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Sample records for adult honeybees honeybee

  1. Honeybees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Platt, Season, Ed.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  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

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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...

  11. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

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

  12. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 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, 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...

  15. 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...

  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 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Nutritional balance of essential amino acids and carbohydrates of the adult worker honeybee depends on age.

    PubMed

    Paoli, Pier P; Donley, Dion; Stabler, Daniel; Saseendranath, Anumodh; Nicolson, Susan W; Simpson, Stephen J; Wright, Geraldine A

    2014-06-01

    Dietary sources of essential amino acids (EAAs) are used for growth, somatic maintenance and reproduction. Eusocial insect workers such as honeybees are sterile, and unlike other animals, their nutritional needs should be largely dictated by somatic demands that arise from their role within the colony. Here, we investigated the extent to which the dietary requirements of adult worker honeybees for EAAs and carbohydrates are affected by behavioural caste using the Geometric Framework for nutrition. The nutritional optimum, or intake target (IT), was determined by confining cohorts of 20 young bees or foragers to liquid diets composed of specific proportions of EAAs and sucrose. The IT of young, queenless bees shifted from a proportion of EAAs-to-carbohydrates (EAA:C) of 1:50 towards 1:75 over a 2-week period, accompanied by a reduced lifespan on diets high in EAAs. Foragers required a diet high in carbohydrates (1:250) and also had low survival on diets high in EAA. Workers exposed to queen mandibular pheromone lived longer on diets high in EAA, even when those diets contained 5× their dietary requirements. Our data show that worker honeybees prioritize their intake of carbohydrates over dietary EAAs, even when overeating EAAs to obtain sufficient carbohydrates results in a shorter lifespan. Thus, our data demonstrate that even when young bees are not nursing brood and foragers are not flying, their nutritional needs shift towards a diet largely composed of carbohydrates when they make the transition from within-hive duties to foraging.

  1. Apidaecins: antibacterial peptides from honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Casteels, P; Ampe, C; Jacobs, F; Vaeck, M; Tempst, P

    1989-01-01

    Although insects lack the basic entities of the vertebrate immune system, such as lymphocytes and immunoglobulins, they have developed alternative defence mechanisms against infections. Different types of peptide factors, exhibiting bactericidal activity, have been detected in some insect species. These humoral factors are induced upon infection. The present report describes the discovery of the apidaecins, isolated from lymph fluid of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). The apidaecins represent a new family of inducible peptide antibiotics with the following basic structure: GNNRP(V/I)YIPQPRPPHPR(L/I). These heat-stable, non-helical peptides are active against a wide range of plant-associated bacteria and some human pathogens, through a bacteriostatic rather than a lytic process. Chemically synthesized apidaecins display the same bactericidal activity as their natural counterparts. While only active antibacterial peptides are detectable in adult honeybee lymph, bee larvae contain considerable amounts of inactive precursor molecules. PMID:2676519

  2. [Sudden die-off of honeybee colonies].

    PubMed

    Muz, Mustafa N

    2008-01-01

    Apis mellifera is used for honeybee keeping all over Turkey. Recently, honeybees have been suddenly disappearing for no apparent reason. It is presumed that some viral and parasitic honeybee pathogens are responsible for this. No medical research has been conducted to determine the pathologic causes of the sudden die-off of the honeybee colonies in Turkey as yet. This is of urgent importance for future of the honeybee industry.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Nutritional balance of essential amino acids and carbohydrates of the adult worker honeybee depends on age.

    PubMed

    Paoli, Pier P; Donley, Dion; Stabler, Daniel; Saseendranath, Anumodh; Nicolson, Susan W; Simpson, Stephen J; Wright, Geraldine A

    2014-06-01

    Dietary sources of essential amino acids (EAAs) are used for growth, somatic maintenance and reproduction. Eusocial insect workers such as honeybees are sterile, and unlike other animals, their nutritional needs should be largely dictated by somatic demands that arise from their role within the colony. Here, we investigated the extent to which the dietary requirements of adult worker honeybees for EAAs and carbohydrates are affected by behavioural caste using the Geometric Framework for nutrition. The nutritional optimum, or intake target (IT), was determined by confining cohorts of 20 young bees or foragers to liquid diets composed of specific proportions of EAAs and sucrose. The IT of young, queenless bees shifted from a proportion of EAAs-to-carbohydrates (EAA:C) of 1:50 towards 1:75 over a 2-week period, accompanied by a reduced lifespan on diets high in EAAs. Foragers required a diet high in carbohydrates (1:250) and also had low survival on diets high in EAA. Workers exposed to queen mandibular pheromone lived longer on diets high in EAA, even when those diets contained 5× their dietary requirements. Our data show that worker honeybees prioritize their intake of carbohydrates over dietary EAAs, even when overeating EAAs to obtain sufficient carbohydrates results in a shorter lifespan. Thus, our data demonstrate that even when young bees are not nursing brood and foragers are not flying, their nutritional needs shift towards a diet largely composed of carbohydrates when they make the transition from within-hive duties to foraging. PMID:24623119

  7. 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

  8. Recognition of conspecifics by honeybee guards uses nonheritable cues acquired in the adult stage.

    PubMed

    Downs; Ratnieks

    1999-09-01

    Social insects use both environmental and heritable (genetic) recognition cues when discriminating between nestmates and non-nestmates. In honeybees, Apis mellifera, both types of recognition cues are used, although their relative importance depends upon context, experimental design and environmental factors. Our aim in this study was to investigate which cues honeybees use to discriminate between nestmates and non-nestmates under natural conditions. To do this, we used an assay of nestmate recognition that very closely simulated natural conditions, with naturally occurring guards at actual nest entrances and workers that had been naturally reared and had spent their adult life in a hive. Guards exclusively used environmental recognition cues when encountering entering bees. There was no evidence that guards used heritable cues: related nestmates and unrelated nestmates, unrelated non-nestmates and related non-nestmates all had the same probability of being accepted (ca. 80 versus 20%). Possible reasons why heritable cues are not used are discussed. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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)

  13. Respiration of resting honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Kovac, Helmut; Stabentheiner, Anton; Hetz, Stefan K.; Petz, Markus; Crailsheim, Karl

    2011-01-01

    The relation between the respiratory activity of resting honeybees and ambient temperature (Ta) was investigated in the range of 5–40 °C. Bees were kept in a temperature controlled flow through respirometer chamber where their locomotor and endothermic activity, as well as abdominal ventilatory movements was recorded by infrared thermography. Surprisingly, true resting bees were often weakly endothermic (thorax surface up to 2.8 °C warmer than abdomen) at a Ta of 14–30 °C. Above 33 °C many bees cooled their body via evaporation from their mouthparts. A novel mathematical model allows description of the relationship of resting (standard) metabolic rate and temperature across the entire functional temperature range of bees. In chill coma (<11 °C) bees were ectothermic and CO2 release was mostly continuous. CO2 release rate (nl s−1) decreased from 9.3 at 9.7 °C to 5.4 at 5 °C. At a Ta of >11 °C CO2 was released discontinuously. In the bees’ active temperature range mean CO2 production rate (nl s−1) increased sigmoidally (10.6 at 14.1 °C, 24.1 at 26.5 °C, and 55.2 at 38.1 °C), coming to a halt towards the upper lethal temperature. This was primarily accomplished by an exponential increase in gas exchange frequency (0.54 and 3.1 breaths min−1 at 14.1 and 38.1 °C) but not in released CO2 volume per respiratory cycle (1487 and 1083 nl cycle−1 at 14.1 and 38.1 °C). Emission of CO2 bursts was mostly (98%) accompanied by abdominal ventilation movements even in small CO2 bursts. Larger bursts coincided with a longer duration of active ventilation. An increased amount of CO2 expelled per unit time of ventilation indicates a higher efficiency of ventilation at high ambient temperatures. PMID:17707395

  14. Diet effects on honeybee immunocompetence.

    PubMed

    Alaux, Cédric; Ducloz, François; Crauser, Didier; Le Conte, Yves

    2010-08-23

    The maintenance of the immune system can be costly, and a lack of dietary protein can increase the susceptibility of organisms to disease. However, few studies have investigated the relationship between protein nutrition and immunity in insects. Here, we tested in honeybees (Apis mellifera) whether dietary protein quantity (monofloral pollen) and diet diversity (polyfloral pollen) can shape baseline immunocompetence (IC) by measuring parameters of individual immunity (haemocyte concentration, fat body content and phenoloxidase activity) and glucose oxidase (GOX) activity, which enables bees to sterilize colony and brood food, as a parameter of social immunity. Protein feeding modified both individual and social IC but increases in dietary protein quantity did not enhance IC. However, diet diversity increased IC levels. In particular, polyfloral diets induced higher GOX activity compared with monofloral diets, including protein-richer diets. These results suggest a link between protein nutrition and immunity in honeybees and underscore the critical role of resource availability on pollinator health.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

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

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. (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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  15. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... provided in § 760.203(g), based on 60 percent of the producer's actual cost for honeybee feed that was: (1... feed for an eligible honeybee colony, as provided in § 760.204(g); (b) An eligible honeybee producer... condition, as provided in § 760.203(h), based on 60 percent of the average fair market value for the...

  16. Microbial symbionts of honeybees: a promising tool to improve honeybee health.

    PubMed

    Crotti, Elena; Sansonno, Luigi; Prosdocimi, Erica M; Vacchini, Violetta; Hamdi, Chadlia; Cherif, Ameur; Gonella, Elena; Marzorati, Massimo; Balloi, Annalisa

    2013-09-25

    Among pollinators, honeybees are the most important ones and exert the essential key ecosystem service of pollination for many crops, fruit and wild plants. Indeed, several crops are strictly dependent on honeybee pollination. Since few decades, honeybees are facing large-scale losses worldwide, the causes of which are found in the interaction of several biotic and abiotic factors, such as the use of pesticides, the habitat loss, the spread of pathogens and parasites and the occurrence of climate changes. Insect symbionts are emerging as a potential tool to protect beneficial insects, ameliorating the innate immune homeostasis and contributing to the general insect wellbeing. A review about the microbial symbionts associated to honeybees is here presented. The importance of the honeybee microbial commensals for the maintenance and improvement of honeybee health is discussed. Several stressors like infestations of Varroa mites and the use of pesticides can contribute to the occurrence of dysbiosis phenomena, resulting in a perturbation of the microbiocenosis established in the honeybee body.

  17. 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

  18. Virus Infections of Honeybees Apis Mellifera

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. Sociochemical alteration of honeybee hoarding behavior.

    PubMed

    Rinderer, T E

    1982-05-01

    Hoarding experiments were conducted with honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) in cages containing comb treated with either 2-heptanone, isopentyl acetate, citral, or geraniol. 2-Heptanone increased hoarding rates; isopentyl acetate decreased hoarding rates; citral and geraniol had no observed effect. PMID:24415185

  4. Honeybee communication: a signal for danger.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2010-04-27

    Scout honeybees recruit other bees to visit a newly discovered food source through the famous 'waggle dance'. Now a new study reports that other nest mates can induce the dancer to stop advertising, if they have experienced danger at that location.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Royalactin induces queen differentiation in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Kamakura, Masaki

    2011-05-26

    The honeybee (Apis mellifera) forms two female castes: the queen and the worker. This dimorphism depends not on genetic differences, but on ingestion of royal jelly, although the mechanism through which royal jelly regulates caste differentiation has long remained unknown. Here I show that a 57-kDa protein in royal jelly, previously designated as royalactin, induces the differentiation of honeybee larvae into queens. Royalactin increased body size and ovary development and shortened developmental time in honeybees. Surprisingly, it also showed similar effects in the fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster). Mechanistic studies revealed that royalactin activated p70 S6 kinase, which was responsible for the increase of body size, increased the activity of mitogen-activated protein kinase, which was involved in the decreased developmental time, and increased the titre of juvenile hormone, an essential hormone for ovary development. Knockdown of epidermal growth factor receptor (Egfr) expression in the fat body of honeybees and fruitflies resulted in a defect of all phenotypes induced by royalactin, showing that Egfr mediates these actions. These findings indicate that a specific factor in royal jelly, royalactin, drives queen development through an Egfr-mediated signalling pathway. PMID:21516106

  10. Thermal learning in the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Tobin J; Hata, Curtis; Nieh, James C

    2009-12-01

    Honeybee foragers are exposed to thermal stimuli when collecting food outside and receiving food rewards inside the nest. In both contexts, there is an opportunity for foragers to associate warmth with food rewards. However, honeybee thermal learning is poorly understood. Using an associative learning paradigm (the proboscis extension reflex), we show that honeybees can learn to associate a nectar reward with a heated stimulus applied to the antenna to mimic natural contact with a warm flower or nectar-offering forager. Conditioning with longer inter-trial intervals (ITI) significantly improved learning acquisition. We also trained bees to discriminate between temperatures above (warm) and below (cold) ambient air temperature. Learning acquisition improved by 38% per 10 degrees C increase in absolute stimulus intensity (difference between the rewarded temperature and unrewarded ambient air temperature). However, bees learned positive temperature (warm) significantly better than negative temperature (cold) differences, approximately twice as well for 10 degrees C as compared with a -10 degrees C difference. Thus, thermosensation, a sensory modality that is relatively unexplored in honeybees, could play a role in the acquisition of information from nestmates (social learning) and in foraging decisions influenced by associations between floral temperature and nectar rewards. PMID:19915136

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Queen promiscuity lowers disease within honeybee colonies.

    PubMed

    Seeley, Thomas D; Tarpy, David R

    2007-01-01

    Most species of social insects have singly mated queens, but in some species each queen mates with numerous males to create a colony with a genetically diverse worker force. The adaptive significance of polyandry by social insect queens remains an evolutionary puzzle. Using the honeybee (Apis mellifera), we tested the hypothesis that polyandry improves a colony's resistance to disease. We established colonies headed by queens that had been artificially inseminated by either one or 10 drones. Later, we inoculated these colonies with spores of Paenibacillus larvae, the bacterium that causes a highly virulent disease of honeybee larvae (American foulbrood). We found that, on average, colonies headed by multiple-drone inseminated queens had markedly lower disease intensity and higher colony strength at the end of the summer relative to colonies headed by single-drone inseminated queens. These findings support the hypothesis that polyandry by social insect queens is an adaptation to counter disease within their colonies.

  20. 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.

  1. Perceptual and Neural Olfactory Similarity in Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The question of whether or not neural activity patterns recorded in the olfactory centres of the brain correspond to olfactory perceptual measures remains unanswered. To address this question, we studied olfaction in honeybees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response. We conditioned bees to odours and tested generalisation responses to different odours. Sixteen odours were used, which varied both in their functional group (primary and secondary alcohols, aldehydes and ketones) and in their carbon-chain length (from six to nine carbons).The results obtained by presentation of a total of 16 × 16 odour pairs show that (i) all odorants presented could be learned, although acquisition was lower for short-chain ketones; (ii) generalisation varied depending both on the functional group and the carbon-chain length of odours trained; higher generalisation was found between long-chain than between short-chain molecules and between groups such as primary and secondary alcohols; (iii) for some odour pairs, cross-generalisation between odorants was asymmetric; (iv) a putative olfactory space could be defined for the honeybee with functional group and carbon-chain length as inner dimensions; (v) perceptual distances in such a space correlate well with physiological distances determined from optophysiological recordings of antennal lobe activity. We conclude that functional group and carbon-chain length are inner dimensions of the honeybee olfactory space and that neural activity in the antennal lobe reflects the perceptual quality of odours. PMID:15736975

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Infections of Nosema ceranae in four different honeybee species.

    PubMed

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Warrit, Natapot; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2010-10-01

    The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is detected in honeybees in Thailand for the first time. This endoparasite has recently been reported to infect most Apis mellifera honeybee colonies in Europe, the US, and parts of Asia, and is suspected to have displaced the endemic endoparasite species, Nosema apis, from the western A. mellifera. We collected and identified species of microsporidia from the European honeybee (A. mellifera), the cavity nesting Asian honeybee (Apis cerana), the dwarf Asian honeybee (Apis florea) and the giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata) from colonies in Northern Thailand. We used multiplex PCR technique with two pairs of primers to differentiate N. ceranae from N. apis. From 80 A. mellifera samples, 62 (77.5%) were positively identified for the presence of the N. ceranae. Amongst 46 feral colonies of Asian honeybees (A. cerana, A. florea and A. dorsata) examined for Nosema infections, only N. ceranae could be detected. No N. apis was found in our samples. N. ceranae is found to be the only microsporidium infesting honeybees in Thailand. Moreover, we found the frequencies of N. ceranae infection in native bees to be less than that of A. mellifera.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-03-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  10. [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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Observation system for the control of the hive environment by the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Ohashi, Mizue; Okada, Ryuichi; Kimura, Toshifumi; Ikeno, Hidetoshi

    2009-08-01

    The honeybee can control its hive environment to survive drastic changes in the field environment. To study the control of multiple environmental factors by honeybees, in this experiment, we developed a continual and simultaneous monitoring system for the temperature, moisture, and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in a honeybee hive. Changes in hive weight, CO2 production rate, and honeybee behavior were also monitored to estimate energy costs and behavioral activity for the environmental regulation. Measurements were conducted in August 2008. We found that the honeybee hive has a microclimate different from the ambient climate, and that the difference was partly accompanied by changes in honeybee activity. Our results also suggest that hive temperature, humidity, and CO2 concentrations are controlled by different mechanisms. Additional monitoring of the hive environment and honeybee behavior for longer periods would enable us to understand the mechanisms of environmental control by honeybees, which is one of the behaviors that define honeybees as social insects.

  15. Bioassay of compounds derived from the honeybee sting.

    PubMed

    Collins, A M; Blum, M S

    1982-02-01

    Nine compounds identified from honeybee,Apis mettifera L., sting extracts and one compound identified from the honeybee mandibular gland were evaluated in a standardized laboratory test for their effectiveness in eliciting an alarm response from caged honeybees. Two,n-decyl acetate and benzyl alcohol, were judged ineffective as alarm pheromones. The remaining eight-2-nonanol, isopentyl acetate,n-butyl acetate,n-hexyl acetate, benzyl acetate, isopentyl alcohol, andn-octyl acetate from the sting and 2-heptanone from the mandibular gland-produced responses of similar frequency and strength. PMID:24414957

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Agitated Honeybees Exhibit Pessimistic Cognitive Biases

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Mathematical analysis of the honeybee waggle dance.

    PubMed

    Okada, R; Ikeno, H; Kimura, T; Ohashi, Mizue; Aonuma, H; Ito, E

    2012-01-01

    A honeybee informs her nestmates of the location of a flower by doing a waggle dance. The waggle dance encodes both the direction of and distance to the flower from the hive. To reveal how the waggle dance benefits the colony, we created a Markov model of bee foraging behavior and performed simulation experiments by incorporating the biological parameters that we obtained from our own observations of real bees as well as from the literature. When two feeders were each placed 400 m away from the hive in different directions, a virtual colony in which honeybees danced and correctly transferred information (a normal, real bee colony) made significantly greater numbers of successful visits to the feeders compared to a colony with inaccurate information transfer. Howerer, when five feeders were each located 400 m from the hive, the inaccurate information transfer colony performed better than the normal colony. These results suggest that dancing's ability to communicate accurate information depends on the number of feeders. Furthermore, because non-dancing colonies always made significantly fewer visits than those two colonies, we concluded that dancing behavior is beneficial for hives' ability to visit food sources.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Diesel exhaust rapidly degrades floral odours used by honeybees.

    PubMed

    Girling, Robbie D; Lusebrink, Inka; Farthing, Emily; Newman, Tracey A; Poppy, Guy M

    2013-10-03

    Honeybees utilise floral odours when foraging for flowers; we investigated whether diesel exhaust pollution could interrupt these floral odour stimuli. A synthetic blend of eight floral chemicals, identified from oilseed rape, was exposed to diesel exhaust pollution. Within one minute of exposure the abundances of four of the chemicals were significantly lowered, with two components rendered undetectable. Honeybees were trained to recognise the full synthetic odour mix; altering the blend, by removing the two chemicals rendered undetectable, significantly reduced the ability of the trained honeybees to recognize the altered odour. Furthermore, we found that at environmentally relevant levels the mono-nitrogen oxide (NOx) fraction of the exhaust gases was a key facilitator of this odour degradation. Such changes in recognition may impact upon a honeybee's foraging efficiency and therefore the pollination services that they provide.

  4. Interpretation of honeybees contact toxicity associated to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Dulin, Fabienne; Halm-Lemeille, Marie-Pierre; Lozano, Sylvain; Lepailleur, Alban; Santos, Jana Sopkova-de Oliveira; Rault, Sylvain; Bureau, Ronan

    2012-05-01

    The widespread use of different pesticides generates adverse effects on non target organisms like honeybees. Organophosphorous and carbamates kill honeybees through the inactivation of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), thereby interfering with nerve signaling and function. For this class of pesticides, it is fundamental to understand the relationship between their structures and the contact toxicity for honeybees. A Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) study was carried out on 45 derivatives by a genetic algorithm approach starting from more than 2500 descriptors. In parallel, a new 3D model of AChE associated to honeybees was defined. Physicochemical properties of the receptor and docking studies of the derivatives allow understanding the meaningful of three descriptors and the implication of several amino acids in the overall toxicity of the pesticides.

  5. Cholinergic pesticides cause mushroom body neuronal inactivation in honeybees.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Contrasting styles in cognition and behaviour in bumblebees and honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sherry, David F; Strang, Caroline G

    2015-08-01

    Bumblebees and honeybees have been the subjects of a great deal of recent research in animal cognition. Many of the major topics in cognition, including memory, attention, concept learning, numerosity, spatial cognition, timing, social learning, and metacognition have been examined in bumblebees, honeybees, or both. Although bumblebees and honeybees are very closely related, they also differ in important ways, including social organization, development, and foraging behaviour. We examine whether differences between bumblebees and honeybees in cognitive processes are related to differences in their natural history and behaviour. There are differences in some cognitive traits, such as serial reversal learning and matching-to-sample, that appear related to differences between bumblebees and honeybees in foraging and social behaviour. Other cognitive processes, such as numerosity, appear to be very similar. Despite the wealth of information that is available on some aspects of bumblebee and honeybee cognition and behaviour, there are relatively few instances, however, in which adequate data exist to make direct comparisons. We highlight a number of phenomena, including concept learning, spatial cognition, timing, and metacognition, for which targeted comparative research may reveal unexpected adaptive variation in cognitive processes in these complex animals. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan.

  9. Determination of selected environmental contaminants in foraging honeybees.

    PubMed

    García-Valcárcel, A I; Molero, Encarnación; Tadeo, J L; Hernando, M D

    2016-01-01

    Colony losses of honeybees have been of great concern in the last years. To explain these losses, several studies have been reported, and various factors, such as pathogens and pesticides, have been considered as possible causes. Nevertheless, organic contaminants, rather than pesticides, are continuously released to the environment, and can be intercepted by honeybees during foraging with the possible consequent damage. Azoles and organophosphorus esters have been selected in this work as environmental contaminants to be monitored in honeybees. A fast and robust method has been developed to determine these organic pollutants in honeybees. It is based on matrix solid phase dispersion (MSPD), which performs sample dispersion with extraction and clean up in the same step, followed by LC-ESI-MS/MS determination. Recoveries of the method varied between 73% and 119% and MQLs ranged from 0.8 to 4 ng g(-1). Honeybee samples from ten apiaries located in different regions were analyzed applying the developed method. Azole compounds were found at low levels, but not in all samples, while organophosphorus esters were found in most samples whatever location. Tris-(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate, TCPP, and tributyl phosphate, TBP, were detected in all honeybees samples at levels higher than the rest of organophosphates analyzed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Cheating honeybee workers produce royal offspring

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, Lyndon A; Allsopp, Michael H; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Wossler, Theresa C; Beekman, Madeleine

    2007-01-01

    The Cape bee (Apis mellifera capensis) is unique among honeybees in that workers can lay eggs that instead of developing into males develop into females via thelytokous parthenogenesis. We show that this ability allows workers to compete directly with the queen over the production of new queens. Genetic analyses using microsatellites revealed that 23 out of 39 new queens produced by seven colonies were offspring of workers and not the resident queen. Of these, eight were laid by resident workers, but the majority were offspring of parasitic workers from other colonies. The parasites were derived from several clonal lineages that entered the colonies and successfully targeted queen cells for parasitism. Hence, these parasitic workers had the potential to become genetically reincarnated as queens. Of the daughter queens laid by the resident queen, three were produced asexually, suggesting that queens can ‘choose’ to produce daughter queens clonally and thus have the potential for genetic immortality. PMID:18048282

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 7 CFR 760.204 - Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish... for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program § 760.204 Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish. (a) To be considered eligible livestock for livestock feed losses and grazing...

  18. 7 CFR 760.204 - Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish... for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program § 760.204 Eligible livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish. (a) To be considered eligible livestock for livestock feed losses and grazing...

  19. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-24

    Royalisin from royal jelly (RJ) is a valuable peptide both for the prevention of honeybee diseases and for RJ preservation. ELISA for fast determination of royalisin content in hemolymphe (RCH) of honeybees with polyclonal antibody against recombinant royalisin from Asian honeybee was established. Assay on RCHs of health samples from Asian honeybee and Western honeybee showed the former (7.06 μg/mL) was significantly higher than that of the latter (5.64 μg/mL, p < 0.01). Moreover, relative to the non infection, the RCHs of Asian honeybees at 24 and 48 h post infection of Eschericha coli were higher than those of Western honeybees by 32.90% and 29.66%, respectively. Evidence revealed that Asian honeybee possesses higher innate immunity and immune response against bacteria in relation to the Western honeybee. The method will be a potential tool for detection of resistant levels to pathogens in honeybees and for quantification of royalisin in RJ products. PMID:25183454

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-24

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Impaired olfactory associative behavior of honeybee workers due to contamination of imidacloprid in the larval stage.

    PubMed

    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

  7. Energy saving strategies of honeybees in dipping nectar.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianing; Yang, Heng; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-10-08

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

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

  12. 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.

  13. Amino acids and osmolarity in honeybee drone haemolymph.

    PubMed

    Leonhard, B; Crailsheim, K

    1999-01-01

    In the haemolymph of honeybee drones, concentrations of free amino acids were higher than in worker haemolymph, with different relative proportions of individual amino acids. The overall concentration of free amino acids reached its highest level at the 5th day after adult drone emergence, and after the 9th day only minor changes in the concentration and distribution of free amino acids were observed. This coincides with the age when drones reach sexual maturity and change their feeding behaviour. Levels of essential free amino acids were high during the first 3 days of life and thereafter decreased. Osmolarity was lowest at emergence (334 +/- 42 mOsm), increased until the age of 3 days (423 +/- 32 mOsm) and then stayed generally constant until the 16th day of life. Only 25-day-old drones had significantly higher osmolarity (532 +/- 38 mOsm). The overall change in osmolarity during a drone's lifetime was about 40%. PMID:10524277

  14. Nutritional control of reproductive status in honeybees via DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Kucharski, R; Maleszka, J; Foret, S; Maleszka, R

    2008-03-28

    Fertile queens and sterile workers are alternative forms of the adult female honeybee that develop from genetically identical larvae following differential feeding with royal jelly. We show that silencing the expression of DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3, a key driver of epigenetic global reprogramming, in newly hatched larvae led to a royal jelly-like effect on the larval developmental trajectory; the majority of Dnmt3 small interfering RNA-treated individuals emerged as queens with fully developed ovaries. Our results suggest that DNA methylation in Apis is used for storing epigenetic information, that the use of that information can be differentially altered by nutritional input, and that the flexibility of epigenetic modifications underpins, profound shifts in developmental fates, with massive implications for reproductive and behavioral status.

  15. Amino acids and osmolarity in honeybee drone haemolymph.

    PubMed

    Leonhard, B; Crailsheim, K

    1999-01-01

    In the haemolymph of honeybee drones, concentrations of free amino acids were higher than in worker haemolymph, with different relative proportions of individual amino acids. The overall concentration of free amino acids reached its highest level at the 5th day after adult drone emergence, and after the 9th day only minor changes in the concentration and distribution of free amino acids were observed. This coincides with the age when drones reach sexual maturity and change their feeding behaviour. Levels of essential free amino acids were high during the first 3 days of life and thereafter decreased. Osmolarity was lowest at emergence (334 +/- 42 mOsm), increased until the age of 3 days (423 +/- 32 mOsm) and then stayed generally constant until the 16th day of life. Only 25-day-old drones had significantly higher osmolarity (532 +/- 38 mOsm). The overall change in osmolarity during a drone's lifetime was about 40%.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Thermal Behaviour of Honeybees During Aggressive Interactions.

    PubMed

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut; Schmaranzer, Sigurd

    2007-09-17

    We report here on the interrelationship of aggressive behaviour and thermoregulation in honeybees. Body temperature measurements were carried out without behavioural disturbance by infrared thermography. Guard bees, foragers, drones, and queens involved in aggressive interactions were always endothermic, i.e. had their flight muscles activated. Guards made differential use of their endothermic capacity. Mean thorax temperature was 34.2-35.1°C during examination of bees but higher during fights with wasps (37°C) or attack of humans (38.6°C). They usually cooled down when examining bees whereas examinees often heated up during prolonged interceptions (maximum >47°C). Guards neither adjusted their thorax temperature (and thus flight muscle function and agility) to that of examined workers, nor to that of drones, which were 2-7°C warmer. Guards examined cool bees (<33°C) longer than warmer ones, supporting the hypothesis that heating of examinees facilitates odour identification by guards, probably because of vapour pressure increase of semiochemicals with temperature. Guards in the core of aggressive balls clinged to the attacked insects to fix them and kill them by heat (maximum 46.5°C). Bees in the outer cluster layers resembled normal guards behaviourally and thermally. They served as active core insulators by heating up to 43.9°C. While balled wasps were cooler (maximum 42.5°C) than clinging guards balled bees behaved like examinees with maximum temperatures of 46.6°C, which further supports the hypothesis that the examinees heat up to facilitate odour identification. PMID:22140291

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Stabentheiner, Anton; Kovac, Helmut

    2016-06-20

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-22

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

  8. 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.

  9. Multi-level selection for hygienic behaviour in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sato, J A; Châline, N; Martin, S J; Hughes, W O H; Ratnieks, F L W

    2009-06-01

    Disease is one of the main factors driving both natural and artificial selection. It is a particularly important and increasing threat to the managed honeybee colonies, which are vital in crop pollination. Artificial selection for disease-resistant honeybee genotypes has previously only been carried out at the colony-level, that is, by using queens or males reared from colonies that show resistance. However, honeybee queens mate with many males and so each colony consists of multiple patrilines that will vary in heritable traits, such as disease resistance. Here, we investigate whether response to artificial selection for a key resistance mechanism, hygienic behaviour, can be improved using multi-level selection, that is, by selecting not only among colonies as normal but also among patrilines within colonies. Highly hygienic colonies were identified (between-colony selection), and the specific patrilines within them responsible for most hygienic behaviour were determined using observation hives. Queens reared from these hygienic patrilines (within-colony selection) were identified using DNA microsatellite analysis of a wing-tip tissue sample and then mated to drones from a third highly hygienic colony. The resulting colonies headed by queens from hygienic patrilines showed approximately double the level of hygienic behaviour of colonies headed by sister queens from non-hygienic patrilines. The results show that multi-level selection can significantly improve the success of honeybee breeding programs.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Development and experience lead to increased volume of subcompartments of the honeybee mushroom body.

    PubMed

    Durst, C; Eichmüller, S; Menzel, R

    1994-11-01

    The mushroom bodies of insects are believed to be involved in higher order sensory integration and learning. In the honeybee, the mushroom body can be separated into three different, modality-specific input compartments and several morphologically inseparable output regions. By means of morphometric analysis we show that the volumes of these subcompartments depend on both the age of the adult bee and its experience. For the most part a significant, age-dependent increase in neuropile volume is observed. Additionally, the olfactory and visual input regions show experience-related differences. Unlike other subcompartments, the visual input region does not change in volume with age, but only with experience. We thus suggest that experience is an important factor in the structural development of higher order brain regions of an insect, the honeybee. PMID:7857249

  3. Honeybee apisimin and plant arabinogalactans in honey costimulate monocytes.

    PubMed

    Gannabathula, Swapna; Krissansen, Geoffrey W; Skinner, Margot; Steinhorn, Gregor; Schlothauer, Ralf

    2015-02-01

    Here we determined whether immunostimulatory plant-derived arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) and the honeybee-derived protein apisimin are present in varieties of New Zealand honey. Apisimin is a protein of unknown function secreted from the glands of honeybees into Royal Jelly, forming a complex with apalbumin1 capable of stimulating lymphocyte proliferation. AGPs were abundant in kanuka honey with lesser amounts in manuka, kowhai and clover honeys, but absent from Royal Jelly. Apisimin was present in all honeys, as well as Royal Jelly. We report that apisimin shares with honey AGPs the ability to stimulate the release of TNF-α from blood monocytes. Further, it synergizes with AGPs to enhance the release of TNF-α, via a mechanism not involving the formation of a complex with AGPs. In summary, this study provides evidence that AGPs and apisimin are commonly present in different floral varieties of honey, and hence contribute to their immunostimulatory properties.

  4. A right antenna for social behaviour in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Lesley J; Rigosi, Elisa; Frasnelli, Elisa; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2013-01-01

    Sophisticated cognitive abilities have been documented in honeybees, possibly an aspect of their complex sociality. In vertebrates brain asymmetry enhances cognition and directional biases of brain function are a putative adaptation to social behaviour. Here we show that honeybees display a strong lateral preference to use their right antenna in social interactions. Dyads of bees tested using only their right antennae (RA) contacted after shorter latency and were significantly more likely to interact positively (proboscis extension) than were dyads of bees using only their left antennae (LA). The latter were more likely to interact negatively (C-responses) even though they were from the same hive. In dyads from different hives C-responses were higher in RA than LA dyads. Hence, RA controls social behaviour appropriate to context. Therefore, in invertebrates, as well as vertebrates, lateral biases in behaviour appear to be associated with requirements of social life. PMID:23807465

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Detection of bright and dim colours by honeybees.

    PubMed

    Hempel De Ibarra, N; Vorobyev, M; Brandt, R; Giurfa, M

    2000-11-01

    Honeybees, Apis mellifera, were trained to detect coloured disks with either a strong or a weak intensity difference against the background. Green, blue, ultraviolet-reflecting white and grey papers were reciprocally combined as targets or backgrounds, providing strong chromatic and/or achromatic cues. The behavioural performance of the honeybees was always symmetrical for both reciprocal target/background combinations of a colour pair, thus showing that target detection is independent of whether the colour is presented as a background or as a target in combination with the other colour. Bright targets against dim backgrounds and vice versa were detected more reliably than dim target/background combinations. This result favours the general assumption that the detectability of a coloured stimulus increases with increasing intensity.

  8. 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

  9. Effect of flumethrin on survival and olfactory learning in honeybees.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Self Assessment in Insects: Honeybee Queens Know Their Own Strength

    PubMed Central

    Hepburn, Colleen; Hepburn, H. Randall; Jin, Shui-Hua; Crewe, Robin M.; Radloff, Sarah E.; Hu, Fu-Liang; Pirk, Christian W. W.

    2008-01-01

    Contests mediate access to reproductive opportunities in almost all species of animals. An important aspect of the evolution of contests is the reduction of the costs incurred during intra-specific encounters to a minimum. However, escalated fights are commonly lethal in some species like the honeybee, Apis mellifera. By experimentally reducing honeybee queens' fighting abilities, we demonstrate that they refrain from engaging in lethal contests that typically characterize their reproductive dominance behavior and coexist peacefully within a colony. This suggests that weak queens exploit an alternative reproductive strategy and provides an explanation for rare occurrences of queen cohabitation in nature. Our results further indicate that self-assessment, but not mutual assessment of fighting ability occurs prior to and during the agonistic encounters. PMID:18183293

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Boscalid is a new-generation fungicide that has been detected in several bee matrices. The objective of this work was to characterize boscalid metabolites in honeybees based on in vivo experimentation, and next to verify the presence of theses metabolites into honeybees from colonies presenting troubles. A methodology based on complementary mass spectrometric tools, namely ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QToF) or triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QqQ) was implemented. Honeybees were sprayed with boscalid, at field rate (to induce the metabolization process) and the parent compound with its generated metabolites were then extracted using modified EU-QuEChERS method. The mass characteristics including exact mass, isotopic profile and mass fragments allowed assuming the structure of several metabolites. Some of them were unambiguously identified by comparison with synthesized analytical standards. The metabolites were resulted from hydroxylation and dechlorination of the parent compound as well as the substitution of a chlorine atom with an hydroxyl group. The metabolites were then quantified in bee samples collected from various beehives located in France. Boscalid and three of its metabolites were present in some samples at a level ranged between 0.2 and 36.3 ng/g. PMID:27179242

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. Goal seeking in honeybees: matching of optic flow snapshots?

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    Visual landmarks guide humans and animals including insects to a goal location. Insects, with their miniature brains, have evolved a simple strategy to find their nests or profitable food sources; they approach a goal by finding a close match between the current view and a memorised retinotopic representation of the landmark constellation around the goal. Recent implementations of such a matching scheme use raw panoramic images ('image matching') and show that it is well suited to work on robots and even in natural environments. However, this matching scheme works only if relevant landmarks can be detected by their contrast and texture. Therefore, we tested how honeybees perform in localising a goal if the landmarks can hardly be distinguished from the background by such cues. We recorded the honeybees' flight behaviour with high-speed cameras and compared the search behaviour with computer simulations. We show that honeybees are able to use landmarks that have the same contrast and texture as the background and suggest that the bees use relative motion cues between the landmark and the background. These cues are generated on the eyes when the bee moves in a characteristic way in the vicinity of the landmarks. This extraordinary navigation performance can be explained by a matching scheme that includes snapshots based on optic flow amplitudes ('optic flow matching'). This new matching scheme provides a robust strategy for navigation, as it depends primarily on the depth structure of the environment. PMID:20709919

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Optic flow informs distance but not profitability for honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Shafir, Sharoni; Barron, Andrew B.

    2010-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Dixon, Luke; Kuster, Ryan; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-02-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Exposure to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors alters the physiology and motor function of honeybees.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    The effects of pesticides on honeybee larvae are less understood than for adult bees, even though larvae are chronically exposed to pesticide residues that accumulate in comb and food stores in the hive. We investigated how exposure to a plant alkaloid, nicotine, affects survival, growth and body composition of honeybee larvae. Larvae of Apis mellifera scutellata were reared in vitro and fed throughout development on standard diets with nicotine included at concentrations from 0 to 1000μg/100g diet. Overall mortality across all nicotine treatments was low, averaging 9.8% at the prepupal stage and 18.1% at the white-eyed pupal stage, but survival was significantly reduced by nicotine. The mass of prepupae and white-eyed pupae was not affected by nicotine. In terms of body composition, nicotine affected water content but did not influence either protein or lipid stores of white-eyed pupae. We attribute the absence of consistent negative effects of dietary nicotine to detoxification mechanisms in developing honeybees, which enable them to resist both natural and synthetic xenobiotics. PMID:24819201

  9. 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

  10. Efficacy of two fungus-based biopesticide against the honeybee ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Abdelaal A; Abd-Elhady, Hany K

    2013-08-15

    The varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) (Acari: Varroidae), is known as the most serious ectoparasitic mite on honeybee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the world. Based on the spores of entomopathogenic fungi, two commercial preparations; Bioranza (Metarhizium anisopliae) and Biovar (Beauveria bassiana) were evaluated through application into the hives against varroa mite. Data showed significant differences between treatments with Bioranza and Biovar, the results were significant after 7 and 14 days post-treatment. Mean a daily fallen mite individual was significantly different between the hives before and after the applications of the two biopesticides and wheat flour. Also, mites' mortality was, significantly, different between the hives before and after treatments. There were significant differences between treatments with the two biopesticides in worker's body weight. Bioranza and Biovar did not infect the honeybee in larval, prepupal, pupal and adult stages. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy images showed spores and hyphae penetration through stigma and wounds on varroa. The results suggest that Bioranza and Biovar are potentially are effective biopesticides against V. destructor in honeybee colonies.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. 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

  19. The developmental genetics and physiology of honeybee societies

    PubMed Central

    Amdam, Gro V.; Page, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. mRNA expression and DNA methylation in three key genes involved in caste differentiation in female honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    SHAO, Xin-Liang; HE, Shao-Yu; ZHUANG, Xin-Ying; FAN, Ying; LI, Ya-Hui; YAO, Yong-Gang

    2014-01-01

    In honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies, queens and workers are alternative forms of the adult female honeybee that develop from genetically identical zygotes but that depend on differential nourishment. Queens and workers display distinct morphologies, anatomies and behavior, better known as caste differentiation. Despite some basic insights, the exact mechanism responsible for this phenomenon, especially at the molecular level, remains unclear although some progress has been achieved. In this study, we examined mRNA levels of the TOR (target of rapamycin) and Dnmt3 (DNA methyltransferase 3) genes, closely related to caste differentiation in honeybees. We also investigated mRNA expression of the S6K (similar to RPS6-p70-protein kinase) gene linked closely to organismal growth and development in queen and worker larvae (1-day and 3-day old). Last, we investigated the methylation status of these three genes in corresponding castes. We found no difference in mRNA expression for the three genes between 1st instar queen and worker larvae; however, 3rd instar queen larvae had a higher level of TOR mRNA than worker larvae. Methylation levels of all three genes were lower in queen larvae than worker larvae but the differences were not statistically significant. These findings provide basic data for broadening our understanding of caste differentiation in female honeybees. PMID:24668651

  6. The neural basis of associative reward learning in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Hammer, M

    1997-06-01

    Appetitive learning of food-predicting stimuli, an essential part of foraging behavior in honeybees, follows the rules of associative learning. In the learning of odors as reward-predicting stimuli, an individual neuron, one of a small group of large ascending neurons that serve principal brain neuropiles, mediates the reward and has experience-dependent response properties. This implies that this neuron functions as an integral part of associative memory, might underlie more complex features of learning, and could participate in the implementation of learning rules. Moreover, its structural properties suggest that it organizes the interaction of functionally different neural nets during learning and experience-dependent behavior.

  7. Effect of temperature on the biotic potential of honeybee microsporidia.

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

    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 degrees C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37 degrees 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.

  8. DNA differences found between Africanized and European honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Hall, H G

    1986-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  13. Detection of infective Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) spores in corbicular pollen of forager honeybees.

    PubMed

    Higes, Mariano; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; García-Palencia, Pilar; Meana, Aránzazu

    2008-01-01

    Nosema ceranae is a Microsporidia recently described as a parasite in Apis mellifera honeybees in Europe. Due to the short time since its description, no epidemiological data are available. In this study, spore detection in both pollen baskets and pollen collected from commercial traps is described (PCM, TEM and PCR methods). Spore infectivity is shown after artificial infection of Nosema-free adult bees. The epidemiological consequences of the presence of Nosema spores in corbicular pollen require more study and must be considered in beekeeping practices.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. Relationship between honeybee nutrition and their microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Saraiva, Miriane Acosta; Zemolin, Ana Paula Pegoraro; Franco, Jeferson Luis; Boldo, Juliano Tomazzoni; Stefenon, Valdir Marcos; Triplett, Eric W; de Oliveira Camargo, Flávio Anastácio; Roesch, Luiz Fernando Wurdig

    2015-04-01

    The microbiota and the functional genes actively involved in the process of breakdown and utilization of pollen grains in beebread and bee guts are not yet understood. The aim of this work was to assess the diversity and community structure of bacteria and archaea in Africanized honeybee guts and beebread as well as to predict the genes involved in the microbial bioprocessing of pollen using state of the art 'post-light' based sequencing technology. A total of 11 bacterial phyla were found within bee guts and 10 bacterial phyla were found within beebread. Although the phylum level comparison shows most phyla in common, a deeper phylogenetic analysis showed greater variation of taxonomic composition. The families Enterobacteriaceae, Ricketsiaceae, Spiroplasmataceae and Bacillaceae, were the main groups responsible for the specificity of the bee gut while the main families responsible for the specificity of the beebread were Neisseriaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Acetobacteraceae and Lactobacillaceae. In terms of microbial community structure, the analysis showed that the communities from the two environments were quite different from each other with only 7 % of species-level taxa shared between bee gut and beebread. The results indicated the presence of a highly specialized and well-adapted microbiota within each bee gut and beebread. The beebread community included a greater relative abundance of genes related to amino acid, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism, suggesting that pollen biodegradation predominantly occurs in the beebread. These results suggests a complex and important relationship between honeybee nutrition and their microbial communities. PMID:25601048

  17. Virus infection causes specific learning deficits in honeybee foragers

    PubMed Central

    Iqbal, Javaid; Mueller, Uli

    2007-01-01

    In both mammals and invertebrates, virus infections can impair a broad spectrum of physiological functions including learning and memory formation. In contrast to the knowledge on the conserved mechanisms underlying learning, the effects of virus infection on different aspects of learning are barely known. We use the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a well-established model system for studying learning, to investigate the impact of deformed wing virus (DWV) on learning. Injection of DWV into the haemolymph of forager leads to a RT-PCR detectable DWV signal after 3 days. The detailed behavioural analysis of DWV-infected honeybees shows an increased responsiveness to water and low sucrose concentrations, an impaired associative learning and memory formation, but intact non-associative learning like sensitization and habituation. This contradicts all present studies in non-infected bees, where increased sucrose responsiveness is linked to improved associative learning and to changes in non-associative learning. Thus, DWV seems to interfere with molecular mechanism of learning by yet unknown processes that may include viral effects on the immune system and on gene expression. PMID:17439851

  18. Context odor presentation during sleep enhances memory in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Zwaka, Hanna; Bartels, Ruth; Gora, Jacob; Franck, Vivien; Culo, Ana; Götsch, Moritz; Menzel, Randolf

    2015-11-01

    Sleep plays an important role in stabilizing new memory traces after learning [1-3]. Here we investigate whether sleep's role in memory processing is similar in evolutionarily distant species and demonstrate that a context trigger during deep-sleep phases improves memory in invertebrates, as it does in humans. We show that in honeybees (Apis mellifera), exposure to an odor during deep sleep that has been present during learning improves memory performance the following day. Presentation of the context odor during wake phases or novel odors during sleep does not enhance memory. In humans, memory consolidation can be triggered by presentation of a context odor during slow-wave sleep that had been present during learning [3-5]. Our results reveal that deep-sleep phases in honeybees have the potential to prompt memory consolidation, just as they do in humans. This study provides strong evidence for a conserved role of sleep-and how it affects memory processes-from insects to mammals.

  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.

  20. 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.

  1. Interspecific utilisation of wax in comb building by honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  2. Relationship between honeybee nutrition and their microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Saraiva, Miriane Acosta; Zemolin, Ana Paula Pegoraro; Franco, Jeferson Luis; Boldo, Juliano Tomazzoni; Stefenon, Valdir Marcos; Triplett, Eric W; de Oliveira Camargo, Flávio Anastácio; Roesch, Luiz Fernando Wurdig

    2015-04-01

    The microbiota and the functional genes actively involved in the process of breakdown and utilization of pollen grains in beebread and bee guts are not yet understood. The aim of this work was to assess the diversity and community structure of bacteria and archaea in Africanized honeybee guts and beebread as well as to predict the genes involved in the microbial bioprocessing of pollen using state of the art 'post-light' based sequencing technology. A total of 11 bacterial phyla were found within bee guts and 10 bacterial phyla were found within beebread. Although the phylum level comparison shows most phyla in common, a deeper phylogenetic analysis showed greater variation of taxonomic composition. The families Enterobacteriaceae, Ricketsiaceae, Spiroplasmataceae and Bacillaceae, were the main groups responsible for the specificity of the bee gut while the main families responsible for the specificity of the beebread were Neisseriaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Acetobacteraceae and Lactobacillaceae. In terms of microbial community structure, the analysis showed that the communities from the two environments were quite different from each other with only 7 % of species-level taxa shared between bee gut and beebread. The results indicated the presence of a highly specialized and well-adapted microbiota within each bee gut and beebread. The beebread community included a greater relative abundance of genes related to amino acid, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism, suggesting that pollen biodegradation predominantly occurs in the beebread. These results suggests a complex and important relationship between honeybee nutrition and their microbial communities.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Altruistic behavior by egg-laying worker honeybees.

    PubMed

    Naeger, Nicholas L; Peso, Marianne; Even, Naïla; Barron, Andrew B; Robinson, Gene E

    2013-08-19

    If a honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony loses its queen, worker bees develop their ovaries and produce male offspring [1]. Kin selection theory predicts that the degree of altruism in queenless colonies should be reduced because the relatedness of workers to a hivemate's offspring is less in queenless colonies than it is to the daughters of the queen in queenright colonies [2-4]. To explore this hypothesis, we examined the behavior and physiology of queenless egg-laying workers. Queenless bees engaged in both personal reproduction and the social foraging and defense tasks that benefited their colony. Laying workers also had larger brood-food-producing and wax glands, showing metabolic investments in both colony maintenance and personal reproduction. Whereas in queenright colonies there is a very clear age-based pattern of division of labor between workers, in queenless colonies the degree of individual specialization was much reduced. Queenless colonies functioned as a collective of reproductive and behaviorally generalist bees that cooperatively maintained and defended their nest. This social structure is similar to that observed in a number of primitively social bee species [5]. Laying workers therefore show a mix of selfish personal reproduction and altruistic cooperative behavior, and the queenless state reveals previously unrecognized plasticity in honeybee social organization.

  6. 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.

  7. Genetic Variation in Virulence among Chalkbrood Strains Infecting Honeybees

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The native range of the honeybee Apis mellifera encompasses Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, whereas the nine other species of Apis are found exclusively in Asia. It is therefore commonly assumed that A. mellifera arose in Asia and expanded into Europe and Africa. However, other hypotheses for the origin of A. mellifera have also been proposed based on phylogenetic trees constructed from genetic markers. In particular, an analysis based on >1000 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers placed the root of the tree of A. mellifera subspecies among samples from Africa, suggestive of an out-of-Africa expansion. Here, we re-evaluate the evidence for this and other hypotheses by testing the robustness of the tree topology to different tree-building methods and by removing specimens with a potentially hybrid background. These analyses do not unequivocally place the root of the tree of A. mellifera subspecies within Africa, and are potentially consistent with a variety of hypotheses for honeybee evolution, including an expansion out of Asia. Our analyses also support high divergence between western and eastern European populations of A. mellifera, suggesting they are likely derived from two distinct colonization routes, although the sources of these expansions are still unclear. PMID:22957195

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Context odor presentation during sleep enhances memory in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Zwaka, Hanna; Bartels, Ruth; Gora, Jacob; Franck, Vivien; Culo, Ana; Götsch, Moritz; Menzel, Randolf

    2015-11-01

    Sleep plays an important role in stabilizing new memory traces after learning [1-3]. Here we investigate whether sleep's role in memory processing is similar in evolutionarily distant species and demonstrate that a context trigger during deep-sleep phases improves memory in invertebrates, as it does in humans. We show that in honeybees (Apis mellifera), exposure to an odor during deep sleep that has been present during learning improves memory performance the following day. Presentation of the context odor during wake phases or novel odors during sleep does not enhance memory. In humans, memory consolidation can be triggered by presentation of a context odor during slow-wave sleep that had been present during learning [3-5]. Our results reveal that deep-sleep phases in honeybees have the potential to prompt memory consolidation, just as they do in humans. This study provides strong evidence for a conserved role of sleep-and how it affects memory processes-from insects to mammals. PMID:26592345

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Generalization Mediates Sensitivity to Complex Odor Features in the Honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Geraldine A.; Kottcamp, Sonya M.; Thomson, Mitchell G. A.

    2008-01-01

    Animals use odors as signals for mate, kin, and food recognition, a strategy which appears ubiquitous and successful despite the high intrinsic variability of naturally-occurring odor quantities. Stimulus generalization, or the ability to decide that two objects, though readily distinguishable, are similar enough to afford the same consequence [1], could help animals adjust to variation in odor signals without losing sensitivity to key inter-stimulus differences. The present study was designed to investigate whether an animal's ability to generalize learned associations to novel odors can be influenced by the nature of the associated outcome. We use a classical conditioning paradigm for studying olfactory learning in honeybees [2] to show that honeybees conditioned on either a fixed- or variable-proportion binary odor mixture generalize learned responses to novel proportions of the same mixture even when inter-odor differences are substantial. We also show that the resulting olfactory generalization gradients depend critically on both the nature of the stimulus-reward paradigm and the intrinsic variability of the conditioned stimulus. The reward dependency we observe must be cognitive rather than perceptual in nature, and we argue that outcome-dependent generalization is necessary for maintaining sensitivity to inter-odor differences in complex olfactory scenes. PMID:18301779

  15. 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

  16. Visual gaze control during peering flight manoeuvres in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Boeddeker, Norbert; Hemmi, Jan M.

    2010-01-01

    As animals travel through the environment, powerful reflexes help stabilize their gaze by actively maintaining head and eyes in a level orientation. Gaze stabilization reduces motion blur and prevents image rotations. It also assists in depth perception based on translational optic flow. Here we describe side-to-side flight manoeuvres in honeybees and investigate how the bees’ gaze is stabilized against rotations during these movements. We used high-speed video equipment to record flight paths and head movements in honeybees visiting a feeder. We show that during their approach, bees generate lateral movements with a median amplitude of about 20 mm. These movements occur with a frequency of up to 7 Hz and are generated by periodic roll movements of the thorax with amplitudes of up to ±60°. During such thorax roll oscillations, the head is held close to horizontal, thereby minimizing rotational optic flow. By having bees fly through an oscillating, patterned drum, we show that head stabilization is based mainly on visual motion cues. Bees exposed to a continuously rotating drum, however, hold their head fixed at an oblique angle. This result shows that although gaze stabilization is driven by visual motion cues, it is limited by other mechanisms, such as the dorsal light response or gravity reception. PMID:20007175

  17. 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

  18. Effects of cold narcosis on memory acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    CHEN, Yan-Mei; FU, Yu; HE, Jing; WANG, Jian-Hong

    2014-01-01

    In learning and memory studies on honeybees (Apis mellifera), cold-induced narcosis has been widely used to temporarily immobilize honeybees. In this study, we investigated the effects of cold narcosis on the associative memories in honeybees by using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm. Severeimpairments in memory acquisitionwas found when cold narcosis was performed 30 min, instead of 1 h before training. Locomotor activities were reduced when honeybees were tested 15 min, instead of 30 min after cold narcosis. These results indicate that cold narcosis impairs locomotor activities, as well as memory acquisition in a time-dependent manner, but by comparison no such effects on memory retrieval have yet been observed.[0] PMID:24668654

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Varroa destructor is an effective vector of Israeli acute paralysis virus in the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Pennacchio, Francesco; Caprio, Emilio; Boncristiani, Humberto F; Evans, Jay D; Chen, Yanping

    2011-01-01

    The Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a significant marker of honeybee colony collapse disorder (CCD). In the present work, we provide the first evidence that Varroa destructor is IAPV replication-competent and capable of vectoring IAPV in honeybees. The honeybees became infected with IAPV after exposure to Varroa mites that carried the virus. The copy number of IAPV in bees was positively correlated with the density of Varroa mites and time period of exposure to Varroa mites. Further, we showed that the mite-virus association could possibly reduce host immunity and therefore promote elevated levels of virus replication. This study defines an active role of Varroa mites in IAPV transmission and sheds light on the epidemiology of IAPV infection in honeybees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-26

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

  4. 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

  5. Effects of cold narcosis on memory acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan-Mei; Fu, Yu; He, Jing; Wang, Jian-Hong

    2014-03-01

    In learning and memory studies on honeybees (Apis mellifera), cold-induced narcosis has been widely used to temporarily immobilize honeybees. In this study, we investigated the effects of cold narcosis on the associative memories in honeybees by using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm. Severe impairments in memory acquisition was found when cold narcosis was performed 30 min, instead of 1 h before training. Locomotor activities were reduced when honeybees were tested 15 min, instead of 30 min after cold narcosis. These results indicate that cold narcosis impairs locomotor activities, as well as memory acquisition in a time-dependent manner, but by comparison no such effects on memory retrieval have yet been observed.[0].

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Golding, Y C; Edmunds, M

    2000-01-01

    Droneflies (Syrphidae: Eristalis spp. resemble honeybees (Apis mellifera) in appearance and have often been considered to be Batesian mimics. This study used a focal watch technique in order to compare the foraging behaviour of droneflies Eristalis tenax, Eristalis pertinax, Eristalis arbustorum and Eristalis nemorum) whilst they were feeding on patches of flowers with the behaviour of honeybees and other hymenopterans and dipterans. It was found that, on a range of plant species, the time droneflies spent on individual flowers and the time spent flying between them was more similar to that of honeybees than to the times of other hymenopterans and dipterans. These results suggest that dronefly behaviour has evolved to become more similar to that of honeybees and they support the hypothesis that droneflies are Batesian mimics. PMID:10853733

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

    PubMed

    Golding, Y C; Edmunds, M

    2000-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-21

    The mouthpart of a honeybee is a natural well-designed micropump that uses a reciprocating glossa through a temporary tube comprising a pair of galeae and labial palpi for loading nectar. The shapes and sizes of mouthparts differ among castes of honeybees, but the diversities of the functional microstructures inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones remain poorly understood. Through scanning electron microscopy, we found the dimensional difference of uniformly distributed microridges on the inner galeae walls of Apis mellifera ligustica workers and drones. Subsequently, we recorded the feeding process of live honeybees by using a specially designed high-speed camera system. Considering the microridges and kinematics of the glossa, we constructed a hydrodynamic model to calculate the friction coefficient of the mouthpart. In addition, we test the drag reduction through the dimensional variations of the microridges on the inner walls of mouthparts. Theoretical estimations of the friction coefficient with respect to dipping frequency show that inner microridges can reduce friction during the feeding process of honeybees. The effects of drag reduction regulated by specific microridges were then compared. The friction coefficients of the workers and drones were found to be 0.011±0.007 (mean±s.d.) and 0.045±0.010, respectively. These results indicate that the mouthparts of workers are more capable of drag reduction compared with those of drones. The difference was analyzed by comparing the foraging behavior of the workers and drones. Workers are equipped with well-developed hypopharyngeal, and their dipping frequency is higher than that of drones. Our research establishes a critical link between microridge dimensions and drag reduction capability during the nectar feeding of honeybees. Our results reveal that microridges inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones reflect the caste-related life cycles of honeybees. PMID:26542139

  15. 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

  16. Effects of selenium on development, survival, and accumulation in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Hladun, Kristen R; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Parker, David R; Tran, Khoa D; Trumble, John T

    2013-11-01

    Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is an important agricultural pollinator in the United States and throughout the world. In areas of selenium (Se) contamination, honeybees may be at risk because of the biotransfer of Se from plant products such as nectar and pollen. Several forms of Se can occur in accumulating plants. In the present study, the toxicity of 4 compounds (selenate, selenite, methylselenocysteine, and selenocystine) to honeybee adult foragers and larvae was assessed using dose-response bioassays. Inorganic forms were more toxic than organic forms for both larvae (lethal concentration [LC50] selenate = 0.72 mg L(-1) , LC50 selenite = 1.0 mg L(-1) , LC50 methylselenocysteine = 4.7 mg L(-1) , LC50 selenocystine = 4.4 mg L(-1) ) and foragers (LC50 selenate = 58 mg L(-1) , LC50 selenite = 58 mg L(-1) , LC50 methylselenocysteine = 161 mg L(-1) , LC50 selenocystine = 148 mg L(-1) ). Inorganic forms of Se caused rapid mortality, and organic forms had sublethal effects on development. Larvae accumulated substantial amounts of Se only at the highest doses, whereas foragers accumulated large quantities at all doses. The present study documented very low larval LC50 values for Se; even modest transfer to brood will likely cause increased development times and mortality. The toxicities of the various forms of Se to honeybee larvae and foragers are discussed in comparison with other insect herbivores and detritivores.

  17. 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.

  18. Quantitative Neuropeptidome Analysis Reveals Neuropeptides Are Correlated with Social Behavior Regulation of the Honeybee Workers.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Neuropeptides play vital roles in orchestrating neural communication and physiological modulation in organisms, acting as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and neurohormones. The highly evolved social structure of honeybees is a good system for understanding how neuropeptides regulate social behaviors; however, much knowledge on neuropeptidomic variation in the age-related division of labor remains unknown. An in-depth comparison of the brain neuropeptidomic dynamics over four time points of age-related polyethism was performed on two strains of honeybees, the Italian bee (Apis mellifera ligustica, ITb) and the high royal jelly producing bee (RJb, selected for increasing royal jelly production for almost four decades from the ITb in China). Among the 158 identified nonredundant neuropeptides, 77 were previously unreported, significantly expanding the coverage of the honeybee neuropeptidome. The fact that 14 identical neuropeptide precursors changed their expression levels during the division of labor in both the ITb and RJb indicates they are highly related to task transition of honeybee workers. These observations further suggest the two lines of bees employ a similar neuropeptidome modification to tune their respective physiology of age polyethism via regulating excretory system, circadian clock system, and so forth. Noticeably, the enhanced level of neuropeptides implicated in regulating water homeostasis, brood pheromone recognition, foraging capacity, and pollen collection in RJb signify the fact that neuropeptides are also involved in the regulation of RJ secretion. These findings gain novel understanding of honeybee neuropeptidome correlated with social behavior regulation, which is potentially important in neurobiology for honeybees and other insects.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Wax perception in honeybees: contact is not necessary.

    PubMed

    Brockmann, Axel; Groh, Claudia; Fröhlich, Birgit

    2003-09-01

    In social insects, much progress has been made in identifying variations in the cuticular signatures of sexes, castes, kin and reproductive status. In contrast to this, we still do not know how the receivers perceive these recognition cues. This study was designed to investigate whether honeybees use contact-chemosensory or olfactory sensilla to perceive wax components. To answer this question in a behavioral assay, we combined classical conditioning of the proboscis extension reaction and a recently established method using zinc sulfate to selectively block antennal contact-chemosensory sensilla. Comparison of the responses to sucrose, wax and geraniol before and after antennal zinc sulfate treatment revealed that the sucrose response is lost after treatment but the responses to wax and geraniol are maintained. As sucrose is perceived by the contact-chemosensory sensilla, the retention of the wax response indicates that contact-chemosensory sensilla are not necessary for wax perception.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Experimental infection of Apis mellifera honeybees with Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia).

    PubMed

    Higes, Mariano; García-Palencia, Pilar; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu

    2007-03-01

    In this report, an experimental infection of Apis mellifera by Nosema ceranae, a newly reported microsporidian in this host is described. Nosema free honeybees were inoculated with 125,000 N. ceranae spores, isolated from heavily infected bees. The parasite species was identified by amplification and sequencing the SSUrRNA gene of the administered spores. Three replicate cages of 20 honeybees each were prepared, along with one control cage (n=20) supplied with sugar syrup only. The infection rate was 100% at the dosage administered. The presence of Nosema inside ventricular cells was confirmed in the samples using ultrathin sectioning and transmission electron microscopy. By day 3 p.i. a few cells (4.4%+/-1.2) were observed to be parasitized, whereas by 6 days p.i. more than half of the counted cells (66.4%+/-6) showed different parasite stages, this value increasing on day 7 p.i. (81.5%+/-14.8). Only one control bee died on day 7 p.i. In the infected groups, mortality was not observed until day 6 p.i. (66.7%+/-5.6). Total mortality on day 7 p.i. was 94.1% in the three infected replicates and by day 8 p.i. no infected bee was alive. After the infection, the parasites invaded both the tip of folds and the basal cells of the epithelium and the autoinfective capacity of the spores seemed to spread the infection rapidly between epithelial cells. On day 3 p.i., mature spores could be seen inside host cell tissue implying that the developmental cycle had been completed. The large number of parasitized cells, even the regenerative ones, the presence of autoinfective spores and the high mortality rate demonstrate that N. ceranae is highly pathogenic to Apis mellifera. Possible relation with bee depopulation syndrome is discussed by authors.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Vibration-Processing Interneurons in the Honeybee Brain

    PubMed Central

    Ai, Hiroyuki

    2009-01-01

    The afferents of the Johnston's organ (JO) in the honeybee brain send their axons to three distinct areas, the dorsal lobe, the dorsal subesophageal ganglion (DL-dSEG), and the posterior protocerebral lobe (PPL), suggesting that vibratory signals detected by the JO are processed differentially in these primary sensory centers. The morphological and physiological characteristics of interneurons arborizing in these areas were studied by intracellular recording and staining. DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2 have dense arborizations in the DL-dSEG and respond to vibratory stimulation applied to the JO in either tonic excitatory, on-off-phasic excitatory, or tonic inhibitory patterns. PPL-D-1 has dense arborizations in the PPL, sends axons into the ventral nerve cord (VNC), and responds to vibratory stimulation and olfactory stimulation simultaneously applied to the antennae in long-lasting excitatory pattern. These results show that there are at least two parallel pathways for vibration processing through the DL-dSEG and the PPL. In this study, Honeybee Standard Brain was used as the common reference, and the morphology of two types of interneurons (DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2) and JO afferents was merged into the standard brain based on the boundary of several neuropiles, greatly supporting the understanding of the spatial relationship between these identified neurons and JO afferents. The visualization of the region where the JO afferents are closely appositioned to these DL interneurons demonstrated the difference in putative synaptic regions between the JO afferents and these DL interneurons (DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2) in the DL. The neural circuits related to the vibration-processing interneurons are discussed. PMID:20130757

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Caste-specific postembryonic development of primary and secondary olfactory centers in the female honeybee brain.

    PubMed

    Groh, Claudia; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

    Eusocial insects are characterized by division of labor among a sterile worker caste and a reproductive queen. In the honeybee both female castes are determined postembryonically by environmental factors, and queens develop substantially faster than workers. Since olfaction plays a crucial role in organizing honeybee behavior and social interactions, we compared the development of primary and secondary olfactory centers in the brain. Age-synchronized queen and worker pupae were raised in incubators at 34.5 degrees C, and their external morphology was characterized for all pupal stages. The development of olfactory synaptic neuropil was analyzed using anti-synapsin immunocytochemistry, f-actin-phalloidin labeling and confocal microscopy. In the antennal lobes of queens olfactory glomeruli formed approximately 4 days earlier than in workers. The adult number of olfactory glomeruli was in a similar range, but the total glomerular volume was slightly smaller in queens. Olfactory and visual subdivisions (lip, collar) of the mushroom-body calyx formed early, whereas the basal ring separated late. Synaptic microglomeruli in the olfactory lip were established approximately 3-4 days earlier in queens compared to workers. We propose that developmental heterochrony results in fewer synapses in olfactory centers (smaller glomeruli, fewer microglomeruli) in queens, which may result in poorer performance on olfactory learning tasks compared to workers. PMID:18621587

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A selective sweep in a microsporidian parasite Nosema-tolerant honeybee population, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Huang, Q; Lattorff, H M G; Kryger, P; Le Conte, Y; Moritz, R F A

    2014-04-01

    Nosema is a microsporidian parasite of the honeybee, which infects the epithelial cells of the gut. In Denmark, honeybee colonies have been selectively bred for the absence of Nosema over decades, resulting in a breeding line that is tolerant toward Nosema infections. As the tolerance toward the Nosema infection is a result of artificial selection, we screened chromosome 14 for a selective sweep with microsatellite markers, where a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) had been identified to be involved in the reduction in Nosema spores in the honeybees. By comparing the genetic variability of 10 colonies of the selected honeybee strain with a population sample from 22 unselected colonies, a selective sweep was revealed within the previously identified QTL region. The genetic variability of the swept loci was not only reduced in relation to the flanking markers on chromosome 14 within the selected strain but also significantly reduced compared with the same region in the unselected honeybees. This confirmed the results of the previous QTL mapping for reduced Nosema infections. The success of the selective breeding may have driven the selective sweep found in our study.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Bite of the Honeybee: 2-Heptanone Secreted from Honeybee Mandibles during a Bite Acts as a Local Anaesthetic in Insects and Mammals

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees secrete 2-heptanone (2-H) from their mandibular glands when they bite. Researchers have identified several possible functions: 2-H could act as an alarm pheromone to recruit guards and soldiers, it could act as a chemical marker, or it could have some other function. The actual role of 2-H in honeybee behaviour remains unresolved. In this study, we show that 2-H acts as an anaesthetic in small arthropods, such as wax moth larva (WML) and Varroa mites, which are paralysed after a honeybee bite. We demonstrated that honeybee mandibles can penetrate the cuticle of WML, introducing less than one nanolitre of 2-H into the WML open circulatory system and causing instantaneous anaesthetization that lasts for a few minutes. The first indication that 2-H acts as a local anaesthetic was that its effect on larval response, inhibition and recovery is very similar to that of lidocaine. We compared the inhibitory effects of 2-H and lidocaine on voltage-gated sodium channels. Although both compounds blocked the hNav1.6 and hNav1.2 channels, lidocaine was slightly more effective, 2.82 times, on hNav.6. In contrast, when the two compounds were tested using an ex vivo preparation–the isolated rat sciatic nerve–the function of the two compounds was so similar that we were able to definitively classify 2-H as a local anaesthetic. Using the same method, we showed that 2-H has the fastest inhibitory effect of all alkyl-ketones tested, including the isomers 3- and 4-heptanone. This suggests that natural selection may have favoured 2-H over other, similar compounds because of the associated fitness advantages it confers. Our results reveal a previously unknown role of 2-H in honeybee defensive behaviour and due to its minor neurotoxicity show potential for developing a new local anaesthetic from a natural product, which could be used in human and veterinary medicine. PMID:23091624

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Field demonstration of a scanning lidar and detection algorithm for spatially mapping honeybees for biological detection of land mines.

    PubMed

    Carlsten, Erik S; Wicks, Geoffrey R; Repasky, Kevin S; Carlsten, John L; Bromenshenk, Jerry J; Henderson, Colin B

    2011-05-10

    A biological detection scheme based on the natural foraging behavior of conditioned honeybees for detecting chemical vapor plumes associated with unexploded ordnance devices utilizes a scanning lidar instrument to provide spatial mapping of honeybee densities. The scanning light detection and ranging (lidar) instrument uses a frequency doubled Nd:YAG microchip laser to send out a series of pulses at a pulse repetition rate of 6.853 kHz. The scattered light is monitored to produce a discrete time series for each range. This discrete time series is then processed using an efficient algorithm that is able to isolate and identify the return signal from a honeybee in a cluttered environment, producing spatially mapped honeybee densities. Two field experiments were performed with the scanning lidar instrument that demonstrate good correlation between the honeybee density maps and the target locations. PMID:21556112

  13. Identification of kakusei, a Nuclear Non-Coding RNA, as an Immediate Early Gene from the Honeybee, and Its Application for Neuroethological Study

    PubMed Central

    Kiya, Taketoshi; Ugajin, Atsushi; Kunieda, Takekazu; Kubo, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    The honeybee is a social insect that exhibits various social behaviors. To elucidate the neural basis of honeybee behavior, we detected neural activity in freely-moving honeybee workers using an immediate early gene (IEG) that is expressed in a neural activity-dependent manner. In European honeybees (Apis mellifera), we identified a novel nuclear non-coding RNA, termed kakusei, as the first insect IEG, and revealed the neural activity pattern in foragers. In addition, we isolated a homologue of kakusei, termed Acks, from the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana), and detected active neurons in workers fighting with the giant hornet. PMID:23443077

  14. Typing of Melissococcus plutonius isolated from European and Japanese honeybees suggests spread of sequence types across borders and between different Apis species.

    PubMed

    Takamatsu, Daisuke; Morinishi, Keiko; Arai, Rie; Sakamoto, Aya; Okura, Masatoshi; Osaki, Makoto

    2014-06-25

    Melissococcus plutonius is an important pathogen of honeybee larvae and causes European foulbrood (EFB) not only in European honeybees (Apis mellifera) but also in other native honeybees. We recently confirmed the first EFB case in Japanese native honeybees (Apis cerana japonica) and isolated M. plutonius from this case. In this study, to obtain a better understanding of the ecology of M. plutonius and the epidemiology of EFB, we analyzed M. plutonius isolates that originated from European and Japanese honeybees in Japan using an existing multilocus sequence typing scheme. These analyzed Japanese isolates were resolved into six sequence types (STs), three of which were novel STs. Among these six STs, ST3 and ST12 were the two most common and found in isolates from both European and Japanese honeybees (or their environment). Moreover, these two STs were identified not only in Japan but also in other countries, suggesting the spread of some STs across borders and different honeybee species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nakrani, Sunil; Tovey, Craig

    2007-12-01

    An Internet hosting center hosts services on its server ensemble. The center must allocate servers dynamically amongst services to maximize revenue earned from hosting fees. The finite server ensemble, unpredictable request arrival behavior and server reallocation cost make server allocation optimization difficult. Server allocation closely resembles honeybee forager allocation amongst flower patches to optimize nectar influx. The resemblance inspires a honeybee biomimetic algorithm. This paper describes details of the honeybee self-organizing model in terms of information flow and feedback, analyzes the homology between the two problems and derives the resulting biomimetic algorithm for hosting centers. The algorithm is assessed for effectiveness and adaptiveness by comparative testing against benchmark and conventional algorithms. Computational results indicate that the new algorithm is highly adaptive to widely varying external environments and quite competitive against benchmark assessment algorithms. Other swarm intelligence applications are briefly surveyed, and some general speculations are offered regarding their various degrees of success. PMID:18037727

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A family of major royal jelly proteins of the honeybee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Schmitzová, J; Klaudiny, J; Albert, S; Schröder, W; Schreckengost, W; Hanes, J; Júdová, J; Simúth, J

    1998-09-01

    The characterization of major proteins of honeybee larval jelly (49-87 kDa) was performed by the sequencing of new complementary DNAs (cDNAs) obtained from a honeybee head cDNA library, by the determination of N-terminal sequences of the proteins, and by analyses of the newly obtained and known sequence data concerning the proteins. It was found that royal jelly (RJ) and worker jelly (WJ) contain identical major proteins and that all the proteins belong to one protein family designated MRJP (from Major Royal Jelly Proteins). The family consists of five main members (MRJP1, MRJP2, MRJP3, MRJP4, MRJP5). The proteins MRJP3 and MRJP5 are polymorphic. MRJPs account for 82 to 90% of total larval jelly protein, and they contain a relatively high amount of essential amino acids. These findings support the idea that MRJPs play an important role in honeybee nutrition.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The Prevalence of Parasites and Pathogens in Asian Honeybees Apis cerana in China

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Pathogens and parasites represent significant threats to the health and well-being of honeybee species that are key pollinators of agricultural crops and flowers worldwide. We conducted a nationwide survey to determine the occurrence and prevalence of pathogens and parasites in Asian honeybees, Apis cerana, in China. Our study provides evidence of infections of A. cerana by pathogenic Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Nosema ceranae, and C. bombi species that have been linked to population declines of European honeybees, A. mellifera, and bumble bees. However, the prevalence of DWV, a virus that causes widespread infection in A. mellifera, was low, arguably a result of the greater ability of A. cerana to resist the ectoprasitic mite Varroa destructor, an efficient vector of DWV. Analyses of microbial communities from the A. cerana digestive tract showed that Nosema infection could have detrimental effects on the gut microbiota. Workers infected by N. ceranae tended to have lower bacterial quantities, with these differences being significant for the Bifidobacterium and Pasteurellaceae bacteria groups. The results of this nationwide screen show that parasites and pathogens that have caused serious problems in European honeybees can be found in native honeybee species kept in Asia. Environmental changes due to new agricultural practices and globalization may facilitate the spread of pathogens into new geographic areas. The foraging behavior of pollinators that are in close geographic proximity likely have played an important role in spreading of parasites and pathogens over to new hosts. Phylogenetic analyses provide insights into the movement and population structure of these parasites, suggesting a bidirectional flow of parasites among pollinators. The presence of these parasites and pathogens may have considerable implications for an observed population decline of Asian honeybees. PMID:23144838

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Toxins induce 'malaise' behaviour in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Hurst, Victoria; Stevenson, Philip C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2014-10-01

    To avoid poisoning and death when toxins are ingested, the body responds with a suite of physiological detoxification mechanisms accompanied by behaviours that in mammals often include vomiting, nausea, and lethargy. Few studies have characterised whether insects exhibit characteristic 'malaise-like' behaviours in response to intoxication. Here, we used the honeybee to investigate how intoxication produced by injection or ingestion with three toxins with different pharmacological modes of action quinine, amygdalin, and lithium chloride affected behaviour. We found that toxin-induced changes in behaviour were best characterised by more time spent grooming. Bees also had difficulty performing the righting reflex and exhibited specific toxin-induced behaviours such as abdomen dragging and curling up. The expression of these behaviours also depended on whether a toxin had been injected or ingested. When toxins were ingested, they were least 10 times less concentrated in the haemolymph than in the ingested food, suggesting that their absorption through the gut is strongly regulated. Our data show that bees exhibit changes in behaviour that are characteristic of 'malaise' and suggest that physiological signalling of toxicosis is accomplished by multiple post-ingestive pathways in animals.

  11. Relatedness among honeybees (Apis mellifera) of a drone congregation

    PubMed Central

    Baudry, E.; Solignac, M.; Garnery, L.; Gries, M.; Cornuet, J.-M.; Koeniger, N.

    1998-01-01

    The honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen mates during nuptial flights, in the so-called drone congregation area where many males from surrounding colonies gather. Using 20 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci, we studied a sample of 142 drones captured in a congregation close to Oberursel (Germany). A parentage test based on lod score showed that this sample contained one group of four brothers, six groups of three brothers, 20 groups of two brothers and 80 singletons. These values are very close to a Poisson distribution. Therefore, colonies were apparently equally represented in the drone congregation, and calculations showed that the congregation comprised males that originated from about 240 different colonies. This figure is surprisingly high. Considering the density of colonies around the congregation area and the average flight range of males, it suggests that most colonies within the recruitment perimeter delegated drones to the congregation with an equal probability, resulting in an almost perfect panmixis. Consequently, the relatedness between a queen and her mates, and hence the inbreeding coefficient of the progeny, should be minimized. The relatedness among the drones mated to the same queen is also very low, maximizing the genetic diversity among the different patrilines of a colony.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Different functions of two alarm substances in the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Balderrama, N; Núñez, J; Guerrieri, F; Giurfa, M

    2002-07-01

    In the honeybee, isopentyl acetate and 2-heptanone are described as alarm substances. We asked whether both substances have a similar role by testing the effect of their exposure on the appetitive proboscis extension reflex and on the aversive stinging reflex. In the appetitive context of sucrose stimulation no differences were found between isopentyl acetate and 2-heptanone. Small amounts of isopentyl acetate or 2-heptanone (3 microl of 1:9 dilution) yielded a response similar to that of a non-exposed control. Larger amounts of both substances (125 microl of 1:9 dilutions) as well as mixtures led to a decrease of responsiveness to sucrose. In the aversive context of electrical stimulation, significant differences between isopentyl acetate and 2-heptanone were found. Exposure to a small amount of isopentyl acetate (3 microl of 1:9 dilution) or to a large amount of 2-heptanone (125 microl of 1:9 dilution) led to an increase of responsiveness to the electric shock. Larger quantities of isopentyl acetate (125 microl of 1:9 dilution) decreased the responsiveness to the shock. 2-Heptanone never decreased the responsiveness to the shock. Our results indicate that isopentyl acetate and 2-heptanone have different functions even if both are capable of evoking deterrent responses in a defensive context. PMID:12122467

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Apolipophorin III from honeybees (Apis cerana) exhibits antibacterial activity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Bo Yeon; Jin, Byung Rae

    2015-04-01

    Apolipophorin III (apoLp-III) is involved in lipid transport and innate immunity in insects. In this study, an apoLp-III protein that exhibits antibacterial activity was identified in honeybees (Apis cerana). A. cerana apoLp-III cDNA encodes a 193 amino acid sequence that shares high identity with other members of the hymenopteran insect apoLp-III family. A. cerana apoLp-III is expressed constitutively in the fat body, epidermis, and venom gland and is detected as a 23-kDa protein. A. cerana apoLp-III expression is induced in the fat body after injection with Escherichia coli, Bacillus thuringiensis, or Beauveria bassiana. However, recombinant A. cerana apoLp-III (expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells) binds directly to E. coli and B. thuringiensis but not to B. bassiana. Consistent with these findings, A. cerana apoLp-III exhibited antibacterial activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. These results provide insight into the role of A. cerana apoLp-III during the innate immune response following bacterial infection.

  18. `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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kovac, Helmut; Stabentheiner, Anton; Brodschneider, Robert

    2011-01-01

    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

  20. The depth of the honeybee's backup sun-compass systems.

    PubMed

    Dovey, Katelyn M; Kemfort, Jordan R; Towne, William F

    2013-06-01

    Honeybees have at least three compass mechanisms: a magnetic compass; a celestial or sun compass, based on the daily rotation of the sun and sun-linked skylight patterns; and a backup celestial compass based on a memory of the sun's movements over time in relation to the landscape. The interactions of these compass systems have yet to be fully elucidated, but the celestial compass is primary in most contexts, the magnetic compass is a backup in certain contexts, and the bees' memory of the sun's course in relation to the landscape is a backup system for cloudy days. Here we ask whether bees have any further compass systems, for example a memory of the sun's movements over time in relation to the magnetic field. To test this, we challenged bees to locate the sun when their known celestial compass systems were unavailable, that is, under overcast skies in unfamiliar landscapes. We measured the bees' knowledge of the sun's location by observing their waggle dances, by which foragers indicate the directions toward food sources in relation to the sun's compass bearing. We found that bees have no celestial compass systems beyond those already known: under overcast skies in unfamiliar landscapes, bees attempt to use their landscape-based backup system to locate the sun, matching the landscapes or skylines at the test sites with those at their natal sites as best they can, even if the matches are poor and yield weak or inconsistent orientation.

  1. Occurrence of Six Honeybee Viruses in Diseased Austrian Apiaries

    PubMed Central

    Berényi, Olga; Bakonyi, Tamás; Derakhshifar, Irmgard; Köglberger, Hemma; Nowotny, Norbert

    2006-01-01

    The occurrence, prevalence, and distribution patterns of acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), deformed wing virus (DWV), Kashmir bee virus (KBV), and sacbrood virus (SBV) were investigated in 90 Austrian honeybee colonies suffering from symptoms of depopulation, sudden collapse, paralysis, or dark coloring by employing reverse transcription-PCR. Infestation with parasites was also recorded. The samples originated from all parts of Austria. The most prevalent virus was DWV, present in 91% of samples, followed by ABPV, SBV, and BQCV (68%, 49%, and 30%, respectively). CBPV was detected in 10% of colonies, while KBV was not present in any sample. In most samples, more than one virus was identified. The distribution pattern of ABPV, BQCV, CBPV, and SBV varied considerably in the different geographic regions investigated, while DWV was widespread in all Austrian federal states. In bees that showed dark coloring and disorientation, CBPV was always detected. Simultaneous infections of DWV and ABPV were most frequently observed in colonies suffering from weakness, depopulation, and sudden collapse. Bees obtained from apparently healthy colonies within the same apiaries showed a similar distribution pattern of viruses; however, the relative virus load was 10 to 126 times lower than in bees from diseased colonies. A limited number of bee samples from surrounding central European countries (Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Slovenia) were also tested for the presence of the above viruses. Variances were found in the distribution of BQCV and SBV. PMID:16597939

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Rapid learning dynamics in individual honeybees during classical conditioning

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Associative learning in insects has been studied extensively by a multitude of classical conditioning protocols. However, so far little emphasis has been put on the dynamics of learning in individuals. The honeybee is a well-established animal model for learning and memory. We here studied associative learning as expressed in individual behavior based on a large collection of data on olfactory classical conditioning (25 datasets, 3298 animals). We show that the group-averaged learning curve and memory retention score confound three attributes of individual learning: the ability or inability to learn a given task, the generally fast acquisition of a conditioned response (CR) in learners, and the high stability of the CR during consecutive training and memory retention trials. We reassessed the prevailing view that more training results in better memory performance and found that 24 h memory retention can be indistinguishable after single-trial and multiple-trial conditioning in individuals. We explain how inter-individual differences in learning can be accommodated within the Rescorla–Wagner theory of associative learning. In both data-analysis and modeling we demonstrate how the conflict between population-level and single-animal perspectives on learning and memory can be disentangled. PMID:25309366

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Oriental orchid (Cymbidium pumilum) attracts drones of the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) as pollinators.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, M; Ono, M; Asada, S; Yoshida, T

    1991-12-01

    The discovery that drones of the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) pollinate the oriental orchid (Cymbidium pumilum) is reported. Drones are attracted to the orchid flower aroma mainly during their mating flights in April through May. Some drones cluster on the flower racemes and others insert their heads deep into the flowers. Drones with pollinia on their scutellum visit other orchids, which facilitates pollination. Individual workers and swarming colonies are also strongly attracted by the flower aroma, but the allopatric western honeybee (Apis mellifera) is not attracted.

  12. 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

  13. Reduced ability of ethanol drinkers for social communication in honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica Poll.).

    PubMed

    Bozic, Janko; Abramson, Charles I; Bedencic, Mateja

    2006-04-01

    Foraging behavior was evaluated in honeybees trained to fly to a feeder containing sucrose only, 1% ethanol, 5% ethanol, or 10% ethanol. The results indicated that exposure to ethanol disrupted several types of honeybee social behavior within the hive. Consumption of ethanol at the feeding site reduced waggle dance activity in foraging bees and increased occurrence of tremble dance, food exchange, and self-cleaning behavior. These ethanol-induced changes in behavior may reflect effects on the central nervous system similar to the previously observed effects of food poisoning with sublethal doses of insecticides.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Hox Gene Expression Leads to Differential Hind Leg Development between Honeybee Castes

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Roles of individual honeybee workers and drones in colonial thermogenesis.

    PubMed

    Harrison, J M

    1987-05-01

    The individual roles of honeybee workers and drones in heat regulation were investigated using single combs of bees and brood (about 1,000 individuals) placed in boxes at 15 degrees C. After 1 h and before cluster formation, I measured the elevation of bee thoracic surface temperature (Tths) above local ambient temperature (Ta). Bees were then left overnight at 15 degrees C. During the preclustering period, the density of bees over the brood slowly increased. In the clusters left overnight, bees in the innermost layer were significantly younger than bees in the outermost layer. One-day-old bees and drones were always located in the innermost cluster layer. 89% of all workers measured had Tths - Ta greater than or equal to 2 degrees C, indicating that most workers contribute to colonial thermogenesis. Average Tths - Ta was 4.1 degrees C. Drones measured had the same average Tths - Ta as unmarked workers. Tths - Ta did not differ among bees 2 days of age and older. Location on or off the brood did not affect Tths - Ta. Cooling constants of dead bees placed near the comb in the box averaged 1.036 min-1 and were independent of location on the comb. Calculated average thoracic conductance was 0.829 cal g-1 degree C-1 min-1. Average calculated heat production per worker was 0.095 cal min-1, less than 15% of the maximal oxygen consumption of 4-day-old bees. Calculations indicate that the larger drones contribute more heat per bee than do the workers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

    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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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...

  2. Essential oil of Terminalia chebula fruits as a repellent for the indian honeybee Apis florea.

    PubMed

    Naik, Dattatraya G; Puntambekar, Hemalata; Anantpure, Priyanka

    2010-05-01

    Plant-based repellent formulations for honeybees play an important role in the bee management. For this purpose, the essential oil of an Indian medicinal plant, Terminalia chebula, commonly known as Myrobalan, was isolated for the first time. Hitherto unknown chemical constituents of the essential oil were determined by GC/MS. The repellent activity of formulations of the essential oil, tested towards the Indian honeybee Apis florea, was found to be dose dependent. The repellency (DeltaR) increased with the concentration of essential oil in the formulations, reaching a maximum for the formulation containing 50 mg/ml of oil. A further increase in the oil concentration was found to reduce the DeltaR. The screening of formulations of the major essential-oil components identified indicated that formulations of furfural, 5-methylfurfural, tetradecanoic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid elicited no response in honeybees. In contrast, the formulations of phenylacetaldehyde were repellent, while those of ethyl cinnamate were attractant. These findings might be an asset for beekeepers to improve the bee management. Attractant formulations are effective to attract bees to the desired areas, thus improving the efficiency of pollination. Repellent formulations are used to repel honeybees, especially when toxic insecticides are sprayed on the fields.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-05-31

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

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-26

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; Frey, Eva; Rosenkranz, Peter; Paxton, Robert J; Moritz, Robin F A

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Characterization of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) chromosomes using repetitive DNA probes and fluorescence in situ hybridization.

    PubMed

    Beye, M; Moritz, R F

    1995-01-01

    Two different repetitive DNA probes of Apis mellifera and ribosomal DNA from Drosophila melanogaster were used to characterize the chromosomal set of the honeybee (n = 16). The probes were hybridized to chromosome preparations of haploid testis tissue from drone larvae using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The honeybee probes hybridized to the telomeric (Alu I family) and centromeric region (Ava I family) of most chromosomes. The rDNA probe labeled two chromosomes only. Combination of the three probes yielded labeled patterns allowing us to identify each chromosome of the honeybee individually. This is the first report of an unambiguous identification of the chromosomal set of the honeybee, since classical banding techniques failed to yield clear patterns for identification. The consensus sequence of the centromeric reiterated probe (Ava I family) has a length of about 550 nucleotides and shows no homology to other known sequences. However, the structural organization of a 130-nucleotides long motif forming the unusually homogeneous 550 nucleotides repeat is similar to those found in mammals' repetitive DNAs.

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

    PubMed

    Oliver, Caitlin J; Softley, Samantha; Williamson, Sally M; Stevenson, Philip C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Identification and developmental profiles of hexamerins in antenna and hemolymph of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Danty, E; Arnold, G; Burmester, T; Huet, J C; Huet, D; Pernollet, J C; Masson, C

    1998-01-01

    Four distinct hexamerin subunits (referred to as "hexamerins" in the following text) have been identified in the developing honeybee, Apis mellifera, by N-terminal protein sequencing. Hexamerins are abundant in the hemolymph of late larval and early pupal stages, and gradually decline during metamorphosis and adult development. Three hexamerins in the 70 kDa range have been found (Hex70a, Hex70b, Hex70c). In worker and drone, Hex70a is the only hexamerin present in large amount in later adult stages. Hex70b and c exhibit a similar developmental profile, disappearing in the drone just before adult emergence, and in the worker just after. Hex70b or Hex70c are still detectable in the adult queen. Hex80/110 likely exist in at least 3 different subunits, 1 of 110 kDa, and 2 of around 80 kDa, which all share a common N-terminus. They disappear during metamorphosis earlier than Hex70b and c. All these hexamerins have been found also in the antenna, suggesting their utilization in building up of antennal cuticle structures.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Honeybee methodology, cognition, and theory: recording local directional decisions in interpatch foraging and interpreting their theoretical relevance.

    PubMed

    Najera, Daniel A; Jander, Rudolf

    2012-03-01

    Investigations made into the cognitive decision making of honeybees (Apis mellifera) traveling from one flower patch to another flower patch (interpatch foraging) are few. To facilitate such research, we present methods to artificially emulate interpatch foraging and quantify the immediate decision making of honeybees (within 50 cm) choosing to fly an interpatch path. These "Interpatch Methods" are validated, applied, and shown to produce novel information for the field of honeybee spatial cognition. Generally, we demonstrate that a single foraging cohort of honeybees is shown to be capable of making decisions based upon different sets of learned cues, in the exact same context. Specifically, both terminal beacon orientation cues and compass navigation cues can guide the cognitive decision making of interpatch foraging honeybees; our bees chose both cues equally. Finally, the theoretical importance of decision making for interpatch paths is compared with the other foraging paths (outward and homing) with respect to the information available to recruited foragers and scout foragers. We conclude that the ability to analyze interpatch foraging is critical for a more complete understanding of honeybee foraging cognition and that our methods are capable of providing that understanding.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  8. Alarm responses caused by newly identified compounds derived from the honeybee sting.

    PubMed

    Collins, A M; Blum, M S

    1983-01-01

    Twelve compounds identified from honeybee,Apis mellifera L., sting extracts were evaluated in a standardized laboratory test for their effectiveness in eliciting an alarm response from caged worker honeybees. Two-1-decanol and phenol-were judged ineffective as alarm pheromones. The other ten-1-butanol, isopentyl acetate, isopentyl alcohol, 1-hexanol, 2-heptyl acetate, 2-heptanol, 1-octanol, 1-acetoxy-2-octene, 2-nonyl acetate, and 1-acetoxy-2-nonene-produced alarm responses of similar speed and intensity. Three non-sting-derived compounds-β-ionone, methyl benzoate, andtrans-cinnamaldehyde-caused weak or no responses, indicating that the responses were not simply a reaction to concentrated odoriferous substances. PMID:24408619

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-21

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Spores of Ascosphaera apis contained in wax foundation can infect honeybee brood.

    PubMed

    Flores, J M; Spivak, M; Gutiérrez, I

    2005-06-15

    Chalkbrood disease in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) is caused by an infection with Ascosphaera apis. Disease expression requires the consumption of fungal spores and a predisposing condition in the susceptible brood. A. apis spores within sheets of wax foundation could be a source of inoculum leading to chalkbrood, but it is also possible that these spores remain confined in the wax and do not contribute to disease. We have resolved this topic by chilling susceptible brood within wax combs built on contaminated foundation (using treatments of spores from 1 mummy and spores from 10 mummies) versus uncontaminated foundation. We found significantly higher levels of chalkbrood in brood exposed to the higher dosage. Our results demonstrate that foundation wax contaminated with spores of A. apis spores may be a source of chalkbrood in honeybee colonies.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Consumption rate of some proteinic diets affecting hypopharyngeal glands development in honeybee workers

    PubMed Central

    Al-Ghamdi, Ahmad AlKazim; Al-Khaibari, Abeer M.; Omar, Mohamed O.

    2010-01-01

    The experiment was carried out under laboratory condition to study the consumption of some proteinic diets and their effect on hypopharyngeal glands (HPG) development during nursing period. The results showed that the bee bread and the pollen loads mixture with sugar (1:1) were more consumed by honeybee workers followed by Nectapol® and Yeast-Gluten mixture. The lowest consumption amount was recorded with traditional substitute. Clear differences were found in HPG development under feeding with different diets. The maximum development degree was observed when fed with bee bread followed by pollen loads and mixture from Yeast, Gluten and sugar (1:1:2). The acinal surface of HPG showed clear difference under feeding with difference diets. The largest area was recorded when honeybee workers fed on bee bread followed by Yeast-Gluten-sugar mixture (diet,4) and pollen loads(diet,2). PMID:23961106

  18. Age-related learning deficits can be reversible in honeybees Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Baker, Nicholas; Wolschin, Florian; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-10-01

    Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera). Variation in honeybee social development, moreover, results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior. Here, we combine manipulations of social development with a measurement of sensory sensitivity, Pavlovian (associative) learning, and a proteomic technique to study the brain of aged honeybees. First, we confirm that sensory sensitivity can remain intact during aging, and that age-associated learning deficits are specific to bees that forage, a behavior typically expressed after a period of nursing activity. These initial data go beyond previous findings by showing how foragers age in social groups of different age compositions and sizes. Thereafter, we establish that learning ability can recover in aged foragers that revert to nursing tasks. Finally, we use liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS(2)) to describe proteomic differences between central brains, from reverted former foragers that varied in recovery of learning performance, and from nurse bees that varied in learning ability but never foraged. We find that recovery is positively associated with levels of stress response/cellular maintenance proteins in the central brain, while variation in learning before aging is negatively associated with the amounts of metabolic enzymes in the brain tissue. Our work provides the strongest evidence, thus far, for reversibility of learning deficits in aged honeybees, and indicates that recovery-related brain plasticity is connected to cellular stress resilience, maintenance and repair processes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-30

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    In the global perspective of antibiotic resistance, it is urgent to find potent topical antibiotics for the use in human and animal infection. Healing of equine wounds, particularly in the limbs, is difficult due to hydrostatic factors and exposure to environmental contaminants, which can lead to heavy bio-burden/biofilm formation and sometimes to infection. Therefore, antibiotics are often prescribed. Recent studies have shown that honeybee-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB), involved in honey production, and inhibit human wound pathogens. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the effects on the healing of hard-to-heal equine wounds after treatment with these LAB symbionts viable in a heather honey formulation. For this, we included ten horses with wound duration of >1 year, investigated the wound microbiota, and treated wounds with the novel honeybee LAB formulation. We identified the microbiota using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and DNA sequencing. In addition, the antimicrobial properties of the honeybee LAB formulation were tested against all wound isolates in vitro. Our results indicate a diverse wound microbiota including fifty-three bacterial species that showed 90 % colonization by at least one species of Staphylococcus. Treatment with the formulation promoted wound healing in all cases already after the first application and the wounds were either completely healed (n = 3) in less than 20 days or healing was in progress. Furthermore, the honeybee LAB formulation inhibited all pathogens when tested in vitro. Consequently, this new treatment option presents as a powerful candidate for the topical treatment of hard-to-heal wounds in horses. PMID:27324340

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Nasonov pheromone of the honeybee.Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae) : IV. Comparative electroantennogram responses.

    PubMed

    Williams, I H; Pickett, J A; Martin, A P

    1982-02-01

    Electroantennogram (EAG) responses from worker honeybee antennae were obtained for each Nasonov component. Response amplitudes to 10 μg of components correlated well with reported relative abilities to attract foragers in the field. EAG responses of worker, queen, and drone antennae to natural pheromone were consistently greater than to synthetic pheromone, a difference only partly explained by enzymic conversion of geraniol to (E)-citral during preparation of natural extracts.

  7. The Influence of Gustatory and Olfactory Experiences on Responsiveness to Reward in the Honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Gabriela P.; Martínez, Andrés S.; Fernández, Vanesa M.; Corti Bielsa, Gonzalo; Farina, Walter M.

    2010-01-01

    Background Honeybees (Apis mellifera) exhibit an extraordinarily tuned division of labor that depends on age polyethism. This adjustment is generally associated with the fact that individuals of different ages display different response thresholds to given stimuli, which determine specific behaviors. For instance, the sucrose-response threshold (SRT) which largely depends on genetic factors may also be affected by the nectar sugar content. However, it remains unknown whether SRTs in workers of different ages and tasks can differ depending on gustatory and olfactory experiences. Methodology Groups of worker bees reared either in an artificial environment or else in a queen-right colony, were exposed to different reward conditions at different adult ages. Gustatory response scores (GRSs) and odor-memory retrieval were measured in bees that were previously exposed to changes in food characteristics. Principal Findings Results show that the gustatory responses of pre-foraging-aged bees are affected by changes in sucrose solution concentration and also to the presence of an odor provided it is presented as scented sucrose solution. In contrast no differences in worker responses were observed when presented with odor only in the rearing environment. Fast modulation of GRSs was observed in older bees (12–16 days of age) which are commonly involved in food processing tasks within the hive, while slower modulation times were observed in younger bees (commonly nurse bees, 6–9 days of age). This suggests that older food-processing bees have a higher plasticity when responding to fluctuations in resource information than younger hive bees. Adjustments in the number of trophallaxis events were also found when scented food circulated inside the nest, and this was positively correlated with the differences in timing observed in gustatory responsiveness and memory retention for hive bees of different age classes. Conclusions This work demonstrates the accessibility of

  8. Spider movement, UV reflectance and size, but not spider crypsis, affect the response of honeybees to Australian crab spiders.

    PubMed

    Llandres, Ana L; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A

    2011-02-16

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees.

  9. 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

  10. The Worker Honeybee Fat Body Proteome Is Extensively Remodeled Preceding a Major Life-History Transition

    PubMed Central

    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. Ontogeny of orientation flight in the honeybee revealed by harmonic radar.

    PubMed

    Capaldi, E A; Smith, A D; Osborne, J L; Fahrbach, S E; Farris, S M; Reynolds, D R; Edwards, A S; Martin, A; Robinson, G E; Poppy, G M; Riley, J R

    2000-02-01

    Cognitive ethology focuses on the study of animals under natural conditions to reveal ecologically adapted modes of learning. But biologists can more easily study what an animal learns than how it learns. For example, honeybees take repeated 'orientation' flights before becoming foragers at about three weeks of age. These flights are a prerequisite for successful homing. Little is known about these flights because orienting bees rapidly fly out of the range of human observation. Using harmonic radar, we show for the first time a striking ontogeny to honeybee orientation flights. With increased experience, bees hold trip duration constant but fly faster, so later trips cover a larger area than earlier trips. In addition, each flight is typically restricted to a narrow sector around the hive. Orientation flights provide honeybees with repeated opportunities to view the hive and landscape features from different viewpoints, suggesting that bees learn the local landscape in a progressive fashion. We also show that these changes in orientation flight are related to the number of previous flights taken instead of chronological age, suggesting a learning process adapted to changes in weather conditions, flower availability and the needs of bee colonies.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Novel biopesticide based on a spider venom peptide shows no adverse effects on honeybees.

    PubMed

    Nakasu, Erich Y T; Williamson, Sally M; Edwards, Martin G; Fitches, Elaine C; Gatehouse, John A; Wright, Geraldine A; Gatehouse, Angharad M R

    2014-07-22

    Evidence is accumulating that commonly used pesticides are linked to decline of pollinator populations; adverse effects of three neonicotinoids on bees have led to bans on their use across the European Union. Developing insecticides that pose negligible risks to beneficial organisms such as honeybees is desirable and timely. One strategy is to use recombinant fusion proteins containing neuroactive peptides/proteins linked to a 'carrier' protein that confers oral toxicity. Hv1a/GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin), containing an insect-specific spider venom calcium channel blocker (ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a) linked to snowdrop lectin (GNA) as a 'carrier', is an effective oral biopesticide towards various insect pests. Effects of Hv1a/GNA towards a non-target species, Apis mellifera, were assessed through a thorough early-tier risk assessment. Following feeding, honeybees internalized Hv1a/GNA, which reached the brain within 1 h after exposure. However, survival was only slightly affected by ingestion (LD50>100 µg bee(-1)) or injection of fusion protein. Bees fed acute (100 µg bee(-1)) or chronic (0.35 mg ml(-1)) doses of Hv1a/GNA and trained in an olfactory learning task had similar rates of learning and memory to no-pesticide controls. Larvae were unaffected, being able to degrade Hv1a/GNA. These tests suggest that Hv1a/GNA is unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees, indicating that atracotoxins targeting calcium channels are potential alternatives to conventional pesticides.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. MALDI imaging analysis of neuropeptides in the Africanized honeybee (Apis mellifera) brain: effect of ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Pratavieira, Marcel; da Silva Menegasso, Anally Ribeiro; Garcia, Ana Maria Caviquioli; Dos Santos, Diego Simões; Gomes, Paulo Cesar; Malaspina, Osmar; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2014-06-01

    The occurrence and spatial distribution of the neuropeptides AmTRP-5 and AST-1 in the honeybee brain were monitored via MALDI spectral imaging according to the ontogeny of Africanized Apis mellifera. The levels of these peptides increased in the brains of 0-15 day old honeybees, and this increase was accompanied by an increase in the number of in-hive activities performed by the nurse bees, followed by a decrease in the period from 15 to 25 days of age, in which the workers began to perform activities outside the nest (guarding and foraging). The results obtained in the present investigation suggest that AmTRP-5 acts in the upper region of both pedunculi of young workers, possibly regulating the cell cleaning and brood capping activities. Meanwhile, the localized occurrence of AmTRP-5 and AST-1 in the antennal lobes, subesophageal ganglion, upper region of the medulla, both lobula, and α- and β-lobes of both brain hemispheres in 20 to 25 day old workers suggest that the action of both neuropeptides in these regions may be related to their localized actions in these regions, regulating foraging and guarding activities. Thus, these neuropeptides appear to have some functions in the honeybee brain that are specifically related to the age-related division of labor.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Chronic neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and parasite stress differentially affects learning in honeybees and bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Piiroinen, Saija; Goulson, Dave

    2016-04-13

    Learning and memory are crucial functions which enable insect pollinators to efficiently locate and extract floral rewards. Exposure to pesticides or infection by parasites may cause subtle but ecologically important changes in cognitive functions of pollinators. The potential interactive effects of these stressors on learning and memory have not yet been explored. Furthermore, sensitivity to stressors may differ between species, but few studies have compared responses in different species. Here, we show that chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid clothianidin impaired olfactory learning acquisition in honeybees, leading to potential impacts on colony fitness, but not in bumblebees. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae slightly impaired learning in honeybees, but no interactive effects were observed. Nosema did not infect bumblebees (3% infection success). Nevertheless, Nosema-treated bumblebees had a slightly lower rate of learning than controls, but faster learning in combination with neonicotinoid exposure. This highlights the potential for complex interactive effects of stressors on learning. Our results underline that one cannot readily extrapolate findings from one bee species to others. This has important implications for regulatory risk assessments which generally use honeybees as a model for all bees. PMID:27053744

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Symbionts as major modulators of insect health: lactic acid bacteria and honeybees.

    PubMed

    Vásquez, Alejandra; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; Paxton, Robert J; Flaberg, Emilie; Szekely, Laszlo; Olofsson, Tobias C

    2012-01-01

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are well recognized beneficial host-associated members of the microbiota of humans and animals. Yet LAB-associations of invertebrates have been poorly characterized and their functions remain obscure. Here we show that honeybees possess an abundant, diverse and ancient LAB microbiota in their honey crop with beneficial effects for bee health, defending them against microbial threats. Our studies of LAB in all extant honeybee species plus related apid bees reveal one of the largest collections of novel species from the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium ever discovered within a single insect and suggest a long (>80 mya) history of association. Bee associated microbiotas highlight Lactobacillus kunkeei as the dominant LAB member. Those showing potent antimicrobial properties are acquired by callow honey bee workers from nestmates and maintained within the crop in biofilms, though beekeeping management practices can negatively impact this microbiota. Prophylactic practices that enhance LAB, or supplementary feeding of LAB, may serve in integrated approaches to sustainable pollinator service provision. We anticipate this microbiota will become central to studies on honeybee health, including colony collapse disorder, and act as an exemplar case of insect-microbe symbiosis.

  6. Genetics of reproduction and regulation of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) social behavior.

    PubMed

    Page, Robert E; Rueppell, Olav; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees form complex societies with a division of labor for reproduction, nutrition, nest construction and maintenance, and defense. How does it evolve? Tasks performed by worker honeybees are distributed in time and space. There is no central control over behavior and there is no central genome on which selection can act and effect adaptive change. For 22 years, we have been addressing these questions by selecting on a single social trait associated with nutrition: the amount of surplus pollen (a source of protein) that is stored in the combs of the nest. Forty-two generations of selection have revealed changes at biological levels extending from the society down to the level of the gene. We show how we constructed this vertical understanding of social evolution using behavioral and anatomical analyses, physiology, genetic mapping, and gene knockdowns. We map out the phenotypic and genetic architectures of food storage and foraging behavior and show how they are linked through broad epistasis and pleiotropy affecting a reproductive regulatory network that influences foraging behavior. This is remarkable because worker honeybees have reduced reproductive organs and are normally sterile; however, the reproductive regulatory network has been co-opted for behavioral division of labor.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Identification of Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus and Lactobacillus fermentum from honey stomach of honeybee.

    PubMed

    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".