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Sample records for affecting honey bee

  1. Bees brought to their knees: Microbes affecting honey bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biology and health of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, has been of interest to human societies since the advent of beekeeping. Descriptive scientific research on pathogens affecting honey bees have been published for nearly a century, but it wasn’t until the recent outbreak of heavy colony losses...

  2. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  3. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-10-13

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances.

  4. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Geoffrey R.; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar; Yañez, Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances. PMID:26459072

  5. Viral infection affects sucrose responsiveness and homing ability of forager honey bees, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhiguo; Chen, Yanping; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Shenglu; Li, Wenfeng; Yan, Limin; Shi, Liangen; Wu, Lyman; Sohr, Alex; Su, Songkun

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER) assays and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 10⁷ copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive. PMID:24130876

  6. Viral infection affects sucrose responsiveness and homing ability of forager honey bees, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhiguo; Chen, Yanping; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Shenglu; Li, Wenfeng; Yan, Limin; Shi, Liangen; Wu, Lyman; Sohr, Alex; Su, Songkun

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER) assays and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 10⁷ copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive.

  7. Viral Infection Affects Sucrose Responsiveness and Homing Ability of Forager Honey Bees, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhiguo; Chen, Yanping; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Shenglu; Li, Wenfeng; Yan, Limin; Shi, Liangen; Wu, Lyman; Sohr, Alex; Su, Songkun

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee health is mainly affected by Varroa destructor, viruses, Nosema spp., pesticide residues and poor nutrition. Interactions between these proposed factors may be responsible for the colony losses reported worldwide in recent years. In the present study, the effects of a honey bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), on the foraging behaviors and homing ability of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were investigated based on proboscis extension response (PER) assays and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. The pollen forager honey bees originated from colonies that had no detectable level of honey bee viruses and were manually inoculated with IAPV to induce the viral infection. The results showed that IAPV-inoculated honey bees were more responsive to low sucrose solutions compared to that of non-infected foragers. After two days of infection, around 107 copies of IAPV were detected in the heads of these honey bees. The homing ability of IAPV-infected foragers was depressed significantly in comparison to the homing ability of uninfected foragers. The data provided evidence that IAPV infection in the heads may enable the virus to disorder foraging roles of honey bees and to interfere with brain functions that are responsible for learning, navigation, and orientation in the honey bees, thus, making honey bees have a lower response threshold to sucrose and lose their way back to the hive. PMID:24130876

  8. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirica...

  9. Variations in the Availability of Pollen Resources Affect Honey Bee Health.

    PubMed

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Alaux, Cédric; Le Conte, Yves; Odoux, Jean-François; Pioz, Maryline; Vaissière, Bernard E; Belzunces, Luc P; Decourtye, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Intensive agricultural systems often expose honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to large temporal variations in the availability (quantity, quality and diversity) of nutritional resources. Such nutritional irregularity is expected to affect honey bee health. We therefore tested under laboratory conditions the effect of such variation in pollen availability on honey bee health (survival and nursing physiology-hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin expression). We fed honey bees with different diets composed of pollen pellets collected by honey bees in an agricultural landscape of western France. Slight drops (5-10%) in the availability of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) pollen resulted in significant reductions of all tested variables. Despite some variations in taxonomic diversity and nutritional quality, the pollen mixes harvested over the season had a similar positive influence on honey bee health, except for the one collected in late July that induced poor survival and nursing physiology. This period coincided with the mass-flowering of maize (Zea mays L.), an anemophilous crop which produces poor-quality pollen. Therefore, changes in bee health were not connected to variations in pollen diversity but rather to variations in pollen depletion and quality, such as can be encountered in an intensive agricultural system of western France. Finally, even though pollen can be available ad libitum during the mass-flowering of some crops (e.g. maize), it can fail to provide bees with diet adequate for their development.

  10. Variations in the Availability of Pollen Resources Affect Honey Bee Health

    PubMed Central

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Alaux, Cédric; Le Conte, Yves; Odoux, Jean-François; Pioz, Maryline; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Belzunces, Luc P.; Decourtye, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Intensive agricultural systems often expose honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to large temporal variations in the availability (quantity, quality and diversity) of nutritional resources. Such nutritional irregularity is expected to affect honey bee health. We therefore tested under laboratory conditions the effect of such variation in pollen availability on honey bee health (survival and nursing physiology—hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin expression). We fed honey bees with different diets composed of pollen pellets collected by honey bees in an agricultural landscape of western France. Slight drops (5–10%) in the availability of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) pollen resulted in significant reductions of all tested variables. Despite some variations in taxonomic diversity and nutritional quality, the pollen mixes harvested over the season had a similar positive influence on honey bee health, except for the one collected in late July that induced poor survival and nursing physiology. This period coincided with the mass-flowering of maize (Zea mays L.), an anemophilous crop which produces poor-quality pollen. Therefore, changes in bee health were not connected to variations in pollen diversity but rather to variations in pollen depletion and quality, such as can be encountered in an intensive agricultural system of western France. Finally, even though pollen can be available ad libitum during the mass-flowering of some crops (e.g. maize), it can fail to provide bees with diet adequate for their development. PMID:27631605

  11. Variations in the Availability of Pollen Resources Affect Honey Bee Health.

    PubMed

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Alaux, Cédric; Le Conte, Yves; Odoux, Jean-François; Pioz, Maryline; Vaissière, Bernard E; Belzunces, Luc P; Decourtye, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Intensive agricultural systems often expose honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to large temporal variations in the availability (quantity, quality and diversity) of nutritional resources. Such nutritional irregularity is expected to affect honey bee health. We therefore tested under laboratory conditions the effect of such variation in pollen availability on honey bee health (survival and nursing physiology-hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin expression). We fed honey bees with different diets composed of pollen pellets collected by honey bees in an agricultural landscape of western France. Slight drops (5-10%) in the availability of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) pollen resulted in significant reductions of all tested variables. Despite some variations in taxonomic diversity and nutritional quality, the pollen mixes harvested over the season had a similar positive influence on honey bee health, except for the one collected in late July that induced poor survival and nursing physiology. This period coincided with the mass-flowering of maize (Zea mays L.), an anemophilous crop which produces poor-quality pollen. Therefore, changes in bee health were not connected to variations in pollen diversity but rather to variations in pollen depletion and quality, such as can be encountered in an intensive agricultural system of western France. Finally, even though pollen can be available ad libitum during the mass-flowering of some crops (e.g. maize), it can fail to provide bees with diet adequate for their development. PMID:27631605

  12. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarpy, David R.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S.

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee ( Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency ( m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated.

  13. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency (m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e  ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e  > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated. PMID:23728203

  14. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming H.; Strand, Micheline K.; Rueppell, Olav; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such “migratory management” causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees. PMID:27554200

  15. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming H; Strand, Micheline K; Rueppell, Olav; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such "migratory management" causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees. PMID:27554200

  16. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Li-Byarlay, Hongmei; Huang, Ming H; Strand, Micheline K; Rueppell, Olav; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Concerns have been raised about whether such "migratory management" causes bees undue stress; however to date there have been no longer-term studies rigorously addressing whether migratory management is detrimental to bee health. To address this issue, we conducted field experiments comparing bees from commercial and experimental migratory beekeeping operations to those from stationary colonies to quantify effects on lifespan, colony health and productivity, and levels of oxidative damage for individual bees. We detected a significant decrease in lifespan of migratory adult bees relative to stationary bees. We also found that migration affected oxidative stress levels in honey bees, but that food scarcity had an even larger impact; some detrimental effects of migration may be alleviated by a greater abundance of forage. In addition, rearing conditions affect levels of oxidative damage incurred as adults. This is the first comprehensive study on impacts of migratory management on the health and oxidative stress of honey bees.

  17. Context affects nestmate recognition errors in honey bees and stingless bees.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Segers, Francisca H I D; Cooper-Bowman, Roseanne; Truslove, Gemma; Nascimento, Daniela L; Nascimento, Fabio S; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2013-08-15

    Nestmate recognition studies, where a discriminator first recognises and then behaviourally discriminates (accepts/rejects) another individual, have used a variety of methodologies and contexts. This is potentially problematic because recognition errors in discrimination behaviour are predicted to be context-dependent. Here we compare the recognition decisions (accept/reject) of discriminators in two eusocial bees, Apis mellifera and Tetragonisca angustula, under different contexts. These contexts include natural guards at the hive entrance (control); natural guards held in plastic test arenas away from the hive entrance that vary either in the presence or absence of colony odour or the presence or absence of an additional nestmate discriminator; and, for the honey bee, the inside of the nest. For both honey bee and stingless bee guards, total recognition errors of behavioural discrimination made by guards (% nestmates rejected + % non-nestmates accepted) are much lower at the colony entrance (honey bee: 30.9%; stingless bee: 33.3%) than in the test arenas (honey bee: 60-86%; stingless bee: 61-81%; P<0.001 for both). Within the test arenas, the presence of colony odour specifically reduced the total recognition errors in honey bees, although this reduction still fell short of bringing error levels down to what was found at the colony entrance. Lastly, in honey bees, the data show that the in-nest collective behavioural discrimination by ca. 30 workers that contact an intruder is insufficient to achieve error-free recognition and is not as effective as the discrimination by guards at the entrance. Overall, these data demonstrate that context is a significant factor in a discriminators' ability to make appropriate recognition decisions, and should be considered when designing recognition study methodologies.

  18. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide.

    PubMed

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  19. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide.

    PubMed

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed.

  20. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide

    PubMed Central

    Démares, Fabien J.; Crous, Kendall L.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  1. Does Cry1Ab protein affect learning performances of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae)?

    PubMed

    Ramirez-Romero, R; Desneux, N; Decourtye, A; Chaffiol, A; Pham-Delègue, M H

    2008-06-01

    Genetically modified Bt crops are increasingly used worldwide but side effects and especially sublethal effects on beneficial insects remain poorly studied. Honey bees are beneficial insects for natural and cultivated ecosystems through pollination. The goal of the present study was to assess potential effects of two concentrations of Cry1Ab protein (3 and 5000 ppb) on young adult honey bees. Following a complementary bioassay, our experiments evaluated effects of the Cry1Ab on three major life traits of young adult honey bees: (a) survival of honey bees during sub-chronic exposure to Cry1Ab, (b) feeding behaviour, and (c) learning performance at the time that honey bees become foragers. The latter effect was tested using the proboscis extension reflex (PER) procedure. The same effects were also tested using a chemical pesticide, imidacloprid, as positive reference. The tested concentrations of Cry1Ab protein did not cause lethal effects on honey bees. However, honey bee feeding behaviour was affected when exposed to the highest concentration of Cry1Ab protein, with honey bees taking longer to imbibe the contaminated syrup. Moreover, honey bees exposed to 5000 ppb of Cry1Ab had disturbed learning performances. Honey bees continued to respond to a conditioned odour even in the absence of a food reward. Our results show that transgenic crops expressing Cry1Ab protein at 5000 ppb may affect food consumption or learning processes and thereby may impact honey bee foraging efficiency. The implications of these results are discussed in terms of risks of transgenic Bt crops for honey bees. PMID:18206234

  2. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture.

  3. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-11-12

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture. PMID:24145453

  4. Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Cavaliere, Valeria; Annoscia, Desiderato; Varricchio, Paola; Caprio, Emilio; Nazzi, Francesco; Gargiulo, Giuseppe; Pennacchio, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale losses of honey bee colonies represent a poorly understood problem of global importance. Both biotic and abiotic factors are involved in this phenomenon that is often associated with high loads of parasites and pathogens. A stronger impact of pathogens in honey bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides has been reported, but the causal link between insecticide exposure and the possible immune alteration of honey bees remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin negatively modulates NF-κB immune signaling in insects and adversely affects honey bee antiviral defenses controlled by this transcription factor. We have identified in insects a negative modulator of NF-κB activation, which is a leucine-rich repeat protein. Exposure to clothianidin, by enhancing the transcription of the gene encoding this inhibitor, reduces immune defenses and promotes the replication of the deformed wing virus in honey bees bearing covert infections. This honey bee immunosuppression is similarly induced by a different neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, but not by the organophosphate chlorpyriphos, which does not affect NF-κB signaling. The occurrence at sublethal doses of this insecticide-induced viral proliferation suggests that the studied neonicotinoids might have a negative effect at the field level. Our experiments uncover a further level of regulation of the immune response in insects and set the stage for studies on neural modulation of immunity in animals. Furthermore, this study has implications for the conservation of bees, as it will contribute to the definition of more appropriate guidelines for testing chronic or sublethal effects of pesticides used in agriculture. PMID:24145453

  5. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    PubMed

    Torres, David J; Ricoy, Ulises M; Roybal, Shanae

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

  6. Modeling Honey Bee Populations

    PubMed Central

    Torres, David J.; Ricoy, Ulises M.; Roybal, Shanae

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population. PMID:26148010

  7. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    PubMed

    Torres, David J; Ricoy, Ulises M; Roybal, Shanae

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population. PMID:26148010

  8. The neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin affect the immunocompetence of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity.

  9. The neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin affect the immunocompetence of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Brandt, Annely; Gorenflo, Anna; Siede, Reinhold; Meixner, Marina; Büchler, Ralph

    2016-03-01

    A strong immune defense is vital for honey bee health and colony survival. This defense can be weakened by environmental factors that may render honey bees more vulnerable to parasites and pathogens. Honey bees are frequently exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are being discussed as one of the stress factors that may lead to colony failure. We investigated the sublethal effects of the neonicotinoids thiacloprid, imidacloprid, and clothianidin on individual immunity, by studying three major aspects of immunocompetence in worker bees: total hemocyte number, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity of the hemolymph. In laboratory experiments, we found a strong impact of all three neonicotinoids. Thiacloprid (24h oral exposure, 200 μg/l or 2000 μg/l) and imidacloprid (1 μg/l or 10 μg/l) reduced hemocyte density, encapsulation response, and antimicrobial activity even at field realistic concentrations. Clothianidin had an effect on these immune parameters only at higher than field realistic concentrations (50-200 μg/l). These results suggest that neonicotinoids affect the individual immunocompetence of honey bees, possibly leading to an impaired disease resistance capacity. PMID:26776096

  10. Variation in honey bee gut microbial diversity affected by ontogenetic stage, age and geographic location.

    PubMed

    Hroncova, Zuzana; Havlik, Jaroslav; Killer, Jiri; Doskocil, Ivo; Tyl, Jan; Kamler, Martin; Titera, Dalibor; Hakl, Josef; Mrazek, Jakub; Bunesova, Vera; Rada, Vojtech

    2015-01-01

    Social honey bees, Apis mellifera, host a set of distinct microbiota, which is similar across the continents and various honey bee species. Some of these bacteria, such as lactobacilli, have been linked to immunity and defence against pathogens. Pathogen defence is crucial, particularly in larval stages, as many pathogens affect the brood. However, information on larval microbiota is conflicting. Seven developmental stages and drones were sampled from 3 colonies at each of the 4 geographic locations of A. mellifera carnica, and the samples were maintained separately for analysis. We analysed the variation and abundance of important bacterial groups and taxa in the collected bees. Major bacterial groups were evaluated over the entire life of honey bee individuals, where digestive tracts of same aged bees were sampled in the course of time. The results showed that the microbial tract of 6-day-old 5th instar larvae were nearly equally rich in total microbial counts per total digestive tract weight as foraging bees, showing a high percentage of various lactobacilli (Firmicutes) and Gilliamella apicola (Gammaproteobacteria 1). However, during pupation, microbial counts were significantly reduced but recovered quickly by 6 days post-emergence. Between emergence and day 6, imago reached the highest counts of Firmicutes and Gammaproteobacteria, which then gradually declined with bee age. Redundancy analysis conducted using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis identified bacterial species that were characteristic of each developmental stage. The results suggest that 3-day 4th instar larvae contain low microbial counts that increase 2-fold by day 6 and then decrease during pupation. Microbial succession of the imago begins soon after emergence. We found that bacterial counts do not show only yearly cycles within a colony, but vary on the individual level. Sampling and pooling adult bees or 6th day larvae may lead to high errors and variability, as both of these stages may

  11. Variation in Honey Bee Gut Microbial Diversity Affected by Ontogenetic Stage, Age and Geographic Location

    PubMed Central

    Hroncova, Zuzana; Havlik, Jaroslav; Killer, Jiri; Doskocil, Ivo; Tyl, Jan; Kamler, Martin; Titera, Dalibor; Hakl, Josef; Mrazek, Jakub; Bunesova, Vera; Rada, Vojtech

    2015-01-01

    Social honey bees, Apis mellifera, host a set of distinct microbiota, which is similar across the continents and various honey bee species. Some of these bacteria, such as lactobacilli, have been linked to immunity and defence against pathogens. Pathogen defence is crucial, particularly in larval stages, as many pathogens affect the brood. However, information on larval microbiota is conflicting. Seven developmental stages and drones were sampled from 3 colonies at each of the 4 geographic locations of A. mellifera carnica, and the samples were maintained separately for analysis. We analysed the variation and abundance of important bacterial groups and taxa in the collected bees. Major bacterial groups were evaluated over the entire life of honey bee individuals, where digestive tracts of same aged bees were sampled in the course of time. The results showed that the microbial tract of 6-day-old 5th instar larvae were nearly equally rich in total microbial counts per total digestive tract weight as foraging bees, showing a high percentage of various lactobacilli (Firmicutes) and Gilliamella apicola (Gammaproteobacteria 1). However, during pupation, microbial counts were significantly reduced but recovered quickly by 6 days post-emergence. Between emergence and day 6, imago reached the highest counts of Firmicutes and Gammaproteobacteria, which then gradually declined with bee age. Redundancy analysis conducted using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis identified bacterial species that were characteristic of each developmental stage. The results suggest that 3-day 4th instar larvae contain low microbial counts that increase 2-fold by day 6 and then decrease during pupation. Microbial succession of the imago begins soon after emergence. We found that bacterial counts do not show only yearly cycles within a colony, but vary on the individual level. Sampling and pooling adult bees or 6th day larvae may lead to high errors and variability, as both of these stages may

  12. Variation in honey bee gut microbial diversity affected by ontogenetic stage, age and geographic location.

    PubMed

    Hroncova, Zuzana; Havlik, Jaroslav; Killer, Jiri; Doskocil, Ivo; Tyl, Jan; Kamler, Martin; Titera, Dalibor; Hakl, Josef; Mrazek, Jakub; Bunesova, Vera; Rada, Vojtech

    2015-01-01

    Social honey bees, Apis mellifera, host a set of distinct microbiota, which is similar across the continents and various honey bee species. Some of these bacteria, such as lactobacilli, have been linked to immunity and defence against pathogens. Pathogen defence is crucial, particularly in larval stages, as many pathogens affect the brood. However, information on larval microbiota is conflicting. Seven developmental stages and drones were sampled from 3 colonies at each of the 4 geographic locations of A. mellifera carnica, and the samples were maintained separately for analysis. We analysed the variation and abundance of important bacterial groups and taxa in the collected bees. Major bacterial groups were evaluated over the entire life of honey bee individuals, where digestive tracts of same aged bees were sampled in the course of time. The results showed that the microbial tract of 6-day-old 5th instar larvae were nearly equally rich in total microbial counts per total digestive tract weight as foraging bees, showing a high percentage of various lactobacilli (Firmicutes) and Gilliamella apicola (Gammaproteobacteria 1). However, during pupation, microbial counts were significantly reduced but recovered quickly by 6 days post-emergence. Between emergence and day 6, imago reached the highest counts of Firmicutes and Gammaproteobacteria, which then gradually declined with bee age. Redundancy analysis conducted using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis identified bacterial species that were characteristic of each developmental stage. The results suggest that 3-day 4th instar larvae contain low microbial counts that increase 2-fold by day 6 and then decrease during pupation. Microbial succession of the imago begins soon after emergence. We found that bacterial counts do not show only yearly cycles within a colony, but vary on the individual level. Sampling and pooling adult bees or 6th day larvae may lead to high errors and variability, as both of these stages may

  13. Early-life experience affects honey bee aggression and resilience to immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Rittschof, Clare C; Coombs, Chelsey B; Frazier, Maryann; Grozinger, Christina M; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-01-01

    Early-life social experiences cause lasting changes in behavior and health for a variety of animals including humans, but it is not well understood how social information ''gets under the skin'' resulting in these effects. Adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit socially coordinated collective nest defense, providing a model for social modulation of aggressive behavior. Here we report for the first time that a honey bee's early-life social environment has lasting effects on individual aggression: bees that experienced high-aggression environments during pre-adult stages showed increased aggression when they reached adulthood relative to siblings that experienced low-aggression environments, even though all bees were kept in a common environment during adulthood. Unlike other animals including humans however, high-aggression honey bees were more, rather than less, resilient to immune challenge, assessed as neonicotinoid pesticide susceptibility. Moreover, aggression was negatively correlated with ectoparasitic mite presence. In honey bees, early-life social experience has broad effects, but increased aggression is decoupled from negative health outcomes. Because honey bees and humans share aspects of their physiological response to aggressive social encounters, our findings represent a step towards identifying ways to improve individual resiliency. Pre-adult social experience may be crucial to the health of the ecologically threatened honey bee.

  14. Early-life experience affects honey bee aggression and resilience to immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Rittschof, Clare C; Coombs, Chelsey B; Frazier, Maryann; Grozinger, Christina M; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-01-01

    Early-life social experiences cause lasting changes in behavior and health for a variety of animals including humans, but it is not well understood how social information ''gets under the skin'' resulting in these effects. Adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit socially coordinated collective nest defense, providing a model for social modulation of aggressive behavior. Here we report for the first time that a honey bee's early-life social environment has lasting effects on individual aggression: bees that experienced high-aggression environments during pre-adult stages showed increased aggression when they reached adulthood relative to siblings that experienced low-aggression environments, even though all bees were kept in a common environment during adulthood. Unlike other animals including humans however, high-aggression honey bees were more, rather than less, resilient to immune challenge, assessed as neonicotinoid pesticide susceptibility. Moreover, aggression was negatively correlated with ectoparasitic mite presence. In honey bees, early-life social experience has broad effects, but increased aggression is decoupled from negative health outcomes. Because honey bees and humans share aspects of their physiological response to aggressive social encounters, our findings represent a step towards identifying ways to improve individual resiliency. Pre-adult social experience may be crucial to the health of the ecologically threatened honey bee. PMID:26493190

  15. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are chemicals used to kill insects, so it is unsurprising that many insecticides have the potential to harm honey bees (Apis mellifera). However, bees are exposed to a great variety of other potentially toxic chemicals, including flavonoids and alkaloids that are produced by plants; mycotoxins produced by fungi; antimicrobials and acaricides that are introduced by beekeepers; and fungicides, herbicides, and other environmental contaminants. Although often regarded as uniquely sensitive to toxic compounds, honey bees are adapted to tolerate and even thrive in the presence of toxic compounds that occur naturally in their environment. The harm caused by exposure to a particular concentration of a toxic compound may depend on the level of simultaneous exposure to other compounds, pathogen levels, nutritional status, and a host of other factors. This review takes a holistic view of bee toxicology by taking into account the spectrum of xenobiotics to which bees are exposed. PMID:25341092

  16. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are chemicals used to kill insects, so it is unsurprising that many insecticides have the potential to harm honey bees (Apis mellifera). However, bees are exposed to a great variety of other potentially toxic chemicals, including flavonoids and alkaloids that are produced by plants; mycotoxins produced by fungi; antimicrobials and acaricides that are introduced by beekeepers; and fungicides, herbicides, and other environmental contaminants. Although often regarded as uniquely sensitive to toxic compounds, honey bees are adapted to tolerate and even thrive in the presence of toxic compounds that occur naturally in their environment. The harm caused by exposure to a particular concentration of a toxic compound may depend on the level of simultaneous exposure to other compounds, pathogen levels, nutritional status, and a host of other factors. This review takes a holistic view of bee toxicology by taking into account the spectrum of xenobiotics to which bees are exposed.

  17. Ozone Differentially Affects Perception of Plant Volatiles in Western Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Dötterl, Stefan; Vater, Marina; Rupp, Thomas; Held, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    Floral scents play a key role in mediating plant-pollinator interactions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by flowers are used by flower visitors as olfactory cues to locate flowers, both from a distance and at close range. More recently it has been demonstrated that reactive molecules such as ozone can modify or degrade VOCs, and this may impair the communication between plants and their pollinators. However, it is not known whether such reactive molecules also may affect the olfactory system of pollinators, and thus not only influence signal transmission but perception of the signal. In this study, we used electroantennographic measurements to determine the effect of increased levels of ozone on antennal responses in western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Linalool and 2-phenylethanol, both known to be involved in location of flowers by the bees, and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, a widespread green leaf volatile also detected by bees, were used. The results showed that ozone affected antennal responses to the different substances differently. Ozone decreased antennal responses to (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, whereas responses to linalool and 2-phenylethanol were not influenced by ozone. Overall, the study does not provide evidence that pollination by honey bees is impaired by damage in the olfactory system of the bees caused by increased levels of ozone, at least when linalool and 2-phenylethanol are the attractive signals. However, the results also suggest that ozone can change the overall perception of an odor blend. This might have negative effects in pollination systems and other organismic interactions mediated by specific ratios of compounds. PMID:27344162

  18. Early-life experience affects honey bee aggression and resilience to immune challenge

    PubMed Central

    Rittschof, Clare C.; Coombs, Chelsey B.; Frazier, Maryann; Grozinger, Christina M.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    Early-life social experiences cause lasting changes in behavior and health for a variety of animals including humans, but it is not well understood how social information ‘‘gets under the skin’’ resulting in these effects. Adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit socially coordinated collective nest defense, providing a model for social modulation of aggressive behavior. Here we report for the first time that a honey bee’s early-life social environment has lasting effects on individual aggression: bees that experienced high-aggression environments during pre-adult stages showed increased aggression when they reached adulthood relative to siblings that experienced low-aggression environments, even though all bees were kept in a common environment during adulthood. Unlike other animals including humans however, high-aggression honey bees were more, rather than less, resilient to immune challenge, assessed as neonicotinoid pesticide susceptibility. Moreover, aggression was negatively correlated with ectoparasitic mite presence. In honey bees, early-life social experience has broad effects, but increased aggression is decoupled from negative health outcomes. Because honey bees and humans share aspects of their physiological response to aggressive social encounters, our findings represent a step towards identifying ways to improve individual resiliency. Pre-adult social experience may be crucial to the health of the ecologically threatened honey bee. PMID:26493190

  19. Acaricide treatment affects viral dynamics in Varroa destructor-infested honey bee colonies via both host physiology and mite control.

    PubMed

    Locke, Barbara; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are declining, and a number of stressors have been identified that affect, alone or in combination, the health of honey bees. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, honey bee viruses that are often closely associated with the mite, and pesticides used to control the mite population form a complex system of stressors that may affect honey bee health in different ways. During an acaricide treatment using Apistan (plastic strips coated with tau-fluvalinate), we analyzed the infection dynamics of deformed wing virus (DWV), sacbrood virus (SBV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV) in adult bees, mite-infested pupae, their associated Varroa mites, and uninfested pupae, comparing these to similar samples from untreated control colonies. Titers of DWV increased initially with the onset of the acaricide application and then slightly decreased progressively coinciding with the removal of the Varroa mite infestation. This initial increase in DWV titers suggests a physiological effect of tau-fluvalinate on the host's susceptibility to viral infection. DWV titers in adult bees and uninfested pupae remained higher in treated colonies than in untreated colonies. The titers of SBV and BQCV did not show any direct relationship with mite infestation and showed a variety of possible effects of the acaricide treatment. The results indicate that other factors besides Varroa mite infestation may be important to the development and maintenance of damaging DWV titers in colonies. Possible biochemical explanations for the observed synergistic effects between tau-fluvalinate and virus infections are discussed.

  20. Acaricide Treatment Affects Viral Dynamics in Varroa destructor-Infested Honey Bee Colonies via both Host Physiology and Mite Control

    PubMed Central

    Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies are declining, and a number of stressors have been identified that affect, alone or in combination, the health of honey bees. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, honey bee viruses that are often closely associated with the mite, and pesticides used to control the mite population form a complex system of stressors that may affect honey bee health in different ways. During an acaricide treatment using Apistan (plastic strips coated with tau-fluvalinate), we analyzed the infection dynamics of deformed wing virus (DWV), sacbrood virus (SBV), and black queen cell virus (BQCV) in adult bees, mite-infested pupae, their associated Varroa mites, and uninfested pupae, comparing these to similar samples from untreated control colonies. Titers of DWV increased initially with the onset of the acaricide application and then slightly decreased progressively coinciding with the removal of the Varroa mite infestation. This initial increase in DWV titers suggests a physiological effect of tau-fluvalinate on the host's susceptibility to viral infection. DWV titers in adult bees and uninfested pupae remained higher in treated colonies than in untreated colonies. The titers of SBV and BQCV did not show any direct relationship with mite infestation and showed a variety of possible effects of the acaricide treatment. The results indicate that other factors besides Varroa mite infestation may be important to the development and maintenance of damaging DWV titers in colonies. Possible biochemical explanations for the observed synergistic effects between tau-fluvalinate and virus infections are discussed. PMID:22020517

  1. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to different ages and reproductive statuses of varroa mites in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four different classes of mites: gravid, phoret...

  2. Migratory management and environmental conditions affect lifespan and oxidative stress in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most pollination in large-scale agriculture is dependent on managed colonies of a single species, the honey bee Apis mellifera. More than 1 million hives are transported to California each year just to pollinate the almonds, and bees are trucked across the country for various cropping systems. Conce...

  3. [Bee, wax and honey].

    PubMed

    de Laguérenne, Claude

    2003-01-01

    The archives of Nantes contain two manuscripts of the XVIIth century from which we found 63 formulae which enter bees, honey and wax. Our study concerns these various galeniques forms for internal use or external used in therapeutics and in beauty care.

  4. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Rinkevich, Frank D; Margotta, Joseph W; Pittman, Jean M; Danka, Robert G; Tarver, Matthew R; Ottea, James A; Healy, Kristen B

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID

  5. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Rinkevich, Frank D; Margotta, Joseph W; Pittman, Jean M; Danka, Robert G; Tarver, Matthew R; Ottea, James A; Healy, Kristen B

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature.

  6. Genetics, Synergists, and Age Affect Insecticide Sensitivity of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Rinkevich, Frank D.; Margotta, Joseph W.; Pittman, Jean M.; Danka, Robert G.; Tarver, Matthew R.; Ottea, James A.; Healy, Kristen B.

    2015-01-01

    The number of honey bee colonies in the United States has declined to half of its peak level in the 1940s, and colonies lost over the winter have reached levels that are becoming economically unstable. While the causes of these losses are numerous and the interaction between them is very complex, the role of insecticides has garnered much attention. As a result, there is a need to better understand the risk of insecticides to bees, leading to more studies on both toxicity and exposure. While much research has been conducted on insecticides and bees, there have been very limited studies to elucidate the role that bee genotype and age has on the toxicity of these insecticides. The goal of this study was to determine if there are differences in insecticide sensitivity between honey bees of different genetic backgrounds (Carniolan, Italian, and Russian stocks) and assess if insecticide sensitivity varies with age. We found that Italian bees were the most sensitive of these stocks to insecticides, but variation was largely dependent on the class of insecticide tested. There were almost no differences in organophosphate bioassays between honey bee stocks (<1-fold), moderate differences in pyrethroid bioassays (1.5 to 3-fold), and dramatic differences in neonicotinoid bioassays (3.4 to 33.3-fold). Synergism bioassays with piperonyl butoxide, amitraz, and coumaphos showed increased phenothrin sensitivity in all stocks and also demonstrated further physiological differences between stocks. In addition, as bees aged, the sensitivity to phenothrin significantly decreased, but the sensitivity to naled significantly increased. These results demonstrate the variation arising from the genetic background and physiological transitions in honey bees as they age. This information can be used to determine risk assessment, as well as establishing baseline data for future comparisons to explain the variation in toxicity differences for honey bees reported in the literature. PMID

  7. How Varroa Parasitism Affects the Immunological and Nutritional Status of the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Aronstein, Katherine A; Saldivar, Eduardo; Vega, Rodrigo; Westmiller, Stephanie; Douglas, Angela E

    2012-06-27

    We investigated the effect of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor on the immunological and nutritional condition of honey bees, Apis mellifera, from the perspective of the individual bee and the colony. Pupae, newly-emerged adults and foraging adults were sampled from honey bee colonies at one site in S. Texas, USA. Varroa‑infested bees displayed elevated titer of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), suggestive of depressed capacity to limit viral replication. Expression of genes coding three anti-microbial peptides (defensin1, abaecin, hymenoptaecin) was either not significantly different between Varroa-infested and uninfested bees or was significantly elevated in Varroa-infested bees, varying with sampling date and bee developmental age. The effect of Varroa on nutritional indices of the bees was complex, with protein, triglyceride, glycogen and sugar levels strongly influenced by life-stage of the bee and individual colony. Protein content was depressed and free amino acid content elevated in Varroa-infested pupae, suggesting that protein synthesis, and consequently growth, may be limited in these insects. No simple relationship between the values of nutritional and immune-related indices was observed, and colony-scale effects were indicated by the reduced weight of pupae in colonies with high Varroa abundance, irrespective of whether the individual pupa bore Varroa.

  8. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Morse, R.A.; Culliney, T.W.; Gutenmann, W.H.; Littman, C.B.; Lisk, D.J.

    1987-02-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) may traverse a radius of several miles from their hives and contact innumerable surfaces during their collection of nectar, pollen, propolis and water. In the process, they may become contaminated with surface constituents which are indicative of the type of environmental pollution in their particular foraging area. Honey has also been analyzed as a possible indicator of heavy metal pollution. Insecticides used in the vicinity of bee hives have been found in bees and honey. It has been recently reported that appreciable concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been found in honey bees sampled throughout Connecticut. In the work reported here, an analytical survey was conducted on PCBs in honey bees, honey, propolis and related samples in several states to learn the extent of contamination and possible sources.

  9. Honey bee pathology: current threats to honey bees and beekeeping.

    PubMed

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

    Managed honey bees are the most important commercial pollinators of those crops which depend on animal pollination for reproduction and which account for 35% of the global food production. Hence, they are vital for an economic, sustainable agriculture and for food security. In addition, honey bees also pollinate a variety of wild flowers and, therefore, contribute to the biodiversity of many ecosystems. Honey and other hive products are, at least economically and ecologically rather, by-products of beekeeping. Due to this outstanding role of honey bees, severe and inexplicable honey bee colony losses, which have been reported recently to be steadily increasing, have attracted much attention and stimulated many research activities. Although the phenomenon "decline of honey bees" is far from being finally solved, consensus exists that pests and pathogens are the single most important cause of otherwise inexplicable colony losses. This review will focus on selected bee pathogens and parasites which have been demonstrated to be involved in colony losses in different regions of the world and which, therefore, are considered current threats to honey bees and beekeeping.

  10. Age and reproductive status of adult Varroa mites affect grooming success of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Kirrane, Maria J; de Guzman, Lilia I; Rinderer, Thomas E; Frake, Amanda M; Wagnitz, Jeremy; Whelan, Pádraig M

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluated for the first time the grooming response of honey bees to Varroa mites of different ages and reproductive statuses in the laboratory. Plastic cages containing a section of dark comb and about 200 bees were inoculated with groups of four classes of mites: gravid, phoretic foundresses, phoretic daughters and a combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites. Each cage received 20 mites belonging to one of these classes. Our results showed that, 1 day after mite inoculation, phoretic daughter mites were the most prone to grooming by honey bees with an average mite drop of 49.8 ± 2.6 %. The lowest mite drop was recorded for bees inoculated with phoretic foundresses (30.3 ± 3.6 %) but was comparable to bees inoculated with gravid mites (31.8 ± 3.8 %) and the combination of gravid and phoretic foundress mites (34.2 ± 3.2 %). No differences among mite types were detected during the second and third days of observation. Regardless of mite type, the highest mite drop was recorded on the first day (35 ± 2.1 %) compared to the drop for any subsequent day (<10 %). Because of the great reproductive potential of daughter mites, their inclusion in assessments of grooming behaviour may increase our insight into the importance of grooming in mite resistance.

  11. Pollen Contaminated With Field-Relevant Levels of Cyhalothrin Affects Honey Bee Survival, Nutritional Physiology, and Pollen Consumption Behavior.

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-02-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a variety of environmental factors that impact their health, including nutritional stress, pathogens, and pesticides. In particular, there has been increasing evidence that sublethal exposure to pesticides can cause subtle, yet important effects on honey bee health and behavior. Here, we add to this body of knowledge by presenting data on bee-collected pollen containing sublethal levels of cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, which, when fed to young honey bees, resulted in significant changes in lifespan, nutritional physiology,and behavior. For the first time, we show that when young, nest-aged bees are presented with pollen containing field-relevant levels of cyhalothrin, they reduce their consumption of contaminated pollen. This indicates that, at least for some chemicals, young bees are able to detect contamination in pollen and change their behavioral response, even if the contamination levels do not prevent foraging honey bees from collecting the contaminated pollen. PMID:26476556

  12. Pollen Contaminated With Field-Relevant Levels of Cyhalothrin Affects Honey Bee Survival, Nutritional Physiology, and Pollen Consumption Behavior.

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-02-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a variety of environmental factors that impact their health, including nutritional stress, pathogens, and pesticides. In particular, there has been increasing evidence that sublethal exposure to pesticides can cause subtle, yet important effects on honey bee health and behavior. Here, we add to this body of knowledge by presenting data on bee-collected pollen containing sublethal levels of cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid insecticide, which, when fed to young honey bees, resulted in significant changes in lifespan, nutritional physiology,and behavior. For the first time, we show that when young, nest-aged bees are presented with pollen containing field-relevant levels of cyhalothrin, they reduce their consumption of contaminated pollen. This indicates that, at least for some chemicals, young bees are able to detect contamination in pollen and change their behavioral response, even if the contamination levels do not prevent foraging honey bees from collecting the contaminated pollen.

  13. Dance communication affects consistency, but not breadth, of resource use in pollen-foraging honey bees.

    PubMed

    Donaldson-Matasci, Matina; Dornhaus, Anna

    2014-01-01

    In groups of cooperatively foraging individuals, communication may improve the group's performance by directing foraging effort to where it is most useful. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) use a specialized dance to communicate the location of floral resources. Because honey bees dance longer for more rewarding resources, communication may shift the colony's foraging effort towards higher quality resources, and thus narrow the spectrum of resource types used. To test the hypothesis that dance communication changes how much honey bee colonies specialize on particular resources, we manipulated their ability to communicate location, and assessed the relative abundance of different pollen taxa they collected. This was repeated across five natural habitats that differed in floral species richness and spatial distribution. Contrary to expectation, impairing communication did not change the number or diversity of pollen (resource) types used by individual colonies per day. However, colonies with intact dance communication were more consistent in their resource use, while those with impaired communication were more likely to collect rare, novel pollen types. This suggests that communication plays an important role in shaping how much colonies invest in exploring new resources versus exploiting known ones. Furthermore, colonies that did more exploration also tended to collect less pollen overall, but only in environments with greater floral abundance per patch. In such environments, the ability to effectively exploit highly rewarding resources may be especially important-and dance communication may help colonies do just that. This could help explain how communication benefits honey bee colonies, and also why it does so only under certain environmental conditions. PMID:25271418

  14. Dance Communication Affects Consistency, but Not Breadth, of Resource Use in Pollen-Foraging Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Donaldson-Matasci, Matina; Dornhaus, Anna

    2014-01-01

    In groups of cooperatively foraging individuals, communication may improve the group’s performance by directing foraging effort to where it is most useful. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) use a specialized dance to communicate the location of floral resources. Because honey bees dance longer for more rewarding resources, communication may shift the colony’s foraging effort towards higher quality resources, and thus narrow the spectrum of resource types used. To test the hypothesis that dance communication changes how much honey bee colonies specialize on particular resources, we manipulated their ability to communicate location, and assessed the relative abundance of different pollen taxa they collected. This was repeated across five natural habitats that differed in floral species richness and spatial distribution. Contrary to expectation, impairing communication did not change the number or diversity of pollen (resource) types used by individual colonies per day. However, colonies with intact dance communication were more consistent in their resource use, while those with impaired communication were more likely to collect rare, novel pollen types. This suggests that communication plays an important role in shaping how much colonies invest in exploring new resources versus exploiting known ones. Furthermore, colonies that did more exploration also tended to collect less pollen overall, but only in environments with greater floral abundance per patch. In such environments, the ability to effectively exploit highly rewarding resources may be especially important–and dance communication may help colonies do just that. This could help explain how communication benefits honey bee colonies, and also why it does so only under certain environmental conditions. PMID:25271418

  15. How habitat affects the benefits of communication in collectively foraging honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Donaldson-Matasci, Matina C.; Dornhaus, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) use the dance language to symbolically convey information about the location of floral resources from within the nest. To figure out why this unique ability evolved, we need to understand the benefits it offers to the colony. Previous studies have shown that, in fact, the location information in the dance is not always beneficial. We ask, in which ecological habitats do honey bee colonies actually benefit from the dance language, and what is it about those habitats that makes communication useful? In this study, we examine the effects of floral distribution patterns on the benefits of dance communication across five different habitats. In each habitat, we manipulated colonies’ ability to communicate and measured their foraging success, while simultaneously characterizing the naturally occurring floral distribution. We find that communication is most beneficial when floral species richness is high and patches contain many flowers. These are ecological features that could have helped shape the evolution of the honey bee dance language. PMID:26213439

  16. Caste, sex and strain of honey bees (Apis mellifera) affect infestation with tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi).

    PubMed

    Villa, José D; Danka, Robert G

    2005-01-01

    Worker honey bees from genetic strains selected for being resistant (R) or susceptible (S) to tracheal mites typically show large differences in infestation in field colonies and in bioassays that involve controlled exposure to infested bees. We used bioassays exposing newly emerged individuals to infested workers to compare the propensity for tracheal mites to infest queens, drones and workers from R and S colonies. In tests with queens, newly emerged R and S queens were either simultaneously confined in infested colonies (n = 95 and 87 respectively), or individually caged with groups of 5-20 infested workers (n = 119 and 115 respectively). Mite prevalence (percentage of individuals infested) and abundance (foundress mites per individual) after 4-6 days did not differ between R and S queens. In another test, five newly emerged drones and workers from both an R and an S colony, and a queen of one of the two strains, were caged in each of 38 cages with 20 g of workers infested at 60-96% prevalence. Infestations of the R queens (n = 17) and S queens (n = 19) did not differ significantly, but R workers had half the mite abundance of S workers, while R drones received about a third more migrating mites than S drones. In tests to evaluate possible mechanisms, removal of one mesothoracic leg from R and S workers resulted in 2- to 10-fold increase in mite abundance on the treated side, but excising legs did not affect infestation of the corresponding tracheae in drones. This suggests that differences in infestation between R and S workers, but not drones, are largely determined by their ability to remove mites through autogrooming. If autogrooming is the primary mechanism of colony resistance to tracheal mites, selection for resistance to tracheal mites using infestation of hemizygous drones may be inefficient.

  17. Polarimetric applications to identify bee honey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espinosa-Luna, Rafael; Saucedo-Orozco, Izcoatl; Santiago-Lona, Cynthia V.; Franco-Sánchez, Juan M.; Magallanes-Luján, Alejandro

    2011-10-01

    A polarimetric characterization, consisting of the Mueller matrix determination and the measurement of the refractive index, is employed to study bee honey and corn syrup differences. Two samples of commercial marks of bee honey and one sample of commercial mark corn syrup are studied. Results show the corn syrup and one of the bee honey samples have a similar polarimetric behavior, which differs from the second bee honey sample. This behavior can be employed as a simple, qualitative test, to discriminate true bee honey from corn syrup or from adulterated bee honey.s-powe

  18. Honey bee stock genotypes do not affect the level of physiological responses to chalkbrood fungus, Ascosphaera apis.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Breeding honey bees (Apis mellifera) for physiological resistance to diseases is a highly desirable and environmentally safe approach to increasing colony survival. Selection of desirable traits is a critical element of any breeding program. In this study we investigate whether honey bee stocks dif...

  19. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response

    PubMed Central

    Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R.

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of “high-quality” queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and “low-quality” queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone (“QMP”) components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the “queen-specific” developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting

  20. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproductive Potential Affects Queen Mandibular Gland Pheromone Composition and Worker Retinue Response.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Böröczky, Katalin; Schal, Coby; Tarpy, David R

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labor is one of the defining traits of honey bees (Apis mellifera), with non-reproductive tasks being performed by workers while a single queen normally monopolizes reproduction. The decentralized organization of a honey bee colony is maintained in large part by a bouquet of queen-produced pheromones, the distribution of which is facilitated by contact among workers throughout the hive. Previous studies have shown that the developmental fate of honey bee queens is highly plastic, with queens raised from younger worker larvae exhibiting higher measures of reproductive potential compared to queens raised from older worker larvae. We investigated differences in the chemical composition of the mandibular glands and attractiveness to workers of "high-quality" queens (i.e., raised from first instar worker larvae; more queen-like) and "low-quality" queens (i.e., raised from third instar worker larvae; more worker-like). We characterized the chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of high-quality queens and low-quality queens using GC-MS and used the worker retinue response as a measure of the attractiveness to workers of high-quality queens vs. low-quality queens. We found that queen quality affected the chemical profiles of mandibular gland contents differently across years, showing significant differences in the production of the queen mandibular pheromone ("QMP") components HVA and 9-HDA in 2010, but no significant differences of any glandular compound in 2012. We also found that workers were significantly more attracted to high-quality queens than to low-quality queens in 2012, possibly because of increased attractiveness of their mandibular gland chemical profiles. Our results indicate that the age at which honey bee larvae enter the "queen-specific" developmental pathway influences the chemical composition of queen mandibular glands and worker behavior. However, these changes are not consistent across years, suggesting that other external

  1. Honey Bees: Sweetness and Mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee colony losses have been in the news lately and the potential reasons for these losses have taken up much space in the news media. In order to clarify what role mites play in the current loss (2006-2007) of bee colonies, called Colony Collapse Disorder, a better understanding of what a mit...

  2. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-10-01

    Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus), or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus), and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach) applied in the field.

  3. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus), or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus), and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach) applied in the field. PMID:26702462

  4. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-10-01

    Pollination of flowering plants is an important ecosystem service provided by wild insect pollinators and managed honey bees. Hence, losses and declines of pollinating insect species threaten human food security and are of major concern not only for apiculture or agriculture but for human society in general. Honey bee colony losses and bumblebee declines have attracted intensive research interest over the last decade and although the problem is far from being solved we now know that viruses are among the key players of many of these bee losses and bumblebee declines. With this special issue on bee viruses we, therefore, aimed to collect high quality original papers reflecting the current state of bee virus research. To this end, we focused on newly discovered viruses (Lake Sinai viruses, bee macula-like virus), or a so far neglected virus species (Apis mellifera filamentous virus), and cutting edge technologies (mass spectrometry, RNAi approach) applied in the field. PMID:26702462

  5. Sleep deprivation in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Stefan; Herrmann, Eva; Kaiser, Walter

    2004-06-01

    Rest at night in forager honey bees (Apis mellifera) meets essential criteria of sleep. This paper reports the effect of a 12-h total sleep deprivation (SD) by forced activity on the behaviour of these animals. The behaviour of sleep-deprived animals is compared with that of control animals under LD [periodic alternation between light (L) and darkness (D)] 12 : 12 hours. SD for 12 h during the first D period resulted in a significant difference with respect to the parameter 'hourly amount of antennal immobility' between sleep-deprived and control animals during the remaining L and D periods. This difference did not occur in the L period following the deprivation night, but rather it became obvious at the beginning of the following D period. The increase of the amount of antennal immobility in sleep-deprived bees was accompanied by an increase of the duration of episodes of antennal immobility. Moreover, the latency from 'lights off' to the first episode of antennal immobility lasting 20 s or longer ('deep sleep latency') tended to be shorter in sleep-deprived than in control animals. Disturbing the bees during the day (L period) did not result in such differences between disturbed and control animals. Highest reaction thresholds in sleeping honey bees occur during long episodes of antennal immobility. We therefore conclude that honey bees compensate a sleep deficit by intensification (deepening) of the sleep process and thus that sleep in honey bees, like that in other arthropods and mammals, is controlled by regulatory mechanisms.

  6. Widespread occurrence of honey bee pathogens in solitary bees.

    PubMed

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2014-10-01

    Solitary bees and honey bees from a neighbouring apiary were screened for a broad set of putative pathogens including protists, fungi, spiroplasmas and viruses. Most sampled bees appeared to be infected with multiple parasites. Interestingly, viruses exclusively known from honey bees such as Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus were also discovered in solitary bees. A microsporidium found in Andrena vaga showed most resemblance to Nosema thomsoni. Our results suggest that bee hives represent a putative source of pathogens for other pollinators. Similarly, solitary bees may act as a reservoir of honey bee pathogens.

  7. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Managed honey bee colonies are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Pathogens are considered as principal actors, contributing to weaken colony health and leaving room for secondary infections. In parti...

  8. Preservation of honey bee semen.

    PubMed

    TABER, S; BLUM, M S

    1960-06-10

    Fertilized eggs have been obtained from queen honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) inseminated with sperm that had been stored in vitro at above-freezing temperatures for up to 68 days. The effects of various experimental storage treatments on semen are described. Semen shipped by ordinary mail has been successfully used for artificial insemination. PMID:13836523

  9. Preservation of honey bee semen.

    PubMed

    TABER, S; BLUM, M S

    1960-06-10

    Fertilized eggs have been obtained from queen honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) inseminated with sperm that had been stored in vitro at above-freezing temperatures for up to 68 days. The effects of various experimental storage treatments on semen are described. Semen shipped by ordinary mail has been successfully used for artificial insemination.

  10. Fipronil promotes motor and behavioral changes in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and affects the development of colonies exposed to sublethal doses.

    PubMed

    Zaluski, Rodrigo; Kadri, Samir Moura; Alonso, Diego Peres; Martins Ribolla, Paulo Eduardo; de Oliveira Orsi, Ricardo

    2015-05-01

    Bees play a crucial role in pollination and generate honey and other hive products; therefore, their worldwide decline is cause for concern. New broad-spectrum systemic insecticides such as fipronil can harm bees and their use has been discussed as a potential threat to bees' survival. In the present study, the authors evaluate the in vitro toxicity of fipronil and note behavioral and motor activity changes in Africanized adult Apis mellifera that ingest or come into contact with lethal or sublethal doses of fipronil. The effects of sublethal doses on brood viability, population growth, behavior, and the expression of the defensin 1 gene in adult bees were studied in colonies fed with contaminated sugar syrup (8 µg fipronil L(-1) ). Fipronil is highly toxic to bees triggering agitation, seizures, tremors, and paralysis. Bees that are exposed to a lethal or sublethal doses showed reduced motor activity. The number of eggs that hatched, the area occupied by worker eggs, and the number of larvae and pupae that developed were reduced, adult bees showed lethargy, and colonies were abandoned when they were exposed to sublethal doses of fipronil. No change was seen in the bees' expression of defensin 1. The authors conclude that fipronil is highly toxic to honey bees and even sublethal doses may negatively affect the development and maintenance of colonies.

  11. Honey Bee-Infecting Plant Virus with Implications on Honey Bee Colony Health

    PubMed Central

    Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Honey bees are eusocial insects that are commercially managed to provide pollination services for agricultural crops. Recent increased losses of honey bee colonies (averaging 32% annually since 2006) are associated with the incidence and abundance of pathogens. In their study in mBio, J. L. Li et al. [mBio 5(1):e00898-13, 2014, doi:10.1128/mBio.00898-13] share their discovery that a plant virus, tobacco ring spot virus (TRSV), replicates in honey bees and that the prevalence of this virus was high in weak colonies. Their findings increase our understanding of the role of viruses in honey bee colony losses and underscore the importance of surveying for new and/or emerging viruses in honey bees. Furthermore, their findings will pique the interest of virologists and biologists across all disciplines. The discovery that a plant virus (TRSV) replicates, spreads, and negatively affects the health of an insect host will lead to additional studies on the mechanisms of host-specific adaptation and the role of cross-kingdom infections in the transmission of this virus. PMID:24570369

  12. Honey bee-infecting plant virus with implications on honey bee colony health.

    PubMed

    Flenniken, Michelle L

    2014-01-01

    Honey bees are eusocial insects that are commercially managed to provide pollination services for agricultural crops. Recent increased losses of honey bee colonies (averaging 32% annually since 2006) are associated with the incidence and abundance of pathogens. In their study in mBio, J. L. Li et al. [mBio 5(1):e00898-13, 2014, doi:10.1128/mBio.00898-13] share their discovery that a plant virus, tobacco ring spot virus (TRSV), replicates in honey bees and that the prevalence of this virus was high in weak colonies. Their findings increase our understanding of the role of viruses in honey bee colony losses and underscore the importance of surveying for new and/or emerging viruses in honey bees. Furthermore, their findings will pique the interest of virologists and biologists across all disciplines. The discovery that a plant virus (TRSV) replicates, spreads, and negatively affects the health of an insect host will lead to additional studies on the mechanisms of host-specific adaptation and the role of cross-kingdom infections in the transmission of this virus. PMID:24570369

  13. Hologenome theory and the honey bee pathosphere

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent research shows substantial genomic diversity among the parasites and pathogens honey bees encounter, a robust microbiota living within bees, and a genome-level view of relationships across global honey bee races. Different combinations of these genomic complexes may explain regional variatio...

  14. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee.

    PubMed

    Brutscher, Laura M; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees play an important agricultural and ecological role as pollinators of numerous agricultural crops and other plant species. Therefore, investigating the factors associated with high annual losses of honey bee colonies in the US is an important and active area of research. Pathogen incidence and abundance correlate with Colony Collapse Disorder- (CCD-) affected colonies in the US and colony losses in the US and in some European countries. Honey bees are readily infected by single-stranded positive sense RNA viruses. Largely dependent on the host immune response, virus infections can either remain asymptomatic or result in deformities, paralysis, or death of adults or larvae. RNA interference (RNAi) is an important antiviral defense mechanism in insects, including honey bees. Herein, we review the role of RNAi in honey bee antiviral defense and highlight some parallels between insect and mammalian immune systems. A more thorough understanding of the role of pathogens on honey bee health and the immune mechanisms bees utilize to combat infectious agents may lead to the development of strategies that enhance honey bee health and result in the discovery of additional mechanisms of immunity in metazoans. PMID:26798663

  15. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee.

    PubMed

    Brutscher, Laura M; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees play an important agricultural and ecological role as pollinators of numerous agricultural crops and other plant species. Therefore, investigating the factors associated with high annual losses of honey bee colonies in the US is an important and active area of research. Pathogen incidence and abundance correlate with Colony Collapse Disorder- (CCD-) affected colonies in the US and colony losses in the US and in some European countries. Honey bees are readily infected by single-stranded positive sense RNA viruses. Largely dependent on the host immune response, virus infections can either remain asymptomatic or result in deformities, paralysis, or death of adults or larvae. RNA interference (RNAi) is an important antiviral defense mechanism in insects, including honey bees. Herein, we review the role of RNAi in honey bee antiviral defense and highlight some parallels between insect and mammalian immune systems. A more thorough understanding of the role of pathogens on honey bee health and the immune mechanisms bees utilize to combat infectious agents may lead to the development of strategies that enhance honey bee health and result in the discovery of additional mechanisms of immunity in metazoans.

  16. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees play an important agricultural and ecological role as pollinators of numerous agricultural crops and other plant species. Therefore, investigating the factors associated with high annual losses of honey bee colonies in the US is an important and active area of research. Pathogen incidence and abundance correlate with Colony Collapse Disorder- (CCD-) affected colonies in the US and colony losses in the US and in some European countries. Honey bees are readily infected by single-stranded positive sense RNA viruses. Largely dependent on the host immune response, virus infections can either remain asymptomatic or result in deformities, paralysis, or death of adults or larvae. RNA interference (RNAi) is an important antiviral defense mechanism in insects, including honey bees. Herein, we review the role of RNAi in honey bee antiviral defense and highlight some parallels between insect and mammalian immune systems. A more thorough understanding of the role of pathogens on honey bee health and the immune mechanisms bees utilize to combat infectious agents may lead to the development of strategies that enhance honey bee health and result in the discovery of additional mechanisms of immunity in metazoans. PMID:26798663

  17. Sleep deprivation in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Stefan; Herrmann, Eva; Kaiser, Walter

    2004-06-01

    Rest at night in forager honey bees (Apis mellifera) meets essential criteria of sleep. This paper reports the effect of a 12-h total sleep deprivation (SD) by forced activity on the behaviour of these animals. The behaviour of sleep-deprived animals is compared with that of control animals under LD [periodic alternation between light (L) and darkness (D)] 12 : 12 hours. SD for 12 h during the first D period resulted in a significant difference with respect to the parameter 'hourly amount of antennal immobility' between sleep-deprived and control animals during the remaining L and D periods. This difference did not occur in the L period following the deprivation night, but rather it became obvious at the beginning of the following D period. The increase of the amount of antennal immobility in sleep-deprived bees was accompanied by an increase of the duration of episodes of antennal immobility. Moreover, the latency from 'lights off' to the first episode of antennal immobility lasting 20 s or longer ('deep sleep latency') tended to be shorter in sleep-deprived than in control animals. Disturbing the bees during the day (L period) did not result in such differences between disturbed and control animals. Highest reaction thresholds in sleeping honey bees occur during long episodes of antennal immobility. We therefore conclude that honey bees compensate a sleep deficit by intensification (deepening) of the sleep process and thus that sleep in honey bees, like that in other arthropods and mammals, is controlled by regulatory mechanisms. PMID:15175094

  18. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Switanek, Matt; Brodschneider, Robert; Crailsheim, Karl; Truhetz, Heimo

    2015-04-01

    Global food production, as it is today, is not possible without pollinators such as the honey bee. It is therefore alarming that honey bee populations across the world have seen increased mortality rates in the last few decades. The challenges facing the honey bee calls into question the future of our food supply. Beside various infectious diseases, Varroa destructor is one of the main culprits leading to increased rates of honey bee mortality. Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite which strongly depends on honey bee brood for reproduction and can wipe out entire colonies. However, climate variability may also importantly influence honey bee breeding cycles and bee mortality rates. Persistent weather events affects vegetation and hence foraging possibilities for honey bees. This study first defines critical statistical relationships between key climate indicators (e.g., precipitation and temperature) and bee mortality rates across Austria, using 6 consecutive years of data. Next, these leading indicators, as they vary in space and time, are used to build a statistical model to predict bee mortality rates and the respective number of colonies affected. Using leave-one-out cross validation, the model reduces the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) by 21% with respect to predictions made with the mean mortality rate and the number of colonies. Furthermore, a Monte Carlo test is used to establish that the model's predictions are statistically significant at the 99.9% confidence level. These results highlight the influence of climate variables on honey bee populations, although variability in climate, by itself, cannot fully explain colony losses. This study was funded by the Austrian project 'Zukunft Biene'.

  19. The gene vitellogenin affects microRNA regulation in honey bee (Apis mellifera) fat body and brain.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Francis M F; Ihle, Kate E; Mutti, Navdeep S; Simões, Zilá L P; Amdam, Gro V

    2013-10-01

    In honey bees, vitellogenin (Vg) is hypothesized to be a major factor affecting hormone signaling, food-related behavior, immunity, stress resistance and lifespan. MicroRNAs, which play important roles in post-transcriptional gene regulation, likewise affect many biological processes. The actions of microRNAs and Vg are known to intersect in the context of reproduction; however, the role of these associations on social behavior is unknown. The phenotypic effects of Vg knockdown are best established and studied in the forager stage of workers. Thus, we exploited the well-established RNA interference (RNAi) protocol for Vg knockdown to investigate its downstream effects on microRNA population in honey bee foragers' brain and fat body tissue. To identify microRNAs that are differentially expressed between tissues in control and knockdown foragers, we used μParaflo microfluidic oligonucleotide microRNA microarrays. Our results showed that 76 and 74 microRNAs were expressed in the brain of control and knockdown foragers whereas 66 and 69 microRNAs were expressed in the fat body of control and knockdown foragers, respectively. Target prediction identified potential seed matches for a differentially expressed subset of microRNAs affected by Vg knockdown. These candidate genes are involved in a broad range of biological processes including insulin signaling, juvenile hormone (JH) and ecdysteroid signaling previously shown to affect foraging behavior. Thus, here we demonstrate a causal link between the Vg knockdown forager phenotype and variation in the abundance of microRNAs in different tissues, with possible consequences for the regulation of foraging behavior.

  20. Does transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton pollen affect hypopharyngeal gland development and midgut proteolytic enzyme activity in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae)?

    PubMed

    Han, Peng; Niu, Chang-Ying; Biondi, Antonio; Desneux, Nicolas

    2012-11-01

    The transgenic Cry1Ac (Bt toxin) + CpTI (Cowpea Trypsin Inhibitor) cotton cultivar CCRI41 is increasingly used in China and potential side effects on the honey bee Apis mellifera L. have been documented recently. Two studies have assessed potential lethal and sublethal effects in young bees fed with CCRI41 cotton pollen but no effect was observed on learning capacities, although lower feeding activity in exposed honey bees was noted (antifeedant effect). The present study aimed at providing further insights into potential side effects of CCRI41 cotton on honey bees. Emerging honey bees were exposed to different pollen diets using no-choice feeding protocols (chronic exposure) in controlled laboratory conditions and we aimed at documenting potential mechanisms underneath the CCRI41 antifeedant effect previously reported. Activity of midgut proteolytic enzyme of young adult honey bees fed on CCRI41 cotton pollen were not significantly affected, i.e. previously observed antifeedant effect was not linked to disturbed activity of the proteolytic enzymes in bees' midgut. Hypopharyngeal gland development was assessed by quantifying total extractable proteins from the glands. Results suggested that CCRI41 cotton pollen carries no risk to hypopharyngeal gland development of young adult honey bees. In the two bioassays, honey bees exposed to 1 % soybean trypsin inhibitor were used as positive controls for both midgut proteolytic enzymes and hypopharyngeal gland proteins quantification, and bees exposed to 48 ppb (part per billion) (i.e. 48 ng g(-1)) imidacloprid were used as controls for exposure to a sublethal concentration of toxic product. The results show that the previously reported antifeedant effect of CCRI41 cotton pollen on honey bees is not linked to effects on their midgut proteolytic enzymes or on the development of their hypopharyngeal glands. The results of the study are discussed in the framework of risk assessment of transgenic crops on honey bees. PMID

  1. Competitive interactions between neotropical pollinators and africanized honey bees.

    PubMed

    Roubik, D W

    1978-09-15

    The Africanized honey bee, a hybrid of European and African honey bees, is thought to displace native pollinators. After experimental introduction of Africanized honey bee hives near flowers, stingless bees became less abundant or harvested-less resource as visitation by Africanized honey bees increased. Shifts in resource use caused by colonizing Africanized honey bees may lead to population decline of Neotropical pollinators. PMID:17743636

  2. A historical review of managed honey bee populations in Europe and the United States and the factors that may affect them.

    PubMed

    Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Meixner, Marina Doris

    2010-01-01

    Honey bees are a highly valued resource around the world. They are prized for their honey and wax production and depended upon for pollination of many important crops. While globally honey bee populations have been increasing, the rate of increase is not keeping pace with demand. Further, honey bee populations have not been increasing in all parts of the world, and have declined in many nations in Europe and in North America. Managed honey bee populations are influenced by many factors including diseases, parasites, pesticides, the environment, and socio-economic factors. These factors can act alone or in combination with each other. This review highlights the present day value of honey bees, followed by a detailed description of some of the historical and present day factors that influence honey bee populations, with particular emphasis on colony populations in Europe and the United States. PMID:19909973

  3. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Kazlauskas, Nadia; Klappenbach, Martín; Depino, Amaicha M; Locatelli, Fernando F

    2016-01-01

    During an infection, animals suffer several changes in their normal physiology and behavior which may include lethargy, appetite loss, and reduction in grooming and general movements. This set of alterations is known as sickness behavior and although it has been extensively believed to be orchestrated primarily by the immune system, a relevant role for the central nervous system has also been established. The aim of the present work is to develop a simple animal model to allow studying how the immune and the nervous systems interact coordinately during an infection. We administered a bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the thorax of honey bees to mimic a bacterial infection, and then we evaluated a set of stereotyped behaviors of the animals that might be indicative of sickness behavior. First, we show that this immune challenge reduces the locomotor activity of the animals in a narrow time window after LPS injection. Furthermore, bees exhibit a loss of appetite 60 and 90 min after injection, but not 15 h later. We also demonstrate that LPS injection reduces spontaneous antennal movements in harnessed animals, which suggests a reduction in the motivational state of the bees. Finally, we show that the LPS injection diminishes the interaction between animals, a crucial behavior in social insects. To our knowledge these results represent the first systematic description of sickness behavior in honey bees and provide important groundwork for the study of the interaction between the immune and the neural systems in an insect model.

  4. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Kazlauskas, Nadia; Klappenbach, Martín; Depino, Amaicha M; Locatelli, Fernando F

    2016-01-01

    During an infection, animals suffer several changes in their normal physiology and behavior which may include lethargy, appetite loss, and reduction in grooming and general movements. This set of alterations is known as sickness behavior and although it has been extensively believed to be orchestrated primarily by the immune system, a relevant role for the central nervous system has also been established. The aim of the present work is to develop a simple animal model to allow studying how the immune and the nervous systems interact coordinately during an infection. We administered a bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the thorax of honey bees to mimic a bacterial infection, and then we evaluated a set of stereotyped behaviors of the animals that might be indicative of sickness behavior. First, we show that this immune challenge reduces the locomotor activity of the animals in a narrow time window after LPS injection. Furthermore, bees exhibit a loss of appetite 60 and 90 min after injection, but not 15 h later. We also demonstrate that LPS injection reduces spontaneous antennal movements in harnessed animals, which suggests a reduction in the motivational state of the bees. Finally, we show that the LPS injection diminishes the interaction between animals, a crucial behavior in social insects. To our knowledge these results represent the first systematic description of sickness behavior in honey bees and provide important groundwork for the study of the interaction between the immune and the neural systems in an insect model. PMID:27445851

  5. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Kazlauskas, Nadia; Klappenbach, Martín; Depino, Amaicha M.; Locatelli, Fernando F.

    2016-01-01

    During an infection, animals suffer several changes in their normal physiology and behavior which may include lethargy, appetite loss, and reduction in grooming and general movements. This set of alterations is known as sickness behavior and although it has been extensively believed to be orchestrated primarily by the immune system, a relevant role for the central nervous system has also been established. The aim of the present work is to develop a simple animal model to allow studying how the immune and the nervous systems interact coordinately during an infection. We administered a bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the thorax of honey bees to mimic a bacterial infection, and then we evaluated a set of stereotyped behaviors of the animals that might be indicative of sickness behavior. First, we show that this immune challenge reduces the locomotor activity of the animals in a narrow time window after LPS injection. Furthermore, bees exhibit a loss of appetite 60 and 90 min after injection, but not 15 h later. We also demonstrate that LPS injection reduces spontaneous antennal movements in harnessed animals, which suggests a reduction in the motivational state of the bees. Finally, we show that the LPS injection diminishes the interaction between animals, a crucial behavior in social insects. To our knowledge these results represent the first systematic description of sickness behavior in honey bees and provide important groundwork for the study of the interaction between the immune and the neural systems in an insect model. PMID:27445851

  6. Cocaine Tolerance in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Søvik, Eirik; Cornish, Jennifer L.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2013-01-01

    Increasingly invertebrates are being used to investigate the molecular and cellular effects of drugs of abuse to explore basic mechanisms of addiction. However, in mammals the principle factors contributing to addiction are long-term adaptive responses to repeated drug use. Here we examined whether adaptive responses to cocaine are also seen in invertebrates using the honey bee model system. Repeated topical treatment with a low dose of cocaine rendered bees resistant to the deleterious motor effects of a higher cocaine dose, indicating the development of physiological tolerance to cocaine in bees. Cocaine inhibits biogenic amine reuptake transporters, but neither acute nor repeated cocaine treatments caused measurable changes in levels of biogenic amines measured in whole bee brains. Our data show clear short and long-term behavioural responses of bees to cocaine administration, but caution that, despite the small size of the bee brain, measures of biogenic amines conducted at the whole-brain level may not reveal neurochemical effects of the drug. PMID:23741423

  7. Population growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee colonies is affected by the number of foragers with mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Varroa mites are a serious pest of honey bees and the leading cause of colony losses. Varroa have relatively low reproductive rates, so populations should not increase rapidly, but often they do. Other factors might contribute to the growth of Varroa populations including mite migration into colonie...

  8. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World’s most important centers...

  9. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized symptoms of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new o...

  10. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite their tremendous economic importance, honey bees are not a typical model system for studying general questions of insect physiology. This is primarily due to the fact that honey bees live in complex social settings which impact their physiological and biochemical characteristics. Not surpris...

  11. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cell culture techniques are indispensable in most if not all life science disciplines to date. Wherever cell culture models are lacking scientific development is hampered. Unfortunately this has been and still is the case in honey bee research because permanent honey bee cell lines have not yet been...

  12. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Appler, R Holden; López-Uribe, Margarita M; Tarpy, David R; Frank, Steven D

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators.

  13. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Appler, R Holden; López-Uribe, Margarita M; Tarpy, David R; Frank, Steven D

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators. PMID:26536606

  14. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    López-Uribe, Margarita M.; Tarpy, David R.; Frank, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators. PMID:26536606

  15. Predictive Markers of Honey Bee Colony Collapse

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Across the Northern hemisphere, managed honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Parasites and pathogens are considered as principal actors, in particular the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, associated viruses and the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Here we used long term monitoring of colonies and screening for eleven disease agents and genes involved in bee immunity and physiology to identify predictive markers of honeybee colony losses during winter. The data show that DWV, Nosema ceranae, Varroa destructor and Vitellogenin can be predictive markers for winter colony losses, but their predictive power strongly depends on the season. In particular, the data support that V. destructor is a key player for losses, arguably in line with its specific impact on the health of individual bees and colonies. PMID:22384162

  16. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Across the Northern hemisphere, managed honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, are currently affected by abrupt depopulation during winter and many factors are suspected to be involved, either alone or in combination. Parasites and pathogens are considered as principal actors, in particular the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, associated viruses and the microsporidian Nosema ceranae. Here we used long term monitoring of colonies and screening for eleven disease agents and genes involved in bee immunity and physiology to identify predictive markers of honeybee colony losses during winter. The data show that DWV, Nosema ceranae, Varroa destructor and Vitellogenin can be predictive markers for winter colony losses, but their predictive power strongly depends on the season. In particular, the data support that V. destructor is a key player for losses, arguably in line with its specific impact on the health of individual bees and colonies.

  17. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Tozkar, Cansu Ö; Kence, Meral; Kence, Aykut; Huang, Qiang; Evans, Jay D

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9-10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees. PMID:25852743

  18. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Tozkar, Cansu Ö; Kence, Meral; Kence, Aykut; Huang, Qiang; Evans, Jay D

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9-10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees.

  19. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

    Tozkar, Cansu Ö.; Kence, Meral; Kence, Aykut; Huang, Qiang; Evans, Jay D.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World's most important centers of apiculture, harboring five subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sampling of all non-endogenous species carried by bees. After trimming and mapping these reads to the honey bee genome, approximately 10% of the sequences (9–10 million reads per library) remained. These were then mapped to a curated set of public sequences containing ca. Sixty megabase-pairs of sequence representing known microbial species associated with honey bees. Levels of key honey bee pathogens were confirmed using quantitative PCR screens. We contrast microbial matches across different sites in Turkey, showing new country recordings of Lake Sinai virus, two Spiroplasma bacterium species, symbionts Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi, Frischella perrara, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, Lactobacillus spp.), neogregarines, and a trypanosome species. By using metagenomic analysis, this study also reveals deep molecular evidence for the presence of bacterial pathogens (Melissococcus plutonius, Paenibacillus larvae), Varroa destructor-1 virus, Sacbrood virus, and fungi. Despite this effort we did not detect KBV, SBPV, Tobacco ringspot virus, VdMLV (Varroa Macula like virus), Acarapis spp., Tropilaeleps spp. and Apocephalus (phorid fly). We discuss possible impacts of management practices and honey bee subspecies on microbial retinues. The described workflow and curated microbial database will be generally useful for microbial surveys of healthy and declining honey bees. PMID:25852743

  20. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning.

    PubMed

    Arien, Yael; Dag, Arnon; Zarchin, Shlomi; Masci, Tania; Shafir, Sharoni

    2015-12-22

    Deficiency in essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly the long-chain form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been linked to health problems in mammals, including many mental disorders and reduced cognitive performance. Insects have very low long-chain PUFA concentrations, and the effect of omega-3 deficiency on cognition in insects has not been studied. We show a low omega-6:3 ratio of pollen collected by honey bee colonies in heterogenous landscapes and in many hand-collected pollens that we analyzed. We identified Eucalyptus as an important bee-forage plant particularly poor in omega-3 and high in the omega-6:3 ratio. We tested the effect of dietary omega-3 deficiency on olfactory and tactile associative learning of the economically highly valued honey bee. Bees fed either of two omega-3-poor diets, or Eucalyptus pollen, showed greatly reduced learning abilities in conditioned proboscis-extension assays compared with those fed omega-3-rich diets, or omega-3-rich pollen mixture. The effect on performance was not due to reduced sucrose sensitivity. Omega-3 deficiency also led to smaller hypopharyngeal glands. Bee brains contained high omega-3 concentrations, which were only slightly affected by diet, suggesting additional peripheral effects on learning. The shift from a low to high omega-6:3 ratio in the Western human diet is deemed a primary cause of many diseases and reduced mental health. A similar shift seems to be occurring in bee forage, possibly an important factor in colony declines. Our study shows the detrimental effect on cognitive performance of omega-3 deficiency in a nonmammal. PMID:26644556

  1. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    PubMed Central

    Arien, Yael; Dag, Arnon; Zarchin, Shlomi; Masci, Tania

    2015-01-01

    Deficiency in essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly the long-chain form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been linked to health problems in mammals, including many mental disorders and reduced cognitive performance. Insects have very low long-chain PUFA concentrations, and the effect of omega-3 deficiency on cognition in insects has not been studied. We show a low omega-6:3 ratio of pollen collected by honey bee colonies in heterogenous landscapes and in many hand-collected pollens that we analyzed. We identified Eucalyptus as an important bee-forage plant particularly poor in omega-3 and high in the omega-6:3 ratio. We tested the effect of dietary omega-3 deficiency on olfactory and tactile associative learning of the economically highly valued honey bee. Bees fed either of two omega-3–poor diets, or Eucalyptus pollen, showed greatly reduced learning abilities in conditioned proboscis-extension assays compared with those fed omega-3–rich diets, or omega-3–rich pollen mixture. The effect on performance was not due to reduced sucrose sensitivity. Omega-3 deficiency also led to smaller hypopharyngeal glands. Bee brains contained high omega-3 concentrations, which were only slightly affected by diet, suggesting additional peripheral effects on learning. The shift from a low to high omega-6:3 ratio in the Western human diet is deemed a primary cause of many diseases and reduced mental health. A similar shift seems to be occurring in bee forage, possibly an important factor in colony declines. Our study shows the detrimental effect on cognitive performance of omega-3 deficiency in a nonmammal. PMID:26644556

  2. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning.

    PubMed

    Arien, Yael; Dag, Arnon; Zarchin, Shlomi; Masci, Tania; Shafir, Sharoni

    2015-12-22

    Deficiency in essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly the long-chain form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been linked to health problems in mammals, including many mental disorders and reduced cognitive performance. Insects have very low long-chain PUFA concentrations, and the effect of omega-3 deficiency on cognition in insects has not been studied. We show a low omega-6:3 ratio of pollen collected by honey bee colonies in heterogenous landscapes and in many hand-collected pollens that we analyzed. We identified Eucalyptus as an important bee-forage plant particularly poor in omega-3 and high in the omega-6:3 ratio. We tested the effect of dietary omega-3 deficiency on olfactory and tactile associative learning of the economically highly valued honey bee. Bees fed either of two omega-3-poor diets, or Eucalyptus pollen, showed greatly reduced learning abilities in conditioned proboscis-extension assays compared with those fed omega-3-rich diets, or omega-3-rich pollen mixture. The effect on performance was not due to reduced sucrose sensitivity. Omega-3 deficiency also led to smaller hypopharyngeal glands. Bee brains contained high omega-3 concentrations, which were only slightly affected by diet, suggesting additional peripheral effects on learning. The shift from a low to high omega-6:3 ratio in the Western human diet is deemed a primary cause of many diseases and reduced mental health. A similar shift seems to be occurring in bee forage, possibly an important factor in colony declines. Our study shows the detrimental effect on cognitive performance of omega-3 deficiency in a nonmammal.

  3. Susceptibility of four different honey bee species to Nosema ceranae.

    PubMed

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Pettis, Jeffery S; Chen, Yanping; Evans, Jay D; Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2013-03-31

    In this study, we investigated the infectivity of Nosema ceranae and the immune response of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera and the Asian honey bee species, Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis florea when inoculated with two isolates of N. ceranae isolated from different climates (Canada and Thailand), using cage experiments. The results indicated that the local isolate of N. ceranae (Thailand) had high infectivity in A. mellifera, A. cerana and A. dorsata but only a few spores were observed in A. florea. However, we found that only two honey bee species, A. mellifera and A. dorsata became infected when inoculated with N. ceranae isolated from Canada. Finally, our results showed that transcript levels of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in Asian honey bees were significantly higher than that of A. mellifera in both the control and N. ceranae inoculated bee groups. Comparing the expression of AMPs between the control and inoculated bees in each species, it was evident that N. ceranae inoculations did not affect the expression level of abaecin in all four honey bees species investigated in this experiment. Nevertheless, we found a significant up-regulation of apidaecin in A. cerana and A. florea when inoculated with N. ceranae (Canadian isolate). Also, the mRNA levels of hymenoptaecin were significantly increased in A. cerana after inoculation by N. ceranae isolated from Canada as compared with the Thai isolate.

  4. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are significant pollinators of agricultural crops and other important plant species. High annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and in some parts of Europe have profound ecological and economic implications. Colony losses have been attributed to multiple factors including RNA viruses, thus understanding bee antiviral defense mechanisms may result in the development of strategies that mitigate colony losses. Honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms include RNA-interference, pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) triggered signal transduction cascades, and reactive oxygen species generation. However, the relative importance of these and other pathways is largely uncharacterized. Herein we review the current understanding of honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms and suggest important avenues for future investigation. PMID:26273564

  5. Nutritional status influences socially regulated foraging ontogeny in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Toth, Amy L; Kantarovich, Sara; Meisel, Adam F; Robinson, Gene E

    2005-12-01

    In many social insects, including honey bees, worker energy reserve levels are correlated with task performance in the colony. Honey bee nest workers have abundant stored lipid and protein while foragers are depleted of these reserves; this depletion precedes the shift from nest work to foraging. The first objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that lipid depletion has a causal effect on the age at onset of foraging in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). We found that bees treated with a fatty acid synthesis inhibitor (TOFA) were more likely to forage precociously. The second objective of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between social interactions, nutritional state and behavioral maturation. Since older bees are known to inhibit the development of young bees into foragers, we asked whether this effect is mediated nutritionally via the passage of food from old to young bees. We found that bees reared in social isolation have low lipid stores, but social inhibition occurs in colonies in the field, whether young bees are starved or fed. These results indicate that although social interactions affect the nutritional status of young bees, social and nutritional factors act independently to influence age at onset of foraging. Our findings suggest that mechanisms linking internal nutritional physiology to foraging in solitary insects have been co-opted to regulate altruistic foraging in a social context.

  6. Gustatory perception and fat body energy metabolism are jointly affected by vitellogenin and juvenile hormone in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Brent, Colin S; Fennern, Erin; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-06-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide a system for studying social and food-related behavior. A caste of workers performs age-related tasks: young bees (nurses) usually feed the brood and other adult bees inside the nest, while older bees (foragers) forage outside for pollen, a protein/lipid source, or nectar, a carbohydrate source. The workers' transition from nursing to foraging and their foraging preferences correlate with differences in gustatory perception, metabolic gene expression, and endocrine physiology including the endocrine factors vitellogenin (Vg) and juvenile hormone (JH). However, the understanding of connections among social behavior, energy metabolism, and endocrine factors is incomplete. We used RNA interference (RNAi) to perturb the gene network of Vg and JH to learn more about these connections through effects on gustation, gene transcripts, and physiology. The RNAi perturbation was achieved by single and double knockdown of the genes ultraspiracle (usp) and vg, which encode a putative JH receptor and Vg, respectively. The double knockdown enhanced gustatory perception and elevated hemolymph glucose, trehalose, and JH. We also observed transcriptional responses in insulin like peptide 1 (ilp1), the adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR), and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG, or "foraging gene" Amfor). Our study demonstrates that the Vg-JH regulatory module controls changes in carbohydrate metabolism, but not lipid metabolism, when worker bees shift from nursing to foraging. The module is also placed upstream of ilp1, AKHR, and PKG for the first time. As insulin, adipokinetic hormone (AKH), and PKG pathways influence metabolism and gustation in many animals, we propose that honey bees have conserved pathways in carbohydrate metabolism and conserved connections between energy metabolism and gustatory perception. Thus, perhaps the bee can make general contributions to the understanding of food-related behavior and metabolic disorders.

  7. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Simone, Michael; Evans, Jay D; Spivak, Marla

    2009-11-01

    Diverse animals have evolved an ability to collect antimicrobial compounds from the environment as a means of reducing infection risk. Honey bees battle an extensive assemblage of pathogens with both individual and "social" defenses. We determined if the collection of resins, complex plant secretions with diverse antimicrobial properties, acts as a colony-level immune defense by honey bees. Exposure to extracts from two sources of honey bee propolis (a mixture of resins and wax) led to a significantly lowered expression of two honey bee immune-related genes (hymenoptaecin and AmEater in Brazilian and Minnesota propolis, respectively) and to lowered bacterial loads in the Minnesota (MN) propolis treated colonies. Differences in immune expression were also found across age groups (third-instar larvae, 1-day-old and 7-day-old adults) irrespective of resin treatment. The finding that resins within the nest decrease investment in immune function of 7-day-old bees may have implications for colony health and productivity. This is the first direct evidence that the honey bee nest environment affects immune-gene expression.

  8. Sublethal imidacloprid effects on honey bee flower choices when foraging.

    PubMed

    Karahan, Ahmed; Çakmak, Ibrahim; Hranitz, John M; Karaca, Ismail; Wells, Harrington

    2015-11-01

    Neonicotinoids, systemic neuro-active pesticides similar to nicotine, are widely used in agriculture and are being investigated for a role in honey bee colony losses. We examined one neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, for its effects on the foraging behavior of free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) visiting artificial blue and white flowers. Imidacloprid doses, ranging from 1/5 to 1/50 of the reported LD50, were fed to bees orally. The study consisted of three experimental parts performed sequentially without interruption. In Part 1, both flower colors contained a 4 μL 1 M sucrose solution reward. Part 2 offered bees 4 μL of 1.5 M sucrose solution in blue flowers and a 4 μL 0.5 M sucrose solution reward in white flowers. In Part 3 we reversed the sugar solution rewards, while keeping the flower color consistent. Each experiment began 30 min after administration of the pesticide. We recorded the percentage of experimental bees that returned to forage after treatment. We also recorded the visitation rate, number of flowers visited, and floral reward choices of the bees that foraged after treatment. The forager return rate declined linearly with increasing imidacloprid dose. The number of foraging trips by returning bees was also affected adversely. However, flower fidelity was not affected by imidacloprid dose. Foragers visited both blue and white flowers extensively in Part 1, and showed greater fidelity for the flower color offering the higher sugar solution reward in Parts 2 and 3. Although larger samples sizes are needed, our study suggests that imidacloprid may not affect the ability to select the higher nectar reward when rewards were reversed. We observed acute, mild effects on foraging by honey bees, so mild that storage of imidacloprid tainted-honey is very plausible and likely to be found in honey bee colonies. PMID:26415950

  9. Sublethal imidacloprid effects on honey bee flower choices when foraging.

    PubMed

    Karahan, Ahmed; Çakmak, Ibrahim; Hranitz, John M; Karaca, Ismail; Wells, Harrington

    2015-11-01

    Neonicotinoids, systemic neuro-active pesticides similar to nicotine, are widely used in agriculture and are being investigated for a role in honey bee colony losses. We examined one neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, for its effects on the foraging behavior of free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera anatoliaca) visiting artificial blue and white flowers. Imidacloprid doses, ranging from 1/5 to 1/50 of the reported LD50, were fed to bees orally. The study consisted of three experimental parts performed sequentially without interruption. In Part 1, both flower colors contained a 4 μL 1 M sucrose solution reward. Part 2 offered bees 4 μL of 1.5 M sucrose solution in blue flowers and a 4 μL 0.5 M sucrose solution reward in white flowers. In Part 3 we reversed the sugar solution rewards, while keeping the flower color consistent. Each experiment began 30 min after administration of the pesticide. We recorded the percentage of experimental bees that returned to forage after treatment. We also recorded the visitation rate, number of flowers visited, and floral reward choices of the bees that foraged after treatment. The forager return rate declined linearly with increasing imidacloprid dose. The number of foraging trips by returning bees was also affected adversely. However, flower fidelity was not affected by imidacloprid dose. Foragers visited both blue and white flowers extensively in Part 1, and showed greater fidelity for the flower color offering the higher sugar solution reward in Parts 2 and 3. Although larger samples sizes are needed, our study suggests that imidacloprid may not affect the ability to select the higher nectar reward when rewards were reversed. We observed acute, mild effects on foraging by honey bees, so mild that storage of imidacloprid tainted-honey is very plausible and likely to be found in honey bee colonies.

  10. Mass envenomations by honey bees and wasps.

    PubMed Central

    Vetter, R S; Visscher, P K; Camazine, S

    1999-01-01

    Stinging events involving honey bees and wasps are rare; most deaths or clinically important incidents involve very few stings (< 10) and anaphylactic shock. However, mass stinging events can prove life-threatening via the toxic action of the venom when injected in large amounts. With the advent of the Africanized honey bee in the southwestern United States and its potential for further spread, mass envenomation incidents will increase. Here we review the literature on mass stinging events involving honey bees and wasps (i.e., yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets). Despite different venom composition in the two insect groups, both may cause systemic damage and involve hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, and acute renal failure. Victim death may occur due to renal failure or cardiac complications. With supportive care, however, most victims should be able to survive attacks from hundreds of wasps or approximately 1000 honey bees. PMID:10344177

  11. Honey Bee Hemocyte Profiling by Flow Cytometry

    PubMed Central

    Marringa, William J.; Krueger, Michael J.; Burritt, Nancy L.; Burritt, James B.

    2014-01-01

    Multiple stress factors in honey bees are causing loss of bee colonies worldwide. Several infectious agents of bees are believed to contribute to this problem. The mechanisms of honey bee immunity are not completely understood, in part due to limited information about the types and abundances of hemocytes that help bees resist disease. Our study utilized flow cytometry and microscopy to examine populations of hemolymph particulates in honey bees. We found bee hemolymph includes permeabilized cells, plasmatocytes, and acellular objects that resemble microparticles, listed in order of increasing abundance. The permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes showed unexpected differences with respect to properties of the plasma membrane and labeling with annexin V. Both permeabilized cells and plasmatocytes failed to show measurable mitochondrial membrane potential by flow cytometry using the JC-1 probe. Our results suggest hemolymph particulate populations are dynamic, revealing significant differences when comparing individual hive members, and when comparing colonies exposed to diverse conditions. Shifts in hemocyte populations in bees likely represent changing conditions or metabolic differences of colony members. A better understanding of hemocyte profiles may provide insight into physiological responses of honey bees to stress factors, some of which may be related to colony failure. PMID:25285798

  12. Red mason bees cannot compete with honey bees for floral resources in a cage experiment.

    PubMed

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

    Intensive beekeeping to mitigate crop pollination deficits and habitat loss may cause interspecific competition between bees. Studies show negative correlations between flower visitation of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees, but effects on the reproduction of wild bees were not proven. Likely reasons are that honey bees can hardly be excluded from controls and wild bee nests are generally difficult to detect in field experiments. The goal of this study was to investigate whether red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) compete with honey bees in cages in order to compare the reproduction of red mason bees under different honey bee densities. Three treatments were applied, each replicated in four cages of 18 m³ with 38 red mason bees in all treatments and 0, 100, and 300 honey bees per treatment with 10-20% being foragers. Within the cages, the flower visitation and interspecific displacements from flowers were observed. Niche breadths and resource overlaps of both bee species were calculated, and the reproduction of red mason bees was measured. Red mason bees visited fewer flowers when honey bees were present. Niche breadth of red mason bees decreased with increasing honey bee density while resource overlaps remained constant. The reproduction of red mason bees decreased in cages with honey bees. In conclusion, our experimental results show that in small and isolated flower patches, wild bees can temporarily suffer from competition with honey bees. Further research should aim to test for competition on small and isolated flower patches in real landscapes. PMID:26640681

  13. Red mason bees cannot compete with honey bees for floral resources in a cage experiment.

    PubMed

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

    Intensive beekeeping to mitigate crop pollination deficits and habitat loss may cause interspecific competition between bees. Studies show negative correlations between flower visitation of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees, but effects on the reproduction of wild bees were not proven. Likely reasons are that honey bees can hardly be excluded from controls and wild bee nests are generally difficult to detect in field experiments. The goal of this study was to investigate whether red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) compete with honey bees in cages in order to compare the reproduction of red mason bees under different honey bee densities. Three treatments were applied, each replicated in four cages of 18 m³ with 38 red mason bees in all treatments and 0, 100, and 300 honey bees per treatment with 10-20% being foragers. Within the cages, the flower visitation and interspecific displacements from flowers were observed. Niche breadths and resource overlaps of both bee species were calculated, and the reproduction of red mason bees was measured. Red mason bees visited fewer flowers when honey bees were present. Niche breadth of red mason bees decreased with increasing honey bee density while resource overlaps remained constant. The reproduction of red mason bees decreased in cages with honey bees. In conclusion, our experimental results show that in small and isolated flower patches, wild bees can temporarily suffer from competition with honey bees. Further research should aim to test for competition on small and isolated flower patches in real landscapes.

  14. The Plight of the Honey Bee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hockridge, Emma

    2010-01-01

    The decline of colonies of honey bees across the world is threatening local plant biodiversity and human food supplies. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a major cause of the problem and are banned or suspended in several countries. Other factors could also be lowering the resistance of bees to opportunist infections by, for…

  15. Impact of electric fields on honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bindokas, V.P.

    1985-01-01

    Biological effects in honey bee colonies under a 765-kV, 60-Hz transmission line (electric (E) field = 7 kV/m) were confirmed using controlled dosimetry and treatment reversal to replicate findings within the same season. Hives in the same environment but shielded from E field are normal, suggesting effects are caused by interaction of E field with the hive. Bees flying through the ambient E field are not demonstrably affected. Different thresholds and severity of effects were found in colonies exposed to 7, 5.5, 4.1, 1.8, and 0.65 to 0.85 kV/m at incremental distances from the line. Most colonies exposed at 7 kV/m failed in 8 weeks and failed to overwinter at greater than or equal to4.1 kV/m. Data suggest the limit of a biological effects corridor lies between 15 and 27 m (4.1 and 1.8 kV/m) beyond the outer phase of the transmission line. Mechanisms to explain colony disturbance fall into two categories, direct perception of enhanced in-hive E fields, and perception of shock from induced currents. The same effects induced in colonies with total-hive E-field exposure can be reproduced with shock or E-field exposure of worker bees in extended hive entranceways (= porches). Full-scale experiments demonstrate bee exposure to E fields including 100 kV/m under moisture-free conditions within a non-conductive porch causes no detectable effect on colony behavior. Exposure of bees on a conductive (e.g. wet) substrate produces been disturbance, increased mortality, abnormal propolization, and possible impairment of colony growth. Thresholds for effects caused by step-potential-induced currents are: 275-350 nA - disturbance of single bees; 600 nA - onset of abnormal propolization; and 900 nA - sting.

  16. Paenibacillus larvae-Directed Bacteriophage HB10c2 and Its Application in American Foulbrood-Affected Honey Bee Larvae.

    PubMed

    Beims, Hannes; Wittmann, Johannes; Bunk, Boyke; Spröer, Cathrin; Rohde, Christine; Günther, Gabi; Rohde, Manfred; von der Ohe, Werner; Steinert, Michael

    2015-08-15

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), the most serious honey bee brood bacterial disease. We isolated and characterized P. larvae-directed bacteriophages and developed criteria for safe phage therapy. Whole-genome analysis of a highly lytic virus of the family Siphoviridae (HB10c2) provided a detailed safety profile and uncovered its lysogenic nature and a putative beta-lactamase-like protein. To rate its antagonistic activity against the pathogens targeted and to specify potentially harmful effects on the bee population and the environment, P. larvae genotypes ERIC I to IV, representatives of the bee gut microbiota, and a broad panel of members of the order Bacillales were analyzed for phage HB10c2-induced lysis. Breeding assays with infected bee larvae revealed that the in vitro phage activity observed was not predictive of the real-life scenario and therapeutic efficacy. On the basis of the disclosed P. larvae-bacteriophage coevolution, we discuss the future prospects of AFB phage therapy. PMID:26048941

  17. Paenibacillus larvae-Directed Bacteriophage HB10c2 and Its Application in American Foulbrood-Affected Honey Bee Larvae

    PubMed Central

    Beims, Hannes; Wittmann, Johannes; Bunk, Boyke; Spröer, Cathrin; Rohde, Christine; Günther, Gabi; Rohde, Manfred; von der Ohe, Werner

    2015-01-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), the most serious honey bee brood bacterial disease. We isolated and characterized P. larvae-directed bacteriophages and developed criteria for safe phage therapy. Whole-genome analysis of a highly lytic virus of the family Siphoviridae (HB10c2) provided a detailed safety profile and uncovered its lysogenic nature and a putative beta-lactamase-like protein. To rate its antagonistic activity against the pathogens targeted and to specify potentially harmful effects on the bee population and the environment, P. larvae genotypes ERIC I to IV, representatives of the bee gut microbiota, and a broad panel of members of the order Bacillales were analyzed for phage HB10c2-induced lysis. Breeding assays with infected bee larvae revealed that the in vitro phage activity observed was not predictive of the real-life scenario and therapeutic efficacy. On the basis of the disclosed P. larvae-bacteriophage coevolution, we discuss the future prospects of AFB phage therapy. PMID:26048941

  18. Assessing Patterns of Admixture and Ancestry in Canadian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Canada has a large beekeeping industry comprised of 8483 beekeepers managing 672094 23 colonies. Canadian honey bees, like all honey bees in the New World, originate from centuries of importation of predominately European honey bees, but their precise ancestry remains unknown. There have been no i...

  19. First Complete Genome Sequence of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus Isolated from Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Beibei; Hou, Chunsheng; Deng, Shuai; Zhang, Xuefeng; Chu, Yanna; Yuan, Chunying; Diao, Qingyun

    2016-01-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is a serious viral disease affecting adult bees. We report here the complete genome sequence of CBPV, which was isolated from a honey bee colony with the symptom of severe crawling. The genome of CBPV consists of two segments, RNA 1 and RNA 2, containing respective overlapping fragments. PMID:27491983

  20. First Complete Genome Sequence of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus Isolated from Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) in China

    PubMed Central

    Li, Beibei; Deng, Shuai; Zhang, Xuefeng; Chu, Yanna; Yuan, Chunying

    2016-01-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is a serious viral disease affecting adult bees. We report here the complete genome sequence of CBPV, which was isolated from a honey bee colony with the symptom of severe crawling. The genome of CBPV consists of two segments, RNA 1 and RNA 2, containing respective overlapping fragments. PMID:27491983

  1. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    PubMed

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-06-23

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels.

  2. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Martin, Madison; Brutscher, Laura M.; Cavigli, Ian; Garcia, Emma; Lavin, Matt; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators of important agricultural crops. Recently, high annual losses of honey bee colonies have prompted further investigation of honey bee infecting viruses. To better characterize the recently discovered and very prevalent Lake Sinai virus (LSV) group, we sequenced currently circulating LSVs, performed phylogenetic analysis, and obtained images of LSV2. Sequence analysis resulted in extension of the LSV1 and LSV2 genomes, the first detection of LSV4 in the US, and the discovery of LSV6 and LSV7. We detected LSV1 and LSV2 in the Varroa destructor mite, and determined that a large proportion of LSV2 is found in the honey bee gut, suggesting that vector-mediated, food-associated, and/or fecal-oral routes may be important for LSV dissemination. Pathogen-specific quantitative PCR data, obtained from samples collected during a small-scale monitoring project, revealed that LSV2, LSV1, Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Nosema ceranae were more abundant in weak colonies than strong colonies within this sample cohort. Together, these results enhance our current understanding of LSVs and illustrate the importance of future studies aimed at investigating the role of LSVs and other pathogens on honey bee health at both the individual and colony levels. PMID:26110586

  3. The early bee catches the flower - circadian rhythmicity influences learning performance in honey bees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Marina; Gustav, David

    2010-01-01

    Circadian rhythmicity plays an important role for many aspects of honey bees’ lives. However, the question whether it also affects learning and memory remained unanswered. To address this question, we studied the effect of circadian timing on olfactory learning and memory in honey bees Apis mellifera using the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex paradigm. Bees were differentially conditioned to odours and tested for their odour learning at four different “Zeitgeber” time points. We show that learning behaviour is influenced by circadian timing. Honey bees perform best in the morning compared to the other times of day. Additionally, we found influences of the light condition bees were trained at on the olfactory learning. This circadian-mediated learning is independent from feeding times bees were entrained to, indicating an inherited and not acquired mechanism. We hypothesise that a co-evolutionary mechanism between the honey bee as a pollinator and plants might be the driving force for the evolution of the time-dependent learning abilities of bees. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00265-010-1026-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:21350590

  4. Population structure of honey bees in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) confirms introgression from surrounding subspecies.

    PubMed

    Péntek-Zakar, Erika; Oleksa, Andrzej; Borowik, Tomasz; Kusza, Szilvia

    2015-12-01

    Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) are considered as an indigenous subspecies in Hungary adapted to most of the ecological and climatic conditions in this area. However, during the last decades Hungarian beekeepers have recognized morphological signs of the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). As the natural distribution of the honey bee subspecies can be affected by the importation of honey bee queens or by natural gene flow, we aimed at determining the genetic structure and characteristics of the local honey bee population using molecular markers. All together, 48 Hungarian and 84 foreign (Italian, Polish, Spanish, Liberian) pupae and/or workers were used for mitochondrial DNA analysis. Additionally, 53 sequences corresponding to 10 subspecies and the Buckfast hybrid were downloaded from GenBank. For the nuclear analysis, 236 Hungarian and 106 foreign honey bees were genotyped using nine microsatellites. Heterozygosity values, population-specific alleles, FST values, principal coordinate analysis, assignment tests, structure analysis, and dendrograms were calculated. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity values showed moderate values. We found that one haplotype (H9) was dominant in Hungary. The presence of the black honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) was negligible, but a few individuals resembling other subspecies were identified. We proved that the Hungarian honey bee population is nearly homogeneous but also demonstrated introgression from the foreign subspecies. Both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite analyses corroborated the observations of the beekeepers. Molecular analyses suggested that Carniolan honey bee in Hungary is slightly affected by Italian and black honey bee introgression. Genetic differences were detected between Polish and Hungarian Carniolan honey bee populations, suggesting the existence of at least two different gene pools within A. m. carnica.

  5. Population structure of honey bees in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) confirms introgression from surrounding subspecies.

    PubMed

    Péntek-Zakar, Erika; Oleksa, Andrzej; Borowik, Tomasz; Kusza, Szilvia

    2015-12-01

    Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) are considered as an indigenous subspecies in Hungary adapted to most of the ecological and climatic conditions in this area. However, during the last decades Hungarian beekeepers have recognized morphological signs of the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). As the natural distribution of the honey bee subspecies can be affected by the importation of honey bee queens or by natural gene flow, we aimed at determining the genetic structure and characteristics of the local honey bee population using molecular markers. All together, 48 Hungarian and 84 foreign (Italian, Polish, Spanish, Liberian) pupae and/or workers were used for mitochondrial DNA analysis. Additionally, 53 sequences corresponding to 10 subspecies and the Buckfast hybrid were downloaded from GenBank. For the nuclear analysis, 236 Hungarian and 106 foreign honey bees were genotyped using nine microsatellites. Heterozygosity values, population-specific alleles, FST values, principal coordinate analysis, assignment tests, structure analysis, and dendrograms were calculated. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity values showed moderate values. We found that one haplotype (H9) was dominant in Hungary. The presence of the black honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) was negligible, but a few individuals resembling other subspecies were identified. We proved that the Hungarian honey bee population is nearly homogeneous but also demonstrated introgression from the foreign subspecies. Both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite analyses corroborated the observations of the beekeepers. Molecular analyses suggested that Carniolan honey bee in Hungary is slightly affected by Italian and black honey bee introgression. Genetic differences were detected between Polish and Hungarian Carniolan honey bee populations, suggesting the existence of at least two different gene pools within A. m. carnica. PMID:27069597

  6. A new threat to honey bees, the parasitic phorid fly Apocephalus borealis.

    PubMed

    Core, Andrew; Runckel, Charles; Ivers, Jonathan; Quock, Christopher; Siapno, Travis; Denault, Seraphina; Brown, Brian; Derisi, Joseph; Smith, Christopher D; Hafernik, John

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are subject to numerous pathogens and parasites. Interaction among multiple pathogens and parasites is the proposed cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. Here we provide the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to parasitize bumble bees, also infects and eventually kills honey bees and may pose an emerging threat to North American apiculture. Parasitized honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving their hives at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, we confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species. Microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Larvae and adult phorids also tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir of these honey bee pathogens. Phorid parasitism may affect hive viability since 77% of sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay Area were infected by the fly and microarray analyses detected phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California's Central Valley. Understanding details of phorid infection may shed light on similar hive abandonment behaviors seen in CCD. PMID:22235317

  7. A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis

    PubMed Central

    Core, Andrew; Runckel, Charles; Ivers, Jonathan; Quock, Christopher; Siapno, Travis; DeNault, Seraphina; Brown, Brian; DeRisi, Joseph; Smith, Christopher D.; Hafernik, John

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are subject to numerous pathogens and parasites. Interaction among multiple pathogens and parasites is the proposed cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. Here we provide the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to parasitize bumble bees, also infects and eventually kills honey bees and may pose an emerging threat to North American apiculture. Parasitized honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving their hives at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, we confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species. Microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Larvae and adult phorids also tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir of these honey bee pathogens. Phorid parasitism may affect hive viability since 77% of sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay Area were infected by the fly and microarray analyses detected phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California's Central Valley. Understanding details of phorid infection may shed light on similar hive abandonment behaviors seen in CCD. PMID:22235317

  8. Transcriptional responses in honey bee larvae infected with chalkbrood fungus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Diseases and other stress factors working synergistically weaken honey bee health and may play a major role in the losses of bee populations in recent years. Among a large number of bee diseases, chalkbrood has been on the rise. We present here the experimental identification of honey bee genes that...

  9. Allee effects and colony collapse disorder in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We propose a mathematical model to quantify the hypothesis that a major ultimate cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honey bees is the presence of an Allee effect in the growth dynamics of honey bee colonies. In the model, both recruitment of adult bees as well as mortality of adult bees have...

  10. Use of flax oil to influence honey bee nestmate recognition.

    PubMed

    Breed, Michael D; Lyon, Cecily A; Sutherland, Anna; Buchwald, Robert

    2012-08-01

    Fatty acids, normally found in comb wax, have a strong influence on nestmate recognition in honey bees, Apis mellifera L. Previous work has shown that bees from different colonies, when treated with 16- or 18-carbon fatty acids, such as oleic, linoleic, or linolenic acids, are much less likely to fight than bees from two colonies when only one of the two is treated. Previous work also shows that the influence of comb wax on recognition has practical applications; transfer of empty comb between colonies, before merger of those colonies, reduces fighting among workers within the merged colony. Flax oil contains many of the same fatty acids as beeswax. Here, we tested the hypothesis that treatment of individual bees with flax oil affects nestmate recognition; the results proved to be consistent with this hypothesis and showed that treated bees from different colonies were less likely to fight than untreated bees. These results suggest that flax oil may be useful in facilitating colony mergers.

  11. Insulin-like peptides (AmILP1 and AmILP2) differentially affect female caste development in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ying; Azevedo, Sergio V.; Hartfelder, Klaus; Amdam, Gro V.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY The food a honey bee female larva receives determines whether she develops into a large long-lived fertile queen or a short-lived sterile worker. Through well-established nutrient-sensing and growth-promoting functions in metazoans, the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling (IIS) pathway has become a focal topic in investigations on how differences in food environment can be translated into internal signals responsible for queen–worker determination. However, low expression levels of two insulin receptors (AmInRs) in honey bee larvae and the failure of one AmInR to influence caste differentiation are in potential conflict with such a classical growth-promoting role of IIS in queen–worker development. In view of such an apparent contradiction, and the fact that binding partners and affinities of these two AmInRs have not been worked out, we performed a functional study on insulin-like peptide genes (AmILP1 and AmILP2) in honey bee larvae by using a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated gene knockdown approach. We found that juvenile hormone (JH) levels were diminished by AmILP1 dsRNA treatment, while the AmILP2 knockdown caused a reduction in ovary size. Blood sugar titers were not significantly affected by the treatments. From these results we conclude that AmILP2 transcript levels may influence specific organ development, such as the ovary and body mass, while more general traits of caste differentiation, such as mandibles, may require additional regulators. In addition, JH production may be regulated by AmILP1 expressed locally in the brain, similar to the function of certain ILPs in Drosophila. PMID:23997199

  12. Impact of managed honey bee viruses on wild bees.

    PubMed

    Tehel, Anja; Brown, Mark Jf; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Several viruses found in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) have recently been detected in other bee species, raising the possibility of spill-over from managed to wild bee species. Alternatively, these viruses may be shared generalists across flower-visiting insects. Here we explore the former hypothesis, pointing out weaknesses in the current evidence, particularly in relation to deformed wing virus (DWV), and highlighting research areas that may help test it. Data so far suggest that DWV spills over from managed to wild bee species and has the potential to cause population decline. That DWV and other viruses of A. mellifera are found in other bee species needs to be considered for the sustainable management of bee populations.

  13. Impact of managed honey bee viruses on wild bees.

    PubMed

    Tehel, Anja; Brown, Mark Jf; Paxton, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Several viruses found in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) have recently been detected in other bee species, raising the possibility of spill-over from managed to wild bee species. Alternatively, these viruses may be shared generalists across flower-visiting insects. Here we explore the former hypothesis, pointing out weaknesses in the current evidence, particularly in relation to deformed wing virus (DWV), and highlighting research areas that may help test it. Data so far suggest that DWV spills over from managed to wild bee species and has the potential to cause population decline. That DWV and other viruses of A. mellifera are found in other bee species needs to be considered for the sustainable management of bee populations. PMID:27351468

  14. Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Barron, Andrew B

    2013-11-19

    Human decision-making strategies are strongly influenced by an awareness of certainty or uncertainty (a form of metacognition) to increase the chances of making a right choice. Humans seek more information and defer choosing when they realize they have insufficient information to make an accurate decision, but whether animals are aware of uncertainty is currently highly contentious. To explore this issue, we examined how honey bees (Apis mellifera) responded to a visual discrimination task that varied in difficulty between trials. Free-flying bees were rewarded for a correct choice, punished for an incorrect choice, or could avoid choosing by exiting the trial (opting out). Bees opted out more often on difficult trials, and opting out improved their proportion of successful trials. Bees could also transfer the concept of opting out to a novel task. Our data show that bees selectively avoid difficult tasks they lack the information to solve. This finding has been considered as evidence that nonhuman animals can assess the certainty of a predicted outcome, and bees' performance was comparable to that of primates in a similar paradigm. We discuss whether these behavioral results prove bees react to uncertainty or whether associative mechanisms can explain such findings. To better frame metacognition as an issue for neurobiological investigation, we propose a neurobiological hypothesis of uncertainty monitoring based on the known circuitry of the honey bee brain.

  15. Xenobiotic effects on intestinal stem cell proliferation in adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L) workers.

    PubMed

    Forkpah, Cordelia; Dixon, Luke R; Fahrbach, Susan E; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species. PMID:24608542

  16. Xenobiotic effects on intestinal stem cell proliferation in adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L) workers.

    PubMed

    Forkpah, Cordelia; Dixon, Luke R; Fahrbach, Susan E; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species.

  17. Population growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee colonies is affected by the number of foragers with mites.

    PubMed

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Ahumada, Fabiana; Zazueta, Victor; Chambers, Mona; Hidalgo, Geoffrey; deJong, Emily Watkins

    2016-05-01

    Varroa mites are a serious pest of honey bees and the leading cause of colony losses. Varroa have relatively low reproductive rates, so populations should not increase rapidly, but often they do. Other factors might contribute to the growth of varroa populations including mite migration into colonies on foragers from other hives. We measured the proportion of foragers carrying mites on their bodies while entering and leaving hives, and determined its relationship to the growth of varroa populations in those hives at two apiary sites. We also compared the estimates of mite population growth with predictions from a varroa population dynamics model that generates estimates of mite population growth based on mite reproduction. Samples of capped brood and adult bees indicated that the proportion of brood cells infested with mites and adult bees with phoretic mites was low through the summer but increased sharply in the fall especially at site 1. The frequency of capturing foragers with mites on their bodies while entering or leaving hives also increased in the fall. The growth of varroa populations at both sites was not significantly related to our colony estimates of successful mite reproduction, but instead to the total number of foragers with mites (entering and leaving the colony). There were more foragers with mites at site 1 than site 2, and mite populations at site 1 were larger especially in the fall. The model accurately estimated phoretic mite populations and infested brood cells until November when predictions were much lower than those measured in colonies. The rapid growth of mite populations particularly in the fall being a product of mite migration rather than mite reproduction only is discussed.

  18. Population growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in honey bee colonies is affected by the number of foragers with mites.

    PubMed

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Ahumada, Fabiana; Zazueta, Victor; Chambers, Mona; Hidalgo, Geoffrey; deJong, Emily Watkins

    2016-05-01

    Varroa mites are a serious pest of honey bees and the leading cause of colony losses. Varroa have relatively low reproductive rates, so populations should not increase rapidly, but often they do. Other factors might contribute to the growth of varroa populations including mite migration into colonies on foragers from other hives. We measured the proportion of foragers carrying mites on their bodies while entering and leaving hives, and determined its relationship to the growth of varroa populations in those hives at two apiary sites. We also compared the estimates of mite population growth with predictions from a varroa population dynamics model that generates estimates of mite population growth based on mite reproduction. Samples of capped brood and adult bees indicated that the proportion of brood cells infested with mites and adult bees with phoretic mites was low through the summer but increased sharply in the fall especially at site 1. The frequency of capturing foragers with mites on their bodies while entering or leaving hives also increased in the fall. The growth of varroa populations at both sites was not significantly related to our colony estimates of successful mite reproduction, but instead to the total number of foragers with mites (entering and leaving the colony). There were more foragers with mites at site 1 than site 2, and mite populations at site 1 were larger especially in the fall. The model accurately estimated phoretic mite populations and infested brood cells until November when predictions were much lower than those measured in colonies. The rapid growth of mite populations particularly in the fall being a product of mite migration rather than mite reproduction only is discussed. PMID:26910522

  19. Bee cups: Single-use cages for honey bee experiments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees face challenges ranging from poor nutrition to exposure to parasites, pathogens, and environmental chemicals. These challenges drain colony resources and have been tied to both subtle and extreme colony declines, including the enigmatic Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Understanding how ...

  20. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Jesse Wade; Nieh, James C.; Goodale, Eben

    2012-01-01

    Many high school science students do not encounter opportunities for authentic science inquiry in their formal coursework. Ecological field studies can provide such opportunities. The purpose of this project was to teach students about the process of science by designing and conducting experiments on whether and how honey bees (Apis mellifera)…

  1. Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees communicate the location and desirability of valuable forage sites to their nest mates via an elaborate, symbolic ‘dance language’. The dance language is a uniquely complex communication system in invertebrates, and the neural mechanisms that generate dances are largely unknown. Here we ...

  2. Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee's Honey - A review.

    PubMed

    Ediriweera, E R H S S; Premarathna, N Y S

    2012-04-01

    Bee's honey is one of the most valued and appreciated natural substances known to mankind since ancient times. There are many types of bee's honey mentioned in Ayurveda. Their effects differ and 'Makshika' is considered medicinally the best. According to modern scientific view, the best bee's honey is made by Apis mellifera (Family: Apidae). In Sri Lanka, the predominant honey-maker bee is Apis cerana. The aim of this survey is to emphasize the importance of bee's honey and its multitude of medicinal, cosmetic and general values. Synonyms, details of formation, constitution, properties, and method of extraction and the usages of bee's honey are gathered from text books, traditional and Ayurvedic physicians of Western and Southern provinces, villagers of 'Kalahe' in Galle district of Sri Lanka and from few search engines. Fresh bee's honey is used in treatment of eye diseases, throat infections, bronchial asthma, tuberculosis, hiccups, thirst, dizziness, fatigue, hepatitis, worm infestation, constipation, piles, eczema, healing of wounds, ulcers and used as a nutritious, easily digestible food for weak people. It promotes semen, mental health and used in cosmetic purposes. Old bee's honey is used to treat vomiting, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus and in preserving meat and fruits. Highly popular in cosmetic treatment, bee's honey is used in preparing facial washes, skin moisturizers, hair conditioners and in treatment of pimples. Bee's honey could be considered as one of the finest products of nature that has a wide range of beneficial uses. PMID:23559786

  3. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms.

    PubMed

    Page, Paul; Lin, Zheguang; Buawangpong, Ninat; Zheng, Huoqing; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insect colonies form superorganisms, in which nestmates cooperate and use social immunity to combat parasites. However, social immunity may fail in case of emerging diseases. This is the case for the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, which switched hosts from the Eastern honeybee, Apis cerana, to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and currently is the greatest threat to A. mellifera apiculture globally. Here, we show that immature workers of the mite's original host, A. cerana, are more susceptible to V. destructor infestations than those of its new host, thereby enabling more efficient social immunity and contributing to colony survival. This counterintuitive result shows that susceptible individuals can foster superorganism survival, offering empirical support to theoretical arguments about the adaptive value of worker suicide in social insects. Altruistic suicide of immature bees constitutes a social analogue of apoptosis, as it prevents the spread of infections by sacrificing parts of the whole organism, and unveils a novel form of transgenerational social immunity in honey bees. Taking into account the key role of susceptible immature bees in social immunity will improve breeding efforts to mitigate the unsustainably high colony losses of Western honey bees due to V. destructor infestations worldwide. PMID:27264643

  4. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Page, Paul; Lin, Zheguang; Buawangpong, Ninat; Zheng, Huoqing; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Eusocial insect colonies form superorganisms, in which nestmates cooperate and use social immunity to combat parasites. However, social immunity may fail in case of emerging diseases. This is the case for the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, which switched hosts from the Eastern honeybee, Apis cerana, to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and currently is the greatest threat to A. mellifera apiculture globally. Here, we show that immature workers of the mite’s original host, A. cerana, are more susceptible to V. destructor infestations than those of its new host, thereby enabling more efficient social immunity and contributing to colony survival. This counterintuitive result shows that susceptible individuals can foster superorganism survival, offering empirical support to theoretical arguments about the adaptive value of worker suicide in social insects. Altruistic suicide of immature bees constitutes a social analogue of apoptosis, as it prevents the spread of infections by sacrificing parts of the whole organism, and unveils a novel form of transgenerational social immunity in honey bees. Taking into account the key role of susceptible immature bees in social immunity will improve breeding efforts to mitigate the unsustainably high colony losses of Western honey bees due to V. destructor infestations worldwide. PMID:27264643

  5. Multiyear survey targeting disease incidence in US honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The US National Honey Bee Disease Survey sampled colony pests and diseases from 2009 to 2014. We verified the absence of Tropilaelaps spp., the Asian honey bee (Apis cerana), and slow bee paralysis virus. Endemic health threats were quantified, including Varroa destructor, Nosema spp., and eight hon...

  6. Genomics of the honey bee microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Nancy A.

    2015-01-01

    The guts of honey bee workers contain a distinctive community of bacterial species. They are microaerophilic or anaerobic, and were not clearly deliniated by earlier studies relying on laboratory culture of isolates under atmospheric oxygen levels. Recently, a more complete picture of the potential metabolism and functions of these bacteria has been possible, using genomic approaches based on metagenomic samples, as well as cultured isolates. Of these, most are host-restricted and are generally absent outside adult guts. These species include both Gram negative groups, such as Gilliamella apicola and Snodgrassella alvi, and Gram positive groups such as certain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. These gut bacterial species appear to have undergone long term coevolution with honey bee and, in some cases, bumble bee hosts. Prediction of gene functions from genome sequences suggests roles in nutrition, digestion, and potentially in defense against pathogens. In particular, genes for sugar utilization and carbohydrate breakdown are enriched in G. apicola and the Lactobacillus species. PMID:26140264

  7. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State.

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations. PMID:27070422

  8. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State

    PubMed Central

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W. Allen; Bonning, Bryony C.; Toth, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations. PMID:27070422

  9. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State.

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Miller, W Allen; Bonning, Bryony C; Toth, Amy L

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations.

  10. Effects of Infection on Honey Bee Population Dynamics: A Model

    PubMed Central

    Betti, Matt I.; Wahl, Lindi M.; Zamir, Mair

    2014-01-01

    We propose a model that combines the dynamics of the spread of disease within a bee colony with the underlying demographic dynamics of the colony to determine the ultimate fate of the colony under different scenarios. The model suggests that key factors in the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of an infection are the rate of transmission of the infection and the disease-induced death rate. An increase in the disease-induced death rate, which can be thought of as an increase in the severity of the disease, may actually help the colony overcome the disease and survive through winter. By contrast, an increase in the transmission rate, which means that bees are being infected at an earlier age, has a drastic deleterious effect. Another important finding relates to the timing of infection in relation to the onset of winter, indicating that in a time interval of approximately 20 days before the onset of winter the colony is most affected by the onset of infection. The results suggest further that the age of recruitment of hive bees to foraging duties is a good early marker for the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of infection, which is consistent with experimental evidence but the model provides insight into the underlying mechanisms. The most important result of the study is a clear distinction between an exposure of the honey bee colony to an environmental hazard such as pesticides or insecticides, or an exposure to an infectious disease. The results indicate unequivocally that in the scenarios that we have examined, and perhaps more generally, an infectious disease is far more hazardous to the survival of a bee colony than an environmental hazard that causes an equal death rate in foraging bees. PMID:25329468

  11. Effects of infection on honey bee population dynamics: a model.

    PubMed

    Betti, Matt I; Wahl, Lindi M; Zamir, Mair

    2014-01-01

    We propose a model that combines the dynamics of the spread of disease within a bee colony with the underlying demographic dynamics of the colony to determine the ultimate fate of the colony under different scenarios. The model suggests that key factors in the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of an infection are the rate of transmission of the infection and the disease-induced death rate. An increase in the disease-induced death rate, which can be thought of as an increase in the severity of the disease, may actually help the colony overcome the disease and survive through winter. By contrast, an increase in the transmission rate, which means that bees are being infected at an earlier age, has a drastic deleterious effect. Another important finding relates to the timing of infection in relation to the onset of winter, indicating that in a time interval of approximately 20 days before the onset of winter the colony is most affected by the onset of infection. The results suggest further that the age of recruitment of hive bees to foraging duties is a good early marker for the survival or collapse of a honey bee colony in the face of infection, which is consistent with experimental evidence but the model provides insight into the underlying mechanisms. The most important result of the study is a clear distinction between an exposure of the honey bee colony to an environmental hazard such as pesticides or insecticides, or an exposure to an infectious disease. The results indicate unequivocally that in the scenarios that we have examined, and perhaps more generally, an infectious disease is far more hazardous to the survival of a bee colony than an environmental hazard that causes an equal death rate in foraging bees.

  12. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Cornman, R Scott; Tarpy, David R; Chen, Yanping; Jeffreys, Lacey; Lopez, Dawn; Pettis, Jeffery S; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Evans, Jay D

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized characteristics of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new or resurgent pathogens. Here we explore the incidence and abundance of currently known honey bee pathogens in colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), otherwise weak colonies, and strong colonies from across the United States. Although pathogen identities differed between the eastern and western United States, there was a greater incidence and abundance of pathogens in CCD colonies. Pathogen loads were highly covariant in CCD but not control hives, suggesting that CCD colonies rapidly become susceptible to a diverse set of pathogens, or that co-infections can act synergistically to produce the rapid depletion of workers that characterizes the disorder. We also tested workers from a CCD-free apiary to confirm that significant positive correlations among pathogen loads can develop at the level of individual bees and not merely as a secondary effect of CCD. This observation and other recent data highlight pathogen interactions as important components of bee disease. Finally, we used deep RNA sequencing to further characterize microbial diversity in CCD and non-CCD hives. We identified novel strains of the recently described Lake Sinai viruses (LSV) and found evidence of a shift in gut bacterial composition that may be a biomarker of CCD. The results are discussed with respect to host-parasite interactions and other environmental stressors of honey bees.

  13. Pathogen Webs in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Cornman, R. Scott; Tarpy, David R.; Chen, Yanping; Jeffreys, Lacey; Lopez, Dawn; Pettis, Jeffery S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Evans, Jay D.

    2012-01-01

    Recent losses in honey bee colonies are unusual in their severity, geographical distribution, and, in some cases, failure to present recognized characteristics of known disease. Domesticated honey bees face numerous pests and pathogens, tempting hypotheses that colony collapses arise from exposure to new or resurgent pathogens. Here we explore the incidence and abundance of currently known honey bee pathogens in colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), otherwise weak colonies, and strong colonies from across the United States. Although pathogen identities differed between the eastern and western United States, there was a greater incidence and abundance of pathogens in CCD colonies. Pathogen loads were highly covariant in CCD but not control hives, suggesting that CCD colonies rapidly become susceptible to a diverse set of pathogens, or that co-infections can act synergistically to produce the rapid depletion of workers that characterizes the disorder. We also tested workers from a CCD-free apiary to confirm that significant positive correlations among pathogen loads can develop at the level of individual bees and not merely as a secondary effect of CCD. This observation and other recent data highlight pathogen interactions as important components of bee disease. Finally, we used deep RNA sequencing to further characterize microbial diversity in CCD and non-CCD hives. We identified novel strains of the recently described Lake Sinai viruses (LSV) and found evidence of a shift in gut bacterial composition that may be a biomarker of CCD. The results are discussed with respect to host-parasite interactions and other environmental stressors of honey bees. PMID:22927991

  14. Comparison of acute effects of heroin and Kerack on sensory and motor activity of honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Hassanpour-Ezatti, Majid

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): Previous studies demonstrated a functional similarity between vertebrate and honey bee nervous systems. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of heroin and Iranian street Kerack, a combination of heroin and caffeine, on sensory threshold and locomotor activity in honey bees. Materials and Methods: All drugs were given orally to honey bees 30 min before each experiment. The levels of these drugs and their metabolites in brain samples of honey bees were determined by GC/MS. The sucrose sensitivity test was used for evaluation of changes in honey bees’ sensory threshold. Following the administration of both drugs, the honey bees’ locomotor activity changes were evaluated in open fields. Results: 6-acetylmorphine had a higher concentration in comparison with other heroin metabolites in honey bees’ brains. Concentration of the compound in the brain was directly proportional to the amount ingested. Heroin reduced the sensory threshold of honey bees, but Kerack increased it in the same doses. Locomotor activity of honey bee in open field was enhanced after the administration of both drugs. However, immobility time of honey bees was only affected by high doses of heroin. Conclusion: Acute effects of heroin andKerack on the sensory and motor functions of honey bees were different. Findings of this research suggest that these differences originated from the activation of different neurotransmitter systems by caffeine together with activation of opioid receptors by heroin. PMID:26019799

  15. Octopamine influences honey bee foraging preference

    PubMed Central

    Giray, Tugrul; Galindo, Alberto; Oskay, Devrim

    2010-01-01

    Colony condition and differences in individual preferences influence forage type collected by bees. Physiological bases for the changing preferences of individual foragers are just beginning to be examined. Recently, for honey bees octopamine is shown to influence age at onset of foraging and probability of dance for rewards. However, octopamine has not been causally linked with foraging preference in the field. We tested the hypothesis that changes in octopamine may alter forage type (preference hypothesis). We treated identified foragers orally with octopamine or its immediate precursor, tyramine, or sucrose syrup (control). Octopamine treated foragers switched type of material collected, control bees did not. Tyramine group results were not different from the control group. In addition, sugar concentrations of nectar collected by foragers after octopamine treatment were lower than before treatment, indicating change in preference. In contrast, before and after nectar concentrations for bees in the control group were similar. These results, taken together, support the preference hypothesis. PMID:17574568

  16. Honey Bees Inspired Optimization Method: The Bees Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Yuce, Baris; Packianather, Michael S; Mastrocinque, Ernesto; Pham, Duc Truong; Lambiase, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    Optimization algorithms are search methods where the goal is to find an optimal solution to a problem, in order to satisfy one or more objective functions, possibly subject to a set of constraints. Studies of social animals and social insects have resulted in a number of computational models of swarm intelligence. Within these swarms their collective behavior is usually very complex. The collective behavior of a swarm of social organisms emerges from the behaviors of the individuals of that swarm. Researchers have developed computational optimization methods based on biology such as Genetic Algorithms, Particle Swarm Optimization, and Ant Colony. The aim of this paper is to describe an optimization algorithm called the Bees Algorithm, inspired from the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, to find the optimal solution. The algorithm performs both an exploitative neighborhood search combined with random explorative search. In this paper, after an explanation of the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, the basic Bees Algorithm and its improved versions are described and are implemented in order to optimize several benchmark functions, and the results are compared with those obtained with different optimization algorithms. The results show that the Bees Algorithm offering some advantage over other optimization methods according to the nature of the problem. PMID:26462528

  17. Honey Bees Inspired Optimization Method: The Bees Algorithm.

    PubMed

    Yuce, Baris; Packianather, Michael S; Mastrocinque, Ernesto; Pham, Duc Truong; Lambiase, Alfredo

    2013-11-06

    Optimization algorithms are search methods where the goal is to find an optimal solution to a problem, in order to satisfy one or more objective functions, possibly subject to a set of constraints. Studies of social animals and social insects have resulted in a number of computational models of swarm intelligence. Within these swarms their collective behavior is usually very complex. The collective behavior of a swarm of social organisms emerges from the behaviors of the individuals of that swarm. Researchers have developed computational optimization methods based on biology such as Genetic Algorithms, Particle Swarm Optimization, and Ant Colony. The aim of this paper is to describe an optimization algorithm called the Bees Algorithm, inspired from the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, to find the optimal solution. The algorithm performs both an exploitative neighborhood search combined with random explorative search. In this paper, after an explanation of the natural foraging behavior of honey bees, the basic Bees Algorithm and its improved versions are described and are implemented in order to optimize several benchmark functions, and the results are compared with those obtained with different optimization algorithms. The results show that the Bees Algorithm offering some advantage over other optimization methods according to the nature of the problem.

  18. Pollution monitoring of Puget Sound with honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Carlson, S.R.; Simpson, J.C.; Thomas, J.M.

    1985-02-08

    To show that honey bees are effective biological monitors of environmental contaminants over large geographic areas, beekeepers of Puget Sound, Washington, collected pollen and bees for chemical analysis. From these data, kriging maps of arsenic, cadmium, and fluoride were generated. Results, based on actual concentrations of contaminants in bee tissues, show that the greatest concentrations of contaminants occur close to Commencement Bay and that honey bees are effective as large-scale monitors. 27 references, 2 figures.

  19. Magnetic Sensing through the Abdomen of the Honey bee.

    PubMed

    Liang, Chao-Hung; Chuang, Cheng-Long; Jiang, Joe-Air; Yang, En-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees have the ability to detect the Earth's magnetic field, and the suspected magnetoreceptors are the iron granules in the abdomens of the bees. To identify the sensing route of honey bee magnetoreception, we conducted a classical conditioning experiment in which the responses of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) were monitored. Honey bees were successfully trained to associate the magnetic stimulus with a sucrose reward after two days of training. When the neural connection of the ventral nerve cord (VNC) between the abdomen and the thorax was cut, the honey bees no longer associated the magnetic stimulus with the sucrose reward but still responded to an olfactory PER task. The neural responses elicited in response to the change of magnetic field were also recorded at the VNC. Our results suggest that the honey bee is a new model animal for the investigation of magnetite-based magnetoreception. PMID:27005398

  20. Magnetic Sensing through the Abdomen of the Honey bee

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Chao-Hung; Chuang, Cheng-Long; Jiang, Joe-Air; Yang, En-Cheng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees have the ability to detect the Earth’s magnetic field, and the suspected magnetoreceptors are the iron granules in the abdomens of the bees. To identify the sensing route of honey bee magnetoreception, we conducted a classical conditioning experiment in which the responses of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) were monitored. Honey bees were successfully trained to associate the magnetic stimulus with a sucrose reward after two days of training. When the neural connection of the ventral nerve cord (VNC) between the abdomen and the thorax was cut, the honey bees no longer associated the magnetic stimulus with the sucrose reward but still responded to an olfactory PER task. The neural responses elicited in response to the change of magnetic field were also recorded at the VNC. Our results suggest that the honey bee is a new model animal for the investigation of magnetite-based magnetoreception. PMID:27005398

  1. The formulation makes the honey bee poison.

    PubMed

    Mullin, Christopher A; Chen, Jing; Fine, Julia D; Frazier, Maryann T; Frazier, James L

    2015-05-01

    Dr. Fumio Matsumura's legacy embraced a passion for exploring environmental impacts of agrochemicals on non-target species such as bees. Why most formulations are more toxic to bees than respective active ingredients and how pesticides interact to cause pollinator decline cannot be answered without understanding the prevailing environmental chemical background to which bees are exposed. Modern pesticide formulations and seed treatments, particularly when multiple active ingredients are blended, require proprietary adjuvants and inert ingredients to achieve high efficacy for targeted pests. Although we have found over 130 different pesticides and metabolites in beehive samples, no individual pesticide or amount correlates with recent bee declines. Recently we have shown that honey bees are sensitive to organosilicone surfactants, nonylphenol polyethoxylates and the solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), widespread co-formulants used in agrochemicals and frequent pollutants within the beehive. Effects include learning impairment for adult bees and chronic toxicity in larval feeding bioassays. Multi-billion pounds of formulation ingredients like NMP are used and released into US environments. These synthetic organic chemicals are generally recognized as safe, have no mandated tolerances, and residues remain largely unmonitored. In contrast to finding about 70% of the pesticide active ingredients searched for in our pesticide analysis of beehive samples, we have found 100% of the other formulation ingredients targeted for analysis. These 'inerts' overwhelm the chemical burden from active pesticide, drug and personal care ingredients with which they are formulated. Honey bees serve as an optimal terrestrial bioindicator to determine if 'the formulation and not just the dose makes the poison'. PMID:25987217

  2. The formulation makes the honey bee poison.

    PubMed

    Mullin, Christopher A; Chen, Jing; Fine, Julia D; Frazier, Maryann T; Frazier, James L

    2015-05-01

    Dr. Fumio Matsumura's legacy embraced a passion for exploring environmental impacts of agrochemicals on non-target species such as bees. Why most formulations are more toxic to bees than respective active ingredients and how pesticides interact to cause pollinator decline cannot be answered without understanding the prevailing environmental chemical background to which bees are exposed. Modern pesticide formulations and seed treatments, particularly when multiple active ingredients are blended, require proprietary adjuvants and inert ingredients to achieve high efficacy for targeted pests. Although we have found over 130 different pesticides and metabolites in beehive samples, no individual pesticide or amount correlates with recent bee declines. Recently we have shown that honey bees are sensitive to organosilicone surfactants, nonylphenol polyethoxylates and the solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), widespread co-formulants used in agrochemicals and frequent pollutants within the beehive. Effects include learning impairment for adult bees and chronic toxicity in larval feeding bioassays. Multi-billion pounds of formulation ingredients like NMP are used and released into US environments. These synthetic organic chemicals are generally recognized as safe, have no mandated tolerances, and residues remain largely unmonitored. In contrast to finding about 70% of the pesticide active ingredients searched for in our pesticide analysis of beehive samples, we have found 100% of the other formulation ingredients targeted for analysis. These 'inerts' overwhelm the chemical burden from active pesticide, drug and personal care ingredients with which they are formulated. Honey bees serve as an optimal terrestrial bioindicator to determine if 'the formulation and not just the dose makes the poison'.

  3. Management increases genetic diversity of honey bees via admixture.

    PubMed

    Harpur, Brock A; Minaei, Shermineh; Kent, Clement F; Zayed, Amro

    2012-09-01

    The process of domestication often brings about profound changes in levels of genetic variation in animals and plants. The honey bee, Apis mellifera, has been managed by humans for centuries for both honey and wax production and crop pollination. Human management and selective breeding are believed to have caused reductions in genetic diversity in honey bee populations, thereby contributing to the global declines threatening this ecologically and economically important insect. However, previous studies supporting this claim mostly relied on population genetic comparisons of European and African (or Africanized) honey bee races; such conclusions require reassessment given recent evidence demonstrating that the honey bee originated in Africa and colonized Europe via two independent expansions. We sampled honey bee workers from two managed populations in North America and Europe as well as several old-world progenitor populations in Africa, East and West Europe. Managed bees had highly introgressed genomes representing admixture between East and West European progenitor populations. We found that managed honey bees actually have higher levels of genetic diversity compared with their progenitors in East and West Europe, providing an unusual example whereby human management increases genetic diversity by promoting admixture. The relationship between genetic diversity and honey bee declines is tenuous given that managed bees have more genetic diversity than their progenitors and many viable domesticated animals.

  4. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Even, Naïla; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Barron, Andrew B.

    2012-01-01

    The biological concept of stress originated in mammals, where a “General Adaptation Syndrome” describes a set of common integrated physiological responses to diverse noxious agents. Physiological mechanisms of stress in mammals have been extensively investigated through diverse behavioral and physiological studies. One of the main elements of the stress response pathway is the endocrine hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which underlies the “fight-or-flight” response via a hormonal cascade of catecholamines and corticoid hormones. Physiological responses to stress have been studied more recently in insects: they involve biogenic amines (octopamine, dopamine), neuropeptides (allatostatin, corazonin) and metabolic hormones (adipokinetic hormone, diuretic hormone). Here, we review elements of the physiological stress response that are or may be specific to honey bees, given the economical and ecological impact of this species. This review proposes a hypothetical integrated honey bee stress pathway somewhat analogous to the mammalian HPA, involving the brain and, particularly, the neurohemal organ corpora cardiaca and peripheral targets, including energy storage organs (fat body and crop). We discuss how this system can organize rapid coordinated changes in metabolic activity and arousal, in response to adverse environmental stimuli. We highlight physiological elements of the general stress responses that are specific to honey bees, and the areas in which we lack information to stimulate more research into how this fascinating and vital insect responds to stress. PMID:26466739

  5. Nosema ceranae in European honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Fries, Ingemar

    2010-01-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite described from the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. The parasite is cross-infective with the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is not known when or where N. ceranae first infected European bees, but N. ceranae has probably been infecting European bees for at least two decades. N. ceranae appears to be replacing Nosema apis, at least in some populations of European honey bees. This replacement is an enigma because the spores of the new parasite are less durable than those of N. apis. Virulence data at both the individual bee and at the colony level are conflicting possibly because the impact of this parasite differs in different environments. The recent advancements in N. ceranae genetics, with a draft assembly of the N. ceranae genome available, are discussed and the need for increased research on the impacts of this parasite on European honey bees is emphasized. PMID:19909977

  6. Nosema ceranae in European honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Fries, Ingemar

    2010-01-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite described from the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana. The parasite is cross-infective with the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is not known when or where N. ceranae first infected European bees, but N. ceranae has probably been infecting European bees for at least two decades. N. ceranae appears to be replacing Nosema apis, at least in some populations of European honey bees. This replacement is an enigma because the spores of the new parasite are less durable than those of N. apis. Virulence data at both the individual bee and at the colony level are conflicting possibly because the impact of this parasite differs in different environments. The recent advancements in N. ceranae genetics, with a draft assembly of the N. ceranae genome available, are discussed and the need for increased research on the impacts of this parasite on European honey bees is emphasized.

  7. Socialized Medicine: Individual and communal disease barriers in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees are attacked by numerous parasites and pathogens toward which they present defenses. In this review, we will briefly introduce the many pathogens and parasites afflicting honey bees, highlighting the biologies of specific taxonomic groups mainly as they relate to virulence and possible de...

  8. Deformed wing virus is not related to honey bees' aggressiveness

    PubMed Central

    Rortais, Agnès; Tentcheva, Diana; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Gauthier, Laurent; Arnold, Gérard; Colin, Marc Edouard; Bergoin, Max

    2006-01-01

    Guards of Cyprian honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera cypria, display a great defensive behaviour against hornets' attacks. The deformed wing virus (DWV) and the kakugo virus (KV) genomes are very similar, but unlike KV, the presence of DWV is not related to honey bees' aggressiveness. This discrepancy is further discussed. PMID:16942620

  9. Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is the first time that non-food items from honey bee colonies were assessed for antioxidant activity as it related to Varroa-infestation. Antioxidant activity may be an indication of bee health and while antioxidants are present in honey, propolis, pollen and royal jelly, little work has been...

  10. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

    Life isn't what it used to be for honey bees in Maryland. The latest changes in their world are discussed by NASA scientist Wayne Esaias, a biological oceanographer with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. At Goddard, Esaias has examined the role of marine productivity in the global carbon cycle using visible satellite sensors. In his personal life, Esaias is a beekeeper. Lately, he has begun melding his interest in bees with his professional expertise in global climate change. Esaias has observed that the period when nectar is available in central Maryland has shifted by one month due to local climate change. He is interested in bringing the power of global satellite observations and models to bear on the important but difficult question of how climate change will impact bees and pollination. Pollination is a complex, ephemeral interaction of animals and plants with ramifications throughout terrestrial ecosystems well beyond the individual species directly involved. Pollinators have been shown to be in decline in many regions, and the nature and degree of further impacts on this key interaction due to climate change are very much open questions. Honey bee colonies are used to quantify the time of occurrence of the major interaction by monitoring their weight change. During the peak period, changes of 5-15 kg/day per colony represent an integrated response covering thousands of hectares. Volunteer observations provide a robust metric for looking at spatial and inter-annual variations due to short term climate events, complementing plant phenology networks and satellite-derived vegetation phenology data. In central Maryland, the nectar flows are advancing by about -0.6 d/y, based on a 15 yr time series and a small regional study. This is comparable to the regional advancement in the spring green-up observed with MODIS and AVHRR. The ability to link satellite vegetation phenology to honey bee forage using hive weight changes provides a basis for applying satellite

  11. Shifts in the Midgut/Pyloric Microbiota Composition within a Honey Bee Apiary throughout a Season.

    PubMed

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season.

  12. Shifts in the Midgut/Pyloric Microbiota Composition within a Honey Bee Apiary throughout a Season.

    PubMed

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season. PMID:26330094

  13. Determination of acute oral toxicity of flumethrin in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Oruc, H H; Hranitz, J M; Sorucu, A; Duell, M; Cakmak, I; Aydin, L; Orman, A

    2012-12-01

    Flumethrin is one of many pesticides used for the control and treatment of varroatosis in honey bees and for the control of mosquitoes and ticks in the environment. For the control of varroatosis, flumethrin is applied to hives formulated as a plastic strip for several weeks. During this time, honey bees are treated topically with flumethrin, and hive products may accumulate the pesticide. Honey bees may indirectly ingest flumethrin through hygienic behaviors during the application period and receive low doses of flumethrin through comb wax remodeling after the application period. The goal of our study was to determine the acute oral toxicity of flumethrin and observe the acute effects on motor coordination in honey bees (Apis mellifera anatoliaca). Six doses (between 0.125 and 4.000 microg per bee) in a geometric series were studied. The acute oral LD50 of flumethrin was determined to be 0.527 and 0.178 microg per bee (n = 210, 95% CI) for 24 and 48 h, respectively. Orally administered flumethrin is highly toxic to honey bees. Oral flumethrin disrupted the motor coordination of honey bees. Honey bees that ingested flumethrin exhibited convulsions in the antennae, legs, and wings at low doses. At higher doses, partial and total paralysis in the antennae, legs, wings, proboscises, bodies, and twitches in the antennae and legs were observed.

  14. Critical aspects of the Nosema spp. diagnostic sampling in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2012-06-01

    Nosemosis is one of the most widespread of the adult honey bee diseases and causes major economic losses to beekeepers. Two microsporidia have been described infecting honey bees worldwide, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, whose seasonality and pathology differ markedly. An increasing prevalence of microsporidian infections in honey bees has been observed worldwide during the last years. Because nosemosis has detrimental effects on both strength and productivity of the infected colonies, an accurate and reliable method to evaluate the presence of Nosema in honey bee colonies is needed. In this study a high degree of variability in the detection of microsporidia depending on the random subsample analyzed was found, suggesting that both sample size and the time of collection (month and day of sampling) notably affect the diagnosis.

  15. A metagenomic survey of microbes in honey bee colony collapse disorder

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), honey bee colonies inexplicably lose all of their workers. CCD has resulted in a loss of 50-90% of colonies in beekeeping operations across the United States. The observation that irradiated combs from affected colonies can be repopulated with naïve bees suggests a...

  16. Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators. PMID:27539950

  17. Local bumble bee decline linked to recovery of honey bees, drought effects on floral resources.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

    Time series of abundances are critical for understanding how abiotic factors and species interactions affect population dynamics, but are rarely linked with experiments and also scarce for bee pollinators. This gap is important given concerns about declines in some bee species. I monitored honey bee (Apis mellifera) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) foragers in coastal California from 1999, when feral A. mellifera populations were low due to Varroa destructor, until 2014. Apis mellifera increased substantially, except between 2006 and 2011, coinciding with declines in managed populations. Increases in A. mellifera strongly correlated with declines in Bombus and reduced diet overlap between them, suggesting resource competition consistent with past experimental results. Lower Bombus numbers also correlated with diminished floral resources. Declines in floral abundances were associated with drought and reduced spring rainfall. These results illustrate how competition with an introduced species may interact with climate to drive local decline of native pollinators.

  18. Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior.

    PubMed

    Barron, Andrew B; Maleszka, Ryszard; Vander Meer, Robert K; Robinson, Gene E

    2007-01-30

    Honey bees communicate the location and desirability of valuable forage sites to their nestmates through an elaborate, symbolic "dance language." The dance language is a uniquely complex communication system in invertebrates, and the neural mechanisms that generate dances are largely unknown. Here we show that treatments with controlled doses of the biogenic amine neuromodulator octopamine selectively increased the reporting of resource value in dances by forager bees. Oral and topical octopamine treatments modulated aspects of dances related to resource profitability in a dose-dependent manner. Dances for pollen and sucrose responded similarly to octopamine treatment, and these effects were eliminated by treatment with the octopamine antagonist mianserin. We propose that octopamine modulates the representation of floral rewards in dances by changing the processing of reward in the honey bee brain. Octopamine is known to modulate appetitive behavior in a range of solitary insects; the role of octopamine in dance provides an example of how neural substrates can be adapted for new behavioral innovations in the process of social evolution. PMID:17237217

  19. Low dietary levels of Al, Pb and Cd may affect the non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity in caged honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Maxime; Aras, Philippe; Jumarie, Catherine; Boily, Monique

    2016-02-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the abnormally high mortality rate observed in bee populations in Europe and North America. While studies based on the effects of pesticides are paramount, the metals present in agroecosystems are often overlooked. Sources of metals are linked to the nature of soils and to agricultural practices, namely the use of natural or chemical nutrients as well as residual materials from waste-water treatment sludge. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of metals on honey bees exposed for 10 days to environmentally realistic concentrations of Al, Pb and Cd (dissolved in syrup). The monitoring of syrup consumption combined with the quantification of metals in bees revealed the following order for metal bioconcentration ratios: Cd > Pb > Al. Alpha-tocopherol, metallothionein-like proteins (MTLPs) and lipid peroxidation were quantified. When bees were exposed to increasing amounts of Cd, a marked augmentation of MTLPs levels was found. Lead (Pb) and Cd caused an increase in α-tocopherol content, while alteration of lipid peroxidation was observed only with Al exposure. These findings raise concerns about the bioavailability and the additional threat posed by metals for pollinators in agricultural areas while providing new insights for potential use of the honey bee as a sentinel species for metal exposure. PMID:26421624

  20. Low dietary levels of Al, Pb and Cd may affect the non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity in caged honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Maxime; Aras, Philippe; Jumarie, Catherine; Boily, Monique

    2016-02-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the abnormally high mortality rate observed in bee populations in Europe and North America. While studies based on the effects of pesticides are paramount, the metals present in agroecosystems are often overlooked. Sources of metals are linked to the nature of soils and to agricultural practices, namely the use of natural or chemical nutrients as well as residual materials from waste-water treatment sludge. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of metals on honey bees exposed for 10 days to environmentally realistic concentrations of Al, Pb and Cd (dissolved in syrup). The monitoring of syrup consumption combined with the quantification of metals in bees revealed the following order for metal bioconcentration ratios: Cd > Pb > Al. Alpha-tocopherol, metallothionein-like proteins (MTLPs) and lipid peroxidation were quantified. When bees were exposed to increasing amounts of Cd, a marked augmentation of MTLPs levels was found. Lead (Pb) and Cd caused an increase in α-tocopherol content, while alteration of lipid peroxidation was observed only with Al exposure. These findings raise concerns about the bioavailability and the additional threat posed by metals for pollinators in agricultural areas while providing new insights for potential use of the honey bee as a sentinel species for metal exposure.

  1. Direct effect of acaricides on pathogen loads and gene expression levels in honey bees Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Boncristiani, Humberto; Underwood, Robyn; Schwarz, Ryan; Evans, Jay D; Pettis, Jeffery; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2012-05-01

    The effect of using acaricides to control varroa mites has long been a concern to the beekeeping industry due to unintended negative impacts on honey bee health. Irregular ontogenesis, suppression of immune defenses, and impairment of normal behavior have been linked to pesticide use. External stressors, including parasites and the pathogens they vector, can confound studies on the effects of pesticides on the metabolism of honey bees. This is the case of Varroa destructor, a mite that negatively affects honey bee health on many levels, from direct parasitism, which diminishes honey bee productivity, to vectoring and/or activating other pathogens, including many viruses. Here we present a gene expression profile comprising genes acting on diverse metabolic levels (detoxification, immunity, and development) in a honey bee population that lacks the influence of varroa mites. We present data for hives treated with five different acaricides; Apiguard (thymol), Apistan (tau-fluvalinate), Checkmite (coumaphos), Miteaway (formic acid) and ApiVar (amitraz). The results indicate that thymol, coumaphos and formic acid are able to alter some metabolic responses. These include detoxification gene expression pathways, components of the immune system responsible for cellular response and the c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, and developmental genes. These could potentially interfere with the health of individual honey bees and entire colonies.

  2. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures.

    PubMed

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L; Reeves, Alison M; Anderson, Troy D; Rodrigues, Richard R; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  3. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures.

    PubMed

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L; Reeves, Alison M; Anderson, Troy D; Rodrigues, Richard R; Williams, Mark A

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2-V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation.

  4. Honey Bee Gut Microbiome Is Altered by In-Hive Pesticide Exposures

    PubMed Central

    Kakumanu, Madhavi L.; Reeves, Alison M.; Anderson, Troy D.; Rodrigues, Richard R.; Williams, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are the primary pollinators of major horticultural crops. Over the last few decades, a substantial decline in honey bees and their colonies have been reported. While a plethora of factors could contribute to the putative decline, pathogens, and pesticides are common concerns that draw attention. In addition to potential direct effects on honey bees, indirect pesticide effects could include alteration of essential gut microbial communities and symbionts that are important to honey bee health (e.g., immune system). The primary objective of this study was to determine the microbiome associated with honey bees exposed to commonly used in-hive pesticides: coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, and chlorothalonil. Treatments were replicated at three independent locations near Blacksburg Virginia, and included a no-pesticide amended control at each location. The microbiome was characterized through pyrosequencing of V2–V3 regions of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS region. Pesticide exposure significantly affected the structure of bacterial but not fungal communities. The bee bacteriome, similar to other studies, was dominated by sequences derived from Bacilli, Actinobacteria, α-, β-, γ-proteobacteria. The fungal community sequences were dominated by Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes. The Multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP) and subsequent Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) analysis indicated that chlorothalonil caused significant change to the structure and functional potential of the honey bee gut bacterial community relative to control. Putative genes for oxidative phosphorylation, for example, increased while sugar metabolism and peptidase potential declined in the microbiome of chlorothalonil exposed bees. The results of this field-based study suggest the potential for pesticide induced changes to the honey bee gut microbiome that warrant further investigation. PMID:27579024

  5. A Look into the Cell: Honey Storage in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved. PMID:27560969

  6. A Look into the Cell: Honey Storage in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved. PMID:27560969

  7. A Look into the Cell: Honey Storage in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved.

  8. Saccharide breakdown and fermentation by the honey bee gut microbiome.

    PubMed

    Lee, Fredrick J; Rusch, Douglas B; Stewart, Frank J; Mattila, Heather R; Newton, Irene L G

    2015-03-01

    The honey bee, the world's most important agricultural pollinator, relies exclusively on plant-derived foods for nutrition. Nectar and pollen collected by honey bees are processed and matured within the nest through the activities of honey bee-derived microbes and enzymes. In order to better understand the contribution of the microbial community to food processing in the honey bee, we generated a metatranscriptome of the honey bee gut microbiome. The function of the microbial community in the honey bee, as revealed by metatranscriptome sequencing, resembles that of other animal guts and food-processing environments. We identified three major bacterial classes that are active in the gut (γ-Proteobacteria, Bacilli and Actinobacteria), all of which are predicted to participate in the breakdown of complex macromolecules (e.g. polysaccharides and polypeptides), the fermentation of component parts of these macromolecules, and the generation of various fermentation products, such as short-chain fatty acids and alcohol. The ability of the microbial community to metabolize these carbon-rich food sources was confirmed through the use of community-level physiological profiling. Collectively, these findings suggest that the gut microflora of the honey bee harbours bacterial members with unique roles, which ultimately can contribute to the processing of plant-derived food for colonies.

  9. Saccharide breakdown and fermentation by the honey bee gut microbiome.

    PubMed

    Lee, Fredrick J; Rusch, Douglas B; Stewart, Frank J; Mattila, Heather R; Newton, Irene L G

    2015-03-01

    The honey bee, the world's most important agricultural pollinator, relies exclusively on plant-derived foods for nutrition. Nectar and pollen collected by honey bees are processed and matured within the nest through the activities of honey bee-derived microbes and enzymes. In order to better understand the contribution of the microbial community to food processing in the honey bee, we generated a metatranscriptome of the honey bee gut microbiome. The function of the microbial community in the honey bee, as revealed by metatranscriptome sequencing, resembles that of other animal guts and food-processing environments. We identified three major bacterial classes that are active in the gut (γ-Proteobacteria, Bacilli and Actinobacteria), all of which are predicted to participate in the breakdown of complex macromolecules (e.g. polysaccharides and polypeptides), the fermentation of component parts of these macromolecules, and the generation of various fermentation products, such as short-chain fatty acids and alcohol. The ability of the microbial community to metabolize these carbon-rich food sources was confirmed through the use of community-level physiological profiling. Collectively, these findings suggest that the gut microflora of the honey bee harbours bacterial members with unique roles, which ultimately can contribute to the processing of plant-derived food for colonies. PMID:24905222

  10. Sudden deaths and colony population decline in Greek honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Bacandritsos, N; Granato, A; Budge, G; Papanastasiou, I; Roinioti, E; Caldon, M; Falcaro, C; Gallina, A; Mutinelli, F

    2010-11-01

    During June and July of 2009, sudden deaths, tremulous movements and population declines of adult honey bees were reported by the beekeepers in the region of Peloponnesus (Mt. Mainalo), Greece. A preliminary study was carried out to investigate these unexplained phenomena in this region. In total, 37 bee samples, two brood frames containing honey bee brood of various ages, eight sugar samples and four sugar patties were collected from the affected colonies. The samples were tested for a range of pests, pathogens and pesticides. Symptomatic adult honey bees tested positive for Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae, Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), Acute paralysis virus (ABPV), Deformed wing virus (DWV), Sacbrood virus (SBV) and Black queen cell virus (BQCV), but negative for Acarapis woodi. American Foulbrood was absent from the brood samples. Chemical analysis revealed that amitraz, thiametoxan, clothianidin and acetamiprid were all absent from symptomatic adult bees, sugar and sugar patty samples. However, some bee samples, were contaminated with imidacloprid in concentrations between 14 ng/g and 39 ng/g tissue. We present: the infection of Greek honey bees by multiple viruses; the presence of N. ceranae in Greek honey bees and the first record of imidacloprid (neonicotonoid) residues in Greek honey bee tissues. The presence of multiple pathogens and pesticides made it difficult to associate a single specific cause to the depopulation phenomena observed in Greece, although we believe that viruses and N. ceranae synergistically played the most important role. A follow-up in-depth survey across all Greek regions is required to provide context to these preliminary findings.

  11. Sudden deaths and colony population decline in Greek honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Bacandritsos, N; Granato, A; Budge, G; Papanastasiou, I; Roinioti, E; Caldon, M; Falcaro, C; Gallina, A; Mutinelli, F

    2010-11-01

    During June and July of 2009, sudden deaths, tremulous movements and population declines of adult honey bees were reported by the beekeepers in the region of Peloponnesus (Mt. Mainalo), Greece. A preliminary study was carried out to investigate these unexplained phenomena in this region. In total, 37 bee samples, two brood frames containing honey bee brood of various ages, eight sugar samples and four sugar patties were collected from the affected colonies. The samples were tested for a range of pests, pathogens and pesticides. Symptomatic adult honey bees tested positive for Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae, Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), Acute paralysis virus (ABPV), Deformed wing virus (DWV), Sacbrood virus (SBV) and Black queen cell virus (BQCV), but negative for Acarapis woodi. American Foulbrood was absent from the brood samples. Chemical analysis revealed that amitraz, thiametoxan, clothianidin and acetamiprid were all absent from symptomatic adult bees, sugar and sugar patty samples. However, some bee samples, were contaminated with imidacloprid in concentrations between 14 ng/g and 39 ng/g tissue. We present: the infection of Greek honey bees by multiple viruses; the presence of N. ceranae in Greek honey bees and the first record of imidacloprid (neonicotonoid) residues in Greek honey bee tissues. The presence of multiple pathogens and pesticides made it difficult to associate a single specific cause to the depopulation phenomena observed in Greece, although we believe that viruses and N. ceranae synergistically played the most important role. A follow-up in-depth survey across all Greek regions is required to provide context to these preliminary findings. PMID:20804765

  12. Comb wax mediates the acquisition of nest-mate recognition cues in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Breed, M D; Williams, K R; Fewell, J H

    1988-11-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, acquire nest-mate recognition cues from wax, the predominant material used in nest construction. Exposure of a newly emerged worker bee to wax-comb substrate significantly reduced the acceptability of that worker to sister bees. Cues acquired from the comb provided colony-specific information about the identity of worker bees; moreover, the effect of comb exposure has been previously shown to override individually produced cues. Food odors (anise oil), when dissolved in paraffin wax, affected worker-recognition characteristics but food odors did not affect these characteristics when fed to bees in sugar candy. Paraffin wax alone did not affect the recognition cues of bees, showing that the wax can be a neutral medium for the transmission of cues. The wax comb in the colony and the hydrocarbon outer layer of the bee cuticle may be a continuous medium for any hydrocarbon-soluble substances used by honey bees in nest-mate recognition; if so, a mechanism by which environmental cues are acquired by honey bees is provided.

  13. Diet-dependent gene expression in honey bees: honey vs. sucrose or high fructose corn syrup

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Marsha M.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2014-01-01

    Severe declines in honey bee populations have made it imperative to understand key factors impacting honey bee health. Of major concern is nutrition, as malnutrition in honey bees is associated with immune system impairment and increased pesticide susceptibility. Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose after harvesting honey or during periods of nectar dearth. We report that, relative to honey, chronic feeding of either of these two alternative carbohydrate sources elicited hundreds of differences in gene expression in the fat body, a peripheral nutrient-sensing tissue analogous to vertebrate liver and adipose tissues. These expression differences included genes involved in protein metabolism and oxidation-reduction, including some involved in tyrosine and phenylalanine metabolism. Differences between HFCS and sucrose diets were much more subtle and included a few genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that bees receive nutritional components from honey that are not provided by alternative food sources widely used in apiculture. PMID:25034029

  14. Diet-dependent gene expression in honey bees: honey vs. sucrose or high fructose corn syrup.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-07-17

    Severe declines in honey bee populations have made it imperative to understand key factors impacting honey bee health. Of major concern is nutrition, as malnutrition in honey bees is associated with immune system impairment and increased pesticide susceptibility. Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose after harvesting honey or during periods of nectar dearth. We report that, relative to honey, chronic feeding of either of these two alternative carbohydrate sources elicited hundreds of differences in gene expression in the fat body, a peripheral nutrient-sensing tissue analogous to vertebrate liver and adipose tissues. These expression differences included genes involved in protein metabolism and oxidation-reduction, including some involved in tyrosine and phenylalanine metabolism. Differences between HFCS and sucrose diets were much more subtle and included a few genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that bees receive nutritional components from honey that are not provided by alternative food sources widely used in apiculture.

  15. Diet-dependent gene expression in honey bees: honey vs. sucrose or high fructose corn syrup.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-01-01

    Severe declines in honey bee populations have made it imperative to understand key factors impacting honey bee health. Of major concern is nutrition, as malnutrition in honey bees is associated with immune system impairment and increased pesticide susceptibility. Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose after harvesting honey or during periods of nectar dearth. We report that, relative to honey, chronic feeding of either of these two alternative carbohydrate sources elicited hundreds of differences in gene expression in the fat body, a peripheral nutrient-sensing tissue analogous to vertebrate liver and adipose tissues. These expression differences included genes involved in protein metabolism and oxidation-reduction, including some involved in tyrosine and phenylalanine metabolism. Differences between HFCS and sucrose diets were much more subtle and included a few genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that bees receive nutritional components from honey that are not provided by alternative food sources widely used in apiculture. PMID:25034029

  16. Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline

    PubMed Central

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J.; Henderson, Colin B.; Wick, Charles H.; Stanford, Michael F.; Zulich, Alan W.; Jabbour, Rabih E.; Deshpande, Samir V.; McCubbin, Patrick E.; Seccomb, Robert A.; Welch, Phillip M.; Williams, Trevor; Firth, David R.; Skowronski, Evan; Lehmann, Margaret M.; Bilimoria, Shan L.; Gress, Joanna; Wanner, Kevin W.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2010-01-01

    Background In 2010 Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), again devastated honey bee colonies in the USA, indicating that the problem is neither diminishing nor has it been resolved. Many CCD investigations, using sensitive genome-based methods, have found small RNA bee viruses and the microsporidia, Nosema apis and N. ceranae in healthy and collapsing colonies alike with no single pathogen firmly linked to honey bee losses. Methodology/Principal Findings We used Mass spectrometry-based proteomics (MSP) to identify and quantify thousands of proteins from healthy and collapsing bee colonies. MSP revealed two unreported RNA viruses in North American honey bees, Varroa destructor-1 virus and Kakugo virus, and identified an invertebrate iridescent virus (IIV) (Iridoviridae) associated with CCD colonies. Prevalence of IIV significantly discriminated among strong, failing, and collapsed colonies. In addition, bees in failing colonies contained not only IIV, but also Nosema. Co-occurrence of these microbes consistently marked CCD in (1) bees from commercial apiaries sampled across the U.S. in 2006–2007, (2) bees sequentially sampled as the disorder progressed in an observation hive colony in 2008, and (3) bees from a recurrence of CCD in Florida in 2009. The pathogen pairing was not observed in samples from colonies with no history of CCD, namely bees from Australia and a large, non-migratory beekeeping business in Montana. Laboratory cage trials with a strain of IIV type 6 and Nosema ceranae confirmed that co-infection with these two pathogens was more lethal to bees than either pathogen alone. Conclusions/Significance These findings implicate co-infection by IIV and Nosema with honey bee colony decline, giving credence to older research pointing to IIV, interacting with Nosema and mites, as probable cause of bee losses in the USA, Europe, and Asia. We next need to characterize the IIV and Nosema that we detected and develop management practices to reduce honey bee losses

  17. 5-HMF and carbohydrates content in stingless bee honey by CE before and after thermal treatment.

    PubMed

    Biluca, Fabíola C; Della Betta, Fabiana; de Oliveira, Gabriela Pirassol; Pereira, Lais Morilla; Gonzaga, Luciano Valdemiro; Costa, Ana Carolina Oliveira; Fett, Roseane

    2014-09-15

    This study aimed to assess 5-hydroximethylfurfural and carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) in 13 stingless bee honey samples before and after thermal treatment using a capillary electrophoresis method. The methods were validated for the parameters of linearity, matrix effects, precision, and accuracy. A factorial design was implemented to determine optimal thermal treatment conditions and then verify the postprocedural 5-HMF formation, but once 5-HMF were honey presented higher 5-HMF content than stingless bee honey. Results suggest that a high temperature related to briefer thermal treatment could be an efficient way to extend shelf life without affecting 5-HMF content in stingless bee honey.

  18. Responses of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to Deformed wing virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The negative impact of Deformedwing virus (DWV) on European honey bees Apis mellifera is magnified by Varroa destructor parasitism. This study compared the responses of two Varroa-resistant honey bee stocks, pure Russian honey bees (RHB) and out-crossed Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees, Pol-line (POL)...

  19. Thermal energy conduction in a honey bee comb due to cell-heating bees.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, J A C; Dykes, E S

    2008-01-01

    Theoretical analysis and numerical calculations are performed to characterize the unsteady two-dimensional conduction of thermal energy in an idealized honey bee comb. The situation explored corresponds to a comb containing a number of brood cells occupied by pupae. These cells are surrounded by other cells containing pollen which, in turn, are surrounded (above) by cells containing honey and (below) by vacant cells containing air. Up to five vacant cells in the brood region can be occupied by cell-heating bees which, through the isometrical contraction of their flight muscles, can generate sufficient energy to raise their body temperatures by a few degrees. In this way, the cell-heating bees alter the heat flux and temperature distributions in the brood region so as to maintain conditions that benefit the pupae. The calculations show that the number of cell-heating bees significantly affects the magnitude, time rate of change, and spatial distribution of temperature throughout the comb. They also reveal a vertically aligned asymmetry in the spatial distribution of temperature that is due to the large heat capacity and thermal conductivity of honey relative to air, whereby air-filled cells experience larger temperature increases than honey-filled cells. Analysis shows that convection and radiation represent negligible modes of thermal energy transfer at all levels in the problem considered. Also, because of its small thickness, the wax wall of a comb cell simultaneously presents negligible resistance to conduction heat transfer normal to it and very large resistance along it. As a consequence the walls of a cell play no thermal role, but simply serve as mechanical supports for the materials they contain.

  20. Parasite Pressures on Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera sp.)

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Catherine E.; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C.; Allnutt, Theodore R.; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Budge, Giles E.

    2014-01-01

    Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. PMID:25126840

  1. Parasite pressures on feral honey bees (Apis mellifera sp.).

    PubMed

    Thompson, Catherine E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Allnutt, Theodore R; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Budge, Giles E

    2014-01-01

    Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. PMID:25126840

  2. Moku virus; a new Iflavirus found in wasps, honey bees and Varroa

    PubMed Central

    Mordecai, Gideon J; Brettell, Laura E; Pachori, Purnima; Villalobos, Ethel M.; Martin, Stephen J; Jones, Ian M; Schroeder, Declan C

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing global trend of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) affecting a wide range of species, including honey bees. The global epidemic of the single stranded RNA Deformed wing virus (DWV), driven by the spread of Varroa destructor has been well documented. However, DWV is just one of many insect RNA viruses which infect a wide range of hosts. Here we report the full genome sequence of a novel Iflavirus named Moku virus (MV), discovered in the social wasp Vespula pensylvanica collected in Hawaii. The novel genome is 10,056 nucleotides long and encodes a polyprotein of 3050 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis showed that MV is most closely related to Slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV), which is highly virulent in honey bees but rarely detected. Worryingly, MV sequences were also detected in honey bees and Varroa from the same location, suggesting that MV can also infect other hymenopteran and Acari hosts. PMID:27713534

  3. The bacterial communities associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) foragers.

    PubMed

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation.

  4. The bacterial communities associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) foragers.

    PubMed

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation. PMID:24740297

  5. Balancing Control and Complexity in Field Studies of Neonicotinoids and Honey Bee Health

    PubMed Central

    Suryanarayanan, Sainath

    2013-01-01

    Amidst ongoing declines in honey bee health, the contributory role of the newer systemic insecticides continues to be intensely debated. Scores of toxicological field experiments, which bee scientists and regulators in the United States have looked to for definitive causal evidence, indicate a lack of support. This paper analyzes the methodological norms that shape the design and interpretation of field toxicological studies. I argue that contemporary field studies of honey bees and pesticides are underpinned by a “control-oriented” approach, which precludes a serious investigation of the indirect and multifactorial ways in which pesticides could drive declines in honey bee health. I trace the historical rise to prominence of this approach in honey bee toxicology to the development of entomology as a science of insecticide development in the United States. Drawing on “complexity-oriented” knowledge practices in ecology, epidemiology, beekeeping and sociology, I suggest an alternative socio-ecological systems approach, which would entail in situ studies that are less concerned with isolating individual factors and more attentive to the interactive and place-based mix of factors affecting honey bee health. PMID:26466800

  6. Ecology: honey bee foraging in human-modified landscapes.

    PubMed

    Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2014-06-01

    Comprehensive information on the spatial resource use of honey bees is rare, but highly relevant to assess the consequences of habitat loss and fragmentation, agricultural intensification or extensification on colony fitness, pesticide exposure risks and pollination functions. PMID:24892913

  7. Honey bees avoid nectar colonized by three bacterial species, but not by a yeast species, isolated from the bee gut.

    PubMed

    Good, Ashley P; Gauthier, Marie-Pierre L; Vannette, Rachel L; Fukami, Tadashi

    2014-01-01

    The gut microflora of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is receiving increasing attention as a potential determinant of the bees' health and their efficacy as pollinators. Studies have focused primarily on the microbial taxa that appear numerically dominant in the bee gut, with the assumption that the dominant status suggests their potential importance to the bees' health. However, numerically minor taxa might also influence the bees' efficacy as pollinators, particularly if they are not only present in the gut, but also capable of growing in floral nectar and altering its chemical properties. Nonetheless, it is not well understood whether honey bees have any feeding preference for or against nectar colonized by specific microbial species. To test whether bees exhibit a preference, we conducted a series of field experiments at an apiary using synthetic nectar inoculated with specific species of bacteria or yeast that had been isolated from the bee gut, but are considered minor components of the gut microflora. These species had also been found in floral nectar. Our results indicated that honey bees avoided nectar colonized by the bacteria Asaia astilbes, Erwinia tasmaniensis, and Lactobacillus kunkeei, whereas the yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii did not affect the feeding preference of the insects. Our results also indicated that avoidance of bacteria-colonized nectar was caused not by the presence of the bacteria per se, but by the chemical changes to nectar made by the bacteria. These findings suggest that gut microbes may not only affect the bees' health as symbionts, but that some of the microbes may possibly affect the efficacy of A. mellifera as pollinators by altering nectar chemistry and influencing their foraging behavior.

  8. Honey bees avoid nectar colonized by three bacterial species, but not by a yeast species, isolated from the bee gut.

    PubMed

    Good, Ashley P; Gauthier, Marie-Pierre L; Vannette, Rachel L; Fukami, Tadashi

    2014-01-01

    The gut microflora of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is receiving increasing attention as a potential determinant of the bees' health and their efficacy as pollinators. Studies have focused primarily on the microbial taxa that appear numerically dominant in the bee gut, with the assumption that the dominant status suggests their potential importance to the bees' health. However, numerically minor taxa might also influence the bees' efficacy as pollinators, particularly if they are not only present in the gut, but also capable of growing in floral nectar and altering its chemical properties. Nonetheless, it is not well understood whether honey bees have any feeding preference for or against nectar colonized by specific microbial species. To test whether bees exhibit a preference, we conducted a series of field experiments at an apiary using synthetic nectar inoculated with specific species of bacteria or yeast that had been isolated from the bee gut, but are considered minor components of the gut microflora. These species had also been found in floral nectar. Our results indicated that honey bees avoided nectar colonized by the bacteria Asaia astilbes, Erwinia tasmaniensis, and Lactobacillus kunkeei, whereas the yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii did not affect the feeding preference of the insects. Our results also indicated that avoidance of bacteria-colonized nectar was caused not by the presence of the bacteria per se, but by the chemical changes to nectar made by the bacteria. These findings suggest that gut microbes may not only affect the bees' health as symbionts, but that some of the microbes may possibly affect the efficacy of A. mellifera as pollinators by altering nectar chemistry and influencing their foraging behavior. PMID:24466119

  9. Characteristics of honey bee and non-Apis bee (Hymenoptera) farms in Canada.

    PubMed

    Daly, Z; Melhim, A; Weersink, A

    2012-08-01

    Here, we present a farm-level, Canada-wide analysis of Canadian bee farms in 2006; this article is the first report to distinguish between honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) farms and non-Apis bee (Hymenoptera) farms. Farms are characterized according to bee species, bee stocks, and whether the farm makes 50% or more of gross sales from bee-related activities. Farm characteristics, including bee stocks, gross sales, capital investments, land base, specialization, location, and operator demographics, are reported for the different farm types and sizes. Non-Apis bee farms are revealed to be a nontrivial part of the Canadian bee industry: 21.2% of Canadian bee farms have non-Apis bees and 16.6% have exclusively non-Apis bees. Important differences between honey bee farms and non-Apis bee farms also are found. These differences include the more land-intensive nature of non-Apis bee farms and the finding that non-Apis bee farms have greater diversity in terms of their primary commodity, even at higher bee stock levels.

  10. A quantitative model of honey bee colony population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Khoury, David S; Myerscough, Mary R; Barron, Andrew B

    2011-01-01

    Since 2006 the rate of honey bee colony failure has increased significantly. As an aid to testing hypotheses for the causes of colony failure we have developed a compartment model of honey bee colony population dynamics to explore the impact of different death rates of forager bees on colony growth and development. The model predicts a critical threshold forager death rate beneath which colonies regulate a stable population size. If death rates are sustained higher than this threshold rapid population decline is predicted and colony failure is inevitable. The model also predicts that high forager death rates draw hive bees into the foraging population at much younger ages than normal, which acts to accelerate colony failure. The model suggests that colony failure can be understood in terms of observed principles of honey bee population dynamics, and provides a theoretical framework for experimental investigation of the problem. PMID:21533156

  11. A Quantitative Model of Honey Bee Colony Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, David S.; Myerscough, Mary R.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2011-01-01

    Since 2006 the rate of honey bee colony failure has increased significantly. As an aid to testing hypotheses for the causes of colony failure we have developed a compartment model of honey bee colony population dynamics to explore the impact of different death rates of forager bees on colony growth and development. The model predicts a critical threshold forager death rate beneath which colonies regulate a stable population size. If death rates are sustained higher than this threshold rapid population decline is predicted and colony failure is inevitable. The model also predicts that high forager death rates draw hive bees into the foraging population at much younger ages than normal, which acts to accelerate colony failure. The model suggests that colony failure can be understood in terms of observed principles of honey bee population dynamics, and provides a theoretical framework for experimental investigation of the problem. PMID:21533156

  12. Differential sensitivity of honey bees and bumble bees to a dietary insecticide (imidacloprid).

    PubMed

    Cresswell, James E; Page, Christopher J; Uygun, Mehmet B; Holmbergh, Marie; Li, Yueru; Wheeler, Jonathan G; Laycock, Ian; Pook, Christopher J; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Smirnoff, Nick; Tyler, Charles R

    2012-12-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and the sustainability of pollination services. One potential threat to bees is the unintended impact of systemic insecticides, which are ingested by bees in the nectar and pollen from flowers of treated crops. To establish whether imidacloprid, a systemic neonicotinoid and insect neurotoxin, harms individual bees when ingested at environmentally realistic levels, we exposed adult worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), and honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to dietary imidacloprid in feeder syrup at dosages between 0.08 and 125μg l(-1). Honey bees showed no response to dietary imidacloprid on any variable that we measured (feeding, locomotion and longevity). In contrast, bumble bees progressively developed over time a dose-dependent reduction in feeding rate with declines of 10-30% in the environmentally relevant range of up to 10μg l(-1), but neither their locomotory activity nor longevity varied with diet. To explain their differential sensitivity, we speculate that honey bees are better pre-adapted than bumble bees to feed on nectars containing synthetic alkaloids, such as imidacloprid, by virtue of their ancestral adaptation to tropical nectars in which natural alkaloids are prevalent. We emphasise that our study does not suggest that honey bee colonies are invulnerable to dietary imidacloprid under field conditions, but our findings do raise new concern about the impact of agricultural neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations.

  13. Gauging the effect of honey bee pollen collection on native bee communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The broad question --“Do honey bees compete with native bees?” -- has no singular answer for wildlands, being functions of: 1) the variable stocking densities of bees, and 2) unknowable carrying capacities of floral resources. The conventional approach, i.e. experimental demonstration of direct expl...

  14. Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy detects queen honey bee insemination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The abdomens of honey bee queens, the heads of worker bees, and the ventriculi of worker bees were analyzed by visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. Mated honey bee queens could be distinguished from virgin queens by their spectra with 100% accuracy. Also, the heads of worker bees taken from the...

  15. Visible and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Detects Honey Bee Queen Insemination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The abdomens of honey bee queens, the heads of worker bees, and the ventriculi of worker bees were analyzed by visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. Mated honey bee queens could be distinguished from virgin queens by their spectra with 100% accuracy. Also, the heads of worker bees taken from the ...

  16. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen F; Yau, Peter M; Imai, Brian S

    2013-03-01

    Fumagillin is the only antibiotic approved for control of nosema disease in honey bees and has been extensively used in United States apiculture for more than 50 years for control of Nosema apis. It is toxic to mammals and must be applied seasonally and with caution to avoid residues in honey. Fumagillin degrades or is diluted in hives over the foraging season, exposing bees and the microsporidia to declining concentrations of the drug. We showed that spore production by Nosema ceranae, an emerging microsporidian pathogen in honey bees, increased in response to declining fumagillin concentrations, up to 100% higher than that of infected bees that have not been exposed to fumagillin. N. apis spore production was also higher, although not significantly so. Fumagillin inhibits the enzyme methionine aminopeptidase2 (MetAP2) in eukaryotic cells and interferes with protein modifications necessary for normal cell function. We sequenced the MetAP2 gene for apid Nosema species and determined that, although susceptibility to fumagillin differs among species, there are no apparent differences in fumagillin binding sites. Protein assays of uninfected bees showed that fumagillin altered structural and metabolic proteins in honey bee midgut tissues at concentrations that do not suppress microsporidia reproduction. The microsporidia, particularly N. ceranae, are apparently released from the suppressive effects of fumagillin at concentrations that continue to impact honey bee physiology. The current application protocol for fumagillin may exacerbate N. ceranae infection rather than suppress it.

  17. Effects of insemination quantity on honey bee queen physiology.

    PubMed

    Richard, Freddie-Jeanne; Tarpy, David R; Grozinger, Christina M

    2007-10-03

    Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens, these changes are permanent. Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed. Because it is not possible to control the natural mating behavior of queens, we used instrumental insemination and compared queens inseminated with semen from either a single drone (single-drone inseminated, or SDI) or 10 drones (multi-drone inseminated, or MDI). We used observation hives to monitor attraction of workers to SDI or MDI queens in colonies, and cage studies to monitor the attraction of workers to virgin, SDI, and MDI queen mandibular gland extracts (the main source of queen pheromone). The chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of virgin, SDI, and MDI queens were characterized using GC-MS. Finally, we measured brain expression levels in SDI and MDI queens of a gene associated with phototaxis in worker honey bees (Amfor). Here, we demonstrate for the first time that insemination quantity significantly affects mandibular gland chemical profiles, queen-worker interactions, and brain gene expression. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the mechanistic bases for these effects: insemination volume, sperm and seminal protein quantity, and genetic diversity of the sperm may all be important factors contributing to this profound change in honey bee queen physiology, queen behavior, and social interactions in the colony.

  18. Motivation and vector navigation in honey bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyer, Fred; Gill, Micah; Sharbowski, Jennifer

    2002-03-01

    Animals that forage from a central place can keep track of their displacement relative to home through a process called "path integration." During a study of the stability of homing information over time, we noticed that honey bees held at a feeding place for several hours sometimes headed not in the homeward compass direction on their release, but in the reverse compass direction. This behavior suggested that the path integration system had been reset to a state corresponding to an outward flight to the food. Most models of insect navigation assume that it is the experience of reaching home that resets the path integration system, enabling the activation of vectors appropriate for subsequent outbound foraging trips. Here we provide evidence that this resetting can be influenced by motivational cues associated with food deprivation. The effect of food deprivation is independent of any positional cues provided by familiar landmarks or by experience in traveling toward a goal.

  19. Characterizing the Impact of Commercial Pollen Substitute Diets on the Level of Nosema spp. in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Fleming, James C; Schmehl, Daniel R; Ellis, James D

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees' consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees' midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control). The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts. PMID:26226229

  20. Characterizing the Impact of Commercial Pollen Substitute Diets on the Level of Nosema spp. in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Fleming, James C; Schmehl, Daniel R; Ellis, James D

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony's nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees' consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees' midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control). The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts.

  1. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We determined if the use of resins, complex plant secretions with diverse antimicrobial properties, acts as a colony-level immune defense by honey bees. Colonies were enriched with extracts of Brazilian or Minnesotan propolis (a bee mixture of resins and wax) or were left as controls. We measured ge...

  2. Interactions between Cooccurring Lactic Acid Bacteria in Honey Bee Hives.

    PubMed

    Rokop, Z P; Horton, M A; Newton, I L G

    2015-10-01

    In contrast to the honey bee gut, which is colonized by a few characteristic bacterial clades, the hive of the honey bee is home to a diverse array of microbes, including many lactic acid bacteria (LAB). In this study, we used culture, combined with sequencing, to sample the LAB communities found across hive environments. Specifically, we sought to use network analysis to identify microbial hubs sharing nearly identical operational taxonomic units, evidence which may indicate cooccurrence of bacteria between environments. In the process, we identified interactions between noncore bacterial members (Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae) and honey bee-specific "core" members. Both Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae colonize brood cells, bee bread, and nectar and may serve the role of pioneering species, establishing an environment conducive to the inoculation by honey bee core bacteria. Coculture assays showed that these noncore bacterial members promote the growth of honey bee-specific bacterial species. Specifically, Fructobacillus by-products in spent medium supported the growth of the Firm-5 honey bee-specific clade in vitro. Metabolic characterization of Fructobacillus using carbohydrate utilization assays revealed that this strain is capable of utilizing the simple sugars fructose and glucose, as well as the complex plant carbohydrate lignin. We tested Fructobacillus for antibiotic sensitivity and found that this bacterium, which may be important for establishment of the microbiome, is sensitive to the commonly used antibiotic tetracycline. Our results point to the possible significance of "noncore" and environmental microbial community members in the modulation of honey bee microbiome dynamics and suggest that tetracycline use by beekeepers should be limited. PMID:26253685

  3. Interactions between Cooccurring Lactic Acid Bacteria in Honey Bee Hives

    PubMed Central

    Rokop, Z. P.; Horton, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    In contrast to the honey bee gut, which is colonized by a few characteristic bacterial clades, the hive of the honey bee is home to a diverse array of microbes, including many lactic acid bacteria (LAB). In this study, we used culture, combined with sequencing, to sample the LAB communities found across hive environments. Specifically, we sought to use network analysis to identify microbial hubs sharing nearly identical operational taxonomic units, evidence which may indicate cooccurrence of bacteria between environments. In the process, we identified interactions between noncore bacterial members (Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae) and honey bee-specific “core” members. Both Fructobacillus and Lactobacillaceae colonize brood cells, bee bread, and nectar and may serve the role of pioneering species, establishing an environment conducive to the inoculation by honey bee core bacteria. Coculture assays showed that these noncore bacterial members promote the growth of honey bee-specific bacterial species. Specifically, Fructobacillus by-products in spent medium supported the growth of the Firm-5 honey bee-specific clade in vitro. Metabolic characterization of Fructobacillus using carbohydrate utilization assays revealed that this strain is capable of utilizing the simple sugars fructose and glucose, as well as the complex plant carbohydrate lignin. We tested Fructobacillus for antibiotic sensitivity and found that this bacterium, which may be important for establishment of the microbiome, is sensitive to the commonly used antibiotic tetracycline. Our results point to the possible significance of “noncore” and environmental microbial community members in the modulation of honey bee microbiome dynamics and suggest that tetracycline use by beekeepers should be limited. PMID:26253685

  4. Summertime blues: August foraging leaves honey bees empty-handed.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Fensome, Katherine A; Quah, Shaun Kl; Schürch, Roger

    2014-01-01

    A successful honey bee forager tells her nestmates the location of good nectar and pollen with the waggle dance, a symbolic language that communicates a distance and direction. Because bees are adept at scouting out profitable forage and are very sensitive to energetic reward, we can use the distance that bees communicate via waggle dances as a proxy for forage availability, where the further the bees fly, the less forage can be found locally. Previously we demonstrated that bees fly furthest in the summer compared with spring or autumn to bring back forage that is not necessarily of better quality. Here we show that August is also the month when significantly more foragers return with empty crops (P = 7.63e-06). This provides additional support that summer may represent a seasonal foraging challenge for honey bees.

  5. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services.

    PubMed

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-03-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner.

  6. Synergistic effects of non-Apis bees and honey bees for pollination services

    PubMed Central

    Brittain, Claire; Williams, Neal; Kremen, Claire; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2013-01-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  7. The habitat disruption induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Komeda, Yayoi; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Nirasawa, Keijiro; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The honey bee is a major insect used for pollination of many commercial crops worldwide. Although the use of honey bees for pollination can disrupt the habitat, the effects on their physiology have never been determined. Recently, honey bee colonies have often collapsed when introduced in greenhouses for pollination in Japan. Thus, suppressing colony collapses and maintaining the number of worker bees in the colonies is essential for successful long-term pollination in greenhouses and recycling of honey bee colonies. To understand the physiological states of honey bees used for long-term pollination in greenhouses, we characterized their gene expression profiles by microarray. We found that the greenhouse environment changes the gene expression profiles and induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees. In fact, the increase of the number of Nosema microsporidia and protein carbonyl content was observed in honey bees during pollination in greenhouses. Thus, honey bee colonies are likely to collapse during pollination in greenhouses when heavily infested with pathogens. Degradation of honey bee habitat by changing the outside environment of the colony, during pollination services for example, imposes negative impacts on honey bees. Thus, worldwide use of honey bees for crop pollination in general could be one of reasons for the decline of managed honey bee colonies. PMID:22393496

  8. Effects of Nosema apis, N. ceranae, and coinfections on honey bee (Apis mellifera) learning and memory

    PubMed Central

    Charbonneau, Lise R.; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E. L.; Williams, Geoffrey R.; Shutler, Dave

    2016-01-01

    Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) face an increasing number of challenges that in recent years have led to significant economic effects on apiculture, with attendant consequences for agriculture. Nosemosis is a fungal infection of honey bees caused by either Nosema apis or N. ceranae. The putative greater virulence of N. ceranae has spurred interest in understanding how it differs from N. apis. Little is known of effects of N. apis or N. ceranae on honey bee learning and memory. Following a Pavlovian model that relies on the proboscis extension reflex, we compared acquisition learning and long-term memory recall of uninfected (control) honey bees versus those inoculated with N. apis, N. ceranae, or both. We also tested whether spore intensity was associated with variation in learning and memory. Neither learning nor memory differed among treatments. There was no evidence of a relationship between spore intensity and learning, and only limited evidence of a negative effect on memory; this occurred only in the co-inoculation treatment. Our results suggest that if Nosema spp. are contributing to unusually high colony losses in recent years, the mechanism by which they may affect honey bees is probably not related to effects on learning or memory, at least as assessed by the proboscis extension reflex. PMID:26961062

  9. Effects of Nosema apis, N. ceranae, and coinfections on honey bee (Apis mellifera) learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Charbonneau, Lise R; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E L; Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave

    2016-01-01

    Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) face an increasing number of challenges that in recent years have led to significant economic effects on apiculture, with attendant consequences for agriculture. Nosemosis is a fungal infection of honey bees caused by either Nosema apis or N. ceranae. The putative greater virulence of N. ceranae has spurred interest in understanding how it differs from N. apis. Little is known of effects of N. apis or N. ceranae on honey bee learning and memory. Following a Pavlovian model that relies on the proboscis extension reflex, we compared acquisition learning and long-term memory recall of uninfected (control) honey bees versus those inoculated with N. apis, N. ceranae, or both. We also tested whether spore intensity was associated with variation in learning and memory. Neither learning nor memory differed among treatments. There was no evidence of a relationship between spore intensity and learning, and only limited evidence of a negative effect on memory; this occurred only in the co-inoculation treatment. Our results suggest that if Nosema spp. are contributing to unusually high colony losses in recent years, the mechanism by which they may affect honey bees is probably not related to effects on learning or memory, at least as assessed by the proboscis extension reflex. PMID:26961062

  10. Effects of Nosema apis, N. ceranae, and coinfections on honey bee (Apis mellifera) learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Charbonneau, Lise R; Hillier, Neil Kirk; Rogers, Richard E L; Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave

    2016-01-01

    Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) face an increasing number of challenges that in recent years have led to significant economic effects on apiculture, with attendant consequences for agriculture. Nosemosis is a fungal infection of honey bees caused by either Nosema apis or N. ceranae. The putative greater virulence of N. ceranae has spurred interest in understanding how it differs from N. apis. Little is known of effects of N. apis or N. ceranae on honey bee learning and memory. Following a Pavlovian model that relies on the proboscis extension reflex, we compared acquisition learning and long-term memory recall of uninfected (control) honey bees versus those inoculated with N. apis, N. ceranae, or both. We also tested whether spore intensity was associated with variation in learning and memory. Neither learning nor memory differed among treatments. There was no evidence of a relationship between spore intensity and learning, and only limited evidence of a negative effect on memory; this occurred only in the co-inoculation treatment. Our results suggest that if Nosema spp. are contributing to unusually high colony losses in recent years, the mechanism by which they may affect honey bees is probably not related to effects on learning or memory, at least as assessed by the proboscis extension reflex.

  11. Honey bee orientation: a backup system for cloudy days.

    PubMed

    Dyer, F C; Gould, J L

    1981-11-27

    On cloudy days, honey bees are known to navigate to familiar food sources and orient their dances accurately. This capacity could be based on a magnetic compass sense, an ability to perceive the sun or patterns of polarized light through the clouds, or on the bees' memory of the diurnal course of the sun with respect to local landmarks. Experiments pitting these alternatives against one another demonstrate that the navigational backup system of bees is based on memory.

  12. Insulin-like peptide response to nutritional input in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Ihle, Kate E; Baker, Nicholas A; Amdam, Gro V

    2014-10-01

    The rise in metabolic disorders in the past decades has heightened focus on achieving a healthy dietary balance in humans. This is also an increasingly important issue in the management of honey bees (Apis mellifera) where poor nutrition has negative effects on health and productivity in agriculture, and nutrition is suggested as a contributing factor in the recent global declines in honey bee populations. As in other organisms, the insulin/insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway is likely involved in maintaining nutrient homeostasis in honey bees. Honey bees have two insulin-like peptides (Ilps) with differing spatial expression patterns in the fat body suggesting that AmIlp1 potentially functions in lipid metabolism while AmIlp2 is a more general indicator of nutritional status. We fed caged worker bees artificial diets high in carbohydrates, proteins or lipids and measured expression of AmIlp1, AmIlp2, and the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) to test their responses to dietary macronutrients. We also measured lifespan, worker weight and gustatory sensitivity to sugar as measures of individual physical condition. We found that expression of AmIlp1 was affected by diet composition and was highest on a diet high in protein. Expression of AmIlp2 and AmIRS were not affected by diet. Workers lived longest on a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein and lipids. However, bees fed this diet weighed less than those that received a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates and lipids. Bees fed the high carbohydrates diet were also more responsive to sugar, potentially indicating greater levels of hunger. These results support a role for AmIlp1 in nutritional homeostasis and provide new insight into how unbalanced diets impact individual honey bee health. PMID:24952326

  13. Insulin-like peptide response to nutritional input in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Ihle, Kate E; Baker, Nicholas A; Amdam, Gro V

    2014-10-01

    The rise in metabolic disorders in the past decades has heightened focus on achieving a healthy dietary balance in humans. This is also an increasingly important issue in the management of honey bees (Apis mellifera) where poor nutrition has negative effects on health and productivity in agriculture, and nutrition is suggested as a contributing factor in the recent global declines in honey bee populations. As in other organisms, the insulin/insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway is likely involved in maintaining nutrient homeostasis in honey bees. Honey bees have two insulin-like peptides (Ilps) with differing spatial expression patterns in the fat body suggesting that AmIlp1 potentially functions in lipid metabolism while AmIlp2 is a more general indicator of nutritional status. We fed caged worker bees artificial diets high in carbohydrates, proteins or lipids and measured expression of AmIlp1, AmIlp2, and the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) to test their responses to dietary macronutrients. We also measured lifespan, worker weight and gustatory sensitivity to sugar as measures of individual physical condition. We found that expression of AmIlp1 was affected by diet composition and was highest on a diet high in protein. Expression of AmIlp2 and AmIRS were not affected by diet. Workers lived longest on a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein and lipids. However, bees fed this diet weighed less than those that received a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates and lipids. Bees fed the high carbohydrates diet were also more responsive to sugar, potentially indicating greater levels of hunger. These results support a role for AmIlp1 in nutritional homeostasis and provide new insight into how unbalanced diets impact individual honey bee health.

  14. Range and Frequency of Africanized Honey Bees in California (USA)

    PubMed Central

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R.

    2015-01-01

    Africanized honey bees entered California in 1994 but few accounts of their northward expansion or their frequency relative to European honey bees have been published. We used mitochondrial markers and morphometric analyses to determine the prevalence of Africanized honeybees in San Diego County and their current northward progress in California west of the Sierra Nevada crest. The northernmost African mitotypes detected were approximately 40 km south of Sacramento in California’s central valley. In San Diego County, 65% of foraging honey bee workers carry African mitochondria and the estimated percentage of Africanized workers using morphological measurements is similar (61%). There was no correlation between mitotype and morphology in San Diego County suggesting Africanized bees result from bidirectional hybridization. Seventy percent of feral hives, but only 13% of managed hives, sampled in San Diego County carried the African mitotype indicating that a large fraction of foraging workers in both urban and rural San Diego County are feral. We also found a single nucleotide polymorphism at the DNA barcode locus COI that distinguishes European and African mitotypes. The utility of this marker was confirmed using 401 georeferenced honey bee sequences from the worldwide Barcode of Life Database. Future censuses can determine whether the current range of the Africanized form is stable, patterns of introgression at nuclear loci, and the environmental factors that may limit the northern range of the Africanized honey bee. PMID:26361047

  15. Range and Frequency of Africanized Honey Bees in California (USA).

    PubMed

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R

    2015-01-01

    Africanized honey bees entered California in 1994 but few accounts of their northward expansion or their frequency relative to European honey bees have been published. We used mitochondrial markers and morphometric analyses to determine the prevalence of Africanized honeybees in San Diego County and their current northward progress in California west of the Sierra Nevada crest. The northernmost African mitotypes detected were approximately 40 km south of Sacramento in California's central valley. In San Diego County, 65% of foraging honey bee workers carry African mitochondria and the estimated percentage of Africanized workers using morphological measurements is similar (61%). There was no correlation between mitotype and morphology in San Diego County suggesting Africanized bees result from bidirectional hybridization. Seventy percent of feral hives, but only 13% of managed hives, sampled in San Diego County carried the African mitotype indicating that a large fraction of foraging workers in both urban and rural San Diego County are feral. We also found a single nucleotide polymorphism at the DNA barcode locus COI that distinguishes European and African mitotypes. The utility of this marker was confirmed using 401 georeferenced honey bee sequences from the worldwide Barcode of Life Database. Future censuses can determine whether the current range of the Africanized form is stable, patterns of introgression at nuclear loci, and the environmental factors that may limit the northern range of the Africanized honey bee.

  16. Range and Frequency of Africanized Honey Bees in California (USA).

    PubMed

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R

    2015-01-01

    Africanized honey bees entered California in 1994 but few accounts of their northward expansion or their frequency relative to European honey bees have been published. We used mitochondrial markers and morphometric analyses to determine the prevalence of Africanized honeybees in San Diego County and their current northward progress in California west of the Sierra Nevada crest. The northernmost African mitotypes detected were approximately 40 km south of Sacramento in California's central valley. In San Diego County, 65% of foraging honey bee workers carry African mitochondria and the estimated percentage of Africanized workers using morphological measurements is similar (61%). There was no correlation between mitotype and morphology in San Diego County suggesting Africanized bees result from bidirectional hybridization. Seventy percent of feral hives, but only 13% of managed hives, sampled in San Diego County carried the African mitotype indicating that a large fraction of foraging workers in both urban and rural San Diego County are feral. We also found a single nucleotide polymorphism at the DNA barcode locus COI that distinguishes European and African mitotypes. The utility of this marker was confirmed using 401 georeferenced honey bee sequences from the worldwide Barcode of Life Database. Future censuses can determine whether the current range of the Africanized form is stable, patterns of introgression at nuclear loci, and the environmental factors that may limit the northern range of the Africanized honey bee. PMID:26361047

  17. No apparent correlation between honey bee forager gut microbiota and honey production

    PubMed Central

    Horton, Melissa A.; Oliver, Randy

    2015-01-01

    One of the best indicators of colony health for the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is its performance in the production of honey. Recent research into the microbial communities naturally populating the bee gut raise the question as to whether there is a correlation between microbial community structure and colony productivity. In this work, we used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to explore the microbial composition associated with forager bees from honey bee colonies producing large amounts of surplus honey (productive) and compared them to colonies producing less (unproductive). As supported by previous work, the honey bee microbiome was found to be dominated by three major phyla: the Proteobacteria, Bacilli and Actinobacteria, within which we found a total of 23 different bacterial genera, including known “core” honey bee microbiome members. Using discriminant function analysis and correlation-based network analysis, we identified highly abundant members (such as Frischella and Gilliamella) as important in shaping the bacterial community; libraries from colonies with high quantities of these Orbaceae members were also likely to contain fewer Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species (such as Firm-4). However, co-culture assays, using isolates from these major clades, were unable to confirm any antagonistic interaction between Gilliamella and honey bee gut bacteria. Our results suggest that honey bee colony productivity is associated with increased bacterial diversity, although this mechanism behind this correlation has yet to be determined. Our results also suggest researchers should not base inferences of bacterial interactions solely on correlations found using sequencing. Instead, we suggest that depth of sequencing and library size can dramatically influence statistically significant results from sequence analysis of amplicons and should be cautiously interpreted. PMID:26623177

  18. Virulence of mixed fungal infections in honey bee brood

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Honey bees, Apis mellifera, have a diverse community of pathogens. Previous research has mostly focused on bacterial brood diseases of high virulence, but milder diseases caused by fungal pathogens have recently attracted more attention. This interest has been triggered by partial evidence that co-infection with multiple pathogens has the potential to accelerate honey bee mortality. In the present study we tested whether co-infection with closely related fungal brood-pathogen species that are either specialists or non-specialist results in higher host mortality than infections with a single specialist. We used a specially designed laboratory assay to expose honey bee larvae to controlled infections with spores of three Ascosphaera species: A. apis, the specialist pathogen that causes chalkbrood disease in honey bees, A. proliperda, a specialist pathogen that causes chalkbrood disease in solitary bees, and A. atra, a saprophytic fungus growing typically on pollen brood-provision masses of solitary bees. Results We show for the first time that single infection with a pollen fungus A. atra may induce some mortality and that co-infection with A. atra and A. apis resulted in higher mortality of honey bees compared to single infections with A. apis. However, similar single and mixed infections with A. proliperda did not increase brood mortality. Conclusion Our results show that co-infection with a closely related fungal species can either increase or have no effect on host mortality, depending on the identity of the second species. Together with other studies suggesting that multiple interacting pathogens may be contributing to worldwide honey bee health declines, our results highlight the importance of studying effects of multiple infections, even when all interacting species are not known to be specialist pathogens. PMID:22444792

  19. Pollination Ecology: Overview of Pollination and the Foraging Behavior of Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee pollination is an essential part of the production of crops that comprise more than a third of U.S. agriculture. This chapter of "The Hive and the Honey Bee" contains an overview of how honey bee foraging behavior results in the pollination of flowers and the formation of seeds, fruits an...

  20. Vanishing honey bees: Is the dying of adult worker bees a consequence of short telomeres and premature aging?

    PubMed

    Stindl, Reinhard; Stindl, Wolfgang

    2010-10-01

    Einstein is often quoted to have said that without the bee, mankind would have but 4years to live. It is highly unlikely that he made this comment, which was even mentioned in a Lancet article on honey bees. However, the current vanishing of the bees can have serious consequences for human health, because 35% of the human diet is thought to benefit from pollination. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) in honey bees is characterized by the rapid decline of the adult bee population, leaving the brood and the queen poorly or completely unattended, with no dead bodies in or around the hive. A large study found no evidence that the presence or amount of any individual pesticide or infectious agent occurred more frequently or abundantly in CCD-affected colonies. The growing consensus is that honey bees are suffering from comprised immune systems, which allow various infectious pathogens to invade. The question remains, what causes immunosuppression in many colonies of Apis mellifera in North America and Europe? Telomeres are protective DNA structures located at eukaryotic chromosome tips that shorten in the somatic tissues of animals with age. Lifelong tissue regeneration takes place in Apis mellifera, and worker bees have been shown to senesce. In humans, a vast amount of literature has accumulated on exhausted telomere reserves causing impaired tissue regeneration and age-associated diseases, specifically cancer and immunosuppression. Therefore, we propose a new causative mechanism for the vanishing of the bees: critically short telomeres in long-lived winter bees. We term this the telomere premature aging syndrome. PMID:20478660

  1. First Insights into the Genome of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, Isolated from Honey Bee Larva Infected with European Foulbrood.

    PubMed

    Djukic, Marvin; Daniel, Rolf; Poehlein, Anja

    2015-01-01

    European foulbrood is a worldwide disease affecting the honey bee brood. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, which was isolated from an infected honey bee larva derived from a Swiss European foulbrood outbreak. The genome consists of 68 contigs and harbors 1,629 predicted protein-encoding genes. PMID:26227611

  2. First Insights into the Genome of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, Isolated from Honey Bee Larva Infected with European Foulbrood

    PubMed Central

    Djukic, Marvin; Poehlein, Anja

    2015-01-01

    European foulbrood is a worldwide disease affecting the honey bee brood. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, which was isolated from an infected honey bee larva derived from a Swiss European foulbrood outbreak. The genome consists of 68 contigs and harbors 1,629 predicted protein-encoding genes. PMID:26227611

  3. Characterizing the Impact of Commercial Pollen Substitute Diets on the Level of Nosema spp. in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Fleming, James C.; Schmehl, Daniel R.; Ellis, James D.

    2015-01-01

    Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations face declines commonly attributed to pesticide, pathogen, and parasite stress. One way beekeepers combat these stressors is by providing supplemental protein diets to honey bee colonies to ensure adequate colony nutrition. However Nosema spp., a microsporidian parasite of the honey bee, is thought to be associated closely with a colony’s nutritional intake, thus possibly negating any benefit the bees otherwise would have received from a nutritional supplement. Through three objectives, we examined how adult bees’ consumption of wildflower pollen or commercial pollen substitute diets affected Nosema levels in the bees’ midguts. For our first objective, we investigated how method of inoculation with Nosema affects infection levels in inoculated bees. Bees were infected with spores of Nosema four days after emergence. On day 15, bees were collected from the cages and Nosema spores were quantified. We found that inoculation through the pollen diet resulted in the highest Nosema levels in inoculated bees. In our second and third objectives, we provided the test diets to caged, newly emerged bees for a period of 15 days. Bees consuming pollen and a sucrose solution had more Nosema in their midguts than did bees consuming the sucrose solution alone (control). The overall volume of diet consumed by the bees did not correlate with the level of Nosema in their midguts. The level of Nosema was higher in bees fed certain commercial pollen substitute diets than in bees fed wildflower pollen. Our study illustrates how providing nutritional supplements to adult honey bees can impact the intensity of Nosema in their midguts. PMID:26226229

  4. Genomic survey of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, a major pest of the honey bee Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are an important agricultural commodity providing honey, other bee products, and pollination services. Domesticated honey bees in the United States and elsewhere have been in decline in recent years, despite an increasing need for honey bee pollination services. This fact...

  5. Cytosine modifications in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker genome.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Erik M K; Amdam, Gro V

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic changes enable genomes to respond to changes in the environment, such as altered nutrition, activity, or social setting. Epigenetic modifications, thereby, provide a source of phenotypic plasticity in many species. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) uses nutritionally sensitive epigenetic control mechanisms in the development of the royal caste (queens) and the workers. The workers are functionally sterile females that can take on a range of distinct physiological and/or behavioral phenotypes in response to environmental changes. Honey bees have a wide repertoire of epigenetic mechanisms which, as in mammals, include cytosine methylation, hydroxymethylated cytosines, together with the enzymatic machinery responsible for these cytosine modifications. Current data suggests that honey bees provide an excellent system for studying the "social repertoire" of the epigenome. In this review, we elucidate what is known so far about the honey bee epigenome and its mechanisms. Our discussion includes what may distinguish honey bees from other model animals, how the epigenome can influence worker behavioral task separation, and how future studies can answer central questions about the role of the epigenome in social behavior. PMID:25705215

  6. Honey bee promoter sequences for targeted gene expression.

    PubMed

    Schulte, C; Leboulle, G; Otte, M; Grünewald, B; Gehne, N; Beye, M

    2013-08-01

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, displays a rich behavioural repertoire, social organization and caste differentiation, and has an interesting mode of sex determination, but we still know little about its underlying genetic programs. We lack stable transgenic tools in honey bees that would allow genetic control of gene activity in stable transgenic lines. As an initial step towards a transgenic method, we identified promoter sequences in the honey bee that can drive constitutive, tissue-specific and cold shock-induced gene expression. We identified the promoter sequences of Am-actin5c, elp2l, Am-hsp83 and Am-hsp70 and showed that, except for the elp2l sequence, the identified sequences were able to drive reporter gene expression in Sf21 cells. We further demonstrated through electroporation experiments that the putative neuron-specific elp2l promoter sequence can direct gene expression in the honey bee brain. The identification of these promoter sequences is an important initial step in studying the function of genes with transgenic experiments in the honey bee, an organism with a rich set of interesting phenotypes. PMID:23668189

  7. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qing; Xu, Xinjian; Zhu, Xiangjie; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Shujing; Huang, Zachary Y; Zhou, Bingfeng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies. PMID:27149383

  8. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing; Xu, Xinjian; Zhu, Xiangjie; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Shujing; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zhou, Bingfeng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies. PMID:27149383

  9. Low-Temperature Stress during Capped Brood Stage Increases Pupal Mortality, Misorientation and Adult Mortality in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qing; Xu, Xinjian; Zhu, Xiangjie; Chen, Lin; Zhou, Shujing; Huang, Zachary Y; Zhou, Bingfeng

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are key pollinators, playing a vital role in ecosystem maintenance and stability of crop yields. Recently, reduced honey bee survival has attracted intensive attention. Among all other honey bee stresses, temperature is a fundamental ecological factor that has been shown to affect honey bee survival. Yet, the impact of low temperature stress during capped brood on brood mortality has not been systematically investigated. In addition, little was known about how low temperature exposure during capped brood affects subsequent adult longevity. In this study, capped worker broods at 12 different developmental stages were exposed to 20°C for 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84 and 96 hours, followed by incubation at 35°C until emergence. We found that longer durations of low temperature during capped brood led to higher mortality, higher incidences of misorientation inside cells and shorter worker longevity. Capped brood as prepupae and near emergence were more sensitive to low-temperature exposure, while capped larvae and mid-pupal stages showed the highest resistance to low-temperature stress. Our results suggest that prepupae and pupae prior to eclosion are the most sensitive stages to low temperature stress, as they are to other stresses, presumably due to many physiological changes related to metamorphosis happening during these two stages. Understanding how low-temperature stress affects honey bee physiology and longevity can improve honey bee management strategies.

  10. Influence of pollen nutrition on honey bee health: do pollen quality and diversity matter?

    PubMed

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Salignon, Marion; Le Conte, Yves; Belzunces, Luc P; Decourtye, Axel; Kretzschmar, André; Suchail, Séverine; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Alaux, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are highly dependent upon the availability of floral resources from which they get the nutrients (notably pollen) necessary to their development and survival. However, foraging areas are currently affected by the intensification of agriculture and landscape alteration. Bees are therefore confronted to disparities in time and space of floral resource abundance, type and diversity, which might provide inadequate nutrition and endanger colonies. The beneficial influence of pollen availability on bee health is well-established but whether quality and diversity of pollen diets can modify bee health remains largely unknown. We therefore tested the influence of pollen diet quality (different monofloral pollens) and diversity (polyfloral pollen diet) on the physiology of young nurse bees, which have a distinct nutritional physiology (e.g. hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin level), and on the tolerance to the microsporidian parasite Nosemaceranae by measuring bee survival and the activity of different enzymes potentially involved in bee health and defense response (glutathione-S-transferase (detoxification), phenoloxidase (immunity) and alkaline phosphatase (metabolism)). We found that both nurse bee physiology and the tolerance to the parasite were affected by pollen quality. Pollen diet diversity had no effect on the nurse bee physiology and the survival of healthy bees. However, when parasitized, bees fed with the polyfloral blend lived longer than bees fed with monofloral pollens, excepted for the protein-richest monofloral pollen. Furthermore, the survival was positively correlated to alkaline phosphatase activity in healthy bees and to phenoloxydase activities in infected bees. Our results support the idea that both the quality and diversity (in a specific context) of pollen can shape bee physiology and might help to better understand the influence of agriculture and land-use intensification on bee nutrition and health. PMID:23940803

  11. Influence of pollen nutrition on honey bee health: do pollen quality and diversity matter?

    PubMed

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Salignon, Marion; Le Conte, Yves; Belzunces, Luc P; Decourtye, Axel; Kretzschmar, André; Suchail, Séverine; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Alaux, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are highly dependent upon the availability of floral resources from which they get the nutrients (notably pollen) necessary to their development and survival. However, foraging areas are currently affected by the intensification of agriculture and landscape alteration. Bees are therefore confronted to disparities in time and space of floral resource abundance, type and diversity, which might provide inadequate nutrition and endanger colonies. The beneficial influence of pollen availability on bee health is well-established but whether quality and diversity of pollen diets can modify bee health remains largely unknown. We therefore tested the influence of pollen diet quality (different monofloral pollens) and diversity (polyfloral pollen diet) on the physiology of young nurse bees, which have a distinct nutritional physiology (e.g. hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin level), and on the tolerance to the microsporidian parasite Nosemaceranae by measuring bee survival and the activity of different enzymes potentially involved in bee health and defense response (glutathione-S-transferase (detoxification), phenoloxidase (immunity) and alkaline phosphatase (metabolism)). We found that both nurse bee physiology and the tolerance to the parasite were affected by pollen quality. Pollen diet diversity had no effect on the nurse bee physiology and the survival of healthy bees. However, when parasitized, bees fed with the polyfloral blend lived longer than bees fed with monofloral pollens, excepted for the protein-richest monofloral pollen. Furthermore, the survival was positively correlated to alkaline phosphatase activity in healthy bees and to phenoloxydase activities in infected bees. Our results support the idea that both the quality and diversity (in a specific context) of pollen can shape bee physiology and might help to better understand the influence of agriculture and land-use intensification on bee nutrition and health.

  12. Influence of Pollen Nutrition on Honey Bee Health: Do Pollen Quality and Diversity Matter?

    PubMed Central

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Salignon, Marion; Le Conte, Yves; Belzunces, Luc P.; Decourtye, Axel; Kretzschmar, André; Suchail, Séverine; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Alaux, Cédric

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee colonies are highly dependent upon the availability of floral resources from which they get the nutrients (notably pollen) necessary to their development and survival. However, foraging areas are currently affected by the intensification of agriculture and landscape alteration. Bees are therefore confronted to disparities in time and space of floral resource abundance, type and diversity, which might provide inadequate nutrition and endanger colonies. The beneficial influence of pollen availability on bee health is well-established but whether quality and diversity of pollen diets can modify bee health remains largely unknown. We therefore tested the influence of pollen diet quality (different monofloral pollens) and diversity (polyfloral pollen diet) on the physiology of young nurse bees, which have a distinct nutritional physiology (e.g. hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin level), and on the tolerance to the microsporidian parasite Nosemaceranae by measuring bee survival and the activity of different enzymes potentially involved in bee health and defense response (glutathione-S-transferase (detoxification), phenoloxidase (immunity) and alkaline phosphatase (metabolism)). We found that both nurse bee physiology and the tolerance to the parasite were affected by pollen quality. Pollen diet diversity had no effect on the nurse bee physiology and the survival of healthy bees. However, when parasitized, bees fed with the polyfloral blend lived longer than bees fed with monofloral pollens, excepted for the protein-richest monofloral pollen. Furthermore, the survival was positively correlated to alkaline phosphatase activity in healthy bees and to phenoloxydase activities in infected bees. Our results support the idea that both the quality and diversity (in a specific context) of pollen can shape bee physiology and might help to better understand the influence of agriculture and land-use intensification on bee nutrition and health. PMID:23940803

  13. Differential expression of immune genes of adult honey bee (Apis mellifera) after inoculated by Nosema ceranae.

    PubMed

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Chen, Yanping; Evans, Jay D; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2012-08-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidium parasite infecting adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) and is known to affects at both the individual and colony level. In this study, the expression levels were measured for four antimicrobial peptide encoding genes that are associated with bee humoral immunity (defensin, abaecin, apidaecin, and hymenoptaecin), eater gene which is a transmembrane protein involved cellular immunity and gene encoding female-specific protein (vitellogenin) in honey bees when inoculated by N. ceranae. The results showed that four of these genes, defensin, abaecin, apidaecin and hymenoptaecin were significantly down-regulated 3 and 6days after inoculations. Additionally, antimicrobial peptide expressions did not significantly differ between control and inoculated bees after 12days post inoculation. Moreover, our results revealed that the mRNA levels of eater and vitellogenin did not differ significantly following N. ceranae inoculation. Therefore, in this study we reaffirmed that N. ceranae infection induces host immunosuppression.

  14. A descriptive study of the prevalence of parasites and pathogens in Chinese black honey bees, Apis mellifera mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There has been increasing concern over declines in honey bee colony health that is negatively affected by multiple factors with parasitic mites Varroa destructor, which remains the single most detrimental one. The identification and selective breeding of resistant stock, especially bees resistant...

  15. The transcriptomic and evolutionary signature of social interactions regulating honey bee caste development.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The caste fate of developing female honey bee larvae is strictly socially regulated by adult nurse workers. As a result of this social regulation, nurse-expressed genes as well as larval-expressed genes may affect caste expression and evolution. We used a novel transcriptomic approach to identify ge...

  16. Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan Ping; Pettis, Jeffery S; Corona, Miguel; Chen, Wei Ping; Li, Cong Jun; Spivak, Marla; Visscher, P Kirk; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Boncristiani, Humberto; Zhao, Yan; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Delaplane, Keith; Solter, Leellen; Drummond, Francis; Kramer, Matthew; Lipkin, W Ian; Palacios, Gustavo; Hamilton, Michele C; Smith, Barton; Huang, Shao Kang; Zheng, Huo Qing; Li, Ji Lian; Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Ai Fen; Wu, Li You; Zhou, Ji Zhong; Lee, Myeong-L; Teixeira, Erica W; Li, Zhi Guo; Evans, Jay D

    2014-07-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV-host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide. PMID:25079600

  17. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus: Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Implications for Honey Bee Health

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yan Ping; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Corona, Miguel; Chen, Wei Ping; Li, Cong Jun; Spivak, Marla; Visscher, P. Kirk; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Boncristiani, Humberto; Zhao, Yan; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Delaplane, Keith; Solter, Leellen; Drummond, Francis; Kramer, Matthew; Lipkin, W. Ian; Palacios, Gustavo; Hamilton, Michele C.; Smith, Barton; Huang, Shao Kang; Zheng, Huo Qing; Li, Ji Lian; Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Ai Fen; Wu, Li You; Zhou, Ji Zhong; Lee, Myeong-L.; Teixeira, Erica W.; Li, Zhi Guo; Evans, Jay D.

    2014-01-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV–host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide. PMID:25079600

  18. Israeli acute paralysis virus: epidemiology, pathogenesis and implications for honey bee health.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan Ping; Pettis, Jeffery S; Corona, Miguel; Chen, Wei Ping; Li, Cong Jun; Spivak, Marla; Visscher, P Kirk; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Boncristiani, Humberto; Zhao, Yan; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Delaplane, Keith; Solter, Leellen; Drummond, Francis; Kramer, Matthew; Lipkin, W Ian; Palacios, Gustavo; Hamilton, Michele C; Smith, Barton; Huang, Shao Kang; Zheng, Huo Qing; Li, Ji Lian; Zhang, Xuan; Zhou, Ai Fen; Wu, Li You; Zhou, Ji Zhong; Lee, Myeong-L; Teixeira, Erica W; Li, Zhi Guo; Evans, Jay D

    2014-07-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert host defenses. Our study shows that IAPV is established as a persistent infection in honey bee populations, likely enabled by both horizontal and vertical transmission pathways. The phenotypic differences in pathology among different strains of IAPV found globally may be due to high levels of standing genetic variation. Microarray profiles of host responses to IAPV infection revealed that mitochondrial function is the most significantly affected biological process, suggesting that viral infection causes significant disturbance in energy-related host processes. The expression of genes involved in immune pathways in adult bees indicates that IAPV infection triggers active immune responses. The evidence that silencing an IAPV-encoded putative suppressor of RNAi reduces IAPV replication suggests a functional assignment for a particular genomic region of IAPV and closely related viruses from the Family Dicistroviridae, and indicates a novel therapeutic strategy for limiting multiple honey bee viruses simultaneously and reducing colony losses due to viral diseases. We believe that the knowledge and insights gained from this study will provide a new platform for continuing studies of the IAPV-host interactions and have positive implications for disease management that will lead to mitigation of escalating honey bee colony losses worldwide.

  19. Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Dewart, M.L.; Thomas, J.M.

    1983-08-01

    Each year thousands of chemicals in large quantities are introduced into the global environment and the need for effective methods of monitoring these substances has steadily increased. Most monitoring programs rely upon instrumentation to measure specific contaminants in air, water, or soil. However, it has become apparent that humans and their environment are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals rather than single entities. As our ability to detect ever smaller quantities of pollutants has increased, the biological significance of these findings has become more uncertain. Also, it is clear that monitoring efforts should shift from short-term studies of easily identifiable sources in localized areas to long-term studies of multiple sources over widespread regions. Our investigations aim at providing better tools to meet these exigencies. Honey bees are discussed as an effective, long-term, self-sustaining system for monitoring environmental impacts. Our results indicate that the use of regional, and possibly national or international, capability can be realized with the aid of beekeepers in obtaining samples and conducting measurements. This approach has the added advantage of public involvement in environmental problem solving and protection of human health and environmental quality.

  20. The honey bee parasite Nosema ceranae: transmissible via food exchange?

    PubMed

    Smith, Michael L

    2012-01-01

    Nosema ceranae, a newly introduced parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is contributing to worldwide colony losses. Other Nosema species, such as N. apis, tend to be associated with increased defecation and spread via a fecal-oral pathway, but because N. ceranae does not induce defecation, it may instead be spread via an oral-oral pathway. Cages that separated older infected bees from young uninfected bees were used to test whether N. ceranae can be spread during food exchange. When cages were separated by one screen, food could be passed between the older bees and the young bees, but when separated by two screens, food could not be passed between the two cages. Young uninfected bees were also kept isolated in cages, as a solitary control. After 4 days of exposure to the older bees, and 10 days to incubate infections, young bees were more likely to be infected in the 1-Screen Test treatment vs. the 2-Screen Test treatment (P=0.0097). Young bees fed by older bees showed a 13-fold increase in mean infection level relative to young bees not fed by older bees (1-Screen Test 40.8%; 2-Screen Test 3.4%; Solo Control 2.8%). Although fecal-oral transmission is still possible in this experimental design, oral-oral infectivity could help explain the rapid spread of N. ceranae worldwide.

  1. Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae.

    PubMed

    Pettis, Jeffery S; Lichtenberg, Elinor M; Andree, Michael; Stitzinger, Jennie; Rose, Robyn; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1) what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2) how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees' susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers' roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to.

  2. Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae.

    PubMed

    Pettis, Jeffery S; Lichtenberg, Elinor M; Andree, Michael; Stitzinger, Jennie; Rose, Robyn; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1) what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2) how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees' susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers' roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to. PMID:23894612

  3. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used for Western U.S. Honey Production and Almond Pollination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, USA, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees (RHB) and outcrossed honey bees with...

  4. Learning context modulates aversive taste strength in honey bees.

    PubMed

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Serre, Marion; Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; Dyer, Adrian G; Giurfa, Martin

    2015-03-01

    The capacity of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to detect bitter substances is controversial because they ingest without reluctance different kinds of bitter solutions in the laboratory, whereas free-flying bees avoid them in visual discrimination tasks. Here, we asked whether the gustatory perception of bees changes with the behavioral context so that tastes that are less effective as negative reinforcements in a given context become more effective in a different context. We trained bees to discriminate an odorant paired with 1 mol l(-1) sucrose solution from another odorant paired with either distilled water, 3 mol l(-1) NaCl or 60 mmol l(-1) quinine. Training was either Pavlovian [olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) in harnessed bees], or mainly operant (olfactory conditioning of free-walking bees in a Y-maze). PER-trained and maze-trained bees were subsequently tested both in their original context and in the alternative context. Whereas PER-trained bees transferred their choice to the Y-maze situation, Y-maze-trained bees did not respond with a PER to odors when subsequently harnessed. In both conditioning protocols, NaCl and distilled water were the strongest and the weakest aversive reinforcement, respectively. A significant variation was found for quinine, which had an intermediate aversive effect in PER conditioning but a more powerful effect in the Y-maze, similar to that of NaCl. These results thus show that the aversive strength of quinine varies with the learning context, and reveal the plasticity of the bee's gustatory system. We discuss the experimental constraints of both learning contexts and focus on stress as a key modulator of taste in the honey bee. Further explorations of bee taste are proposed to understand the physiology of taste modulation in bees.

  5. Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Ciarlo, Timothy J.; Mullin, Christopher A.; Frazier, James L.; Schmehl, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s). The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. It was previously unknown whether these agrochemicals have any deleterious effects on honey bee behavior. Methodology/Principal Findings An improved, automated version of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay with a high degree of trial-to-trial reproducibility was used to measure the olfactory learning ability of honey bees treated orally with sublethal doses of the most widely used spray adjuvants on almonds in the Central Valley of California. Three different adjuvant classes (nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, and organosilicone surfactants) were investigated in this study. Learning was impaired after ingestion of 20 µg organosilicone surfactant, indicating harmful effects on honey bees caused by agrochemicals previously believed to be innocuous. Organosilicones were more active than the nonionic adjuvants, while the crop oil concentrates were inactive. Ingestion was required for the tested adjuvant to have an effect on learning, as exposure via antennal contact only induced no level of impairment. Conclusions/Significance A decrease in percent conditioned response after ingestion of organosilicone surfactants has been demonstrated here for the first time. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many social interactions

  6. Early gut colonizers shape parasite susceptibility and microbiota composition in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Ryan S; Moran, Nancy A; Evans, Jay D

    2016-08-16

    Microbial symbionts living within animal guts are largely composed of resident bacterial species, forming communities that often provide benefits to the host. Gut microbiomes of adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) include core residents such as the betaproteobacterium Snodgrassella alvi, alongside transient parasites such as the protozoan Lotmaria passim To test how these species affect microbiome composition and host physiology, we administered S alvi and/or L passim inocula to newly emerged worker bees from four genetic backgrounds (GH) and reared them in normal (within hives) or stressed (protein-deficient, asocial) conditions. Microbiota acquired by normal bees were abundant but quantitatively differed across treatments, indicating treatment-associated dysbiosis. Pretreatment with S. alvi made normal bees more susceptible to L. passim and altered developmental and detoxification gene expression. Stressed bees were more susceptible to L. passim and were depauperate in core microbiota, yet supplementation with S. alvi did not alter this susceptibility. Microbiomes were generally more variable by GH in stressed bees, which also showed opposing and comparatively reduced modulation of gene expression responses to treatments compared with normal bees. These data provide experimental support for a link between altered gut microbiota and increased parasite and pathogen prevalence, as observed from honey bee colony collapse disorder. PMID:27482088

  7. Early gut colonizers shape parasite susceptibility and microbiota composition in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Ryan S; Moran, Nancy A; Evans, Jay D

    2016-08-16

    Microbial symbionts living within animal guts are largely composed of resident bacterial species, forming communities that often provide benefits to the host. Gut microbiomes of adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) include core residents such as the betaproteobacterium Snodgrassella alvi, alongside transient parasites such as the protozoan Lotmaria passim To test how these species affect microbiome composition and host physiology, we administered S alvi and/or L passim inocula to newly emerged worker bees from four genetic backgrounds (GH) and reared them in normal (within hives) or stressed (protein-deficient, asocial) conditions. Microbiota acquired by normal bees were abundant but quantitatively differed across treatments, indicating treatment-associated dysbiosis. Pretreatment with S. alvi made normal bees more susceptible to L. passim and altered developmental and detoxification gene expression. Stressed bees were more susceptible to L. passim and were depauperate in core microbiota, yet supplementation with S. alvi did not alter this susceptibility. Microbiomes were generally more variable by GH in stressed bees, which also showed opposing and comparatively reduced modulation of gene expression responses to treatments compared with normal bees. These data provide experimental support for a link between altered gut microbiota and increased parasite and pathogen prevalence, as observed from honey bee colony collapse disorder.

  8. A metagenomic survey of microbes in honey bee colony collapse disorder.

    PubMed

    Cox-Foster, Diana L; Conlan, Sean; Holmes, Edward C; Palacios, Gustavo; Evans, Jay D; Moran, Nancy A; Quan, Phenix-Lan; Briese, Thomas; Hornig, Mady; Geiser, David M; Martinson, Vince; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Kalkstein, Abby L; Drysdale, Andrew; Hui, Jeffrey; Zhai, Junhui; Cui, Liwang; Hutchison, Stephen K; Simons, Jan Fredrik; Egholm, Michael; Pettis, Jeffery S; Lipkin, W Ian

    2007-10-12

    In colony collapse disorder (CCD), honey bee colonies inexplicably lose their workers. CCD has resulted in a loss of 50 to 90% of colonies in beekeeping operations across the United States. The observation that irradiated combs from affected colonies can be repopulated with naive bees suggests that infection may contribute to CCD. We used an unbiased metagenomic approach to survey microflora in CCD hives, normal hives, and imported royal jelly. Candidate pathogens were screened for significance of association with CCD by the examination of samples collected from several sites over a period of 3 years. One organism, Israeli acute paralysis virus of bees, was strongly correlated with CCD.

  9. Egg viability and worker policing in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Pirk, Christian W W; Neumann, Peter; Hepburn, Randall; Moritz, Robin F A; Tautz, Jürgen

    2004-06-01

    In many species of social Hymenoptera, unmated workers can lay eggs that will produce males by parthenogenesis. Nevertheless, in queenright honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera), worker reproduction is low. One possible mechanism for this difference is worker policing, the removal of worker-laid eggs by other workers. This behavior can evolve in species in which queens are multiply mated, where workers are more closely related to the sons of their mother than those of their sisters. Another possible mechanism of the low level of worker reproduction is worker-laid eggs being less viable than queen-laid eggs. We show that this difference in quality is the case for honey bees.

  10. Genetic diversity in honey bee colonies enhances productivity and fitness.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Seeley, Thomas D

    2007-07-20

    Honey bee queens mate with many males, creating numerous patrilines within colonies that are genetically distinct. The effects of genetic diversity on colony productivity and long-term fitness are unknown. We show that swarms from genetically diverse colonies (15 patrilines per colony) founded new colonies faster than swarms from genetically uniform colonies (1 patriline per colony). Accumulated differences in foraging rates, food storage, and population growth led to impressive boosts in the fitness (i.e., drone production and winter survival) of genetically diverse colonies. These results further our understanding of the origins of polyandry in honey bees and its benefits for colony performance.

  11. Effects of meteorological factors on defensive behaviour of honey bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southwick, E. E.; Moritz, R. F. A.

    1987-09-01

    The defensive behaviour of honey bee colonies ( Apis mellifera L.) was quantitated in the field throughout a three month season by the use of a standardized test in which numbers of stings in a leather target were counted after single colonies were opened and exposed to alarm pheromone. The main results show how the defensive behaviour of honey bees is highly dependent on weather factors. Eliminating genetic variance, the following meteorological variables account for 92.4% of the variation in defensive behaviour: air temperature, solar radiation intensity, wind velocity, relative humidity, and barometric pressure.

  12. In vivo and in vitro infection dynamics of honey bee viruses

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Dolezal, Adam G.; Goblirsch, Michael J.; Miller, W. Allen; Toth, Amy L.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is commonly infected by multiple viruses. We developed an experimental system for the study of such mixed viral infections in newly emerged honey bees and in the cell line AmE-711, derived from honey bee embryos. When inoculating a mixture of iflavirids [sacbrood bee virus (SBV), deformed wing virus (DWV)] and dicistrovirids [Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), black queen cell virus (BQCV)] in both live bee and cell culture assays, IAPV replicated to higher levels than other viruses despite the fact that SBV was the major component of the inoculum mixture. When a different virus mix composed mainly of the dicistrovirid Kashmir bee virus (KBV) was tested in cell culture, the outcome was a rapid increase in KBV but not IAPV. We also sequenced the complete genome of an isolate of DWV that covertly infects the AmE-711 cell line, and found that this virus does not prevent IAPV and KBV from accumulating to high levels and causing cytopathic effects. These results indicate that different mechanisms of virus-host interaction affect virus dynamics, including complex virus-virus interactions, superinfections, specific virus saturation limits in cells and virus specialization for different cell types. PMID:26923109

  13. Changes in protein expression during honey bee larval development

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Queenie WT; Foster, Leonard J

    2008-01-01

    Background The honey bee (Apis mellifera), besides its role in pollination and honey production, serves as a model for studying the biochemistry of development, metabolism, and immunity in a social organism. Here we use mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics to quantify nearly 800 proteins during the 5- to 6-day larval developmental stage, tracking their expression profiles. Results We report that honey bee larval growth is marked by an age-correlated increase of protein transporters and receptors, as well as protein nutrient stores, while opposite trends in protein translation activity and turnover were observed. Levels of the immunity factors prophenoloxidase and apismin are positively correlated with development, while others surprisingly were not significantly age-regulated, suggesting a molecular explanation for why bees are susceptible to major age-associated bee bacterial infections such as American Foulbrood or fungal diseases such as chalkbrood. Previously unreported findings include the reduction of antioxidant and G proteins in aging larvae. Conclusion These data have allowed us to integrate disparate findings in previous studies to build a model of metabolism and maturity of the immune system during larval development. This publicly accessible resource for protein expression trends will help generate new hypotheses in the increasingly important field of honey bee research. PMID:18959778

  14. Geographic variation in the growth of domesticated honey bee stocks

    PubMed Central

    Harder, Lawrence D

    2009-01-01

    Declines in the stocks of domesticated honey bees in some countries have been attributed to disease, which is at odds with an increasing global trend in the total number of hives. Based on data on annual growth rates in hive numbers and honey production for 87 countries, we tested the hypothesis that geographic heterogeneity in the growth of the domesticated honey bee population can be attributed to disease. In contrast to predictions of this hypothesis, changes in honey production varied in proportion to changes in hive number. Also, growth in honey production was not more spatially heterogeneous than growth in hive numbers, as expected under a scenario of contagious pests. We argue that although disease aggravates production costs, it has less effect on changes in national hive numbers than labor costs, so that geographic variation in the growth of the global honey bee stock reflects the global division of human labor that is a hallmark of economic globalization, rather than persistent and pervasive biological causes. PMID:20195451

  15. Modelling food and population dynamics in honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Khoury, David S; Barron, Andrew B; Myerscough, Mary R

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are increasingly in demand as pollinators for various key agricultural food crops, but globally honey bee populations are in decline, and honey bee colony failure rates have increased. This scenario highlights a need to understand the conditions in which colonies flourish and in which colonies fail. To aid this investigation we present a compartment model of bee population dynamics to explore how food availability and bee death rates interact to determine colony growth and development. Our model uses simple differential equations to represent the transitions of eggs laid by the queen to brood, then hive bees and finally forager bees, and the process of social inhibition that regulates the rate at which hive bees begin to forage. We assume that food availability can influence both the number of brood successfully reared to adulthood and the rate at which bees transition from hive duties to foraging. The model predicts complex interactions between food availability and forager death rates in shaping colony fate. Low death rates and high food availability results in stable bee populations at equilibrium (with population size strongly determined by forager death rate) but consistently increasing food reserves. At higher death rates food stores in a colony settle at a finite equilibrium reflecting the balance of food collection and food use. When forager death rates exceed a critical threshold the colony fails but residual food remains. Our model presents a simple mathematical framework for exploring the interactions of food and forager mortality on colony fate, and provides the mathematical basis for more involved simulation models of hive performance. PMID:23667418

  16. Modelling Food and Population Dynamics in Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, David S.; Barron, Andrew B.; Myerscough, Mary R.

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are increasingly in demand as pollinators for various key agricultural food crops, but globally honey bee populations are in decline, and honey bee colony failure rates have increased. This scenario highlights a need to understand the conditions in which colonies flourish and in which colonies fail. To aid this investigation we present a compartment model of bee population dynamics to explore how food availability and bee death rates interact to determine colony growth and development. Our model uses simple differential equations to represent the transitions of eggs laid by the queen to brood, then hive bees and finally forager bees, and the process of social inhibition that regulates the rate at which hive bees begin to forage. We assume that food availability can influence both the number of brood successfully reared to adulthood and the rate at which bees transition from hive duties to foraging. The model predicts complex interactions between food availability and forager death rates in shaping colony fate. Low death rates and high food availability results in stable bee populations at equilibrium (with population size strongly determined by forager death rate) but consistently increasing food reserves. At higher death rates food stores in a colony settle at a finite equilibrium reflecting the balance of food collection and food use. When forager death rates exceed a critical threshold the colony fails but residual food remains. Our model presents a simple mathematical framework for exploring the interactions of food and forager mortality on colony fate, and provides the mathematical basis for more involved simulation models of hive performance. PMID:23667418

  17. Pharmacological modulation of aversive responsiveness in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Tedjakumala, Stevanus R.; Aimable, Margaux; Giurfa, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Within a honey bee colony, individuals performing different tasks exhibit different sensitivities to noxious stimuli. Noxious-stimulus sensitivity can be quantified in harnessed bees by measuring the sting extension response (SER) to a series of increasing voltages. Biogenic amines play a crucial role in the control of insect responsiveness. Whether or not these neurotransmitters affect the central control of aversive responsiveness, and more specifically of electric-shock responsiveness, remains unknown. Here we studied the involvement of the biogenic amines octopamine, dopamine and serotonin, and of the ecdysteroid 20-hydroxyecdisone in the central control of sting responsiveness to electric shocks. We injected pharmacological antagonists of these signaling pathways into the brain of harnessed bees and determined the effect of blocking these different forms of neurotransmission on shock responsiveness. We found that both octopamine and 20-hydroxyecdisone are dispensable for shock responsiveness while dopamine and serotonin act as down-regulators of sting responsiveness. As a consequence, antagonists of these two biogenic amines induce an increase in shock responsiveness to shocks of intermediate voltage; serotonin, can also increase non-specific responsiveness. We suggest that different classes of dopaminergic neurons exist in the bee brain and we define at least two categories: an instructive class mediating aversive labeling of conditioned stimuli in associative learning, and a global gain-control class which down-regulates responsiveness upon perception of noxious stimuli. Serotonergic signaling together with down-regulating dopaminergic signaling may play an essential role in attentional processes by suppressing responses to irrelevant, non-predictive stimuli, thereby allowing efficient behavioral performances. PMID:24431993

  18. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens. PMID:26912310

  19. The colony environment modulates sleep in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Eban-Rothschild, Ada; Bloch, Guy

    2015-02-01

    One of the most important and evolutionarily conserved roles of sleep is the processing and consolidation of information acquired during wakefulness. In both insects and mammals, environmental and social stimuli can modify sleep physiology and behavior, yet relatively little is known about the specifics of the wake experiences and their relative contribution to experience-dependent modulation of sleep. Honey bees provide an excellent model system in this regard because their behavioral repertoire is well characterized and the environment they experience during the day can be manipulated while keeping an ecologically and sociobiologically relevant context. We examined whether social experience modulates sleep in honey bees, and evaluated the relative contribution of different social signals. We exposed newly emerged bees to different components of their natural social environment and then monitored their sleep behavior in individual cages in a constant lab environment. We found that rich waking experience modulates subsequent sleep. Bees that experienced the colony environment for 1 or 2 days slept more than same-age sister bees that were caged individually or in small groups in the lab. Furthermore, bees placed in mesh-enclosures in the colony, that prevented direct contact with nestmates, slept similarly to bees freely moving in the colony. These results suggest that social signals that do not require direct or close distance interactions between bees are sufficiently rich to encompass almost the entire effect of the colony on sleep. Our findings provide a remarkable example of social experience-dependent modulation of an essential biological process. PMID:25524987

  20. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees.

    PubMed

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens. PMID:26912310

  1. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees.

    PubMed

    Lecocq, Antoine; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Kryger, Per; Nieh, James C

    2016-02-25

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important pollinators and their health is threatened worldwide by persistent exposure to a wide range of factors including pesticides, poor nutrition, and pathogens. Nosema ceranae is a ubiquitous microsporidian associated with high colony mortality. We used lab micro-colonies of honey bees and video analyses to track the effects of N. ceranae infection and exposure on a range of individual and social behaviours in young adult bees. We provide detailed data showing that N. ceranae infection significantly accelerated the age polyethism of young bees, causing them to exhibit behaviours typical of older bees. Bees with high N. ceranae spore counts had significantly increased walking rates and decreased attraction to queen mandibular pheromone. Infected bees also exhibited higher rates of trophallaxis (food exchange), potentially reflecting parasite manipulation to increase colony infection. However, reduction in queen contacts could help bees limit the spread of infection. Such accelerated age polyethism may provide a form of behavioural immunity, particularly if it is elicited by a wide variety of pathogens.

  2. Effects of high-voltage transmission lines on honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Greenberg, B.; Bindokas, V.P.

    1981-04-01

    Data are reported on the effect of hive height and current distribution on honey bees hived under a 765 kV line (E-field ca. 7 kV/m). Hive height was standardized with adjustable collectors to 1 meter (59 ..mu..A total hive current) or 1.5 meter (85 ..mu..A) equivalents; controls were shielded. A 1.5 meter group with completely painted supers was included. After 8 or 16 weeks of exposure there was no effect on honey moisture content or weight of young workers in any group. Worker capped brood was not affected in 1 m hives but declined significantly in 1.5 m hives after 4 weeks of exposure and this was associated with queen loss, abnormal queen cell production, and colony failure. Weight gain was depressed in all hives after 2 weeks of exposure and was dose related, with the taller hives more severely affected. Only the exposed hives propolized entrances but the amount and time of onset were not dose related. The 1.5 m hives with painted interiors behaved like the 1 m hives with unpainted interiors in all respects, although their total hive current approximated the other group of 1.5 m hives. Reversal of treatments at midseason resulted in reversal of colony behavior, manifested most clearly with respect to hive weight, less with respect to brood. When first exposed, colonies exhibit pronounced but transient elevations in hive temperature. Bio-effects were more severe during the first period when hives had fewer bees. Total hive current was greater in wet than in dry periods. All these factors influence observed bioeffects.

  3. APIS-a novel approach for conditioning honey bees.

    PubMed

    Kirkerud, Nicholas H; Wehmann, Henja-Niniane; Galizia, C Giovanni; Gustav, David

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees perform robustly in different conditioning paradigms. This makes them excellent candidates for studying mechanisms of learning and memory at both an individual and a population level. Here we introduce a novel method of honey bee conditioning: APIS, the Automatic Performance Index System. In an enclosed walking arena where the interior is covered with an electric grid, presentation of odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral responses, we continuously monitor the movement of the bee by an automatic tracking system. We found that escapes from one side to the other, changes in velocity as well as distance and time spent away from the punished odor are suitable parameters to describe the bee's learning capabilities. Our data show that in a short-term memory test the response rate for the conditioned stimulus (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization and extinction seem to be different between appetitive and aversive stimuli. The advantages of this automatic system make it ideal for assessing learning rates in a standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior.

  4. APIS—a novel approach for conditioning honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Kirkerud, Nicholas H.; Wehmann, Henja-Niniane; Galizia, C. Giovanni; Gustav, David

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees perform robustly in different conditioning paradigms. This makes them excellent candidates for studying mechanisms of learning and memory at both an individual and a population level. Here we introduce a novel method of honey bee conditioning: APIS, the Automatic Performance Index System. In an enclosed walking arena where the interior is covered with an electric grid, presentation of odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral responses, we continuously monitor the movement of the bee by an automatic tracking system. We found that escapes from one side to the other, changes in velocity as well as distance and time spent away from the punished odor are suitable parameters to describe the bee's learning capabilities. Our data show that in a short-term memory test the response rate for the conditioned stimulus (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization and extinction seem to be different between appetitive and aversive stimuli. The advantages of this automatic system make it ideal for assessing learning rates in a standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior. PMID:23616753

  5. Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae

    PubMed Central

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Lichtenberg, Elinor M.; Andree, Michael; Stitzinger, Jennie; Rose, Robyn; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1) what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2) how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees’ susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers’ roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to. PMID:23894612

  6. Honey constituents up-regulate detoxification and immunity genes in the western honey bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Wenfu; Schuler, Mary A.; Berenbaum, May R.

    2013-01-01

    As a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise. Recent colony losses have thus raised concerns; possible explanations for bee decline include nutritional deficiencies and exposures to pesticides and pathogens. We determined that constituents found in honey, including p-coumaric acid, pinocembrin, and pinobanksin 5-methyl ether, specifically induce detoxification genes. These inducers are primarily found not in nectar but in pollen in the case of p-coumaric acid (a monomer of sporopollenin, the principal constituent of pollen cell walls) and propolis, a resinous material gathered and processed by bees to line wax cells. RNA-seq analysis (massively parallel RNA sequencing) revealed that p-coumaric acid specifically up-regulates all classes of detoxification genes as well as select antimicrobial peptide genes. This up-regulation has functional significance in that that adding p-coumaric acid to a diet of sucrose increases midgut metabolism of coumaphos, a widely used in-hive acaricide, by ∼60%. As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses. PMID:23630255

  7. Honey constituents up-regulate detoxification and immunity genes in the western honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Mao, Wenfu; Schuler, Mary A; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-05-28

    As a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise. Recent colony losses have thus raised concerns; possible explanations for bee decline include nutritional deficiencies and exposures to pesticides and pathogens. We determined that constituents found in honey, including p-coumaric acid, pinocembrin, and pinobanksin 5-methyl ether, specifically induce detoxification genes. These inducers are primarily found not in nectar but in pollen in the case of p-coumaric acid (a monomer of sporopollenin, the principal constituent of pollen cell walls) and propolis, a resinous material gathered and processed by bees to line wax cells. RNA-seq analysis (massively parallel RNA sequencing) revealed that p-coumaric acid specifically up-regulates all classes of detoxification genes as well as select antimicrobial peptide genes. This up-regulation has functional significance in that that adding p-coumaric acid to a diet of sucrose increases midgut metabolism of coumaphos, a widely used in-hive acaricide, by ∼60%. As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses.

  8. Honey constituents up-regulate detoxification and immunity genes in the western honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Mao, Wenfu; Schuler, Mary A; Berenbaum, May R

    2013-05-28

    As a managed pollinator, the honey bee Apis mellifera is critical to the American agricultural enterprise. Recent colony losses have thus raised concerns; possible explanations for bee decline include nutritional deficiencies and exposures to pesticides and pathogens. We determined that constituents found in honey, including p-coumaric acid, pinocembrin, and pinobanksin 5-methyl ether, specifically induce detoxification genes. These inducers are primarily found not in nectar but in pollen in the case of p-coumaric acid (a monomer of sporopollenin, the principal constituent of pollen cell walls) and propolis, a resinous material gathered and processed by bees to line wax cells. RNA-seq analysis (massively parallel RNA sequencing) revealed that p-coumaric acid specifically up-regulates all classes of detoxification genes as well as select antimicrobial peptide genes. This up-regulation has functional significance in that that adding p-coumaric acid to a diet of sucrose increases midgut metabolism of coumaphos, a widely used in-hive acaricide, by ∼60%. As a major component of pollen grains, p-coumaric acid is ubiquitous in the natural diet of honey bees and may function as a nutraceutical regulating immune and detoxification processes. The widespread apicultural use of honey substitutes, including high-fructose corn syrup, may thus compromise the ability of honey bees to cope with pesticides and pathogens and contribute to colony losses. PMID:23630255

  9. Honey Bees Avoid Nectar Colonized by Three Bacterial Species, But Not by a Yeast Species, Isolated from the Bee Gut

    PubMed Central

    Good, Ashley P.; Gauthier, Marie-Pierre L.; Vannette, Rachel L.; Fukami, Tadashi

    2014-01-01

    The gut microflora of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is receiving increasing attention as a potential determinant of the bees’ health and their efficacy as pollinators. Studies have focused primarily on the microbial taxa that appear numerically dominant in the bee gut, with the assumption that the dominant status suggests their potential importance to the bees’ health. However, numerically minor taxa might also influence the bees’ efficacy as pollinators, particularly if they are not only present in the gut, but also capable of growing in floral nectar and altering its chemical properties. Nonetheless, it is not well understood whether honey bees have any feeding preference for or against nectar colonized by specific microbial species. To test whether bees exhibit a preference, we conducted a series of field experiments at an apiary using synthetic nectar inoculated with specific species of bacteria or yeast that had been isolated from the bee gut, but are considered minor components of the gut microflora. These species had also been found in floral nectar. Our results indicated that honey bees avoided nectar colonized by the bacteria Asaia astilbes, Erwinia tasmaniensis, and Lactobacillus kunkeei, whereas the yeast Metschnikowia reukaufii did not affect the feeding preference of the insects. Our results also indicated that avoidance of bacteria-colonized nectar was caused not by the presence of the bacteria per se, but by the chemical changes to nectar made by the bacteria. These findings suggest that gut microbes may not only affect the bees’ health as symbionts, but that some of the microbes may possibly affect the efficacy of A. mellifera as pollinators by altering nectar chemistry and influencing their foraging behavior. PMID:24466119

  10. Temporal Variation in Honey Production by the Stingless Bee Melipona subnitida (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Long-Term Management Reveals its Potential as a Commercial Species in Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Koffler, Sheina; Menezes, Cristiano; Menezes, Paulo Roberto; Kleinert, Astrid de Matos Peixoto; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia; Pope, Nathaniel; Jaffé, Rodolfo

    2015-06-01

    Even though stingless beekeeping has a great potential as a sustainable development tool, the activity remains essentially informal, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack the sophistication and standardization found in apiculture. Here, we contributed to the further development of stingless beekeeping by investigating the long-term impact of management and climate on honey production and colony survival in the stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke (1910). We analyzed a 10-yr record of 155 M. subnitida colonies kept by a commercial honey producer of northeastern Brazil. This constitutes the longest and most accurate record available for a stingless bee. We modeled honey production in relation to time (years), age, management practices (colony division and food supplementation), and climatic factors (temperature and precipitation), and used a model selection approach to identify which factors best explained honey production. We also modeled colony mortality in relation to climatic factors. Although the amount of honey produced by each colony decreased over time, we found that the probability of producing honey increased over the years. Colony divisions decreased honey production, but did not affect honey presence, while supplementary feeding positively affected honey production. In warmer years, the probability of producing honey decreased and the amount of honey produced was lower. In years with lower precipitation, fewer colonies produced honey. In contrast, colony mortality was not affected by climatic factors, and some colonies lived up to nine years, enduring extreme climatic conditions. Our findings provide useful guidelines to improve management and honey production in stingless bees. PMID:26470204

  11. Temporal Variation in Honey Production by the Stingless Bee Melipona subnitida (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Long-Term Management Reveals its Potential as a Commercial Species in Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Koffler, Sheina; Menezes, Cristiano; Menezes, Paulo Roberto; Kleinert, Astrid de Matos Peixoto; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia; Pope, Nathaniel; Jaffé, Rodolfo

    2015-06-01

    Even though stingless beekeeping has a great potential as a sustainable development tool, the activity remains essentially informal, technical knowledge is scarce, and management practices lack the sophistication and standardization found in apiculture. Here, we contributed to the further development of stingless beekeeping by investigating the long-term impact of management and climate on honey production and colony survival in the stingless bee Melipona subnitida Ducke (1910). We analyzed a 10-yr record of 155 M. subnitida colonies kept by a commercial honey producer of northeastern Brazil. This constitutes the longest and most accurate record available for a stingless bee. We modeled honey production in relation to time (years), age, management practices (colony division and food supplementation), and climatic factors (temperature and precipitation), and used a model selection approach to identify which factors best explained honey production. We also modeled colony mortality in relation to climatic factors. Although the amount of honey produced by each colony decreased over time, we found that the probability of producing honey increased over the years. Colony divisions decreased honey production, but did not affect honey presence, while supplementary feeding positively affected honey production. In warmer years, the probability of producing honey decreased and the amount of honey produced was lower. In years with lower precipitation, fewer colonies produced honey. In contrast, colony mortality was not affected by climatic factors, and some colonies lived up to nine years, enduring extreme climatic conditions. Our findings provide useful guidelines to improve management and honey production in stingless bees.

  12. Feeding deterrence and detrimental effects of pyrrolizidine alkaloids fed to honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Reinhard, Annika; Janke, Martina; von der Ohe, Werner; Kempf, Michael; Theuring, Claudine; Hartmann, Thomas; Schreier, Peter; Beuerle, Till

    2009-09-01

    Recent studies have shown the occurrence of plant derived pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in retail honeys and pollen loads, but little is known about how these compounds influence the fitness of foraging honey bees. In feeding experiments, we tested a mix of tertiary PAs and the corresponding N-oxides from Senecio vernalis, pure monocrotaline, and 1,2-dihydromonocrotaline in 50% (w/w) sucrose solutions. The bees were analyzed chemically to correlate the observed effects to the ingested amount of PAs. PA-N-oxides were deterrent at concentrations >0.2%. 1,2-Unsaturated tertiary PAs were toxic at high concentrations. The observed PAs mortality could be linked directly to the presence of the 1,2-double bond, a well established essential feature of PA cytotoxicity. In contrast, feeding experiments with 1,2-dihydromonocrotaline revealed no toxic effects. Levels of less than 50 microg 1,2-unsaturated tertiary PAs per individual adult bee were tolerated without negative effects. PA-N-oxides fed to bees were reduced partially to the corresponding tertiary PAs. Unlike some specialized insects, bees are not able to actively detoxify PAs through N-oxidation. To gain insight into how PAs are transmitted among bees, we tested for horizontal PA transfer (trophallaxis). Under laboratory conditions, up to 15% of an ingested PA diet was exchanged from bee to bee, disclosing a possible route for incorporation into the honey comb. In the absence of alternative nectar and pollen sources, PA-containing plants might exhibit a threat to vulnerable bee larvae, and this might affect the overall colony fitness. PMID:19777310

  13. Larval starvation improves metabolic response to adult starvation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Campbell, Jacob B; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-04-01

    Environmental changes during development have long-term effects on adult phenotypes in diverse organisms. Some of the effects play important roles in helping organisms adapt to different environments, such as insect polymorphism. Others, especially those resulting from an adverse developmental environment, have a negative effect on adult health and fitness. However, recent studies have shown that those phenotypes influenced by early environmental adversity have adaptive value under certain (anticipatory) conditions that are similar to the developmental environment, though evidence is mostly from morphological and behavioral observations and it is still rare at physiological and molecular levels. In the companion study, we applied a short-term starvation treatment to fifth instar honey bee larvae and measured changes in adult morphology, starvation resistance, hormonal and metabolic physiology and gene expression. Our results suggest that honey bees can adaptively respond to the predicted nutritional stress. In the present study, we further hypothesized that developmental starvation specifically improves the metabolic response of adult bees to starvation instead of globally affecting metabolism under well-fed conditions. Here, we produced adult honey bees that had experienced a short-term larval starvation, then we starved them for 12 h and monitored metabolic rate, blood sugar concentrations and metabolic reserves. We found that the bees that experienced larval starvation were able to shift to other fuels faster and better maintain stable blood sugar levels during starvation. However, developmental nutritional stress did not change metabolic rates or blood sugar levels in adult bees under normal conditions. Overall, our study provides further evidence that early larval starvation specifically improves the metabolic responses to adult starvation in honey bees. PMID:27030776

  14. Larval starvation improves metabolic response to adult starvation in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Campbell, Jacob B; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-04-01

    Environmental changes during development have long-term effects on adult phenotypes in diverse organisms. Some of the effects play important roles in helping organisms adapt to different environments, such as insect polymorphism. Others, especially those resulting from an adverse developmental environment, have a negative effect on adult health and fitness. However, recent studies have shown that those phenotypes influenced by early environmental adversity have adaptive value under certain (anticipatory) conditions that are similar to the developmental environment, though evidence is mostly from morphological and behavioral observations and it is still rare at physiological and molecular levels. In the companion study, we applied a short-term starvation treatment to fifth instar honey bee larvae and measured changes in adult morphology, starvation resistance, hormonal and metabolic physiology and gene expression. Our results suggest that honey bees can adaptively respond to the predicted nutritional stress. In the present study, we further hypothesized that developmental starvation specifically improves the metabolic response of adult bees to starvation instead of globally affecting metabolism under well-fed conditions. Here, we produced adult honey bees that had experienced a short-term larval starvation, then we starved them for 12 h and monitored metabolic rate, blood sugar concentrations and metabolic reserves. We found that the bees that experienced larval starvation were able to shift to other fuels faster and better maintain stable blood sugar levels during starvation. However, developmental nutritional stress did not change metabolic rates or blood sugar levels in adult bees under normal conditions. Overall, our study provides further evidence that early larval starvation specifically improves the metabolic responses to adult starvation in honey bees.

  15. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response.

  16. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response.

  17. Evaluation of lysozyme-HCl for the treatment of chalkbrood disease in honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Van Haga, A; Keddie, B A; Pernal, S F

    2012-12-01

    Chalkbrood, caused by Ascosphaera apis (Maassen and Claussen) Olive and Spiltor, is a cosmopolitan fungal disease of honey bee larvae (Apis mellifera L.) for which there is no chemotherapeutic control. We evaluated the efficacy of lysozyme-HCl, an inexpensive food-grade antimicrobial extracted from hen egg white, for the treatment of chalkbrood disease in honey bee colonies. Our study compared three doses of lysozyme-HCl in sugar syrup (600, 3,000, and 6,000 mg) administered weekly for 3 wk among chalkbrood-inoculated colonies, colonies that were inoculated but remained untreated, and colonies neither inoculated or treated. Lysozyme-HCl at the highest dose evaluated was found to suppress development of chalkbrood disease in inoculated colonies to levels observed in uninoculated, untreated colonies, and did not adversely affect adult bee survival or brood production. Honey production was significantly negatively correlated with increased disease severity but there were no significant differences in winter survival among treatment groups. Based on our results, lysozyme-HCl appears to be a promising, safe therapeutic agent for the control of chalkbrood in honey bee colonies.

  18. Stable genetic diversity despite parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Jara, Laura; Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Serrano, José; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2015-10-01

    In the last decades, the rapid spread of diseases, such as varroosis and nosemosis, associated with massive honey bee colonies mortality around the world has significantly decreased the number and size of honey bee populations and possibly their genetic diversity. Here, we compare the genetic diversity of Iberian honey bee colonies in two samplings performed in 2006 and 2010 in relation to the presence of the pathogenic agents Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae, and Varroa destructor in order to determine whether parasite and pathogen spread in honey bee colonies reflects changes in genetic diversity. We found that the genetic diversity remained similar, while the incidence of N. ceranae increased and the incidence of N. apis and V. destructor decreased slightly. These results indicate that the genetic diversity was not affected by the presence of these pathogenic agents in the analyzed period. However, the two groups of colonies with and without Nosema/Varroa detected showed significant genetic differentiation (G test). A detailed analysis of the allelic segregation of microsatellite loci in Nosema/Varroa-negative colonies and parasitized ones revealed two outlier loci related to genes involved in immune response. PMID:26306398

  19. Color-dependent learning in restrained Africanized honey bees.

    PubMed

    Jernigan, C M; Roubik, D W; Wcislo, W T; Riveros, A J

    2014-02-01

    Associative color learning has been demonstrated to be very poor using restrained European honey bees unless the antennae are amputated. Consequently, our understanding of proximate mechanisms in visual information processing is handicapped. Here we test learning performance of Africanized honey bees under restrained conditions with visual and olfactory stimulation using the proboscis extension response (PER) protocol. Restrained individuals were trained to learn an association between a color stimulus and a sugar-water reward. We evaluated performance for 'absolute' learning (learned association between a stimulus and a reward) and 'discriminant' learning (discrimination between two stimuli). Restrained Africanized honey bees (AHBs) readily learned the association of color stimulus for both blue and green LED stimuli in absolute and discriminatory learning tasks within seven presentations, but not with violet as the rewarded color. Additionally, 24-h memory improved considerably during the discrimination task, compared with absolute association (15-55%). We found that antennal amputation was unnecessary and reduced performance in AHBs. Thus color learning can now be studied using the PER protocol with intact AHBs. This finding opens the way towards investigating visual and multimodal learning with application of neural techniques commonly used in restrained honey bees.

  20. Pollen collection and honey bee forager distribution in cantaloupe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera, L.) pollen collection and forager distribution were examined during the summer of 2002 in a cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, L., Cruiser cv.) field provided with plastic mulch and drip irrigation. The experimental site was located near the INIFAP Campo Experimental La Laguna, Ma...

  1. Hybrid origins of Australian honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With increased globalisation and homogenisation the maintenance of genetic integrity of local populations of agriculturally important species is of increasing concern. The honey bee provides an interesting perspective as it is both domesticated and wild, with a large native range and much larger int...

  2. Genetic Stock Identification Of Production Colonies Of Russian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prevalence of Nosema ceranae in managed honey bee colonies has increased dramatically in the past 10 – 20 years worldwide. A variety of genetic testing methods for species identification and prevalence are now available. However sample size and preservation method of samples prior to testing hav...

  3. [THE EFFECT OF HYPOXIA ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF HONEY BEE WORKERS AT PREPUPAL AND PUPAL STAGES].

    PubMed

    Eskov, E K; Eskova, M D

    2015-01-01

    The effect of different levels of hypoxia on viability, physiological condition and morphometric characters of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers at the prepupal and pupal stages was traced. A high tolerance of the honey bee brood to hypoxia was established. Excess CO2 by more than two orders of magnitude relative to its content in the atmosphere and beehive at the optimal temperature for a bee family exhibits a mimimum lethality. Morphological anomalies manifested as wing and proboscis hypoplasia were found at the CO2 concentration raised by 10-15 %. This leads to a reduction on the number of frenulum hooks on the hind wings and affects their asymmetry variability. The wing lengths and the number of frenulum books are in inverse while masses of the head, thorax and abdomen--in direct relationship with the CO2 concentration. PMID:26281221

  4. Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite–host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee

    PubMed Central

    Torto, Baldwyn; Boucias, Drion G.; Arbogast, Richard T.; Tumlinson, James H.; Teal, Peter E. A.

    2007-01-01

    Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee–beetle–yeast–pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee. PMID:17483478

  5. Hydroxymethylfurfural: a possible emergent cause of honey bee mortality?

    PubMed

    Zirbes, Lara; Nguyen, Bach Kim; de Graaf, Dirk C; De Meulenaer, Bruno; Reybroeck, Wim; Haubruge, Eric; Saegerman, Claude

    2013-12-11

    Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a common product of hexose degradation occurring during the Maillard reaction and caramelization, has been found toxic for rats and mice. It could cause a potential health risk for humans due to its presence in many foods, sometimes exceeding 1 g/kg (in certain dried fruits and caramel products), although the latter still is controversial. HMF can also be consumed by honey bees through bad production batches of sugar syrups that are offered as winter feeding. In Belgium, abnormal losses of honey bee colonies were observed in colonies that were fed with syrup of inverted beet sugar containing high concentrations of HMF (up to 475 mg/kg). These losses suggest that HMF could be implicated in bee mortality, a topic that so far has received only little attention. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the presence of HMF in honey bee environment and possible consequences on bee mortality. Some lines of inquiry for further toxicological analysis are likewise proposed. PMID:24127696

  6. Octopamine and tyramine influence the behavioral profile of locomotor activity in the honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Fussnecker, Brendon L; Smith, Brian H; Mustard, Julie A

    2006-10-01

    The biogenic amines octopamine and tyramine are believed to play a number of important roles in the behavior of invertebrates including the regulation of motor function. To investigate the role of octopamine and tyramine in locomotor behavior in honey bees, subjects were injected with a range of concentrations of octopamine, tyramine, mianserin or yohimbine. Continuous observation of freely moving worker bees was used to examine the effects of these treatments on the amount of time honey bees spent engaged in different locomotor behaviors such as walking, grooming, fanning and flying. All treatments produced significant shifts in behavior. Decreases in time spent walking and increases in grooming or stopped behavior were observed for every drug. However, the pattern of the shift depended on drug, time after injection and concentration. Flying behavior was differentially affected with increases in flying seen in octopamine treated bees, whereas those receiving tyramine showed a decrease in flying. Taken together, these data provide evidence that octopamine and tyramine modulate motor function in the honey bee perhaps via interaction with central pattern generators or through effects on sensory perception.

  7. PKG in honey bees: spatial expression, Amfor gene expression, sucrose responsiveness, and division of labor.

    PubMed

    Thamm, Markus; Scheiner, Ricarda

    2014-06-01

    Division of labor is a hallmark of social insects. In honey bees, division of labor involves transition of female workers from one task to the next. The most distinct tasks are nursing (providing food for the brood) and foraging (collecting pollen and nectar). The brain mechanisms regulating this form of behavioral plasticity have largely remained elusive. Recently, it was suggested that division of labor is based on nutrition-associated signaling pathways. One highly conserved gene associated with food-related behavior across species is the foraging gene, which encodes a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Our analysis of this gene reveals the presence of alternative splicing in the honey bee. One isoform is expressed in the brain. Expression of this isoform is most pronounced in the mushroom bodies, the subesophageal ganglion, and the corpora allata. Division of labor and sucrose responsiveness in honey bees correlate significantly with foraging gene expression in distinct brain regions. Activating PKG selectively increases sucrose responsiveness in nurse bees to the level of foragers, whereas the same treatment does not affect responsiveness to light. These findings demonstrate a direct link between PKG signaling in distinct brain areas and division of labor. Furthermore, they demonstrate that the difference in sensory responsiveness between nurse bees and foragers can be compensated for by activating PKG. Our findings on the function of PKG in regulating specific sensory responsiveness and social organization offer valuable indications for the function of the cGMP/PKG pathway in many other insects and vertebrates.

  8. 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.

  9. Population dynamics of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in commercial honey bee colonies and implications for control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Treatment schedules to maintain low levels of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies were tested in hives started from either package bees or splits of larger colonies. The schedules were developed based on predictions of Varroa population growth generated from a mathematical model of honey bee colony ...

  10. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Himalayan honey bee, Apis laboriosa.

    PubMed

    Chhakchhuak, Liansangmawii; De Mandal, Surajit; Gurusubramanian, Guruswami; Sudalaimuthu, Naganeeswaran; Gopalakrishnan, Chellappa; Mugasimangalam, Raja C; Senthil Kumar, Nachimuthu

    2016-09-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Himalayan bee Apis laboriosa, from Mizoram, India, has been sequenced using Illumina NextSeq500 platform and analysed. The mitogenome was assembled and found to be 15 266 bp in length and the gene arrangement is similar to other honey bee species. The A. laboriosa mitogenome comprises of 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs and an A + T-rich region of 346 bp. Based on the concatenated PCGs, in the phylogenetic tree, A. laboriosa is placed as a sister group along with the cavity nesting honey bees. The present study reports the first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of A. laboriosa, which will enhance our knowledge on Apinae mitogenomes and phylogeny. PMID:26360118

  11. Large-scale field application of RNAi technology reducing Israeli acute paralysis virus disease in honey bees (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Hunter, Wayne; Ellis, James; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Hayes, Jerry; Westervelt, Dave; Glick, Eitan; Williams, Michael; Sela, Ilan; Maori, Eyal; Pettis, Jeffery; Cox-Foster, Diana; Paldi, Nitzan

    2010-01-01

    The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsible for up to 30% of the world's food production through pollination of crops. Since fall 2006, honey bees in the U.S. have faced a serious population decline, due in part to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is a disease syndrome that is likely caused by several factors. Data from an initial study in which investigators compared pathogens in honey bees affected by CCD suggested a putative role for Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, IAPV. This is a single stranded RNA virus with no DNA stage placed taxonomically within the family Dicistroviridae. Although subsequent studies have failed to find IAPV in all CCD diagnosed colonies, IAPV has been shown to cause honey bee mortality. RNA interference technology (RNAi) has been used successfully to silence endogenous insect (including honey bee) genes both by injection and feeding. Moreover, RNAi was shown to prevent bees from succumbing to infection from IAPV under laboratory conditions. In the current study IAPV specific homologous dsRNA was used in the field, under natural beekeeping conditions in order to prevent mortality and improve the overall health of bees infected with IAPV. This controlled study included a total of 160 honey bee hives in two discrete climates, seasons and geographical locations (Florida and Pennsylvania). To our knowledge, this is the first successful large-scale real world use of RNAi for disease control.

  12. Large-Scale Field Application of RNAi Technology Reducing Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus Disease in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Wayne; Ellis, James; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Hayes, Jerry; Westervelt, Dave; Glick, Eitan; Williams, Michael; Sela, Ilan; Maori, Eyal; Pettis, Jeffery; Cox-Foster, Diana; Paldi, Nitzan

    2010-01-01

    The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsible for up to 30% of the world's food production through pollination of crops. Since fall 2006, honey bees in the U.S. have faced a serious population decline, due in part to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is a disease syndrome that is likely caused by several factors. Data from an initial study in which investigators compared pathogens in honey bees affected by CCD suggested a putative role for Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, IAPV. This is a single stranded RNA virus with no DNA stage placed taxonomically within the family Dicistroviridae. Although subsequent studies have failed to find IAPV in all CCD diagnosed colonies, IAPV has been shown to cause honey bee mortality. RNA interference technology (RNAi) has been used successfully to silence endogenous insect (including honey bee) genes both by injection and feeding. Moreover, RNAi was shown to prevent bees from succumbing to infection from IAPV under laboratory conditions. In the current study IAPV specific homologous dsRNA was used in the field, under natural beekeeping conditions in order to prevent mortality and improve the overall health of bees infected with IAPV. This controlled study included a total of 160 honey bee hives in two discrete climates, seasons and geographical locations (Florida and Pennsylvania). To our knowledge, this is the first successful large-scale real world use of RNAi for disease control. PMID:21203478

  13. Large-scale field application of RNAi technology reducing Israeli acute paralysis virus disease in honey bees (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Hunter, Wayne; Ellis, James; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Hayes, Jerry; Westervelt, Dave; Glick, Eitan; Williams, Michael; Sela, Ilan; Maori, Eyal; Pettis, Jeffery; Cox-Foster, Diana; Paldi, Nitzan

    2010-01-01

    The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsible for up to 30% of the world's food production through pollination of crops. Since fall 2006, honey bees in the U.S. have faced a serious population decline, due in part to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which is a disease syndrome that is likely caused by several factors. Data from an initial study in which investigators compared pathogens in honey bees affected by CCD suggested a putative role for Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, IAPV. This is a single stranded RNA virus with no DNA stage placed taxonomically within the family Dicistroviridae. Although subsequent studies have failed to find IAPV in all CCD diagnosed colonies, IAPV has been shown to cause honey bee mortality. RNA interference technology (RNAi) has been used successfully to silence endogenous insect (including honey bee) genes both by injection and feeding. Moreover, RNAi was shown to prevent bees from succumbing to infection from IAPV under laboratory conditions. In the current study IAPV specific homologous dsRNA was used in the field, under natural beekeeping conditions in order to prevent mortality and improve the overall health of bees infected with IAPV. This controlled study included a total of 160 honey bee hives in two discrete climates, seasons and geographical locations (Florida and Pennsylvania). To our knowledge, this is the first successful large-scale real world use of RNAi for disease control. PMID:21203478

  14. Comparative virulence and competition between Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Milbrath, Meghan O; van Tran, Toan; Huang, Wei-Fong; Solter, Leellen F; Tarpy, David R; Lawrence, Frank; Huang, Zachary Y

    2015-02-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are infected by two species of microsporidia: Nosema apis and Nosemaceranae. Epidemiological evidence indicates that N. ceranae may be replacing N. apis globally in A. mellifera populations, suggesting a potential competitive advantage of N. ceranae. Mixed infections of the two species occur, and little is known about the interactions among the host and the two pathogens that have allowed N. ceranae to become dominant in most geographical areas. We demonstrated that mixed Nosema species infections negatively affected honey bee survival (median survival=15-17days) more than single species infections (median survival=21days and 20days for N. apis and N. ceranae, respectively), with median survival of control bees of 27days. We found similar rates of infection (percentage of bees with active infections after inoculation) for both species in mixed infections, with N. apis having a slightly higher rate (91% compared to 86% for N. ceranae). We observed slightly higher spore counts in bees infected with N. ceranae than in bees infected with N. apis in single microsporidia infections, especially at the midpoint of infection (day 10). Bees with mixed infections of both species had higher spore counts than bees with single infections, but spore counts in mixed infections were highly variable. We did not see a competitive advantage for N. ceranae in mixed infections; N. apis spore counts were either higher or counts were similar for both species and more N. apis spores were produced in 62% of bees inoculated with equal dosages of the two microsporidian species. N. ceranae does not, therefore, appear to have a strong within-host advantage for either infectivity or spore growth, suggesting that direct competition in these worker bee mid-guts is not responsible for its apparent replacement of N. apis.

  15. Social modulation of stress reactivity and learning in young worker honey bees.

    PubMed

    Urlacher, Elodie; Tarr, Ingrid S; Mercer, Alison R

    2014-01-01

    Alarm pheromone and its major component isopentylacetate induce stress-like responses in forager honey bees, impairing their ability to associate odors with a food reward. We investigated whether isopentylacetate exposure decreases appetitive learning also in young worker bees. While isopentylacetate-induced learning deficits were observed in guards and foragers collected from a queen-right colony, learning impairments resulting from exposure to this pheromone could not be detected in bees cleaning cells. As cell cleaners are generally among the youngest workers in the colony, effects of isopentylacetate on learning behavior were examined further using bees of known age. Adult workers were maintained under laboratory conditions from the time of adult emergence. Fifty percent of the bees were exposed to queen mandibular pheromone during this period, whereas control bees were not exposed to this pheromone. Isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments were apparent in young (less than one week old) controls, but not in bees of the same age exposed to queen mandibular pheromone. This study reveals young worker bees can exhibit a stress-like response to alarm pheromone, but isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments in young bees are suppressed by queen mandibular pheromone. While isopentylacetate exposure reduced responses during associative learning (acquisition), it did not affect one-hour memory retrieval.

  16. Parasitic and immune modulation of flight activity in honey bees tracked with optical counters.

    PubMed

    Alaux, Cédric; Crauser, Didier; Pioz, Maryline; Saulnier, Cyril; Le Conte, Yves

    2014-10-01

    Host-parasite interactions are often characterized by changes in the host behaviour, which are beneficial to either the parasite or the host, or are a non-adaptive byproduct of parasitism. These interactions are further complicated in animal society because individual fitness is associated with group performance. However, a better understanding of host-parasite interaction in animal society first requires the identification of individual host behavioural modification. Therefore, we challenged honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers with the parasite Nosema ceranae or an immune stimulation and tracked their flight activity over their lifetime with an optic counter. We found that bees responded differently to each stress: both Nosema-infected and immune-challenged bees performed a lower number of daily flights compared with control bees, but the duration of their flights increased and decreased over time, respectively. Overall, parasitized bees spent more time in the field each day than control bees, and the inverse was true for immune-challenged bees. Despite the stress of immune challenge, bees had a survival similar to that of control bees likely because of their restricted activity. We discuss how those different behavioural modifications could be adaptive phenotypes. This study provides new insights into how biological stress can affect the behaviour of individuals living in society and how host responses have evolved.

  17. Social modulation of stress reactivity and learning in young worker honey bees.

    PubMed

    Urlacher, Elodie; Tarr, Ingrid S; Mercer, Alison R

    2014-01-01

    Alarm pheromone and its major component isopentylacetate induce stress-like responses in forager honey bees, impairing their ability to associate odors with a food reward. We investigated whether isopentylacetate exposure decreases appetitive learning also in young worker bees. While isopentylacetate-induced learning deficits were observed in guards and foragers collected from a queen-right colony, learning impairments resulting from exposure to this pheromone could not be detected in bees cleaning cells. As cell cleaners are generally among the youngest workers in the colony, effects of isopentylacetate on learning behavior were examined further using bees of known age. Adult workers were maintained under laboratory conditions from the time of adult emergence. Fifty percent of the bees were exposed to queen mandibular pheromone during this period, whereas control bees were not exposed to this pheromone. Isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments were apparent in young (less than one week old) controls, but not in bees of the same age exposed to queen mandibular pheromone. This study reveals young worker bees can exhibit a stress-like response to alarm pheromone, but isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments in young bees are suppressed by queen mandibular pheromone. While isopentylacetate exposure reduced responses during associative learning (acquisition), it did not affect one-hour memory retrieval. PMID:25470128

  18. Social Modulation of Stress Reactivity and Learning in Young Worker Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Mercer, Alison R.

    2014-01-01

    Alarm pheromone and its major component isopentylacetate induce stress-like responses in forager honey bees, impairing their ability to associate odors with a food reward. We investigated whether isopentylacetate exposure decreases appetitive learning also in young worker bees. While isopentylacetate-induced learning deficits were observed in guards and foragers collected from a queen-right colony, learning impairments resulting from exposure to this pheromone could not be detected in bees cleaning cells. As cell cleaners are generally among the youngest workers in the colony, effects of isopentylacetate on learning behavior were examined further using bees of known age. Adult workers were maintained under laboratory conditions from the time of adult emergence. Fifty percent of the bees were exposed to queen mandibular pheromone during this period, whereas control bees were not exposed to this pheromone. Isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments were apparent in young (less than one week old) controls, but not in bees of the same age exposed to queen mandibular pheromone. This study reveals young worker bees can exhibit a stress-like response to alarm pheromone, but isopentylacetate-induced learning impairments in young bees are suppressed by queen mandibular pheromone. While isopentylacetate exposure reduced responses during associative learning (acquisition), it did not affect one-hour memory retrieval. PMID:25470128

  19. Nosema ceranae has been present in Brazil for more than three decades infecting Africanized honey bees.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Erica Weinstein; Santos, Lubiane Guimarães Dos; Sattler, Aroni; Message, Dejair; Alves, Maria Luisa Teles Marques Florencio; Martins, Marta Fonseca; Grassi-Sella, Marina Lopes; Francoy, Tiago Mauricio

    2013-11-01

    Until the mid-1990s, the only microsporidium known to infect bees of the genus Apis was Nosema apis. A second species, Nosema ceranae, was first identified in 1996 from Asian honey bees; it is postulated that this parasite was transmitted from the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, to the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. Currently, N. ceranae is found on all continents and has often been associated with honey bee colony collapse and other reports of high bee losses. Samples of Africanized drones collected in 1979, preserved in alcohol, were analyzed by light microscopy to count spores and were subjected to DNA extraction, after which duplex PCR was conducted. All molecular analyses (triplicate) indicated that the drones were infected with both N. ceranae and N. apis. PCR products were sequenced and matched to sequences reported in the GenBank (Acc. Nos. JQ639316.1 and JQ639301.1). The venation pattern of the wings of these males was compared to those of the current population living in the same area and with the pattern of drones collected in 1968 from Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil, from a location close to where African swarms first escaped in 1956. The morphometric results indicated that the population collected in 1979 was significantly different from the current living population, confirming its antiquity. Considering that the use of molecular tools for identifying Nosema species is relatively recent, it is possible that previous reports of infections (which used only light microscopy, without ultrastructural analysis) wrongly identified N. ceranae as N. apis. Although we can conclude that N. ceranae has been affecting Africanized honeybees in Brazil for at least 34 years, the impact of this pathogen remains unclear.

  20. Partial ovary development is widespread in honey bees and comparable to other eusocial bees and wasps

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael L.; Mattila, Heather R.; Reeve, H. Kern

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee workers have few opportunities for direct reproduction because their ovary development is chemically suppressed by queens and worker-laid eggs are destroyed by workers. While workers with fully developed ovaries are rare in honey bee colonies, we show that partial ovary development is common. Across nine studies, an average of 6% to 43% of workers had partially developed ovaries in queenright colonies with naturally mated queens. This shift by workers toward potential future reproduction is linked to lower productivity, which suggests that even small investments in reproductive physiology by selfish workers reduce cooperation below a theoretical maximum. Furthermore, comparisons across 26 species of bees and wasps revealed that the level of partial ovary development in honey bees is similar to that of other eusocial Hymenoptera where there is reproductive conflict among colony members. Natural variation in the extent of partial ovary development in honey bee colonies calls for an exploration of the genetic and ecological factors that modulate shifts in cooperation within animal societies. PMID:24255737

  1. The effects of artificial wing wear on the flight capacity of the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Vance, Jason T; Roberts, Stephen P

    2014-06-01

    The wings of bees and other insects accumulate permanent wear, which increases the rate of mortality and impacts foraging behavior, presumably due to effects on flight performance. In this study, we investigated how experimental wing wear affects flight performance in honey bees. Variable density gases and high-speed videography were used to determine the maximum hovering flight capacity and wing kinematics of bees from three treatment groups: no wing wear, symmetric and asymmetric wing wear. Wing wear was simulated by clipping the distal-trailing edge of one or both of the wings. Across all bees from treatment groups combined, wingbeat frequency was inversely related to wing area. During hovering in air, bees with symmetric and asymmetric wing wear responded kinematically so as to produce wingtip velocities similar to those bees with no wing wear. However, maximal hovering flight capacity (revealed during flight in hypodense gases) decreased in direct proportion to wing area and inversely to wing asymmetry. Bees with reduced wing area and high asymmetry produced lower maximum wingtip velocity than bees with intact or symmetric wings, which caused a greater impairment in maximal flight capacity. These results demonstrate that the magnitude and type of wing wear affects maximal aerodynamic power production and, likely, the control of hovering flight. Wing wear reduces aerodynamic reserve capacity and, subsequently, the capacity for flight behaviors such as load carriage, maneuverability, and evading predators.

  2. Effects of environmentally-relevant mixtures of four common organophosphorus insecticides on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Al Naggar, Yahya; Wiseman, Steve; Sun, Jianxian; Cutler, G Christopher; Aboul-Soud, Mourad; Naiem, Elsaied; Mona, Mohamed; Seif, Amal; Giesy, John P

    2015-11-01

    We assessed whether exposure to environmentally-relevant mixtures of four organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) exerted adverse effects on honey bees. Adult and worker bees were orally exposed for five days under laboratory conditions to mixtures of four insecticides, diazinon, malathion, profenofos and chlorpyrifos at two concentrations. Concentration in the mixtures tested were equivalent to the median and 95th centile concentrations of the OPs in honey, as reported in the literature. Effects on survival, behavior, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and expression of genes important in detoxification of xenobiotics and immune response were examined. Survival of worker bees was not affected by exposure to median or 95th centile concentrations of the OPs. Activity of AChE was significantly greater in worker bees exposed to the 95th centile concentration mixture of OPs compared to the median concentration mixture. Expression of genes involved in detoxification of xenobiotics was not affected by treatment, but the abundance of transcripts of the antimicrobial peptide hymenoptaecin was significantly greater in worker honey bees exposed to the median concentration mixture. Results suggest that short-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of a mixture of OPs do not adversely affect worker honey bees.

  3. Effects of environmentally-relevant mixtures of four common organophosphorus insecticides on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Al Naggar, Yahya; Wiseman, Steve; Sun, Jianxian; Cutler, G Christopher; Aboul-Soud, Mourad; Naiem, Elsaied; Mona, Mohamed; Seif, Amal; Giesy, John P

    2015-11-01

    We assessed whether exposure to environmentally-relevant mixtures of four organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) exerted adverse effects on honey bees. Adult and worker bees were orally exposed for five days under laboratory conditions to mixtures of four insecticides, diazinon, malathion, profenofos and chlorpyrifos at two concentrations. Concentration in the mixtures tested were equivalent to the median and 95th centile concentrations of the OPs in honey, as reported in the literature. Effects on survival, behavior, activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and expression of genes important in detoxification of xenobiotics and immune response were examined. Survival of worker bees was not affected by exposure to median or 95th centile concentrations of the OPs. Activity of AChE was significantly greater in worker bees exposed to the 95th centile concentration mixture of OPs compared to the median concentration mixture. Expression of genes involved in detoxification of xenobiotics was not affected by treatment, but the abundance of transcripts of the antimicrobial peptide hymenoptaecin was significantly greater in worker honey bees exposed to the median concentration mixture. Results suggest that short-term exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of a mixture of OPs do not adversely affect worker honey bees. PMID:26403075

  4. Immune-related gene expression in nurse honey bees (Apis mellifera) exposed to synthetic acaricides.

    PubMed

    Garrido, Paula Melisa; Antúnez, Karina; Martín, Mariana; Porrini, Martín Pablo; Zunino, Pablo; Eguaras, Martín Javier

    2013-01-01

    The mite Varroa destructor is an ectoparasite affecting honey bees worldwide. Synthetic acaricides have been among the principal tools available to beekeepers for its control, although several studies have shown its negative effects on honey bee physiology. Recent research suggests that those molecules strongly impact on immune signaling cascades and cellular immunity. In the present work, LC(50) in six-day-old bees were determined for the following acaricides: tau-fluvalinate, flumethrin, amitraz and coumaphos. According to this obtained value, a group of individuals was treated with each acaricide and then processed for qPCR analysis. Transcript levels for genes encoding antimicrobial peptides and immune-related proteins were assessed. Flumethrin increased the expression of hymenoptaecin when comparing treated and control bees. Significant differences were recorded between coumaphos and flumethrin treatments, while the first one reduced the expression of hymenoptaecin and abaecin, the last one up-regulated their expressions. No significant statistically changes were recorded in the expression levels of vitellogenin, lysozyme or glucose dehydrogenase among bees treated with acaricides and control bees. This work constitutes the first report, under laboratory conditions, about induction of immune related genes in response to synthetic miticides.

  5. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) as explosives detectors: exploring proboscis extension reflex conditioned response to trinitrotolulene (TNT)

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor-mccabe, Kirsten J; Wingo, Robert M; Haarmann, Timothy K

    2008-01-01

    We examined honey bee's associative learning response to conditioning with trinitrotolulene (TNT) vapor concentrations generated at three temperatures and their ability to be reconditioned after a 24 h period. We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension (PER) in honey bees using TNT vapors as the conditioned stimulus and sucrose as the unconditioned stimulus. We conducted fifteen experimental trials with an explosives vapor generator set at 43 C, 25 C and 5 C, producing three concentrations of explosives (1070 ppt, 57 ppt, and 11 ppt). Our objective was to test the honey bee's ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT vapors at all three concentrations by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees successfully exhibiting a conditioned response within each temperature group. Furthermore, we conducted eight experimental trials to test the honey bee's ability to retain their ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT after 24h period by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response TNT on the first day compared to the percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT on the second day. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT vapors between three temperature groups. There was a significant difference between the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response on the first day of training compared to the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response 24 h after training. Our experimental results indicate that honey bees can be trained to exhibit a conditioned response to a range of TNT concentrations via PER However, it appears that the honey bee's ability to retain the conditioned response to TNT vapors after 24h significantly decreases.

  6. An improved marriage in honey bees optimization algorithm for single objective unconstrained optimization.

    PubMed

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO) is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO) by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm's performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms.

  7. The dynamics of sleep-like behaviour in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Sauer, S; Kinkelin, M; Herrmann, E; Kaiser, W

    2003-08-01

    At night, honey bees pass through a physiological state that is similar to mammalian sleep. Like sleep in mammals, sleep-like behaviour in honey bees is an active process. This is expressed most clearly in these insects by spontaneous antennal movements which appear at irregular intervals throughout the night and interrupt episodes of antennal immobility. Here we present a newly developed video technique for the continuous recording of the position and movements of the bee's antennae. The same technique was used to record head inclination and ventilatory movements. Despite the constancy of the ambient temperature, the magnitudes of antennae-related parameters, as well as head inclination and ventilatory cycle duration, displayed dynamic unimodal time-courses which exhibited a high degree of temporal covariance. The similarity between these time-courses and the nightly time-course of the reaction threshold for a sensory stimulus, investigated previously, indicates that, in honey bees, deepest "sleep" and least ventilatory activity occur at the same time (in the 7th hour of the rest phase). PMID:12861424

  8. Differentially expressed regulatory genes in honey bee caste development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepperle, C.; Hartfelder, K.

    2001-03-01

    In the honey bee, an eminently fertile queen with up to 200 ovarioles per ovary monopolizes colony level reproduction. In contrast, worker bees have only few ovarioles and are essentially sterile. This phenotype divergence is a result of caste-specifically modulated juvenile hormone and ecdysteroid titers in larval development. In this study we employed a differential-display reverse transcription (DDRT)-PCR protocol to detect ecdysteroid-regulated gene expression during a critical phase of caste development. We identified a Ftz-F1 homolog and a Cut-like transcript. Ftz-F1 could be a putative element of the metamorphic ecdysone response cascade of bees, whereas Cut-like proteins are described as transcription factors involved in maintaining cellular differentiation states. The downregulation of both factors can be interpreted as steps in the metamorphic degradation of ovarioles in worker-bee ovaries.

  9. Salt preferences of honey bee water foragers.

    PubMed

    Lau, Pierre W; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

    The importance of dietary salt may explain why bees are often observed collecting brackish water, a habit that may expose them to harmful xenobiotics. However, the individual salt preferences of water-collecting bees were not known. We measured the proboscis extension reflex (PER) response of Apis mellifera water foragers to 0-10% w/w solutions of Na, Mg and K, ions that provide essential nutrients. We also tested phosphate, which can deter foraging. Bees exhibited significant preferences, with the most PER responses for 1.5-3% Na and 1.5% Mg. However, K and phosphate were largely aversive and elicited PER responses only for the lowest concentrations, suggesting a way to deter bees from visiting contaminated water. We then analyzed the salt content of water sources that bees collected in urban and semi-urban environments. Bees collected water with a wide range of salt concentrations, but most collected water sources had relatively low salt concentrations, with the exception of seawater and swimming pools, which had >0.6% Na. The high levels of PER responsiveness elicited by 1.5-3% Na may explain why bees are willing to collect such salty water. Interestingly, bees exhibited high individual variation in salt preferences: individual identity accounted for 32% of variation in PER responses. Salt specialization may therefore occur in water foragers. PMID:26823100

  10. Genetic diversity of Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda Skorikow, 1829) populations based on ISSR markers.

    PubMed

    Rahimi, A; Mirmoayedi, A; Kahrizi, D; Zarei, L; Jamali, S

    2016-01-01

    Honey bee is one of the most important insects considering its role in agriculture,ecology and economy as a whole. In this study, the genetic diversity of different Iranian honey bee populations was evaluated using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. During May to September 2014, 108 young worker honey bees were collected from six different populations in 30 different geoclimatic locations from Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardebil provinces of Iran. DNA was extracted from the worker honey bees. The quality and quantity of extracted DNA were measured. A set of ten primers were screened with the laboratory populations of honey bees. The number of fragments produced in the different honey bee populations varied from 3 to 10, varying within 150 to 1500 bp. The used ten ISSR primers generated 40 polymorphic fragments, and the average heterozygosity for each primer was 0.266. Maximum numbers of bands were recorded for primer A1. A dendrogram based on the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) method generated two sub-clusters. Honey bee populations of Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan provinces were located in the first group. The second group included honey bee populations of Ardebil, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan provinces, but this group showed a close relationship with other populations. The results showed obviously the ability of the ISSR marker technique to detect the genetic diversity among the honey bee populations. PMID:27188735

  11. Genetic diversity of Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda Skorikow, 1829) populations based on ISSR markers.

    PubMed

    Rahimi, A; Mirmoayedi, A; Kahrizi, D; Zarei, L; Jamali, S

    2016-04-30

    Honey bee is one of the most important insects considering its role in agriculture,ecology and economy as a whole. In this study, the genetic diversity of different Iranian honey bee populations was evaluated using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. During May to September 2014, 108 young worker honey bees were collected from six different populations in 30 different geoclimatic locations from Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardebil provinces of Iran. DNA was extracted from the worker honey bees. The quality and quantity of extracted DNA were measured. A set of ten primers were screened with the laboratory populations of honey bees. The number of fragments produced in the different honey bee populations varied from 3 to 10, varying within 150 to 1500 bp. The used ten ISSR primers generated 40 polymorphic fragments, and the average heterozygosity for each primer was 0.266. Maximum numbers of bands were recorded for primer A1. A dendrogram based on the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) method generated two sub-clusters. Honey bee populations of Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan provinces were located in the first group. The second group included honey bee populations of Ardebil, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan provinces, but this group showed a close relationship with other populations. The results showed obviously the ability of the ISSR marker technique to detect the genetic diversity among the honey bee populations.

  12. Sequential generations of honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens produced using cryopreserved semen.

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Brandon K; Herr, Charles; Sheppard, Walter S

    2012-01-01

    Much of the world's food production is dependent on honey bees for pollination, and expanding food production will further increase the demand for managed pollination services. Apiculturists outside the native range of the honey bee, in the Americas, Australia and eastern Asia, have used only a few of the 27 described subspecies of honey bees (Apis mellifera) for beekeeping purposes. Within the endemic ranges of a particular subspecies, hybridisation can threaten native subspecies when local beekeepers import and propagate non-native honey bees. For many threatened species, cryopreserved germplasm can provide a resource for the preservation of diversity and recovery of endangered populations. However, although instrumental insemination of queen honey bees is well established, the absence of an effective means to cryopreserve honey bee semen has limited the success of efforts to preserve genetic diversity within the species or to develop repositories of honey bee germplasm for breeding purposes. Herein we report that some queens inseminated with cryopreserved semen were capable of producing a substantial number of fertilised offspring. These diploid female larvae were used to produce two additional sequential generations of new queens, which were then back-crossed to the same stock of frozen semen. Our results demonstrate the ability to produce queens using cryopreserved honey bee spermatozoa and the potential for the establishment of a honey bee genetic repository.

  13. Gut Pathology and Responses to the Microsporidium Nosema ceranae in the Honey Bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Gut pathology and responses to the microsporidium Nosema ceranae in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Effects of pollen quality and genotype on the dance of foraging honey bees.

    PubMed

    Waddington; Nelson; Page

    1998-07-01

    Animals assess the quality and quantity of food and choose among different foods based on these assessments. We explored whether there was genetic variation for assessment of pollen quality by foraging honey bees, Apis mellifera. Honey bees derived from two genotypic strains foraged for pollen of varying quality from a petri dish placed inside an outdoor flight cage. The strains were the result of a colony-level, two-way selection on amount of stored pollen. We used the forager's round dance to quantify the assessments of pollen quality by individually marked worker bees. The dance rate (number of 180 degrees turns per minute) and the probability of dancing were each greater when bees foraged for pure pollen compared with a lower-quality mixture of pollen and alpha-cellulose (1:1 by volume). Bees from the high-pollen genotypic strain had a higher dance rate than those from the low-pollen strain, suggesting different assessments. Bees from the low-pollen strain, however, had a higher probability of dancing than did bees from the high-pollen strain. Dance duration was not affected by a bee's strain or by the quality of pollen. We conclude that the dance rate may be used to quantify a forager's subjective evaluation of pollen quality and that this evaluation has a genetic component. Our results also suggest that the dance may function at the colony level to recruit bees to more profitable pollen sources. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9710459

  16. The Status of Honey Bee Health in Italy: Results from the Nationwide Bee Monitoring Network.

    PubMed

    Porrini, Claudio; Mutinelli, Franco; Bortolotti, Laura; Granato, Anna; Laurenson, Lynn; Roberts, Katherine; Gallina, Albino; Silvester, Nicholas; Medrzycki, Piotr; Renzi, Teresa; Sgolastra, Fabio; Lodesani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a nation-wide monitoring network was established in 2009 in response to significant honey bee colony mortality reported during 2008. The network comprised of approximately 100 apiaries located across Italy. Colonies were sampled four times per year, in order to assess the health status and to collect samples for pathogen, chemical and pollen analyses. The prevalence of Nosema ceranae ranged, on average, from 47-69% in 2009 and from 30-60% in 2010, with strong seasonal variation. Virus prevalence was higher in 2010 than in 2009. The most widespread viruses were BQCV, DWV and SBV. The most frequent pesticides in all hive contents were organophosphates and pyrethroids such as coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate. Beeswax was the most frequently contaminated hive product, with 40% of samples positive and 13% having multiple residues, while 27% of bee-bread and 12% of honey bee samples were contaminated. Colony losses in 2009/10 were on average 19%, with no major differences between regions of Italy. In 2009, the presence of DWV in autumn was positively correlated with colony losses. Similarly, hive mortality was higher in BQCV infected colonies in the first and second visits of the year. In 2010, colony losses were significantly related to the presence of pesticides in honey bees during the second sampling period. Honey bee exposure to poisons in spring could have a negative impact at the colony level, contributing to increase colony mortality during the beekeeping season. In both 2009 and 2010, colony mortality rates were positively related to the percentage of agricultural land surrounding apiaries, supporting the importance of land use for honey bee health. PMID:27182604

  17. The Status of Honey Bee Health in Italy: Results from the Nationwide Bee Monitoring Network

    PubMed Central

    Bortolotti, Laura; Granato, Anna; Laurenson, Lynn; Roberts, Katherine; Gallina, Albino; Silvester, Nicholas; Medrzycki, Piotr; Renzi, Teresa; Sgolastra, Fabio; Lodesani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a nation-wide monitoring network was established in 2009 in response to significant honey bee colony mortality reported during 2008. The network comprised of approximately 100 apiaries located across Italy. Colonies were sampled four times per year, in order to assess the health status and to collect samples for pathogen, chemical and pollen analyses. The prevalence of Nosema ceranae ranged, on average, from 47–69% in 2009 and from 30–60% in 2010, with strong seasonal variation. Virus prevalence was higher in 2010 than in 2009. The most widespread viruses were BQCV, DWV and SBV. The most frequent pesticides in all hive contents were organophosphates and pyrethroids such as coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate. Beeswax was the most frequently contaminated hive product, with 40% of samples positive and 13% having multiple residues, while 27% of bee-bread and 12% of honey bee samples were contaminated. Colony losses in 2009/10 were on average 19%, with no major differences between regions of Italy. In 2009, the presence of DWV in autumn was positively correlated with colony losses. Similarly, hive mortality was higher in BQCV infected colonies in the first and second visits of the year. In 2010, colony losses were significantly related to the presence of pesticides in honey bees during the second sampling period. Honey bee exposure to poisons in spring could have a negative impact at the colony level, contributing to increase colony mortality during the beekeeping season. In both 2009 and 2010, colony mortality rates were positively related to the percentage of agricultural land surrounding apiaries, supporting the importance of land use for honey bee health. PMID:27182604

  18. The Status of Honey Bee Health in Italy: Results from the Nationwide Bee Monitoring Network.

    PubMed

    Porrini, Claudio; Mutinelli, Franco; Bortolotti, Laura; Granato, Anna; Laurenson, Lynn; Roberts, Katherine; Gallina, Albino; Silvester, Nicholas; Medrzycki, Piotr; Renzi, Teresa; Sgolastra, Fabio; Lodesani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a nation-wide monitoring network was established in 2009 in response to significant honey bee colony mortality reported during 2008. The network comprised of approximately 100 apiaries located across Italy. Colonies were sampled four times per year, in order to assess the health status and to collect samples for pathogen, chemical and pollen analyses. The prevalence of Nosema ceranae ranged, on average, from 47-69% in 2009 and from 30-60% in 2010, with strong seasonal variation. Virus prevalence was higher in 2010 than in 2009. The most widespread viruses were BQCV, DWV and SBV. The most frequent pesticides in all hive contents were organophosphates and pyrethroids such as coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate. Beeswax was the most frequently contaminated hive product, with 40% of samples positive and 13% having multiple residues, while 27% of bee-bread and 12% of honey bee samples were contaminated. Colony losses in 2009/10 were on average 19%, with no major differences between regions of Italy. In 2009, the presence of DWV in autumn was positively correlated with colony losses. Similarly, hive mortality was higher in BQCV infected colonies in the first and second visits of the year. In 2010, colony losses were significantly related to the presence of pesticides in honey bees during the second sampling period. Honey bee exposure to poisons in spring could have a negative impact at the colony level, contributing to increase colony mortality during the beekeeping season. In both 2009 and 2010, colony mortality rates were positively related to the percentage of agricultural land surrounding apiaries, supporting the importance of land use for honey bee health.

  19. Does the Honey Bee "Risk Cup" Runneth Over? Estimating Aggregate Exposures for Assessing Pesticide Risks to Honey Bees in Agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Berenbaum, May R

    2016-01-13

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are uniquely vulnerable to nontarget pesticide impacts because, as ubiquitous managed pollinators, they are deliberately transported into areas where crops are grown with pesticides. Moreover, attributes making them excellent managed pollinators, including large long-lived colonies and complex behavior, also make them challenging subjects for toxicity bioassays. For over 150 years, improvements in formulation and delivery of pesticides, increasing their environmental and temporal presence, have had unintended consequences for honey bees. Since 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency has used "aggregate risk"--exposure risks to all possible sources--to set tolerances; once a "risk cup" is filled, no new pesticide or use can be approved unless risks are reduced elsewhere. The EPA now recommends a modeling approach for aggregating all exposure risks for bees, with differential lifestage sensitivity and exposure probabilities. Thus, the honey bee is the first insect with its own "risk cup"--a technological innovation that may not have unintended consequences for this beleaguered beneficial species.

  20. Does the Honey Bee "Risk Cup" Runneth Over? Estimating Aggregate Exposures for Assessing Pesticide Risks to Honey Bees in Agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Berenbaum, May R

    2016-01-13

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are uniquely vulnerable to nontarget pesticide impacts because, as ubiquitous managed pollinators, they are deliberately transported into areas where crops are grown with pesticides. Moreover, attributes making them excellent managed pollinators, including large long-lived colonies and complex behavior, also make them challenging subjects for toxicity bioassays. For over 150 years, improvements in formulation and delivery of pesticides, increasing their environmental and temporal presence, have had unintended consequences for honey bees. Since 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency has used "aggregate risk"--exposure risks to all possible sources--to set tolerances; once a "risk cup" is filled, no new pesticide or use can be approved unless risks are reduced elsewhere. The EPA now recommends a modeling approach for aggregating all exposure risks for bees, with differential lifestage sensitivity and exposure probabilities. Thus, the honey bee is the first insect with its own "risk cup"--a technological innovation that may not have unintended consequences for this beleaguered beneficial species. PMID:25885594

  1. Field-level sublethal effects of approved bee hive chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L).

    PubMed

    Berry, Jennifer A; Hood, W Michael; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Delaplane, Keith S

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals.

  2. Field-Level Sublethal Effects of Approved Bee Hive Chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L)

    PubMed Central

    Berry, Jennifer A.; Hood, W. Michael; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Delaplane, Keith S.

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals. PMID:24204638

  3. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Francis, Roy M.; Nielsen, Steen L.; Kryger, Per

    2013-01-01

    Varroa mites and viruses are the currently the high-profile suspects in collapsing bee colonies. Therefore, seasonal variation in varroa load and viruses (Acute-Kashmir-Israeli complex (AKI) and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)) were monitored in a year-long study. We investigated the viral titres in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries) under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies), pyrethroid (9 colonies) and untreated (3 colonies). Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10 subsamples of 20 bees and analysed separately, which allows us to determine the prevalence of virus-infected bees. The treatment efficacy was often low for both treatments. In colonies where varroa treatment reduced the mite load, colonies overwintered successfully, allowing the mites and viruses to be carried over with the bees into the next season. In general, AKI and DWV titres did not show any notable response to the treatment and steadily increased over the season from April to October. In the untreated control group, titres increased most dramatically. Viral copies were correlated to number of varroa mites. Most colonies that collapsed over the winter had significantly higher AKI and DWV titres in October compared to survivors. Only treated colonies survived the winter. We discuss our results in relation to the varroa-virus model developed by Stephen Martin. PMID:23526946

  4. Varroa-virus interaction in collapsing honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Francis, Roy M; Nielsen, Steen L; Kryger, Per

    2013-01-01

    Varroa mites and viruses are the currently the high-profile suspects in collapsing bee colonies. Therefore, seasonal variation in varroa load and viruses (Acute-Kashmir-Israeli complex (AKI) and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)) were monitored in a year-long study. We investigated the viral titres in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries) under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies), pyrethroid (9 colonies) and untreated (3 colonies). Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10 subsamples of 20 bees and analysed separately, which allows us to determine the prevalence of virus-infected bees. The treatment efficacy was often low for both treatments. In colonies where varroa treatment reduced the mite load, colonies overwintered successfully, allowing the mites and viruses to be carried over with the bees into the next season. In general, AKI and DWV titres did not show any notable response to the treatment and steadily increased over the season from April to October. In the untreated control group, titres increased most dramatically. Viral copies were correlated to number of varroa mites. Most colonies that collapsed over the winter had significantly higher AKI and DWV titres in October compared to survivors. Only treated colonies survived the winter. We discuss our results in relation to the varroa-virus model developed by Stephen Martin.

  5. An experiment on comb orientation by honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in traditional hives.

    PubMed

    Adgaba, Nuru; Al-Ghamdi, Ahmad A; Chernet, Mebrat H; Ali, Yahya A; Ansari, Mohammad J; Radloff, Sarah E; Howard, Randall H

    2012-06-01

    The orientation of combs in traditional beehives is extremely important for obtaining a marketable honey product. However, the factors that could determine comb orientation in traditional hives and the possibilities of inducing honey bees, Apis mellifera (L.), to construct more desirable combs have not been investigated. The goal of this experiment was to determine whether guide marks in traditional hives can induce bees to build combs of a desired orientation. Thirty-two traditional hives of uniform dimensions were used in the experiment. In 24 hives, ridges were formed on the inner surfaces of the hives with fermented mud to obtain different orientations, circular, horizontal, and spiral, with eight replicates of each treatment. In the remaining eight control hives, the inner surface was left smooth. Thirty-two well-established honey bee colonies from other traditional hives were transferred to the prepared hives. The colonies were randomly assigned to the four treatment groups. The manner of comb construction in the donor and experimental hives was recorded. The results showed that 22 (91.66%) of the 24 colonies in the treated groups built combs along the ridges provided, whereas only 2 (8.33%) did not. Comb orientation was strongly associated with the type of guide marks provided. Moreover, of the 18 colonies that randomly fell to patterns different from those of their previous nests, 17 (94.4%) followed the guide marks provided, irrespective of the comb orientation type in their previous nest. Thus, comb orientation appears to be governed by the inner surface pattern of the nest cavity. The results suggest that even in fixed-comb hives, honey bees can be guided to build combs with orientations suitable to honey harvesting, without affecting the colonies.

  6. The Potential of Bee-Generated Carbon Dioxide for Control of Varroa Mite (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) in Indoor Overwintering Honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies.

    PubMed

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-10-01

    The objective of this study was to manipulate ventilation rate to characterize interactions between stocks of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) and ventilation setting on varroa mite (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) mortality in honey bee colonies kept indoors over winter. The first experiment used colonies established from stock selected locally for wintering performance under exposure to varroa (n = 6) and unselected bees (n = 6) to assess mite and bee mortality and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in the bee cluster when kept under a simulated winter condition at 5°C. The second experiment, used colonies from selected bees (n = 10) and unselected bees (n = 12) that were exposed to either standard ventilation (14.4 liter/min per hive) or restricted ventilation (0.24 liter/min per hive, in a Plexiglas ventilation chamber) during a 16-d treatment period to assess the influence of restricted air flow on winter mortality rates of varroa mites and honey bees. Experiment 2 was repeated in early, mid-, and late winter. The first experiment showed that under unrestricted ventilation with CO2 concentrations averaging <2% there was no correlation between CO2 and varroa mite mortality when colonies were placed under low temperature. CO2 was negatively correlated with O2 in the bee cluster in both experiments. When ventilation was restricted, mean CO2 level (3.82 ± 0.31%, range 0.43-8.44%) increased by 200% relative to standard ventilation (1.29 ± 0.31%; range 0.09-5.26%) within the 16-d treatment period. The overall mite mortality rates and the reduction in mean abundance of varroa mite over time was greater under restricted ventilation (37 ± 4.2%) than under standard ventilation (23 ± 4.2%) but not affected by stock of bees during the treatment period. Selected bees showed overall greater mite mortality relative to unselected bees in both experiments. Restricting ventilation increased mite mortality, but did not

  7. Orchard Pollination in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Honey Bees or Native Bees?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unlike most National Parks in the United States, Capitol Reef National Park in central Utah includes an agricultural component. The Park surrounds 22 rosaceous fruit orchards started over a century ago by Mormon pioneers. During bloom, hives of the alien honey bee are imported to pollinate the flow...

  8. Caste-dependent sleep of worker honey bees.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett A; Olzsowy, Kathryn M; Klein, Arno; Saunders, Katharine M; Seeley, Thomas D

    2008-09-01

    Sleep is a dynamic phenomenon that changes throughout an organism's lifetime, relating to possible age- or task-associated changes in health, learning ability, vigilance and fitness. Sleep has been identified experimentally in many animals, including honey bees (Apis mellifera). As worker bees age they change castes, typically performing a sequence of different task sets (as 'cell cleaners', 'nurse bees', 'food storers' and 'foragers'). Belonging to a caste could differentially impact the duration, constitution and periodicity of a bee's sleep. We observed individually marked bees within observation hives to determine caste dependent patterns of sleep behavior. We conducted three studies to investigate the duration and periodicity of sleep when bees were outside comb cells, as well as duration of potential sleep when bees were immobile inside cells. All four worker castes we examined exhibited a sleep state. As bees aged and changed tasks, however, they spent more time and longer uninterrupted periods in a sleep state outside cells, but spent less time and shorter uninterrupted periods immobile inside cells. Although c cleaners and nurse bees exhibited no sleep:wake rhythmicity, food storers and foragers experienced a 24 h sleep:wake cycle, with more sleep and longer unbroken bouts of sleep during the night than during the day. If immobility within cells is an indicator of sleep, our study reveals that the youngest adult bees sleep the most, with all older castes sleeping the same amount. This in-cell potential sleep may compensate for what would otherwise indicate an exceptional increase of sleep in an aging animal. PMID:18775940

  9. Honey bee colonies are group-level adaptive units.

    PubMed

    Seeley, T D

    1997-07-01

    It is not widely recognized that natural selection has produced adaptive units at the level of groups. Multilevel selection theory shows that groups can evolve a high level of functional organization when between-group selection predominates over within-group selection. Strong empirical evidence that natural selection has produced adaptive units at the group level comes from studies of social insects in which we find colonies in certain species functioning as highly integrated units. The functional organization of a social insect colony is best understood for honey bees. Recent experimental analyses of honey bee colonies have revealed striking group-level adaptations that improve the foraging efficiency of colonies, including special systems of communication and feedback control. These findings are reviewed with the aim of showing that evolution has produced adaptively organized entities at the group level.

  10. Sperm-mediated transformation of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Robinson, K O; Ferguson, H J; Cobey, S; Vaessin, H; Smith, B H

    2000-12-01

    Our primary objective was to identify techniques to transform the genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) with foreign DNA constructs. The strategy we adopted was to linearize foreign DNA and introduce it with sperm during the instrumental insemination of virgin queen honey bees. We analysed extracts from larvae within the same cohort and isolated the predicted fragment by means of PCR amplification of genomic DNA. Larvae that carried the construct also expressed the introduced DNA. We propagated several transgenic lines for up to three generations, which demonstrates its heritability. Once carried by a queen, the construct can be detected in that queen's larvae over several months. However, there was no evidence of integration of the construct, at least as determined by genomic Southern analysis. Nevertheless, this demonstrates the general viability of the technique for introduction of DNA, and it should be augmented by further use of transposable elements that enhance integration. PMID:11122471

  11. A non-policing honey bee colony (Apis mellifera capensis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beekman, Madeleine; Good, Gregory; Allsopp, Mike; Radloff, Sarah; Pirk, Chris; Ratnieks, Francis

    2002-09-01

    In the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis, workers lay female eggs without mating by thelytokous parthenogenesis. As a result, workers are as related to worker-laid eggs as they are to queen-laid eggs and therefore worker policing is expected to be lower, or even absent. This was tested by transferring worker- and queen-laid eggs into three queenright A. m. capensis discriminator colonies and monitoring their removal. Our results show that worker policing is variable in A. m. capensis and that in one colony worker-laid eggs were not removed. This is the first report of a non-policing queenright honey bee colony. DNA microsatellite and morphometric analysis suggests that the racial composition of the three discriminator colonies was different. The variation in policing rates could be explained by differences in degrees of hybridisation between A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata, although a larger survey is needed to confirm this.

  12. Honey Bee Mating Optimization Vector Quantization Scheme in Image Compression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horng, Ming-Huwi

    The vector quantization is a powerful technique in the applications of digital image compression. The traditionally widely used method such as the Linde-Buzo-Gray (LBG) algorithm always generated local optimal codebook. Recently, particle swarm optimization (PSO) is adapted to obtain the near-global optimal codebook of vector quantization. In this paper, we applied a new swarm algorithm, honey bee mating optimization, to construct the codebook of vector quantization. The proposed method is called the honey bee mating optimization based LBG (HBMO-LBG) algorithm. The results were compared with the other two methods that are LBG and PSO-LBG algorithms. Experimental results showed that the proposed HBMO-LBG algorithm is more reliable and the reconstructed images get higher quality than those generated form the other three methods.

  13. Mapping Sleeping Bees within Their Nest: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Worker Honey Bee Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445

  14. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445

  15. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns.

  16. Multifaceted responses to two major parasites in the honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Wagoner, Kaira M; Boncristiani, Humberto F; Rueppell, Olav

    2013-01-01

    The recent declines in managed honey bee populations are of scientific, ecological and economic concern, and are partially attributed to honey bee parasites and related disease. McDonnell et al. investigate behavioral, chemical and neurogenomic effects of parasitization by the ectoparasite Varroa destructor and the endoparasite Nosema ceranae. The study reveals important links between underlying mechanisms of immunity and parasitization in social insects by demonstrating that chemical signals and neurogenomic states are significantly different between parasitized and non-parasitized honey bees, and that neurogenomic states are partially conserved between bees infected with distinct parasites. However the study does not reveal whether differences measured are primarily the result of adaptive host responses or of manipulation of the honey bee host by the parasites and/or confounding viral loads of parasitized individuals. Questions answered and raised by McDonnell et al. will lead to an improved understanding of honey bee health and, more generally, host-parasite interactions.

  17. Multifaceted responses to two major parasites in the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The recent declines in managed honey bee populations are of scientific, ecological and economic concern, and are partially attributed to honey bee parasites and related disease. McDonnell et al. investigate behavioral, chemical and neurogenomic effects of parasitization by the ectoparasite Varroa destructor and the endoparasite Nosema ceranae. The study reveals important links between underlying mechanisms of immunity and parasitization in social insects by demonstrating that chemical signals and neurogenomic states are significantly different between parasitized and non-parasitized honey bees, and that neurogenomic states are partially conserved between bees infected with distinct parasites. However the study does not reveal whether differences measured are primarily the result of adaptive host responses or of manipulation of the honey bee host by the parasites and/or confounding viral loads of parasitized individuals. Questions answered and raised by McDonnell et al. will lead to an improved understanding of honey bee health and, more generally, host-parasite interactions. PMID:23870063

  18. Varroa-tolerant Italian honey bees introduced from Brazil were not more efficient in defending themselves against the mite Varroa destructor than Carniolan bees in Germany.

    PubMed

    Corrêa-Marques, M H; De Jong, D; Rosenkranz, P; Gonçalves, L S

    2002-06-30

    In Europe and North America honey bees cannot be kept without chemical treatments against Varroa destructor. Nevertheless, in Brazil an isolated population of Italian honey bees has been kept on an island since 1984 without treatment against this mite. The infestation rates in these colonies have decreased over the years. We looked for possible varroa-tolerance factors in six Italian honey bee colonies prepared with queens from this Brazilian island population, compared to six Carniolan colonies, both tested at the same site in Germany. One such factor was the percentage of damaged mites in the colony debris, which has been reported as an indicator of colony tolerance to varroa. A mean of 35.8% of the varroa mites collected from the bottoms of the Italian bee colonies were found damaged, among which 19.1% were still alive. A significantly greater proportion of damaged mites were found in the Carniolan bees (42.3%) and 22.5% were collected alive. The most frequent kind of damage found was damaged legs alone, affecting 47.4% of the mites collected from debris in Italian bees, which was similar to the amount found in Carniolan colonies (46%). The mean infestation rate by the varroa mite in the worker brood cells in the Italian bee colonies was 3.9% in June and 3.5% in July, and in drone brood cells it was 19.3% in June. In the Carniolan honey bee colonies the mean infestation rates in worker brood cells were 3.0 and 6.7%, respectively in the months of June and July and 19.7% in drone brood cells in June. In conclusion, the 'Varroa-tolerant' Italian honey bees introduced from Brazil produced lower percentages of damaged mites (Varroa destructor) in hive debris and had similar brood infestation rates when compared to 'susceptible' Carniolan bees in Germany. In spite of the apparent adaptation of this population of Italian bees in Brazil, we found no indication of superiority of these bees when we examined the proportions of damaged mites and the varroa-infestation rates

  19. Pollination of tomatoes by the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    dos Santos, S A Bispo; Roselino, A C; Hrncir, M; Bego, L R

    2009-06-30

    The pollination effectiveness of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera was tested in tomato plots. The experiment was conducted in four greenhouses as well as in an external open plot in Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. The tomato plants were exposed to visits by M. quadrifasciata in one greenhouse and to A. mellifera in another; two greenhouses were maintained without bees (controls) and an open field plot was exposed to pollinators in an area where both honey bee and stingless bee colonies are abundant. We counted the number of tomatoes produced in each plot. Two hundred tomatoes from each plot were weighed, their vertical and transversal circumferences were measured, and the seeds were counted. We collected 253 Chrysomelidae, 17 Halictidae, one Paratrigona sp, and one honey bee from the flowers of the tomato plants in the open area. The largest number of fruits (1414 tomatoes), the heaviest and largest tomatoes, and the ones with the most seed were collected from the greenhouse with stingless bees. Fruits cultivated in the greenhouse with honey bees had the same weight and size as those produced in one of the control greenhouses. The stingless bee, M. quadrifasciata, was significantly more efficient than honey bees in pollinating greenhouse tomatoes.

  20. Native bees buffer the negative impact of climate warming on honey bee pollination of watermelon crops.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Reilly, James; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-10-01

    If climate change affects pollinator-dependent crop production, this will have important implications for global food security because insect pollinators contribute to production for 75% of the leading global food crops. We investigate whether climate warming could result in indirect impacts upon crop pollination services via an overlooked mechanism, namely temperature-induced shifts in the diurnal activity patterns of pollinators. Using a large data set on bee pollination of watermelon crops, we predict how pollination services might change under various climate change scenarios. Our results show that under the most extreme IPCC scenario (A1F1), pollination services by managed honey bees are expected to decline by 14.5%, whereas pollination services provided by most native, wild taxa are predicted to increase, resulting in an estimated aggregate change in pollination services of +4.5% by 2099. We demonstrate the importance of native biodiversity in buffering the impacts of climate change, because crop pollination services would decline more steeply without the native, wild pollinators. More generally, our study provides an important example of how biodiversity can stabilize ecosystem services against environmental change. PMID:23704044

  1. Native bees buffer the negative impact of climate warming on honey bee pollination of watermelon crops.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Reilly, James; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-10-01

    If climate change affects pollinator-dependent crop production, this will have important implications for global food security because insect pollinators contribute to production for 75% of the leading global food crops. We investigate whether climate warming could result in indirect impacts upon crop pollination services via an overlooked mechanism, namely temperature-induced shifts in the diurnal activity patterns of pollinators. Using a large data set on bee pollination of watermelon crops, we predict how pollination services might change under various climate change scenarios. Our results show that under the most extreme IPCC scenario (A1F1), pollination services by managed honey bees are expected to decline by 14.5%, whereas pollination services provided by most native, wild taxa are predicted to increase, resulting in an estimated aggregate change in pollination services of +4.5% by 2099. We demonstrate the importance of native biodiversity in buffering the impacts of climate change, because crop pollination services would decline more steeply without the native, wild pollinators. More generally, our study provides an important example of how biodiversity can stabilize ecosystem services against environmental change.

  2. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, RM

    2015-01-01

    Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland. PMID:25802808

  3. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA.

    PubMed

    Sponsler, D B; Johnson, R M

    2015-01-01

    Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland.

  4. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA.

    PubMed

    Sponsler, D B; Johnson, R M

    2015-01-01

    Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland. PMID:25802808

  5. Toxicity of cryoprotectants to honey bee semen and queens.

    PubMed

    Wegener, J; Bienefeld, K

    2012-02-01

    Given the threats to the intraspecific biodiversity of Apis mellifera and the pressure on bee breeding to come up with disease-tolerant lines, techniques to cryopreserve drone semen are of great interest. Freeze-thawed drone semen of high viability and/or motility has repeatedly been obtained, but fertility of such semen, when it was measured, was always low. The cryoprotective agent (CPA) most frequently used with drone semen is dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), although this substance has been suspected of causing genetic damage in sperm. No form of sperm washing is currently performed. Using a membrane permeability assay, we measured the short-term toxicity of four possible replacements for DMSO, 1,3-propane diol, 2,3-butane diol, ethylene glycol, and dimethyl formamide. We also tested whether the practice of inseminating queens with CPA-containing semen affects sperm numbers in the storage organs of queens, or sperm fertility. Finally, we tested whether CPA-toxicity in vivo can be reduced by using mixtures of two CPAs, DMSO, and ethylene glycol. Our results show that, although short-term toxicity of all CPAs tested was low, the presence of single CPAs in insemination mixtures at concentrations required for slow freezing greatly reduced the number of sperm reaching the spermatheca. Contrary to earlier reports, this was also true for DMSO. Ethylene glycol was additionally shown to reduce the viability of spermatozoa reaching the storage organ. Mixtures of DMSO and EthGly performed better than either substance used singly at the same concentration. We conclude that the toxicity of CPAs, including DMSO, on honey bee semen and/or queens has been underestimated in the past. This could partly explain the discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo quality of cryopreserved drone semen, described by others. Combinations of several CPAs and techniques to partly remove CPAs after thawing could help to solve this problem. PMID:22115807

  6. Toxicity of cryoprotectants to honey bee semen and queens.

    PubMed

    Wegener, J; Bienefeld, K

    2012-02-01

    Given the threats to the intraspecific biodiversity of Apis mellifera and the pressure on bee breeding to come up with disease-tolerant lines, techniques to cryopreserve drone semen are of great interest. Freeze-thawed drone semen of high viability and/or motility has repeatedly been obtained, but fertility of such semen, when it was measured, was always low. The cryoprotective agent (CPA) most frequently used with drone semen is dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), although this substance has been suspected of causing genetic damage in sperm. No form of sperm washing is currently performed. Using a membrane permeability assay, we measured the short-term toxicity of four possible replacements for DMSO, 1,3-propane diol, 2,3-butane diol, ethylene glycol, and dimethyl formamide. We also tested whether the practice of inseminating queens with CPA-containing semen affects sperm numbers in the storage organs of queens, or sperm fertility. Finally, we tested whether CPA-toxicity in vivo can be reduced by using mixtures of two CPAs, DMSO, and ethylene glycol. Our results show that, although short-term toxicity of all CPAs tested was low, the presence of single CPAs in insemination mixtures at concentrations required for slow freezing greatly reduced the number of sperm reaching the spermatheca. Contrary to earlier reports, this was also true for DMSO. Ethylene glycol was additionally shown to reduce the viability of spermatozoa reaching the storage organ. Mixtures of DMSO and EthGly performed better than either substance used singly at the same concentration. We conclude that the toxicity of CPAs, including DMSO, on honey bee semen and/or queens has been underestimated in the past. This could partly explain the discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo quality of cryopreserved drone semen, described by others. Combinations of several CPAs and techniques to partly remove CPAs after thawing could help to solve this problem.

  7. Molecular Prevalence of Acarapis Mite Infestations in Honey Bees in Korea.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Ah-Jin; Ahn, Kyu-Sung; Noh, Jin-Hyeong; Kim, Young-Ha; Yoo, Mi-Sun; Kang, Seung-Won; Yu, Do-Hyeon; Shin, Sung Shik

    2015-06-01

    Acarapis mites, including Acarapis woodi, Acarapis externus, and Acarapis dorsalis, are parasites of bees which can cause severe damage to the bee industry by destroying colonies and decreasing honey production. All 3 species are prevalent throughout many countries including UK, USA, Iran, Turkey, China, and Japan. Based on previous reports of Acarapis mites occurring in northeast Asia, including China and Japan, we investigated a survey of Acarapis mite infestations in honey bees in Korean apiaries. A total of 99 colonies of Apis mellifera were sampled from 5 provinces. The head and thorax of 20 bees from each colony were removed for DNA extraction. PCR assays were performed with 3 primer sets, including T, A, and K primers. Results indicated that 42.4% (42/99) of samples were Acarapis-positive by PCR assay which were sequenced to identify species. Each sequence showed 92.6-99.3% homology with reference sequences. Based on the homology, the number of colonies infected with A. dorsalis was 32 which showed the highest infection rate among the 3 species, while the number of colonies infected with A. externus and A. woodi was 9 and 1, respectively. However, none of the Acarapis mites were morphologically detected. This result could be explained that all apiaries in the survey used acaricides against bee mites such as Varroa destructor and Tropilaelaps clareae which also affect against Acarapis mites. Based on this study, it is highly probable that Acarapis mites as well as Varroa and Tropilaelaps could be prevalent in Korean apiaries.

  8. 75 FR 12171 - Notice of Availability of a Draft Pest Risk Assessment on Honey Bees Imported from Australia

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-15

    ... Honey Bees Imported from Australia AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION... importation of honey bees from Australia. The draft pest risk assessment considers potential pest risks... honey bee pathogens or parasites may have been introduced into Australia. We are making the draft...

  9. Bees under stress: sublethal doses of a neonicotinoid pesticide and pathogens interact to elevate honey bee mortality across the life cycle.

    PubMed

    Doublet, Vincent; Labarussias, Maureen; de Miranda, Joachim R; Moritz, Robin F A; Paxton, Robert J

    2015-04-01

    Microbial pathogens are thought to have a profound impact on insect populations. Honey bees are suffering from elevated colony losses in the northern hemisphere possibly because of a variety of emergent microbial pathogens, with which pesticides may interact to exacerbate their impacts. To reveal such potential interactions, we administered at sublethal and field realistic doses one neonicotinoid pesticide (thiacloprid) and two common microbial pathogens, the invasive microsporidian Nosema ceranae and black queen cell virus (BQCV), individually to larval and adult honey bees in the laboratory. Through fully crossed experiments in which treatments were administered singly or in combination, we found an additive interaction between BQCV and thiacloprid on host larval survival likely because the pesticide significantly elevated viral loads. In adult bees, two synergistic interactions increased individual mortality: between N. ceranae and BQCV, and between N. ceranae and thiacloprid. The combination of two pathogens had a more profound effect on elevating adult mortality than N. ceranae plus thiacloprid. Common microbial pathogens appear to be major threats to honey bees, while sublethal doses of pesticide may enhance their deleterious effects on honey bee larvae and adults. It remains an open question as to whether these interactions can affect colony survival.

  10. Food foraging of honey bees in a microwave field (2. 45 GHz CW)

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-02-15

    Honey bees were trained to fly 400 m from their colony to an indoor laboratory foraging arena exposed to 2.45 GHz continuous wave microwaves at 5 power densities (0, 5, 10, 20, and 40 mW/cm/sup 2/). Foraging behavior did not differ from controls foraging within an unexposed sham arena in (1) number of round trips completed during a 3-h exposure session, (2) round trip time between the colony and the foraging arena, and (3) the length of time required to navigate the illuminated foraging arena. This study indicates that honey bees would not be adversely affected by foraging within a similar microwave field that would exist in future receiving antennae for the proposed solar power satellite energy transmission system in which power levels are expected to range from 23 mW/cm/sup 2/ at the antenna center to 1 mW/cm/sup 2/ at the edge.

  11. The Effects of Diesel Exhaust Pollution on Floral Volatiles and the Consequences for Honey Bee Olfaction.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    There is growing evidence of a substantial decline in pollinators within Europe and North America, most likely caused by multiple factors such as diseases, poor nutrition, habitat loss, insecticides, and environmental pollution. Diesel exhaust could be a contributing factor to this decline, since we found that diesel exhaust rapidly degrades floral volatiles, which honey bees require for flower recognition. In this study, we exposed eight of the most common floral volatiles to diesel exhaust in order to investigate whether it can affect volatile mediated plant-pollinator interaction. Exposure to diesel exhaust altered the blend of common flower volatiles significantly: myrcene was considerably reduced, β-ocimene became undetectable, and β-caryophyllene was transformed into its cis-isomer isocaryophyllene. Proboscis extension response (PER) assays showed that the alterations of the blend reduced the ability of honey bees to recognize it. The chemically reactive nitrogen oxides fraction of diesel exhaust gas was identified as capable of causing degradation of floral volatiles.

  12. Global information sampling in the honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Brian R.

    2008-06-01

    Central to the question of task allocation in social insects is how workers acquire information. Patrolling is a curious behavior in which bees meander over the face of the comb inspecting cells. Several authors have suggested it allows bees to collect global information, but this has never been formally evaluated. This study explores this hypothesis by answering three questions. First, do bees gather information in a consistent manner as they patrol? Second, do they move far enough to get a sense of task demand in distant areas of the nest? And third, is patrolling a commonly performed task? Focal animal observations were used to address the first two predictions, while a scan sampling study was used to address the third. The results were affirmative for each question. While patrolling, workers collected information by performing periodic clusters of cell inspections. Patrolling bees not only traveled far enough to frequently change work zone; they often visited every part of the nest. Finally, the majority of the bees in the middle-age caste were shown to move throughout the nest over the course of a few hours in a manner suggestive of patrolling. Global information collection is contrary to much current theory, which assumes that workers respond to local information only. This study thus highlights the nonmutually exclusive nature of various information collection regimes in social insects.

  13. Classical conditioning of proboscis extension in harnessed Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Aquino, Italo S; Abramson, Charles I; Soares, Ademilson E E; Fernandes, Andrea Cardoso; Benbassat, Danny

    2004-06-01

    Experiments are reported on learning in virgin Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). Queens restrained in a "Pavlovian harness" received a pairing of hexanal odor with a 1.8-M feeding of sucrose solution. Compared to explicitly unpaired controls, acquisition was rapid in reaching about 90%. Acquisition was also rapid in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of "bee candy" or an unconditioned stimulus administered by worker bees. During extinction the conditioned response declines. The steepest decline was observed in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of bee candy. These findings extend previous work on learning of Afrianized honey bee workers to a population of queen bees.

  14. Polarization lidar measurements of honey bees in flight for locating land mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

    A scanning polarized lidar was used to detect flying honey bees trained to locate buried land mines through odor detection. A lidar map of bee density shows good correlation with maps of chemical plume strength and bee density determined by visual and video counts. The co-polarized lidar backscatter signal was found to be more effective than the crosspolarized signal for detecting honey bees in flight. Laboratory measurements show that the depolarization ratio of scattered light is near zero for bee wings and up to 30% for bee bodies.

  15. Classical conditioning of proboscis extension in harnessed Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Aquino, Italo S; Abramson, Charles I; Soares, Ademilson E E; Fernandes, Andrea Cardoso; Benbassat, Danny

    2004-06-01

    Experiments are reported on learning in virgin Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). Queens restrained in a "Pavlovian harness" received a pairing of hexanal odor with a 1.8-M feeding of sucrose solution. Compared to explicitly unpaired controls, acquisition was rapid in reaching about 90%. Acquisition was also rapid in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of "bee candy" or an unconditioned stimulus administered by worker bees. During extinction the conditioned response declines. The steepest decline was observed in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of bee candy. These findings extend previous work on learning of Afrianized honey bee workers to a population of queen bees. PMID:15362396

  16. Polarization lidar measurements of honey bees in flight for locating land mines.

    PubMed

    Shaw, Joseph; Seldomridge, Nathan; Dunkle, Dustin; Nugent, Paul; Spangler, Lee; Bromenshenk, Jerry; Henderson, Colin; Churnside, James; Wilson, James

    2005-07-25

    A scanning polarized lidar was used to detect flying honey bees trained to locate buried land mines through odor detection. A lidar map of bee density shows good correlation with maps of chemical plume strength and bee density determined by visual and video counts. The co-polarized lidar backscatter signal was found to be more effective than the crosspolarized signal for detecting honey bees in flight. Laboratory measurements show that the depolarization ratio of scattered light is near zero for bee wings and up to 30% for bee bodies. PMID:19498590

  17. Prolonged effects of in-hive monoterpenoids on the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Alayrangues, Julie; Hotier, Lucie; Massou, Isabelle; Bertrand, Yolaine; Armengaud, Catherine

    2016-07-01

    Honey bees are exposed in their environment to contaminants but also to biological stressors such as Varroa destructor that can weaken the colony. Preparations containing monoterpenoids that are essential oil components, can be introduced into hives to control Varroa. The long-term sublethal effects of monoterpenoids used as miticides have been poorly investigated. Analysis of behavior of free-moving bees in the laboratory is useful to evaluate the impact of chemical stressors on their cognitive functions such as vision function. Here, the walking behavior was quantified under a 200-lux light intensity. Weeks and months after introduction of the miticide (74 % thymol) into the hives, decreases of phototaxis was observed with both summer and winter bees. Curiously, in spring, bees collected in treated hives were less attracted by light in the morning than control bees. The survival of bees collected in spring was increased by treatment. After a 1-year period of observation, the colony losses were identical in treated and non-treated groups. Colony loss started earlier in the non-treated group. In public opinion, natural substances as essential oils are safer and more environmentally friendly. We demonstrated that a monoterpenoid-based treatment affects bee responses to light. The latter results have notable implications regarding the evaluation of miticides in beekeeping. PMID:26965704

  18. Acaricide, Fungicide and Drug Interactions in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Reed M.; Dahlgren, Lizette; Siegfried, Blair D.; Ellis, Marion D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Chemical analysis shows that honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive products contain many pesticides derived from various sources. The most abundant pesticides are acaricides applied by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor. Beekeepers also apply antimicrobial drugs to control bacterial and microsporidial diseases. Fungicides may enter the hive when applied to nearby flowering crops. Acaricides, antimicrobial drugs and fungicides are not highly toxic to bees alone, but in combination there is potential for heightened toxicity due to interactive effects. Methodology/Principal Findings Laboratory bioassays based on mortality rates in adult worker bees demonstrated interactive effects among acaricides, as well as between acaricides and antimicrobial drugs and between acaricides and fungicides. Toxicity of the acaricide tau-fluvalinate increased in combination with other acaricides and most other compounds tested (15 of 17) while amitraz toxicity was mostly unchanged (1 of 15). The sterol biosynthesis inhibiting (SBI) fungicide prochloraz elevated the toxicity of the acaricides tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos and fenpyroximate, likely through inhibition of detoxicative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase activity. Four other SBI fungicides increased the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate in a dose-dependent manner, although possible evidence of P450 induction was observed at the lowest fungicide doses. Non-transitive interactions between some acaricides were observed. Sublethal amitraz pre-treatment increased the toxicity of the three P450-detoxified acaricides, but amitraz toxicity was not changed by sublethal treatment with the same three acaricides. A two-fold change in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate was observed between years, suggesting a possible change in the genetic composition of the bees tested. Conclusions/Significance Interactions with acaricides in honey bees are similar to drug interactions in other animals in that P450-mediated detoxication appears to play an

  19. Concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in honey, pollen and honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in central Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed

    Codling, Garry; Al Naggar, Yahya; Giesy, John P; Robertson, Albert J

    2016-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) and their transformation products were detected in honey, pollen and honey bees, (Apis mellifera) from hives located within 30 km of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were the most frequently detected NIs, found in 68 and 75% of honey samples at mean concentrations of 8.2 and 17.2 ng g(-1) wet mass, (wm), respectively. Clothianidin was also found in >50% of samples of bees and pollen. Concentrations of clothianidin in bees exceed the LD50 in 2 of 28 samples, while for other NIs concentrations were typically 10-100-fold less than the oral LD50. Imidaclorpid was detected in ∼30% of samples of honey, but only 5% of pollen and concentrations were bees. Transformation products of Imidaclorpid, imidaclorpid-Olefin and imidacloprid-5-Hydroxy were detected with greater frequency and at greater mean concentrations indicating a need for more focus on potential effects of these transformation products than the untransformed, active ingredient NIs. Results of an assessment of the potential dietary uptake of NIs from honey and pollen by bees over winter, during which worker bees live longer than in summer, suggested that, in some hives, consumption of honey and pollen during over-wintering might have adverse effects on bees. PMID:26606186

  20. Concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in honey, pollen and honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in central Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed

    Codling, Garry; Al Naggar, Yahya; Giesy, John P; Robertson, Albert J

    2016-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) and their transformation products were detected in honey, pollen and honey bees, (Apis mellifera) from hives located within 30 km of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were the most frequently detected NIs, found in 68 and 75% of honey samples at mean concentrations of 8.2 and 17.2 ng g(-1) wet mass, (wm), respectively. Clothianidin was also found in >50% of samples of bees and pollen. Concentrations of clothianidin in bees exceed the LD50 in 2 of 28 samples, while for other NIs concentrations were typically 10-100-fold less than the oral LD50. Imidaclorpid was detected in ∼30% of samples of honey, but only 5% of pollen and concentrations were bees. Transformation products of Imidaclorpid, imidaclorpid-Olefin and imidacloprid-5-Hydroxy were detected with greater frequency and at greater mean concentrations indicating a need for more focus on potential effects of these transformation products than the untransformed, active ingredient NIs. Results of an assessment of the potential dietary uptake of NIs from honey and pollen by bees over winter, during which worker bees live longer than in summer, suggested that, in some hives, consumption of honey and pollen during over-wintering might have adverse effects on bees.

  1. The potential for using ozone to decrease pesticide residues in honey bee comb

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a strong oxidizer, ozone is known to breakdown some organic pesticides, and we evaluated the potential for using a gaseous fumigation of ozone to decontaminate honeycomb and empty honey bee hives. Honey bees are inadvertently exposed to pesticides when they forage for nectar and pollen in agricul...

  2. Protocols to test the activity of antimicrobial peptides against the honey bee pathogen Paenibacillus larvae.

    PubMed

    Khilnani, Jasmin C; Wing, Helen J

    2015-10-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causal agent of the honey bee disease American Foulbrood. Two enhanced protocols that allow the activity of antimicrobial peptides to be tested against P. larvae are presented. Proof of principle experiments demonstrate that the honey bee antimicrobial peptide defensin 1 is active in both assays. PMID:26210039

  3. Ligand selectivity in tachykinin and natalisin neuropeptidergic systems of the honey bee parasitic mite Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is a devastating ectoparasite of the honey bees Apis mellifera and A. cerana. Control of these mites in beehives is a challenge in part due to the lack of toxic agents that are specific to mites and not to the host honey bee. In searching for a specific toxic targ...

  4. Effective gene silencing of a microsporidian parasite associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony declines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee colonies are vulnerable to parasites and pathogens ranging from viruses to vertebrates. An increasingly prevalent disease of managed honey bees is caused by the microsporidian, Nosema ceranae. Microsporidia are basal fungi and obligate parasites with much reduced genomic and cellular compo...

  5. Genomic analysis of the interaction between pesticide exposure and nutrition in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Populations of pollinators are in decline worldwide. These declines are best documented in honey bees and are due to a combination of stressors. In particular, pesticides have been linked to decreased longevity and performance in honey bees; however, the molecular and physiological pathways mediatin...

  6. Impact of naled on honey bee Apis mellifera L. survival and productivity: aerial ULV application using a flat-fan nozzle system.

    PubMed

    Zhong, H; Latham, M; Hester, P G; Frommer, R L; Brock, C

    2003-08-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the impact of naled on honey bees as a result of their exposure to aerial ULV applications of this insecticide during three routine mosquito spray missions by Manatee County Mosquito Control District in Florida during the summer of 1999. Naled deposits were collected on filter paper and subsequently analyzed by gas chromatography. Mortality of adult honey bees Apis mellifera L. was estimated based on numbers from dead bee collectors placed in front of the entrance of the beehives. We found that honey bees clustering outside of the beehives were subject to naled exposure. Bee mortality increased when higher naled residues were found around the hives. The highest average naled deposit was 6,227 +/- 696 microg/m2 at the site 1 forest area following the mosquito spray mission on July 15, 1999. The range of naled deposition for this application was 2,818-7,101 microg/m2. The range of dead bees per hive was 0-39 prior to spraying and 9-200 within 24 h following this spray mission. The average yield of honey per hive was significantly lower (p < 0.05) for naled-exposed hives compared with unexposed hives. Because reduction of honey yield also may be affected by other factors, such as location of the hives relative to a food source and vigor of the queen bee, the final assessment of honey yield was complicated. PMID:14565579

  7. Measurement of optical activity of honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Gutiérrez, Mauricio; Olivares-Pérez, Arturo; Salgado-Verduzco, Marco Antonio; Ibarra-Torres, Juan Carlos

    2016-03-01

    Optical activity of some substances, such as chiral molecules, often exhibits circular birefringence. Circular birefringence causes rotation of the vibration plane of the plane polarized light as it passes through the substance. In this work we present optical characterization of honey as function of the optical activity when it is placed in a polariscope that consists of a light source and properly arranged polarizing elements.

  8. Starving honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae signal pheromonally to worker bees

    PubMed Central

    He, Xu Jiang; Zhang, Xue Chuan; Jiang, Wu Jun; Barron, Andrew B.; Zhang, Jian Hui; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2016-01-01

    Cooperative brood care is diagnostic of animal societies. This is particularly true for the advanced social insects, and the honey bee is the best understood of the insect societies. A brood pheromone signaling the presence of larvae in a bee colony has been characterised and well studied, but here we explored whether honey bee larvae actively signal their food needs pheromonally to workers. We show that starving honey bee larvae signal to workers via increased production of the volatile pheromone E-β-ocimene. Analysis of volatile pheromones produced by food-deprived and fed larvae with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that starving larvae produced more E-β-ocimene. Behavioural analyses showed that adding E-β-ocimene to empty cells increased the number of worker visits to those cells, and similarly adding E-β-ocimene to larvae increased worker visitation rate to the larvae. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis identified 3 genes in the E-β-ocimene biosynthetic pathway that were upregulated in larvae following 30 minutes of starvation, and these genes also upregulated in 2-day old larvae compared to 4-day old larvae (2-day old larvae produce the most E-β-ocimene). This identifies a pheromonal mechanism by which brood can beg for food from workers to influence the allocation of resources within the colony. PMID:26924295

  9. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z-S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. PMID:27456912

  10. Non-specific dsRNA-mediated antiviral response in the honey bee.

    PubMed

    Flenniken, Michelle L; Andino, Raul

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees are essential pollinators of numerous agricultural crops. Since 2006, honey bee populations have suffered considerable annual losses that are partially attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is an unexplained phenomenon that correlates with elevated incidence of pathogens, including RNA viruses. Honey bees are eusocial insects that live in colonies of genetically related individuals that work in concert to gather and store nutrients. Their social organization provides numerous benefits, but also facilitates pathogen transmission between individuals. To investigate honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms, we developed an RNA virus infection model and discovered that administration of dsRNA, regardless of sequence, reduced virus infection. Our results suggest that dsRNA, a viral pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP), triggers an antiviral response that controls virus infection in honey bees.

  11. Negligible uptake and transfer of diet-derived pollen microRNAs in adult honey bees.

    PubMed

    Masood, Maryam; Everett, Claire P; Chan, Stephen Y; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-01-01

    The putative transfer and gene regulatory activities of diet-derived miRNAs in ingesting animals are still debated. Importantly, no study to date has fully examined the role of dietary uptake of miRNA in the honey bee, a critical pollinator in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. After controlled pollen feeding experiments in adult honey bees, we observed that midguts demonstrated robust increases in plant miRNAs after pollen ingestion. However, we found no evidence of biologically relevant delivery of these molecules to proximal or distal tissues of recipient honey bees. Our results, therefore, support the premise that pollen miRNAs ingested as part of a typical diet are not robustly transferred across barrier epithelia of adult honey bees under normal conditions. Key future questions include whether other small RNA species in honey bee diets behave similarly and whether more specialized and specific delivery mechanisms exist for more efficient transport, particularly in the context of stressed barrier epithelia.

  12. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z–S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. PMID:27456912

  13. Non-Specific dsRNA-Mediated Antiviral Response in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Flenniken, Michelle L.; Andino, Raul

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees are essential pollinators of numerous agricultural crops. Since 2006, honey bee populations have suffered considerable annual losses that are partially attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is an unexplained phenomenon that correlates with elevated incidence of pathogens, including RNA viruses. Honey bees are eusocial insects that live in colonies of genetically related individuals that work in concert to gather and store nutrients. Their social organization provides numerous benefits, but also facilitates pathogen transmission between individuals. To investigate honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms, we developed an RNA virus infection model and discovered that administration of dsRNA, regardless of sequence, reduced virus infection. Our results suggest that dsRNA, a viral pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP), triggers an antiviral response that controls virus infection in honey bees. PMID:24130869

  14. Finding the missing honey bee genes: lessons learned from a genome upgrade

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The first generation of genome sequence assemblies and annotations have had a significant impact upon our understanding of the biology of the sequenced species, the phylogenetic relationships among species, the study of populations within and across species, and have informed the biology of humans. As only a few Metazoan genomes are approaching finished quality (human, mouse, fly and worm), there is room for improvement of most genome assemblies. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) genome, published in 2006, was noted for its bimodal GC content distribution that affected the quality of the assembly in some regions and for fewer genes in the initial gene set (OGSv1.0) compared to what would be expected based on other sequenced insect genomes. Results Here, we report an improved honey bee genome assembly (Amel_4.5) with a new gene annotation set (OGSv3.2), and show that the honey bee genome contains a number of genes similar to that of other insect genomes, contrary to what was suggested in OGSv1.0. The new genome assembly is more contiguous and complete and the new gene set includes ~5000 more protein-coding genes, 50% more than previously reported. About 1/6 of the additional genes were due to improvements to the assembly, and the remaining were inferred based on new RNAseq and protein data. Conclusions Lessons learned from this genome upgrade have important implications for future genome sequencing projects. Furthermore, the improvements significantly enhance genomic resources for the honey bee, a key model for social behavior and essential to global ecology through pollination. PMID:24479613

  15. Age-dependent transcriptional and epigenomic responses to light exposure in the honey bee brain.

    PubMed

    Becker, Nils; Kucharski, Robert; Rössler, Wolfgang; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2016-07-01

    Light is a powerful environmental stimulus of special importance in social honey bees that undergo a behavioral transition from in-hive to outdoor foraging duties. Our previous work has shown that light exposure induces structural neuronal plasticity in the mushroom bodies (MBs), a brain center implicated in processing inputs from sensory modalities. Here, we extended these analyses to the molecular level to unravel light-induced transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in the honey bee brain. We have compared gene expression in brain compartments of 1- and 7-day-old light-exposed honey bees with age-matched dark-kept individuals. We have found a number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs), both novel and conserved, including several genes with reported roles in neuronal plasticity. Most of the DEGs show age-related changes in the amplitude of light-induced expression and are likely to be both developmentally and environmentally regulated. Some of the DEGs are either known to be methylated or are implicated in epigenetic processes suggesting that responses to light exposure are at least partly regulated at the epigenome level. Consistent with this idea light alters the DNA methylation pattern of bgm, one of the DEGs affected by light exposure, and the expression of microRNA miR-932. This confirms the usefulness of our approach to identify candidate genes for neuronal plasticity and provides evidence for the role of epigenetic processes in driving the molecular responses to visual stimulation. PMID:27398303

  16. Paenilarvins: Iturin family lipopeptides from the honey bee pathogen Paenibacillus larvae.

    PubMed

    Sood, Sakshi; Steinmetz, Heinrich; Beims, Hannes; Mohr, Kathrin I; Stadler, Marc; Djukic, Marvin; von der Ohe, Werner; Steinert, Michael; Daniel, Rolf; Müller, Rolf

    2014-09-01

    The bacterium Paenibacillus larvae has been extensively studied as it is an appalling honey bee pathogen. In the present work, we screened crude extracts derived from fermentations of P. larvae genotypes ERIC I and II for antimicrobial activity, following the detection of four putative secondary metabolite gene clusters that show high sequence homology to known biosynthetic gene clusters for the biosynthesis of antibiotics. Low molecular weight metabolites produced by P. larvae have recently been shown to have toxic effects on honey bee larvae. Moreover, a novel tripeptide, sevadicin, was recently characterized from laboratory cultures of P. larvae. In this study, paenilarvins, which are iturinic lipopeptides exhibiting strong antifungal activities, were obtained by bioassay-guided fractionation from cultures of P. larvae, genotype ERIC II. Their molecular structures were determined by extensive 2D NMR spectroscopy, high resolution mass spectrometry, and other methods. Paenilarvins are the first antifungal secondary metabolites to be identified from P. larvae. In preliminary experiments, these lipopeptides also affected honey bee larvae and might thus play a role in P. larvae survival and pathogenesis. However, further studies are needed to investigate their function. PMID:25069424

  17. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  18. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  19. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  20. THE VISUAL ACUITY OF THE HONEY BEE.

    PubMed

    Hecht, S; Wolf, E

    1929-07-20

    1. Bees respond by a characteristic reflex to a movement in their visual field. By confining the field to a series of parallel dark and luminous bars it is possible to determine the size of bar to which the bees respond under different conditions and in this way to measure the resolving power or visual acuity of the eye. The maximum visual acuity of the bee is lower than the lowest human visual acuity. Under similar, maximal conditions the fineness of resolution of the human eye is about 100 times that of the bee. 2. The eye of the bee is a mosaic composed of hexagonal pyramids of variable apical angle. The size of this angle determines the angular separation between adjacent ommatidia and therefore sets the structural limits to the resolving power of the eye. It is found that the visual angle corresponding to the maximum visual acuity as found experimentally is identical with the structural angular separation of adjacent ommatidia in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. When this region of maximum ommatidia population is rendered non-functional by being covered with an opaque paint, the maximum visual acuity then corresponds to the angular separation of those remaining ommatidia which now constitute the maximum density of population. 3. The angular separation of adjacent ommatidia is much smaller in the vertical (dorso-ventral) axis than in the horizontal (anterio-posterior) axis. The experimentally found visual acuity varies correspondingly. From this and other experiments as well as from the shape of the eye itself, it is shown that the bee's eye is essentially an instrument for uni-directional visual resolution, functional along the dorso-ventral axis. The resolution of the visual pattern is therefore determined by the vertical angular separation of those ocular elements situated in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. 4. The visual acuity of the bee varies with the illumination in much the same way that it does for the human

  1. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Clint J.; Myerscough, Mary R.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2015-01-01

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience. PMID:25675508

  2. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Søvik, Eirik; Myerscough, Mary R; Barron, Andrew B

    2015-03-17

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience.

  3. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Søvik, Eirik; Myerscough, Mary R; Barron, Andrew B

    2015-03-17

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience. PMID:25675508

  4. Can We Disrupt the Sensing of Honey Bees by the Bee Parasite Varroa destructor?

    PubMed Central

    Eliash, Nurit; Singh, Nitin Kumar; Kamer, Yosef; Pinnelli, Govardhana Reddy; Plettner, Erika; Soroker, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Background The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa – honey bee interaction by targeting the mite's olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(2′-hydroxyethyl) cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite's preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated. Principal findings We found that in the presence of some compounds, the response of the Varroa chemosensory organ to honey bee headspace volatiles significantly decreased. This effect was dose dependent and, for some of the compounds, long lasting (>1 min). Furthermore, disruption of the Varroa volatile detection was accompanied by a reversal of the mite's preference from a nurse to a forager bee. Long-term inhibition of the electrophysiological responses of mites to the tested compounds was a good predictor for an alteration in the mite's host preference. Conclusions These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa - honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control. PMID:25226388

  5. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema.

    PubMed

    Pettis, Jeffery S; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

  6. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

  7. PKG in honey bees: spatial expression, Amfor gene expression, sucrose responsiveness, and division of labor.

    PubMed

    Thamm, Markus; Scheiner, Ricarda

    2014-06-01

    Division of labor is a hallmark of social insects. In honey bees, division of labor involves transition of female workers from one task to the next. The most distinct tasks are nursing (providing food for the brood) and foraging (collecting pollen and nectar). The brain mechanisms regulating this form of behavioral plasticity have largely remained elusive. Recently, it was suggested that division of labor is based on nutrition-associated signaling pathways. One highly conserved gene associated with food-related behavior across species is the foraging gene, which encodes a cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKG). Our analysis of this gene reveals the presence of alternative splicing in the honey bee. One isoform is expressed in the brain. Expression of this isoform is most pronounced in the mushroom bodies, the subesophageal ganglion, and the corpora allata. Division of labor and sucrose responsiveness in honey bees correlate significantly with foraging gene expression in distinct brain regions. Activating PKG selectively increases sucrose responsiveness in nurse bees to the level of foragers, whereas the same treatment does not affect responsiveness to light. These findings demonstrate a direct link between PKG signaling in distinct brain areas and division of labor. Furthermore, they demonstrate that the difference in sensory responsiveness between nurse bees and foragers can be compensated for by activating PKG. Our findings on the function of PKG in regulating specific sensory responsiveness and social organization offer valuable indications for the function of the cGMP/PKG pathway in many other insects and vertebrates. PMID:24214291

  8. Inheritance of thelytoky in the honey bee Apis mellifera capensis.

    PubMed

    Chapman, N C; Beekman, M; Allsopp, M H; Rinderer, T E; Lim, J; Oxley, P R; Oldroyd, B P

    2015-06-01

    Asexual reproduction via thelytokous parthenogenesis is widespread in the Hymenoptera, but its genetic underpinnings have been described only twice. In the wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum and the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis the origin of thelytoky have each been traced to a single recessive locus. In the Cape honey bee it has been argued that thelytoky (th) controls the thelytoky phenotype and that a deletion of 9 bp in the flanking intron downstream of exon 5 (tae) of the gemini gene switches parthenogenesis from arrhenotoky to thelytoky. To further explore the mode of inheritance of thelytoky, we generated reciprocal backcrosses between thelytokous A. m. capensis and the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata. Ten genetic markers were used to identify 108 thelytokously produced offspring and 225 arrhenotokously produced offspring from 14 colonies. Patterns of appearance of thelytokous parthenogenesis were inconsistent with a single locus, either th or tae, controlling thelytoky. We further show that the 9 bp deletion is present in the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata population in South Africa, in A. m. intermissa in Morocco and in Africanized bees from Brazil and Texas, USA, where thelytoky has not been reported. Thus the 9  p deletion cannot be the cause of thelytoky. Further, we found two novel tae alleles. One contains the previously described 9 bp deletion and an additional deletion of 7 bp nearby. The second carries a single base insertion with respect to the wild type. Our data are consistent with the putative th locus increasing reproductive capacity.

  9. Antimicrobial activity and rutin identification of honey produced by the stingless bee Melipona compressipes manaosensis and commercial honey

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Honey has been identified as a potential alternative to the widespread use of antibiotics, which are of significant concern considering the emergence of resistant bacteria. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of honey samples produced by a stingless bee species and by Apis sp. against pathogenic bacteria, as well as to identify the presence of phenolic compounds. Methods Honey samples from the stingless bee M. compressipes manaosensis were collected twice, during the dry and rainy seasons. Three commercial honey samples from Apis sp. were also included in this study. Two different assays were performed to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the honey samples: agar-well diffusion and broth macrodilution. Liquid-liquid extraction was used to assess phenolic compounds from honey. HPLC analysis was performed in order to identify rutin and apigenin on honey samples. Chromatograms were recorded at 340 and 290 nm. Results Two honey samples were identified as having the highest antimicrobial activity using the agar diffusion method. Honey produced by Melipona compressipes manaosensis inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (0157: H7), Proteus vulgaris, Shigella sonnei and Klebsiella sp. A sample of honey produced by Apis sp. also inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi. The macrodilution technique presented greater sensitivity for the antibacterial testing, since all honey samples showed activity. Flavonoid rutin was identified in the honey sample produced by the stingless bee. Conclusions Honey samples tested in this work showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results reported herein highlight the potential of using honey to control bacterial growth. PMID:23815879

  10. Proteomic analyses of male contributions to honey bee sperm storage and mating

    PubMed Central

    Collins, A M; Caperna, T J; Williams, V; Garrett, W M; Evans, J D

    2006-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens mate early in life and store sperm for years. Male bees likely contribute significantly to sperm survival. Proteins were extracted from seminal vesicles and semen of mature drones, separated by electrophoresis, and analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Computer searches against three databases, general species, honey bees and fruit flies, were performed. Spectra were used to query the recently generated honey bee genome protein list as well as general species and fruit fly databases. Of the 69 unique honey bee proteins found, 66 are also in Drosophila melanogaster. Two proteins only matched honey bee genes and one is a widespread protein lost from the fly genome. There is over-representation of genes implicated in the glycolysis pathway. Metabolism-associated proteins were found primarily in the seminal vesicle. Male accessory gland proteins as identified in Drosophila rarely had orthologs among proteins found in the honey bee. A complete listing of gel spots chosen including honey bee genome matches and Mascot searches of MALDI-TOF results with statistics is in the Supplementary table. MALDI-TOF spectra and more complete Mascot peptide mass fingerprinting data are available on request. Supplementary figs 1–3 show the stained protein gels. PMID:17069630

  11. Proteomic analyses of male contributions to honey bee sperm storage and mating.

    PubMed

    Collins, A M; Caperna, T J; Williams, V; Garrett, W M; Evans, J D

    2006-10-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens mate early in life and store sperm for years. Male bees likely contribute significantly to sperm survival. Proteins were extracted from seminal vesicles and semen of mature drones, separated by electrophoresis, and analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Computer searches against three databases, general species, honey bees and fruit flies, were performed. Spectra were used to query the recently generated honey bee genome protein list as well as general species and fruit fly databases. Of the 69 unique honey bee proteins found, 66 are also in Drosophila melanogaster. Two proteins only matched honey bee genes and one is a widespread protein lost from the fly genome. There is over-representation of genes implicated in the glycolysis pathway. Metabolism-associated proteins were found primarily in the seminal vesicle. Male accessory gland proteins as identified in Drosophila rarely had orthologs among proteins found in the honey bee. A complete listing of gel spots chosen including honey bee genome matches and Mascot searches of MALDI-TOF results with statistics is in the Supplementary table. MALDI-TOF spectra and more complete Mascot peptide mass fingerprinting data are available on request. Supplementary figs 1-3 show the stained protein gels.

  12. Effects of stingless bee and honey bee propolis on four species of bacteria.

    PubMed

    Farnesi, A P; Aquino-Ferreira, R; De Jong, D; Bastos, J K; Soares, A E E

    2009-01-01

    We examined the antibacterial activities of several types of propolis, including Africanized honey bee green propolis and propolis produced by meliponini bees. The antibacterial activity of green propolis against Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus was superior to that of Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona sp propolis. Only two samples of propolis (green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis) were efficient against Escherichia coli. Melipona quadrifasciata propolis was better than green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We concluded that these resins have potential for human and veterinary medicine.

  13. Effects of stingless bee and honey bee propolis on four species of bacteria.

    PubMed

    Farnesi, A P; Aquino-Ferreira, R; De Jong, D; Bastos, J K; Soares, A E E

    2009-01-01

    We examined the antibacterial activities of several types of propolis, including Africanized honey bee green propolis and propolis produced by meliponini bees. The antibacterial activity of green propolis against Micrococcus luteus and Staphylococcus aureus was superior to that of Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona sp propolis. Only two samples of propolis (green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis) were efficient against Escherichia coli. Melipona quadrifasciata propolis was better than green propolis and Scaptotrigona sp propolis against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We concluded that these resins have potential for human and veterinary medicine. PMID:19554760

  14. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-07-27

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress.

  15. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G.; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-07-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress.

  16. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress. PMID:26212690

  17. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G.; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress. PMID:26212690

  18. Honey bee foraging preferences, effects of sugars, and fruit fly toxic bait components.

    PubMed

    Mangan, Robert L; Moreno, Aleena Tarshis

    2009-08-01

    Field tests were carried out to evaluate the repellency of the Dow AgroSciences fruit fly toxic bait GF-120 (NF Naturalyte) to domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). GF-120 is an organically registered attractive bait for tephritid fruit flies composed of spinosad, hydrolyzed protein (Solulys), high-fructose corn syrup (ADM CornSweet 42 high-fructose corn syrup, referred to as invertose sugar or invertose here), vegetable oils, adjuvants, humectants, and attractants. Tests were carried out with non-Africanized honey bees in February and March 2005 and 2007 during periods of maximum hunger for these bees. In all tests, bees were first trained to forage from plates of 30% honey-water (2005) or 30% invertose (2007). In 2005 bees were offered choices between honey-water and various bait components, including the complete toxic bait. In 2007, similar tests were performed except bees were attracted with 30% invertose then offered the bait components or complete bait as no-choice tests. Initially, the 2005 tests used all the components of GF-120 except the spinosad as the test bait. After we were convinced that bees would not collect or be contaminated by the bait, we tested the complete GF-120. Behavior of the bees indicated that during initial attraction and after switching the baits, the bait components and the complete bait were repellent to honey bees, but the honey-water remained attractive. Invertose was shown to be less attractive to bees, addition of Solulys eliminated almost all bee activity, and addition of ammonium acetate completely eliminated feeding in both choice and no-choice tests. These results confirm previous tests showing that bees do not feed on GF-120 and also show that honey bees are repelled by the fruit fly attractant components of the bait in field tests. PMID:19736759

  19. Nosema ceranae induced mortality in honey bees (Apis mellifera) depends on infection methods.

    PubMed

    Milbrath, Meghan O; Xie, Xianbing; Huang, Zachary Y

    2013-09-01

    Nosema ceranae infection can reduce survival of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, but experiments examining its virulence have highly variable results. This variation may arise from differences in experimental techniques. We examined survival effects of two techniques: Nosema infection at day 1 without anesthesia and infection at day 5 using CO2 anesthesia. All bees infected with the latter method had poorer survival. Interestingly, these bees also had significantly fewer spores than bees infected without anesthesia. These results indicate that differences in Nosema ceranae-induced mortality in honey bees may be partially due to differences in experimental techniques.

  20. The paratransgenic potential of Lactobacillus kunkeei in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Rangberg, A; Mathiesen, G; Amdam, G V; Diep, D B

    2015-01-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a domestic insect of high value to human societies, as a crop pollinator in agriculture and a model animal in scientific research. The honey bee, however, has experienced massive mortality worldwide due to the phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), resulting in alarming prospects for crop failure in Europe and the USA. The reasons for CCD are complex and much debated, but several honey bee pathogens are believed to be involved. Paratransgenesis is a Trojan horse strategy, where endogenous microorganisms are used to express effector molecules that antagonise pathogen development. For use in honey bees, paratransgenesis must rely on a set of criteria that the candidate paratransgenic microorganism must fulfil in order to obtain a successful outcome: (1) the candidate must be genetically modifiable to express effector molecules; (2) the modified organism should have no adverse effects on honey bee health upon reintroduction; and (3) it must survive together with other non-pathogenic bee-associated microorganisms. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are common gut bacteria in vertebrates and invertebrates, and some have naturally beneficial properties in their host. In the present work we aimed to find a potential paratransgenic candidate within this bacterial group for use in honey bees. Among isolated LAB associated with bee gut microbiota, we found the fructophilic Lactobacillus kunkeei to be the most predominant species during foraging seasons. Four genetically different strains of L. kunkeei were selected for further assessment. We demonstrated (1) that L. kunkeei is transformable; (2) that the transformed cells had no obvious adverse effect on honey bee survival; and (3) that transformed cells survived well in the gut environment of bees upon reintroduction. Our study demonstrates that L. kunkeei fulfils the three criteria for paratransgenesis and can be a suitable candidate for further research on this strategy in honey bees.

  1. Infectivity and virulence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in commercially available North American honey bees.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen; Aronstein, Katherine; Huang, Zachary

    2015-01-01

    Nosema ceranae infection is ubiquitous in western honey bees, Apis mellifera, in the United States and the pathogen has apparently replaced Nosema apis in colonies nationwide. Displacement of N. apis suggests that N. ceranae has competitive advantages but N. ceranae was significantly less infective and less virulent than N. apis in commercially available lineages of honey bees in studies conducted in Illinois and Texas. At 5 days post eclosion, the most susceptible age of adult bees tested, the mean ID50 for N. apis was 359 spores compared to 3217 N. ceranae spores, a nearly 9-fold difference. Infectivity of N. ceranae was also lower than N. apis for 24-h and 14-day worker bees. N. ceranae was less infective than reported in studies using European strains of honey bees, while N. apis infectivity, tested in the same cohort of honey bees, corresponded to results reported globally from 1972 to 2010. Mortality of worker bees was similar for both pathogens at a dosage of 50 spores and was not different from the uninfected controls, but was significantly higher for N. apis than N. ceranae at dosages ⩾500 spores. Our results provide comparisons for evaluating research using different ages of bees and pathogen dosages and clarify some controversies. In addition, comparisons among studies suggest that the mixed lineages of US honey bees may be less susceptible to N. ceranae infections than are European bees or that the US isolates of the pathogen are less infective and less virulent than European isolates.

  2. Nosema spp. infection and its negative effects on honey bees (Apis mellifera iberiensis) at the colony level

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Nosemosis caused by the microsporidia Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are among the most common pathologies affecting adult honey bees. N. apis infection has been associated with a reduced lifespan of infected bees and increased winter mortality, and its negative impact on colony strength and productivity has been described in several studies. By contrast, when the effects of nosemosis type C, caused by N. ceranae infection, have been analysed at the colony level, these studies have largely focused on collapse as a response to infection without addressing the potential sub-clinical effects on colony strength and productivity. Given the spread and prevalence of N. ceranae worldwide, we set out here to characterize the sub-clinical and clinical signs of N. ceranae infection on colony strength and productivity. We evaluated the evolution of 50 honey bee colonies naturally infected by Nosema (mainly N. ceranae) over a one year period. Under our experimental conditions, N. ceranae infection was highly pathogenic for honey bee colonies, producing significant reductions in colony size, brood rearing and honey production. These deleterious effects at the colony level may affect beekeeping profitability and have serious consequences on pollination. Further research is necessary to identify possible treatments or beekeeping techniques that will limit the rapid spread of this dangerous emerging disease. PMID:23574888

  3. Nosema spp. infection and its negative effects on honey bees (Apis mellifera iberiensis) at the colony level.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Barrios, Laura; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2013-04-10

    Nosemosis caused by the microsporidia Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are among the most common pathologies affecting adult honey bees. N. apis infection has been associated with a reduced lifespan of infected bees and increased winter mortality, and its negative impact on colony strength and productivity has been described in several studies. By contrast, when the effects of nosemosis type C, caused by N. ceranae infection, have been analysed at the colony level, these studies have largely focused on collapse as a response to infection without addressing the potential sub-clinical effects on colony strength and productivity. Given the spread and prevalence of N. ceranae worldwide, we set out here to characterize the sub-clinical and clinical signs of N. ceranae infection on colony strength and productivity. We evaluated the evolution of 50 honey bee colonies naturally infected by Nosema (mainly N. ceranae) over a one year period. Under our experimental conditions, N. ceranae infection was highly pathogenic for honey bee colonies, producing significant reductions in colony size, brood rearing and honey production. These deleterious effects at the colony level may affect beekeeping profitability and have serious consequences on pollination. Further research is necessary to identify possible treatments or beekeeping techniques that will limit the rapid spread of this dangerous emerging disease.

  4. Nosema ceranae in drone honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Traver, Brenna E; Fell, Richard D

    2011-07-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian intracellular parasite of honey bees, Apis mellifera. Previously Nosema apis was thought to be the only cause of nosemosis, but it has recently been proposed that N. ceranae is displacing N. apis. The rapid spread of N. ceranae could be due to additional transmission mechanisms, as well as higher infectivity. We analyzed drones for N. ceranae infections using duplex qPCR with species specific primers and probes. We found that both immature and mature drones are infected with N. ceranae at low levels. This is the first report detecting N. ceranae in immature bees. Our data suggest that because drones are known to drift from their parent hives to other hives, they could provide a means for disease spread within and between apiaries.

  5. Nosema ceranae in drone honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Traver, Brenna E; Fell, Richard D

    2011-07-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian intracellular parasite of honey bees, Apis mellifera. Previously Nosema apis was thought to be the only cause of nosemosis, but it has recently been proposed that N. ceranae is displacing N. apis. The rapid spread of N. ceranae could be due to additional transmission mechanisms, as well as higher infectivity. We analyzed drones for N. ceranae infections using duplex qPCR with species specific primers and probes. We found that both immature and mature drones are infected with N. ceranae at low levels. This is the first report detecting N. ceranae in immature bees. Our data suggest that because drones are known to drift from their parent hives to other hives, they could provide a means for disease spread within and between apiaries. PMID:21621543

  6. Divergent forms of endoplasmic reticulum stress trigger a robust unfolded protein response in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Brittany A; Hooks, Katarzyna B; McKinstry, Mia; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bee colonies in the United States have suffered from an increased rate of die-off in recent years, stemming from a complex set of interacting stresses that remain poorly described. While we have some understanding of the physiological stress responses in the honey bee, our molecular understanding of honey bee cellular stress responses is incomplete. Thus, we sought to identify and began functional characterization of the components of the UPR in honey bees. The IRE1-dependent splicing of the mRNA for the transcription factor Xbp1, leading to translation of an isoform with more transactivation potential, represents the most conserved of the UPR pathways. Honey bees and other Apoidea possess unique features in the Xbp1 mRNA splice site, which we reasoned could have functional consequences for the IRE1 pathway. However, we find robust induction of target genes upon UPR stimulation. In addition, the IRE1 pathway activation, as assessed by splicing of Xbp1 mRNA upon UPR, is conserved. By providing foundational knowledge about the UPR in the honey bee and the relative sensitivity of this species to divergent stresses, this work stands to improve our understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee health and disease. PMID:26699660

  7. Divergent forms of endoplasmic reticulum stress trigger a robust unfolded protein response in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Brittany A; Hooks, Katarzyna B; McKinstry, Mia; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bee colonies in the United States have suffered from an increased rate of die-off in recent years, stemming from a complex set of interacting stresses that remain poorly described. While we have some understanding of the physiological stress responses in the honey bee, our molecular understanding of honey bee cellular stress responses is incomplete. Thus, we sought to identify and began functional characterization of the components of the UPR in honey bees. The IRE1-dependent splicing of the mRNA for the transcription factor Xbp1, leading to translation of an isoform with more transactivation potential, represents the most conserved of the UPR pathways. Honey bees and other Apoidea possess unique features in the Xbp1 mRNA splice site, which we reasoned could have functional consequences for the IRE1 pathway. However, we find robust induction of target genes upon UPR stimulation. In addition, the IRE1 pathway activation, as assessed by splicing of Xbp1 mRNA upon UPR, is conserved. By providing foundational knowledge about the UPR in the honey bee and the relative sensitivity of this species to divergent stresses, this work stands to improve our understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee health and disease.

  8. Learning in the Africanized honey bee: Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Abramson, C I; Aquino, I S; Silva, M C; Price, J M

    1997-09-01

    Several series of experiments are reported that investigate learning in the Africanized honey bee. In the first series, classical conditioning of proboscis extension was studied by confining bees to small metal tubes where they received pairings of an odor with a 3-s feeding of sucrose. After a number of odor-sucrose pairings, the bees began to extend their proboscis to the odor. Controls include Unpaired, Discrimination, and Pseudoconditioning Groups. This technique was used to look at conditioning to a light CS, and to the odors of beeswax, geraniol, citral, and hexanal. The results indicate that acquisition was best when sucrose was paired with the odor of beeswax. Conditioning to the remaining odors was roughly similar, but acquisition did not occur using a light. In a second series of experiments, odors were no longer followed by sucrose feedings and the conditioned response slowly disappeared. With the exception of geraniol as a CS, this extinction effect did not occur if the animals continued to be fed on an unpaired schedule. In a third series of experiments, conditioned inhibition was demonstrated when geraniol was used as conditioned stimuli, but no effect was found when the odors of hexanal, citral and wax were used. In a fourth series of experiments, unrestrained bees flew back and forth from the laboratory to the hive, where they were taught to distinguish targets based on color and odor. With this technique, color and odor discrimination in the Africanized bees was demonstrated. In addition, it was found that more intruder bees visited the experimental station when the stimuli used were olfactory rather than visual.

  9. Heat shielding: A novel method of colonial thermoregulation in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Starks, P T; Gilley, D C

    1999-09-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, maintain constant colony temperatures throughout the year. Honey bees fan their wings to cool the colony, and often spread fluid in conjunction with this behavior to induce evaporative cooling. We present an additional, previously undescribed mechanism used by the honey bee to maintain constant colony temperature in response to localized temperature increases. Worker bees shield the comb from external heat sources by positioning themselves on hot interior regions of the hive's walls. Although honey comb and brood comb were both shielded, the temperature-sensitive brood received a greater number of heat shielders and was thus better protected from overheating. Heat shielding appears to be a context-dependent adaptive behavior performed by worker bees who would previously have been considered "unemployed.

  10. Heat Shielding: A Novel Method of Colonial Thermoregulation in Honey Bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starks, Philip T.; Gilley, David C.

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, maintain constant colony temperatures throughout the year. Honey bees fan their wings to cool the colony, and often spread fluid in conjunction with this behavior to induce evaporative cooling. We present an additional, previously undescribed mechanism used by the honey bee to maintain constant colony temperature in response to localized temperature increases. Worker bees shield the comb from external heat sources by positioning themselves on hot interior regions of the hive's walls. Although honey comb and brood comb were both shielded, the temperature-sensitive brood received a greater number of heat shielders and was thus better protected from overheating. Heat shielding appears to be a context-dependent adaptive behavior performed by worker bees who would previously have been considered "unemployed."

  11. Kiwifruit Flower Odor Perception and Recognition by Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Twidle, Andrew M; Mas, Flore; Harper, Aimee R; Horner, Rachael M; Welsh, Taylor J; Suckling, David M

    2015-06-17

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from male and female kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward') flowers were collected by dynamic headspace sampling. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) perception of the flower VOCs was tested using gas chromatography coupled to electroantennogram detection. Honey bees consistently responded to six compounds present in the headspace of female kiwifruit flowers and five compounds in the headspace of male flowers. Analysis of the floral volatiles by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and microscale chemical derivatization showed the compounds to be nonanal, 2-phenylethanol, 4-oxoisophorone, (3E,6E)-α-farnesene, (6Z,9Z)-heptadecadiene, and (8Z)-heptadecene. Bees were then trained via olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) to synthetic mixtures of these compounds using the ratios present in each flower type. Honey bees trained to the synthetic mixtures showed a high response to the natural floral extracts, indicating that these may be the key compounds for honey bee perception of kiwifruit flower odor.

  12. Molecular genetic analysis of Varroa destructor mites in brood, fallen injured mites and worker bee longevity in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two important traits that contribute to honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony survival are resistance to Varroa destructor and longevity of worker bees. We investigated the relationship between a panel of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and three phenotypic measurements of colonies: a) perc...

  13. Effects of Oral Exposure to Fungicides on Honey Bee Nutrition and Virus Levels.

    PubMed

    Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Chen, Yanping; Watkins Dejong, Emily; Chambers, Mona L; Hidalgo, Geoffrey

    2015-12-01

    Sublethal exposure to fungicides can affect honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in ways that resemble malnutrition. These include reduced brood rearing, queen loss, and increased pathogen levels. We examined the effects of oral exposure to the fungicides boscalid and pyraclostrobin on factors affecting colony nutrition and immune function including pollen consumption, protein digestion, hemolymph protein titers, and changes in virus levels. Because the fungicides are respiratory inhibitors, we also measured ATP concentrations in flight muscle. The effects were evaluated in 3- and 7-d-old worker bees at high fungicide concentrations in cage studies, and at field-relevant concentrations in colony studies. Though fungicide levels differed greatly between the cage and colony studies, similar effects were observed. Hemolymph protein concentrations were comparable between bees feeding on pollen with and without added fungicides. However, in both cage and colony studies, bees consumed less pollen containing fungicides and digested less of the protein. Bees fed fungicide-treated pollen also had lower ATP concentrations and higher virus titers. The combination of effects we detected could produce symptoms that are similar to those from poor nutrition and weaken colonies making them more vulnerable to loss from additional stressors such as parasites and pathogens. PMID:26318004

  14. Effects of Oral Exposure to Fungicides on Honey Bee Nutrition and Virus Levels.

    PubMed

    Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Chen, Yanping; Watkins Dejong, Emily; Chambers, Mona L; Hidalgo, Geoffrey

    2015-12-01

    Sublethal exposure to fungicides can affect honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in ways that resemble malnutrition. These include reduced brood rearing, queen loss, and increased pathogen levels. We examined the effects of oral exposure to the fungicides boscalid and pyraclostrobin on factors affecting colony nutrition and immune function including pollen consumption, protein digestion, hemolymph protein titers, and changes in virus levels. Because the fungicides are respiratory inhibitors, we also measured ATP concentrations in flight muscle. The effects were evaluated in 3- and 7-d-old worker bees at high fungicide concentrations in cage studies, and at field-relevant concentrations in colony studies. Though fungicide levels differed greatly between the cage and colony studies, similar effects were observed. Hemolymph protein concentrations were comparable between bees feeding on pollen with and without added fungicides. However, in both cage and colony studies, bees consumed less pollen containing fungicides and digested less of the protein. Bees fed fungicide-treated pollen also had lower ATP concentrations and higher virus titers. The combination of effects we detected could produce symptoms that are similar to those from poor nutrition and weaken colonies making them more vulnerable to loss from additional stressors such as parasites and pathogens.

  15. Distinctive Gut Microbiota of Honey Bees Assessed Using Deep Sampling from Individual Worker Bees

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Nancy A.; Hansen, Allison K.; Powell, J. Elijah; Sabree, Zakee L.

    2012-01-01

    Surveys of 16S rDNA sequences from the honey bee, Apis mellifera, have revealed the presence of eight distinctive bacterial phylotypes in intestinal tracts of adult worker bees. Because previous studies have been limited to relatively few sequences from samples pooled from multiple hosts, the extent of variation in this microbiota among individuals within and between colonies and locations has been unclear. We surveyed the gut microbiota of 40 individual workers from two sites, Arizona and Maryland USA, sampling four colonies per site. Universal primers were used to amplify regions of 16S ribosomal RNA genes, and amplicons were sequenced using 454 pyrotag methods, enabling analysis of about 330,000 bacterial reads. Over 99% of these sequences belonged to clusters for which the first blastn hits in GenBank were members of the known bee phylotypes. Four phylotypes, one within Gammaproteobacteria (corresponding to “Candidatus Gilliamella apicola”) one within Betaproteobacteria (“Candidatus Snodgrassella alvi”), and two within Lactobacillus, were present in every bee, though their frequencies varied. The same typical bacterial phylotypes were present in all colonies and at both sites. Community profiles differed significantly among colonies and between sites, mostly due to the presence in some Arizona colonies of two species of Enterobacteriaceae not retrieved previously from bees. Analysis of Sanger sequences of rRNA of the Snodgrassella and Gilliamella phylotypes revealed that single bees contain numerous distinct strains of each phylotype. Strains showed some differentiation between localities, especially for the Snodgrassella phylotype. PMID:22558460

  16. A fluorescent method for visualization of Nosema infection in whole-mount honey bee tissues.

    PubMed

    Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators in both agricultural and ecological settings. The Nosema species, ceranae and apis, are microsporidian parasites that are pathogenic to honey bees. While current methods for detecting Nosema infection have key merits, additional techniques with novel properties for studying the cell biology of Nosema infection are highly desirable. We demonstrate that whole-mount staining of honey bee midgut tissue with chitin-binding agent Fluorescent Brightener 28 and DNA dye Propidium Iodide allows for observation of Nosema infection in structurally intact tissue, providing a new tool for increasing our understanding of Nosema infection at the cellular and tissue level.

  17. An improved marriage in honey bees optimization algorithm for single objective unconstrained optimization.

    PubMed

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO) is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO) by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm's performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms. PMID:23935416

  18. Social Reinforcement Delays in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Grice, James W.; Varnon, Chris A.; Gibson, B.; Sokolowski, Michel B. C.; Abramson, Charles I.

    2012-01-01

    Free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) reactions were observed when presented with varying schedules of post-reinforcement delays of 0 s, 300 s, or 600 s. We measured inter-visit-interval, response length, inter-response-time, and response rate. Honey bees exposed to these post-reinforcement delay intervals exhibit one of several patterns compared to groups not encountering delays, and had longer inter-visit-intervals. We observed no group differences in inter-response time. Honey bees with higher response rates tended to not finish the experiment. The removal of the delay intervals increased response rates for those subjects that completed the trials. PMID:23056425

  19. The effects of the general anaesthetic isoflurane on the honey bee (Apis mellifera) circadian clock.

    PubMed

    Ludin, Nicola M; Cheeseman, James F; Merry, Alan F; Millar, Craig D; Warman, Guy R

    2016-01-01

    General anaesthesia administered during the day has previously been shown to phase shift the honey bee clock. We describe a phase response curve for honey bees (n=105) to six hour isoflurane anaesthesia. The honey bee isoflurane PRC is "weak" with a delay portion (maximum shift of -1.88 hours, circadian time 0 - 3) but no advance zone. The isoflurane-induced shifts observed here are in direct opposition to those of light. Furthermore, concurrent administration of light and isoflurane abolishes the shifts that occur with isoflurane alone. Light may thus provide a means of reducing isoflurane-induced phase shifts.

  20. Differential gene expression of two extreme honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies showing varroa tolerance and susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Jiang, S; Robertson, T; Mostajeran, M; Robertson, A J; Qiu, X

    2016-06-01

    Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of honey bees (Apis mellifera), is the most serious pest threatening the apiculture industry. In our honey bee breeding programme, two honey bee colonies showing extreme phenotypes for varroa tolerance/resistance (S88) and susceptibility (G4) were identified by natural selection from a large gene pool over a 6-year period. To investigate potential defence mechanisms for honey bee tolerance to varroa infestation, we employed DNA microarray and real time quantitative (PCR) analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in the tolerant and susceptible colonies at pupa and adult stages. Our results showed that more differentially expressed genes were identified in the tolerant bees than in bees from the susceptible colony, indicating that the tolerant colony showed an increased genetic capacity to respond to varroa mite infestation. In both colonies, there were more differentially expressed genes identified at the pupa stage than at the adult stage, indicating that pupa bees are more responsive to varroa infestation than adult bees. Genes showing differential expression in the colony phenotypes were categorized into several groups based on their molecular functions, such as olfactory signalling, detoxification processes, exoskeleton formation, protein degradation and long-chain fatty acid metabolism, suggesting that these biological processes play roles in conferring varroa tolerance to naturally selected colonies. Identification of differentially expressed genes between the two colony phenotypes provides potential molecular markers for selecting and breeding varroa-tolerant honey bees. PMID:26919127

  1. Evaluation of cage designs and feeding regimes for honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) laboratory experiments.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shao Kang; Csaki, Tamas; Doublet, Vincent; Dussaubat, Claudia; Evans, Jay D; Gajda, Anna M; Gregorc, Alex; Hamilton, Michele C; Kamler, Martin; Lecocq, Antoine; Muz, Mustafa N; Neumann, Peter; Ozkirim, Asli; Schiesser, Aygün; Sohr, Alex R; Tanner, Gina; Tozkar, Cansu Ozge; Williams, Geoffrey R; Wu, Lyman; Zheng, Huoqing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to improve cage systems for maintaining adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers under in vitro laboratory conditions. To achieve this goal, we experimentally evaluated the impact of different cages, developed by scientists of the international research network COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes), on the physiology and survival of honey bees. We identified three cages that promoted good survival of honey bees. The bees from cages that exhibited greater survival had relatively lower titers of deformed wing virus, suggesting that deformed wing virus is a significant marker reflecting stress level and health status of the host. We also determined that a leak- and drip-proof feeder was an integral part of a cage system and a feeder modified from a 20-ml plastic syringe displayed the best result in providing steady food supply to bees. Finally, we also demonstrated that the addition of protein to the bees' diet could significantly increase the level ofvitellogenin gene expression and improve bees' survival. This international collaborative study represents a critical step toward improvement of cage designs and feeding regimes for honey bee laboratory experiments.

  2. Comb wax effects on the ontogeny of honey bee nestmate recognition

    PubMed

    Breed; Leger; Pearce; Wang

    1998-01-01

    We addressed the general question of how kin recognition cues develop by investigating cue differentiation between colonies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. In honey bee colonies, exposure to the wax comb is a critical component of the development of kin recognition cues. In this study, we determined how the cues develop under natural conditions (in swarms), whether the genetic source and age of the wax affect cue ontogeny, and whether exposure to wax, as in normal development, affects preferential feeding among bees within social groups. Cue development in swarms coincided with wax production, rather than with the presence of brood or the emergence of new workers; this finding supported previous observations concerning the importance of wax in cue ontogeny. Effective cue development required a match between the genetic source of the workers attempting to enter the hive, the wax to which they were exposed, and the guards at the hive entrance. The wax must also have been exposed to the hive environment for some time. Cues gained from wax did not mask or override cues used in preferential feeding interactions; this finding supports the contention that two recognition systems, one for nestmate recognition and the other for intra-colonial recognition, are present. The results fit a general model for cue development in nestmate recognition that relies on the use of nesting materials as an intermediary; the evolutionary significance of this model is discussed. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  3. Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine.

    PubMed

    du Rand, Esther E; Smit, Salome; Beukes, Mervyn; Apostolides, Zeno; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality. PMID:26134631

  4. Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine.

    PubMed

    du Rand, Esther E; Smit, Salome; Beukes, Mervyn; Apostolides, Zeno; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W

    2015-07-02

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality.

  5. Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine

    PubMed Central

    Rand, Esther E. du; Smit, Salome; Beukes, Mervyn; Apostolides, Zeno; Pirk, Christian W.W.; Nicolson, Susan W.

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality. PMID:26134631

  6. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution.

    PubMed

    Chan, Queenie W T; Chan, Man Yi; Logan, Michelle; Fang, Yuan; Higo, Heather; Foster, Leonard J

    2013-11-01

    Genome sequencing has provided us with gene lists but cannot tell us where and how their encoded products work together to support life. Complex organisms rely on differential expression of subsets of genes/proteins in organs and tissues, and, in concert, evolved to their present state as they function together to improve an organism's overall reproductive fitness. Proteomics studies of individual organs help us understand their basic functions, but this reductionist approach misses the larger context of the whole organism. This problem could be circumvented if all the organs in an organism were comprehensively studied by the same methodology and analyzed together. Using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as a model system, we report here an initial whole proteome of a complex organism, measuring 29 different organ/tissue types among the three honey bee castes: queen, drone, and worker. The data reveal that, e.g., workers have a heightened capacity to deal with environmental toxins and queens have a far more robust pheromone detection system than their nestmates. The data also suggest that workers altruistically sacrifice not only their own reproductive capacity but also their immune potential in favor of their queen. Finally, organ-level resolution of protein expression offers a systematic insight into how organs may have developed.

  7. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution.

    PubMed

    Chan, Queenie W T; Chan, Man Yi; Logan, Michelle; Fang, Yuan; Higo, Heather; Foster, Leonard J

    2013-11-01

    Genome sequencing has provided us with gene lists but cannot tell us where and how their encoded products work together to support life. Complex organisms rely on differential expression of subsets of genes/proteins in organs and tissues, and, in concert, evolved to their present state as they function together to improve an organism's overall reproductive fitness. Proteomics studies of individual organs help us understand their basic functions, but this reductionist approach misses the larger context of the whole organism. This problem could be circumvented if all the organs in an organism were comprehensively studied by the same methodology and analyzed together. Using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as a model system, we report here an initial whole proteome of a complex organism, measuring 29 different organ/tissue types among the three honey bee castes: queen, drone, and worker. The data reveal that, e.g., workers have a heightened capacity to deal with environmental toxins and queens have a far more robust pheromone detection system than their nestmates. The data also suggest that workers altruistically sacrifice not only their own reproductive capacity but also their immune potential in favor of their queen. Finally, organ-level resolution of protein expression offers a systematic insight into how organs may have developed. PMID:23878156

  8. MicroRNAs of host honey bees, Apis mellifera respond to the infection of Microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to clarify the impacts of Nosema ceranae infection on the expression levels of honey bees’ MicroRNAs (miRNAs), we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. 18 miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae...

  9. Longevity of microwave-treated (2. 45 GHz continuous wave) honey bees in observation hives

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-12-15

    Adult honey bees were exposed for 30 min to 2.45 GHz of continuous wave microwave radiation at power densities ranging from 3 to 50 mW/cm/sup 2/. After exposure, bees were returned to glass-walled observation hives, and their longevity was compared with that of control bees. No significant differences were found between microwave- and sham-treated bees at any of the power densities tested.

  10. Parasitized honey bees are less likely to forage and carry less pollen.

    PubMed

    Lach, Lori; Kratz, Madlen; Baer, Boris

    2015-09-01

    Research into loss of pollination capacity has focused primarily on documenting pollinator declines and their causes with comparatively little attention paid to how stressors may affect pollinating behavior of surviving pollinators. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera is one of the world's most important generalist pollinators, and Nosema apis is a widespread microsporidian gut parasite of adult A. mellifera. We individually fed 960 newly eclosed A. mellifera workers either a sucrose solution or 400 N. apis spores in a sucrose solution and tagged them with a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to monitor their foraging behavior. We found spore-fed bees were less likely to forage than those fed sugar only. Those that did forage started foraging when they were older and stopped foraging when they were younger than bees fed sugar only. However, inoculated and non-inoculated bees did not significantly differ in the number of foraging trips taken per day, the total hours foraged over their lifetime, or homing ability. Inoculated returning foragers were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying available pollen than non-inoculated returning foragers and the number of pollen grains carried was negatively correlated with the number of N. apis spores. In an arena of artificial flowers, inoculated bees had a tendency (p=0.061) to choose sugar flowers over pollen flowers, compared to non-inoculated bees which visited pollen and sugar flowers equally. These results demonstrate that even a relatively low dose of a widespread disease of A. mellifera may adversely affect bees' ability to pollinate. PMID:26149824

  11. Parasitized honey bees are less likely to forage and carry less pollen.

    PubMed

    Lach, Lori; Kratz, Madlen; Baer, Boris

    2015-09-01

    Research into loss of pollination capacity has focused primarily on documenting pollinator declines and their causes with comparatively little attention paid to how stressors may affect pollinating behavior of surviving pollinators. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera is one of the world's most important generalist pollinators, and Nosema apis is a widespread microsporidian gut parasite of adult A. mellifera. We individually fed 960 newly eclosed A. mellifera workers either a sucrose solution or 400 N. apis spores in a sucrose solution and tagged them with a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to monitor their foraging behavior. We found spore-fed bees were less likely to forage than those fed sugar only. Those that did forage started foraging when they were older and stopped foraging when they were younger than bees fed sugar only. However, inoculated and non-inoculated bees did not significantly differ in the number of foraging trips taken per day, the total hours foraged over their lifetime, or homing ability. Inoculated returning foragers were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying available pollen than non-inoculated returning foragers and the number of pollen grains carried was negatively correlated with the number of N. apis spores. In an arena of artificial flowers, inoculated bees had a tendency (p=0.061) to choose sugar flowers over pollen flowers, compared to non-inoculated bees which visited pollen and sugar flowers equally. These results demonstrate that even a relatively low dose of a widespread disease of A. mellifera may adversely affect bees' ability to pollinate.

  12. Conversion of high and low pollen protein diets into protein in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Basualdo, M; Barragán, S; Vanagas, L; García, C; Solana, H; Rodríguez, E; Bedascarrasbure, E

    2013-08-01

    Adequate protein levels are necessary to maintain strong honey bee [Apis mellifera (L.)] colonies. The aim of this study was to quantify how pollens with different crude protein contents influence protein stores within individual honey bees. Caged bees were fed one of three diets, consisting of high-protein-content pollen, low-protein-content pollen, or protein-free diet as control; measurements were made based on protein content in hemolymph and fat body, fat body weight, and body weight. Vitellogenin in hemolymph was also measured. Bees fed with high crude protein diet had significantly higher levels of protein in hemolymph and fat bodies. Caged bees did not increase pollen consumption to compensate for the lower protein in the diet, and ingesting approximately 4 mg of protein per bee could achieve levels of 20 microg/microl protein in hemolymph. Worker bees fed with low crude protein diet took more time in reaching similar protein content of the bees that were fed with high crude protein diet. The data showed that fat bodies and body weight were not efficient methods of measuring the protein status of bees. The determination of total protein or vitellogenin concentration in the hemolymph from 13-d-old bees and protein concentration of fat bodies from 9-d-old bees could be good indicators of nutritional status of honey bees. PMID:24020265

  13. Conversion of high and low pollen protein diets into protein in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Basualdo, M; Barragán, S; Vanagas, L; García, C; Solana, H; Rodríguez, E; Bedascarrasbure, E

    2013-08-01

    Adequate protein levels are necessary to maintain strong honey bee [Apis mellifera (L.)] colonies. The aim of this study was to quantify how pollens with different crude protein contents influence protein stores within individual honey bees. Caged bees were fed one of three diets, consisting of high-protein-content pollen, low-protein-content pollen, or protein-free diet as control; measurements were made based on protein content in hemolymph and fat body, fat body weight, and body weight. Vitellogenin in hemolymph was also measured. Bees fed with high crude protein diet had significantly higher levels of protein in hemolymph and fat bodies. Caged bees did not increase pollen consumption to compensate for the lower protein in the diet, and ingesting approximately 4 mg of protein per bee could achieve levels of 20 microg/microl protein in hemolymph. Worker bees fed with low crude protein diet took more time in reaching similar protein content of the bees that were fed with high crude protein diet. The data showed that fat bodies and body weight were not efficient methods of measuring the protein status of bees. The determination of total protein or vitellogenin concentration in the hemolymph from 13-d-old bees and protein concentration of fat bodies from 9-d-old bees could be good indicators of nutritional status of honey bees.

  14. Within-Colony Variation in the Immunocompetency of Managed and Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) in Different Urban Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Appler, R. Holden; Frank, Steven D.; Tarpy, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Urbanization has the potential to dramatically affect insect populations worldwide, although its effects on pollinator populations are just beginning to be understood. We compared the immunocompetency of honey bees sampled from feral (wild-living) and managed (beekeeper-owned) honey bee colonies. We sampled foragers from feral and managed colonies in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes in and around Raleigh, NC, USA. We then analyzed adult workers using two standard bioassays for insect immune function (encapsulation response and phenoloxidase activity). We found that there was far more variation within colonies for encapsulation response or phenoloxidase activity than among rural to urban landscapes, and we did not observe any significant difference in immune response between feral and managed bees. These findings suggest that social pollinators, like honey bees, may be sufficiently robust or variable in their immune responses to obscure any subtle effects of urbanization. Additional studies of immune physiology and disease ecology of social and solitary bees in urban, suburban, and natural ecosystems will provide insights into the relative effects of changing urban environments on several important factors that influence pollinator productivity and health. PMID:26529020

  15. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used in Migratory Beekeeping for Crop Pollination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., that were bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman were evaluated for performance when used for beekeeping in an intensive, migratory crop pollination system. Colonies of these stocks (Russian honey bees [RHB] and outcrosses of bees with...

  16. Inheritance of thelytoky in the honey bee Apis mellifera capensis

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, N C; Beekman, M; Allsopp, M H; Rinderer, T E; Lim, J; Oxley, P R; Oldroyd, B P

    2015-01-01

    Asexual reproduction via thelytokous parthenogenesis is widespread in the Hymenoptera, but its genetic underpinnings have been described only twice. In the wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum and the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis the origin of thelytoky have each been traced to a single recessive locus. In the Cape honey bee it has been argued that thelytoky (th) controls the thelytoky phenotype and that a deletion of 9 bp in the flanking intron downstream of exon 5 (tae) of the gemini gene switches parthenogenesis from arrhenotoky to thelytoky. To further explore the mode of inheritance of thelytoky, we generated reciprocal backcrosses between thelytokous A. m. capensis and the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata. Ten genetic markers were used to identify 108 thelytokously produced offspring and 225 arrhenotokously produced offspring from 14 colonies. Patterns of appearance of thelytokous parthenogenesis were inconsistent with a single locus, either th or tae, controlling thelytoky. We further show that the 9 bp deletion is present in the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata population in South Africa, in A. m. intermissa in Morocco and in Africanized bees from Brazil and Texas, USA, where thelytoky has not been reported. Thus the 9 bp deletion cannot be the cause of thelytoky. Further, we found two novel tae alleles. One contains the previously described 9 bp deletion and an additional deletion of 7 bp nearby. The second carries a single base insertion with respect to the wild type. Our data are consistent with the putative th locus increasing reproductive capacity. PMID:25585920

  17. Mitochondrial structure and dynamics as critical factors in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) caste development.

    PubMed

    Santos, Douglas Elias; Alberici, Luciane Carla; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2016-06-01

    The relationship between nutrition and phenotype is an especially challenging question in cases of facultative polyphenism, like the castes of social insects. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, unexpected modifications in conserved signaling pathways revealed the hypoxia response as a possible mechanism underlying the regulation of body size and organ growth. Hence, the current study was designed to investigate possible causes of why the three hypoxia core genes are overexpressed in worker larvae. Parting from the hypothesis that this has an endogenous cause and is not due to differences in external oxygen levels we investigated mitochondrial numbers and distribution, as well as mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates in fat body cells of queen and worker larvae during the caste fate-critical larval stages. By immunofluorescence and electron microscopy we found higher densities of mitochondria in queen larval fat body, a finding further confirmed by a citrate synthase assay quantifying mitochondrial functional units. Oxygen consumption measurements by high-resolution respirometry revealed that queen larvae have higher maximum capacities of ATP production at lower physiological demand. Finally, the expression analysis of mitogenesis-related factors showed that the honey bee TFB1 and TFB2 homologs, and a nutritional regulator, ERR, are overexpressed in queen larvae. These results are strong evidence that the differential nutrition of queen and worker larvae by nurse bees affects mitochondrial dynamics and functionality in the fat body of these larvae, hence explaining their differential hypoxia response. PMID:27058771

  18. Does pea lectin expressed transgenically in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) influence honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae?

    PubMed

    Lehrman, Anna

    2007-01-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is important both for pollination and for honey production. Pollen is the major protein source for bees, which exposes them directly to changes in pollen quality e.g. through genetic engineering. In order to create a worst case scenario regarding pea lectin (PSL) expressed transgenically in oilseed rape anthers and pollen, the maximum amount of dried pollen that could be mixed in an artificial diet without negatively affecting larval performance (1.5% w/w) was fed to bee larvae. Pollen from two transgenic plant lines expressing PSL up to 1.2% of total soluble protein and pollen from one non-transgenic line was added to the same diet and used as a pollen control. When these three pollen diets and the control diet (without added pollen) were compared, no negative effect from the pollen of the transgenic plants could be detected on larval mortality, weight, or development time. An increased weight and a reduced developmental time were recorded for larvae on all diets containing pollen when compared to the diet without pollen. PMID:18289502

  19. Dnmts and Tet target memory-associated genes after appetitive olfactory training in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Biergans, Stephanie D; Giovanni Galizia, C; Reinhard, Judith; Claudianos, Charles

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation and demethylation are epigenetic mechanisms involved in memory formation. In honey bees DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) function is necessary for long-term memory to be stimulus specific (i.e. to reduce generalization). So far, however, it remains elusive which genes are targeted and what the time-course of DNA methylation is during memory formation. Here, we analyse how DNA methylation affects memory retention, gene expression, and differential methylation in stimulus-specific olfactory long-term memory formation. Out of 30 memory-associated genes investigated here, 9 were upregulated following Dnmt inhibition in trained bees. These included Dnmt3 suggesting a negative feedback loop for DNA methylation. Within these genes also the DNA methylation pattern changed during the first 24 hours after training. Interestingly, this was accompanied by sequential activation of the DNA methylation machinery (i.e. Dnmts and Tet). In sum, memory formation involves a temporally complex epigenetic regulation of memory-associated genes that facilitates stimulus specific long-term memory in the honey bee.

  20. Dnmts and Tet target memory-associated genes after appetitive olfactory training in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Biergans, Stephanie D.; Giovanni Galizia, C.; Reinhard, Judith; Claudianos, Charles

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation and demethylation are epigenetic mechanisms involved in memory formation. In honey bees DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt) function is necessary for long-term memory to be stimulus specific (i.e. to reduce generalization). So far, however, it remains elusive which genes are targeted and what the time-course of DNA methylation is during memory formation. Here, we analyse how DNA methylation affects memory retention, gene expression, and differential methylation in stimulus-specific olfactory long-term memory formation. Out of 30 memory-associated genes investigated here, 9 were upregulated following Dnmt inhibition in trained bees. These included Dnmt3 suggesting a negative feedback loop for DNA methylation. Within these genes also the DNA methylation pattern changed during the first 24 hours after training. Interestingly, this was accompanied by sequential activation of the DNA methylation machinery (i.e. Dnmts and Tet). In sum, memory formation involves a temporally complex epigenetic regulation of memory-associated genes that facilitates stimulus specific long-term memory in the honey bee. PMID:26531238

  1. Amino acid and carbohydrate tradeoffs by honey bee nectar foragers and their implications for plant-pollinator interactions.

    PubMed

    Hendriksma, Harmen P; Oxman, Karmi L; Shafir, Sharoni

    2014-10-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators, requiring floral pollen and nectar for nutrition. Nectar is rich in sugars, but contains additional nutrients, including amino acids (AAs). We tested the preferences of free-flying foragers between 20 AAs at 0.1% w/w in sucrose solutions in an artificial meadow. We found consistent preferences amongst AAs, with essential AAs preferred over nonessential AAs. The preference of foragers correlated negatively with AA induced deviations in pH values, as compared to the control. Next, we quantified tradeoffs between attractive and deterrent AAs at the expense of carbohydrates in nectar. Bees were attracted by phenylalanine, willing to give up 84units sucrose for 1unit AA. They were deterred by glycine, and adding 100 or more units of sucrose could resolve to offset 1unit AA. In addition, we tested physiological effects of AA nutrition on forager homing performance. In a no-choice context, caged bees showed indifference to 0.1% proline, leucine, glycine or phenylalanine in sucrose solutions. Furthermore, flight tests gave no indicat