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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

    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. 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

  4. 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)

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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)

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  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. PMID:26488410

  18. 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

  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. PMID:27375445

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. Disseminated intravascular coagulation after multiple honeybee stings.

    PubMed

    V, Dharma Rao; Bodepudi, Sravan Kumar; Krishna, Murali

    2014-01-01

    Honeybee venom contains apitoxin which can cause anaphylaxis, cardiovascular collapse and death. Disseminated intravascular coagulation is rare following honeybee stings. We describe the case of a farmer who developed this complication. PMID:25668084

  5. 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. PMID

  6. 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)

  7. 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. PMID:18840662

  8. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 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...

  11. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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)

  14. Quantitative comparison of caste differences in honeybee hemolymph.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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. PMID:25784170

  17. What physicians should know about Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sherman, R A

    1995-12-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. Large Scale Homing in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Pahl, Mario; Zhu, Hong; Tautz, Jürgen; Zhang, Shaowu

    2011-01-01

    Honeybee foragers frequently fly several kilometres to and from vital resources, and communicate those locations to their nest mates by a symbolic dance language. Research has shown that they achieve this feat by memorizing landmarks and the skyline panorama, using the sun and polarized skylight as compasses and by integrating their outbound flight paths. In order to investigate the capacity of the honeybees' homing abilities, we artificially displaced foragers to novel release spots at various distances up to 13 km in the four cardinal directions. Returning bees were individually registered by a radio frequency identification (RFID) system at the hive entrance. We found that homing rate, homing speed and the maximum homing distance depend on the release direction. Bees released in the east were more likely to find their way back home, and returned faster than bees released in any other direction, due to the familiarity of global landmarks seen from the hive. Our findings suggest that such large scale homing is facilitated by global landmarks acting as beacons, and possibly the entire skyline panorama. PMID:21602920

  20. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2010-01-08

    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)

  1. Honeybee venom immunotherapy: certainties and pitfalls.

    PubMed

    Bilò, M Beatrice; Antonicelli, Leonardo; Bonifazi, Floriano

    2012-11-01

    The honeybee is an interesting insect because of the fundamental agricultural role it plays, together with the composition of its venom, which presents new diagnostic and immunotherapeutic challenges. This article examines various aspects of honeybee venom allergy from epidemiology to diagnosis and treatment, with special emphasis on venom immunotherapy (VIT). Honeybee venom allergy represents a risk factor for severe systemic reaction in challenged allergic patients, for the diminished effectiveness of VIT, for more frequent side effects during VIT and relapse after cessation of treatment. Some strategies are available for reducing the risk of honeybee VIT-induced side effects; however, there is considerable room for further improvement in these all-important areas. At the same time, sensitized and allergic beekeepers represent unique populations for epidemiological, venom allergy immunopathogenesis and VIT mechanism studies. PMID:23194365

  2. 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)

  3. 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

  4. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  5. A Strong Immune Response in Young Adult Honeybees Masks Their Increased Susceptibility to Infection Compared to Older Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. (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.

  8. Small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, is a potential biological vector of honeybee viruses.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The small hive beetle (SHB) is a parasite and scavenger of honeybee colonies. Here, we conducted laboratory experiments to investigate the potential of SHB as a vector of honeybee viruses. Using RT-PCR methods, Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) was detected in adult SHBs that: 1) were fed with dead workers ...

  9. Visually Guided Decision Making in Foraging Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22719721

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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…

  15. Trans-generational immune priming in honeybees

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Trans-generational immune priming in honeybees.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-22

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

  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. PMID:25987733

  18. Fipronil and imidacloprid reduce honeybee mitochondrial activity.

    PubMed

    Nicodemo, Daniel; Maioli, Marcos A; Medeiros, Hyllana C D; Guelfi, Marieli; Balieira, Kamila V B; De Jong, David; Mingatto, Fábio E

    2014-09-01

    Bees have a crucial role in pollination; therefore, it is important to determine the causes of their recent decline. Fipronil and imidacloprid are insecticides used worldwide to eliminate or control insect pests. Because they are broad-spectrum insecticides, they can also affect honeybees. Many researchers have studied the lethal and sublethal effects of these and other insecticides on honeybees, and some of these studies have demonstrated a correlation between the insecticides and colony collapse disorder in bees. The authors investigated the effects of fipronil and imidacloprid on the bioenergetic functioning of mitochondria isolated from the heads and thoraces of Africanized honeybees. Fipronil caused dose-dependent inhibition of adenosine 5'-diphosphate-stimulated (state 3) respiration in mitochondria energized by either pyruvate or succinate, albeit with different potentials, in thoracic mitochondria; inhibition was strongest when respiring with complex I substrate. Fipronil affected adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) production in a dose-dependent manner in both tissues and substrates, though with different sensitivities. Imidacloprid also affected state-3 respiration in both the thorax and head, being more potent in head pyruvate-energized mitochondria; it also inhibited ATP production. Fipronil and imidacloprid had no effect on mitochondrial state-4 respiration. The authors concluded that fipronil and imidacloprid are inhibitors of mitochondrial bioenergetics, resulting in depleted ATP. This action can explain the toxicity of these compounds to honeybees. PMID:25131894

  19. 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…

  20. Aminergic Control and Modulation of Honeybee Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Scheiner, R; Baumann, A; Blenau, W

    2006-01-01

    Biogenic amines are important messenger substances in the central nervous system and in peripheral organs of vertebrates and of invertebrates. The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is excellently suited to uncover the functions of biogenic amines in behaviour, because it has an extensive behavioural repertoire, with a number of biogenic amine receptors characterised in this insect. In the honeybee, the biogenic amines dopamine, octopamine, serotonin and tyramine modulate neuronal functions in various ways. Dopamine and serotonin are present in high concentrations in the bee brain, whereas octopamine and tyramine are less abundant. Octopamine is a key molecule for the control of honeybee behaviour. It generally has an arousing effect and leads to higher sensitivity for sensory inputs, better learning performance and increased foraging behaviour. Tyramine has been suggested to act antagonistically to octopamine, but only few experimental data are available for this amine. Dopamine and serotonin often have antagonistic or inhibitory effects as compared to octopamine. Biogenic amines bind to membrane receptors that primarily belong to the large gene-family of GTP-binding (G) protein coupled receptors. Receptor activation leads to transient changes in concentrations of intracellular second messengers such as cAMP, IP3 and/or Ca2+. Although several biogenic amine receptors from the honeybee have been cloned and characterised more recently, many genes still remain to be identified. The availability of the completely sequenced genome of Apis mellifera will contribute substantially to closing this gap. In this review, we will discuss the present knowledge on how biogenic amines and their receptor-mediated cellular responses modulate different behaviours of honeybees including learning processes and division of labour. PMID:18654639

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:25993642

  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. PMID:27307487

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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). PMID:23974855

  7. Appetitive floral odours prevent aggression in honeybees.

    PubMed

    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

  8. Self-organized defensive behavior in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Millor, J; Pham-Delegue, M; Deneubourg, J L; Camazine, S

    1999-10-26

    We investigated the defensive behavior of honeybees under controlled experimental conditions. During an attack on two identical targets, the spatial distribution of stings varied as a function of the total number of stings, evincing the classic "pitchfork bifurcation" phenomenon of nonlinear dynamics. The experimental results support a model of defensive behavior based on a self-organizing mechanism. The model helps to explain several of the characteristic features of the honeybee defensive response: (i) the ability of the colony to localize and focus its attack, (ii) the strong variability between different hives in the intensity of attack, as well as (iii) the variability observed within the same hive, and (iv) the ability of the colony to amplify small differences between the targets. PMID:10535970

  9. The memory structure of navigation in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Menzel, Randolf; Greggers, Uwe

    2015-06-01

    The analytical approach to navigation studies aims to identify elementary sensory motor processes that guide an animal to a remote site. This approach will be used here to characterize components of navigation in a flying insect, the honeybee. However, navigation studies need to go beyond an analysis of behavioral routines to come up with a synthesis. We will defend the concept of an active memory structure guiding navigation in bees that is best described as a mental or cognitive map. In our opinion, spatial/temporal relations of landmarks are stored in a mental map in such a way that behavioral routines such as expectation and planning, as indicated by shortcutting, are possible. We view the mental map of animals including the honeybee as an "action memory of spatial relations" rather than as a sensory representation as we humans experience it by introspection. Two components characterize the mental map, the relational representation of landmarks and the meaning of locations to the animal. As yet, there is little data to suggest that bees assign meaning to the experienced locations. To explore this possibility, further studies will be needed, whereby honeybees provide a unique model to address this question. PMID:25707351

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  16. Honeybee foraging in differentially structured landscapes.

    PubMed

    Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Kuhn, Arno

    2003-03-22

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:15663771

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  1. Honeybee combs: construction through a liquid equilibrium process?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirk, C. W. W.; Hepburn, H. R.; Radloff, S. E.; Tautz, J.

    Geometrical investigations of honeycombs and speculations on how honeybees measure and construct the hexagons and rhombi of their cells are centuries old. Here we show that honeybees neither have to measure nor construct the highly regular structures of a honeycomb, and that the observed pattern of combs can be parsimoniously explained by wax flowing in liquid equilibrium. The structure of the combs of honeybees results from wax as a thermoplastic building medium, which softens and hardens as a result of increasing and decreasing temperatures. It flows among an array of transient, close-packed cylinders which are actually the self-heated honeybees themselves. The three apparent rhomboids forming the base of each cell do not exist but arise as optical artefacts from looking through semi-transparent combs.

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:26344274

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:19783750

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  8. The effects of nectar-nicotine on colony fitness of caged honeybees.

    PubMed

    Singaravelan, Natarajan; Inbar, Moshe; Ne'eman, Gidi; Distl, Melanie; Wink, Michael; Izhaki, Ido

    2006-01-01

    Nectar of many bee flowers contains secondary compounds, which are considered toxic for honeybees on repeated exposure. Although many anecdotal reports indicate the toxicity of secondary compounds to bees, only a few studies have tested the extent of toxicity at different honeybee ages, especially at the larval stages. Honeybees encounter nicotine at trace concentrations (between 0.1 and 5 ppm) in floral nectar of a few Nicotiana spp. and in Tilia cordata. Adult honeybee workers tolerate these nicotine concentrations. In controlled nonchoice feeding experiments with caged bees, we investigated the effect of nicotine on hatching success and larval and forager survival. Naturally occurring concentrations of nectar-nicotine did not affect hatching success of larvae or their survival, but the latter was negatively affected by higher concentrations of nicotine (50 ppm). Concentrations of nicotine in fresh honey samples from the hives were 90% lower than the concentrations in the offered experimental sucrose solutions. Our results indicate that honeybees can cope with naturally occurring concentrations of nicotine, without notable mortality, even when consumed in large quantities for more than 3 weeks. PMID:16525869

  9. Thermoregulation and adaptation in honeybee swarms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ocko, Samuel; Mahadevan, L.

    2012-11-01

    Swarming is an essential part of honeybee behavior, wherein thousands of bees cling onto each other to form a dense cluster that is exposed to the environment for up to several days. This cluster has the ability to maintain its core temperature actively without a central controller raising the question of mechanism. Inspired by experimental observations, we treat the swarm cluster as an active porous structure with a variable metabolism that needs to adjust to outside conditions to control heat loss and regulate its core temperature. Using a continuum model that takes the form of a set of advection-diffusion equations for heat transfer in a mobile porous medium, we show that effective thermoregulation can result from the collective behavior of individual bees in the cluster.

  10. Honeybee flight: a novel 'streamlining' response.

    PubMed

    Luu, Tien; Cheung, Allen; Ball, David; Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2011-07-01

    Animals that move rapidly through the air can save considerable energy by reducing the drag that they need to overcome during flight. We describe a novel 'streamlining' response in tethered, flying honeybees in which the abdomen is held in a raised position when the visual system is exposed to a pattern of image motion that is characteristic of forward flight. This visually evoked response, which can be elicited without exposing the insect to any airflow, presumably serves to reduce the aerodynamic drag that would otherwise be produced by the abdomen during real flight. The response is critically dependent on the presence of appropriate image motion everywhere within the large field of view of the insect. Thus, our results also underscore the importance of using panoramic stimulation for the study of visually guided flight in insects, and reveal the relative importance of various regions of the visual field in assessing the speed of flight through the environment. PMID:21653815

  11. 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

  12. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-22

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Erection mechanism of glossal hairs during honeybee feeding.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jieliang; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-12-01

    Many animals use their mouthparts or tongue to feed themselves rapidly and efficiently. Honeybees have evolved specialized tongues to collect nectar from flowers. Nectar-intake movements consist of rapid protraction and retraction of glossa from a tube formed by the maxillae and labial palps. We establish a physical model to reveal the driving mechanism of hair erection. Results indicate that the glossa of honeybees is similar to a compression spring. Experimental results show that hair erection is generated by the tension of hyaline rod and the elasticity of segmental sheath. The retractor muscle of hyaline rod is contracted at first, which compresses the sheath of pigmented rings and flattens the hairs. While the retractor muscle of hyaline rod relaxes, the elastic energy storage in the compressed glossal sheath will release to change the equivalent stiffness of glossal sheath and erect glossal hairs. These results explain the erection mechanism of glossal hairs during honeybee feeding. PMID:26403500

  17. Energy saving strategies of honeybees in dipping nectar.

    PubMed

    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

  18. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2014-07-24

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Scouts behave as streakers in honeybee swarms.

    PubMed

    Greggers, Uwe; Schöning, Caspar; Degen, Jacqueline; Menzel, Randolf

    2013-08-01

    Harmonic radar tracking was used to record the flights of scout bees during takeoff and initial flight path of two honeybee swarms. One swarm remained intact and performed a full flight to a destination beyond the range of the harmonic radar, while a second swarm disintegrated within the range of the radar and most of the bees returned to the queen. The initial stretch of the full flight is characterized by accelerating speed, whereas the disintegrating swarm flew steadily at low speed. The two scouts in the swarm displaying full flight performed characteristic flight maneuvers. They flew at high speed when traveling in the direction of their destination and slowed down or returned over short stretches at low speed. Scouts in the disintegrating swarm did not exhibit the same kind of characteristic flight performance. Our data support the streaker bee hypothesis proposing that scout bees guide the swarm by traveling at high speed in the direction of the new nest site for short stretches of flight and slowing down when reversing flight direction. PMID:23812604

  1. Scouts behave as streakers in honeybee swarms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greggers, Uwe; Schöning, Caspar; Degen, Jacqueline; Menzel, Randolf

    2013-08-01

    Harmonic radar tracking was used to record the flights of scout bees during takeoff and initial flight path of two honeybee swarms. One swarm remained intact and performed a full flight to a destination beyond the range of the harmonic radar, while a second swarm disintegrated within the range of the radar and most of the bees returned to the queen. The initial stretch of the full flight is characterized by accelerating speed, whereas the disintegrating swarm flew steadily at low speed. The two scouts in the swarm displaying full flight performed characteristic flight maneuvers. They flew at high speed when traveling in the direction of their destination and slowed down or returned over short stretches at low speed. Scouts in the disintegrating swarm did not exhibit the same kind of characteristic flight performance. Our data support the streaker bee hypothesis proposing that scout bees guide the swarm by traveling at high speed in the direction of the new nest site for short stretches of flight and slowing down when reversing flight direction.

  2. 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. PMID:26333931

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

    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. PMID:12216866

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Biased gene expression in early honeybee larval development

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Female larvae of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) develop into either queens or workers depending on nutrition. This nutritional stimulus triggers different developmental trajectories, resulting in adults that differ from each other in physiology, behaviour and life span. Results To understand how these trajectories are established we have generated a comprehensive atlas of gene expression throughout larval development. We found substantial differences in gene expression between worker and queen-destined larvae at 6 hours after hatching. Some of these early changes in gene expression are maintained throughout larval development, indicating that caste-specific developmental trajectories are established much earlier than previously thought. Within our gene expression data we identified processes that potentially underlie caste differentiation. Queen-destined larvae have higher expression of genes involved in transcription, translation and protein folding early in development with a later switch to genes involved in energy generation. Using RNA interference, we were able to demonstrate that one of these genes, hexamerin 70b, has a role in caste differentiation. Both queen and worker developmental trajectories are associated with the expression of genes that have alternative splice variants, although only a single variant of a gene tends to be differentially expressed in a given caste. Conclusions Our data, based on the biases in gene expression early in development together with published data, supports the idea that caste development in the honeybee consists of two phases; an initial biased phase of development, where larvae can still switch to the other caste by differential feeding, followed by commitment to a particular developmental trajectory. PMID:24350621

  8. Deciding on a new home: how do honeybees agree?

    PubMed

    Britton, N F; Franks, N R; Pratt, S C; Seeley, T D

    2002-07-01

    A swarm of honeybees (Apis mellifera) is capable of selecting one nest-site when faced with a choice of several. We adapt classical mathematical models of disease, information and competing beliefs to such decision-making processes. We show that the collective decision may be arrived at without the necessity for any bee to make any comparison between sites. PMID:12079662

  9. 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.

  10. Alternatives to Honeybees for Pollinating Clover (Trifolium L.) Germplasm Accessions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our mission is to increase seed of perennial clover (Trifolium L.) species housed in the USDA, ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) germplasm collection. Each season we grow out 100-125 accessions of clover in Prosser, Washington. Historically, honeybees (Apis mellifera L) have been used as po...

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    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. PMID:26008235

  13. Influence of Honeybee Sting on Peptidome Profile in Human Serum

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26008235

  14. 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. PMID:26976406

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Functional characterization of transmembrane adenylyl cyclases from the honeybee brain.

    PubMed

    Balfanz, Sabine; Ehling, Petra; Wachten, Sebastian; Jordan, Nadine; Erber, Joachim; Mujagic, Samir; Baumann, Arnd

    2012-06-01

    The second messenger cAMP has a pivotal role in animals' physiology and behavior. Intracellular concentrations of cAMP are balanced by cAMP-synthesizing adenylyl cyclases (ACs) and cAMP-cleaving phosphodiesterases. Knowledge about ACs in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is rather limited and only an ortholog of the vertebrate AC3 isoform has been functionally characterized, so far. Employing bioinformatics and functional expression we characterized two additional honeybee genes encoding membrane-bound (tm)ACs. The proteins were designated AmAC2t and AmAC8. Unlike the common structure of tmACs, AmAC2t lacks the first transmembrane domain. Despite this unusual topography, AmAC2t-activity could be stimulated by norepinephrine and NKH477 with EC(50s) of 0.07 μM and 3 μM. Both ligands stimulated AmAC8 with EC(50s) of 0.24 μM and 3.1 μM. In brain cryosections, intensive staining of mushroom bodies was observed with specific antibodies against AmAC8, an expression pattern highly reminiscent of the Drosophila rutabaga AC. In a current release of the honeybee genome database we identified three additional tmAC- and one soluble AC-encoding gene. These results suggest that (1) the AC-gene family in honeybees is comparably large as in other species, and (2) based on the restricted expression of AmAC8 in mushroom bodies, this enzyme might serve important functions in honeybee behavior. PMID:22426196

  3. 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

    2016-02-01

    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. PMID:26912700

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1988-01-01

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

  6. Comparison of Varroa destructor and Worker Honeybee Microbiota Within Hives Indicates Shared Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Hubert, Jan; Kamler, Martin; Nesvorna, Marta; Ledvinka, Ondrej; Kopecky, Jan; Erban, Tomas

    2016-08-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is a major pest of the honeybee Apis mellifera. In a previous study, bacteria were found in the guts of mites collected from winter beehive debris and were identified using Sanger sequencing of their 16S rRNA genes. In this study, community comparison and diversity analyses were performed to examine the microbiota of honeybees and mites at the population level. The microbiota of the mites and honeybees in 26 colonies in seven apiaries in Czechia was studied. Between 10 and 50 Varroa females were collected from the bottom board, and 10 worker bees were removed from the peripheral comb of the same beehive. Both bees and mites were surface sterilized. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene libraries revealed significant differences in the Varroa and honeybee microbiota. The Varroa microbiota was less diverse than was the honeybee microbiota, and the relative abundances of bacterial taxa in the mite and bee microbiota differed. The Varroa mites, but not the honeybees, were found to be inhabited by Diplorickettsia. The relative abundance of Arsenophonus, Morganella, Spiroplasma, Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas was higher in Varroa than in honeybees, and the Diplorickettsia symbiont detected in this study is specific to Varroa mites. The results demonstrated that there are shared bacteria between Varroa and honeybee populations but that these bacteria occur in different relative proportions in the honeybee and mite bacteriomes. These results support the suggestion of bacterial transfer via mites, although only some of the transferred bacteria may be harmful. PMID:27129319

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:25365602

  9. 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

  10. Statistical analysis of honeybee survival after chronic exposure to insecticides.

    PubMed

    Dechaume Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Decourtye, Axel; Hennequet-Hantier, Christelle; Pons, Odile; Pham-Delègue, Minh-Hà

    2003-12-01

    Studies concerning long-term survival of honeybees raise the problem of the statistical analysis of mortality data. In the present study, we used a modeling approach of survival data of caged bees under chronic exposure to two pesticides (imidacloprid and deltamethrin). Our model, based on a Cox proportional hazard model, is not restricted to a specific hazard functional form, such as in parametric approaches, but takes into account multiple covariates. We consider not only the pesticide treatment but also a nuisance variable (variability between replicates). Moreover, considering the occurrence of social interactions, the model integrates the fact that bees do not die independently of each other. We demonstrate the chronic toxicity induced by imidacloprid and deltamethrin. Our results also underline the role of the replicate effect, the density-dependent effect, and their interactions with the treatment effect. None of these parameters can be neglected in the assessment of chronic toxicity of pesticides to the honeybee. PMID:14713054

  11. 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

  12. Effect of Flumethrin on Survival and Olfactory Learning in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Ken; Yang, Shuang; Wang, Zhengwei; Menzel, Randolf

    2013-01-01

    Flumethrin has been widely used as an acaricide for the control of Varroa mites in commercial honeybee keeping throughout the world for many years. Here we test the mortality of the Asian honeybee Apis cerana cerana after treatment with flumethrin. We also ask (1) how bees react to the odor of flumethrin, (2) whether its odor induces an innate avoidance response, (3) whether its taste transmits an aversive reinforcing component in olfactory learning, and (4) whether its odor or taste can be associated with reward in classical conditioning. Our results show that flumethrin has a negative effect on Apis ceranàs lifespan, induces an innate avoidance response, acts as a punishing reinforcer in olfactory learning, and interferes with the association of an appetitive conditioned stimulus. Furthermore flumethrin uptake within the colony reduces olfactory learning over an extended period of time. PMID:23785490

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Reversible switching between epigenetic states in honeybee behavioral subcastes

    PubMed Central

    Herb, Brian R.; Wolschin, Florian; Hansen, Kasper D.; Aryee, Martin J.; Langmead, Ben; Irizarry, Rafael; Amdam, Gro V.; Feinberg, Andrew P.

    2012-01-01

    In honeybee societies, distinct caste phenotypes are created from the same genotype, suggesting a role for epigenetics in deriving these behaviorally different phenotypes. We found no differences in DNA methylation between irreversible worker/queen castes, but substantial differences between nurses and forager subcastes. Reverting foragers back to nurses reestablished methylation levels for a majority of genes and provided the first evidence in any organism of reversible epigenetic changes associated with behavior. PMID:22983211

  17. 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. PMID:24288051

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Impact of bifenthrin on honeybees and Culex quinquefasciatus.

    PubMed

    Qualls, Whitney A; Xue, Rui-De; Zhong, He

    2010-06-01

    The impact of bifenthrin on honeybees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was evaluated in both laboratory and semifield assays. Ten serial dilutions of bifenthrin and an acetone control using the bottle bioassay protocol were used in the laboratory to determine killing time after 15-, 30-, and 60-min honeybee exposure. Both dose and exposure time significantly affected honeybee mortality (df = 6, F = 10.9, P < 0.05). Application dose of 35 microg/ml resulted in 100% bee mortality at all time intervals. Bifenthrin was applied at 9.7 ml/liter, 19.5 ml/liter, and 29.5 ml/liter of water to common landscape vegetation, Melampodium paludosum Melanie (show star) and Duranta erecta L. (golden dewdrop); a water control was also used. Bee mortality was significantly higher (P < 0.05, df = 2, F = 20.8) at 29.5 ml/liter compared to the mortality at 19.5-ml/liter and 9.7-ml/liter application rates after 24-h exposure to the treated vegetation. Mortality of Culex quinquefasciatus exposed to treated vegetation was significantly (P < 0.05, df = 10, F = 114) different by week and by application rate. PMID:20649134

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-07-01

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

  2. Mapping the expression of soluble olfactory proteins in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Dani, Francesca Romana; Iovinella, Immacolata; Felicioli, Antonio; Niccolini, Alberto; Calvello, Maria Antonietta; Carucci, Maria Giovanna; Qiao, Huili; Pieraccini, Giuseppe; Turillazzi, Stefano; Moneti, Gloriano; Pelosi, Paolo

    2010-04-01

    Chemical communication in insects is mediated by soluble binding proteins, belonging to two large families, Odorant-binding Proteins (OBPs) and Chemosensory Proteins (CSPs). Recently, evidence has been provided that OBPs are involved in recognition of chemical stimuli. We therefore decided to investigate the expression of OBPs and CSPs in the honeybee at the protein level, using a proteomic approach. Our results are in agreement with previous reports of expression at the RNA level and show that 12 of the 21 OBPs predicted in the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera and 2 of the 6 CSPs are present in the foragers' antennae, while the larvae express only three OBPs and a single CSP. MALDI mass spectrometry on crude antennal extracts and MALDI profiling on sections of antennae demonstrated that these techniques can be applied to investigate individual differences in the expression of abundant proteins, such as OBPs and CSPs, as well as to detect the presence of proteins in different regions of the antenna. Finally, as part of a project aimed at the characterization of all OBPs and CSPs of the honeybee, we expressed 5 OBPs and 4 CSPs in a bacterial system and measured their affinity to a number of ligands. Clear differences in their binding spectra have been observed between OBPs, as well as CSPs. PMID:20155982

  3. Modelling the spread of American foulbrood in honeybees.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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. PMID:24026473

  4. Optic flow informs distance but not profitability for honeybees.

    PubMed

    Shafir, Sharoni; Barron, Andrew B

    2010-04-22

    How do flying insects monitor foraging efficiency? Honeybees (Apis mellifera) use optic flow information as an odometer to estimate distance travelled, but here we tested whether optic flow informs estimation of foraging costs also. Bees were trained to feeders in flight tunnels such that bees experienced the greatest optic flow en route to the feeder closest to the hive. Analyses of dance communication showed that, as expected, bees indicated the close feeder as being further, but they also indicated this feeder as the more profitable, and preferentially visited this feeder when given a choice. We show that honeybee estimates of foraging cost are not reliant on optic flow information. Rather, bees can assess distance and profitability independently and signal these aspects as separate elements of their dances. The optic flow signal is sensitive to the nature of the environment travelled by the bee, and is therefore not a good index of flight energetic costs, but it provides a good indication of distance travelled for purpose of navigation and communication, as long as the dancer and recruit travel similar routes. This study suggests an adaptive dual processing system in honeybees for communicating and navigating distance flown and for evaluating its energetic costs. PMID:20018787

  5. Modelling the spread of American foulbrood in honeybees

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24026473

  6. 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. PMID:24568841

  7. 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. PMID:27179242

  8. Ocellar structure and neural innervation in the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Yu-Shan; Ibbotson, Michael R.

    2014-01-01

    Honeybees have a visual system composed of three ocelli (simple eyes) located on the top of the head, in addition to two large compound eyes. Although experiments have been conducted to investigate the role of the ocelli within the visual system, their optical characteristics, and function remain controversial. In this study, we created three-dimensional (3-D) reconstructions of the honeybee ocelli, conducted optical measurements and filled ocellar descending neurons to assist in determining the role of ocelli in honeybees. In both the median and lateral ocelli, the ocellar retinas can be divided into dorsal and ventral parts. Using the 3-D model we were able to assess the viewing angles of the retinas. The dorsal retinas view the horizon while the ventral retinas view the sky, suggesting quite different roles in attitude control. We used the hanging drop technique to assess the spatial resolution of the retinas. The lateral ocelli have significantly higher spatial resolution compared to the median ocellus. In addition, we established which ocellar retinas provide the input to five pairs of large ocellar descending neurons. We found that four of the neuron pairs have their dendritic fields in the dorsal retinas of the lateral ocelli, while the fifth has fine dendrites in the ventral retina. One of the neuron pairs also sends very fine dendrites into the border region between the dorsal and ventral retinas of the median ocellus. PMID:24600354

  9. 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. PMID:21541258

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

    PubMed

    Muszynski, Nicole M; Couvillon, P A

    2015-06-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:24828676

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-10

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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. PMID:25846634

  19. Bee bread increases honeybee haemolymph protein and promote better survival despite of causing higher Nosema ceranae abundance in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Basualdo, Marina; Barragán, Sergio; Antúnez, Karina

    2014-08-01

    Adequate protein nutrition supports healthy honeybees and reduces the susceptibility to disease. However little is known concerning the effect of the diet on Nosema ceranae development, an obligate intracellular parasite that disturbs the protein metabolism of honeybees (Apis mellifera). Here we tested the effect of natural (bee bread) and non-natural protein diets (substitute) on haemolymph proteins titers of honeybee and N. ceranae spore production. The natural diet induced higher levels of protein and parasite development, but the survival of bees was also higher than with non-natural diets. The data showed that the administration of an artificially high nutritious diet in terms of crude protein content is not sufficient to promote healthy bees; rather the protein ingested should be efficiently assimilated. The overall results support the idea that the physiological condition of the bees is linked to protein levels in the haemolymph, which affects the tolerance to parasite; consequently the negative impact of the parasite on host fitness is not associated only with the level of infection. PMID:24992539

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:23845309

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:18539412

  4. Odorants that induce hygienic behavior in honeybees: identification of volatile compounds in chalkbrood-infected honeybee larvae.

    PubMed

    Swanson, Jodi A I; Torto, Baldwyn; Kells, Stephen A; Mesce, Karen A; Tumlinson, James H; Spivak, Marla

    2009-09-01

    Social insects that live in large colonies are vulnerable to disease transmission due to relatively high genetic relatedness among individuals and high rates of contact within and across generations. While individual insects rely on innate immune responses, groups of individuals also have evolved social immunity. Hygienic behavior, in which individual honeybees detect chemical stimuli from diseased larvae and subsequently remove the diseased brood from the nest, is one type of social immunity that reduces pathogen transmission. Three volatile compounds, collected from larvae infected with the fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis and detected by adult honey bees, were identified by coupled gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. These three compounds, phenethyl acetate, 2-phenylethanol, and benzyl alcohol, were present in volatile collections from infected larvae but were absent from collections from healthy larvae. Two field bioassays revealed that one of the compounds, phenethyl acetate is a key compound associated with Ascosphaera apis-infected larvae that induces hygienic behavior. PMID:19816752

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:26437644

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. 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

  9. The developmental genetics and physiology of honeybee societies.

    PubMed

    Amdam, Gro V; Page, Robert E

    2010-05-01

    Eusocial animal societies, as diverse as those found in the ants, bees, wasps, shrimp and naked mole-rats, are structured around one or few reproductive females. The remaining females are helpers called 'workers' that are mostly sterile. A paradigm in studies of eusociality is that worker sterility is a key to societal functions because advanced sociality cannot be achieved when there is conflict over reproduction. Yet, traits such as sensory responsiveness, foraging and hoarding behaviour that change between female reproductive life stages also vary between workers. This variation is central to worker division of labour, a complex social trait believed to be instrumental for the ecological success of animal societies. Thus, we took a step back from established views on worker sterility and societal functions, and hypothesized that division of labour can be better understood if adaptive variation in worker behaviour is seen as emerging from pre-existing mechanisms associated with female reproduction. In exploring this reproductive ground plan hypothesis (RGPH) in honeybee workers, we established that variation in foraging division of labour correlates with ovary size and is affected by expression changes in vitellogenin, an egg yolk protein precursor. Here, we explain and reconcile the RGPH with data on honeybee sensory sensitivity, genomic mapping, transcript and endocrine profiling, and link our discussion with Ihle et al. (2010, this issue, pp. xx-xx). The findings bring together mechanistic and evolutionary explanations of honeybee worker behaviour. This essay suggests that a broader view on worker reproductive traits can increase the understanding of animal social behaviour. PMID:20514137

  10. Caffeinated forage tricks honeybees into increasing foraging and recruitment behaviors.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Al Toufailia, Hasan; Butterfield, Thomas M; Schrell, Felix; Ratnieks, Francis L W; Schürch, Roger

    2015-11-01

    In pollination, plants provide food reward to pollinators who in turn enhance plant reproduction by transferring pollen, making the relationship largely cooperative; however, because the interests of plants and pollinators do not always align, there exists the potential for conflict, where it may benefit both to cheat the other [1, 2]. Plants may even resort to chemistry: caffeine, a naturally occurring, bitter-tasting, pharmacologically active secondary compound whose main purpose is to detract herbivores, is also found in lower concentrations in the nectar of some plants, even though nectar, unlike leaves, is made to be consumed by pollinators. [corrected]. A recent laboratory study showed that caffeine may lead to efficient and effective foraging by aiding honeybee memory of a learned olfactory association [4], suggesting that caffeine may enhance bee reward perception. However, without field data, the wider ecological significance of caffeinated nectar remains difficult to interpret. Here we demonstrate in the field that caffeine generates significant individual- and colony-level effects in free-flying worker honeybees. Compared to a control, a sucrose solution with field-realistic doses of caffeine caused honeybees to significantly increase their foraging frequency, waggle dancing probability and frequency, and persistency and specificity to the forage location, resulting in a quadrupling of colony-level recruitment. An agent-based model also demonstrates how caffeine-enhanced foraging may reduce honey storage. Overall, caffeine causes bees to overestimate forage quality, tempting the colony into sub-optimal foraging strategies, which makes the relationship between pollinator and plant less mutualistic and more exploitative. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:26480843

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Honeybee dances communicate distances measured by optic flow.

    PubMed

    Esch, H E; Zhang, S; Srinivasan, M V; Tautz, J

    2001-05-31

    In honeybees, employed foragers recruit unemployed hive mates to food sources by dances from which a human observer can read the distance and direction of the food source. When foragers collect food in a short, narrow tunnel, they dance as if the food source were much farther away. Dancers gauge distance by retinal image flow on the way to their destination. Their visually driven odometer misreads distance because the close tunnel walls increase optic flow. We examined how hive mates interpret these dances. Here we show that recruited bees search outside in the direction of the tunnel at exaggerated distances and not inside the tunnel where the foragers come from. Thus, dances must convey information about the direction of the food source and the total amount of image motion en route to the food source, but they do not convey information about absolute distances. We also found that perceived distances on various outdoor routes from the same hive could be considerably different. Navigational errors are avoided as recruits and dancers tend to fly in the same direction. Reported racial differences in honeybee dances could have arisen merely from differences in the environments in which these bees flew. PMID:11385571

  17. Sensory coding of nest-site value in honeybee swarms.

    PubMed

    Seeley, Thomas D; Visscher, P Kirk

    2008-12-01

    This study investigates the first stage of the decision-making process of a honeybee swarm as it chooses a nest site: how a scout bee codes the value of a potential nest site in the waggle dances she produces to represent this site. We presented honeybee swarms with a two-alternative choice between a high-value site and a medium-value site and recorded the behavior of individually identifiable scout bees as they reported on these two alternatives. We found that bees performed equally lengthy inspections at the two sites, but that, on the swarm cluster, they performed more dance circuits per bee for the high-value site. We also found that there was much individual-level noise in the coding of site value, but that there were clear population-level differences in total dance circuits produced for the two sites. The first bee to find a site had a high probability of reporting the site with a waggle dance, regardless of its value. This discoverer-should-dance phenomenon may help ensure that a swarm gives attention to all discovered sites. There was rapid decay in the dance response; the number of dance circuits produced by a bee after visiting a site decreased linearly over sequential visits, and eventually each bee ceased visiting her site. This decay, or ;leakage', in the accumulation of bees at a site improves a swarm's decision-making ability by helping a swarm avoid making fast-decision errors. PMID:19011208

  18. 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. PMID:25296114

  19. 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. PMID:27294416

  20. Interspecific utilisation of wax in comb building by honeybees.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:19259641

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Complex memories in honeybees: can there be more than two?

    PubMed

    Reinhard, Judith; Srinivasan, Mandyam V; Zhang, Shaowu

    2006-04-01

    Foraging honeybees are likely to learn visual and chemical cues associated with many different food sources. Here, we explore how many such sources can be memorized and recalled. Marked bees were trained to visit two (or three) sugar feeders, each placed at a different outdoor location and carrying a different scent. We then tested the ability of the bees to recall these locations and fly to them, when the training scents were blown into the hive, and the scents and food at the feeders were removed. When trained on two feeder locations, each associated with a different scent, the bees could correctly recall the location associated with each scent. However, this ability broke down when the number of scents and feeder locations was increased to three. Performance was partially restored when each of the three training feeders was endowed with an additional cue, namely, a distinct colour. Our results suggest that bees can recall a maximum of two locations when each is associated with a different scent. However, this number can be increased if the scent cues are augmented by visual cues. These findings have implications for the ways in which associations are established and laid down in honeybee memory. PMID:16365769

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2015-12-01

    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. PMID:26501169

  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. PMID:27235809

  9. Parasite-insecticide interactions: a case study of Nosema ceranae and fipronil synergy on honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Aufauvre, Julie; Biron, David G.; Vidau, Cyril; Fontbonne, Régis; Roudel, Mathieu; Diogon, Marie; Viguès, Bernard; Belzunces, Luc P.; Delbac, Frédéric; Blot, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    In ecosystems, a variety of biological, chemical and physical stressors may act in combination to induce illness in populations of living organisms. While recent surveys reported that parasite-insecticide interactions can synergistically and negatively affect honeybee survival, the importance of sequence in exposure to stressors has hardly received any attention. In this work, Western honeybees (Apis mellifera) were sequentially or simultaneously infected by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae and chronically exposed to a sublethal dose of the insecticide fipronil, respectively chosen as biological and chemical stressors. Interestingly, every combination tested led to a synergistic effect on honeybee survival, with the most significant impacts when stressors were applied at the emergence of honeybees. Our study presents significant outcomes on beekeeping management but also points out the potential risks incurred by any living organism frequently exposed to both pathogens and insecticides in their habitat. PMID:22442753

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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. PMID:26542139

  12. Towards a systems approach for understanding honeybee decline: a stocktaking and synthesis of existing models.

    PubMed

    Becher, Matthias A; Osborne, Juliet L; Thorbek, Pernille; Kennedy, Peter J; Grimm, Volker

    2013-08-01

    The health of managed and wild honeybee colonies appears to have declined substantially in Europe and the United States over the last decade. Sustainability of honeybee colonies is important not only for honey production, but also for pollination of crops and wild plants alongside other insect pollinators. A combination of causal factors, including parasites, pathogens, land use changes and pesticide usage, are cited as responsible for the increased colony mortality.However, despite detailed knowledge of the behaviour of honeybees and their colonies, there are no suitable tools to explore the resilience mechanisms of this complex system under stress. Empirically testing all combinations of stressors in a systematic fashion is not feasible. We therefore suggest a cross-level systems approach, based on mechanistic modelling, to investigate the impacts of (and interactions between) colony and land management.We review existing honeybee models that are relevant to examining the effects of different stressors on colony growth and survival. Most of these models describe honeybee colony dynamics, foraging behaviour or honeybee - varroa mite - virus interactions.We found that many, but not all, processes within honeybee colonies, epidemiology and foraging are well understood and described in the models, but there is no model that couples in-hive dynamics and pathology with foraging dynamics in realistic landscapes.Synthesis and applications. We describe how a new integrated model could be built to simulate multifactorial impacts on the honeybee colony system, using building blocks from the reviewed models. The development of such a tool would not only highlight empirical research priorities but also provide an important forecasting tool for policy makers and beekeepers, and we list examples of relevant applications to bee disease and landscape management decisions. PMID:24223431

  13. Towards a systems approach for understanding honeybee decline: a stocktaking and synthesis of existing models

    PubMed Central

    Becher, Matthias A; Osborne, Juliet L; Thorbek, Pernille; Kennedy, Peter J; Grimm, Volker

    2013-01-01

    The health of managed and wild honeybee colonies appears to have declined substantially in Europe and the United States over the last decade. Sustainability of honeybee colonies is important not only for honey production, but also for pollination of crops and wild plants alongside other insect pollinators. A combination of causal factors, including parasites, pathogens, land use changes and pesticide usage, are cited as responsible for the increased colony mortality. However, despite detailed knowledge of the behaviour of honeybees and their colonies, there are no suitable tools to explore the resilience mechanisms of this complex system under stress. Empirically testing all combinations of stressors in a systematic fashion is not feasible. We therefore suggest a cross-level systems approach, based on mechanistic modelling, to investigate the impacts of (and interactions between) colony and land management. We review existing honeybee models that are relevant to examining the effects of different stressors on colony growth and survival. Most of these models describe honeybee colony dynamics, foraging behaviour or honeybee – varroa mite – virus interactions. We found that many, but not all, processes within honeybee colonies, epidemiology and foraging are well understood and described in the models, but there is no model that couples in-hive dynamics and pathology with foraging dynamics in realistic landscapes. Synthesis and applications. We describe how a new integrated model could be built to simulate multifactorial impacts on the honeybee colony system, using building blocks from the reviewed models. The development of such a tool would not only highlight empirical research priorities but also provide an important forecasting tool for policy makers and beekeepers, and we list examples of relevant applications to bee disease and landscape management decisions. PMID:24223431

  14. Mouthpart grooming behavior in honeybees: Kinematics and sectionalized friction between foreleg tarsi and proboscises.

    PubMed

    Linghu, Zelin; Wu, Jianing; Wang, Changlong; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-11-01

    The mouthpart of a honeybee is prone to contamination by granular particles such as pollen or dirt from the field. To clean the contaminated mouthparts, a honeybee swings its foreleg tarsi forward and backward to brush the proboscis continuously, sweeping the contaminant from the surfaces of the labial palpi, galeae, and bushy haired tongue (glossa). This grooming behavior has been documented but the dynamic characteristics therein have not been investigated yet. We quantified the grooming behavior of a honeybee from the perspective of kinematic and tribological properties. We captured high-speed videos that recorded the mouthpart grooming patterns of honeybees from the front and side views and measured the friction on the grooming surfaces using a precision dynamometer. During grooming, a honeybee first positions the mouthpart and then places a pair of foreleg tarsi to the tubular-folded galea. The tarsi press the galea and labial palpi and slide downward while keeping close contact with the galea. Then, the hairy glossa stretches out of the temporary tube with the glossa setae erected. The tarsi slowly slide down when grooming the glossa. In the return stroke of grooming, the foreleg tarsi detach from the mouthpart and retreat swiftly. Friction analysis shows that the honeybees can coordinate the velocity of the foreleg tarsi to the sectionalized tribological property of the tarsus-mouthpart interface. The specific grooming pattern enables honeybees to save energy and resist wear, resulting in a possible highly evolved grooming strategy. These findings lead to further understanding of the honeybee's grooming behavior facilitated by the special motion kinematics and friction characteristics. PMID:26453086

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

    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

  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. PMID:24553241

  18. 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. PMID:26291681

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  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

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

    2013-11-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25100549

  4. 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.

  5. Honeybee navigation: properties of the visually driven 'odometer'.

    PubMed

    Si, Aung; Srinivasan, Mandyam V; Zhang, Shaowu

    2003-04-01

    Recent work has revealed that honeybees determine distance flown by gauging the extent to which the image of the environment moves in the eye as they fly toward their destination. Here we examine the properties of this visually driven 'odometer', by training bees to fly to a feeder in a tunnel lined with a range of different visual patterns, and analysing their dances when they return to the hive. We find that the odometric signal is relatively unaffected by variations in the contrast and spatial frequency content of the patterns. Furthermore, a strong signal is generated even when the walls or the floor of the tunnel provide only weak optic-flow cues. Thus, distance flown is measured by a visually driven odometer that is surprisingly robust to variations in the texture or sparseness of the visual environment through which the bee flies. PMID:12624162

  6. A mathematical model for flight guidance in honeybee swarms.

    PubMed

    Fetecau, R C; Guo, A

    2012-11-01

    When a colony of honeybees relocates to a new nest site, less than 5 % of the bees (the scout bees) know the location of the new nest. Nevertheless, the small minority of informed bees manages to provide guidance to the rest and the entire swarm is able to fly to the new nest intact. The streaker bee hypothesis, one of the several theories proposed to explain the guidance mechanism in bee swarms, seems to be supported by recent experimental observations. The theory suggests that the informed bees make high-speed flights through the swarm in the direction of the new nest, hence conspicuously pointing to the desired direction of travel. This work presents a mathematical model of flight guidance in bee swarms based on the streaker bee hypothesis. Numerical experiments, parameter studies, and comparison with experimental data are presented. PMID:22890574

  7. Honeybee navigation: following routes using polarized-light cues

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    While it is generally accepted that honeybees (Apis mellifera) are capable of using the pattern of polarized light in the sky to navigate to a food source, there is little or no direct behavioural evidence that they actually do so. We have examined whether bees can be trained to find their way through a maze composed of four interconnected tunnels, by using directional information provided by polarized light illumination from the ceilings of the tunnels. The results show that bees can learn this task, thus demonstrating directly, and for the first time, that bees are indeed capable of using the polarized-light information in the sky as a compass to steer their way to a food source. PMID:21282174

  8. An Algorithmic Analysis of the Honey-Bee Game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischer, Rudolf; Woeginger, Gerhard J.

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27097104

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:24817103

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Hoetzl, Thomas

    2013-07-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Reproductive interference between honeybee species in artificial sympatry.

    PubMed

    Remnant, Emily J; Koetz, Anna; Tan, Ken; Hinson, Eloise; Beekman, Madeleine; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2014-03-01

    Reproductive isolation between closely related species is often incomplete. The Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the Eastern hive bee, Apis cerana, have been allopatric for millions of years, but are nonetheless similar in morphology and behaviour. During the last century, the two species were brought into contact anthropogenically, providing potential opportunities for interspecific matings. Hybrids between A. mellifera and A. cerana are inviable, so natural interspecific matings are of concern because they may reduce the viability of A. cerana and A. mellifera populations - two of the world's most important pollinators. We examined the mating behaviour of A. mellifera and A. cerana queens and drones from Caoba Basin, China and Cairns, Australia. Drone mating flight times overlap in both areas. Analysis of the spermathecal contents of queens with species-specific genetic markers indicated that in Caoba Basin, 14% of A. mellifera queens mated with at least one A. cerana male, but we detected no A. cerana queens that had mated with A. mellifera males. Similarly, in Cairns, no A. cerana queens carried A. mellifera sperm, but one-third of A. mellifera queens had mated with at least one A. cerana male. No hybrid embryos were detected in eggs laid by interspecifically mated A. mellifera queens in either location. However, A. mellifera queens artificially inseminated with A. cerana sperm produced inviable hybrid eggs or unfertilized drones. This suggests that reproductive interference will impact the viability of honeybee populations wherever A. cerana and A. mellifera are in contact. PMID:24443879

  19. 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. PMID:25846956

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25142633

  3. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Isolation and characterization of a Nocardiopsis sp. from honeybee guts.

    PubMed

    Patil, Preeti B; Zeng, Yu; Coursey, Tami; Houston, Preston; Miller, Iain; Chen, Shawn

    2010-11-01

    Although actinomycetes are the plant-associated environmental bacteria best known for producing thousands of antibiotics, their presence in the guts of flower-feeding honeybees has rarely been reported. Here, we report on the selective isolation of actinomycetes from the gut microbiota of healthy honeybees, and their inhibitory activity against honeybee indigenous bacteria. More than 70% of the sampled honeybees (N>40) in a season carried at least one CFU of actinomycete. The isolates from bees of one location produced inhibitory bioactivities that were almost exclusively against several bee indigenous Bacillus strains and Gram-positive human pathogens but not Escherichia coli. An antibiotic-producing actinomycete closely related to Nocardiopsis alba was isolated from the guts in every season of the year. A DNA fragment encoding a homologous gene (phzD) involved in phenazine biosynthesis was identified in the isolate. Expression of the phzD detected by reverse transcription-PCR can explain the survival of this organism in anaerobic environments as some redox-active extracellular phenazines are commonly regarded as respiratory electron acceptors. The results raise important questions concerning the roles of the antibiotic-producing actinomycetes and the phenazine-like molecules in honeybee guts and honey. PMID:20846361

  6. Characterization of honeybee venom by MALDI-TOF and nanoESI-QqTOF mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Matysiak, Jan; Schmelzer, Christian E H; Neubert, Reinhard H H; Kokot, Zenon J

    2011-01-25

    The aim of the study was to comprehensively characterize different honeybee venom samples applying two complementary mass spectrometry methods. 41 honeybee venom samples of different bee strains, country of origin (Poland, Georgia, and Estonia), year and season of the venom collection were analyzed using MALDI-TOF and nanoESI-QqTOF-MS. It was possible to obtain semi-quantitative data for 12 different components in selected honeybee venom samples using MALDI-TOF method without further sophisticated and time consuming sample pretreatment. Statistical analysis (ANOVA) has shown that there are qualitative and quantitative differences in the composition between honeybee venom samples collected over different years. It has also been demonstrated that MALDI-TOF spectra can be used as a "protein fingerprint" of honeybee venom in order to confirm the identity of the product. NanoESI-QqTOF-MS was applied especially for identification purposes. Using this technique 16 peptide sequences were identified, including melittin (12 different breakdown products and precursors), apamine, mast cell degranulating peptide and secapin. Moreover, the significant achievement of this study is the fact that the new peptide (HTGAVLAGV+Amidated (C-term), M(r)=822.53Da) has been discovered in bee venom for the first time. PMID:20850943

  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. PMID:21832175

  8. 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. PMID:25590743

  9. Effects of sublethal dose of fipronil on neuron metabolic activity of Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed

    Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Carvalho, Stephan M; Nocelli, Roberta C F; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Palma, Mario Sérgio; Malaspina, Osmar

    2013-04-01

    Fipronil is a neurotoxic insecticide that inhibits the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor and can affect gustative perception, olfactory learning, and motor activity of the honeybee Apis mellifera. This study determined the lethal dose (LD50) and the lethal concentration (LC50) for Africanized honeybee and evaluated the toxicity of a sublethal dose of fipronil on neuron metabolic activity by way of histochemical analysis using cytochrome oxidase detection in brains from worker bees of different ages. In addition, the present study investigated the recovery mechanism by discontinuing the oral exposure to fipronil. The results showed that mushroom bodies of aged Africanized honeybees are affected by fipronil, which causes changes in metabolism by increasing the respiratory activity of mitochondria. In antennal lobes, the sublethal dose of fipronil did not cause an increase in metabolic activity. The recovery experiments showed that discontinued exposure to a diet contaminated with fipronil did not lead to recovery of neural activity. Our results show that even at very low concentrations, fipronil is harmful to honeybees and can induce several types of injuries to honeybee physiology. PMID:23224048

  10. Transcriptome analyses of the honeybee response to Nosema ceranae and insecticides.

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. The genetic architecture of the behavioral ontogeny of foraging in honeybee workers.

    PubMed Central

    Rueppell, Olav; Pankiw, Tanya; Nielsen, David I; Fondrk, M Kim; Beye, Martin; Page, Robert E

    2004-01-01

    The initiation of foraging during the life course of honeybee workers is of central interest to understanding the division of labor in social insects, a central theme in sociobiology and behavioral research. It also provides one of the most complex phenotypic traits in biological systems because of the interaction of various external, social, and individual factors. This study reports on a comprehensive investigation of the genetic architecture of the age of foraging initiation in honeybees. It comprises an estimation of genetic variation, the study of candidate loci, and two complementary quantitative trait loci (QTL) maps using two selected, continually bred lines of honeybees. We conclude that considerable genetic variation exists between the selected lines for this central life history component. The study reveals direct pleiotropic and epistatic effects of candidate loci (including previously identified QTL for foraging behavior). Furthermore, two maps of the honeybee genome were constructed from over 400 AFLP markers. Both maps confirm the extraordinary recombinational size of the honeybee genome. On the basis of these maps, we report four new significant QTL and two more suggestive QTL that influence the initiation of foraging. PMID:15342515

  14. 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. PMID:27468390

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Biomonitoring with honeybees of heavy metals and pesticides in nature reserves of the Marche Region (Italy).

    PubMed

    Ruschioni, Sara; Riolo, Paola; Minuz, Roxana Luisa; Stefano, Mariassunta; Cannella, Maddalena; Porrini, Claudio; Isidoro, Nunzio

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this study was to carry out biomonitoring with honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) to assess the presence of pesticides and heavy metals (cadmium, chromium, nickel, lead) in all of the ten nature reserves of the Marche Region (central–eastern Italy). The study was carried out during the spring and summer seasons when the honeybees were active, over 3 years (2008–2010). Twenty-two colonies of honeybees bred in hives were used. Samples of live and dead honeybees and of honey were collected from 11 sampling stations from May to October in each year. No pesticide pollution was found. Significant differences in heavy metal concentrations were found among years, months and sites, and in particular situations. The analysis reveals that high heavy-metal concentrations occurred exclusively in live honeybees. For the seasonal averages, the most detected heavy metal was chromium, which exceeded the threshold more often than for the other elements, followed by cadmium and lead; nickel never exceeded the threshold. The data are discussed with an evaluation of the natural and anthropic sources taken from the literature and from local situations that were likely to involve heavy metal pollution. PMID:23797576

  18. 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. PMID:18037727

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Interactions among flavonoids of propolis affect antibacterial activity against the honeybee pathogen Paenibacillus larvae.

    PubMed

    Mihai, Cristina Manuela; Mărghitaş, Liviu Al; Dezmirean, Daniel S; Chirilă, Flore; Moritz, Robin F A; Schlüns, Helge

    2012-05-01

    Propolis is derived from plant resins, collected by honeybees (Apis mellifera) and renown for its antibacterial properties. Here we test the antibacterial effects of ethanolic extracts of propolis from different origins on Paenibacillus larvae, the bacterial pathogen that causes American Foulbrood, a larval disease that can kill the honeybee colony. All tested propolis samples inhibited significantly the growth of P. larvae tested in vitro. The extracts showed major differences in the content of total flavonoids (ranging from 2.4% to 16.4%) and the total polyphenols (ranging between 23.3% and 63.2%). We found that it is not only the content of compounds in propolis, which influences the strength of antimicrobial effects but there is also a significant interaction effect among flavonoids of the propolis extracts. We propose that interaction effects among the various chemical compounds in propolis should be taken into account when considering the antibacterial effects against honeybee pathogens. PMID:22386493

  2. 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. PMID:24193050

  3. Virgin honeybee queens fail to suppress worker fertility but not fertility signalling.

    PubMed

    Orlova, Margarita; Malka, Osnat; Hefetz, Abraham

    2013-03-01

    Queen mating status in social insects is a matter of crucial importance for workers because of its influence on the queen's productivity and consequently their fitness. Behavioural and physiological reactions of workers to the queens mating status have been studied as a proxy to mechanisms maintaining insect sociality. Here we show that unmated honeybee queens have considerably impaired capacity to trigger worker sterility and cooperative behaviour in comparison to mated (and thus more productive) queens and that under unmated queens social harmony in honeybee societies and queen's dominant position are somewhat compromised. Together with this it is shown that honeybee workers exposed to unmated queens despite being active reproductively and behaving accordingly display an impaired ability to advertise their fertility compared to queenless workers. These findings suggest that reproductive development, behavioural reactions and production of fertility signals are differentially regulated and differently influenced by the queen's presence. PMID:23232436

  4. 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.

  5. A deficit of detoxification enzymes: pesticide sensitivity and environmental response in the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Claudianos, C; Ranson, H; Johnson, R M; Biswas, S; Schuler, M A; Berenbaum, M R; Feyereisen, R; Oakeshott, J G

    2006-01-01

    The honeybee genome has substantially fewer protein coding genes (≈ 11 000 genes) than Drosophila melanogaster (≈ 13 500) and Anopheles gambiae (≈ 14 000). Some of the most marked differences occur in three superfamilies encoding xenobiotic detoxifying enzymes. Specifically there are only about half as many glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs), cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) and carboxyl/cholinesterases (CCEs) in the honeybee. This includes 10-fold or greater shortfalls in the numbers of Delta and Epsilon GSTs and CYP4 P450s, members of which clades have been recurrently associated with insecticide resistance in other species. These shortfalls may contribute to the sensitivity of the honeybee to insecticides. On the other hand there are some recent radiations in CYP6, CYP9 and certain CCE clades in A. mellifera that could be associated with the evolution of the hormonal and chemosensory processes underpinning its highly organized eusociality. PMID:17069637

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

    PubMed

    Ergin, C; Ilkit, M; Kaftanoglu, O

    2004-10-01

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

  7. `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.

  8. 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. PMID:19011213

  9. Floral odor learning within the hive affects honeybees' foraging decisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

    Honeybees learn odor cues quickly and efficiently when visiting rewarding flowers. Memorization of these cues facilitates the localization and recognition of food sources during foraging flights. Bees can also use information gained inside the hive during social interactions with successful foragers. An important information cue that can be learned during these interactions is food odor. However, little is known about how floral odors learned in the hive affect later decisions of foragers in the field. We studied the effect of food scent on foraging preferences when this learning is acquired directly inside the hive. By using in-hive feeders that were removed 24 h before the test, we showed that foragers use the odor information acquired during a 3-day stimulation period with a scented solution during a food-choice situation outside the nest. This bias in food preference is maintained even 24 h after the replacement of all the hive combs. Thus, without being previously collected outside by foragers, food odors learned within the hive can be used during short-range foraging flights. Moreover, correct landings at a dual-choice device after replacing the storing combs suggests that long-term memories formed within the colony can be retrieved while bees search for food in the field.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:19864296

  12. Selective attention in the honeybee optic lobes precedes behavioral choices

    PubMed Central

    Paulk, Angelique C.; Stacey, Jacqueline A.; Pearson, Thomas W. J.; Taylor, Gavin J.; Moore, Richard J. D.; Srinivasan, Mandyam V.; van Swinderen, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    Attention allows animals to respond selectively to competing stimuli, enabling some stimuli to evoke a behavioral response while others are ignored. How the brain does this remains mysterious, although it is increasingly evident that even animals with the smallest brains display this capacity. For example, insects respond selectively to salient visual stimuli, but it is unknown where such selectivity occurs in the insect brain, or whether neural correlates of attention might predict the visual choices made by an insect. Here, we investigate neural correlates of visual attention in behaving honeybees (Apis mellifera). Using a closed-loop paradigm that allows tethered, walking bees to actively control visual objects in a virtual reality arena, we show that behavioral fixation increases neuronal responses to flickering, frequency-tagged stimuli. Attention-like effects were reduced in the optic lobes during replay of the same visual sequences, when bees were not able to control the visual displays. When bees were presented with competing frequency-tagged visual stimuli, selectivity in the medulla (an optic ganglion) preceded behavioral selection of a stimulus, suggesting that modulation of early visual processing centers precedes eventual behavioral choices made by these insects. PMID:24639490

  13. Quantitative trait loci influencing honeybee alarm pheromone levels.

    PubMed

    Hunt, G J; Collins, A M; Rivera, R; Page, R E; Guzmán-Novoa, E

    1999-01-01

    Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping procedures were used to identify loci that influence the levels of alarm pheromones found in the stinging apparatus of worker honeybees. An F1 queen was produced from a cross between a queen of European origin and a drone descended from an African subspecies. Haploid drones from the hybrid queen were individually backcrossed to European queens to produce 172 colonies. Samples of stings were taken from backcross workers of these colonies. Alarm pheromone levels were determined by gas chromatography. RAPD markers were scored from the haploid drone fathers of these colonies. The multiple-QTL model (MQM) of MapQTL was used to identify QTLs that influence the levels of four alarm pheromone components. Seven independent, potential QTLs were identified with LOD scores greater than two, and one at LOD 1.88. We identified one QTL for n-decyl acetate, three for n-octanol, four for isopentyl acetate, and one for hexyl acetate. One region of linkage group XI shows a strong influence on body size and the levels of three alarm pheromone components. This locus explained 40% of the variance for the amount of n-decyl acetate (LOD 6.57). In general, the QTLs influencing alarm pheromone levels were independent of previously identified loci that influenced the stinging behavior of these colonies. The only exception was a potential locus influencing levels of n-octanol, which was inversely correlated with stinging behavior. PMID:10544503

  14. Rapid Odor Processing in the Honeybee Antennal Lobe Network

    PubMed Central

    Krofczik, Sabine; Menzel, Randolf; Nawrot, Martin P.

    2008-01-01

    In their natural environment, many insects need to identify and evaluate behaviorally relevant odorants on a rich and dynamic olfactory background. Behavioral studies have demonstrated that bees recognize learned odors within <200 ms, indicating a rapid processing of olfactory input in the sensory pathway. We studied the role of the honeybee antennal lobe network in constructing a fast and reliable code of odor identity using in vivo intracellular recordings of individual projection neurons (PNs) and local interneurons (LNs). We found a complementary ensemble code where odor identity is encoded in the spatio-temporal pattern of response latencies as well as in the pattern of activated and inactivated PN firing. This coding scheme rapidly reaches a stable representation within 50–150 ms after stimulus onset. Testing an odor mixture versus its individual compounds revealed different representations in the two morphologically distinct types of lateral- and median PNs (l- and m-PNs). Individual m-PNs mixture responses were dominated by the most effective compound (elemental representation) whereas l-PNs showed suppressed responses to the mixture but not to its individual compounds (synthetic representation). The onset of inhibition in the membrane potential of l-PNs coincided with the responses of putative inhibitory interneurons that responded significantly faster than PNs. Taken together, our results suggest that processing within the LN network of the AL is an essential component of constructing the antennal lobe population code. PMID:19221584

  15. 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. PMID:22140282

  16. 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

  17. Making good choices with variable information: a stochastic model for nest-site selection by honeybees.

    PubMed

    Perdriau, Benjamin S; Myerscough, Mary R

    2007-04-22

    A density-dependent Markov process model is constructed for information transfer among scouts during nest-site selection by honeybees (Apis mellifera). The effects of site quality, competition between sites and delays in site discovery are investigated. The model predicts that bees choose the better of two sites more reliably when both sites are of low quality than when both sites are of high quality and that delay in finding a second site has most effect on the final choice when both sites are of high quality. The model suggests that stochastic effects in honeybee nest-site selection confer no advantage on the swarm. PMID:17301012

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Flight, orientation, and homing abilities of honeybees following exposure to 2. 45-GHz CW microwaves

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-01-01

    Foraging-experienced honeybees retained normal flight, orientation, and memory functions after 30 minutes' exposure to 2.45-GHz CW microwaves at power densities from 3 to 50 mW/cm2. These experiments were conducted at power densities approximating and exceeding those that would be present above receiving antennas of the proposed solar power satellite (SPS) energy transmission system and for a duration exceeding that which honeybees living outside a rectenna might be expected to spend within the rectenna on individual foraging trips. There was no evidence that airborne invertebrates would be significantly affected during transient passage through microwaves associated with SPS ground-based microwave receiving stations.

  20. Energy metabolism, enzymatic flux capacities, and metabolic flux rates in flying honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Suarez, R K; Lighton, J R; Joos, B; Roberts, S P; Harrison, J F

    1996-01-01

    Honeybees rely primarily on the oxidation of hexose sugars to provide the energy required for flight. Measurement of VCO2 (equal to VO2, because VCO2/VO2 = 1.0 during carbohydrate oxidation) during flight allowed estimation of steady-state flux rates through pathways of flight muscle energy metabolism. Comparison of Vmax values for flight muscle hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, citrate synthase, and cytochrome c oxidase with rates of carbon and O2 flux during flight reveal that these enzymes operate closer to Vmax in the flight muscles of flying honeybees than in other muscles previously studied. Possible mechanistic and evolutionary implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:8901631

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

    PubMed

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takayuki; Kubo, Takeo

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:22848371

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:27280405

  10. 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. PMID:25088062

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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

  13. THE ORIGIN OF THE NUCLEIC ACID BASES FOUND IN THE ROYAL JELLY OF THE HONEYBEE

    PubMed Central

    Painter, Theophilus S.

    1969-01-01

    The discovery that the royal jelly of the honeybee contains large quantities of nucleic acids raises the question, “Where do these nucleic acids come from?” A review of pertinent literature strongly suggests that the same mechanism is involved as in the case of the extrachromosomal DNA of amphibian oocytes. PMID:16591784

  14. Molecular identification and functional characterization of an adenylyl cyclase from the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Wachten, Sebastian; Schlenstedt, Jana; Gauss, Renate; Baumann, Arnd

    2006-03-01

    Cyclic AMP (cAMP) serves as an important messenger in virtually all organisms. In the honeybee (Apis mellifera), cAMP-dependent signal transduction has been implicated in behavioural processes as well as in learning and memory. Key components of cAMP-signalling cascades are adenylyl cyclases. However, the molecular identities and biochemical properties of adenylyl cyclases are completely unknown in the honeybee. We have cloned a cDNA (Amac3) from honeybee brain that encodes a membrane-bound adenylyl cyclase. The Amac3 gene is an orthologue of the Drosophila ac39E gene. The corresponding proteins share an overall amino acid similarity of approximately 62%. Phylogenetically, AmAC3 belongs to group 1 adenylyl cyclases. Heterologously expressed AmAC3 displays basal enzymatic activity and efficient coupling to endogenous G protein signalling pathways. Stimulation of beta-adrenergic receptors induces AmAC3 activity with an EC(50) of about 3.1 microm. Enzymatic activity is also increased by forskolin (EC(50) approximately 15 microm), a specific agonist of membrane-bound adenylyl cyclases. Similar to certain biogenic amine receptor genes of the honeybee, Amac3 transcripts are expressed in many somata of the brain, especially in mushroom body neurones. These results suggest that the enzyme serves in biogenic amine signal transduction cascades and in higher brain functions that contribute to learning and memory of the bee. PMID:16464235

  15. 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

  16. Dead or Alive: Deformed Wing Virus and Varroa destructor Reduce the Life Span of Winter Honeybees

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22179240

  17. 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...

  18. Honeybee Foraging Preferences, Effects of Sugars and Fruit Fly Toxic Bait Components

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Field tests were carried out to evaluate the repellence of the fruit fly toxic bait, GF-120, for domestic honeybees. This bait is an organically registered attractive bait for tephritid fruit flies and is composed of hydrolyzed protein (Solulys), invertose sugar, vegetable oils, adjuvants, and oth...

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27118545

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. Derivation of cell-adapted Sacbrood virus (SBV) from the native Korean honeybee.

    PubMed

    Kweon, Chang-Hee; Yoo, Mi-Sun; Noh, Jin-Hyeong; Reddy, Kondreddy Eswar; Yang, Dong-Kun; Cha, Sang-Ho; Kang, Seung-Won

    2015-02-16

    Sacbrood virus (SBV), a causative agent of larval death in honeybees, is one of the most devastating diseases in bee industry throughout the world. Lately the Korean Sacbrood virus (KSBV) induced great losses in Korean honeybee (Apis cerana) colonies. However, there is no culture system available for honeybee viruses, including SBV, therefore, the research on honeybee viruses is practically limited until present. In this study, we investigated the growth and replication of SBV in cell cultures. The replication signs of KSBV after passages from mammalian cells was identified and confirmed by using combined approaches with nested, quantitative, negative-strand PCR and electron microscopy along with in vivo experiment. The results revealed that mammalian cell lines, including Vero cells could support the replication KSBV. Although there were no signs of cytopathic effect (CPE) in cells, it was for the first time demonstrated that SBV could be replicated in cells through the sequential passages linked with cell adaptation. KSBV from the present study would be a valuable source to understand the mechanism of pathogenicity of sacbrood virus in the future. PMID:25527463

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Computational and transcriptional evidence for microRNAs in the honeybee genome.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Noncoding microRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression in eukaryotes. Insect miRNAs help regulate the levels of proteins involved with development, metabolism, and other life history traits. The recently sequenced honeybee genome provides an opportunity to detect novel miRNAs in both th...

  13. How regulation based on a common stomach leads to economic optimization of honeybee foraging.

    PubMed

    Schmickl, Thomas; Karsai, Istvan

    2016-01-21

    Simple regulatory mechanisms based on the idea of the saturable 'common stomach' can control the regulation of protein foraging and protein allocation in honeybee colonies and colony-level responses to environmental changes. To study the economic benefits of pollen and nectar foraging strategies of honeybees to both plants and honeybees under different environmental conditions, a model was developed and analyzed. Reallocation of the foraging workforce according to the quality and availability of resources (an 'adaptive' strategy used by honeybees) is not only a successful strategy for the bees but also for plants, because intensified pollen foraging after rain periods (when nectar quality is low) compensates a major fraction of the pollination flights lost during the rain. The 'adaptive' strategy performed better than the'fixed' (steady, minimalistic, and non-adaptive foraging without feedback) or the 'proactive' (stockpiling in anticipation of rain) strategies in brood survival and or in nectar/sugar economics. The time pattern of rain periods has profound effect on the supply-and-demand of proteins. A tropical rain pattern leads to a shortage of the influx of pollen and nectar, but it has a less profound impact on brood mortality than a typical continental rainfall pattern. Allocating more bees for pollen foraging has a detrimental effect on the nectar stores, therefore while saving larvae from starvation the 'proactive' strategy could fail to collect enough nectar for surviving winter. PMID:26576492

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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, respectively). They…

  20. 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

  1. Proteome Analysis of the Hemolymph, Mushroom Body, and Antenna Provides Novel Insight into Honeybee Resistance against Varroa Infestation.

    PubMed

    Hu, Han; Bienefeld, Kaspar; Wegener, Jakob; Zautke, Fred; Hao, Yue; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Wubie, Abebe Jenberie; Li, Jianke

    2016-08-01

    Varroa destructor has been identified as a major culprit responsible for the losses of millions of honeybee colonies. Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) is a suite of behaviors from adult bees to suppress mite reproduction by uncapping and/or removing mite infested pupae from a sealed brood. Despite the efforts to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of VSH, they remain largely unknown. We investigated the proteome of mushroom bodies (MBs) and antennae of adult bees with and without VSH from a stock selected for VSH based on their response to artificially Varroa-infected brood cells by near-infrared camera observation. The pupal hemolymph proteome was also compared between the VSH-line and the line that was not selected for VSH. The identified 8609 proteins in the hemolymph, MBs, and antennae represent the most depth coverage of the honeybee proteome (>55%) to date. In the hemolymph, the VSH-line adapts a unique strategy to boost the social immunity and drive pupal organogenesis by enhancing energy metabolism and protein biosynthesis. In MBs, the up-regulated proteins implicated in neuronal sensitivity suggest their roles to promote the execution of VSH by activation of synaptic vesicles and calcium channel activities. In antennae, the highly expressed proteins associated with sensitivity of olfactory senses and signal transmissions signify their roles by inputting a strong signal to the MBs for initiating VSH. These observations illustrate that the enhanced social immunities and olfactory and neuronal sensitivity play key roles in the combat against Varroa infestation. The identified candidate markers may be useful for accelerating marker-associated selection for VSH to aid in resistance to a parasite responsible for decline in honeybee health. PMID:27384112

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:25048715

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Deconstructing honeybee vitellogenin: novel 40 kDa fragment assigned to its N terminus

    PubMed Central

    Havukainen, Heli; Halskau, Øyvind; Skjaerven, Lars; Smedal, Bente; Amdam, Gro V.

    2011-01-01

    Vitellogenin, an egg-yolk protein precursor common to oviparous animals, is found abundantly in honeybee workers – a caste of helpers that do not usually lay eggs. Instead, honeybee vitellogenin (180 kDa) participates in processes other than reproduction: it influences hormone signaling, food-related behavior, immunity, stress resistance and longevity. The molecular basis of these functions is largely unknown. Here, we establish and compare the molecular properties of vitellogenin from honeybee hemolymph (blood) and abdominal fat body, two compartments that are linked to vitellogenin functions. Our results reveal a novel 40 kDa vitellogenin fragment in abdominal fat body tissue, the main site for vitellogenin synthesis and storage. Using MALDI-TOF combined with MS/MS mass-spectroscopy, we assign the 40 kDa fragment to the N terminus of vitellogenin, whereas a previously observed 150 kDa fragment corresponded to the remainder of the protein. We show that both protein units are N glycosylated and phosphorylated. Focusing on the novel 40 kDa fragment, we present a homology model based on the structure of lamprey lipovitellin that includes a conserved β-barrel-like shape, with a lipophilic cavity in the interior and two insect-specific loops that have not been described before. Our data indicate that the honeybee fat body vitellogenin experiences cleavage unlike hemolymph vitellogenin, a pattern that can suggest a tissue-specific role. Our experiments advance the molecular understanding of vitellogenin, of which the multiple physiological and behavioral effects in honeybees are well established. PMID:21270306

  8. 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. PMID:25149247

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:19775273

  12. Winter losses of honeybee colonies (Hymenoptera: Apidae): the role of infestations with Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) and Varroa destructor (Parasitiformes: Varroidae).

    PubMed

    Schäfer, Marc O; Ritter, Wolfgang; Pettis, Jeff S; Neumann, Peter

    2010-02-01

    Multiple infections of managed honeybee, Apis mellifera, colonies are inevitable due to the ubiquitous ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and might be an underlying cause of winter losses. Here we investigated the role of adult small hive beetles, Aethina tumida, alone and in combination with V. destructor for winter losses and for infections with the microsporidian endoparasite Nosema ceranae. We found no significant influence of A. tumida and V. destructor alone or in combination on the numbers of N. ceranae spores. Likewise, A. tumida alone had no significant effects on winter losses, which is most likely due to the observed high winter mortality of the adult beetles. Therefore, our data suggest that A. tumida is unlikely to contribute to losses of overwintering honeybee colonies. However, high losses occurred in all groups highly infested with V. destructor, supporting the central role of the mite for colony losses. PMID:20214362

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  17. 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. PMID:22251890

  18. 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.

  19. Oviposition by small hive beetles elicits hygienic responses from Cape honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ellis, J D; Richards, C S; Hepburn, H R; Elzen, P J

    2003-11-01

    Two novel behaviours, both adaptations of small hive beetles ( Aethina tumida Murray) and Cape honeybees ( Apis mellifera capensis Esch.), are described. Beetles puncture the sides of empty cells and oviposit under the pupae in adjoining cells. However, bees detect this ruse and remove infested brood (hygienic behaviour), even under such well-disguised conditions. Indeed, bees removed 91% of treatment brood (brood cells with punctured walls caused by beetles) but only 2% of control brood (brood not exposed to beetles). Only 91% of treatment brood actually contained beetle eggs; the data therefore suggest that bees remove only that brood containing beetle eggs and leave uninfected brood alone, even if beetles have accessed (but not oviposited on) the brood. Although this unique oviposition strategy by beetles appears both elusive and adaptive, Cape honeybees are able to detect and remove virtually all of the infested brood. PMID:14610654

  20. Prison construction and guarding behaviour by European honeybees is dependent on inmate small hive beetle density.

    PubMed

    Ellis, J D; Hepburn, H R; Ellis, A M; Elzen, P J

    2003-08-01

    Increasing small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) density changes prison construction and guarding behaviour in European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.). These changes include more guard bees per imprisoned beetle and the construction of more beetle prisons at the higher beetle density. Despite this, the number of beetles per prison (inmate density) did not change. Beetles solicited food more actively at the higher density and at night. In response, guard bees increased their aggressive behaviour towards beetle prisoners but did not feed beetles more at the higher density. Only 5% of all beetles were found among the combs at the low density but this percentage increased five-fold at the higher one. Successful comb infiltration (and thus reproduction) by beetles is a possible explanation for the significant damage beetles cause to European honeybee colonies in the USA. PMID:12955230

  1. Development and evolution of caste dimorphism in honeybees – a modeling approach

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23301175

  2. Distribution of sulfathiazole in honey, beeswax, and honeybees and the persistence of residues in treated hives.

    PubMed

    Martinello, Marianna; Baggio, Alessandra; Gallina, Albino; Mutinelli, Franco

    2013-09-25

    This study was performed to evaluate the distribution and depletion of sulfathiazole in different beehive matrices: honey, honeybees, "pre-existing" honeycomb, "new" honeycomb, and capping wax. Sulfathiazole was dissolved in sugar syrup or directly powdered on the combs, the matrices were sampled at different time points, and sulfathiazole residues were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. In honey, the higher concentration of sulfathiazole (180 mg kg(-1)) occurred 2 weeks after the last treatment in syrup. In beeswax, drug concentration was higher than in honey, particularly with powder administration, with a maximum level (340 mg kg(-1)) 3 days following the last treatment. The strongest contamination in honeybees (28 mg kg(-1)) was achieved with sulfathiazole administered in powder 3 days after the second treatment. The high persistence of sulfathiazole in the different beehive matrices suggests that it could be a reliable marker of previous treatments performed by beekeepers. PMID:23978000

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:9317523

  6. Genetic diversity within honeybee colonies prevents severe infections and promotes colony growth.

    PubMed Central

    Tarpy, David R

    2003-01-01

    Multiple mating by social insect queens increases the genetic diversity among colony members, thereby reducing intracolony relatedness and lowering the potential inclusive fitness gains of altruistic workers. Increased genetic diversity may be adaptive, however, by reducing the prevalence of disease within a nest. Honeybees, whose queens have the highest levels of multiple mating among social insects, were investigated to determine whether genetic variation helps to prevent chronic infections. I instrumentally inseminated honeybee queens with semen that was either genetically similar (from one male) or genetically diverse (from multiple males), and then inoculated their colonies with spores of Ascosphaera apis, a fungal pathogen that kills developing brood. I show that genetically diverse colonies had a lower variance in disease prevalence than genetically similar colonies, which suggests that genetic diversity may benefit colonies by preventing severe infections. PMID:12596763

  7. Observations and temporal model of a honeybee's hairy tongue in microfluid transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Chenjia; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-11-01

    Nectarivorous insects are endowed with specific mouthparts, which provide an inspiration for the design of micropumps. We combined the postmortem examination and high-speed imaging to observe the kinematics of the honeybee's tongue. We found an asynchronization between the tongue movement and the glossa hair erection. We propose a physical model to describe the feeding process considering the trade-off between nectar-intake volume and energy consumption. This asynchronization is validated to be effective in maximizing the nectar-intake amount by theoretically figuring out the optimal moment when the glossal hairs began to erect. Our results reveal that the honeybee not only develops a subtle tongue with erectable glossal hairs but also preforms a highly evolved scheduled coordination between tongue movements and hair erection, which could serve as valuable models for developing miniature pumps that are both extendable and have dynamic surfaces.

  8. 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

    2015-11-01

    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

  9. Toxic but Drank: Gustatory Aversive Compounds Induce Post-ingestional Malaise in Harnessed Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Ayestaran, Ainara

    2010-01-01

    Background Deterrent substances produced by plants are relevant due to their potential toxicity. The fact that most of these substances have an unpalatable taste for humans and other mammals contrasts with the fact that honeybees do not reject them in the range of concentrations in which these compounds are present in flower nectars. Here we asked whether honeybees detect and ingest deterrent substances and whether these substances are really toxic to them. Results We show that pairing aversive substances with an odor retards learning of this odor when it is subsequently paired with sucrose. Harnessed honeybees in the laboratory ingest without reluctance a considerable volume (20 µl) of various aversive substances, even if some of them induce significant post-ingestional mortality. These substances do not seem, therefore, to be unpalatable to harnessed bees but induce a malaise-like state that in some cases results in death. Consistently with this finding, bees learning that one odor is associated with sugar, and experiencing in a subsequent phase that the sugar was paired with 20 µl of an aversive substance (devaluation phase), respond less than control bees to the odor and the sugar. Such stimulus devaluation can be accounted for by the malaise-like state induced by the aversive substances. Conclusion Our results indicate that substances that taste bitter to humans as well as concentrated saline solutions base their aversive effect on the physiological consequences that their ingestion generates in harnessed bees rather than on an unpalatable taste. This conclusion is only valid for harnessed bees in the laboratory as freely-moving bees might react differently to aversive compounds could actively reject aversive substances. Our results open a new possibility to study conditioned taste aversion based on post-ingestional malaise and thus broaden the spectrum of aversive learning protocols available in honeybees. PMID:21060877

  10. 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.

  11. Behavioral and Neurophysiological Study of Olfactory Perception and Learning in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22163215

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:25031259

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. The Bacterium Frischella perrara Causes Scab Formation in the Gut of its Honeybee Host

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, Kelsey D.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Honeybees harbor well-defined bacterial communities in their guts. The major members of these communities appear to benefit the host, but little is known about how they interact with the host and specifically how they interface with the host immune system. In the pylorus, a short region between the midgut and hindgut, honeybees frequently exhibit scab-like structures on the epithelial gut surface. These structures are reminiscent of a melanization response of the insect immune system. Despite the wide distribution of this phenotype in honeybee populations, its cause has remained elusive. Here, we show that the presence of a common member of the bee gut microbiota, the gammaproteobacterium Frischella perrara, correlates with the appearance of the scab phenotype. Bacterial colonization precedes scab formation, and F. perrara specifically localizes to the melanized regions of the host epithelium. Under controlled laboratory conditions, we demonstrate that exposure of microbiota-free bees to F. perrara but not to other bacteria results in scab formation. This shows that F. perrara can become established in a spatially restricted niche in the gut and triggers a morphological change of the epithelial surface, potentially due to a host immune response. As an intermittent colonizer, this bacterium holds promise for addressing questions of community invasion in a simple yet relevant model system. Moreover, our results show that gut symbionts of bees engage in differential host interactions that are likely to affect gut homeostasis. Future studies should focus on how these different gut bacteria impact honeybee health. PMID:25991680

  16. 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. PMID:27324340

  17. 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

  18. Spider Movement, UV Reflectance and Size, but Not Spider Crypsis, Affect the Response of Honeybees to Australian Crab Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Llandres, Ana L.; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21359183

  19. EPIDEMIOLOGY OF HONEYBEE STING CASES IN THE STATE OF CEARÁ, NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL.

    PubMed

    Diniz, Ana Gilza Quaresma; Belmino, José Franscidavid Barbosa; Araújo, Kaliany Adja Medeiros de; 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. Secreted and immunogenic proteins produced by the honeybee bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae.

    PubMed

    Antúnez, Karina; Anido, Matilde; Evans, Jay D; Zunino, Pablo

    2010-03-24

    American Foulbrood is a severe disease affecting larvae of honeybee Apis mellifera, causing significant decrease in the honeybee population, beekeeping industries and agricultural production. In spite of its importance, little is known about the virulence factors secreted by Paenibacillus larvae during larval infection. The aim of the present work was to perform a first approach to the identification and characterization of P. larvae secretome. P. larvae secreted proteins were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and identified by MALDI-TOF. Protein toxicity was evaluated using an experimental model based on feeding of A. mellifera larvae and immunogenicity was evaluated by Western blot, using an antiserum raised against cells and spores of P. larvae. Ten different proteins were identified among P. larvae secreted proteins, including proteins involved in transcription, metabolism, translation, cell envelope, transport, protein folding, degradation of polysaccharides and motility. Although most of these proteins are cytosolic, many of them have been previously detected in the extracellular medium of different Bacillus spp. cultures and have been related to virulence. The secreted proteins resulted highly toxic and immunogenic when larvae were exposed using an experimental model. This is the first description of proteins secreted by the honeybee pathogen P. larvae. This information may be relevant for the elucidation of bacterial pathogenesis mechanisms. PMID:19781868

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  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. PMID:25169944

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID:21527730

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

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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. PMID:25072247

  8. 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. PMID:26136497

  9. Color Difference and Memory Recall in Free-Flying Honeybees: Forget the Hard Problem.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Adrian G; Garcia, Jair E

    2014-01-01

    Free-flying honeybees acquire color information differently depending upon whether a target color is learnt in isolation (absolute conditioning), or in relation to a perceptually similar color (differential conditioning). Absolute conditioning allows for rapid learning, but color discrimination is coarse. Differential conditioning requires more learning trials, but enables fine discriminations. Currently it is unknown whether differential conditioning to similar colors in honeybees forms a long-term memory, and the stability of memory in a biologically relevant scenario considering similar or saliently different color stimuli. Individual free-flying honeybees (N = 6) were trained to similar color stimuli separated by 0.06 hexagon units for 60 trials and mean accuracy was 81.7% ± 12.2% s.d. Bees retested on subsequent days showed a reduction in the number of correct choices with increasing time from the initial training, and for four of the bees this reduction was significant from chance expectation considering binomially distributed logistic regression models. In contrast, an independent group of 6 bees trained to saliently different colors (>0.14 hexagon units) did not experience any decay in memory retention with increasing time. This suggests that whilst the bees' visual system can permit fine discriminations, flowers producing saliently different colors are more easily remembered by foraging bees over several days. PMID:26462830

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:27053744

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Signal extraction from movies of honeybee brain activity: the ImageBee plugin for KNIME

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In the antennal lobe, a dedicated olfactory center of the honeybee brain, odours are encoded as activity patterns of coding units, the so-called glomeruli. Optical imaging with calcium-sensitive dyes allows us to record these activity patterns and to gain insight into olfactory information processing in the brain. Method We introduce ImageBee, a plugin for the data analysis platform KNIME. ImageBee provides a variety of tools for processing optical imaging data. The main algorithm behind ImageBee is a matrix factorisation approach. Motivated by a data-specific, non-negative mixture model, the algorithm aims to select the generating extreme vectors of a convex cone that contains the data. It approximates the movie matrix by non-negative combinations of the extreme vectors. These correspond to pure glomerular signals that are not mixed with neighbour signals. Results Evaluation shows that the proposed algorithm can identify the relevant biological signals on imaging data from the honeybee AL, as well as it can recover implanted source signals from artificial data. Conclusions ImageBee enables automated data processing and visualisation for optical imaging data from the insect AL. The modular implementation for KNIME offers a flexible platform for data analysis projects, where modules can be rearranged or added depending on the particular application. Availability ImageBee can be installed via the KNIME update service. Installation instructions are available at http://tech.knime.org/imagebee-analysing-imaging-data-from-the-honeybee-brain. PMID:24564238

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:24285196

  3. Switchable Wettability of the Honeybee's Tongue Surface Regulated by Erectable Glossal Hairs.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ji; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-01-01

    Various nectarivorous animals apply bushy-hair-equipped tongues to lap nectar from nectaries of flowers. A typical example is provided by the Italian honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica), who protracts and retracts its tongue (glossa) through a temporary tube, and actively controls the erectable glossal hairs to load nectar. We first examined the microstructure of the honeybee's glossal surface, recorded the kinematics of its glossal hairs during nectar feeding process and observed the rhythmical hair erection pattern clearly. Then we measured the wettability of the glossal surface under different erection angles (EA) in sugar water of the mass concentration from 25 to 45%, mimicked by elongating the glossa specimens. The results show that the EA in retraction approximately remains stable under different nectar concentrations. In a specific concentration (35, 45, or 55%), the contact angle decreases and glossal surface area increases while the EA of glossal hairs rises, the glossa therefore could dynamically alter the glossal surface and wettability in foraging activities, not only reducing the energy consumption for impelling the nectar during tongue protraction, but also improving the nectar-trapping volume for feeding during glossa retraction. The dynamic glossal surface with switchable wettability regulated by erectable hairs may reveal the effective adaptation of the honeybee to nectar intake activities. PMID:26643560

  4. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry determination of metals in honeybee venom.

    PubMed

    Kokot, Zenon J; Matysiak, Jan

    2008-11-01

    Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) technique was used to analyze the contamination of selected 20 metals in 32 samples of honeybee venom and to demonstrate differences in the content of these elements. Among the analyzed metal microelements (Al, Co, Cu, Zn, Mn, Mo, B, V, Sr and Ni), macro-elements (Ca, Mg, K and Na) and toxic metals (As, Ba, Pb, Cd, Sb and Cr) were identified. The presented results showed that the metal levels in honeybee venom are much lower than the tolerable upper intake levels for the elements. Also the toxic metal contamination is much lower than the permissible levels for drugs established by the United States Pharmacopeia and the European Pharmacopeia. As opposed to the pharmacopeial tests for metals, a multi-element ICP-MS method has been developed. In order to confirm data obtained, the following steps and parameters were taken into account for the validation of the method: calibration verification, recovery, accuracy, precision, detection limit (LOD), quantitation limit (LOQ), spectral and matrix interference and comparison between ICP-MS and GFAAS (graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry) for Mn. All steps of validation proved the accuracy of the results. This is most likely the first study in which the metal content in honeybee venom was evaluated by ICP-MS. PMID:18617350

  5. 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

  6. A parent-of-origin effect on honeybee worker ovary size

    PubMed Central

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P.; Allsopp, Michael H.; Roth, Katherine M.; Remnant, Emily J.; Drewell, Robert A.; Beekman, Madeleine

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24285196

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Honeybees and their products as potential bioindicators of heavy metals contamination.

    PubMed

    Conti, M E; Botrè, F

    2001-07-01

    The concentrations of three representative heavy metals (cadmium, chromium and lead) were measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy in honeybees and in apiary's products (honey, pollen, propolis, and wax). Samples were collected from five different sampling points: four from areas surrounding the city of Rome, and the fifth in the city center which receives intense vehicular traffic. All apiaries employed for this study were specifically constructed without any metal part in order to avoid the risk of contamination of the assayed materials. Sample collection was conducted over a 3-month period (6 samplings for honey and pollen, 3 sampling for propolis and wax, 2 samplings for honeybees, all of which were collected in duplicate). Experimental data revealed, in general, statistically significant differences between the background levels of heavy metals recorded from the reference sites and the levels measured in the site located in the center of the city of Rome. These results indicate that honeybees and, to a lesser extent, some of their products (pollen, propolis, wax, but not honey), can be considered representative bioindicators of environmental pollution. PMID:11497382

  10. The worker honeybee fat body proteome is extensively remodeled preceding a major life-history transition.

    PubMed

    Chan, Queenie W T; Mutti, Navdeep S; Foster, Leonard J; Kocher, Sarah D; Amdam, Gro V; Wolschin, Florian

    2011-01-01

    Honeybee workers are essentially sterile female helpers that make up the majority of individuals in a colony. Workers display a marked change in physiology when they transition from in-nest tasks to foraging. Recent technological advances have made it possible to unravel the metabolic modifications associated with this transition. Previous studies have revealed extensive remodeling of brain, thorax, and hypopharyngeal gland biochemistry. However, data on changes in the abdomen is scarce. To narrow this gap we investigated the proteomic composition of abdominal tissue in the days typically preceding the onset of foraging in honeybee workers. In order to get a broader representation of possible protein dynamics, we used workers of two genotypes with differences in the age at which they initiate foraging. This approach was combined with RNA interference-mediated downregulation of an insulin/insulin-like signaling component that is central to foraging behavior, the insulin receptor substrate (irs), and with measurements of glucose and lipid levels. Our data provide new insight into the molecular underpinnings of phenotypic plasticity in the honeybee, invoke parallels with vertebrate metabolism, and support an integrated and irs-dependent association of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism with the transition from in-nest tasks to foraging. PMID:21969861

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. 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. PMID:27358367

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

  2. Characterization of the honeybee AmNaV1 channel and tools to assess the toxicity of insecticides.

    PubMed

    Gosselin-Badaroudine, Pascal; Moreau, Adrien; Delemotte, Lucie; Cens, Thierry; Collet, Claude; Rousset, Matthieu; Charnet, Pierre; Klein, Michael L; Chahine, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    Pollination is important for both agriculture and biodiversity. For a significant number of plants, this process is highly, and sometimes exclusively, dependent on the pollination activity of honeybees. The large numbers of honeybee colony losses reported in recent years have been attributed to colony collapse disorder. Various hypotheses, including pesticide overuse, have been suggested to explain the disorder. Using the Xenopus oocytes expression system and two microelectrode voltage-clamp, we report the functional expression and the molecular, biophysical, and pharmacological characterization of the western honeybee's sodium channel (Apis Mellifera NaV1). The NaV1 channel is the primary target for pyrethroid insecticides in insect pests. We further report that the honeybee's channel is also sensitive to permethrin and fenvalerate, respectively type I and type II pyrethroid insecticides. Molecular docking of these insecticides revealed a binding site that is similar to sites previously identified in other insects. We describe in vitro and in silico tools that can be used to test chemical compounds. Our findings could be used to assess the risks that current and next generation pesticides pose to honeybee populations. PMID:26202396

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lunau, Klaus; Unseld, Katrin; Wolter, Franziska

    2009-12-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:19906878

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  8. 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. PMID:22431987

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2012-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  12. 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. PMID:26222207

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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. PMID:15561423

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Sex Determination in Honeybees: Two Separate Mechanisms Induce and Maintain the Female Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Gempe, Tanja; Hasselmann, Martin; Schiøtt, Morten; Hause, Gerd; Otte, Marianne; Beye, Martin

    2009-01-01

    Organisms have evolved a bewildering diversity of mechanisms to generate the two sexes. The honeybee (Apis mellifera) employs an interesting system in which sex is determined by heterozygosity at a single locus (the Sex Determination Locus) harbouring the complementary sex determiner (csd) gene. Bees heterozygous at Sex Determination Locus are females, whereas bees homozygous or hemizygous are males. Little is known, however, about the regulation that links sex determination to sexual differentiation. To investigate the control of sexual development in honeybees, we analyzed the functions and the regulatory interactions of genes involved in the sex determination pathway. We show that heterozygous csd is only required to induce the female pathway, while the feminizer (fem) gene maintains this decision throughout development. By RNAi induced knockdown we show that the fem gene is essential for entire female development and that the csd gene exclusively processes the heterozygous state. Fem activity is also required to maintain the female determined pathway throughout development, which we show by mosaic structures in fem-repressed intersexuals. We use expression of Fem protein in males to demonstrate that the female maintenance mechanism is controlled by a positive feedback splicing loop in which Fem proteins mediate their own synthesis by directing female fem mRNA splicing. The csd gene is only necessary to induce this positive feedback loop in early embryogenesis by directing splicing of fem mRNAs. Finally, fem also controls the splicing of Am-doublesex transcripts encoding conserved male- and female-specific transcription factors involved in sexual differentiation. Our findings reveal how the sex determination process is realized in honeybees differing from Drosophila melanogaster. PMID:19841734

  17. 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. PMID:21902748

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:26830634

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-05-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Continuous production of flexible fibers from transgenically produced honeybee silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Poole, Jacinta; Church, Jeffrey S; Woodhead, Andrea L; Huson, Mickey G; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Kyratzis, Ilias L; Sutherland, Tara D

    2013-10-01

    Flexible and solvent stable fibers are produced after concentrated recombinant honeybee protein solutions are extruded into a methanol bath, dried, drawn in aqueous methanol, then covalently cross-linked using dry heat. Proteins in solution are predominantly coiled coil. Significant levels of non-orientated ß-sheets form during drying or after coagulation in aqueous methanol. Drawing generally aligns the coiled coil component parallel with the fibre axis and ß-sheet component perpendicular to the fiber axis. The fibres are readily handled, stable in the strong protein denaturants, urea and guanidinium, and suitable for a range of applications such as weaving and knitting. PMID:23881528

  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. PMID:25971358

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:23844170

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Long-Term Exposure to Antibiotics Has Caused Accumulation of Resistance Determinants in the Gut Microbiota of Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Baoyu; Fadhil, Nibal H.; Powell, J. Elijah; Kwong, Waldan K.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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. PMID:23111871

  18. 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. PMID:24077437

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Complete Genome Sequences of Nine Phages Capable of Infecting Paenibacillus larvae, the Causative Agent of American Foulbrood Disease in Honeybees.

    PubMed

    Tsourkas, Philippos K; 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-27

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Short-amplitude high-frequency wing strokes determine the aerodynamics of honeybee flight.

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-13

    Most insects are thought to fly by creating a leading-edge vortex that remains attached to the wing as it translates through a stroke. In the species examined so far, stroke amplitude is large, and most of the aerodynamic force is produced halfway through a stroke when translation velocities are highest. Here we demonstrate that honeybees use an alternative strategy, hovering with relatively low stroke amplitude (approximately 90 degrees) and high wingbeat frequency (approximately 230 Hz). When measured on a dynamically scaled robot, the kinematics of honeybee wings generate prominent force peaks during the beginning, middle, and end of each stroke, indicating the importance of additional unsteady mechanisms at stroke reversal. When challenged to fly in low-density heliox, bees responded by maintaining nearly constant wingbeat frequency while increasing stroke amplitude by nearly 50%. We examined the aerodynamic consequences of this change in wing motion by using artificial kinematic patterns in which amplitude was systematically increased in 5 degrees increments. To separate the aerodynamic effects of stroke velocity from those due to amplitude, we performed this analysis under both constant frequency and constant velocity conditions. The results indicate that unsteady forces during stroke reversal make a large contribution to net upward force during hovering but play a diminished role as the animal increases stroke amplitude and flight power. We suggest that the peculiar kinematics of bees may reflect either a specialization for increasing load capacity or a physiological limitation of their flight muscles. PMID:16330767

  7. Decision-making in honeybee swarms based on quality and distance information of candidate nest sites.

    PubMed

    Laomettachit, Teeraphan; Termsaithong, Teerasit; Sae-Tang, Anuwat; Duangphakdee, Orawan

    2015-01-01

    In the nest-site selection process of honeybee swarms, an individual bee performs a waggle dance to communicate information about direction, quality, and distance of a discovered site to other bees at the swarm. Initially, different groups of bees dance to represent different potential sites, but eventually the swarm usually reaches an agreement for only one site. Here, we model the nest-site selection process in honeybee swarms of Apis mellifera and show how the swarms make adaptive decisions based on a trade-off between the quality and distance to candidate nest sites. We use bifurcation analysis and stochastic simulations to reveal that the swarm's site distance preference is moderate>near>far when the swarms choose between low quality sites. However, the distance preference becomes near>moderate>far when the swarms choose between high quality sites. Our simulations also indicate that swarms with large population size prefer nearer sites and, in addition, are more adaptive at making decisions based on available information compared to swarms with smaller population size. PMID:25218431

  8. Metalloprotease production by Paenibacillus larvae during the infection of honeybee larvae.

    PubMed

    Antúnez, Karina; Arredondo, Daniela; Anido, Matilde; Zunino, Pablo

    2011-05-01

    American foulbrood is a bacterial disease of worldwide distribution that affects larvae of the honeybee Apis mellifera. The causative agent is the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. Several authors have proposed that P. larvae secretes metalloproteases that are involved in the larval degradation that occurs after infection. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the production of a metalloprotease by P. larvae during larval infection. First, the complete gene encoding a metalloprotease was identified in the P. larvae genome and its distribution was evaluated by PCR in a collection of P. larvae isolates from different geographical regions. Then, the complete gene was amplified, cloned and overexpressed, and the recombinant metalloprotease was purified and used to generate anti-metalloprotease antibodies. Metalloprotease production was evaluated by immunofluorescence and fluorescence in situ hybridization. The gene encoding a P. larvae metalloprotease was widely distributed in isolates from different geographical origins in Uruguay and Argentina. Metalloprotease was detected inside P. larvae vegetative cells, on the surface of P. larvae spores and secreted to the external growth medium. Its production was also confirmed in vivo, during the infection of honeybee larvae. This protein was able to hydrolyse milk proteins as described for P. larvae, suggesting that could be involved in larval degradation. This work contributes to the knowledge of the pathogenicity mechanisms of a bacterium of great economic significance and is one step in the characterization of potential P. larvae virulence factors. PMID:21330433

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

    PubMed

    Antúnez, Karina; Anido, Matilde; Schlapp, Geraldine; Evans, Jay D; Zunino, Pablo

    2009-10-01

    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 secretes proteases that could be involved in the pathogenicity. In the present article, we present the secretion of different proteases by P. larvae. Inhibition assays confirmed the presence of metalloproteases. Two different proteases patterns (PP1 and PP2) were identified in a collection of P. larvae isolates from different geographic origin. Forty nine percent of P. larvae isolates showed pattern PP1 while 51% exhibited pattern PP2. Most isolates belonging to genotype ERIC I - BOX A presented PP2, most isolates belonging to ERIC I - BOX C presented PP1 although relations were not significant. Isolates belonging to genotypes ERIC II and ERIC III presented PP2. No correlation was observed between the secreted proteases patterns and geographic distribution, since both patterns are widely distributed in Uruguay. According to exposure bioassays, isolates showing PP2 are more virulent than those showing PP1, suggesting that difference in pathogenicity could be related to the secretion of proteases. PMID:19638278

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-15

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

  11. Honey loading for pollen collection: regulation of crop content in honeybee pollen foragers on leaving hive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harano, Ken-ichi; Mitsuhata-Asai, Akiko; Sasaki, Masami

    2014-07-01

    Before foraging honeybees leave the hive, each bee loads its crop with some amount of honey "fuel" depending on the distance to the food source and foraging experience. For pollen collection, there is evidence that foragers carry additional honey as "glue" to build pollen loads. This study examines whether pollen foragers of the European honeybee Apis mellifera regulate the size of the crop load according to food-source distances upon leaving the hive and how foraging experience affects load regulation. The crop contents of bees foraging on crape myrtle Lagerstroemia indica, which has no nectary, were larger than those foraging on nectar from other sources, confirming a previous finding that pollen foragers carry glue in addition to fuel honey from the hive. Crop contents of both waggle dancers and dance followers showed a significant positive correlation with waggle-run durations. These results suggest that bees carry a distance-dependent amount of fuel honey in addition to a fixed amount of glue honey. Crop contents on leaving the hive were statistically larger in dancers than followers. Based on these results, we suggest that pollen foragers use information obtained through foraging experience to adjust crop contents on leaving the hive.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. So near and yet so far: harmonic radar reveals reduced homing ability of Nosema infected honeybees.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Stephan; McMahon, Dino P; Lim, Ka S; Pull, Christopher D; Clark, Suzanne J; Paxton, Robert J; Osborne, Juliet L

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens may gain a fitness advantage through manipulation of the behaviour of their hosts. Likewise, host behavioural changes can be a defence mechanism, counteracting the impact of pathogens on host fitness. We apply harmonic radar technology to characterize the impact of an emerging pathogen--Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia)--on honeybee (Apis mellifera) flight and orientation performance in the field. Honeybees are the most important commercial pollinators. Emerging diseases have been proposed to play a prominent role in colony decline, partly through sub-lethal behavioural manipulation of their hosts. We found that homing success was significantly reduced in diseased (65.8%) versus healthy foragers (92.5%). Although lost bees had significantly reduced continuous flight times and prolonged resting times, other flight characteristics and navigational abilities showed no significant difference between infected and non-infected bees. Our results suggest that infected bees express normal flight characteristics but are constrained in their homing ability, potentially compromising the colony by reducing its resource inputs, but also counteracting the intra-colony spread of infection. We provide the first high-resolution analysis of sub-lethal effects of an emerging disease on insect flight behaviour. The potential causes and the implications for both host and parasite are discussed. PMID:25098331

  14. So Near and Yet So Far: Harmonic Radar Reveals Reduced Homing Ability of Nosema Infected Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Stephan; McMahon, Dino P.; Lim, Ka S.; Pull, Christopher D.; Clark, Suzanne J.; Paxton, Robert J.; Osborne, Juliet L.

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens may gain a fitness advantage through manipulation of the behaviour of their hosts. Likewise, host behavioural changes can be a defence mechanism, counteracting the impact of pathogens on host fitness. We apply harmonic radar technology to characterize the impact of an emerging pathogen - Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) - on honeybee (Apis mellifera) flight and orientation performance in the field. Honeybees are the most important commercial pollinators. Emerging diseases have been proposed to play a prominent role in colony decline, partly through sub-lethal behavioural manipulation of their hosts. We found that homing success was significantly reduced in diseased (65.8%) versus healthy foragers (92.5%). Although lost bees had significantly reduced continuous flight times and prolonged resting times, other flight characteristics and navigational abilities showed no significant difference between infected and non-infected bees. Our results suggest that infected bees express normal flight characteristics but are constrained in their homing ability, potentially compromising the colony by reducing its resource inputs, but also counteracting the intra-colony spread of infection. We provide the first high-resolution analysis of sub-lethal effects of an emerging disease on insect flight behaviour. The potential causes and the implications for both host and parasite are discussed. PMID:25098331

  15. Bigger is better: honeybee colonies as distributed information-gathering systems

    PubMed Central

    Donaldson-Matasci, Matina C.; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Dornhaus, Anna

    2015-01-01

    In collectively foraging groups, communication about food resources can play an important role in the organization of the group’s activity. For example, the honeybee dance communication system allows colonies to selectively allocate foragers among different floral resources according to their quality. Because larger groups can potentially collect more information than smaller groups, they might benefit more from communication because it allows them to integrate and use that information to coordinate forager activity. Larger groups might also benefit more from communication because it allows them to dominate high-value resources by recruiting large numbers of foragers. By manipulating both colony size and the ability to communicate location information in the dance, we show that larger colonies of honeybees benefit more from communication than do smaller colonies. In fact, colony size and dance communication worked together to improve foraging performance; the estimated net gain per foraging trip was highest in larger colonies with unimpaired communication. These colonies also had the earliest peaks in foraging activity, but not the highest ones. This suggests they may find and recruit to resources more quickly, but not more heavily. The benefits of communication we observed in larger colonies are thus likely a result of more effective informationgathering due to massive parallel search rather than increased competitive ability due to heavy recruitment. PMID:26213412

  16. Linking Genes and Brain Development of Honeybee Workers: A Whole-Transcriptome Approach.

    PubMed

    Vleurinck, Christina; Raub, Stephan; Sturgill, David; Oliver, Brian; Beye, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Honeybees live in complex societies whose capabilities far exceed those of the sum of their single members. This social synergism is achieved mainly by the worker bees, which form a female caste. The worker bees display diverse collaborative behaviors and engage in different behavioral tasks, which are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). The development of the worker brain is determined by the female sex and the worker caste determination signal. Here, we report on genes that are controlled by sex or by caste during differentiation of the worker's pupal brain. We sequenced and compared transcriptomes from the pupal brains of honeybee workers, queens and drones. We detected 333 genes that are differently expressed and 519 genes that are differentially spliced between the sexes, and 1760 genes that are differentially expressed and 692 genes that are differentially spliced between castes. We further found that 403 genes are differentially regulated by both the sex and caste signals, providing evidence of the integration of both signals through differential gene regulation. In this gene set, we found that the molecular processes of restructuring the cell shape and cell-to-cell signaling are overrepresented. Our approach identified candidate genes that may be involved in brain differentiation that ensures the various social worker behaviors. PMID:27490820

  17. Trace analysis of pollutants by use of honeybees, immunoassays, and chemiluminescence detection.

    PubMed

    Girotti, S; Ghini, S; Maiolini, E; Bolelli, L; Ferri, E N

    2013-01-01

    Specific and sensitive analysis to reveal and monitor the wide variety of chemical contaminants polluting all environment compartments, feed, and food is urgently required because of the increasing attention devoted to the environment and health protection. Our research group has been involved in monitoring the presence and distribution of agrochemicals by monitoring beehives distributed throughout the area studied. Honeybees have been used both as biosensors, because the pesticides affect their viability, and as "contaminant collectors" for all environmental pollutants. We focused our research on the development of analytical procedures able to reveal and quantify pesticides in different samples but with a special attention to the complex honeybee matrix. Specific extraction and purification procedures have been developed and some are still under optimization. The analytes of interest were determined by gas or liquid chromatographic methods and by compound-specific or group-specific immunoassays in the ELISA format, the analytical performance of which was improved by introducing luminescence detection. The range of chemiluminescent immunoassays developed was extended to include the determination of completely different pollutants, for example explosives, volatile organic compounds (including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes), and components of plastics, for example bisphenol A. An easier and portable format, a lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) was added to the ELISA format to increase application flexibility in these assays. Aspects of the novelty, the specific characteristics, the analytical performance, and possible future development of the different chromatographic and immunological methods are described and discussed. PMID:23064670

  18. Absence of nepotism in the harassment of duelling queens by honeybee workers.

    PubMed

    Gilley, David C

    2003-10-01

    Nepotism shapes interactions among the members of almost every animal society. However, clear evidence of nepotism within highly cooperative insect societies, such as ant, wasp and honeybee colonies, is rare. Recent empirical findings suggest that nepotism occurs within honeybee colonies where kin-selection theory most strongly predicts its existence: during the lethal queen-queen duels that determine which of several young queens will become the colony's next queen. In this study, I test whether worker bees act nepotistically by hindering duelling queens that are distantly related to themselves. I accomplished this by observing labelled workers harassing duelling queen bees in observation hives and subsequently by determining worker-queen relatedness using DNA microsatellites. I show that the workers that harassed duelling queens were neither more-closely nor more-distantly related to them than were workers selected randomly from the colony. Thus, workers did not behave nepotistically by hindering half-sister queens more than full-sister queens. These results demonstrate that under certain conditions, natural selection limits the evolution of nepotism within animal societies despite strong theoretical predictions for its existence. PMID:14561293

  19. Interaction between Varroa destructor and imidacloprid reduces flight capacity of honeybees.

    PubMed

    Blanken, Lisa J; van Langevelde, Frank; van Dooremalen, Coby

    2015-12-01

    Current high losses of honeybees seriously threaten crop pollination. Whereas parasite exposure is acknowledged as an important cause of these losses, the role of insecticides is controversial. Parasites and neonicotinoid insecticides reduce homing success of foragers (e.g. by reduced orientation), but it is unknown whether they negatively affect flight capacity. We investigated how exposing colonies to the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid affect flight capacity of foragers. Flight distance, time and speed of foragers were measured in flight mills to assess the relative and interactive effects of high V. destructor load and a field-realistic, chronic sub-lethal dose of imidacloprid. Foragers from colonies exposed to high levels of V. destructor flew shorter distances, with a larger effect when also exposed to imidacloprid. Bee body mass partly explained our results as bees were heavier when exposed to these stressors, possibly due to an earlier onset of foraging. Our findings contribute to understanding of interacting stressors that can explain colony losses. Reduced flight capacity decreases the food-collecting ability of honeybees and may hamper the use of precocious foraging as a coping mechanism during colony (nutritional) stress. Ineffective coping mechanisms may lead to destructive cascading effects and subsequent colony collapse. PMID:26631559

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Optimization of Power Utilization in Multimobile Robot Foraging Behavior Inspired by Honeybees System

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Faisul Arif; Ramli, Abd Rahman; Samsudin, Khairulmizam; Hashim, Shaiful Jahari

    2014-01-01

    Deploying large numbers of mobile robots which can interact with each other produces swarm intelligent behavior. However, mobile robots are normally running with finite energy resource, supplied from finite battery. The limitation of energy resource required human intervention for recharging the batteries. The sharing information among the mobile robots would be one of the potentials to overcome the limitation on previously recharging system. A new approach is proposed based on integrated intelligent system inspired by foraging of honeybees applied to multimobile robot scenario. This integrated approach caters for both working and foraging stages for known/unknown power station locations. Swarm mobile robot inspired by honeybee is simulated to explore and identify the power station for battery recharging. The mobile robots will share the location information of the power station with each other. The result showed that mobile robots consume less energy and less time when they are cooperating with each other for foraging process. The optimizing of foraging behavior would result in the mobile robots spending more time to do real work. PMID:24949491

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  5. Genetic diversity within honeybee colonies increases signal production by waggle-dancing foragers

    PubMed Central

    Mattila, Heather R; Burke, Kelly M; Seeley, Thomas D

    2008-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated considerable benefits of intracolonial genetic diversity for the productivity of honeybee colonies: single-patriline colonies have depressed foraging rates, smaller food stores and slower weight gain relative to multiple-patriline colonies. We explored whether differences in the use of foraging-related communication behaviour (waggle dances and shaking signals) underlie differences in foraging effort of genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies. We created three pairs of colonies; each pair had one colony headed by a multiply mated queen (inseminated by 15 drones) and one colony headed by a singly mated queen. For each pair, we monitored the production of foraging-related signals over the course of 3 days. Foragers in genetically diverse colonies had substantially more information available to them about food resources than foragers in uniform colonies. On average, in genetically diverse colonies compared with genetically uniform colonies, 36% more waggle dances were identified daily, dancers performed 62% more waggle runs per dance, foragers reported food discoveries that were farther from the nest and 91% more shaking signals were exchanged among workers each morning prior to foraging. Extreme polyandry by honeybee queens enhances the production of worker–worker communication signals that facilitate the swift discovery and exploitation of food resources. PMID:18198143

  6. Genetic diversity within honeybee colonies increases signal production by waggle-dancing foragers.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Burke, Kelly M; Seeley, Thomas D

    2008-04-01

    Recent work has demonstrated considerable benefits of intracolonial genetic diversity for the productivity of honeybee colonies: single-patriline colonies have depressed foraging rates, smaller food stores and slower weight gain relative to multiple-patriline colonies. We explored whether differences in the use of foraging-related communication behaviour (waggle dances and shaking signals) underlie differences in foraging effort of genetically diverse and genetically uniform colonies. We created three pairs of colonies; each pair had one colony headed by a multiply mated queen (inseminated by 15 drones) and one colony headed by a singly mated queen. For each pair, we monitored the production of foraging-related signals over the course of 3 days. Foragers in genetically diverse colonies had substantially more information available to them about food resources than foragers in uniform colonies. On average, in genetically diverse colonies compared with genetically uniform colonies, 36% more waggle dances were identified daily, dancers performed 62% more waggle runs per dance, foragers reported food discoveries that were farther from the nest and 91% more shaking signals were exchanged among workers each morning prior to foraging. Extreme polyandry by honeybee queens enhances the production of worker-worker communication signals that facilitate the swift discovery and exploitation of food resources. PMID:18198143

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  8. Optimization of power utilization in multimobile robot foraging behavior inspired by honeybees system.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Faisul Arif; Ramli, Abd Rahman; Samsudin, Khairulmizam; Hashim, Shaiful Jahari

    2014-01-01

    Deploying large numbers of mobile robots which can interact with each other produces swarm intelligent behavior. However, mobile robots are normally running with finite energy resource, supplied from finite battery. The limitation of energy resource required human intervention for recharging the batteries. The sharing information among the mobile robots would be one of the potentials to overcome the limitation on previously recharging system. A new approach is proposed based on integrated intelligent system inspired by foraging of honeybees applied to multimobile robot scenario. This integrated approach caters for both working and foraging stages for known/unknown power station locations. Swarm mobile robot inspired by honeybee is simulated to explore and identify the power station for battery recharging. The mobile robots will share the location information of the power station with each other. The result showed that mobile robots consume less energy and less time when they are cooperating with each other for foraging process. The optimizing of foraging behavior would result in the mobile robots spending more time to do real work. PMID:24949491

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Nosema ceranae alters a highly conserved hormonal stress pathway in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Mayack, C; Natsopoulou, M E; McMahon, D P

    2015-12-01

    Nosema ceranae, an emerging pathogen of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera), is implicated in recent pollinator losses and causes severe energetic stress. However, whether precocious foraging and accelerated behavioural maturation in infected bees are caused by the infection itself or via indirect energetic stress remains unknown. Using a combination of nutritional and infection treatments, we investigated how starvation and infection alters the regulation of adipokinetic hormone (AKH) and octopamine, two highly conserved physiological pathways that respond to energetic stress by mobilizing fat stores and increasing search activity for food. Although there was no response from AKH when bees were experimentally infected with N. ceranae or starved, supporting the notion that honeybees have lost this pathway, there were significant regulatory changes in the octopamine pathway. Significantly, we found no evidence of acute energetic stress being the only cause of symptoms associated with N. ceranae infection. Therefore, the parasite itself appears to alter regulatory components along a highly conserved physiological pathway in an infection-specific manner. This indicates that pathogen-induced behavioural alteration of chronically infected bees should not just be viewed as a coincidental short-term by-product of pathogenesis (acute energetic stress) and may be a result of a generalist manipulation strategy to obtain energy for reproduction. PMID:26335565

  12. A Beneficial Role for Immunoglobulin E in Host Defense against Honeybee Venom Authors

    PubMed Central

    Marichal, Thomas; Starkl, Philipp; Reber, Laurent L.; Kalesnikoff, Janet; Oettgen, Hans C.; Tsai, Mindy; Metz, Martin; Galli, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Allergies are widely considered to be misdirected type 2 immune responses, in which IgE antibodies are produced against any of a broad range of seemingly harmless antigens. However, components of insect venoms also can sensitize individuals to develop severe IgE-associated allergic reactions, including fatal anaphylaxis, upon subsequent venom exposure. We found that mice injected with amounts of honeybee venom similar to that which could be delivered in one or two stings developed a specific type 2 immune response which increased their resistance to subsequent challenge with potentially lethal amounts of the venom. Our data indicate that IgE antibodies and the high affinity IgE receptor, FcεRI, were essential for such acquired resistance to honeybee venom. The evidence that IgE-dependent immune responses against venom can enhance survival in mice supports the hypothesis that IgE, which also contributes to allergic disorders, has an important function in protection of the host against noxious substances. PMID:24210352

  13. Aversive Learning in Honeybees Revealed by the Olfactory Conditioning of the Sting Extension Reflex

    PubMed Central

    Vergoz, Vanina; Roussel, Edith; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Giurfa, Martin

    2007-01-01

    Invertebrates have contributed greatly to our understanding of associative learning because they allow learning protocols to be combined with experimental access to the nervous system. The honeybee Apis mellifera constitutes a standard model for the study of appetitive learning and memory since it was shown, almost a century ago, that bees learn to associate different sensory cues with a reward of sugar solution. However, up to now, no study has explored aversive learning in bees in such a way that simultaneous access to its neural bases is granted. Using odorants paired with electric shocks, we conditioned the sting extension reflex, which is exhibited by harnessed bees when subjected to a noxious stimulation. We show that this response can be conditioned so that bees learn to extend their sting in response to the odorant previously punished. Bees also learn to extend the proboscis to one odorant paired with sugar solution and the sting to a different odorant paired with electric shock, thus showing that they can master both appetitive and aversive associations simultaneously. Responding to the appropriate odorant with the appropriate response is possible because two different biogenic amines, octopamine and dopamine subserve appetitive and aversive reinforcement, respectively. While octopamine has been previously shown to substitute for appetitive reinforcement, we demonstrate that blocking of dopaminergic, but not octopaminergic, receptors suppresses aversive learning. Therefore, aversive learning in honeybees can now be accessed both at the behavioral and neural levels, thus opening new research avenues for understanding basic mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:17372627

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Killing and replacing queen-laid eggs: low cost of worker policing in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Kärcher, Martin H; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2014-07-01

    Worker honeybees, Apis mellifera, police each other's reproduction by killing worker-laid eggs. Previous experiments demonstrated that worker policing is effective, killing most (∼98%) worker-laid eggs. However, many queen-laid eggs were also killed (∼50%) suggesting that effective policing may have high costs. In these previous experiments, eggs were transferred using forceps into test cells, mostly into unrelated discriminator colonies. We measured both the survival of unmanipulated queen-laid eggs and the proportion of removal errors that were rectified by the queen laying a new egg. Across 2 days of the 3-day egg stage, only 9.6% of the queen-laid eggs in drone cells and 4.1% in worker cells were removed in error. When queen-laid eggs were removed from cells, 85% from drone cells and 61% from worker cells were replaced within 3 days. Worker policing in the honeybee has a high benefit to policing workers because workers are more related to the queen's sons (brothers, r = 0.25) than sister workers' sons (0.15). This study shows that worker policing also has a low cost in terms of the killing of queen-laid eggs, as only a small proportion of queen-laid eggs are killed, most of which are rapidly replaced. PMID:24921604

  16. Industrial apiculture in the Jordan valley during Biblical times with Anatolian honeybees.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Guy; Francoy, Tiago M; Wachtel, Ido; Panitz-Cohen, Nava; Fuchs, Stefan; Mazar, Amihai

    2010-06-22

    Although texts and wall paintings suggest that bees were kept in the Ancient Near East for the production of precious wax and honey, archaeological evidence for beekeeping has never been found. The Biblical term "honey" commonly was interpreted as the sweet product of fruits, such as dates and figs. The recent discovery of unfired clay cylinders similar to traditional hives still used in the Near East at the site of Tel Re ov in the Jordan valley in northern Israel suggests that a large-scale apiary was located inside the town, dating to the 10th-early 9th centuries B.C.E. This paper reports the discovery of remains of honeybee workers, drones, pupae, and larvae inside these hives. The exceptional preservation of these remains provides unequivocal identification of the clay cylinders as the most ancient beehives yet found. Morphometric analyses indicate that these bees differ from the local subspecies Apis mellifera syriaca and from all subspecies other than A. m. anatoliaca, which presently resides in parts of Turkey. This finding suggests either that the Western honeybee subspecies distribution has undergone rapid change during the last 3,000 years or that the ancient inhabitants of Tel Re ov imported bees superior to the local bees in terms of their milder temper and improved honey yield. PMID:20534519

  17. Linking Genes and Brain Development of Honeybee Workers: A Whole-Transcriptome Approach

    PubMed Central

    Vleurinck, Christina; Raub, Stephan; Sturgill, David; Oliver, Brian; Beye, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Honeybees live in complex societies whose capabilities far exceed those of the sum of their single members. This social synergism is achieved mainly by the worker bees, which form a female caste. The worker bees display diverse collaborative behaviors and engage in different behavioral tasks, which are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). The development of the worker brain is determined by the female sex and the worker caste determination signal. Here, we report on genes that are controlled by sex or by caste during differentiation of the worker’s pupal brain. We sequenced and compared transcriptomes from the pupal brains of honeybee workers, queens and drones. We detected 333 genes that are differently expressed and 519 genes that are differentially spliced between the sexes, and 1760 genes that are differentially expressed and 692 genes that are differentially spliced between castes. We further found that 403 genes are differentially regulated by both the sex and caste signals, providing evidence of the integration of both signals through differential gene regulation. In this gene set, we found that the molecular processes of restructuring the cell shape and cell-to-cell signaling are overrepresented. Our approach identified candidate genes that may be involved in brain differentiation that ensures the various social worker behaviors. PMID:27490820

  18. Genetic structure of drone congregation areas of Africanized honeybees in southern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    As yet, certain aspects of the Africanization process are not well understood, for example, the reproductive behavior of African and European honeybees and how the first Africanized swarms were formed and spread. Drone congregation areas (DCAs) are the ideal place to study honeybee reproduction under natural conditions since hundreds of drones from various colonies gather together in the same geographical area for mating. In the present study, we assessed the genetic structure of seven drone congregations and four commercial European-derived and Africanized apiaries in southern Brazil, employing seven microsatellite loci for this purpose. We also estimated the number of mother-colonies that drones of a specific DCA originated from. Pairwise comparison failed to reveal any population sub-structuring among the DCAs, thus indicating low mutual genetic differentiation. We also observed high genetic similarity between colonies of commercial apiaries and DCAs, besides a slight contribution from a European-derived apiary to a DCA formed nearby. Africanized DCAs seem to have a somewhat different genetic structure when compared to the European. PMID:21637465

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  20. Industrial apiculture in the Jordan valley during Biblical times with Anatolian honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Guy; Francoy, Tiago M.; Wachtel, Ido; Panitz-Cohen, Nava; Fuchs, Stefan; Mazar, Amihai

    2010-01-01

    Although texts and wall paintings suggest that bees were kept in the Ancient Near East for the production of precious wax and honey, archaeological evidence for beekeeping has never been found. The Biblical term “honey” commonly was interpreted as the sweet product of fruits, such as dates and figs. The recent discovery of unfired clay cylinders similar to traditional hives still used in the Near East at the site of Tel Reov in the Jordan valley in northern Israel suggests that a large-scale apiary was located inside the town, dating to the 10th–early 9th centuries B.C.E. This paper reports the discovery of remains of honeybee workers, drones, pupae, and larvae inside these hives. The exceptional preservation of these remains provides unequivocal identification of the clay cylinders as the most ancient beehives yet found. Morphometric analyses indicate that these bees differ from the local subspecies Apis mellifera syriaca and from all subspecies other than A. m. anatoliaca, which presently resides in parts of Turkey. This finding suggests either that the Western honeybee subspecies distribution has undergone rapid change during the last 3,000 years or that the ancient inhabitants of Tel Reov imported bees superior to the local bees in terms of their milder temper and improved honey yield. PMID:20534519

  1. Genetic structure of drone congregation areas of Africanized honeybees in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Collet, Thais; Cristino, Alexandre Santos; Quiroga, Carlos Fernando Prada; Soares, Ademilson Espencer Egea; Del Lama, Marco Antônio

    2009-10-01

    As yet, certain aspects of the Africanization process are not well understood, for example, the reproductive behavior of African and European honeybees and how the first Africanized swarms were formed and spread. Drone congregation areas (DCAs) are the ideal place to study honeybee reproduction under natural conditions since hundreds of drones from various colonies gather together in the same geographical area for mating. In the present study, we assessed the genetic structure of seven drone congregations and four commercial European-derived and Africanized apiaries in southern Brazil, employing seven microsatellite loci for this purpose. We also estimated the number of mother-colonies that drones of a specific DCA originated from. Pairwise comparison failed to reveal any population sub-structuring among the DCAs, thus indicating low mutual genetic differentiation. We also observed high genetic similarity between colonies of commercial apiaries and DCAs, besides a slight contribution from a European-derived apiary to a DCA formed nearby. Africanized DCAs seem to have a somewhat different genetic structure when compared to the European. PMID:21637465

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. High-resolution linkage map for two honeybee chromosomes: the hotspot quest.

    PubMed

    Mougel, Florence; Poursat, Marie-Anne; Beaume, Nicolas; Vautrin, Dominique; Solignac, Michel

    2014-02-01

    Meiotic recombination is a fundamental process ensuring proper disjunction of homologous chromosomes and allele shuffling in successive generations. In many species, this cellular mechanism occurs heterogeneously along chromosomes and mostly concentrates in tiny fragments called recombination hotspots. Specific DNA motifs have been shown to initiate recombination in these hotspots in mammals, fission yeast and drosophila. The aim of this study was to check whether recombination also occurs in a heterogeneous fashion in the highly recombinogenic honeybee genome and whether this heterogeneity can be connected with specific DNA motifs. We completed a previous picture drawn from a routine genetic map built with an average resolution of 93 kb. We focused on the two smallest honeybee chromosomes to increase the resolution and even zoomed at very high resolution (3.6 kb) on a fragment of 300 kb. Recombination rates measured in these fragments were placed in relation with occurrence of 30 previously described motifs through a Poisson regression model. A selection procedure suitable for correlated variables was applied to keep significant motifs. These fine and ultra-fine mappings show that recombination rate is significantly heterogeneous although poorly contrasted between high and low recombination rate, contrarily to most model species. We show that recombination rate is probably associated with the DNA methylation state. Moreover, three motifs (CGCA, GCCGC and CCAAT) are good candidates of signals promoting recombination. Their influence is however moderate, doubling at most the recombination rate. This discovery extends the way to recombination dissection in insects. PMID:24162559

  5. Heavy metal (Hg, Cr, Cd, and Pb) contamination in urban areas and wildlife reserves: honeybees as bioindicators.

    PubMed

    Perugini, Monia; Manera, Maurizio; Grotta, Lisa; Abete, Maria Cesarina; Tarasco, Renata; Amorena, Michele

    2011-05-01

    The degree of heavy metal (Hg, Cr, Cd, and Pb) pollution in honeybees (Apis mellifera) was investigated in several sampling sites around central Italy including both polluted and wildlife areas. The honeybee readily inhabits all environmental compartments, such as soil, vegetation, air, and water, and actively forages the area around the hive. Therefore, if it functions in a polluted environment, plant products used by bees may also be contaminated, and as a result, also a part of these pollutants will accumulate in the organism. The bees, foragers in particular, are good biological indicators that quickly detect the chemical impairment of the environment by the high mortality and the presence of pollutants in their body or in beehive products. The experiment was carried out using 24 colonies of honeybees bred in hives dislocated whether within urban areas or in wide countryside areas. Metals were analyzed on the foragers during all spring and summer seasons, when the bees were active. Results showed no presence of mercury in all samples analyzed, but honeybees accumulated several amounts of lead, chromium, and cadmium. Pb reported a statistically significant difference among the stations located in urban areas and those in the natural reserves, showing the highest values in honeybees collected from hives located in Ciampino area (Rome), next to the airport. The mean value for this sampling station was 0.52 mg kg(-1), and July and September were characterized by the highest concentrations of Pb. Cd also showed statistically significant differences among areas, while for Cr no statistically significant differences were found. PMID:20393811

  6. Interactive Effects of Large- and Small-Scale Sources of Feral Honey-Bees for Sunflower in the Argentine Pampas

    PubMed Central

    Sáez, Agustín; Sabatino, Malena; Aizen, Marcelo A.

    2012-01-01

    Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha) of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated “sierras”, and narrow (3–7 m wide) strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus). We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group) at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0–10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services. PMID:22303477

  7. Interactive effects of large- and small-scale sources of feral honey-bees for sunflower in the Argentine Pampas.

    PubMed

    Sáez, Agustín; Sabatino, Malena; Aizen, Marcelo A

    2012-01-01

    Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha) of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated "sierras", and narrow (3-7 m wide) strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus). We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group) at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0-10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services. PMID:22303477

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Damage of Honeybee Colonies and Non-Equilibrium Percolation Phase Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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. We suggest a new guess that losing control of self-reproduction disturbs and throws information structure of the society into confuse. We simulate the damage process with a cellular automata based on the guess. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  13. Hierarchical, multilayered cell walls reinforced by recycled silk cocoons enhance the structural integrity of honeybee combs

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kai; Duan, Huiling; Karihaloo, Bhushan L.; Wang, Jianxiang

    2010-01-01

    We reveal the sophisticated and hierarchical structure of honeybee combs and measure the elastic properties of fresh and old natural honeycombs at different scales by optical microscope, environmental scanning electron microscope, nano/microindentation, and by tension and shear tests. We demonstrate that the comb walls are continuously strengthened and stiffened without becoming fragile by the addition of thin wax layers reinforced by recycled silk cocoons reminiscent of modern fiber-reinforced composite laminates. This is done to increase its margin of safety against collapse due to a temperature increase. Artificial engineering honeycombs mimic only the macroscopic geometry of natural honeycombs, but have yet to achieve the microstructural sophistication of their natural counterparts. The natural honeycombs serve as a prototype of truly biomimetic cellular materials with hitherto unattainable improvement in stiffness, strength, toughness, and thermal stability. PMID:20439765

  14. Stop signals provide cross inhibition in collective decision-making by honeybee swarms.

    PubMed

    Seeley, Thomas D; Visscher, P Kirk; Schlegel, Thomas; Hogan, Patrick M; Franks, Nigel R; Marshall, James A R

    2012-01-01

    Honeybee swarms and complex brains show many parallels in how they make decisions. In both, separate populations of units (bees or neurons) integrate noisy evidence for alternatives, and, when one population exceeds a threshold, the alternative it represents is chosen. We show that a key feature of a brain--cross inhibition between the evidence-accumulating populations--also exists in a swarm as it chooses its nesting site. Nest-site scouts send inhibitory stop signals to other scouts producing waggle dances, causing them to cease dancing, and each scout targets scouts' reporting sites other than her own. An analytic model shows that cross inhibition between populations of scout bees increases the reliability of swarm decision-making by solving the problem of deadlock over equal sites. PMID:22157081

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  16. Properties of ultrasonic acoustic resonances for exploitation in comb construction by social hornets and honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadmon, Jonathan; Ishay, Jacob S.; Bergman, David J.

    2009-06-01

    Physical and mathematical considerations are presented in support of the suggestion that social hornets and bees, which construct brood combs with large arrays of cells in a honeycomb structure, exploit ultrasonic acoustic resonances in those cells in order to achieve the great accuracy of the hexagonal symmetry exhibited by these honeycomb-structured arrays. We present a numerical calculation of those resonances for the case of a perfect-hexagon duct utilizing a Bloch-Floquet-type theorem. We calculate the rate of energy dissipation in those resonances and use that, along with other considerations, to identify the resonance that is best suited for the suggested use by bees and hornets. Previously recorded ultrasonic data on social hornets and honeybees are cited which agree with some of our predictions and thus provide support for the above-mentioned suggestion.

  17. Similar policing rates of eggs laid by virgin and mated honey-bee queens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beekman, Madeleine; Martin, Caroline G.; Oldroyd, Benjamin P.

    2004-12-01

    Worker-policing is a well-documented mechanism that maintains functional worker sterility in queenright honey-bee colonies. Unknown, however, is the source of the egg-marking signal that is thought to be produced by the queen and used by policing workers to discriminate between queen- and worker-laid eggs. Here we investigate whether mating is necessary for the queen to produce the egg-marking signal. We compare the removal rate of eggs laid by virgin queens and compare this rate with that of eggs laid by mated queens. Our results show that mating does not affect the acceptability of eggs, suggesting that physiological changes linked to the act of mating do not play a role in the production of the queen’s egg-marking signal.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Debris removal by head-pushing in A. florea Fabr. honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen Sarma, M.; Fuchs, S.; Tautz, J.

    The nest of the dwarf honeybee A. florea Fabr. consists of a single comb attached to a tree branch. Recruitment dances take place on the upper surface of the comb that must therefore be kept clear of debris. We report here, for the first time, a behaviour that serves for removing leaves and other foreign objects from the surface of the comb. Individual workers crawl under the object and lift it with their heads, pushing it towards the rim where it eventually slides off the comb. Objects that are heavier or fixed at one end such as leaves are nevertheless lifted and kept away from the surface for up to several minutes. This "head-pushing" is frequently performed without the aid of mandibles, and individuals performing it maintain a distinctive posture, holding the forelegs at an angle without touching the object. Repeated involvement of particular individuals indicate that head-pushers might form a distinct task group.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil, Mariana; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2002-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-10-01

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

  3. Infected honeybee foragers incur a higher loss in efficiency than in the rate of energetic gain

    PubMed Central

    Naug, Dhruba

    2014-01-01

    Parasites, by altering the nutritional and energetic state of their hosts, can significantly alter their foraging behaviour. In honeybees, an infection with Nosema ceranae has been shown to lower the energetic state of individual bees, bringing about changes in behaviours associated with foraging. Comparing the foraging trip times, hive times in between trips, and the crop contents of uninfected and infected foragers as they depart on foraging trips and return from them, this study examined how any differences in these variables influence alternative foraging currencies. The results show that infected bees take longer foraging trips, spend shorter time in the hive between successive trips and bring back less sugar from each trip. These changes have a stronger adverse effect on their efficiency of energetic gain as compared with their rate of energetic gain, which has important implications for individual and colony life history. PMID:25376802

  4. Differential Proteomics in Dequeened Honeybee Colonies Reveals Lower Viral Load in Hemolymph of Fertile Worker Bees

    PubMed Central

    Cardoen, Dries; Ernst, Ulrich R.; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Boerjan, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C.; Wenseleers, Tom; Schoofs, Liliane; Verleyen, Peter

    2011-01-01

    The eusocial societies of honeybees, where the queen is the only fertile female among tens of thousands sterile worker bees, have intrigued scientists for centuries. The proximate factors, which cause the inhibition of worker bee ovaries, remain largely unknown; as are the factors which cause the activation of worker ovaries upon the loss of queen and brood in the colony. In an attempt to reveal key players in the regulatory network, we made a proteomic comparison of hemolymph profiles of workers with completely activated ovaries vs. rudimentary ovaries. An unexpected finding of this study is the correlation between age matched worker sterility and the enrichment of Picorna-like virus proteins. Fertile workers, on the other hand, show the upregulation of potential components of the immune system. It remains to be investigated whether viral infections contribute to worker sterility directly or are the result of a weaker immune system of sterile workers. PMID:21698281

  5. Honeybee retinal glial cells transform glucose and supply the neurons with metabolic substrate

    SciTech Connect

    Tsacopoulos, M.; Evequoz-Mercier, V.; Perrottet, P.; Buchner, E.

    1988-11-01

    The retina of the honeybee drone is a nervous tissue in which glial cells and photoreceptor cells (sensory neurons) constitute two distinct metabolic compartments. Retinal slices incubated with 2-deoxy(/sup 3/H)glucose convert this glucose analogue to 2-deoxy(/sup 3/H)glucose 6-phosphate, but this conversion is made only in the glial cells. Hence, glycolysis occurs only in glial cells. In contrast, the neurons consume O/sub 2/ and this consumption is sustained by the hydrolysis of glycogen, which is contained in large amounts in the glia. During photostimulation the increased oxidative metabolism of the neurons is sustained by a higher supply of carbohydrates from the glia. This clear case of metabolic interaction between neurons and glial cells supports Golgi's original hypothesis, proposed nearly 100 years ago, about the nutritive function of glial cells in the nervous system.

  6. Brain but not retinal glial cells have carbonic anhydrase activity in the honeybee drone.

    PubMed

    Walz, B

    1988-02-15

    Carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity was localized histochemically in the retina and brain of the honeybee drone. A positive reaction that could be inhibited with 10(-5) M acetazolamide was found only in brain glial cells such as those in the lamina and medulla of the optic lobes. In the retina, neither the photoreceptors nor the pigmented glial cells showed CA activity. Hence, there is a marked difference between retinal and brain glial cells with respect to those functions thought to be performed by CA. This study extends the range of tissues in which CA has been shown to be localized in glial cells, but the absence of CA from the retina will impose constraints on a general explanation of the role of CA in nervous tissue. PMID:3129680

  7. Invasive ants carry novel viruses in their new range and form reservoirs for a honeybee pathogen.

    PubMed

    Sébastien, Alexandra; Lester, Philip J; Hall, Richard J; Wang, Jing; Moore, Nicole E; Gruber, Monica A M

    2015-09-01

    When exotic animal species invade new environments they also bring an often unknown microbial diversity, including pathogens. We describe a novel and widely distributed virus in one of the most globally widespread, abundant and damaging invasive ants (Argentine ants, Linepithema humile). The Linepithema humile virus 1 is a dicistrovirus, a viral family including species known to cause widespread arthropod disease. It was detected in samples from Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Argentine ants in New Zealand were also infected with a strain of Deformed wing virus common to local hymenopteran species, which is a major pathogen widely associated with honeybee mortality. Evidence for active replication of viral RNA was apparent for both viruses. Our results suggest co-introduction and exchange of pathogens within local hymenopteran communities. These viral species may contribute to the collapse of Argentine ant populations and offer new options for the control of a globally widespread invader. PMID:26562935

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Electrophysiological and behavioural characterization of gustatory responses to antennal 'bitter' taste in honeybees.

    PubMed

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Giurfa, Martin; de Paula Mota, Theo Rolla; Gauthier, Monique

    2005-12-01

    We combined behavioural and electrophysiological experiments to study whether bitter taste is perceived at the antennal level in honeybees, Apis mellifera. Our behavioural studies showed that neither quinine nor salicin delivered at one antenna at different concentrations induced a retraction of the proboscis once it was extended in response to 1 M sucrose solution delivered to the opposite antenna. Bees that extended massively their proboscis to 1 M sucrose responded only partially when stimulated with a mixture of 1 M sucrose and 100 mM quinine. The mixture of 1 m sucrose and 100 mM salicin had no such suppressive effect. No behavioural suppression was found for mixtures of salt solution and either bitter substance. Electrophysiological recordings of taste sensillae at the antennal tip revealed sensillae that responded specifically either to sucrose or salt solutions, but none responded to the bitter substances quinine and salicin at the different concentrations tested. The electrophysiological responses of sensillae to 15 mM sucrose solution were inhibited by a mixture of 15 mM sucrose and 0.1 mM quinine, but not by a mixture of 15 mM sucrose and 0.1 mM salicin. The responses of sensillae to 50 mM NaCl were reduced by a mixture of 50 mm NaCl and 1 mM quinine but not by a mixture of 50 mM NaCl and 1 mM salicin. We concluded that no receptor cells for the bitter substances tested, exist at the level of the antennal tip of the honeybee and that antennal bitter taste is not represented as a separate perceptual quality. PMID:16367782

  10. Think regionally, act locally: metals in honeybee workers in the Netherlands (surveillance study 2008).

    PubMed

    van der Steen, J J M; Cornelissen, B; Blacquière, T; Pijnenburg, J E M L; Severijnen, M

    2016-08-01

    In June 2008, a surveillance study for metals in honeybees was performed in the Netherlands. Randomly, 150 apiaries were selected. In each apiary, five colonies were sampled. Per apiary, the hive samples were pooled. The apiary sample was analysed for Al, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sb, Se, Sn, Sr, Ti, V and Zn. All metals could be detected in all apiaries. As, Li, Sb, Sn and V were detected in part of the apiaries. The overall picture showed a regional pattern. In apiaries in the east of the Netherlands, Al, Ba, Cr, Mn, Mo, Ni, Se and Ti are found in higher concentrations compared to the west. In-region variation was demonstrated, indicating local effects. The vicinity of the apiaries was mapped afterwards and characterised as land uses of >50 % agricultural area, >50 % wooded area, >50 % urban area and mixed land use within a circle of 28 km(2) around the apiary. The results indicated that in apiaries located in >50 % wooded areas, significantly higher concentrations of Al, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sb, Sr, Ti and Zn were found compared to agricultural, urban and mixed land use areas. We conclude that (1) the ratio between metal concentrations varies per region, demonstrating spatial differences, and (2) there is in-region local variation per metal. The results indicate the impact of land use on metal concentrations in honeybees. For qualitative bioindication studies, regional, local and land use effects should be taken into account. PMID:27406208

  11. Exposure to multiple cholinergic pesticides impairs olfactory learning and memory in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Sally M.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Pesticides are important agricultural tools often used in combination to avoid resistance in target pest species, but there is growing concern that their widespread use contributes to the decline of pollinator populations. Pollinators perform sophisticated behaviours while foraging that require them to learn and remember floral traits associated with food, but we know relatively little about the way that combined exposure to multiple pesticides affects neural function and behaviour. The experiments reported here show that prolonged exposure to field-realistic concentrations of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and the organophosphate acetylcholinesterase inhibitor coumaphos and their combination impairs olfactory learning and memory formation in the honeybee. Using a method for classical conditioning of proboscis extension, honeybees were trained in either a massed or spaced conditioning protocol to examine how these pesticides affected performance during learning and short- and long-term memory tasks. We found that bees exposed to imidacloprid, coumaphos, or a combination of these compounds, were less likely to express conditioned proboscis extension towards an odor associated with reward. Bees exposed to imidacloprid were less likely to form a long-term memory, whereas bees exposed to coumaphos were only less likely to respond during the short-term memory test after massed conditioning. Imidacloprid, coumaphos and a combination of the two compounds impaired the bees' ability to differentiate the conditioned odour from a novel odour during the memory test. Our results demonstrate that exposure to sublethal doses of combined cholinergic pesticides significantly impairs important behaviours involved in foraging, implying that pollinator population decline could be the result of a failure of neural function of bees exposed to pesticides in agricultural landscapes. PMID:23393272

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Seasonal Variation of Honeybee Pathogens and its Association with Pollen Diversity in Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Antúnez, Karina; Anido, Matilde; Branchiccela, Belén; Harriet, Jorge; Campa, Juan; Invernizzi, Ciro; Santos, Estela; Higes, Mariano; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Zunino, Pablo

    2015-08-01

    Honeybees are susceptible to a wide range of pathogens, which have been related to the occurrence of colony loss episodes reported mainly in north hemisphere countries. Their ability to resist those infections is compromised if they are malnourished or exposed to pesticides. The aim of the present study was to carry out an epidemiological study in Uruguay, South America, in order to evaluate the dynamics and interaction of honeybee pathogens and evaluate their association with the presence of external stress factors such as restricted pollen diversity and presence of agrochemicals. We monitored 40 colonies in two apiaries over 24 months, regularly quantifying colony strength, parasite and pathogen status, and pollen diversity. Chlorinated pesticides, phosphorus, pyrethroid, fipronil, or sulfas were not found in stored pollen in any colony or season. Varroa destructor was widespread in March (end of summer-beginning of autumn), decreasing after acaricide treatments. Viruses ABPV, DWV, and SBV presented a similar trend, while IAPV and KBV were not detected. Nosema ceranae was detected along the year while Nosema apis was detected only in one sample. Fifteen percent of the colonies died, being associated to high V. destructor mite load in March and high N. ceranae spore loads in September. Although similar results have been reported in north hemisphere countries, this is the first study of these characteristics in Uruguay, highlighting the regional importance. On the other side, colonies with pollen of diverse botanical origins showed reduced viral infection levels, suggesting that an adequate nutrition is important for the development of healthy colonies. PMID:25794593

  14. Energetic optimisation of foraging honeybees: flexible change of strategies in response to environmental challenges.

    PubMed

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Heterothermic insects like honeybees, foraging in a variable environment, face the challenge of keeping their body temperature high to enable immediate flight and to promote fast exploitation of resources. Because of their small size they have to cope with an enormous heat loss and, therefore, high costs of thermoregulation. This calls for energetic optimisation which may be achieved by different strategies. An 'economizing' strategy would be to reduce energetic investment whenever possible, for example by using external heat from the sun for thermoregulation. An 'investment-guided' strategy, by contrast, would be to invest additional heat production or external heat gain to optimize physiological parameters like body temperature which promise increased energetic returns. Here we show how honeybees balance these strategies in response to changes of their local microclimate. In a novel approach of simultaneous measurement of respiration and body temperature foragers displayed a flexible strategy of thermoregulatory and energetic management. While foraging in shade on an artificial flower they did not save energy with increasing ambient temperature as expected but acted according to an 'investment-guided' strategy, keeping the energy turnover at a high level (∼56-69 mW). This increased thorax temperature and speeded up foraging as ambient temperature increased. Solar heat was invested to increase thorax temperature at low ambient temperature ('investment-guided' strategy) but to save energy at high temperature ('economizing' strategy), leading to energy savings per stay of ∼18-76% in sunshine. This flexible economic strategy minimized costs of foraging, and optimized energetic efficiency in response to broad variation of environmental conditions. PMID:25162211

  15. Honeybee drones are attracted by groups of consexuals in a walking simulator.

    PubMed

    Brandstaetter, Andreas Simon; Bastin, Florian; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2014-04-15

    During the mating season, honeybee males, the drones, gather in congregation areas 10-40 m above ground. When a receptive female, a queen, enters the congregation, drones are attracted to her by queen-produced pheromones and visual cues and attempt to mate with the queen in mid-air. It is still unclear how drones and queens find the congregations. Visual cues on the horizon are most probably used for long-range orientation. For shorter-range orientation, however, attraction by a drone-produced aggregation pheromone has been proposed, yet so far its existence has not been confirmed conclusively. The low accessibility of congregation areas high up in the air is a major hurdle and precise control of experimental conditions often remains unsatisfactory in field studies. Here, we used a locomotion compensator-based walking simulator to investigate drones' innate odor preferences under controlled laboratory conditions. We tested behavioral responses of drones to 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA), the major queen-produced sexual attractant, and to queen mandibular pheromone (QMP), an artificial blend of 9-ODA and several other queen-derived components. While 9-ODA strongly dominates the odor bouquet of virgin queens, QMP rather resembles the bouquet of mated queens. In our assay, drones were attracted by 9-ODA, but not by QMP. We also investigated the potential attractiveness of male-derived odors by testing drones' orientation responses to the odor bouquet of groups of 10 living drones or workers. Our results demonstrate that honeybee drones are attracted by groups of other drones (but not by workers), which may indicate a role of drone-emitted cues for the formation of congregations. PMID:24436379

  16. Morphological analysis of the primary center receiving spatial information transferred by the waggle dance of honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ai, Hiroyuki; Hagio, Hiromi

    2013-08-01

    The waggle dancers of honeybees encodes roughly the distance and direction to the food source as the duration of the waggle phase and the body angle during the waggle phase. It is believed that hive-mates detect airborne vibrations produced during the waggle phase to acquire distance information and simultaneously detect the body axis during the waggle phase to acquire direction information. It has been further proposed that the orientation of the body axis on the vertical comb is detected by neck hairs (NHs) on the prosternal organ. The afferents of the NHs project into the prothoracic and mesothoracic ganglia and the dorsal subesophageal ganglion (dSEG). This study demonstrates somatotopic organization within the dSEG of the central projections of the mechanosensory neurons of the NHs. The terminals of the NH afferents in dSEG are in close apposition to those of Johnston's organ (JO) afferents. The sensory axons of both terminate in a region posterior to the crossing of the ventral intermediate tract (VIT) and the maxillary dorsal commissures I and III (MxDCI, III) in the subesophageal ganglion. These features of the terminal areas of the NH and JO afferents are common to the worker, drone, and queen castes of honeybees. Analysis of the spatial relationship between the NH neurons and the morphologically and physiologically characterized vibration-sensitive interneurons DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2 demonstrated that several branches of DL-Int-1 are in close proximity to the central projection of the mechanosensory neurons of the NHs in the dSEG. PMID:23297020

  17. Exposure to multiple cholinergic pesticides impairs olfactory learning and memory in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Sally M; Wright, Geraldine A

    2013-05-15

    Pesticides are important agricultural tools often used in combination to avoid resistance in target pest species, but there is growing concern that their widespread use contributes to the decline of pollinator populations. Pollinators perform sophisticated behaviours while foraging that require them to learn and remember floral traits associated with food, but we know relatively little about the way that combined exposure to multiple pesticides affects neural function and behaviour. The experiments reported here show that prolonged exposure to field-realistic concentrations of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and the organophosphate acetylcholinesterase inhibitor coumaphos and their combination impairs olfactory learning and memory formation in the honeybee. Using a method for classical conditioning of proboscis extension, honeybees were trained in either a massed or spaced conditioning protocol to examine how these pesticides affected performance during learning and short- and long-term memory tasks. We found that bees exposed to imidacloprid, coumaphos, or a combination of these compounds, were less likely to express conditioned proboscis extension towards an odor associated with reward. Bees exposed to imidacloprid were less likely to form a long-term memory, whereas bees exposed to coumaphos were only less likely to respond during the short-term memory test after massed conditioning. Imidacloprid, coumaphos and a combination of the two compounds impaired the bees' ability to differentiate the conditioned odour from a novel odour during the memory test. Our results demonstrate that exposure to sublethal doses of combined cholinergic pesticides significantly impairs important behaviours involved in foraging, implying that pollinator population decline could be the result of a failure of neural function of bees exposed to pesticides in agricultural landscapes. PMID:23393272

  18. Assessment of heavy metal pollution in Córdoba (Spain) by biomonitoring foraging honeybee.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Miriam; Molero, Rafael; Gaju, Miquel; van der Steen, Josef; Porrini, Claudio; Ruiz, José Antonio

    2015-10-01

    Due to features that make them outstanding environmental bioindicator, colonies of Apis mellifera are being used to study environmental pollution. The primary objective of this research was to use honeybee colonies to identify heavy metals and determine their utility for environmental management. Five stations each with two A. mellifera hives were strategically located in urban, industrial, agricultural and forested areas within the municipality of Córdoba (Spain), and foraging bees were collected from April to December in 2007, 2009 and 2010 to analyse spatial and temporal variation in Pb, Cr, Ni and Cd pollution. Metal concentrations, in milligram per kilogram of honeybee, were determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Significant differences in concentrations were found among the various locations and periods. The highest number of values exceeding the upper reference thresholds proposed for this study (Pb, 0.7 mg/kg; Cr, 0.12 mg/kg; Ni, 0.3 mg/kg; and Cd, 0.1 mg/kg) was observed for Pb and Cr (6.25% respectively), station S4 (13.22%), year 2007 (20.83%) and in months of May and July (11.90% each). Regarding the Cd, which was analysed only in 2010, the highest number of values exceeding the upper reference thresholds was 40%. Biomonitoring with colonies of A. mellifera could contribute to improved surveillance and control systems for atmospheric pollution by integrating qualitative and quantitative assessments, thus facilitating prevention and readiness in the event of environmental crises. PMID:26415964

  19. Energetic Optimisation of Foraging Honeybees: Flexible Change of Strategies in Response to Environmental Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Heterothermic insects like honeybees, foraging in a variable environment, face the challenge of keeping their body temperature high to enable immediate flight and to promote fast exploitation of resources. Because of their small size they have to cope with an enormous heat loss and, therefore, high costs of thermoregulation. This calls for energetic optimisation which may be achieved by different strategies. An ‘economizing’ strategy would be to reduce energetic investment whenever possible, for example by using external heat from the sun for thermoregulation. An ‘investment-guided’ strategy, by contrast, would be to invest additional heat production or external heat gain to optimize physiological parameters like body temperature which promise increased energetic returns. Here we show how honeybees balance these strategies in response to changes of their local microclimate. In a novel approach of simultaneous measurement of respiration and body temperature foragers displayed a flexible strategy of thermoregulatory and energetic management. While foraging in shade on an artificial flower they did not save energy with increasing ambient temperature as expected but acted according to an ‘investment-guided’ strategy, keeping the energy turnover at a high level (∼56–69 mW). This increased thorax temperature and speeded up foraging as ambient temperature increased. Solar heat was invested to increase thorax temperature at low ambient temperature (‘investment-guided’ strategy) but to save energy at high temperature (‘economizing’ strategy), leading to energy savings per stay of ∼18–76% in sunshine. This flexible economic strategy minimized costs of foraging, and optimized energetic efficiency in response to broad variation of environmental conditions. PMID:25162211

  20. Effects of high-voltage transmission lines on honeybees

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-05-01

    When shielded and exposed colonies were placed at incremental distances at a right angle from a 760-kV transmission line different thresholds for biologic effects were obtained. Hive exposures were controlled (E-field: 7, 5.5, 4.1, 1.8, and 0.65 to 0.85 kV/m) by variable height current collectors; shielded hives under the line behave normally. Exposure to 7 kV/m can produce the following sequence of events: (1) increased motor activity and transient hive temperature increase; (2) abnormal propolization; (3) retarded hive weight gain; (4) excess queen cell production with queen loss; (5) reduction of sealed brood area; and (6) poor winter survival. No biological effects were detected below 4.1 kV/m, thus the ''biological effects corridor'' is limited to approximately 23 m beyond a ground projection of each outer phase wire. Hive architecture enhances E-fields and creates shock hazards for bees. Intra-hive E-fields (15 to 100+ kV/m) were measured with a displacement current sensor and fiber optic telemetry link. Step-potential-induced currents up to 0.5 uA were measured with a bee model in hives at 7 kV/m. To investigate further the role of shock versus electric field exposure the study was continued to develop hive entrance extensions (porches), which produce controlled bee exposure to E-field or shock, and to test the feasibility of using these porches in such a study. Biological effects (e.g., abnormal propolization, retarded hive weight, queen loss) found in colonies with total-hive exposure were produced by entrance-only exposure of adult bees. We now have an exposure system in which E-field and shock can be separately controlled to reproduce the biological effects. 10 refs.