produce pseudo-clonal female offspring via thelytokous parthenogenesis. Workers use this ability to compete among themselves and with their queen to be the mother of new queens. Males could therefore enhance their reproductive success by imprinting genes that enhance fertility in their daughter workers. This possibility sets the scene for intragenomic conflict between queens and drones over worker reproductive traits. Here, we show a strong parent-of-origin effect for ovary size (number of ovarioles) in reciprocal crosses between two honeybee subspecies, A. m. capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata. In this cross, workers with an A. m. capensis father had 30% more ovarioles than genotypically matched workers with an A. m. scutellata father. Other traits we measured (worker weight at emergence and the presence/absence of a spermatheca) are influenced more by rearing conditions than by parent-of-origin effects. Our study is the first to show a strong epigenetic (or, less likely, cytoplasmic maternal) effect for a reproductive trait in the honeybee and suggests that a search for parent-of-origin effects in other social insects may be fruitful.

  19. Influence of pollen quality on ovarian development in honeybee workers (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Human, H; Nicolson, S W; Strauss, K; Pirk, C W W; Dietemann, V

    2007-07-01

    Protein-rich diets are known to promote ovarian and egg development in workers of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, even in the presence of a queen. Since the main source of protein for honeybees is pollen, its quality and digestibility might be important dietary factors determining reproductive capacity. We have compared the effect of two types of pollen-sunflower, Helianthus annuus, and aloe, Aloe greatheadii var davyana-on ovarian development in A. mellifera scutellata workers. Under queenright conditions in the field, worker bees exhibited greater ovarian development when feeding on aloe pollen than on sunflower pollen. In their midgut, we observed higher extraction efficiency for aloe (80%) than for sunflower (69%) pollen. This may be attributed to the morphology and size of the two kinds of pollen grains and explains, together with the high protein content of aloe pollen (32% dry mass in bee-collected pollen) compared to sunflower pollen (15%), why aloe pollen promoted higher ovarian development. However, in the laboratory workers sustained on aloe pollen had significantly less-developed ovaries and higher mortality than those fed sunflower pollen. These detrimental effects may be due to an unbalanced protein:carbohydrate ratio. We discuss the effects of unbalanced diets on the physiology and ecology of honeybee reproduction.

  20. 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.

  1. Genetic diversity of the Dwarf honeybee (Apis florea Fabricius, 1787) populations based on microsatellite markers.

    PubMed

    Asadi, N; Rahimi, A; Ghaheri, M; Kahrizi, D; Bagheri Dehbaghi, M; Khederzadeh, S; Banabazi, M H; Esmaeilkhanian, S; Veisi, B; Geravandi, M; Karim, H; Vaziri, S; Daneshgar, F; Zargooshi, J

    2016-10-31

    Apis florea is one of two species of small, wild honeybee. The present study was conducted to evaluate the genetic diversity of Apis florea honeybee from 48 nests (colonies) using microsatellite markers in the South of Iran. All honeybee samples were analyzed for six microsatellite loci (A88, A107, A7, B124, A113 and A35). The six loci had different numbers of alleles in the sampled colonies ranging from 7 (loci A107) to 3 (loci A7, A35). Gene diversity in Apis florea ranged from 0.491 to 0.595. This range probably reflects the spreading of nests in a large region with a varied climate. Phylogenetic tree showed two distinct clusters including a) Minab region samples and b) Bandar Abbas, Bandar Khamir and Qeshm Island regions. All of these regions are geographically rich, having varied vegetation and climate conditions. Our findings are an important contribution to the methods of studying distribution and conservation of Apis florea.

  2. Elevated virulence of an emerging viral genotype as a driver of honeybee loss.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Dino P; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; Doublet, Vincent; Fürst, Matthias; Weging, Silvio; Brown, Mark J F; Gogol-Döring, Andreas; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-06-29

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) have contributed significantly to the current biodiversity crisis, leading to widespread epidemics and population loss. Owing to genetic variation in pathogen virulence, a complete understanding of species decline requires the accurate identification and characterization of EIDs. We explore this issue in the Western honeybee, where increasing mortality of populations in the Northern Hemisphere has caused major concern. Specifically, we investigate the importance of genetic identity of the main suspect in mortality, deformed wing virus (DWV), in driving honeybee loss. Using laboratory experiments and a systematic field survey, we demonstrate that an emerging DWV genotype (DWV-B) is more virulent than the established DWV genotype (DWV-A) and is widespread in the landscape. Furthermore, we show in a simple model that colonies infected with DWV-B collapse sooner than colonies infected with DWV-A. We also identify potential for rapid DWV evolution by revealing extensive genome-wide recombination in vivo The emergence of DWV-B in naive honeybee populations, including via recombination with DWV-A, could be of significant ecological and economic importance. Our findings emphasize that knowledge of pathogen genetic identity and diversity is critical to understanding drivers of species decline.

  3. Effects of erectable glossal hairs on a honeybee's nectar-drinking strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Heng; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2014-06-01

    With the use of a scanning electron microscope, we observe specific microstructures of the mouthpart of the Italian bee (Apis mellifera ligustica), especially the distribution and dimensions of hairs on its glossa. Considering the erection of glossal hairs for trapping nectar modifies the viscous dipping model in analyzing the drinking strategy of a honeybee. Theoretical estimations of volume intake rates with respect to sucrose solutions of different concentrations agree with experimental data, which indicates that erectable hairs can significantly increase the ability of a bee to acquire nectar efficiently. The comparison with experimental results also indicates that a honeybee may continuously augment its pumping power, rather than keep it constant, to drink nectar with sharply increasing viscosity. Under the modified assumption of increasing working power, we introduce the rate at which working power increases with viscosity and discuss the nature-preferred nectar concentration of 35% by theoretically calculating optimal concentration maximizing energetic intake rates under varying increasing rates. Finally, the ability of the mouthparts of the honeybee to transfer viscous nectar may inspire a concept for transporting microfluidics with a wide range of viscosities.

  4. A single locus determines thelytokous parthenogenesis of laying honeybee workers (Apis mellifera capensis).

    PubMed

    Lattorff, H M G; Moritz, R F A; Fuchs, S

    2005-05-01

    The evolution and maintenance of parthenogenetic species are a puzzling issue in evolutionary biology. Although the genetic mechanisms that act to restore diploidy are well studied, the underlying genes that cause the switch from sexual reproduction to parthenogenesis have not been analysed. There are several species that are polymorphic for sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction, which may have a genetic basis. We use the South African honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera capensis to analyse the genetic control of thelytoky (asexual production of female workers). Due to the caste system of honeybees, it is possible to establish classical backcrosses using sexually reproducing queens and drones of both arrhenotokous and thelytokous subspecies, and to score the frequency of parthenogenesis in the resulting workers. We found Mendelian segregation for thelytoky of egg-laying workers, which appears to be controlled by a single major gene (th). The segregation pattern indicates a recessive allele causing thelytoky. We found no evidence for maternal transmission of bacterial endosymbionts controlling parthenogenesis. Thelytokous parthenogenesis of honeybee workers appears to be a classical qualitative trait, because we did not observe mixed parthenogenesis (amphitoky), which might be expected in the case of multi-locus inheritance.

  5. Heat and carbon dioxide generated by honeybees jointly act to kill hornets.

    PubMed

    Sugahara, Michio; Sakamoto, Fumio

    2009-09-01

    We have found that giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia japonica) are killed in less than 10 min when they are trapped in a bee ball created by the Japanese honeybees Apis cerana japonica, but their death cannot be solely accounted for by the elevated temperature in the bee ball. In controlled experiments, hornets can survive for 10 min at the temperature up to 47 degrees C, whereas the temperature inside the bee balls does not rise higher than 45.9 degrees C. We have found here that the CO2 concentration inside the bee ball also reaches a maximum (3.6 +/- 0.2%) in the initial 0-5 min phase after bee ball formation. The lethal temperature of the hornet (45-46 degrees C) under conditions of CO2 concentration (3.7 +/- 0.44%) produced using human expiratory air is almost the same as that in the bee ball. The lethal temperature of the honeybee is 50-51 degrees C under the same air conditions. We concluded that CO2 produced inside the bee ball by honeybees is a major factor together with the temperature involved in defense against giant hornets.

  6. [Binding of tylosin, tilmicosin and oxytetracycline to proteins from honeybees, larvae and beehive products].

    PubMed

    Reynaldi, F J; Lacunza, J; Alippi, A M; Rule, R

    2010-01-01

    American Foulbrood (AFB) caused by the spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae is the most serious disease of bacterial origin affecting larvae and pupae of honeybees. Antibiotics are used in many countries for the control of AFB in high incidence areas, but their misuse may lead to antibiotic resistance of bacterial strains and honey contamination. The objective of the present work was to determine, through a biological method, the protein binding of tylosin, tilmicosin and oxytetracycline to worker jelly; honey; pollen; adult bees and larvae in order to propose their kinetic routes. The sensitivity limit of the technique used was 0.05 μg/ml for tylosin and tilmicosin and 0.01 μg/ml for oxytetracycline, respectively. The method had intra and inter-assay correlation coefficients over 0.90, respectively and a coefficient variation of intra-and inter-assay for all antibiotics and processed samples under 5%. Tylosin and oxytetracycline presented lower percentages of protein binding in tissues and hive products (average 15%) in relation to those observed for tilmicosin (29%). In conclusion, tylosin is useful for AFB control in honey bee colonies due to its chemical characteristics, antimicrobial activity and levels of protein binding in bees, larvae, and beehive products.

  7. 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.

  8. Predicting Honeybee Colony Failure: Using the BEEHAVE Model to Simulate Colony Responses to Pesticides.

    PubMed

    Rumkee, Jack C O; Becher, Matthias A; Thorbek, Pernille; Kennedy, Peter J; Osborne, Juliet L

    2015-11-03

    To simulate effects of pesticides on different honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) life stages, we used the BEEHAVE model to explore how increased mortalities of larvae, in-hive workers, and foragers, as well as reduced egg-laying rate, could impact colony dynamics over multiple years. Stresses were applied for 30 days, both as multiples of the modeled control mortality and as set percentage daily mortalities to assess the sensitivity of the modeled colony both to small fluctuations in mortality and periods of low to very high daily mortality. These stresses simulate stylized exposure of the different life stages to nectar and pollen contaminated with pesticide for 30 days. Increasing adult bee mortality had a much greater impact on colony survival than mortality of bee larvae or reduction in egg laying rate. Importantly, the seasonal timing of the imposed mortality affected the magnitude of the impact at colony level. In line with the LD50, we propose a new index of "lethal imposed stress": the LIS50 which indicates the level of stress on individuals that results in 50% colony mortality. This (or any LISx) is a comparative index for exploring the effects of different stressors at colony level in model simulations. While colony failure is not an acceptable protection goal, this index could be used to inform the setting of future regulatory protection goals.

  9. Trophallaxis in forager honeybees (Apis mellifera): resource uncertainty enhances begging contacts?

    PubMed

    De Marco, R J; Farina, W M

    2003-02-01

    Trophallaxis among adult worker honeybees is the transfer of liquid food by mouth from one individual to another. Within the colony, nectar foragers perform offering contacts (as food-donors) to transfer the contents of their crops to recipient nest-mates and, in addition, they also perform begging contacts (as food-receivers). The biological relevance of these last interactions remains unknown. Previous evidence suggests that begging may be involved in the exchange of information on food resources that occurs naturally between employed foragers and nest-mates. This work was aimed to reveal possible connections between the information obtained while foraging and the begging behavior displayed inside the nest. Experiments were intended to (1) analyze whether chemosensory information obtained while foraging, i.e., odors and sucrose concentrations, affects begging behavior, and (2) determine whether resource uncertainty enhances begging contacts. Results showed that: (1) most begging contacts lasted less than 1 s, a duration which only allows receiving food samples from nest-mates; (2) the diversity of odors and sucrose concentrations at the feeding place enhances the occurrence of begging contacts; and (3) an increased resource uncertainty enhances the forager begging behavior. In addition, results suggest that foragers may direct their begging contacts frequently to other employed nectar foragers.

  10. Predicting Honeybee Colony Failure: Using the BEEHAVE Model to Simulate Colony Responses to Pesticides

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    To simulate effects of pesticides on different honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) life stages, we used the BEEHAVE model to explore how increased mortalities of larvae, in-hive workers, and foragers, as well as reduced egg-laying rate, could impact colony dynamics over multiple years. Stresses were applied for 30 days, both as multiples of the modeled control mortality and as set percentage daily mortalities to assess the sensitivity of the modeled colony both to small fluctuations in mortality and periods of low to very high daily mortality. These stresses simulate stylized exposure of the different life stages to nectar and pollen contaminated with pesticide for 30 days. Increasing adult bee mortality had a much greater impact on colony survival than mortality of bee larvae or reduction in egg laying rate. Importantly, the seasonal timing of the imposed mortality affected the magnitude of the impact at colony level. In line with the LD50, we propose a new index of “lethal imposed stress”: the LIS50 which indicates the level of stress on individuals that results in 50% colony mortality. This (or any LISx) is a comparative index for exploring the effects of different stressors at colony level in model simulations. While colony failure is not an acceptable protection goal, this index could be used to inform the setting of future regulatory protection goals. PMID:26444386

  11. Molecular and biological characterization of deformed wing virus of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Exploring poisonous mechanism of honeybee, Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, caused by pyrethroids.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiang; Diao, Qingyun; Dai, Pingli; Chu, Yanna; Wu, Yanyan; Zhou, Ting; Cai, Qingnian

    2017-01-01

    As the important intracellular secondary messengers, calcium channel is the target of many neurotoxic pesticides as calcium homeostasis in the neuroplasm play important role in neuronal functions and behavior in insects. This study investigated the effect of deltamethrin (DM) on calcium channel in the brain nerve cells of adult workers of Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola that were cultured in vitro. The results showed that the intracellular calcium concentration was significantly elevated even with a very low concentration of the DM (3.125×10(-2)mg/L). Further testing revealed that T-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), except for sodium channels, was one of the target of DM on toxicity of Apis mellifera, while DM has no significant effect on the L-type VGCCs, N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor-gated calcium channels and calcium store. These results suggesting that the DM may act on T-type VGCCs in brain cells of honeybees and result in behavioral abnormalities including swarming, feeding, learning, and acquisition.

  14. Expression of recombinant AccMRJP1 protein from royal jelly of Chinese honeybee in Pichia pastoris and its proliferation activity in an insect cell line

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Main royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1) is the most abundant member of the main royal jelly protein (MRJP) family among honeybees. Mature MRJP1 cDNA of the Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana MRJP1, or AccMRJP1) was expressed in Pichia pastoris. SDS-PAGE showed that recombinant AccMRJP1 was identical in...

  15. Duration of the Unconditioned Stimulus in Appetitive Conditioning of Honeybees Differentially Impacts Learning, Long-Term Memory Strength, and the Underlying Protein Synthesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marter, Kathrin; Grauel, M. Katharina; Lewa, Carmen; Morgenstern, Laura; Buckemüller, Christina; Heufelder, Karin; Ganz, Marion; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the role of stimulus duration in learning and memory formation of honeybees ("Apis mellifera"). In classical appetitive conditioning honeybees learn the association between an initially neutral, conditioned stimulus (CS) and the occurrence of a meaningful stimulus, the unconditioned stimulus (US). Thereby the CS…

  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. Using BEEHAVE to explore pesticide protection goals for European honeybee (Apis melifera L.) worker losses at different forage qualities.

    PubMed

    Thorbek, Pernille; Campbell, Peter J; Sweeney, Paul J; Thompson, Helen M

    2017-01-01

    Losses of honeybee colonies are intensely debated and although honeybees suffer multiple stressors, the main focus has been on pesticides. As a result, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) revised the guidance for pesticide risk assessment for honeybees. The European Food Safety Authority reported a protection goal of negligible effect at 7% of colony size and then used the Khoury honeybee colony model to set trigger values for forager losses. However, the Khoury model is very simplistic and simulates colonies in an idealized state. In the present study, the authors demonstrate how a more realistic published honeybee model, BEEHAVE, with a few simple changes, can be used to explore pesticide risks. The results show that forage availability interacts with pesticide-induced worker losses, and colony resilience increases with forage quality. Adding alternative unexposed forage to the landscape also substantially mitigates the effects of pesticide exposure. The results indicate that EFSA's reported protection goal of 7% of colony size and triggers for daily worker losses are overly conservative. The authors conclude that forage availability is critical for colony resilience and that with adequate forage the colonies are resilient to even high levels of worker losses. However, the authors recommend setting protection goals using suboptimal forage conditions to ensure conservatism and for such suboptimal forage, a total of 20% reduction in colony size was safe. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:254-264. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

  18. Insights into the molecular basis of long-term storage and survival of sperm in the honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Paynter, Ellen; Millar, A. Harvey; Welch, Mat; Baer-Imhoof, Barbara; Cao, Danyang; Baer, Boris

    2017-01-01

    Honeybee males produce ejaculates consisting of large numbers of high quality sperm. Because queens never re-mate after a single mating episode early in life, sperm are stored in a specialised organ for years but the proximate mechanisms underlying this key physiological adaptation are unknown. We quantified energy metabolism in honeybee sperm and show that the glycolytic metabolite glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (GA3P) is a key substrate for honeybee sperm survival and energy production. This reliance on non-aerobic energy metabolism in stored sperm was further supported by our findings of very low levels of oxygen inside the spermatheca. Expression of GA3P dehydrogenase (GAPDH), the enzyme involved in catabolism of GA3P, was significantly higher in stored compared to ejaculated sperm. Therefore, long-term sperm storage seems facilitated by the maintenance of non-aerobic energy production, the need for only the ATP-producing steps of glycolysis and by avoiding sperm damage resulting from ROS production. We also confirm that honeybee sperm is capable of aerobic metabolism, which predominates in ejaculated sperm while they compete for access to the spermatheca, but is suppressed during storage. Consequently, the remarkable reproductive traits of honeybees are proximately achieved by differential usage of energy production pathways to maximise competitiveness and minimise damage of sperm. PMID:28091518

  19. Understanding the logics of pheromone processing in the honeybee brain: from labeled-lines to across-fiber patterns.

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Deisig, Nina; de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Giurfa, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Honeybees employ a very rich repertoire of pheromones to ensure intraspecific communication in a wide range of behavioral contexts. This communication can be complex, since the same compounds can have a variety of physiological and behavioral effects depending on the receiver. Honeybees constitute an ideal model to study the neurobiological basis of pheromonal processing, as they are already one of the most influential animal models for the study of general odor processing and learning at behavioral, cellular and molecular levels. Accordingly, the anatomy of the bee brain is well characterized and electro- and opto-physiological recording techniques at different stages of the olfactory circuit are possible in the laboratory. Here we review pheromone communication in honeybees and analyze the different stages of olfactory processing in the honeybee brain, focusing on available data on pheromone detection, processing and representation at these different stages. In particular, we argue that the traditional distinction between labeled-line and across-fiber pattern processing, attributed to pheromone and general odors respectively, may not be so clear in the case of honeybees, especially for social-pheromones. We propose new research avenues for stimulating future work in this area.

  20. Understanding the Logics of Pheromone Processing in the Honeybee Brain: From Labeled-Lines to Across-Fiber Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Deisig, Nina; de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Giurfa, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Honeybees employ a very rich repertoire of pheromones to ensure intraspecific communication in a wide range of behavioral contexts. This communication can be complex, since the same compounds can have a variety of physiological and behavioral effects depending on the receiver. Honeybees constitute an ideal model to study the neurobiological basis of pheromonal processing, as they are already one of the most influential animal models for the study of general odor processing and learning at behavioral, cellular and molecular levels. Accordingly, the anatomy of the bee brain is well characterized and electro- and opto-physiological recording techniques at different stages of the olfactory circuit are possible in the laboratory. Here we review pheromone communication in honeybees and analyze the different stages of olfactory processing in the honeybee brain, focusing on available data on pheromone detection, processing and representation at these different stages. In particular, we argue that the traditional distinction between labeled-line and across-fiber pattern processing, attributed to pheromone and general odors respectively, may not be so clear in the case of honeybees, especially for social-pheromones. We propose new research avenues for stimulating future work in this area. PMID:18958187

  1. Homomeric RDL and heteromeric RDL/LCCH3 GABA receptors in the honeybee antennal lobes: two candidates for inhibitory transmission in olfactory processing.

    PubMed

    Dupuis, Julien Pierre; Bazelot, Michaël; Barbara, Guillaume Stéphane; Paute, Sandrine; Gauthier, Monique; Raymond-Delpech, Valérie

    2010-01-01

    gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)-gated chloride channel receptors are abundant in the CNS, where their physiological role is to mediate fast inhibitory neurotransmission. In insects, this inhibitory transmission plays a crucial role in olfactory information processing. In an effort to understand the nature and properties of the ionotropic receptors involved in these processes in the honeybee Apis mellifera, we performed a pharmacological and molecular characterization of GABA-gated channels in the primary olfactory neuropile of the honeybee brain-the antennal lobe (AL)-using whole cell patch-clamp recordings coupled with single-cell RT-PCR. Application of GABA onto AL cells at -110 mV elicited fast inward currents, demonstrating the existence of ionotropic GABA-gated chloride channels. Molecular analysis of the GABA-responding cells revealed that both subunits RDL and LCCH3 were expressed out of the three orthologs of Drosophila melanogaster GABA-receptor subunits encoded within the honeybee genome (RDL, resistant to dieldrin; GRD, GABA/glycine-like receptor of Drosophila; LCCH3, ligand-gated chloride channel homologue 3), opening the door to possible homo- and/or heteromeric associations. The resulting receptors were activated by insect GABA-receptor agonists muscimol and CACA and blocked by antagonists fipronil, dieldrin, and picrotoxin, but not bicuculline, displaying a typical RDL-like pharmacology. Interestingly, increasing the intracellular calcium concentration potentiated GABA-elicited currents, suggesting a modulating effect of calcium on GABA receptors possibly through phosphorylation processes that remain to be determined. These results indicate that adult honeybee AL cells express typical RDL-like GABA receptors whose properties support a major role in synaptic inhibitory transmission during olfactory information processing.

  2. 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.

  3. Assessing pollinators’ use of floral resource subsidies in agri-environment schemes: An illustration using Phacelia tanacetifolia and honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Georgia M.; Wratten, Steve D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) are frequently used in agriculture for pollination services because of their abundance, generalist floral preferences, ease of management and hive transport. However, their populations are declining in many countries. Agri-Environment Schemes (AES) are being implemented in agricultural systems to combat the decline in populations of pollinators and other insects. Despite AES being increasingly embedded in policy and budgets, scientific assessments of many of these schemes still are lacking, and only a few studies have examined the extent to which insect pollinators use the floral enhancements that are part of AES and on which floral components they feed (i.e., pollen and/or nectar). Methods In the present work, we used a combination of observations on honeybee foraging for nectar/pollen from the Californian annual plant Phacelia tanacetifolia in the field, collection of pollen pellets from hives, and pollen identification, to assess the value of adding phacelia to an agro-ecosystem to benefit honeybees. Results It was found that phacelia pollen was almost never taken by honeybees. The work here demonstrates that honeybees may not use the floral enhancements added to a landscape as expected and points to the need for more careful assessments of what resources are used by honeybees in AES and understanding the role, if any, which AES play in enhancing pollinator fitness. Discussion We recommend using the methodology in this paper to explore the efficacy of AES before particular flowering species are adopted more widely to give a more complete illustration of the actual efficacy of AES. PMID:27896027

  4. Detection of neural activity in the brains of Japanese honeybee workers during the formation of a "hot defensive bee ball".

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Kiya, Taketoshi; Kunieda, Takekazu; Ono, Masato; Yoshida, Tadaharu; Kubo, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    Anti-predator behaviors are essential to survival for most animals. The neural bases of such behaviors, however, remain largely unknown. Although honeybees commonly use their stingers to counterattack predators, the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) uses a different strategy to fight against the giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica). Instead of stinging the hornet, Japanese honeybees form a "hot defensive bee ball" by surrounding the hornet en masse, killing it with heat. The European honeybee (A. mellifera ligustica), on the other hand, does not exhibit this behavior, and their colonies are often destroyed by a hornet attack. In the present study, we attempted to analyze the neural basis of this behavior by mapping the active brain regions of Japanese honeybee workers during the formation of a hot defensive bee ball. First, we identified an A. cerana homolog (Acks = Apis cerana kakusei) of kakusei, an immediate early gene that we previously identified from A. mellifera, and showed that Acks has characteristics similar to kakusei and can be used to visualize active brain regions in A. cerana. Using Acks as a neural activity marker, we demonstrated that neural activity in the mushroom bodies, especially in Class II Kenyon cells, one subtype of mushroom body intrinsic neurons, and a restricted area between the dorsal lobes and the optic lobes was increased in the brains of Japanese honeybee workers involved in the formation of a hot defensive bee ball. In addition, workers exposed to 46°C heat also exhibited Acks expression patterns similar to those observed in the brains of workers involved in the formation of a hot defensive bee ball, suggesting that the neural activity observed in the brains of workers involved in the hot defensive bee ball mainly reflects thermal stimuli processing.

  5. Establishment of Characteristic Gut Bacteria during Development of the Honeybee Worker

    PubMed Central

    Moy, Jamie

    2012-01-01

    Previous surveys have shown that adult honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers harbor a characteristic gut microbiota that may play a significant role in bee health. For three major phylotypes within this microbiota, we have characterized distributions and abundances across the life cycle and among gut organs. These distinctive phylotypes, called Beta, Firm-5, and Gamma-1 (BFG), were assayed using quantitative PCR, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) microscopy, and the experimental manipulation of inoculation routes within developing bees. Adult workers (9 to 30 days posteclosion) contained a large BFG microbiota with a characteristic distribution among gut organs. The crop and midgut were nearly devoid of these phylotypes, while the ileum and rectum together contained more than 95% of the total BFG microbiota. The ileum contained a stratified community in which the Beta and Gamma-1 phylotypes dominated, filling the longitudinal folds of this organ. Deep sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed clear differences among communities in midgut, ileum, and rectum. In contrast with older workers, larvae and newly emerged workers contain few or no bacteria, and their major food source, bee bread, lacks most characteristic phylotypes. In experiments aimed at determining the route of inoculation, newly emerged workers (NEWs) sometimes acquired the typical phylotypes through contact with older workers, contact with the hive, and emergence from the brood cell; however, transmission was patchy in these assays. Our results outline a colonization pattern for the characteristic phylotypes through A. mellifera ontogeny. We propose the names “Candidatus Snodgrassella alvi” and “Candidatus Gilliamella apicola” for the Beta and Gamma-1 phylotypes, respectively. PMID:22307297

  6. Field trial for evaluating the effects on honeybees of corn sown using Cruiser and Celest xl treated seeds.

    PubMed

    Tremolada, Paolo; Mazzoleni, Marta; Saliu, Francesco; Colombo, Mario; Vighi, Marco

    2010-09-01

    A first field study was conducted to investigate the possible adverse effects that seeds dressed with neonicotinoid insecticides pose to honeybees during sowing. It was observed that in the exposure hives bee mortality increased on the day of sowing and that the number of foraging bees decreased the days after the sowing. The corn sowing posed a significant threat to honeybees, with thiamethoxam being the most probable toxic agent. A theoretical contact exposure was calculated for a bee when flying over the sown fields, revealing a dose of 9.2 ng bee(-1) close to the contact LD(50) of thiamethoxam.

  7. Long-term exposure to antibiotics has caused accumulation of resistance determinants in the gut microbiota of honeybees.

    PubMed

    Tian, Baoyu; Fadhil, Nibal H; Powell, J Elijah; Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2012-10-30

    Antibiotic treatment can impact nontarget microbes, enriching the pool of resistance genes available to pathogens and altering community profiles of microbes beneficial to hosts. The gut microbiota of adult honeybees, a distinctive community dominated by eight bacterial species, provides an opportunity to examine evolutionary responses to long-term treatment with a single antibiotic. For decades, American beekeepers have routinely treated colonies with oxytetracycline for control of larval pathogens. Using a functional metagenomic screen of bacteria from Maryland bees, we detected a high incidence of tetracycline/oxytetracycline resistance. This resistance is attributable to known resistance loci for which nucleotide sequences and flanking mobility genes were nearly identical to those from human pathogens and from bacteria associated with farm animals. Surveys using diagnostic PCR and sequencing revealed that gut bacteria of honeybees from diverse localities in the United States harbor eight tetracycline resistance loci, including efflux pump genes (tetB, tetC, tetD, tetH, tetL, and tetY) and ribosome protection genes (tetM and tetW), often at high frequencies. Isolates of gut bacteria from Connecticut bees display high levels of tetracycline resistance. Resistance genes were ubiquitous in American samples, though rare in colonies unexposed for 25 years. In contrast, only three resistance loci, at low frequencies, occurred in samples from countries not using antibiotics in beekeeping and samples from wild bumblebees. Thus, long-term antibiotic treatment has caused the bee gut microbiota to accumulate resistance genes, drawn from a widespread pool of highly mobile loci characterized from pathogens and agricultural sites. We found that 50 years of using antibiotics in beekeeping in the United States has resulted in extensive tetracycline resistance in the gut microbiota. These bacteria, which form a distinctive community present in healthy honeybees worldwide, may

  8. Age, caste, and behavior determine the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Ward, Kristen N; Coleman, Jennifer L; Clinnin, Kaitlin; Fahrbach, Susan; Rueppell, Olav

    2008-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) display a pronounced natural aging plasticity. The differences in aging rates between the alternative phenotypes and behavioral classes could reflect differences in protection against damage or in the ability to repair vulnerable tissues. As in other animals, including humans, the gut is continually exposed to environmental insults and harbors a large population of replicating stem cells that maintain the intestinal epithelium. Through studies of the major internal organs using incorporation and immunodetection of the mitotic marker bromo-deoxyuridine, the intestine was determined to be the main site of tissue renewal in adult honeybees. Proliferative activity of the intestinal stem cells was compared among queens, workers, and males of different ages. Simultaneous attempts to assess intestinal cell loss via apoptosis yielded inconclusive results. The relationship between intestinal cell proliferation and worker life-history was evaluated in greater depth by studying diutinus winter workers, reproductive workers, and by decoupling worker behavioral status from chronological age in a single-cohort colony. Intestinal cell proliferation was abundant in all groups and showed an age-related decline in workers, queens, and males. At young ages, workers exhibited relatively more intestinal cell proliferation than did queens and queens more than drones, but the caste and sex differences decreased with age. Cell proliferation did not decrease beyond 6 weeks of age in older queens and in diutinus workers. Ovary activation did not correlate with the amount of intestinal stem cell proliferation in workers, although the queenless hive condition was associated with lower overall counts. In the single-cohort colony, nurse bees exhibited more cell proliferation than foragers, regardless of age. The overall results do not support our hypothesis that longer-lived phenotypes exhibit increased somatic repair in the form of higher replicative activity of

  9. Dynamics of Collective Decision Making of Honeybees in Complex Temperature Fields

    PubMed Central

    Szopek, Martina; Schmickl, Thomas; Thenius, Ronald; Radspieler, Gerald; Crailsheim, Karl

    2013-01-01

    Endothermic heat production is a crucial evolutionary adaptation that is, amongst others, responsible for the great success of honeybees. Endothermy ensures the survival of the colonies in harsh environments and is involved in the maintenance of the brood nest temperature, which is fundamental for the breeding and further development of healthy individuals and thus the foraging and reproduction success of this species. Freshly emerged honeybees are not yet able to produce heat endothermically and thus developed behavioural patterns that result in the location of these young bees within the warm brood nest where they further develop and perform tasks for the colony. Previous studies showed that groups of young ectothermic honeybees exposed to a temperature gradient collectively aggregate at the optimal place with their preferred temperature of 36°C but most single bees do not locate themselves at the optimum. In this work we further investigate the behavioural patterns that lead to this collective thermotaxis. We tested single and groups of young bees concerning their ability to discriminate a local from a global temperature optimum and, for groups of bees, analysed the speed of the decision making process as well as density dependent effects by varying group sizes. We found that the majority of tested single bees do not locate themselves at the optimum whereas sufficiently large groups of bees are able to collectively discriminate a suboptimal temperature spot and aggregate at 36°C. Larger groups decide faster than smaller ones, but in larger groups a higher percentage of bees may switch to the sub-optimum due to crowding effects. We show that the collective thermotaxis is a simple but well evolved, scalable and robust social behaviour that enables the collective of bees to perform complex tasks despite the limited abilities of each individual. PMID:24146843

  10. Non-neuronal acetylcholine involved in reproduction in mammals and honeybees.

    PubMed

    Wessler, Ignaz; Kirkpatrick, Charles James

    2017-01-10

    Bacteria and archaea synthesize acetylcholine (ACh). Thus it can be postulated that ACh was created by nature roughly 3 billion years ago. Therefore, the wide expression of ACh in nature (i.e. in bacteria, archaea, unicellular organisms, plants, fungi, non-vertebrates and vertebrates and the abundance of non-neuronal cells of mammals) is not surprising. The term non-neuronal ACh and non-neuronal cholinergic system have been introduced to describe the auto- and paracrine, i.e. local regulatory actions of cells not innervated by neuronal cholinergic fibers to communicate among themselves. In this way non-neuronal ACh binds to the nicotinic or muscarinic receptors expressed on these local and migrating cells and modulates basic cells functions such as proliferation, differentiation, migration and the transport of ions and water. The present article is focused to the effects of non-neuronal ACh linked to reproduction; data on the expression and function of the non-neuronal cholinergic system in the following topics are summarized: 1 Sperm, granulosa cells, oocytes; 2 Auxiliary systems (ovary, oviduct, placenta); 3 Embryonic stem cells as first step for reproduction of a new individual after fertilization; 4 Larval food as an example of reproduction in insects (honeybees) and adverse effects of the neonicotinoids, a class of world-wide applied insecticides. The review article will show that non-neuronal ACh is substantially involved in the regulation of reproduction in mammals and also non-mammals like insects (honeybees). There is a need to learn more about this biological role of ACh. In particular, we have to consider that insecticides like the neonicotinoids, but also carbamates and organophosphorus pesticides, interfere with the non-neuronal cholinergic system thus compromising for example the breeding of honeybees. But it is possible that other species may also be adversely affected as well, a mechanism which may contribute to the observed decline in biodiversity

  11. Does Fine Color Discrimination Learning in Free-Flying Honeybees Change Mushroom-Body Calyx Neuroarchitecture?

    PubMed Central

    Sommerlandt, Frank M. J.; Spaethe, Johannes; Rössler, Wolfgang; Dyer, Adrian G.

    2016-01-01

    Honeybees learn color information of rewarding flowers and recall these memories in future decisions. For fine color discrimination, bees require differential conditioning with a concurrent presentation of target and distractor stimuli to form a long-term memory. Here we investigated whether the long-term storage of color information shapes the neural network of microglomeruli in the mushroom body calyces and if this depends on the type of conditioning. Free-flying honeybees were individually trained to a pair of perceptually similar colors in either absolute conditioning towards one of the colors or in differential conditioning with both colors. Subsequently, bees of either conditioning groups were tested in non-rewarded discrimination tests with the two colors. Only bees trained with differential conditioning preferred the previously learned color, whereas bees of the absolute conditioning group, and a stimuli-naïve group, chose randomly among color stimuli. All bees were then kept individually for three days in the dark to allow for complete long-term memory formation. Whole-mount immunostaining was subsequently used to quantify variation of microglomeruli number and density in the mushroom-body lip and collar. We found no significant differences among groups in neuropil volumes and total microglomeruli numbers, but learning performance was negatively correlated with microglomeruli density in the absolute conditioning group. Based on these findings we aim to promote future research approaches combining behaviorally relevant color learning tests in honeybees under free-flight conditions with neuroimaging analysis; we also discuss possible limitations of this approach. PMID:27783640

  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.

  13. Antennal tactile learning in the honeybee: effect of nicotinic antagonists on memory dynamics.

    PubMed

    Dacher, M; Lagarrigue, A; Gauthier, M

    2005-01-01

    Restrained worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) are able to learn to associate antennal-scanning of a metal plate with a sucrose reinforcement delivered to the mouthparts. Learning occurs reliably in a single association of the two sensory stimuli. The involvement of nicotinic pathways in memory formation and retrieval processes was tested by injecting, into the whole brain through the median ocellus, either mecamylamine (0.6 microg per bee) or alpha-bungarotoxin (2.4 ng per bee). Saline served as a control. Mecamylamine injected 10 min before the retrieval test impairs the retention level tested 3 h and 24 h after single- or multi-trial learning. Retrieval tests performed at various times after the injection show that the blocking effect of mecamylamine lasts about 1 h. The drug has no effect on the reconsolidation or extinction processes. Mecamylamine injected 10 min before conditioning impairs single-trial learning but has no effect on five-trial learning and on the consolidation process. By contrast, alpha-bungarotoxin only impairs the formation of long-term memory (24 h) induced by the five-trial learning and has no effect on medium-term memory (3 h), on single-trial learning or on the retrieval process. Hence, owing to previous data, at least two kinds of nicotinic receptors seem to be involved in honeybee memory, an alpha-bungarotoxin-sensitive and an alpha-bungarotoxin-insensitive receptor. Our results extend to antennal mechanosensory conditioning the role of the cholinergic system that we had previously described for olfactory conditioning in the honeybee. Moreover, we describe here in this insect a pharmacological dissociation between alpha-bungarotoxin sensitive long-term memory and alpha-bungarotoxin insensitive medium-term memory, the last one being affected by mecamylamine.

  14. Thiamethoxam: Assessing flight activity of honeybees foraging on treated oilseed rape using radio frequency identification technology.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen; Coulson, Mike; Ruddle, Natalie; Wilkins, Selwyn; Harkin, Sarah

    2016-02-01

    The present study was designed to assess homing behavior of bees foraging on winter oilseed rape grown from seed treated with thiamethoxam (as Cruiser OSR), with 1 field drilled with thiamethoxam-treated seed and 2 control fields drilled with fungicide-only-treated seed. Twelve honeybee colonies were used per treatment group, 4 each located at the field edge (on-field site), at approximately 500 m and 1000 m from the field. A total of nearly 300 newly emerged bees per colony were fitted (tagged) with Mic3 radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders and introduced into each of the 36 study hives. The RFID readers fitted to the entrances of the test colonies were used to monitor the activity of the tagged bees for the duration of the 5-wk flowering period of the crop. These activity data were analyzed to assess any impact on flight activity of bees foraging on the treated compared with untreated crops. Honeybees were seen to be actively foraging within all 3 treatment groups during the exposure period. The data for the more than 3000 RFID-tagged bees and more than 90 000 foraging flights monitored throughout the exposure phase for the study follow the same trends across the treatment and controls and at each of the 3 apiary distances, indicating that there were no effects from foraging on the treated crop. Under the experimental conditions, there was no effect of foraging on thiamethoxam-treated oilseed rape on honeybee flight activity or on their ability to return to the hive.

  15. Effects of field-realistic doses of glyphosate on honeybee appetitive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Lucila T; Vázquez, Diego E; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M

    2014-10-01

    Glyphosate (GLY) is a broad-spectrum herbicide used for weed control. The sub-lethal impact of GLY on non-target organisms such as insect pollinators has not yet been evaluated. Apis mellifera is the main pollinator in agricultural environments and is a well-known model for behavioural research. Honeybees are also accurate biosensors of environmental pollutants and their appetitive behavioural response is a suitable tool with which to test sub-lethal effects of agrochemicals. We studied the effects of field-realistic doses of GLY on honeybees exposed chronically or acutely to the herbicide. We focused on sucrose sensitivity, elemental and non-elemental associative olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER), and foraging-related behaviour. We found a reduced sensitivity to sucrose and learning performance for the groups chronically exposed to GLY concentrations within the range of recommended doses. When olfactory PER conditioning was performed with sucrose reward with the same GLY concentrations (acute exposure), elemental learning and short-term memory retention decreased significantly compared with controls. Non-elemental associative learning was also impaired by an acute exposure to GLY traces. Altogether, these results imply that GLY at concentrations found in agro-ecosystems as a result of standard spraying can reduce sensitivity to nectar reward and impair associative learning in honeybees. However, no effect on foraging-related behaviour was found. Therefore, we speculate that successful forager bees could become a source of constant inflow of nectar with GLY traces that could then be distributed among nestmates, stored in the hive and have long-term negative consequences on colony performance.

  16. 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.

  17. Spontaneous recovery after extinction of the conditioned proboscis extension response in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Pham-Delègue, Minh-Hà

    2004-01-01

    In honeybees, the proboscis extension response (PER) can be conditioned by associating an odor stimulus (CS) to a sucrose reward (US). Conditioned responses to the CS, which are acquired by most bees after a single CS-US pairing, disappear after repeated unrewarded presentations of the CS, a process called extinction. Extinction is usually thought to be based either on (1) the disruption of the stored CS-US association, or (2) the formation of an inhibitory "CS-no US" association that is better retrieved than the initial CS-US association. The observation of spontaneous recovery, i.e., the reappearance of responses to the CS after time passes following extinction, is traditionally interpreted as a proof for the formation of a transient inhibitory association. To provide a better understanding of extinction in honeybees, we examined whether time intervals during training and extinction or the number of conditioning and extinction trials have an effect on the occurrence of spontaneous recovery. We found that spontaneous recovery mostly occurs when conditioning and testing took place in a massed fashion (1-min intertrial intervals). Moreover, spontaneous recovery depended on the time elapsed since extinction, 1 h being an optimum. Increasing the number of conditioning trials improved the spontaneous recovery level, whereas increasing the number of extinction trials reduced it. Lastly, we show that after single-trial conditioning, spontaneous recovery appears only once after extinction. These elements suggest that in honeybees extinction of the PER actually reflects the impairment of the CS-US association, but that depending on training parameters different memory substrates are affected.

  18. Novel biopesticide based on a spider venom peptide shows no adverse effects on honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Nakasu, Erich Y. T.; Williamson, Sally M.; Edwards, Martin G.; Fitches, Elaine C.; Gatehouse, John A.; Wright, Geraldine A.; Gatehouse, Angharad M. R.

    2014-01-01

    Evidence is accumulating that commonly used pesticides are linked to decline of pollinator populations; adverse effects of three neonicotinoids on bees have led to bans on their use across the European Union. Developing insecticides that pose negligible risks to beneficial organisms such as honeybees is desirable and timely. One strategy is to use recombinant fusion proteins containing neuroactive peptides/proteins linked to a ‘carrier’ protein that confers oral toxicity. Hv1a/GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin), containing an insect-specific spider venom calcium channel blocker (ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a) linked to snowdrop lectin (GNA) as a ‘carrier’, is an effective oral biopesticide towards various insect pests. Effects of Hv1a/GNA towards a non-target species, Apis mellifera, were assessed through a thorough early-tier risk assessment. Following feeding, honeybees internalized Hv1a/GNA, which reached the brain within 1 h after exposure. However, survival was only slightly affected by ingestion (LD50 > 100 µg bee−1) or injection of fusion protein. Bees fed acute (100 µg bee−1) or chronic (0.35 mg ml−1) doses of Hv1a/GNA and trained in an olfactory learning task had similar rates of learning and memory to no-pesticide controls. Larvae were unaffected, being able to degrade Hv1a/GNA. These tests suggest that Hv1a/GNA is unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees, indicating that atracotoxins targeting calcium channels are potential alternatives to conventional pesticides. PMID:24898372

  19. Genetic diversity of the honeybee in Africa: microsatellite and mitochondrial data.

    PubMed

    Franck, P; Garnery, L; Loiseau, A; Oldroyd, B P; Hepburn, H R; Solignac, M; Cornuet, J M

    2001-04-01

    A total of 738 colonies from 64 localities along the African continent have been analysed using the DraI RFLP of the COI-COII mitochondrial region. Mitochondrial DNA of African honeybees appears to be composed of three highly divergent lineages. The African lineage previously reported (named A) is present in almost all the localities except those from north-eastern Africa. In this area, two newly described lineages (called O and Y), putatively originating from the Near East, are observed in high proportion. This suggests an important differentiation of Ethiopian and Egyptian honeybees from those of other African areas. The A lineage is also present in high proportion in populations from the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily. Furthermore, eight populations from Morocco, Guinea, Malawi and South Africa have been assayed with six microsatellite loci and compared to a set of eight additional populations from Europe and the Middle East. The African populations display higher genetic variability than European populations at all microsatellite loci studied thus far. This suggests that African populations have larger effective sizes than European ones. According to their microsatellite allele frequencies, the eight African populations cluster together, but are divided in two subgroups. These are the populations from Morocco and those from the other African countries. The populations from southern Europe show very low levels of 'Africanization' at nuclear microsatellite loci. Because nuclear and mitochondrial DNA often display discordant patterns of differentiation in the honeybee, the use of both kinds of markers is preferable when assessing the phylogeography of Apis mellifera and to determine the taxonomic status of the subspecies.

  20. Convergence of carbohydrate-biased intake targets in caged worker honeybees fed different protein sources.

    PubMed

    Altaye, Solomon Z; Pirk, Christian W W; Crewe, Robin M; Nicolson, Susan W

    2010-10-01

    The nutritional needs of bees are supplied by nectar carbohydrates and by protein and other nutrients in pollen but little is known of how bees achieve nutritional balance. Using newly emerged caged worker honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata), we investigated whether bees maintain their intake target when confined to pairs of imbalanced complementary diets varying in protein to carbohydrate (P:C) ratio. Diets were formulated using three protein sources [casein, royal jelly or Feed-Bee (a natural pollen substitute)] and sucrose. Within each protein type, honeybees switched between complementary diets and converged on the same P:C intake target. However, this target differed between protein types: P:C ratios were 1:12, 1:14 and 1:11 on casein, royal jelly and Feed-Bee diets, respectively. Except for an early peak in protein consumption on royal jelly diets, these strongly convergent ratios remained constant over the 14 day experiment. This is probably due to the absence of brood, reflected in relatively stable values measured for haemolymph protein concentration and hypopharyngeal gland activation in bees on Feed-Bee diets. Performance of caged workers was also assessed in terms of survival and ovarian activation. Survival was highest on casein diets and lowest on Feed-Bee diets but ovarian activation was highest on royal jelly diets and lowest on casein diets. This may be due to additional components in Feed-Bee and royal jelly (e.g. fatty acids), which are needed to activate the ovaries but also reduce survival. Nutrient intake of broodless workers is directly related to their own physiological requirements, and the strong carbohydrate bias may reflect the high metabolic rate of honeybees even under resting conditions.

  1. Synaptic Organization of Microglomerular Clusters in the Lateral and Medial Bulbs of the Honeybee Brain

    PubMed Central

    Mota, Theo; Kreissl, Sabine; Carrasco Durán, Ana; Lefer, Damien; Galizia, Giovanni; Giurfa, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera is an established model for the study of visual orientation. Yet, research on this topic has focused on behavioral aspects and has neglected the investigation of the underlying neural architectures in the bee brain. In other insects, the anterior optic tubercle (AOTU), the lateral (LX) and the central complex (CX) are important brain regions for visuospatial performances. In the central brain of the honeybee, a prominent group of neurons connecting the AOTU with conspicuous microglomerular synaptic structures in the LX has been recently identified, but their neural organization and ultrastructure have not been investigated. Here we characterized these microglomerular structures by means of immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses, in order to evaluate neurotransmission and synaptic organization. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic microglomerular regions were performed based on confocal microscopy. Each pre-synaptic region appears as a large cup-shaped profile that embraces numerous post-synaptic profiles of GABAergic tangential neurons connecting the LX to the CX. We also identified serotonergic broad field neurons that probably provide modulatory input from the CX to the synaptic microglomeruli in the LX. Two distinct clusters of microglomerular structures were identified in the lateral bulb (LBU) and medial bulb (MBU) of the LX. Although the ultrastructure of both clusters is very similar, we found differences in the number of microglomeruli and in the volume of the pre-synaptic profiles of each cluster. We discuss the possible role of these microglomerular clusters in the visuospatial behavior of honeybees and propose research avenues for studying their neural plasticity and synaptic function. PMID:27847468

  2. Genome-wide analysis of alternative reproductive phenotypes in honeybee workers.

    PubMed

    Cardoen, Dries; Wenseleers, Tom; Ernst, Ulrich R; Danneels, Ellen L; Laget, Dries; DE Graaf, Dirk C; Schoofs, Liliane; Verleyen, Peter

    2011-10-01

    A defining feature of social insects is the reproductive division of labour, in which workers usually forego all reproduction to help their mother queen to reproduce. However, little is known about the molecular basis of this spectacular form of altruism. Here, we compared gene expression patterns between nonreproductive, altruistic workers and reproductive, non-altruistic workers in queenless honeybee colonies using a whole-genome microarray analysis. Our results demonstrate massive differences in gene expression patterns between these two sets of workers, with a total of 1292 genes being differentially expressed. In nonreproductive workers, genes associated with energy metabolism and respiration, flight and foraging behaviour, detection of visible light, flight and heart muscle contraction and synaptic transmission were overexpressed relative to reproductive workers. This implies they probably had a higher whole-body energy metabolism and activity rate and were most likely actively foraging, whereas same-aged reproductive workers were not. This pattern is predicted from evolutionary theory, given that reproductive workers should be less willing to compromise their reproductive futures by carrying out high-risk tasks such as foraging or other energetically expensive tasks. By contrast, reproductive workers mainly overexpressed oogenesis-related genes compared to nonreproductive ones. With respect to key switches for ovary activation, several genes involved in steroid biosynthesis were upregulated in reproductive workers, as well as genes known to respond to queen and brood pheromones, genes involved in TOR and insulin signalling pathways and genes located within quantitative trait loci associated with reproductive capacity in honeybees. Overall, our results provide unique insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying alternative reproductive phenotypes in honeybee workers.

  3. Native Prey and Invasive Predator Patterns of Foraging Activity: The Case of the Yellow-Legged Hornet Predation at European Honeybee Hives.

    PubMed

    Monceau, Karine; Arca, Mariangela; Leprêtre, Lisa; Mougel, Florence; Bonnard, Olivier; Silvain, Jean-François; Maher, Nevile; Arnold, Gérard; Thiéry, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective.

  4. Native Prey and Invasive Predator Patterns of Foraging Activity: The Case of the Yellow-Legged Hornet Predation at European Honeybee Hives

    PubMed Central

    Monceau, Karine; Arca, Mariangela; Leprêtre, Lisa; Mougel, Florence; Bonnard, Olivier; Silvain, Jean-François; Maher, Nevile; Arnold, Gérard; Thiéry, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective. PMID:23823754

  5. Multi-residue method for the determination of pesticides and pesticide metabolites in honeybees by liquid and gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry--Honeybee poisoning incidents.

    PubMed

    Kiljanek, Tomasz; Niewiadowska, Alicja; Semeniuk, Stanisław; Gaweł, Marta; Borzęcka, Milena; Posyniak, Andrzej

    2016-02-26

    A method for the determination of 200 pesticides and pesticide metabolites in honeybee samples has been developed and validated. Almost 98% of compounds included in this method are approved to use within European Union, as active substances of plant protection products or veterinary medicinal products used by beekeepers to control mites Varroa destructor in hives. Many significant metabolites, like metabolites of imidacloprid, thiacloprid, fipronil, methiocarb and amitraz, are also possible to detect. The sample preparation was based on the buffered QuEChERS method. Samples of bees were extracted with acetonitrile containing 1% acetic acid and then subjected to clean-up by dispersive solid phase extraction (dSPE) using a new Z-Sep+ sorbent and PSA. The majority of pesticides, including neonicotionoids and their metabolites, were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) but some of pesticides, especially pyrethroid insecticides, were analyzed by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The procedure was validated according to the Guidance document SANCO/12571/2013 at four concentration levels: 1, 5, 10 and 100 ng/g bees and verified in the international proficiency test. The analysis of bee samples spiked at the limit of quantification (LOQ) showed about 98% mean recovery value (trueness) and 97% of analytes showed recovery in the required range of 70-120% and RSDr (precision) below 20%. Linearity and matrix effects were also established. The LOQs of pesticides were in the range of 1-100 ng/g. The developed method allows determination of insecticides at concentrations of 10 ng/g or less, except abamectin and tebufenozide. LOQ values are lower than the median lethal doses LD50 for bees. The method was used to investigate more than 70 honeybee poisoning incidents. Data about detected pesticides and their metabolites are included.

  6. Honeybee glucose oxidase—its expression in honeybee workers and comparative analyses of its content and H2O2-mediated antibacterial activity in natural honeys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bucekova, Marcela; Valachova, Ivana; Kohutova, Lenka; Prochazka, Emanuel; Klaudiny, Jaroslav; Majtan, Juraj

    2014-08-01

    Antibacterial properties of honey largely depend on the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is generated by glucose oxidase (GOX)-mediated conversion of glucose in diluted honey. However, honeys exhibit considerable variation in their antibacterial activity. Therefore, the aim of the study was to identify the mechanism behind the variation in this activity and in the H2O2 content in honeys associated with the role of GOX in this process. Immunoblots and in situ hybridization analyses demonstrated that gox is solely expressed in the hypopharyngeal glands of worker bees performing various tasks and not in other glands or tissues. Real-time PCR with reference genes selected for worker heads shows that the gox expression progressively increases with ageing of the youngest bees and nurses and reached the highest values in processor bees. Immunoblot analysis of honey samples revealed that GOX is a regular honey component but its content significantly varied among honeys. Neither botanical source nor geographical origin of honeys affected the level of GOX suggesting that some other factors such as honeybee nutrition and/or genetic/epigenetic factors may take part in the observed variation. A strong correlation was found between the content of GOX and the level of generated H2O2 in honeys except honeydew honeys. Total antibacterial activity of most honey samples against Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate significantly correlated with the H2O2 content. These results demonstrate that the level of GOX can significantly affect the total antibacterial activity of honey. They also support an idea that breeding of novel honeybee lines expressing higher amounts of GOX could help to increase the antibacterial efficacy of the hypopharyngeal gland secretion that could have positive influence on a resistance of colonies against bacterial pathogens.

  7. Regional distribution models with lack of proximate predictors: Africanized honeybees expanding north

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Esaias, Wayne E.; Ma, Peter L.A.; Morisette, Jeffery T.; Nickeson, Jaime E.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Nightingale, Joanne M.; Wolfe, Robert E.; Tan, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Species distribution models have often been hampered by poor local species data, reliance on coarse-scale climate predictors and the assumption that species–environment relationships, even with non-proximate predictors, are consistent across geographical space. Yet locally accurate maps of invasive species, such as the Africanized honeybee (AHB) in North America, are needed to support conservation efforts. Current AHB range maps are relatively coarse and are inconsistent with observed data. Our aim was to improve distribution maps using more proximate predictors (phenology) and using regional models rather than one across the entire range of interest to explore potential differences in drivers.

  8. Where paths meet and cross: navigation by path integration in the desert ant and the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2015-06-01

    Animals that travel large distances in search of food need to be equipped with navigation systems that are capable of keeping track of the distance and direction of travel throughout their outbound journey, so that they may return home expeditiously and without losing their way. The challenge of homing is especially acute when the environment is devoid of landmarks. Desert ants and honeybees are able to meet this challenge, despite their minuscule brains and restricted computational capacity. This article reviews some of the processes and mechanisms that underlie the homing abilities of these creatures, which are among the best-understood navigators in the animal kingdom.

  9. 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.

  10. Improved Cholinergic Transmission is Detrimental to Behavioural Plasticity in Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Guez, David; Zhu, Hong; Zhang, Shao-Wu

    2012-10-16

    Unravelling the role of neuromessenger processes in learning and memory has long interested researchers. We investigated the effects of an acetylcholinesterase blocker, Methyl Parathion (MeP), on honeybee learning. We used visual and olfactory tasks to test whether MeP had a detrimental effect on the acquisition of new knowledge when this new knowledge contradicts previously acquired one. Our results indicate that treatment with MeP prior to conditioning was significantly detrimental to the acquisition of incongruous (but not irrelevant or congruous) new knowledge due to improved recall. The neurobiological and ecotoxicological consequences of these results are discussed.

  11. Coevolution while you wait: Varroa jacobsoni, a new parasite of western honeybees.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd

    1999-08-01

    The mite Varroa jacobsoni is a brood parasite of the Asian hive bee, Apis cerana. The recent switch in host from A. cerana to the western honeybee, Apis mellifera, offers an exceptional opportunity for studying preadaptation and host-parasite relations. The fact that this host shift appears to have happened on at least two separate occasions, with differing outcomes, must be unique. At another level, the rapacious spread of this mite throughout the world is testimony to the ineffectiveness of international quarantine laws.

  12. How do honeybees use their magnetic compass? Can they see the North?

    PubMed

    Válková, T; Vácha, M

    2012-08-01

    While seeking food sources and routes back to their hive, bees make use of their advanced nervous and sensory capacities, which underlie a diverse behavioral repertoire. One of several honeybee senses that is both exceptional and intriguing is magnetoreception - the ability to perceive the omnipresent magnetic field (MF) of the Earth. The mechanism by which animals sense MFs has remained fascinating as well as elusive because of the intricacies involved, which makes it one of the grand challenges for neural and sensory biology. However, investigations in recent years have brought substantial progress to our understanding of how such magneto-receptor(s) may work. Some terrestrial animals (birds) are reported to be equipped even with a dual perception system: one based on diminutive magnetic particles - in line with the original model which has also always been hypothesized for bees - and the other one, as the more recent model describes, based on a sensitivity of some photochemical reactions to MF (radical-pair or chemical mechanism). The latter model postulates a close link to vision and supposes that the animals can see the position of the geomagnetic North as a visible pattern superimposed on the picture of the environment. In recent years, a growing body of evidence has shown that radical-pair magnetoreception might also be used by insects. It is realistic to expect that such evidence will inspire a re-examination and extension or confirmation of established views on the honeybee magnetic-compass mechanism. However, the problem of bee magnetoreception will not be solved at the moment that a receptor is discovered. On the contrary, the meaning of magnetoreception in insect life and its involvement in the orchestration of other senses is yet to be fully understood. The crucial question to be addressed in the near future is whether the compass abilities of the honeybee could suffer from radio frequency (RF) smog accompanying modern civilization and whether the

  13. Regional Distribution Models with Lack of Proximate Predictors: Africanized Honeybees Expanding North

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Esaias, Wayne E.; Ma, Peter L. A.; Morisette, Jeffery T.; Nickeson, Jaime E.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Nightingale, Joanne M.; Wolfe, Robert E.; Tan, Bin

    2014-01-01

    Species distribution models have often been hampered by poor local species data, reliance on coarse-scale climate predictors and the assumption that species-environment relationships, even with non-proximate predictors, are consistent across geographical space. Yet locally accurate maps of invasive species, such as the Africanized honeybee (AHB) in North America, are needed to support conservation efforts. Current AHB range maps are relatively coarse and are inconsistent with observed data. Our aim was to improve distribution maps using more proximate predictors (phenology) and using regional models rather than one across the entire range of interest to explore potential differences in drivers.

  14. Metagenomic approaches to disclose disease-associated pathogens: detection of viral pathogens in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Granberg, Fredrik; Karlsson, Oskar E; Belák, Sándor

    2015-01-01

    Metagenomic approaches have become invaluable for culture-independent and sequence-independent detection and characterization of disease-associated pathogens. Here, the sequential steps from sampling to verification of results are described for a metagenomic-based approach to detect potential pathogens in honeybees. The pre-sequencing steps are given in detail, but due to the rapid development of sequencing technologies, all platform-specific procedures, as well as subsequent bioinformatics analysis, are more generally described. It should also be noted that this approach could, with minor modifications, be adapted for other organisms and sample matrices.

  15. Dominance of the odometer over serial landmark learning in honeybee navigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menzel, Randolf; Fuchs, Jacqueline; Nadler, Leonard; Weiss, Benjamin; Kumbischinski, Nicole; Adebiyi, Daniel; Hartfil, Sergej; Greggers, Uwe

    2010-08-01

    Honeybees use their visual flow field to measure flight distance. It has been suggested that the experience of serial landmarks encountered on the flight toward a feeding place contributes to distance estimation. Here, we address this question by tracing the flight paths of individual bees with a harmonic radar system. Bees were trained along an array of three landmarks (tents), and the distance between these landmarks was either increased or decreased under two test conditions. We find that absolute distance estimation dominates the search for the feeding place, but serial position effects are also found. In the latter case, bees search only or additionally at locations determined by serial experience of the landmarks.

  16. Method for training honeybees to respond to olfactory stimuli and enhancement of memory retention therein

    SciTech Connect

    McCade, Kirsten J.; Wingo, Robert M.; Haarmann, Timothy K.; Sutherland, Andrew; Gubler, Walter D.

    2015-12-15

    A specialized conditioning protocol for honeybees that is designed for use within a complex agricultural ecosystem. This method ensures that the conditioned bees will be less likely to exhibit a conditioned response to uninfected plants, a false positive response that would render such a biological sensor unreliable for agricultural decision support. Also described is a superboosting training regime that allows training without the aid of expensive equipment and protocols for training in out in the field. Also described is a memory enhancing cocktail that aids in long term memory retention of a vapor signature. This allows the bees to be used in the field for longer durations and with fewer bees trained overall.

  17. 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

  18. The role of serotonin in feeding and gut contractions in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    French, Alice S; Simcock, Kerry L; Rolke, Daniel; Gartside, Sarah E; Blenau, Wolfgang; Wright, Geraldine A

    2014-02-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is involved in the regulation of feeding and digestion in many animals from worms to mammals. In insects, 5-HT functions both as a neurotransmitter and as a systemic hormone. Here we tested its role as a neurotransmitter in feeding and crop contractions and its role as a systemic hormone that affected feeding in adult foraging honeybees. We found 5-HT immunoreactive processes throughout the gut, including on the surface of the oesophagus, crop, proventriculus, and the midgut, as well as in the ventral nerve cord. mRNA transcripts for all four of the known bee 5-HT receptors (Am5-ht1A,2α,2β,7) were expressed in the crop and the midgut suggesting a functional role for 5-HT in these locations. Application of a cocktail of antagonists with activity against these known receptors to the entire gut in vivo reduced the rate of spontaneous contraction in the crop and proventriculus. Although feeding with sucrose caused a small elevation of endogenous 5-HT levels in the haemolymph, injection of exogenous 5-HT directly into the abdomen of the bee to elevate 5-HT in the haemolymph did not alter food intake. However, when 5-HT was injected into directly into the brain there was a reduction in intake of carbohydrate, amino acid, or toxin-laced food solutions. Our data demonstrate that 5-HT inhibits feeding in the brain and excites muscle contractions in the gut, but general elevation of 5-HT in the bee's haemolymph does not affect food intake.

  19. Transient exposure to low levels of insecticide affects metabolic networks of honeybee larvae.

    PubMed

    Derecka, Kamila; Blythe, Martin J; Malla, Sunir; Genereux, Diane P; Guffanti, Alessandro; Pavan, Paolo; Moles, Anna; Snart, Charles; Ryder, Thomas; Ortori, Catharine A; Barrett, David A; Schuster, Eugene; Stöger, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    The survival of a species depends on its capacity to adjust to changing environmental conditions, and new stressors. Such new, anthropogenic stressors include the neonicotinoid class of crop-protecting agents, which have been implicated in the population declines of pollinating insects, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). The low-dose effects of these compounds on larval development and physiological responses have remained largely unknown. Over a period of 15 days, we provided syrup tainted with low levels (2 µg/L(-1)) of the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid to beehives located in the field. We measured transcript levels by RNA sequencing and established lipid profiles using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry from worker-bee larvae of imidacloprid-exposed (IE) and unexposed, control (C) hives. Within a catalogue of 300 differentially expressed transcripts in larvae from IE hives, we detect significant enrichment of genes functioning in lipid-carbohydrate-mitochondrial metabolic networks. Myc-involved transcriptional response to exposure of this neonicotinoid is indicated by overrepresentation of E-box elements in the promoter regions of genes with altered expression. RNA levels for a cluster of genes encoding detoxifying P450 enzymes are elevated, with coordinated downregulation of genes in glycolytic and sugar-metabolising pathways. Expression of the environmentally responsive Hsp90 gene is also reduced, suggesting diminished buffering and stability of the developmental program. The multifaceted, physiological response described here may be of importance to our general understanding of pollinator health. Muscles, for instance, work at high glycolytic rates and flight performance could be impacted should low levels of this evolutionarily novel stressor likewise induce downregulation of energy metabolising genes in adult pollinators.

  20. Transient Exposure to Low Levels of Insecticide Affects Metabolic Networks of Honeybee Larvae

    PubMed Central

    Derecka, Kamila; Blythe, Martin J.; Malla, Sunir; Genereux, Diane P.; Guffanti, Alessandro; Pavan, Paolo; Moles, Anna; Snart, Charles; Ryder, Thomas; Ortori, Catharine A.; Barrett, David A.; Schuster, Eugene; Stöger, Reinhard

    2013-01-01

    The survival of a species depends on its capacity to adjust to changing environmental conditions, and new stressors. Such new, anthropogenic stressors include the neonicotinoid class of crop-protecting agents, which have been implicated in the population declines of pollinating insects, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). The low-dose effects of these compounds on larval development and physiological responses have remained largely unknown. Over a period of 15 days, we provided syrup tainted with low levels (2 µg/L−1) of the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid to beehives located in the field. We measured transcript levels by RNA sequencing and established lipid profiles using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry from worker-bee larvae of imidacloprid-exposed (IE) and unexposed, control (C) hives. Within a catalogue of 300 differentially expressed transcripts in larvae from IE hives, we detect significant enrichment of genes functioning in lipid-carbohydrate-mitochondrial metabolic networks. Myc-involved transcriptional response to exposure of this neonicotinoid is indicated by overrepresentation of E-box elements in the promoter regions of genes with altered expression. RNA levels for a cluster of genes encoding detoxifying P450 enzymes are elevated, with coordinated downregulation of genes in glycolytic and sugar-metabolising pathways. Expression of the environmentally responsive Hsp90 gene is also reduced, suggesting diminished buffering and stability of the developmental program. The multifaceted, physiological response described here may be of importance to our general understanding of pollinator health. Muscles, for instance, work at high glycolytic rates and flight performance could be impacted should low levels of this evolutionarily novel stressor likewise induce downregulation of energy metabolising genes in adult pollinators. PMID:23844170

  1. Lifetime- and caste-specific changes in flight metabolic rate and muscle biochemistry of honeybees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Schippers, Marie-Pierre; Dukas, Reuven; McClelland, Grant B

    2010-01-01

    Honeybees, Apis mellifera, who show temporal polyethism, begin their adult life performing tasks inside the hive (hive bees) and then switch to foraging when they are about 2-3 weeks old (foragers). Usually hive tasks require little or no flying, whereas foraging involves flying for several hours a day and carrying heavy loads of nectar and pollen. Flight muscles are particularly plastic organs that can respond to use and disuse, and accordingly it would be expected that adjustments in flight muscle metabolism occur throughout a bee's life. We thus investigated changes in lifetime flight metabolic rate and flight muscle biochemistry of differently aged hive bees and of foragers with varying foraging experience. Rapid increases in flight metabolic rates early in life coincided with a switch in troponin T isoforms and increases in flight muscle maximal activities (V (max)) of the enzymes citrate synthase, cytochrome c oxidase, hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, and pyruvate kinase. However, further increases in flight metabolic rate in experienced foragers occurred without additional changes in the in vitro V (max) of these flight muscle metabolic enzymes. Estimates of in vivo flux (v) compared to maximum flux of each enzyme in vitro (fractional velocity, v/V (max)) suggest that most enzymes operate at a higher fraction of V (max) in mature foragers compared to young hive bees. Our results indicate that honeybees develop most of their flight muscle metabolic machinery early in life. Any further increases in flight metabolism with age or foraging experience are most likely achieved by operating metabolic enzymes closer to their maximal flux capacity.

  2. Antennal Transcriptome and Differential Expression Analysis of Five Chemosensory Gene Families from the Asian Honeybee Apis cerana cerana

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Huiting; Du, Yali; Gao, Pengfei; Wang, Shujie; Pan, Jianfang; Jiang, Yusuo

    2016-01-01

    Chemosensory genes play a central role in sensing chemical signals and guiding insect behavior. The Chinese honeybee, Apis cerana cerana, is one of the most important insect species in China in terms of resource production, and providing high-quality products for human consumption, and also serves as an important pollinator. Communication and foraging behavior of worker bees is likely linked to a complex chemosensory system. Here, we used transcriptome sequencing on adult A. c. cerana workers of different ages to identify the major chemosensory gene families and the differentially expressed genes(DEGs), and to investigate their expression profiles. A total of 109 candidate chemosensory genes in five gene families were identified from the antennal transcriptome assemblies, including 17 OBPs, 6 CSPs, 74 ORs, 10 IRs, and 2SNMPs, in which nineteen DEGs were screened and their expression values at different developmental stages were determined in silico. No chemosensory transcript was specific to a certain developmental period. Thirteen DEGs were upregulated and 6were downregulated. We created extensive expression profiles in six major body tissues using qRT-PCR and found that most DEGs were exclusively or primarily expressed in antennae. Others were abundantly expressed in the other tissues, such as head, thorax, abdomen, legs, and wings. Interestingly, when a DEG was highly expressed in the thorax, it also had a high level of expression in legs, but showed a lowlevel in antennae. This study explored five chemoreceptor superfamily genes using RNA-Seq coupled with extensive expression profiling of DEGs. Our results provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of odorant detection in the Asian honeybee and also serve as an extensive novel resource for comparing and investigating olfactory functionality in hymenopterans. PMID:27776190

  3. Applying an Activity Theory Lens to Designing Instruction for Learning about the Structure, Behavior, and Function of a Honeybee System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danish, Joshua A.

    2014-01-01

    This article reports on a study in which activity theory was used to design, implement, and analyze a 10-week curriculum unit about how honeybees collect nectar with a particular focus on complex systems concepts. Students (n = 42) in a multi-year kindergarten and 1st-grade classroom participated in this study as part of their 10 regular classroom…

  4. High quality draft genome of Lactobacillus kunkeei EFB6, isolated from a German European foulbrood outbreak of honeybees

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus kunkeei has been described as an inhabitant of fructose-rich niches. Here we report on the genome sequence of L. kunkeei EFB6, which has been isolated from a honeybee larva infected with European foulbrood. The draft genome comprises 1,566,851 bp and 1,417 predicted protein-encoding genes. PMID:26203329

  5. 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.

  6. Assessing honeybee and wasp thermoregulation and energetics—New insights by combination of flow-through respirometry with infrared thermography

    PubMed Central

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut; Hetz, Stefan K.; Käfer, Helmut; Stabentheiner, Gabriel

    2012-01-01

    Endothermic insects like honeybees and some wasps have to cope with an enormous heat loss during foraging because of their small body size in comparison to endotherms like mammals and birds. The enormous costs of thermoregulation call for optimisation. Honeybees and wasps differ in their critical thermal maximum, which enables the bees to kill the wasps by heat. We here demonstrate the benefits of a combined use of body temperature measurement with infrared thermography, and respiratory measurements of energy turnover (O2 consumption or CO2 production via flow-through respirometry) to answer questions of insect ecophysiological research, and we describe calibrations to receive accurate results. To assess the question of what foraging honeybees optimise, their body temperature was compared with their energy turnover. Honeybees foraging from an artificial flower with unlimited sucrose flow increased body surface temperature and energy turnover with profitability of foraging (sucrose content of the food; 0.5 or 1.5 mol/L). Costs of thermoregulation, however, were rather independent of ambient temperature (13–30 °C). External heat gain by solar radiation was used to increase body temperature. This optimised foraging energetics by increasing suction speed. In determinations of insect respiratory critical thermal limits, the combined use of respiratory measurements and thermography made possible a more conclusive interpretation of respiratory traces. PMID:22723718

  7. 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…

  8. What is the main driver of ageing in long-lived winter honeybees: antioxidant enzymes, innate immunity, or vitellogenin?

    PubMed

    Aurori, Cristian M; Buttstedt, Anja; Dezmirean, Daniel S; Mărghitaş, Liviu A; Moritz, Robin F A; Erler, Silvio

    2014-06-01

    To date five different theories compete in explaining the biological mechanisms of senescence or ageing in invertebrates. Physiological, genetical, and environmental mechanisms form the image of ageing in individuals and groups. Social insects, especially the honeybee Apis mellifera, present exceptional model systems to study developmentally related ageing. The extremely high phenotypic plasticity for life expectancy resulting from the female caste system provides a most useful system to study open questions with respect to ageing. Here, we used long-lived winter worker honeybees and measured transcriptional changes of 14 antioxidative enzyme, immunity, and ageing-related (insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway) genes at two time points during hibernation. Additionally, worker bees were challenged with a bacterial infection to test ageing- and infection-associated immunity changes. Gene expression levels for each group of target genes revealed that ageing had a much higher impact than the bacterial challenge, notably for immunity-related genes. Antimicrobial peptide and antioxidative enzyme genes were significantly upregulated in aged worker honeybees independent of bacterial infections. The known ageing markers vitellogenin and IlP-1 were opposed regulated with decreasing vitellogenin levels during ageing. The increased antioxidative enzyme and antimicrobial peptide gene expression may contribute to a retardation of senescence in long-lived hibernating worker honeybees.

  9. Complete Genome Sequences of Nine Phages Capable of Infecting Paenibacillus larvae, the Causative Agent of American Foulbrood Disease in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Yost, Diane G.; Krohn, Andrew; LeBlanc, Lucy; Zhang, Anna; Stamereilers, Casey; Amy, Penny S.

    2015-01-01

    We present here the complete genome sequences of nine phages that infect Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood disease in honeybees. The phages were isolated from soil, propolis, and infected bees from three U.S. states. This is the largest number of P. larvae phage genomes sequenced in a single publication to date. PMID:26472825

  10. Assessing honeybee and wasp thermoregulation and energetics-New insights by combination of flow-through respirometry with infrared thermography.

    PubMed

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut; Hetz, Stefan K; Käfer, Helmut; Stabentheiner, Gabriel

    2012-04-20

    Endothermic insects like honeybees and some wasps have to cope with an enormous heat loss during foraging beca