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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

    2015-10-13

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Bees brought to their knees: microbes affecting honey bee health.

    PubMed

    Evans, Jay D; Schwarz, Ryan S

    2011-12-01

    The biology and health of the honey bee Apis mellifera has been of interest to human societies for centuries. Research on honey bee health is surging, in part due to new tools and the arrival of colony-collapse disorder (CCD), an unsolved decline in bees from parts of the United States, Europe, and Asia. Although a clear understanding of what causes CCD has yet to emerge, these efforts have led to new microbial discoveries and avenues to improve our understanding of bees and the challenges they face. Here we review the known honey bee microbes and highlight areas of both active and lagging research. Detailed studies of honey bee-pathogen dynamics will help efforts to keep this important pollinator healthy and will give general insights into both beneficial and harmful microbes confronting insect colonies.

  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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood is an invasive mycosis in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) produced by Ascosphaera apis (Maassen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir (Spiltoir, 1955) that exclusively affects bee brood. Although fatal to individual larvae, the disease does not usually destroy an entire bee colony. However, it c...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Mixtures of herbicides and metals affect the redox system of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Jumarie, Catherine; Aras, Philippe; Boily, Monique

    2017-02-01

    The increasing loss of bee colonies in many countries has prompted a surge of studies on the factors affecting bee health. In North America, main crops such as maize and soybean are cultivated with extensive use of pesticides that may affect non-target organisms such as bees. Also, biosolids, used as a soil amendment, represent additional sources of metals in agroecosystems; however, there is no information about how these metals could affect the bees. In previous studies we investigated the effects of environmentally relevant doses of herbicides and metals, each individually, on caged honey bees. The present study aimed at investigating the effects of mixtures of herbicides (glyphosate and atrazine) and metals (cadmium and iron), as these mixtures represent more realistic exposure conditions. Levels of metal, vitamin E, carotenoids, retinaldehyde, at-retinol, retinoic acid isomers (9-cis RA, 13-cis RA, at-RA) and the metabolites 13-cis-4-oxo-RA and at-4-oxo-RA were measured in bees fed for 10 days with contaminated syrup. Mixtures of herbicides and cadmium that did not affect bee viability, lowered bee α- and β-carotenoid contents and increased 9-cis-RA as well as 13-cis-4-oxo-RA without modifying the levels of at-retinol. Bee treatment with either glyphosate, a combination of atrazine and cadmium, or mixtures of herbicides promoted lipid peroxidation. Iron was bioconcentrated in bees and led to high levels of lipid peroxidation. Metals also decreased zeaxanthin bee contents. These results show that mixtures of atrazine, glyphosate, cadmium and iron may affect different reactions occurring in the metabolic pathway of vitamin A in the honey bee.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist affects honey bee sucrose responsiveness and decreases waggle dancing.

    PubMed

    Eiri, Daren M; Nieh, James C

    2012-06-15

    A nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, imidacloprid, impairs memory formation in honey bees and has general effects on foraging. However, little is known about how this agonist affects two specific aspects of foraging: sucrose responsiveness (SR) and waggle dancing (which recruits nestmates). Using lab and field experiments, we tested the effect of sublethal doses of imidacloprid on (1) bee SR with the proboscis extension response assay, and (2) free-flying foragers visiting and dancing for a sucrose feeder. Bees that ingested imidacloprid (0.21 or 2.16 ng bee(-1)) had higher sucrose response thresholds 1 h after treatment. Foragers that ingested imidacloprid also produced significantly fewer waggle dance circuits (10.5- and 4.5-fold fewer for 50% and 30% sucrose solutions, respectively) 24 h after treatment as compared with controls. However, there was no significant effect of imidacloprid on the sucrose concentrations that foragers collected at a feeder 24 h after treatment. Thus, imidacloprid temporarily increased the minimum sucrose concentration that foragers would accept (short time scale, 1 h after treatment) and reduced waggle dancing (longer time scale, 24 h after treatment). The effect of time suggests different neurological effects of imidacloprid resulting from the parent compound and its metabolites. Waggle dancing can significantly increase colony food intake, and thus a sublethal dose (0.21 ng bee(-1), 24 p.p.b.) of this commonly used pesticide may impair colony fitness.

  6. 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

  7. Acute Exposure to Worst-Case Concentrations of Amitraz Does Not Affect Honey Bee Learning, Short-Term Memory, or Hemolymph Octopamine Levels.

    PubMed

    Rix, Rachel R; Christopher Cutler, G

    2016-12-27

    Amitraz, an acaricide used to treat Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, is one of the most commonly detected pesticides in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) hives. Acaricides sometimes negatively impact honey bee cognition, but potential effects of amitraz on honey bee learning have been rarely studied. We topically exposed foragers to 95th percentile field-relevant levels of amitraz and, 24 h later, tested the ability of bees to associate a sucrose reward with a conditioned odor (learning response) using the proboscis extension response (PER). We then tested the ability of the bees to retain this memory 1 h and 2 h post-conditioning. Because amitraz is thought to affect octopamine metabolism in honey bees, and because octopamine is directly related to honey bee learning and memory, we also examined effects of exposure to amitraz on octopamine levels in honey bee hemolymph. We found that acute exposure to 95th percentile doses of amitraz had no impact on honey bee learning or short-term memory as measured by PER. Concentrations of octopamine in hemolymph from our low amitraz treatment were 1.4-fold higher than control levels, but other treatments had no effect. Our results from worst-case acute exposure experiments with worker bees in the laboratory suggest that typical field-relevant (within hive) exposures to amitraz probably have little effect on honey bee learning and memory.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. [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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Season and landscape composition affect pollen foraging distances and habitat use of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Danner, Nadja; Molitor, Anna Maria; Schiele, Susanne; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2016-09-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) show a large variation in foraging distances and use a broad range of plant species as pollen resources, even in regions with intensive agriculture. However, it is unknown how increasing areas of mass-flowering crops like oilseed rape (Brassica napus; OSR) or a decrease of seminatural habitats (SNH) change the temporal and spatial availability of pollen resources for honey bee colonies, and thus foraging distances and frequency in different habitat types. We studied pollen foraging of honey bee colonies in 16 agricultural landscapes with independent gradients of OSR and SNH area within 2 km and used waggle dances and digital geographic maps with major land cover types to reveal the distance and visited habitat type on a landscape level. Mean pollen foraging distance of 1347 decoded bee dances was 1015 m (± 26 m; SEM). In spring, increasing area of flowering OSR within 2 km reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 1324 m to only 435 m. In summer, increasing cover of SNH areas close to the colonies (within 200 m radius) reduced mean pollen foraging distances from 846 to 469 m. Frequency of pollen foragers per habitat type, measured as the number of dances per hour and hectare, was equally high for SNH, grassland, and OSR fields, but lower for other crops and forests. In landscapes with a small proportion of SNH a significantly higher density of pollen foragers on SNH was observed, indicating that pollen resources in such simple agricultural landscapes are more limited. Overall, we conclude that SNH and mass-flowering crops can reduce foraging distances of honey bee colonies at different scales and seasons with possible benefits for the performance of honey bee colonies. Further, mixed agricultural landscapes with a high proportion of SNH reduce foraging densities of honey bees in SNH and thus possible competition for pollen resources.

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on pollination efficacy of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Varroa mites and viral diseases are known to affect the efficiency of crop pollination by honey. This study elucidates effects of varroa mites and bee diseases on the foraging behavior of adult bees and the consequences on successful fruit pollination. Four honey bee colonies of about 4,500 bees eac...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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, th...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Disruption of quercetin metabolism by fungicide affects energy production in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-07

    Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450) in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, detoxify phytochemicals in honey and pollen. The flavonol quercetin is found ubiquitously and abundantly in pollen and frequently at lower concentrations in honey. Worker jelly consumed during the first 3 d of larval development typically contains flavonols at very low levels, however. RNA-Seq analysis of gene expression in neonates reared for three days on diets with and without quercetin revealed that, in addition to up-regulating multiple detoxifying P450 genes, quercetin is a negative transcriptional regulator of mitochondrion-related nuclear genes and genes encoding subunits of complexes I, III, IV, and V in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. Thus, a consequence of inefficient metabolism of this phytochemical may be compromised energy production. Several P450s metabolize quercetin in adult workers. Docking in silico of 121 pesticide contaminants of American hives into the active pocket of CYP9Q1, a broadly substrate-specific P450 with high quercetin-metabolizing activity, identified six triazole fungicides, all fungal P450 inhibitors, that dock in the catalytic site. In adults fed combinations of quercetin and the triazole myclobutanil, the expression of five of six mitochondrion-related nuclear genes was down-regulated. Midgut metabolism assays verified that adult bees consuming quercetin with myclobutanil metabolized less quercetin and produced less thoracic ATP, the energy source for flight muscles. Although fungicides lack acute toxicity, they may influence bee health by interfering with quercetin detoxification, thereby compromising mitochondrial regeneration and ATP production. Thus, agricultural use of triazole fungicides may put bees at risk of being unable to extract sufficient energy from their natural food.

  8. Cocaine affects foraging behaviour and biogenic amine modulated behavioural reflexes in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Søvik, Eirik; Even, Naïla; Radford, Catherine W; Barron, Andrew B

    2014-01-01

    In humans and other mammals, drugs of abuse alter the function of biogenic amine pathways in the brain leading to the subjective experience of reward and euphoria. Biogenic amine pathways are involved in reward processing across diverse animal phyla, however whether cocaine acts on these neurochemical pathways to cause similar rewarding behavioural effects in animal phyla other than mammals is unclear. Previously, it has been shown that bees are more likely to dance (a signal of perceived reward) when returning from a sucrose feeder after cocaine treatment. Here we examined more broadly whether cocaine altered reward-related behaviour, and biogenic amine modulated behavioural responses in bees. Bees developed a preference for locations at which they received cocaine, and when foraging at low quality sucrose feeders increase their foraging rate in response to cocaine treatment. Cocaine also increased reflexive proboscis extension to sucrose, and sting extension to electric shock. Both of these simple reflexes are modulated by biogenic amines. This shows that systemic cocaine treatment alters behavioural responses that are modulated by biogenic amines in insects. Since insect reward responses involve both octopamine and dopamine signalling, we conclude that cocaine treatment altered diverse reward-related aspects of behaviour in bees. We discuss the implications of these results for understanding the ecology of cocaine as a plant defence compound. Our findings further validate the honey bee as a model system for understanding the behavioural impacts of cocaine, and potentially other drugs of abuse.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 inside the nest while older bees (foragers) forage outside for pollen, a protein/lipid source, or nectar, a carbohydra...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Swimming of the Honey Bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roh, Chris; Gharib, Morteza

    2016-11-01

    When the weather gets hot, nursing honey bees nudge foragers to collect water for thermoregulation of their hive. While on their mission to collect water, foragers sometimes get trapped on the water surface, forced to interact with a different fluid environment. In this study, we present the survival strategy of the honey bees at the air-water interface. A high-speed videography and shadowgraph were used to record the honey bees swimming. A unique thrust mechanism through rapid vibration of their wings at 60 to 150 Hz was observed. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CBET-1511414; additional support by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1144469.

  13. Diet and Cell Size Both Affect Queen-Worker Differentiation through DNA Methylation in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yuan Yuan; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zeng, Zhi Jiang; Wang, Zi Long; Wu, Xiao Bo; Yan, Wei Yu

    2011-01-01

    Background Young larvae of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) are totipotent; they can become either queens (reproductives) or workers (largely sterile helpers). DNA methylation has been shown to play an important role in this differentiation. In this study, we examine the contributions of diet and cell size to caste differentiation. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured the activity and gene expression of one key enzyme involved in methylation, Dnmt3; the rates of methylation in the gene dynactin p62; as well as morphological characteristics of adult bees developed either from larvae fed with worker jelly or royal jelly; and larvae raised in either queen or worker cells. We show that both diet type and cell size contributed to the queen-worker differentiation, and that the two factors affected different methylation sites inside the same gene dynactin p62. Conclusions/Significance We confirm previous findings that Dnmt3 plays a critical role in honey bee caste differentiation. Further, we show for the first time that cell size also plays a role in influencing larval development when diet is kept the same. PMID:21541319

  14. Honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) distribution and potential for supplementary pollination in commercial tomato greenhouses during winter.

    PubMed

    Higo, Heather A; Rice, Nathan D; Winston, Mark L; Lewis, Bob

    2004-04-01

    This study examined the use of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., to supplement bumble bee, Bombus spp., pollination in commercial tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Miller, greenhouses in Western Canada. Honey bee colonies were brought into greenhouses already containing bumble bees and left for 1 wk to acclimatize. The following week, counts of honey and bumble bees foraging and flying throughout the greenhouse were conducted three times per day, and tomato flowers open during honey bee pollination were marked for later fruit harvest. The same counts and flower-marking also were done before and after the presence of honey bees to determine the background level of bumble bee pollination. Overall, tomato size was not affected by the addition of honey bees, but in one greenhouse significantly larger tomatoes were produced with honey bees present compared with bumble bees alone. In that greenhouse, honey bee foraging was greater than in the other greenhouses. Honey bees generally foraged within 100 m of their colony in all greenhouses. Our study invites further research to examine the use of honey bees with reduced levels of bumble bees, or as sole pollinators of greenhouse tomatoes. We also make specific recommendations for how honey bees can best be managed in greenhouses.

  15. Early life stress affects mortality rate more than social behavior, gene expression or oxidative damage in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Rueppell, Olav; Yousefi, Babak; Collazo, Juan; Smith, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    Early life stressors can affect aging and life expectancy in positive or negative ways. Individuals can adjust their behavior and molecular physiology based on early life experiences but relatively few studies have connected such mechanisms to demographic patterns in social organisms. Sociality buffers individuals from environmental influences and it is unclear how much early life stress affects later life history. Workers of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) were exposed to two stressors, Varroa parasitism and Paraquat exposure, early in life. Consequences were measured at the molecular, behavioral, and demographic level. While treatments did not significantly affect levels of oxidative damage, expression of select genes, and titers of the common deformed wing virus, most of these measures were affected by age. Some of the age effects, such as declining levels of deformed wing virus and oxidative damage, were opposite to our predictions but may be explained by demographic selection. Further analyses suggested some influences of worker behavior on mortality and indicated weak treatment effects on behavior. The latter effects were inconsistent among the two experiments. However, mortality rate was consistently reduced by Varroa mite stress during development. Thus, mortality was more responsive to early life stress than our other response variables. The lack of treatment effects on these measures may be due to the social organization of honey bees that buffers the individual from the impact of stressful developmental conditions.

  16. Identifying bacterial predictors of honey bee health.

    PubMed

    Budge, Giles E; Adams, Ian; Thwaites, Richard; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Drew, Georgia C; Hurst, Gregory D D; Tomkies, Victoria; Boonham, Neil; Brown, Mike

    2016-11-01

    Non-targeted approaches are useful tools to identify new or emerging issues in bee health. Here, we utilise next generation sequencing to highlight bacteria associated with healthy and unhealthy honey bee colonies, and then use targeted methods to screen a wider pool of colonies with known health status. Our results provide the first evidence that bacteria from the genus Arsenophonus are associated with poor health in honey bee colonies. We also discovered Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc spp. were associated with healthier honey bee colonies. Our results highlight the importance of understanding how the wider microbial population relates to honey bee colony health.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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'.

  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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Do Honey Bees Increase Sunflower See Yields?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ten self-fertile commercial sunflowers cultivars were evaluated for seed set with and without exposure to bees. In the first planting, the number of foraging honey bees was smaller than in the second, and seed set for most cultivars did not differ between those excluding bees and ones that were ope...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The nurse's load: early-life exposure to brood-rearing affects behavior and lifespan in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Amdam, Gro V; Rueppell, Olav; Fondrk, M Kim; Page, Robert E; Nelson, C Mindy

    2009-01-01

    Long-lived honey bees (Apis mellifera) develop in fall. This pattern may be explained by reduced nurse loads. When the amount of brood in colonies declines as a function of adverse foraging conditions, adult bees build up surplus nutrient stores that include vitellogenin, a behavioral affector protein that also can increase lifespan. Although the seasonal reduction in exposure to nursing tasks predictably results in vitellogenin accumulation, the assumption that long-lived adults thereby develop is confounded by a concomitant decline in foraging effort. Foraging activity reduces lifespan, and is influenced by colony resource consumption, brood pheromones, availability of nectar and pollen, and weather. Here, we perform the first controlled experiment where the nursing environment of pre-foraging sister bees was set to vary, while their foraging environment later was set to be the same. We measure vitellogenin, age at foraging onset and lifespan. We establish that reduced brood-rearing increases vitellogenin levels, and delays foraging onset and death. Longevity is largely explained by the effect of nursing on the onset of foraging behavior, but is also influenced by the level of brood-rearing independent of behavioral change. Our findings are consistent with the roles of vitellogenin in regulation of honey bee behavior and lifespan.

  20. 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

  1. Adaptive evolution of a key gene affecting queen and worker traits in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Kent, Clement F; Issa, Amer; Bunting, Alexandra C; Zayed, Amro

    2011-12-01

    The vitellogenin egg yolk precursor protein represents a well-studied case of social pleiotropy in the model organism Apis mellifera. Vitellogenin is associated with fecundity in queens and plays a major role in controlling division of labour in workers, thereby affecting both individual and colony-level fitness. We studied the molecular evolution of vitellogenin and seven other genes sequenced in a large population panel of Apis mellifera and several closely related species to investigate the role of social pleiotropy on adaptive protein evolution. We found a significant excess of nonsynonymous fixed differences between A. mellifera, A. cerana and A. florea relative to synonymous sites indicating high rates of adaptive evolution at vitellogenin. Indeed, 88% of amino acid changes were fixed by selection in some portions of the gene. Further, vitellogenin exhibited hallmark signatures of selective sweeps in A. mellifera, including a significant skew in the allele frequency spectrum, extreme levels of genetic differentiation and linkage disequilibrium. Finally, replacement polymorphisms in vitellogenin were significantly enriched in parts of the protein involved in binding lipid, establishing a link between the gene's structure, function and effects on fitness. Our case study provides unequivocal evidence of historical and ongoing bouts of adaptive evolution acting on a key socially pleiotropic gene in the honey bee.

  2. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Aronstein, K A; Murray, K D

    2010-01-01

    Chalkbrood is a fungal disease of honey bee brood caused by Ascosphaera apis. This disease is now found throughout the world, and there are indications that chalkbrood incidence may be on the rise. In this review we consolidate both historic knowledge and recent scientific findings. We document the worldwide spread of the fungus, which is aided by increased global travel and the migratory nature of many beekeeping operations. We discuss the current taxonomic classification in light of the recent complete reworking of fungal systematics brought on by application of molecular methods. In addition, we discuss epidemiology and pathogenesis of the disease, as well as pathogen biology, morphology and reproduction. New attempts at disease control methods and management tactics are reviewed. We report on research tools developed for identification and monitoring, and also include recent findings on genomic and molecular studies not covered by previous reviews, including sequencing of the A. apis genome and identification of the mating type locus.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Genetic stock identification of Russian honey bees.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Lelania; Sheppard, Walter S; Sylvester, H Allen; Rinderer, Thomas E

    2010-06-01

    A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European (Apis mellifera L.) stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. In total, 11 microsatellite and five single-nucleotide polymorphism loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group and for differences in allele frequencies between groups. A baseline sample consisted of the 18 lines of Russian honey bees released to the Russian Bee Breeders Association and bees from 34 queen breeders representing commercially produced European honey bee stocks. Suitability tests of the baseline sample pool showed high levels of accuracy. The probability of correct assignment was 94.2% for non-Russian bees and 93.3% for Russian bees. A neighbor-joining phenogram representing genetic distance data showed clear distinction of Russian and non-Russian honey bee stocks. Furthermore, a test of appropriate sample size showed a sample of eight bees per colony maximizes accuracy and consistency of the results. An additional 34 samples were tested as blind samples (origin unknown to those collecting data) to determine accuracy of individual assignment tests. Only one of these samples was incorrectly assigned. The 18 current breeding lines were represented among the 2009 blind sampling, demonstrating temporal stability of the genetic stock identification assay. The certification assay will be used through services provided by a service laboratory, by the Russian Bee Breeders Association to genetically certify their stock. The genetic certification will be used in conjunction with continued selection for favorable traits, such as honey production and varroa and tracheal mite resistance.

  7. 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...

  8. [Total amitraz residues in bee honeys].

    PubMed

    Hemmerling, C; Augustyniak, B; Risto, C

    1991-01-01

    A total of 330 bee honey samples was analysed in 1986-1990, and the results are reported. Analysis was performed according to the method for the amitraz total residue determination by hydrolysis and steam distillation as described. 60% of the honeys were practically not contamined (total residue content amounting to 0.01 mg/kg), 8.5% of the honeys contained more than 0.05 mg/kg. Maximal values of 0.2-0.5 mg/kg were stated. 54% of the rape-honeys contained more than 0.01 mg/kg, 19% more than 0.05 mg/kg.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. The ontogeny of immunity: development of innate immune strength in the honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Wilson-Rich, Noah; Dres, Stephanie T; Starks, Philip T

    2008-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are of vital economic and ecological importance. These eusocial animals display temporal polyethism, which is an age-driven division of labor. Younger adult bees remain in the hive and tend to developing brood, while older adult bees forage for pollen and nectar to feed the colony. As honey bees mature, the types of pathogens they experience also change. As such, pathogen pressure may affect bees differently throughout their lifespan. We provide the first direct tests of honey bee innate immune strength across developmental stages. We investigated immune strength across four developmental stages: larvae, pupae, nurses (1-day-old adults), and foragers (22-30 days old adults). The immune strength of honey bees was quantified using standard immunocompetence assays: total hemocyte count, encapsulation response, fat body quantification, and phenoloxidase activity. Larvae and pupae had the highest total hemocyte counts, while there was no difference in encapsulation response between developmental stages. Nurses had more fat body mass than foragers, while phenoloxidase activity increased directly with honey bee development. Immune strength was most vigorous in older, foraging bees and weakest in young bees. Importantly, we found that adult honey bees do not abandon cellular immunocompetence as has recently been proposed. Induced shifts in behavioral roles may increase a colony's susceptibility to disease if nurses begin foraging activity prematurely.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Xenobiotic Effects on Intestinal Stem Cell Proliferation in Adult Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L) Workers

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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)…

  6. Genetic Stock Identification of Russian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A genetic stock certification assay was developed to distinguish Russian honey bees from other European stocks that are commercially produced in the United States. A total of 11 microsatellite and 5 SNP loci were used. Loci were selected for relatively high levels of homogeneity within each group an...

  7. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Brazilian honey bees are famously resistant to disease, perhaps because of long-term introgression from Apis mellifera subsp. scutellata. Recently, colony losses were observed in the Altinópolis region of southeastern Brazil. We sampled 200 colonies from this region for Israeli acute paralysis vir...

  8. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Erica Weinstein; Chen, Yanping; Message, Dejair; Pettis, Jeff; Evans, Jay D

    2008-09-01

    This work describes the first molecular-genetic evidence for viruses in Brazilian honey bee samples. Three different bee viruses, Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), and Deformed wing virus (DWV) were identified during a screening of RNAs from 1920 individual adult bees collected in a region of southeastern Brazil that has recently shown unusual bee declines. ABPV was detected in 27.1% of colony samples, while BQCV and DWV were found in 37% and 20.3%, respectively. These levels are substantially lower than the frequencies found for these viruses in surveys from other parts of the world. We also developed and validated a multiplex RT-PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of ABPV, BQCV, and DWV in Brazil.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Phylogenetic analysis of honey bee behavioral evolution.

    PubMed

    Raffiudin, Rika; Crozier, Ross H

    2007-05-01

    DNA sequences from three mitochondrial (rrnL, cox2, nad2) and one nuclear gene (itpr) from all 9 known honey bee species (Apis), a 10th possible species, Apis dorsata binghami, and three outgroup species (Bombus terrestris, Melipona bicolor and Trigona fimbriata) were used to infer Apis phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian analysis. The dwarf honey bees were confirmed as basal, and the giant and cavity-nesting species to be monophyletic. All nodes were strongly supported except that grouping Apis cerana with A. nigrocincta. Two thousand post-burnin trees from the phylogenetic analysis were used in a Bayesian comparative analysis to explore the evolution of dance type, nest structure, comb structure and dance sound within Apis. The ancestral honey bee species was inferred with high support to have nested in the open, and to have more likely than not had a silent vertical waggle dance and a single comb. The common ancestor of the giant and cavity-dwelling bees is strongly inferred to have had a buzzing vertical directional dance. All pairwise combinations of characters showed strong association, but the multiple comparisons problem reduces the ability to infer associations between states between characters. Nevertheless, a buzzing dance is significantly associated with cavity-nesting, several vertical combs, and dancing vertically, a horizontal dance is significantly associated with a nest with a single comb wrapped around the support, and open nesting with a single pendant comb and a silent waggle dance.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A Bio-Economic Case Study of Canadian Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies: Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) in Queen Breeding Affects Beekeeper Profits.

    PubMed

    Bixby, Miriam; Baylis, Kathy; Hoover, Shelley E; Currie, Rob W; Melathopoulos, Andony P; Pernal, Stephen F; Foster, Leonard J; Guarna, M Marta

    2017-03-16

    Over the past decade in North America and Europe, winter losses of honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies have increased dramatically. Scientific consensus attributes these losses to multifactorial causes including altered parasite and pathogen profiles, lack of proper nutrition due to agricultural monocultures, exposure to pesticides, management, and weather. One method to reduce colony loss and increase productivity is through selective breeding of queens to produce disease-, pathogen-, and mite-resistant stock. Historically, the only method for identifying desirable traits in honey bees to improve breeding was through observation of bee behavior. A team of Canadian scientists have recently identified markers in bee antennae that correspond to behavioral traits in bees and can be tested for in a laboratory. These scientists have demonstrated that this marker-assisted selection (MAS) can be used to produce hygienic, pathogen-resistant honey bee colonies. Based on this research, we present a beekeeping case study where a beekeeper's profit function is used to evaluate the economic impact of adopting colonies selected for hygienic behavior using MAS into an apiary. Our results show a net profit gain from an MAS colony of between 2% and 5% when Varroa mites are effectively treated. In the case of ineffective treatment, MAS generates a net profit benefit of between 9% and 96% depending on the Varroa load. When a Varroa mite population has developed some treatment resistance, we show that MAS colonies generate a net profit gain of between 8% and 112% depending on the Varroa load and degree of treatment resistance.

  4. 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'.

  5. Honey Bee Viruses in Wild Bees: Viral Prevalence, Loads, and Experimental Inoculation.

    PubMed

    Dolezal, Adam G; Hendrix, Stephen D; Scavo, Nicole A; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Harris, Mary A; Wheelock, M Joseph; O'Neal, Matthew E; Toth, Amy L

    2016-01-01

    Evidence of inter-species pathogen transmission from managed to wild bees has sparked concern that emerging diseases could be causing or exacerbating wild bee declines. While some pathogens, like RNA viruses, have been found in pollen and wild bees, the threat these viruses pose to wild bees is largely unknown. Here, we tested 169 bees, representing 4 families and 8 genera, for five common honey bee (Apis mellifera) viruses, finding that more than 80% of wild bees harbored at least one virus. We also quantified virus titers in these bees, providing, for the first time, an assessment of viral load in a broad spectrum of wild bees. Although virus detection was very common, virus levels in the wild bees were minimal-similar to or lower than foraging honey bees and substantially lower than honey bees collected from hives. Furthermore, when we experimentally inoculated adults of two different bee species (Megachile rotundata and Colletes inaequalis) with a mixture of common viruses that is lethal to honey bees, we saw no effect on short term survival. Overall, we found that honey bee RNA viruses can be commonly detected at low levels in many wild bee species, but we found no evidence that these pathogens cause elevated short-term mortality effects. However, more work on these viruses is greatly needed to assess effects on additional bee species and life stages.

  6. Honey Bee Viruses in Wild Bees: Viral Prevalence, Loads, and Experimental Inoculation

    PubMed Central

    Dolezal, Adam G.; Hendrix, Stephen D.; Scavo, Nicole A.; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Harris, Mary A.; Wheelock, M. Joseph; O’Neal, Matthew E.; Toth, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence of inter-species pathogen transmission from managed to wild bees has sparked concern that emerging diseases could be causing or exacerbating wild bee declines. While some pathogens, like RNA viruses, have been found in pollen and wild bees, the threat these viruses pose to wild bees is largely unknown. Here, we tested 169 bees, representing 4 families and 8 genera, for five common honey bee (Apis mellifera) viruses, finding that more than 80% of wild bees harbored at least one virus. We also quantified virus titers in these bees, providing, for the first time, an assessment of viral load in a broad spectrum of wild bees. Although virus detection was very common, virus levels in the wild bees were minimal—similar to or lower than foraging honey bees and substantially lower than honey bees collected from hives. Furthermore, when we experimentally inoculated adults of two different bee species (Megachile rotundata and Colletes inaequalis) with a mixture of common viruses that is lethal to honey bees, we saw no effect on short term survival. Overall, we found that honey bee RNA viruses can be commonly detected at low levels in many wild bee species, but we found no evidence that these pathogens cause elevated short-term mortality effects. However, more work on these viruses is greatly needed to assess effects on additional bee species and life stages. PMID:27832169

  7. 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.

  8. Infestation of Japanese native honey bees by tracheal mite and virus from non-native European honey bees in Japan.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Morimoto, Tomomi; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-11-01

    Invasion of alien species has been shown to cause detrimental effects on habitats of native species. Insect pollinators represent such examples; the introduction of commercial bumble bee species for crop pollination has resulted in competition for an ecological niche with native species, genetic disturbance caused by mating with native species, and pathogen spillover to native species. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, was first introduced into Japan for apiculture in 1877, and queen bees have been imported from several countries for many years. However, its effects on Japanese native honey bee, Apis cerana japonica, have never been addressed. We thus conducted the survey of honey bee viruses and Acarapis mites using both A. mellifera and A. c. japonica colonies to examine their infestation in native and non-native honey bee species in Japan. Honey bee viruses, Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and Sacbrood virus (SBV), were found in both A. mellifera and A. c. japonica colonies; however, the infection frequency of viruses in A. c. japonica was lower than that in A. mellifera colonies. Based on the phylogenies of DWV, BQCV, and SBV isolates from A. mellifera and A. c. japonica, DWV and BQCV may infect both honey bee species; meanwhile, SBV has a clear species barrier. For the first time in Japan, tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi) was specifically found in the dead honey bees from collapsing A. c. japonica colonies. This paper thus provides further evidence that tracheal-mite-infested honey bee colonies can die during cool winters with no other disease present. These results demonstrate the infestation of native honey bees by parasite and pathogens of non-native honey bees that are traded globally.

  9. 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

  10. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to successive years of high honey bee mortality, the United States Congress mandated the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase funding for research and education directed at reducing honey bee decline. The funding followed two administrative streams within USDA – one through the USD...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Nutrition, immunity and viral infections in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees can be infected with viruses that can spread rapidly in colonies. Here we discuss how honey bees decrease the risk of disease outbreaks by a combination of behaviors (social immunity) and individual immunity. The effectiveness of both social and individual immunity relies on nutrition. Ho...

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-30

    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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Parasitic mites of honey bees: life history, implications, and impact.

    PubMed

    Sammataro, D; Gerson, U; Needham, G

    2000-01-01

    The hive of the honey bee is a suitable habitat for diverse mites (Acari), including nonparasitic, omnivorous, and pollen-feeding species, and parasites. The biology and damage of the three main pest species Acarapis woodi, Varroa jacobsoni, and Tropilaelaps clareae is reviewed, along with detection and control methods. The hypothesis that Acarapis woodi is a recently evolved species is rejected. Mite-associated bee pathologies (mostly viral) also cause increasing losses to apiaries. Future studies on bee mites are beset by three main problems: (a) The recent discovery of several new honey bee species and new bee-parasitizing mite species (along with the probability that several species are masquerading under the name Varroa jacobsoni) may bring about new bee-mite associations and increase damage to beekeeping; (b) methods for studying bee pathologies caused by viruses are still largely lacking; (c) few bee- and consumer-friendly methods for controlling bee mites in large apiaries are available.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Taste perception in honey bees.

    PubMed

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela

    2011-10-01

    Taste is crucial for honeybees for choosing profitable food sources, resins, water sources, and for nestmate recognition. Peripheral taste detection occurs within cuticular hairs, the chaetic and basiconic sensilla, which host gustatory receptor cells and, usually a mechanoreceptor cell. Gustatory sensilla are mostly located on the distal segment of the antennae, on the mouthparts, and on the tarsi of the forelegs. These sensilla respond with varying sensitivity to sugars, salts, and possibly amino acids, proteins, and water. So far, no responses of receptor cells to bitter substances were found although inhibitory effects of these substances on sucrose receptor cells could be recorded. When bees are free to express avoidance behaviors, they reject highly concentrated bitter and saline solutions. However, such avoidance disappears when bees are immobilized in the laboratory. In this case, they ingest these solutions, even if they suffer afterward a malaise-like state or even die from such ingestion. Central processing of taste occurs mainly in the subesophageal ganglion, but the nature of this processing remains unknown. We suggest that coding tastants in terms of their hedonic value, thus classifying them in terms of their palatability, is a basic strategy that a central processing of taste should achieve for survival.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Current knowledge of detoxification mechanisms of xenobiotic in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Gong, Youhui; Diao, Qingyun

    2017-01-01

    The western honey bee Apis mellifera is the most important managed pollinator species in the world. Multiple factors have been implicated as potential causes or factors contributing to colony collapse disorder, including honey bee pathogens and nutritional deficiencies as well as exposure to pesticides. Honey bees' genome is characterized by a paucity of genes associated with detoxification, which makes them vulnerable to specific pesticides, especially to combinations of pesticides in real field environments. Many studies have investigated the mechanisms involved in detoxification of xenobiotics/pesticides in honey bees, from primal enzyme assays or toxicity bioassays to characterization of transcript gene expression and protein expression in response to xenobiotics/insecticides by using a global transcriptomic or proteomic approach, and even to functional characterizations. The global transcriptomic and proteomic approach allowed us to learn that detoxification mechanisms in honey bees involve multiple genes and pathways along with changes in energy metabolism and cellular stress response. P450 genes, is highly implicated in the direct detoxification of xenobiotics/insecticides in honey bees and their expression can be regulated by honey/pollen constitutes, resulting in the tolerance of honey bees to other xenobiotics or insecticides. P450s is also a key detoxification enzyme that mediate synergism interaction between acaricides/insecticides and fungicides through inhibition P450 activity by fungicides or competition for detoxification enzymes between acaricides. With the wide use of insecticides in agriculture, understanding the detoxification mechanism of insecticides in honey bees and how honeybees fight with the xenobiotis or insecticides to survive in the changing environment will finally benefit honeybees' management.

  14. Studies of learned helplessness in honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    PubMed

    Dinges, Christopher W; Varnon, Christopher A; Cota, Lisa D; Slykerman, Stephen; Abramson, Charles I

    2017-04-01

    The current study reports 2 experiments investigating learned helplessness in the honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). In Experiment 1, we used a traditional escape method but found the bees' activity levels too high to observe changes due to treatment conditions. The bees were not able to learn in this traditional escape procedure; thus, such procedures may be inappropriate to study learned helplessness in honey bees. In Experiment 2, we used an alternative punishment, or passive avoidance, method to investigate learned helplessness. Using a master and yoked design where bees were trained as either master or yoked and tested as either master or yoked, we found that prior training with unavoidable and inescapable shock in the yoked condition interfered with avoidance and escape behavior in the later master condition. Unlike control bees, learned helplessness bees failed to restrict their movement to the safe compartment following inescapable shock. Unlike learned helplessness studies in other animals, no decrease in general activity was observed. Furthermore, we did not observe a "freezing" response to inescapable aversive stimuli-a phenomenon, thus far, consistently observed in learned helplessness tests with other species. The bees, instead, continued to move back and forth between compartments despite punishment in the incorrect compartment. These findings suggest that, although traditional escape methods may not be suitable, honey bees display learned helplessness in passive avoidance procedures. Thus, regardless of behavioral differences from other species, honey bees can be a unique invertebrate model organism for the study of learned helplessness. (PsycINFO Database Record

  15. 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)...

  16. Microbial communities in bees, pollen and honey from Slovakia.

    PubMed

    Kacániová, Miroslava; Pavlicová, Simona; Hascík, P; Kociubinski, G; Kńazovická, Vladimíra; Sudzina, M; Sudzinová, Janka; Fikselová, Martina

    2009-09-01

    As the honey-bee gastrointestinal tract microflora and pollen are the primary sources for the honey microbial community, the aim of this work was to study and characterize the microbial transit among them. Therefore, an exhaustive microbial analysis of honey, adult honey-bee gastrointestinal tract, and pollen from different Slovakian regions and different seasons, was conducted. Microbial screening revealed that the primary sources of microbial community present in Slovakian honey are pollen and the honey-bees' digestive tract microflora, containing microorganisms normally present in dust, air and flowers. We found that the digestive tract of Slovakian adult honey-bees is highly populated by anaerobic, rather than aerobic bacteria, where coliforms, enterococci, staphylococci, Bacillus sp., Pseudomonas sp., microscopic fungi and yeast were found. Interestingly, statistical differences were found between the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract of summer and winter bees. Pollen revealed the presence of mesophil anaerobic and aerobic microorganisms, coliforms and microscopic fungi. Among these, the most representative genera were Alternaria, Cladosporium and Penicillium . In honey the counts of total anaerobic and total aerobic bacteria, that of coliforms, enterococci, bacilli, microscopic fungi and yeasts were monitored. Most frequently microscopic fungi belonging to genera Penicillium, Cladosporium and Alternaria were found.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-07

    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.

  20. The Bacterial Communities Associated with Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Foragers

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    Suryanarayanan, Sainath

    2013-03-05

    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.

  2. [Mites (Acarida) of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in Poland].

    PubMed

    Chmielewski, W

    1991-01-01

    400 samples of natural winter debris collected from bee hives, 150 samples of stored honey and 100 samples of pollen collected by bees were examined; full of food and empty honey combs, brood and adult bees were also observed. 100% of samples of debris, 90% of pollen and almost 24% of honey samples contained mites; they were found also on honey combs and on died and living bees (brood, imagines). 33 mite species were found. Besides of parasite Varroa jacobsoni Oud. numerous mites belonging to Acaridae, Ameroseiidae, Tarsonemidae and Tydeidae were frequent. They are often accompanied by predatory mites from families Cheyletidae, Aceosejidae, Laelapidae, Bdellidae and Cunaxidae. 3 stated species--Acotyledon paradoxa Oud., Lasioacarus nidicolus Kadz. et Sev. and Thyreophagus odyneri Fain are new for Poland.

  3. Massive honey bee envenomation-induced rhabdomyolysis in an adolescent.

    PubMed

    Betten, David P; Richardson, William H; Tong, Tri C; Clark, Richard F

    2006-01-01

    Massive envenomations by honey bees are capable of causing multiorgan dysfunction as a result of the direct toxic effects of the large venom load received. Although all varieties of honey bee have the potential for these attacks, the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) is the most commonly implicated subspecies. In the United States, the Africanized strain is found primarily in the southwestern states and is known for its highly defensive behavior if disturbed. Mechanisms behind the multiorgan dysfunction produced by these mass envenomations are not clearly understood. We present a case of a 13-year-old male who was stung by approximately 700 honey bees and developed progressive upper-body swelling and systemic manifestations of mass envenomation including rhabdomyolysis, renal insufficiency, and a transient transaminase elevation.

  4. 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.

  5. Acute ethanol ingestion impairs appetitive olfactory learning and odor discrimination in the honey bee

    PubMed Central

    Mustard, Julie A; Wright, Geraldine A; Edgar, Elaina A; Mazade, Reece E.; Wu, Chen; Lillvis, Joshua L

    2008-01-01

    Invertebrates are valuable models for increasing our understanding of the effects of ethanol on the nervous system, but most studies on invertebrates and ethanol have focused on the effects of ethanol on locomotor behavior. In this work we investigate the influence of an acute dose of ethanol on appetitive olfactory learning in the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a model system for learning and memory. Adult worker honey bees were fed a range of doses (2.5, 5, 10 or 25%) of ethanol and then conditioned to associate an odor with a sucrose reward using either a simple or differential conditioning paradigm. Consumption of ethanol before conditioning significantly reduced both the rate of acquisition and the asymptotic strength of the association. Honey bees also exhibited a dose dependent reduction in arousal/attention during conditioning. Consumption of ethanol after conditioning did not affect recall 24 h later. The observed deficits in acquisition were not due to the affect of ethanol on gustatory sensitivity or motor function. However, honey bees given higher doses of ethanol had difficulty discriminating amongst different odors suggesting that ethanol consumption influences olfactory processing. Taken together, these results demonstrate that an acute dose of ethanol affects appetitive learning and olfactory perception in the honey bee. PMID:18723103

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-18

    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.

  10. Insecticide Susceptibility in Asian Honey Bees (Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae)) and Implications for Wild Honey Bees in Asia.

    PubMed

    Yasuda, Mika; Sakamoto, Yoshiko; Goka, Koichi; Nagamitsu, Teruyoshi; Taki, Hisatomo

    2017-03-01

    To conserve local biodiversity and ensure the provision of pollination services, it is essential to understand the impact of pesticides on wild honey bees. Most studies that have investigated the effects of pesticides on honey bees have focused on the European honey bee (Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)), which is commonly domesticated worldwide. However, the Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) is widely distributed throughout Asia, and toxicity data are lacking for this species. This study aimed to fill this important knowledge gap. In this study, we determined the acute contact toxicity in A. cerana to various pesticides, including neonicotinoids, fipronil, organophosphorus, synthetic pyrethroids, carbamate, and anthranilic diamide. Based on the test duration of 48 h of contact LD50 tests, A. cerana was most sensitive to dinotefuran (0.0014 μg/bee), followed by thiamethoxam (0.0024 μg/bee) and fipronil (0.0025 μg/bee). Dinotefuran is used extensively in Asia, thereby potentially creating a substantial hazard. More generally, A. cerana was approximately one order of magnitude more sensitive than was A. mellifera to most of the pesticides evaluated. The results of our study suggest that neonicotinoid pesticides should not be considered as a single group that acts uniformly on all honey bees, and that more careful management strategies are required to conserve A. cerana populations than A. mellifera.

  11. Patterns of conservation and change in honey bee developmental genes.

    PubMed

    Dearden, Peter K; Wilson, Megan J; Sablan, Lisha; Osborne, Peter W; Havler, Melanie; McNaughton, Euan; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Milshina, Natalia V; Hasselmann, Martin; Gempe, Tanja; Schioett, Morten; Brown, Susan J; Elsik, Christine G; Holland, Peter W H; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko; Beye, Martin

    2006-11-01

    The current insect genome sequencing projects provide an opportunity to extend studies of the evolution of developmental genes and pathways in insects. In this paper we examine the conservation and divergence of genes and developmental processes between Drosophila and the honey bee; two holometabolous insects whose lineages separated approximately 300 million years ago, by comparing the presence or absence of 308 Drosophila developmental genes in the honey bee. Through examination of the presence or absence of genes involved in conserved pathways (cell signaling, axis formation, segmentation and homeobox transcription factors), we find that the vast majority of genes are conserved. Some genes involved in these processes are, however, missing in the honey bee. We have also examined the orthology of Drosophila genes involved in processes that differ between the honey bee and Drosophila. Many of these genes are preserved in the honey bee despite the process in which they act in Drosophila being different or absent in the honey bee. Many of the missing genes in both situations appear to have arisen recently in the Drosophila lineage, have single known functions in Drosophila, and act early in developmental pathways, while those that are preserved have pleiotropic functions. An evolutionary interpretation of these data is that either genes with multiple functions in a common ancestor are more likely to be preserved in both insect lineages, or genes that are preserved throughout evolution are more likely to co-opt additional functions.

  12. 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...

  13. 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 ...

  14. Effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide on thermoregulation of African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Tosi, Simone; Démares, Fabien J; Nicolson, Susan W; Medrzycki, Piotr; Pirk, Christian W W; Human, Hannelie

    Thiamethoxam is a widely used neonicotinoid pesticide that, as agonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, has been shown to elicit a variety of sublethal effects in honey bees. However, information concerning neonicotinoid effects on honey bee thermoregulation is lacking. Thermoregulation is an essential ability for the honey bee that guarantees the success of foraging and many in-hive tasks, especially brood rearing. We tested the effects of acute exposure to thiamethoxam (0.2, 1, 2ng/bee) on the thorax temperatures of foragers exposed to low (22°C) and high (33°C) temperature environments. Thiamethoxam significantly altered honey bee thorax temperature at all doses tested; the effects elicited varied depending on the environmental temperature and pesticide dose to which individuals were exposed. When bees were exposed to the high temperature environment, the high dose of thiamethoxam increased their thorax temperature 1-2h after exposure. When bees were exposed to the low temperature, the higher doses of the neonicotinoid reduced bee thorax temperatures 60-90min after treatment. In both experiments, the neonicotinoid decreased the temperature of bees the day following the exposure. After a cold shock (5min at 4°C), the two higher doses elicited a decrease of the thorax temperature, while the lower dose caused an increase, compared to the control. These alterations in thermoregulation caused by thiamethoxam may affect bee foraging activity and a variety of in-hive tasks, likely leading to negative consequences at the colony level. Our results shed light on sublethal effect of pesticides which our bees have to deal with.

  15. 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.

  16. Effects of Insemination Quantity on Honey Bee Queen Physiology

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-07

    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.

  3. Managing honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) for greenhouse tomato pollination.

    PubMed

    Sabara, Holly A; Winston, Mark L

    2003-06-01

    Although commercially reared colonies of bumble bees (Bombus sp.) are the primary pollinator world-wide for greenhouse tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) previous research indicates that honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) might be a feasible alternative or supplement to bumble bee pollination. However, management methods for honey bee greenhouse tomato pollination scarcely have been explored. We 1) tested the effect of initial amounts of brood on colony population size and flight activity in screened greenhouses during the winter, and 2) compared foraging from colonies with brood used within screened and unscreened greenhouses during the summer. Brood rearing was maintained at low levels in both brood and no-brood colonies after 21 d during the winter, and emerging honey bees from both treatments had significantly lower weights than bees from outdoor colonies. Honey bee flight activity throughout the day and over the 21 d in the greenhouse was not influenced by initial brood level. In our summer experiment, brood production in screened greenhouses neared zero after 21 d but higher levels of brood were reared in unscreened greenhouses with access to outside forage. Flower visitation measured throughout the day and over the 21 d the colonies were in the greenhouse was not influenced by screening treatment. An economic analysis indicated that managing honey bees for greenhouse tomato pollination would be financially viable for both beekeepers and growers. We conclude that honey bees can be successfully managed for greenhouse tomato pollination in both screened and unscreened greenhouses if the foraging force is maintained by replacing colonies every 3 wk.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2016-03-10

    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.

  6. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System.

    PubMed

    Gil-Lebrero, Sergio; Quiles-Latorre, Francisco Javier; Ortiz-López, Manuel; Sánchez-Ruiz, Víctor; Gámiz-López, Victoria; Luna-Rodríguez, Juan Jesús

    2016-12-29

    Bees are very important for terrestrial ecosystems and, above all, for the subsistence of many crops, due to their ability to pollinate flowers. Currently, the honey bee populations are decreasing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD). The reasons for CCD are not fully known, and as a result, it is essential to obtain all possible information on the environmental conditions surrounding the beehives. On the other hand, it is important to carry out such information gathering as non-intrusively as possible to avoid modifying the bees' work conditions and to obtain more reliable data. We designed a wireless-sensor networks meet these requirements. We designed a remote monitoring system (called WBee) based on a hierarchical three-level model formed by the wireless node, a local data server, and a cloud data server. WBee is a low-cost, fully scalable, easily deployable system with regard to the number and types of sensors and the number of hives and their geographical distribution. WBee saves the data in each of the levels if there are failures in communication. In addition, the nodes include a backup battery, which allows for further data acquisition and storage in the event of a power outage. Unlike other systems that monitor a single point of a hive, the system we present monitors and stores the temperature and relative humidity of the beehive in three different spots. Additionally, the hive is continuously weighed on a weighing scale. Real-time weight measurement is an innovation in wireless beehive-monitoring systems. We designed an adaptation board to facilitate the connection of the sensors to the node. Through the Internet, researchers and beekeepers can access the cloud data server to find out the condition of their hives in real time.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Influence of pesticide residues on honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colony health in France.

    PubMed

    Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Carpentier, Patrice; Martel, Anne-Claire; Bougeard, Stéphanie; Cougoule, Nicolas; Porta, Philippe; Lachaize, Julie; Madec, François; Aubert, Michel; Faucon, Jean-Paul

    2009-06-01

    A 3-yr field survey was carried out in France, from 2002 to 2005, to study honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colony health in relation to pesticide residues found in the colonies. This study was motivated by recent massive losses of honey bee colonies, and our objective was to examine the possible relationship between low levels of pesticide residues in apicultural matrices (honey, pollen collected by honey bees, beeswax) and colony health as measured by colony mortality and adult and brood population abundance. When all apicultural matrices were pooled together, the number of pesticide residue detected per sampling period (four sampling periods per year) and per apiary ranged from 0 to 9, with the most frequent being two (29.6%). No pesticide residues were detected during 12.7% of the sampling periods. Residues of imidacloprid and 6- chloronicotinic acid were the most frequently detected in pollen loads, honey, and honey bee matrices. Several pairs of active ingredients were present concurrently within honey bees and in pollen loads but not in beeswax and honey samples. No statistical relationship was found between colony mortality and pesticide residues. When pesticide residues from all matrices were pooled together, a mixed model analysis did not show a significant relationship between the presence of pesticide residues and the abundance of brood and adults, and no statistical relationship was found between colony mortality and pesticide residues. Thus, although certain pesticide residues were detected in apicultural matrices and occasionally with another pesticide residual, more work is needed to determine the role these residues play in affecting colony health.

  10. Winter Survival of Individual Honey Bees and Honey Bee Colonies Depends on Level of Varroa destructor Infestation

    PubMed Central

    van Dooremalen, Coby; Gerritsen, Lonne; Cornelissen, Bram; van der Steen, Jozef J. M.; van Langevelde, Frank; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent elevated winter loss of honey bee colonies is a major concern. The presence of the mite Varroa destructor in colonies places an important pressure on bee health. V. destructor shortens the lifespan of individual bees, while long lifespan during winter is a primary requirement to survive until the next spring. We investigated in two subsequent years the effects of different levels of V. destructor infestation during the transition from short-lived summer bees to long-lived winter bees on the lifespan of individual bees and the survival of bee colonies during winter. Colonies treated earlier in the season to reduce V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees were expected to have longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. Methodology/Principal Findings Mite infestation was reduced using acaricide treatments during different months (July, August, September, or not treated). We found that the number of capped brood cells decreased drastically between August and November, while at the same time, the lifespan of the bees (marked cohorts) increased indicating the transition to winter bees. Low V. destructor infestation levels before and during the transition to winter bees resulted in an increase in lifespan of bees and higher colony survival compared to colonies that were not treated and that had higher infestation levels. A variety of stress-related factors could have contributed to the variation in longevity and winter survival that we found between years. Conclusions/Significance This study contributes to theory about the multiple causes for the recent elevated colony losses in honey bees. Our study shows the correlation between long lifespan of winter bees and colony loss in spring. Moreover, we show that colonies treated earlier in the season had reduced V. destructor infestation during the development of winter bees resulting in longer bee lifespan and higher colony survival after winter. PMID:22558421

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Gene expression patterns associated with queen honey bee longevity.

    PubMed

    Corona, Miguel; Hughes, Kimberly A; Weaver, Daniel B; Robinson, Gene E

    2005-11-01

    The oxidative stress theory of aging proposes that accumulation of oxidative damage is the main proximate cause of aging and that lifespan is determined by the rate at which this damage occurs. Two predictions from this theory are that long-lived organisms produce fewer ROS or have increased antioxidant production. Based in these predictions, molecular mechanisms to promote longevity could include either changes in the regulation of mitochondrial genes that affect ROS production or elevated expression of antioxidant genes. We explored these possibilities in the honey bee, a good model for the study of aging because it has a caste system in which the same genome produces both a long-lived queen and a short-lived worker. We measured mRNA levels for genes encoding eight of the most prominent antioxidant enzymes and five mitochondrial proteins involved in respiration. The expression of antioxidant genes generally decreased with age in queens, but not in workers. Expression of most mitochondrial genes, in particular CytC, was higher in young queens, but these genes showed a faster age-related decline relative to workers. One exception to this trend was COX-I in thorax. This resulted in higher COX-I/CytC ratios in old queens compared to old workers, which suggests caste-specific differences in mitochondrial function that might be related to the caste-specific differences in longevity. Queen honey bee longevity appears to have evolved via mechanisms other than increased antioxidant gene expression.

  14. 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.

  15. Functional morphology of the honey stomach wall of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The honey bee crop, or honey stomach, is designed with cords of muscles that are numerous enough in both latitudinal and longitudinal directions to fully enclose and confine the underlying, cuticle-lines epithelium. Although appressed against the inner wall of this enclosure by the crop's contents,...

  16. Making artificial honey using yeast cells from salivary glands of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Kathiresan, K; Srinivasan, K

    2005-07-01

    The salivary glands of a honey bee, Apis cerana and the yeast cells isolated from these glands were studied for their effects on sucrose solution. This solution exhibited lowered pH and increased levels of fructose and total amino acids as the time of incubation proceeded. The solution thus made was similar to the natural honey.

  17. Beneficial microorganisms for honey bees: problems and progresses.

    PubMed

    Alberoni, Daniele; Gaggìa, Francesca; Baffoni, Loredana; Di Gioia, Diana

    2016-11-01

    Nowadays, honey bees are stressed by a number of biotic and abiotic factors which may compromise to some extent the pollination service and the hive productivity. The EU ban of antibiotics as therapeutic agents against bee pathogens has stimulated the search for natural alternatives. The increasing knowledge on the composition and functions of the bee gut microbiota and the link between a balanced gut microbiota and health status have encouraged the research on the use of gut microorganisms to improve bee health. Somehow, we are assisting to the transfer of the "probiotic concept" into the bee science. In this review, we examine the role of the honey bee gut microbiota in bee health and critically describe the available applications of beneficial microorganisms as pest control agents and health support. Most of the strains, mainly belonging to the genera Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Bacillus, are isolated from honey bee crop or gut, but some applications involve environmental strains or formulation for animal and human consumption. Overall, the obtained results show the favourable effect of applied microbial strains on bee health and productivity, in particular if strains of bee origin are used. However, it is actually not yet possible to conclude whether this strategy will ever work. In particular, many aspects regarding the overall setup of the experiments, the dose, the timing and the duration of the treatment need to be optimized, also considering the microbiological safety of the hive products (i.e. pollen and honey). In addition, a deep investigation about the effect on host immunity and physiology is envisaged. Lastly, the final users of the formulations, i.e. beekeepers, should be taken into account for the achievement of high-quality, cost-effective and easy-to-use products.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

    PubMed Central

    Gil-Lebrero, Sergio; Quiles-Latorre, Francisco Javier; Ortiz-López, Manuel; Sánchez-Ruiz, Víctor; Gámiz-López, Victoria; Luna-Rodríguez, Juan Jesús

    2016-01-01

    Bees are very important for terrestrial ecosystems and, above all, for the subsistence of many crops, due to their ability to pollinate flowers. Currently, the honey bee populations are decreasing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD). The reasons for CCD are not fully known, and as a result, it is essential to obtain all possible information on the environmental conditions surrounding the beehives. On the other hand, it is important to carry out such information gathering as non-intrusively as possible to avoid modifying the bees’ work conditions and to obtain more reliable data. We designed a wireless-sensor networks meet these requirements. We designed a remote monitoring system (called WBee) based on a hierarchical three-level model formed by the wireless node, a local data server, and a cloud data server. WBee is a low-cost, fully scalable, easily deployable system with regard to the number and types of sensors and the number of hives and their geographical distribution. WBee saves the data in each of the levels if there are failures in communication. In addition, the nodes include a backup battery, which allows for further data acquisition and storage in the event of a power outage. Unlike other systems that monitor a single point of a hive, the system we present monitors and stores the temperature and relative humidity of the beehive in three different spots. Additionally, the hive is continuously weighed on a weighing scale. Real-time weight measurement is an innovation in wireless beehive—monitoring systems. We designed an adaptation board to facilitate the connection of the sensors to the node. Through the Internet, researchers and beekeepers can access the cloud data server to find out the condition of their hives in real time. PMID:28036061

  1. Vitellogenin, juvenile hormone, insulin signaling, and queen honey bee longevity

    PubMed Central

    Corona, Miguel; Velarde, Rodrigo A.; Remolina, Silvia; Moran-Lauter, Adrienne; Wang, Ying; Hughes, Kimberly A.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2007-01-01

    In most animals, longevity is achieved at the expense of fertility, but queen honey bees do not show this tradeoff. Queens are both long-lived and fertile, whereas workers, derived from the same genome, are both relatively short-lived and normally sterile. It has been suggested, on the basis of results from workers, that vitellogenin (Vg), best known as a yolk protein synthesized in the abdominal fat body, acts as an antioxidant to promote longevity in queen bees. We explored this hypothesis, as well as related roles of insulin–IGF-1 signaling and juvenile hormone. Vg was expressed in thorax and head fat body cells in an age-dependent manner, with old queens showing much higher expression than workers. In contrast, Vg expression in worker head was much lower. Queens also were more resistant to oxidative stress than workers. These results support the hypothesis that caste-specific differences in Vg expression are involved in queen longevity. Consistent with predictions from Drosophila, old queens had lower head expression of insulin-like peptide and its putative receptors than did old workers. Juvenile hormone affected the expression of Vg and insulin–IGF-1 signaling genes in opposite directions. These results suggest that conserved and species-specific mechanisms interact to regulate queen bee longevity without sacrificing fecundity. PMID:17438290

  2. Varying congruence of hygienic responses to Varroa destructor and freeze-killed brood among different types of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Different types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., have been selectively bred for enhanced hygiene (i.e., removal of affected brood from sealed cells) to improve resistance to diseases and parasites. Bees selected for removal of freeze-killed brood (FKB) have protection from several microbial disease...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Down-regulation of honey bee IRS gene biases behavior toward food rich in protein.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Mutti, Navdeep S; Ihle, Kate E; Siegel, Adam; Dolezal, Adam G; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Amdam, Gro V

    2010-04-01

    Food choice and eating behavior affect health and longevity. Large-scale research efforts aim to understand the molecular and social/behavioral mechanisms of energy homeostasis, body weight, and food intake. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) could provide a model for these studies since individuals vary in food-related behavior and social factors can be controlled. Here, we examine a potential role of peripheral insulin receptor substrate (IRS) expression in honey bee foraging behavior. IRS is central to cellular nutrient sensing through transduction of insulin/insulin-like signals (IIS). By reducing peripheral IRS gene expression and IRS protein amount with the use of RNA interference (RNAi), we demonstrate that IRS influences foraging choice in two standard strains selected for different food-hoarding behavior. Compared with controls, IRS knockdowns bias their foraging effort toward protein (pollen) rather than toward carbohydrate (nectar) sources. Through control experiments, we establish that IRS does not influence the bees' sucrose sensory response, a modality that is generally associated with food-related behavior and specifically correlated with the foraging preference of honey bees. These results reveal a new affector pathway of honey bee social foraging, and suggest that IRS expressed in peripheral tissue can modulate an insect's foraging choice between protein and carbohydrate sources.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Detection of Spiroplasma melliferum in honey bee colonies in the US.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-06-01

    Spiroplasma infections in honey bees have been reported in Europe and Asia quite recently, due to intensive studies on the epidemiology of honey bee diseases. The situation in the US is less well analyzed. Here, we examined the honey bee colonies in Beltsville, MD, where Spiroplasmamelliferum was originally reported and found S. melliferum infection in honey bees. Our data showed high variation of S. melliferum infection in honey bees with a peak prevalence in May during the course of one-year study period. The colony prevalence increased from 5% in February to 68% in May and then decreased to 25% in June and 22% in July. Despite that pathogenicity of spiroplasmas in honey bee colonies remains to be determined, our results indicated that spiroplasma infections need to be included for the consideration of the impacts on honey bee health.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. American foulbrood and African honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Fries, Ingemar; Raina, Suresh

    2003-12-01

    We have taken samples of honey from individual beekeepers (N = 64), and of domestic (N = 35) and imported honey (N = 15) retailed in supermarkets in several sub-Saharan countries and cultivated these samples for Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae Heyndrickx et al. causing American foulbrood in honey bee colonies. The results are compared with samples of similar backgrounds and treated the same way but collected in Sweden (N = 35). No P. larvae subsp. larvae spores were found in any honey produced in Africa south of the Sahara although honey imported into this region frequently contains the pathogen. Swedish honey frequently contains P. larvae subsp. larvae spores although the general level of visibly infected bee colonies is low (roughly 0.5%). The results suggest that large parts of Africa may be free from American foulbrood. Behavioral studies (hygienic behavior) on Apis mellifera subsp. scutellata Lepeletier in Zimbabwe suggest that hygienic behavior of African bees could influence the apparent low level, or even absence of American foulbrood in large parts of Africa.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-29

    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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  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

    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.

  7. Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite-host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee.

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-15

    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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Modelling long-term effects of IGRs on honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

    Systems have been developed to monitor the direct effects of insect growth regulator (IGR) pesticide exposure on honey bee development, but there has been little work on the longer-term impact of exposure on the colony. A honey bee population model provided the opportunity to investigate the effects of short-term mortality of brood and of sublethal changes in behaviour of the surviving adults on honey bee populations. The model showed that brood mortality alone has limited effect on colony size. There were two mechanisms that could have greater influence on productivity. Precocious foraging in affected adult bees, and hence early loss of brood-rearing (nurse) capabilities, had a much larger effect than expected. Increasing mortality rates by 30% to simulate sublethal effects on lifespan, rather than reduced brood-rearing capability, gave a significantly smaller effect. In order to simulate an effect with the 'shortened lifespan' mechanism as large as that with the 'premature ageing' mechanism, the mortality rate of affected adults had to be increased by 500%. A significant finding from the model is that application of IGRs in spring and early summer could have substantial effects on colony size and viability. Sublethal effects such as precocious foraging can have worse effects than massive brood mortality, as it severely reduces the ability to rear the next generation of nurse bees.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluating the effects of mosquito control adulticides on honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While mosquito control adulticides can be effective in rapidly reducing mosquito populations during times of high arbovirus transmission, the impacts of these control measures on pollinators has been of recent interest. The purpose of our study was to evaluate mosquito and honey bee mortality using ...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Analyses of avocado (Persea americana) nectar properties and their perception by honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Afik, O; Dag, A; Kerem, Z; Shafir, S

    2006-09-01

    Honey bees are important avocado pollinators. However, due to the low attractiveness of flowers, pollination is often inadequate. Previous work has revealed that avocado honey is relatively unattractive to honey bees when compared with honey from competing flowers. We characterized avocado honey and nectar with respect to their odor, color, and composition of sugars, phenolic compounds, and minerals. Furthermore, we tested how honey bees perceive these parameters, using the proboscis extension response bioassay and preference experiments with free-flying bees. Naïve bees were indifferent to odors of avocado and citrus flowers and honey. Experienced bees, which were collected in the field during the blooming season, responded preferentially to odor of citrus flowers. The unique sugar composition of avocado nectar, which contains almost exclusively sucrose and a low concentration of the rare carbohydrate perseitol, and the dark brown color of avocado honey, had no negative effects on its attractiveness to the bees. Phenolic compounds extracted from avocado honey were attractive to bees and adding them to a solution of sucrose increased its attractiveness. Compared with citrus nectar and nonavocado honey, avocado nectar and honey were rich in a wide range of minerals, including potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, iron, and copper. Potassium and phosphorus, the two major minerals, both had a repellent effect on the bees. Possible explanations for the presence of repellent components in avocado nectar are discussed.

  20. 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

  1. 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 ...

  2. Preliminary results on the evaluation of honey bee stocks for susceptibility to deformed wing virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We assessed the susceptibility of honey bee stocks to Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) infection. Three stocks (n = 4 colonies per stock) were evaluated: Italian (IHB), Pol-line (POL, hybrid Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees) and Russian honey bees (RHB). Each queen was caged to obtain uniformly-aged larvae....

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. A Scientific Note on the Lactic Acid Bacterial Flora Discovered in the Honey Stomach of Swedish honey bees - a continuing study on honey bees in the U.S.A.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beneficial bacteria have been found in honey stomachs of the honey bee, Apis mellifera; a unique flora that appears to have coevolved with the honey bees. The health of our most important pollinators has come into focus during the last few years, because of yet unexplained conditions and diseases t...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Replication of honey bee-associated RNA viruses across multiple bee species in apple orchards of Georgia, Germany and Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Radzevičiūtė, Rita; Theodorou, Panagiotis; Husemann, Martin; Japoshvili, George; Kirkitadze, Giorgi; Zhusupbaeva, Aigul; Paxton, Robert J

    2017-04-06

    The essential ecosystem service of pollination is provided largely by insects, which are considered threatened by diverse biotic and abiotic global change pressures. RNA viruses are one such pressure, and have risen in prominence as a major threat for honey bees (Apis mellifera) and global apiculture, as well as a risk factor for other bee species through pathogen spill-over between managed honey bees and sympatric wild pollinator communities. Yet despite their potential role in global bee decline, the prevalence of honey bee-associated RNA viruses in wild bees is poorly known from both geographic and taxonomic perspectives. We screened members of pollinator communities (honey bees, bumble bees and other wild bees belonging to four families) collected from apple orchards in Georgia, Germany and Kyrgyzstan for six common honey bee-associated RNA virus complexes encompassing nine virus targets. The Deformed wing virus complex (DWV genotypes A and B) had the highest prevalence across all localities and host species and was the only virus complex found in wild bee species belonging to all four studied families. Based on amplification of negative-strand viral RNA, we found evidence for viral replication in wild bee species of DWV-A/DWV-B (hosts: Andrena haemorrhoa and several Bombus spp.) and Black queen cell virus (hosts: Anthophora plumipes, several Bombus spp., Osmia bicornis and Xylocopa spp.). Viral amplicon sequences revealed that DWV-A and DWV-B are regionally distinct but identical in two or more bee species at any one site, suggesting virus is shared amongst sympatric bee taxa. This study demonstrates that honey bee associated RNA viruses are geographically and taxonomically widespread, likely infective in wild bee species, and shared across bee taxa.

  10. The endangered Iris atropurpurea (Iridaceae) in Israel: honey-bees, night-sheltering male bees and female solitary bees as pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Stella; Sapir, Yuval; Segal, Bosmat; Dafni, Amots

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims The coastal plain of Israel hosts the last few remaining populations of the endemic Iris atropurpurea (Iridaceae), a Red List species of high conservation priority. The flowers offer no nectar reward. Here the role of night-sheltering male solitary bees, honey-bees and female solitary bees as pollinators of I. atropurpurea is documented. Methods Breeding system, floral longevity, stigma receptivity, visitation rates, pollen loads, pollen deposition and removal and fruit- and seed-set were investigated. Key Results The main wild pollinators of this plant are male eucerine bees, and to a lesser extent, but with the potential to transfer pollen, female solitary bees. Honey-bees were found to be frequent diurnal visitors; they removed large quantities of pollen and were as effective as male sheltering bees at pollinating this species. The low density of pollen carried by male solitary bees was attributed to grooming activities, pollen displacement when bees aggregated together in flowers and pollen depletion by honey-bees. In the population free of honey-bee hives, male bees carried significantly more pollen grains on their bodies. Results from pollen analysis and pollen deposited on stigmas suggest that inadequate pollination may be an important factor limiting fruit-set. In the presence of honey-bees, eucerine bees were low removal–low deposition pollinators, whereas honey-bees were high removal–low deposition pollinators, because they removed large amounts into corbiculae and deposited relatively little onto receptive stigmas. Conclusions Even though overall, both bee taxa were equally effective pollinators, we suggest that honey-bees have the potential to reduce the amount of pollen available for plant reproduction, and to reduce the amount of resources available to solitary bee communities. The results of this study have potential implications for the conservation of this highly endangered plant species if hives are permitted inside

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The tarsal taste of honey bees: behavioral and electrophysiological analyses.

    PubMed

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Lorenzo, Esther; Su, Songkun; Liu, Fanglin; Zhan, Yi; Giurfa, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Taste plays a crucial role in the life of honey bees as their survival depends on the collection and intake of nectar and pollen, and other natural products. Here we studied the tarsal taste of honey bees through a series of behavioral and electrophysiological analyses. We characterized responsiveness to various sweet, salty and bitter tastants delivered to gustatory sensilla of the fore tarsi. Behavioral experiments showed that stimulation of opposite fore tarsi with sucrose and bitter substances or water yielded different outcomes depending on the stimulation sequence. When sucrose was applied first, thereby eliciting proboscis extension, no bitter substance could induce proboscis retraction, thus suggesting that the primacy of sucrose stimulation induced a central excitatory state. When bitter substances or water were applied first, sucrose stimulation could still elicit proboscis extension but to a lower level, thus suggesting central inhibition based on contradictory gustatory input on opposite tarsi. Electrophysiological experiments showed that receptor cells in the gustatory sensilla of the tarsomeres are highly sensitive to saline solutions at low concentrations. No evidence for receptors responding specifically to sucrose or to bitter substances was found in these sensilla. Receptor cells in the gustatory sensilla of the claws are highly sensitive to sucrose. Although bees do not possess dedicated bitter-taste receptors in the tarsi, indirect bitter detection is possible because bitter tastes inhibit sucrose receptor cells of the claws when mixed with sucrose solution. By combining behavioral and electrophysiological approaches, these results provide the first integrative study on tarsal taste detection in the honey bee.

  15. 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.

  16. Immune system stimulation by the native gut microbiota of honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Mancenido, Amanda L.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2017-01-01

    Gut microbial communities can greatly affect host health by modulating the host's immune system. For many important insects, however, the relationship between the gut microbiota and immune function remains poorly understood. Here, we test whether the gut microbial symbionts of the honey bee can induce expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), a crucial component of insect innate immunity. We find that bees up-regulate gene expression of the AMPs apidaecin and hymenoptaecin in gut tissue when the microbiota is present. Using targeted proteomics, we detected apidaecin in both the gut lumen and the haemolymph; higher apidaecin concentrations were found in bees harbouring the normal gut microbiota than in bees lacking gut microbiota. In in vitro assays, cultured strains of the microbiota showed variable susceptibility to honey bee AMPs, although many seem to possess elevated resistance compared to Escherichia coli. In some trials, colonization by normal gut symbionts resulted in improved survivorship following injection with E. coli. Our results show that the native, non-pathogenic gut flora induces immune responses in the bee host. Such responses might be a host mechanism to regulate the microbiota, and could potentially benefit host health by priming the immune system against future pathogenic infections. PMID:28386455

  17. The metabolic fate of nectar nicotine in worker honey bees.

    PubMed

    du Rand, Esther E; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Apostolides, Zeno

    2017-04-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are generalist pollinators that forage for nectar and pollen of a very large variety of plant species, exposing them to a diverse range of secondary metabolites produced as chemical defences against herbivory. Honey bees can tolerate high levels of many of these toxic compounds, including the alkaloid nicotine, in their diet without incurring apparent fitness costs. Very little is known about the underlying detoxification processes mediating this tolerance. We examined the metabolic fate of nicotine in newly emerged worker bees using radiolabeled nicotine and LC-MS/MS analysis to determine the kinetic distribution profile of nicotine as well as the absence or presence and identity of any nicotine-derived metabolites. Nicotine metabolism was extensive; virtually no unmetabolised nicotine were recovered from the rectum. The major metabolite found was 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid, the end product of 2'C-oxidation of nicotine. It is the first time that 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid has been identified in an insect as a catabolite of nicotine. Lower levels of cotinine, cotinine N-oxide, 3'hydroxy-cotinine, nicotine N-oxide and norcotinine were also detected. Our results demonstrated that formation of 4-hydroxy-4-(3-pyridyl) butanoic acid is quantitatively the most significant pathway of nicotine metabolism in honey bees and that the rapid excretion of unmetabolised nicotine does not contribute significantly to nicotine tolerance in honey bees. In nicotine-tolerant insects that do not rely on the rapid excretion of nicotine like the Lepidoptera, it is possible that the 2'C-oxidation of nicotine is the conserved metabolic pathway instead of the generally assumed 5'C-oxidation pathway.

  18. 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.

  19. Potential supply of floral resources to managed honey bees in natural mistbelt forests.

    PubMed

    Mensah, Sylvanus; Veldtman, Ruan; Seifert, Thomas

    2017-03-15

    Honey bees play a vital role in the pollination of flowers in many agricultural systems, while providing honey through well managed beekeeping activities. Managed honey bees rely on the provision of pollen and nectar for their survival and productivity. Using data from field plot inventories in natural mistbelt forests, we (1) assessed the diversity and relative importance of honey bee plants, (2) explored the temporal availability of honey bee forage (nectar and pollen resources), and (3) elucidated how plant diversity (bee plant richness and overall plant richness) influenced the amount of forage available (production). A forage value index was defined on the basis of species-specific nectar and pollen values, and expected flowering period. Up to 50% of the overall woody plant richness were found to be honey bee plant species, with varying flowering period. As expected, bee plant richness increased with overall plant richness. Interestingly, bee plants' flowering period was spread widely over a year, although the highest potential of forage supply was observed during the last quarter. We also found that only few honey bee plant species contributed 90 percent of the available forage. Surprisingly, overall plant richness did not significantly influence the bee forage value. Rather, bee plant species richness showed significant and greater effect. The results of this study suggest that mistbelt forests can contribute to increase the spatial and temporal availability of diverse floral resources for managed honey bees. Conservation efforts must be specifically oriented towards honey bee plant species in mistbelt forests to preserve and enhance their potential to help maintain honey bee colonies. The implications for forest management, beekeeping activities and pollination-based agriculture were discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. PCR-based detection of a tracheal mite of the honey bee Acarapis woodi.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Yuriko; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-10-01

    The effects of the tracheal mite Acarapis woodi on the health of honey bees have been neglected since the prevalence of Varroa mites to Apis mellifera colonies. However, tracheal mite infestation of honey bee colonies still occurs worldwide and could impose negative impact on apiculture. The detection of A. woodi requires the dissection of honey bees followed by microscopic observation of the tracheal sacs. We thus developed PCR methods to detect A. woodi. These methods facilitate rapid and sensitive detection of A. woodi in many honey bee samples for epidemiologic surveys.

  2. Chasing your honey: Worldwide diaspora of the small hive beetle, a parasite of honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) are now an invasive pest of honey bee colonies in Australia and North America. Knowledge on the introduction(s) from Africa into and between the current ranges will shed light on pest populations, invasion pathways and contribute to ...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Mechanistic modeling of pesticide exposure: The missing keystone of honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Sponsler, Douglas B; Johnson, Reed M

    2017-04-01

    The role of pesticides in recent honey bee losses is controversial, partly because field studies often fail to detect effects predicted by laboratory studies. This dissonance highlights a critical gap in the field of honey bee toxicology: there exists little mechanistic understanding of the patterns and processes of exposure that link honey bees to pesticides in their environment. The authors submit that 2 key processes underlie honey bee pesticide exposure: 1) the acquisition of pesticide by foraging bees, and 2) the in-hive distribution of pesticide returned by foragers. The acquisition of pesticide by foraging bees must be understood as the spatiotemporal intersection between environmental contamination and honey bee foraging activity. This implies that exposure is distributional, not discrete, and that a subset of foragers may acquire harmful doses of pesticide while the mean colony exposure would appear safe. The in-hive distribution of pesticide is a complex process driven principally by food transfer interactions between colony members, and this process differs importantly between pollen and nectar. High priority should be placed on applying the extensive literature on honey bee biology to the development of more rigorously mechanistic models of honey bee pesticide exposure. In combination with mechanistic effects modeling, mechanistic exposure modeling has the potential to integrate the field of honey bee toxicology, advancing both risk assessment and basic research. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:871-881. © 2016 SETAC.

  7. Brain composition and olfactory learning in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Gronenberg, Wulfila; Couvillon, Margaret J.

    2015-01-01

    Correlations between brain or brain component size and behavioral measures are frequently studied by comparing different animal species, which sometimes introduces variables that complicate interpretation in terms of brain function. Here, we have analyzed the brain composition of honey bees (Apis mellifera) that have been individually tested in an olfactory learning paradigm. We found that the total brain size correlated with the bees’ learning performance. Among different brain components, only the mushroom body, a structure known to be involved in learning and memory, showed a positive correlation with learning performance. In contrast, visual neuropils were relatively smaller in bees that performed better in the olfactory learning task, suggesting modality-specific behavioral specialization of individual bees. This idea is also supported by inter-individual differences in brain composition. Some slight yet statistically significant differences in the brain composition of European and Africanized honey bees are reported. Larger bees had larger brains, and by comparing brains of different sizes, we report isometric correlations for all brain components except for a small structure, the central body. PMID:20060918

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. Chill sensitivity of honey bee, Apis mellifera, embryos.

    PubMed

    Collins, Anita M; Mazur, Peter

    2006-08-01

    Improved methods for preservation of honey bee, Apis mellifera L., germplasm would be very welcome to beekeeping industry queen breeders. The introduction of two parasites and the emergence of an antibiotic resistant disease have increased demands for resistant stock. Techniques for artificial insemination of queens are available, and semen has been cryopreserved with limited success. However, cryopreservation of embryos for rearing queens would mesh well with current practices and also provide drones (haploid males). Eggs at five ages between twenty-four hours and sixty-two hours were exposed to 0, -6.6, and/or -15 degrees C for various times, and successful hatch measured. Honey bee embryos show chill sensitivity as do other insect embryos, and the rate of chill injury increases dramatically with decrease in holding temperature. The 48 h embryos in both groups showed the greatest tolerance to chilling, although 44 h embryos were only slightly less so.

  16. 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.

  17. A non-policing honey bee colony (Apis mellifera capensis).

    PubMed

    Beekman, Madeleine; Good, Gregory; Allsopp, Mike H; Radloff, Sarah; Pirk, Chris W W; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2002-10-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The glass is not yet half empty: agitation but not Varroa treatment causes cognitive bias in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Schlüns, Helge; Welling, Helena; Federici, Julian René; Lewejohann, Lars

    2017-03-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prone to judge an ambiguous stimulus negatively if they had been agitated through shaking which simulates a predator attack. Such a cognitive bias has been suggested to reflect an internal emotional state analogous to humans who judge more pessimistically when they do not feel well. In order to test cognitive bias experimentally, an animal is conditioned to respond to two different stimuli, where one is punished while the other is rewarded. Subsequently a third, ambiguous stimulus is presented and it is measured whether the subject responds as if it expects a reward or a punishment. Generally, it is assumed that negative experiences lower future expectations, rendering the animals more pessimistic. Here we tested whether a most likely negatively experienced formic acid treatment against the parasitic mite Varroa destructor also affects future expectations of honey bees. We applied an olfactory learning paradigm (i.e., conditioned proboscis extension response) using two odorants and blends of these odorants as the ambiguous stimuli. Unlike agitating honey bees, exposure to formic acid did not significantly change the response to the ambiguous stimuli in comparison with untreated bees. Overall evidence suggests that the commonest treatment against one of the most harmful bee pests has no detrimental effects on cognitive bias in honey bees.

  1. Nectar quality perception by honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Charlotte E; Cook, Peyton; Hill, Peggy S M; Orozco, Benjamin S; Abramson, Charles I; Wells, Harrington

    2013-11-01

    In exploring how foragers perceive rewards, we often find that well-motivated individuals are not too choosy and unmotivated individuals are unreliable and inconsistent. Nevertheless, when given a choice we see that individuals can clearly distinguish between rewards. Here we develop the logic of using responses to two-choice problems as a derivative function of perceived reward, and utilize this model to examine honey bee perception of nectar quality. Measuring the derivative allows us to deduce the perceived reward function. The derivative function of the perceived reward equation gives the rate of change of the reward perceived for each reward value. This approach depends on presenting free-flying foragers with a series of two different rewards presented simultaneously (i.e., two-choice, binomial tests). We also examine how honey bees integrate information from a range of reward qualities to formulate a functional response. Results suggest that honey bees overestimate higher quality rewards and that direct comparison is an important step in the integration of information from a range of rewards.

  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. Structure of deformed wing virus, a major honey bee pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Škubník, Karel; Nováček, Jiří; Füzik, Tibor; Přidal, Antonín; Paxton, Robert J.; Plevka, Pavel

    2017-01-01

    The worldwide population of western honey bees (Apis mellifera) is under pressure from habitat loss, environmental stress, and pathogens, particularly viruses that cause lethal epidemics. Deformed wing virus (DWV) from the family Iflaviridae, together with its vector, the mite Varroa destructor, is likely the major threat to the world’s honey bees. However, lack of knowledge of the atomic structures of iflaviruses has hindered the development of effective treatments against them. Here, we present the virion structures of DWV determined to a resolution of 3.1 Å using cryo-electron microscopy and 3.8 Å by X-ray crystallography. The C-terminal extension of capsid protein VP3 folds into a globular protruding (P) domain, exposed on the virion surface. The P domain contains an Asp-His-Ser catalytic triad that is, together with five residues that are spatially close, conserved among iflaviruses. These residues may participate in receptor binding or provide the protease, lipase, or esterase activity required for entry of the virus into a host cell. Furthermore, nucleotides of the DWV RNA genome interact with VP3 subunits. The capsid protein residues involved in the RNA binding are conserved among honey bee iflaviruses, suggesting a putative role of the genome in stabilizing the virion or facilitating capsid assembly. Identifying the RNA-binding and putative catalytic sites within the DWV virion structure enables future analyses of how DWV and other iflaviruses infect insect cells and also opens up possibilities for the development of antiviral treatments. PMID:28270616

  4. Structure of deformed wing virus, a major honey bee pathogen.

    PubMed

    Škubník, Karel; Nováček, Jiří; Füzik, Tibor; Přidal, Antonín; Paxton, Robert J; Plevka, Pavel

    2017-03-21

    The worldwide population of western honey bees (Apis mellifera) is under pressure from habitat loss, environmental stress, and pathogens, particularly viruses that cause lethal epidemics. Deformed wing virus (DWV) from the family Iflaviridae, together with its vector, the mite Varroa destructor, is likely the major threat to the world's honey bees. However, lack of knowledge of the atomic structures of iflaviruses has hindered the development of effective treatments against them. Here, we present the virion structures of DWV determined to a resolution of 3.1 Å using cryo-electron microscopy and 3.8 Å by X-ray crystallography. The C-terminal extension of capsid protein VP3 folds into a globular protruding (P) domain, exposed on the virion surface. The P domain contains an Asp-His-Ser catalytic triad that is, together with five residues that are spatially close, conserved among iflaviruses. These residues may participate in receptor binding or provide the protease, lipase, or esterase activity required for entry of the virus into a host cell. Furthermore, nucleotides of the DWV RNA genome interact with VP3 subunits. The capsid protein residues involved in the RNA binding are conserved among honey bee iflaviruses, suggesting a putative role of the genome in stabilizing the virion or facilitating capsid assembly. Identifying the RNA-binding and putative catalytic sites within the DWV virion structure enables future analyses of how DWV and other iflaviruses infect insect cells and also opens up possibilities for the development of antiviral treatments.

  5. 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.

  6. Differential diagnosis of the honey bee trypanosomatids Crithidia mellificae and Lotmaria passim.

    PubMed

    Ravoet, Jorgen; Schwarz, Ryan S; Descamps, Tine; Yañez, Orlando; Tozkar, Cansu Ozge; Martin-Hernandez, Raquel; Bartolomé, Carolina; De Smet, Lina; Higes, Mariano; Wenseleers, Tom; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Neumann, Peter; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko; Evans, Jay D; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-09-01

    Trypanosomatids infecting honey bees have been poorly studied with molecular methods until recently. After the description of Crithidia mellificae (Langridge and McGhee, 1967) it took about forty years until molecular data for honey bee trypanosomatids became available and were used to identify and describe a new trypanosomatid species from honey bees, Lotmaria passim (Evans and Schwarz, 2014). However, an easy method to distinguish them without sequencing is not yet available. Research on the related bumble bee parasites Crithidia bombi and Crithidia expoeki revealed a fragment length polymorphism in the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), which enabled species discrimination. In search of fragment length polymorphisms for differential diagnostics in honey bee trypanosomatids, we studied honey bee trypanosomatid cell cultures of C. mellificae and L. passim. This research resulted in the identification of fragment length polymorphisms in ITS1 and ITS1-2 markers, which enabled us to develop a diagnostic method to differentiate both honey bee trypanosomatid species without the need for sequencing. However, the amplification success of the ITS1 marker depends probably on the trypanosomatid infection level. Further investigation confirmed that L. passim is the dominant species in Belgium, Japan and Switzerland. We found C. mellificae only rarely in Belgian honey bee samples, but not in honey bee samples from other countries. C. mellificae was also detected in mason bees (Osmia bicornis and Osmia cornuta) besides in honey bees. Further, the characterization and comparison of additional markers from L. passim strain SF (published as C. mellificae strain SF) and a Belgian honey bee sample revealed very low divergence in the 18S rRNA, ITS1-2, 28S rRNA and cytochrome b sequences. Nevertheless, a variable stretch was observed in the gp63 virulence factor.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. A veterinary approach to the European honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed

    Williams, D L

    2000-07-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) has the unusual status of being an inherently wild species from which a natural foodstuff (honey) is derived by manipulating its behaviour to deposit this in man-made wooden frames. Bees also produce propolis and Royal Jelly which can be harvested but their most important effect is one not immediately obvious as an economic product: that of pollination. Bee diseases are predominantly infectious and parasitic conditions accentuated by the close confinement in which they congregate, either in man-made hives or in colonies in a natural cavity. Treatment or at least control of some of these conditions can be attempted. In some cases natural bee behavioural traits limit the effect of the disease while in others, such as the notifiable disease American foulbrood, destruction of the colony is the only method of control. The mite Varroa jacobsoni can be controlled by the synthetic pyrethroids flumethrin and tau-fluvalinate. The introduction of these products has heightened veterinary interest in this important invertebrate species.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Neotropical Africanized honey bees have African mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Smith, D R; Taylor, O R; Brown, W M

    1989-05-18

    Non-indigenous African honey bees have invaded most of South and Central America in just over 30 years. The genetic composition of this population and the means by which it rapidly colonizes new territory remain controversial. In particular, it has been unclear whether this 'Africanized' population has resulted from interbreeding between African and domestic European bees, or is an essentially pure African population. Also, it has not been known whether this population expanded primarily by female or by male migration. Restriction site mapping of 62 mitochondrial DNAs of African bees from Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico reveals that 97% were of African (Apis mellifera scutellata) type. Although neotropical European apiary populations are rapidly Africanized by mating with neotropical African males, there is little reciprocal gene flow to the neotropical African population through European females. These are the first genetic data to indicate that the neotropical African population could be expanding its range by female migration.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Genomic analyses of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of honey bees.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent steep declines in honey bee health have severely impacted the beekeeping industry, presenting new risks for agricultural commodities that depend on insect pollination. Honey bee declines could reflect increased pressures from parasites and pathogens. The incidence of the microsporidian pathog...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. The similarity and appropriate usage of three honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) datasets for longitudinal studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies have experienced profound fluctuations, especially declines, in the past few decades. Long-term datasets on honey bees are needed to identify the most important environmental and cultural factors associated with these changes. While a few suc...

  2. Octopamine and tyramine modulate the thermoregulatory fanning response in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biogenic amines regulate the proximate mechanisms underlying most behavior, including those that contribute to the overall success of complex societies. For honey bees one critical set of behaviors contributing to the welfare of a colony are involved with nest thermoregulation. Worker honey bees co...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Physicochemical Parameters and Antioxidant Activity of Bee Honey Enriched With Herbs.

    PubMed

    Dżugan, Małgorzata; Sowa, Patrycja; Kwaśniewska, Monika; Wesołowska, Monika; Czernicka, Maria

    2017-03-01

    Three groups of products enriched with herbs were studied: (1) commercial herb honeys (n = 5) produced by bees fed a syrup with an herbal extract, (2) natural herbal honey (n = 3) produced by bees from the nectar of herbs, and (3) creamed multifloral honey with added dried herbs (n = 5). As a control, multifloral honey (n = 5) was used. The physicochemical parameters (i.e., sugar extract, water content, specific rotation, conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural content, pH and acidity), sugar profiles (HPLC analysis), antioxidant activity and total phenolic compounds content of the studied samples were compared. Although great diversity in the basic properties of the studied products was observed, they were comparable to multifloral honey and complied with honey regulations. Significant differences in sugar composition were observed, and adversely positive rotation (excluding nettle herb honey) was detected in group 1, likely resulting from the change in bee feeding. The best antioxidant activity for creamed honeys with dried herbs (group 2) was investigated, whereas herb honeys (group 1) exhibited similar antioxidant properties as multifloral honey. The use of controlled feeding of bees appears to be an effective method of enriching honey with desirable plant bioactive components to create innovative bee products.

  6. 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

  7. Oldest Varroa tolerant honey bee population provides insight into the origins of the global decline of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Brettell, L E; Martin, S J

    2017-04-10

    The ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor has transformed the previously inconsequential Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) into the most important honey bee viral pathogen responsible for the death of millions of colonies worldwide. Naturally, DWV persists as a low level covert infection transmitted between nest-mates. It has long been speculated that Varroa via immunosuppression of the bees, activate a covert infection into an overt one. Here we show that despite Varroa feeding on a population of 20-40 colonies for over 30 years on the remote island of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil no such activation has occurred and DWV loads have remained at borderline levels of detection. This supports the alternative theory that for a new vector borne viral transmission cycle to start, an outbreak of an overt infection must first occur within the host. Therefore, we predict that this honey bee population is a ticking time-bomb, protected by its isolated position and small population size. This unique association between mite and bee persists due to the evolution of low Varroa reproduction rates. So the population is not adapted to tolerate Varroa and DWV, rather the viral quasispecies has simply not yet evolved the necessary mutations to produce a virulent variant.

  8. Oldest Varroa tolerant honey bee population provides insight into the origins of the global decline of honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Brettell, L. E.; Martin, S. J.

    2017-01-01

    The ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor has transformed the previously inconsequential Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) into the most important honey bee viral pathogen responsible for the death of millions of colonies worldwide. Naturally, DWV persists as a low level covert infection transmitted between nest-mates. It has long been speculated that Varroa via immunosuppression of the bees, activate a covert infection into an overt one. Here we show that despite Varroa feeding on a population of 20–40 colonies for over 30 years on the remote island of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil no such activation has occurred and DWV loads have remained at borderline levels of detection. This supports the alternative theory that for a new vector borne viral transmission cycle to start, an outbreak of an overt infection must first occur within the host. Therefore, we predict that this honey bee population is a ticking time-bomb, protected by its isolated position and small population size. This unique association between mite and bee persists due to the evolution of low Varroa reproduction rates. So the population is not adapted to tolerate Varroa and DWV, rather the viral quasispecies has simply not yet evolved the necessary mutations to produce a virulent variant. PMID:28393875

  9. Does swarming cause honey bees to update their solar ephemerides?

    PubMed

    Towne, William F; Baer, Christopher M; Fabiny, Sarah J; Shinn, Lisa M

    2005-11-01

    Spatial orientation in the social insects offers several examples of specialized learning mechanisms that underlie complex learning tasks. Here we study one of these systems: the processes by which honey bees update, or fail to update, their memories of the sun's daily pattern of movement (the solar ephemeris function) in relation to the landscape. Specifically, we ask whether bees that have initially learned the solar ephemeris function relative to a conspicuous treeline at their natal site can later realign the ephemeris to a differently oriented treeline. We first confirm and clarify an earlier finding that bees transplanted passively (by being carried) do not re-learn the solar ephemeris in relation to the new treeline. When they cannot detect the sun directly, as on overcast days, these transplanted bees use a solar ephemeris function appropriate for their natal site, despite days or weeks of experience at the new site. We then ask whether bees put through a swarming process as they are transplanted are induced to re-learn the solar ephemeris function at the new site, as swarming is a natural process wherein bees transplant themselves. Most of the swarmed bees failed to re-learn, even though they did extensive learning flights (in comparison with those of non-swarmed controls) as they first emerged from the hive at the new site. We hypothesize that the bees' representation of the solar ephemeris function is stored in an encapsulated cognitive module in which the ephemeris is inextricably linked to the reference landscape in which it was learned.

  10. 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.

  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. Influence of honey bee, Apis mellifera, hives and field size on foraging activity of native bee species in pumpkin fields.

    PubMed

    Artz, Derek R; Hsu, Cynthia L; Nault, Brian A

    2011-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify bee species active in pumpkin fields in New York and to estimate their potential as pollinators by examining their foraging activity. In addition, we examined whether foraging activity was affected by either the addition of hives of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., or by field size. Thirty-five pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.) fields ranging from 0.6 to 26.3 ha, 12 supplemented with A. mellifera hives and 23 not supplemented, were sampled during peak flowering over three successive weeks in 2008 and 2009. Flowers from 300 plants per field were visually sampled for bees on each sampling date. A. mellifera, Bombus impatiens Cresson, and Peponapis pruinosa (Say) accounted for 99% of all bee visits to flowers. A. mellifera and B. impatiens visited significantly more pistillate flowers than would be expected by chance, whereas P. pruinosa showed no preference for visiting pistillate flowers. There were significantly more A. mellifera visits per flower in fields supplemented with A. mellifera hives than in fields not supplemented, but there were significantly fewer P. pruinosa visits in supplemented fields. The number of B. impatiens visits was not affected by supplementation, but was affected by number of flowers per field. A. mellifera and P. pruinosa visits were not affected by field size, but B. impatiens visited fewer flowers as field size increased in fields that were not supplemented with A. mellifera hives. Declining A. mellifera populations may increase the relative importance of B. impatiens in pollinating pumpkins in New York.

  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. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Social signals and aversive learning in honey bee drones and workers

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, Eddie; Vallejo, Lianna; Pérez, María E.; Abramson, Charles I.; Giray, Tugrul

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The dissemination of information is a basic element of group cohesion. In honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus 1758), like in other social insects, the principal method for colony-wide information exchange is communication via pheromones. This medium of communication allows multiple individuals to conduct tasks critical to colony survival. Social signaling also establishes conflict at the level of the individual who must trade-off between attending to the immediate environment or the social demand. In this study we examined this conflict by challenging highly social worker honey bees, and less social male drone honey bees undergoing aversive training by presenting them with a social stress signal (isopentyl acetate, IPA). We utilized IPA exposure methods that caused lower learning performance in appetitive learning in workers. Exposure to isopentyl acetate (IPA) did not affect performance of drones and had a dose-specific effect on worker response, with positive effects diminishing at higher IPA doses. The IPA effects are specific because non-social cues, such as the odor cineole, improve learning performance in drones, and social homing signals (geraniol) did not have a discernible effect on drone or worker performance. We conclude that social signals do generate conflict and that response to them is dependent on signal relevance to the individual as well as the context. We discuss the effect of social signal on learning both related to its social role and potential evolutionary history. PMID:27895050

  18. Social signals and aversive learning in honey bee drones and workers.

    PubMed

    Avalos, Arian; Pérez, Eddie; Vallejo, Lianna; Pérez, María E; Abramson, Charles I; Giray, Tugrul

    2017-01-15

    The dissemination of information is a basic element of group cohesion. In honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus 1758), like in other social insects, the principal method for colony-wide information exchange is communication via pheromones. This medium of communication allows multiple individuals to conduct tasks critical to colony survival. Social signaling also establishes conflict at the level of the individual who must trade-off between attending to the immediate environment or the social demand. In this study we examined this conflict by challenging highly social worker honey bees, and less social male drone honey bees undergoing aversive training by presenting them with a social stress signal (isopentyl acetate, IPA). We utilized IPA exposure methods that caused lower learning performance in appetitive learning in workers. Exposure to isopentyl acetate (IPA) did not affect performance of drones and had a dose-specific effect on worker response, with positive effects diminishing at higher IPA doses. The IPA effects are specific because non-social cues, such as the odor cineole, improve learning performance in drones, and social homing signals (geraniol) did not have a discernible effect on drone or worker performance. We conclude that social signals do generate conflict and that response to them is dependent on signal relevance to the individual as well as the context. We discuss the effect of social signal on learning both related to its social role and potential evolutionary history.

  19. Social regulation of ageing by young workers in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Eyer, Michael; Dainat, Benjamin; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2017-01-01

    Organisms' lifespans are modulated by both genetic and environmental factors. The lifespan of eusocial insects is determined by features of the division of labor, which itself is influenced by social regulatory mechanisms. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, the presence of brood and of old workers carrying out foraging tasks are important social drivers of ageing, but the influence of young adult workers is unknown, as it has not been experimentally teased apart from that of brood. In this study, we test the role of young workers in the ageing of their nestmates. We measured the impact of different social contexts characterized by the absence of brood and/or young adults on the lifespan of worker nestmates in field colonies. To acquire insight into the physiological processes occurring under these contexts, we analyzed the expression of genes known to affect honey bee ageing. The data showed that young workers significantly reduced the lifespan of nestmate workers, similar to the effect of brood on its own. Differential expression of vitellogenin, major royal jelly protein-1, and methylase transferase, but not methyl farneosate epoxidase genes suggests that young workers and brood influence ageing of adult nestmate workers via different physiological pathways. We identify young workers as an essential part of the social regulation of ageing in honey bee colonies.

  20. The distribution of Paenibacillus larvae spores in adult bees and honey and larval mortality, following the addition of American foulbrood diseased brood or spore-contaminated honey in honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Anders; Korpela, Seppo; Fries, Ingemar

    2008-09-01

    Within colony transmission of Paenibacillus larvae spores was studied by giving spore-contaminated honey comb or comb containing 100 larvae killed by American foulbrood to five experimental colonies respectively. We registered the impact of the two treatments on P. larvae spore loads in adult bees and honey and on larval mortality by culturing for spores in samples of adult bees and honey, respectively, and by measuring larval survival. The results demonstrate a direct effect of treatment on spore levels in adult bees and honey as well as on larval mortality. Colonies treated with dead larvae showed immediate high spore levels in adult bee samples, while the colonies treated with contaminated honey showed a comparable spore load but the effect was delayed until the bees started to utilize the honey at the end of the flight season. During the winter there was a build up of spores in the adult bees, which may increase the risk for infection in spring. The results confirm that contaminated honey can act as an environmental reservoir of P. larvae spores and suggest that less spores may be needed in honey, compared to in diseased brood, to produce clinically diseased colonies. The spore load in adult bee samples was significantly related to larval mortality but the spore load of honey samples was not.

  1. 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

  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 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

  4. Larva-mediated chalkbrood resistance-associated single nucleotide polymorphism markers in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Liu, Y; Yan, L; Li, Z; Huang, W-F; Pokhrel, S; Liu, X; Su, S

    2016-06-01

    Chalkbrood is a disease affecting honey bees that seriously impairs brood growth and productivity of diseased colonies. Although honey bees can develop chalkbrood resistance naturally, the details underlying the mechanisms of resistance are not fully understood, and no easy method is currently available for selecting and breeding resistant bees. Finding the genes involved in the development of resistance and identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that can be used as molecular markers of resistance is therefore a high priority. We conducted genome resequencing to compare resistant (Res) and susceptible (Sus) larvae that were selected following in vitro chalkbrood inoculation. Twelve genomic libraries, including 14.4 Gb of sequence data, were analysed using SNP-finding algorithms. Unique SNPs derived from chromosomes 2 and 11 were analysed in this study. SNPs from resistant individuals were confirmed by PCR and Sanger sequencing using in vitro reared larvae and resistant colonies. We found strong support for an association between the C allele at SNP C2587245T and chalkbrood resistance. SNP C2587245T may be useful as a genetic marker for the selection of chalkbrood resistance and high royal jelly production honey bee lines, thereby helping to minimize the negative effects of chalkbrood on managed honey bees.

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Fungicide contamination reduces beneficial fungi in bee bread based on an area-wide field study in honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fermentation by fungi converts stored pollen into bee bread that is fed to and eaten by honey bee larvae, Apis mellifera. To explore the relationship between fungicide spraying and bee bread fungi, samples of bee bread collected from bee colonies pollinating orchards from seven locations over two y...

  14. 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.

  15. Transcriptome Analysis of the Asian Honey Bee Apis cerana cerana

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zachary Y.; Wu, Xiao Bo; Yan, Wei Yu; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2012-01-01

    Background The Eastern hive honey bee, Apis cerana cerana is a native and widely bred honey bee species in China. Molecular biology research about this honey bee species is scarce, and genomic information for A. c. cerana is not currently available. Transcriptome and expression profiling data for this species are therefore important resources needed to better understand the biological mechanisms of A. c. cerana. In this study, we obtained the transcriptome information of A. c. cerana by RNA-sequencing and compared gene expression differences between queens and workers of A. c. cerana by digital gene expression (DGE) analysis. Results Using high-throughput Illumina RNA sequencing we obtained 51,581,510 clean reads corresponding to 4.64 Gb total nucleotides from a single run. These reads were assembled into 46,999 unigenes with a mean length of 676 bp. Based on a sequence similarity search against the five public databases (NR, Swissport, GO, COG, KEGG) with a cut-off E-value of 10−5 using BLASTX, a total of 24,630 unigenes were annotated with gene descriptions, gene ontology terms, or metabolic pathways. Using these transcriptome data as references we analyzed the gene expression differences between the queens and workers of A. c. cerana using a tag-based digital gene expression method. We obtained 5.96 and 5.66 million clean tags from the queen and worker samples, respectively. A total of 414 genes were differentially expressed between them, with 189 up-regulated and 225 down-regulated in queens. Conclusions Our transcriptome data provide a comprehensive sequence resource for future A. c. cerana study, establishing an important public information platform for functional genomic studies in A. c. cerana. Furthermore, the DGE data provide comprehensive gene expression information for the queens and workers, which will facilitate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the different physiological aspects of the two castes. PMID:23112877

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Dynamics of persistent and acute deformed wing virus infections in honey bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Prisco, Gennaro Di; Zhang, Xuan; Pennacchio, Francesco; Caprio, Emilio; Li, Jilian; Evans, Jay D; Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Hamilton, Michele; Chen, Yan Ping

    2011-12-01

    The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the virus infection in emerged bees, partly explaining the high levels of winter losses of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, around the world. By experimentally exposing adult bees with variable levels of parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we showed that the severity of DWV infection was positively correlated with the density and time period of Varroa mite infestation, confirming the role of Varroa mites in virus transmission and activation in honey bees. Further, we showed that host conditions have a significant impact on the outcome of DWV infection as bees that originate from strong colonies resist DWV infection and replication significantly better than bee originating from weak colonies. The information obtained from this study has important implications for enhancing our understanding of host‑pathogen interactions and can be used to develop effective disease control strategies for honey bees.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honey bee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availability

    PubMed Central

    de Vere, Natasha; Jones, Laura E.; Gilmore, Tegan; Moscrop, Jake; Lowe, Abigail; Smith, Dan; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Creer, Simon; Ford, Col R.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding which flowers honey bees (Apis mellifera) use for forage can help us to provide suitable plants for healthy honey bee colonies. Accordingly, honey DNA metabarcoding provides a valuable tool for investigating pollen and nectar collection. We investigated early season (April and May) floral choice by honey bees provided with a very high diversity of flowering plants within the National Botanic Garden of Wales. There was a close correspondence between the phenology of flowering and the detection of plants within the honey. Within the study area there were 437 genera of plants in flower during April and May, but only 11% of these were used. Thirty-nine plant taxa were recorded from three hives but only ten at greater than 1%. All three colonies used the same core set of native or near-native plants, typically found in hedgerows and woodlands. The major plants were supplemented with a range of horticultural species, with more variation in plant choice between the honey bee colonies. We conclude that during the spring, honey bees need access to native hedgerows and woodlands to provide major plants for foraging. Gardens provide supplementary flowers that may increase the nutritional diversity of the honey bee diet. PMID:28205632

  3. Using DNA metabarcoding to investigate honey bee foraging reveals limited flower use despite high floral availability.

    PubMed

    de Vere, Natasha; Jones, Laura E; Gilmore, Tegan; Moscrop, Jake; Lowe, Abigail; Smith, Dan; Hegarty, Matthew J; Creer, Simon; Ford, Col R

    2017-02-16

    Understanding which flowers honey bees (Apis mellifera) use for forage can help us to provide suitable plants for healthy honey bee colonies. Accordingly, honey DNA metabarcoding provides a valuable tool for investigating pollen and nectar collection. We investigated early season (April and May) floral choice by honey bees provided with a very high diversity of flowering plants within the National Botanic Garden of Wales. There was a close correspondence between the phenology of flowering and the detection of plants within the honey. Within the study area there were 437 genera of plants in flower during April and May, but only 11% of these were used. Thirty-nine plant taxa were recorded from three hives but only ten at greater than 1%. All three colonies used the same core set of native or near-native plants, typically found in hedgerows and woodlands. The major plants were supplemented with a range of horticultural species, with more variation in plant choice between the honey bee colonies. We conclude that during the spring, honey bees need access to native hedgerows and woodlands to provide major plants for foraging. Gardens provide supplementary flowers that may increase the nutritional diversity of the honey bee diet.

  4. 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.

  5. Fate of dermally applied miticides fluvalinate and amitraz within honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) bodies.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    Varroa mites, Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, are economically important pests of honey bees. Varroa mites are principally controlled within honey bee colonies using miticides. However, despite their importance in managing mite populations for apiculture, potential effects of miticides on honey bees are poorly understood. Using gas chromatography-flame ionization detection, we investigated concentrations, over variable time frames and within different body regions, of two commonly used miticides, tau-fluvalinate and amitraz, after dermal exposure to honey bees. We also quantified mortality of honey bees exposed to each miticide at both a low and high dose. Significant differences were observed in distributions of miticides among body regions. Within honey bee body parts, tau-fluvalinate was more readily absorbed and decreased in concentration more rapidly than amitraz. Mortality increased with higher dosages of miticides, and at higher dosages mortality was greater from fluvalinate than from amitraz. For individual honey bees, our results for rate of breakdown suggest that fluvalinate may be the preferred miticide for apiculturists, whereas our mortality results suggest that amitraz may be preferable. Either choice must be weighed against geographic variation in varroa resistance to each pesticide and attendant costs of parasitism.

  6. Bees' Honey Attenuation of Metanil-Yellow-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Al-Malki, Abdulrahman L.; Sayed, Ahmed Amir Radwan

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims to investigate the protective effect of bees' honey against metanil-yellow-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Rats were divided into 7 groups: control group; three groups treated with 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg metanil yellow, and three groups treated with metanil yellow plus 2.5 mg · kg−1 · day−1 bees' honey for 8 weeks. The obtained data showed that the antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activity of bees' honey reduced the oxidative stress in the liver tissue and downregulated the inflammatory markers. In addition, the elevated levels of AGE and the activated NF-κB in the metanil-yellow-treated animals were significantly attenuated. Moreover, the levels of TNF-α and IL-1β were significantly attenuated as a result of bees' honey administration. Furthermore, the histopathological examination of the liver showed that bees' honey reduced fatty degeneration, cytoplasmic vacuolization, and necrosis in metanil-yellow-treated rats. In conclusion, the obtained data suggest that bees' honey has hepatoprotective effect on acute liver injuries induced by metanil-yellow in vivo, and the results suggested that the effect of bees' honey against metanil yellow-induced liver damage is related to its antioxidant/anti-inflammatory properties which attenuate the activation of NF-κB and its controlled genes like TNF-α and IL-1β. PMID:23818929

  7. 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.

  8. 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."

  9. 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.

  10. Bee++: An Object-Oriented, Agent-Based Simulator for Honey Bee Colonies.

    PubMed

    Betti, Matthew; LeClair, Josh; Wahl, Lindi M; Zamir, Mair

    2017-03-10

    We present a model and associated simulation package (www.beeplusplus.ca) to capture the natural dynamics of a honey bee colony in a spatially-explicit landscape, with temporally-variable, weather-dependent parameters. The simulation tracks bees of different ages and castes, food stores within the colony, pollen and nectar sources and the spatial position of individual foragers outside the hive. We track explicitly the intake of pesticides in individual bees and their ability to metabolize these toxins, such that the impact of sub-lethal doses of pesticides can be explored. Moreover, pathogen populations (in particular, Nosema apis, Nosema cerenae and Varroa mites) have been included in the model and may be introduced at any time or location. The ability to study interactions among pesticides, climate, biodiversity and pathogens in this predictive framework should prove useful to a wide range of researchers studying honey bee populations. To this end, the simulation package is written in open source, object-oriented code (C++) and can be easily modified by the user. Here, we demonstrate the use of the model by exploring the effects of sub-lethal pesticide exposure on the flight behaviour of foragers.

  11. Bee++: An Object-Oriented, Agent-Based Simulator for Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Betti, Matthew; LeClair, Josh; Wahl, Lindi M.; Zamir, Mair

    2017-01-01

    We present a model and associated simulation package (www.beeplusplus.ca) to capture the natural dynamics of a honey bee colony in a spatially-explicit landscape, with temporally-variable, weather-dependent parameters. The simulation tracks bees of different ages and castes, food stores within the colony, pollen and nectar sources and the spatial position of individual foragers outside the hive. We track explicitly the intake of pesticides in individual bees and their ability to metabolize these toxins, such that the impact of sub-lethal doses of pesticides can be explored. Moreover, pathogen populations (in particular, Nosema apis, Nosema cerenae and Varroa mites) have been included in the model and may be introduced at any time or location. The ability to study interactions among pesticides, climate, biodiversity and pathogens in this predictive framework should prove useful to a wide range of researchers studying honey bee populations. To this end, the simulation package is written in open source, object-oriented code (C++) and can be easily modified by the user. Here, we demonstrate the use of the model by exploring the effects of sub-lethal pesticide exposure on the flight behaviour of foragers. PMID:28287445

  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. An Improved Marriage in Honey Bees Optimization Algorithm for Single Objective Unconstrained Optimization

    PubMed Central

    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

  14. Role of Human Action in the Spread of Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pathogens.

    PubMed

    Owen, Robert

    2017-04-06

    The increased annual losses in European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in North America and some other countries is usually attributed to a range of factors including pathogens, poor nutrition, and insecticides. In this essay, I will argue that the global trade in honey bees and migratory beekeeping practices within countries has enabled pathogens to spread quickly. Beekeepers' management strategies have also contributed to the spread of pathogens as well as the development of resistance to miticides and antibiotics, and exacerbated by hobby beekeepers. The opportunities for arresting honey bee declines rest as strongly with individual beekeepers as they do with the dynamics of disease.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Sepsis and Hemocyte Loss in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Infected with Serratia marcescens Strain Sicaria

    PubMed Central

    Burritt, Nancy L.; Foss, Nicole J.; Neeno-Eckwall, Eric C.; Church, James O.; Hildebrand, Jacob A.; Warshauer, David M.; Perna, Nicole T.; Burritt, James B.

    2016-01-01

    Global loss of honey bee colonies is threatening the human food supply. Diverse pathogens reduce honey bee hardiness needed to sustain colonies, especially in winter. We isolated a free-living Gram negative bacillus from hemolymph of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) found separated from winter clusters. In some hives, greater than 90% of the dying bees detached from the winter cluster were found to contain this bacterium in their hemolymph. Throughout the year, the same organism was rarely found in bees engaged in normal hive activities, but was detected in about half of Varroa destructor mites obtained from colonies that housed the septic bees. Flow cytometry of hemolymph from septic bees showed a significant reduction of plasmatocytes and other types of hemocytes. Interpretation of the16S rRNA sequence of the bacterium indicated that it belongs to the Serratia genus of Gram-negative Gammaproteobacteria, which has not previously been implicated as a pathogen of adult honey bees. Complete genome sequence analysis of the bacterium supported its classification as a novel strain of Serratia marcescens, which was designated as S. marcescens strain sicaria (Ss1). When compared with other strains of S. marcescens, Ss1 demonstrated several phenotypic and genetic differences, including 65 genes not previously found in other Serratia genomes. Some of the unique genes we identified in Ss1 were related to those from bacterial insect pathogens and commensals. Recovery of this organism extends a complex pathosphere of agents which may contribute to failure of honey bee colonies. PMID:28002470

  18. Sepsis and Hemocyte Loss in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Infected with Serratia marcescens Strain Sicaria.

    PubMed

    Burritt, Nancy L; Foss, Nicole J; Neeno-Eckwall, Eric C; Church, James O; Hilger, Anna M; Hildebrand, Jacob A; Warshauer, David M; Perna, Nicole T; Burritt, James B

    2016-01-01

    Global loss of honey bee colonies is threatening the human food supply. Diverse pathogens reduce honey bee hardiness needed to sustain colonies, especially in winter. We isolated a free-living Gram negative bacillus from hemolymph of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) found separated from winter clusters. In some hives, greater than 90% of the dying bees detached from the winter cluster were found to contain this bacterium in their hemolymph. Throughout the year, the same organism was rarely found in bees engaged in normal hive activities, but was detected in about half of Varroa destructor mites obtained from colonies that housed the septic bees. Flow cytometry of hemolymph from septic bees showed a significant reduction of plasmatocytes and other types of hemocytes. Interpretation of the16S rRNA sequence of the bacterium indicated that it belongs to the Serratia genus of Gram-negative Gammaproteobacteria, which has not previously been implicated as a pathogen of adult honey bees. Complete genome sequence analysis of the bacterium supported its classification as a novel strain of Serratia marcescens, which was designated as S. marcescens strain sicaria (Ss1). When compared with other strains of S. marcescens, Ss1 demonstrated several phenotypic and genetic differences, including 65 genes not previously found in other Serratia genomes. Some of the unique genes we identified in Ss1 were related to those from bacterial insect pathogens and commensals. Recovery of this organism extends a complex pathosphere of agents which may contribute to failure of honey bee colonies.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Detection of honey bee (Apis mellifera) viruses with an oligonucleotide microarray.

    PubMed

    Glover, Rachel H; Adams, Ian P; Budge, Giles; Wilkins, Selwyn; Boonham, Neil

    2011-07-01

    In recent years, declines in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have been observed to varying degrees worldwide with the worst losses in the USA being termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Pathogen load and the prevalence of honey bee viruses have been implicated in these losses and many diseased hives have multiple viruses present. We have designed and tested an oligonucleotide microarray which enables the simultaneous detection of nine honey bee viruses: Acute bee paralysis virus, Black queen cell virus, Chronic bee paralysis virus, Deformed wing virus, Kashmir bee virus, Sacbrood virus, Israel acute paralysis virus, Varroa destructor virus 1 and Slow paralysis virus. The microarray can be used to robustly diagnose nine viruses in one test.

  2. Flight behaviour of honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers is altered by initial infections of the fungal parasite Nosema apis

    PubMed Central

    Dosselli, Ryan; Grassl, Julia; Carson, Andrew; Simmons, Leigh W.; Baer, Boris

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) host a wide range of parasites, some being known contributors towards dramatic colony losses as reported over recent years. To counter parasitic threats, honey bees possess effective immune systems. Because immune responses are predicted to cause substantial physiological costs for infected individuals, they are expected to trade off with other life history traits that ultimately affect the performance and fitness of the entire colony. Here, we tested whether the initial onset of an infection negatively impacts the flight behaviour of honey bee workers, which is an energetically demanding behaviour and a key component of foraging activities. To do this, we infected workers with the widespread fungal pathogen Nosema apis, which is recognised and killed by the honey bee immune system. We compared their survival and flight behaviour with non-infected individuals from the same cohort and colony using radio frequency identification tags (RFID). We found that over a time frame of four days post infection, Nosema did not increase mortality but workers quickly altered their flight behaviour and performed more flights of shorter duration. We conclude that parasitic infections influence foraging activities, which could reduce foraging ranges of colonies and impact their ability to provide pollination services. PMID:27827404

  3. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Queenie W.T.; Chan, Man Yi; Logan, Michelle; Fang, Yuan; Higo, Heather; Foster, Leonard J.

    2013-01-01

    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

  4. Assessing the mating 'health' of commercial honey bee queens.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Keller, Jennifer J; Caren, Joel R; Delaney, Deborah A

    2012-02-01

    Honey bee queens mate with multiple males, which increases the total genetic diversity within colonies and has been shown to confer numerous benefits for colony health and productivity. Recent surveys of beekeepers have suggested that 'poor queens' are a top management concern, thus investigating the reproductive quality and mating success of commercially produced honey bee queens is warranted. We purchased 80 commercially produced queens from large queen breeders in California and measured them for their physical size (fresh weigh and thorax width), insemination success (stored sperm counts and sperm viability), and mating number (determined by patriline genotyping of worker offspring). We found that queens had an average of 4.37 +/- 1.446 million stored sperm in their spermathecae with an average viability of 83.7 +/- 13.33%. We also found that the tested queens had mated with a high number of drones (average effective paternity frequency: 17.0 +/- 8.98). Queen "quality" significantly varied among commercial sources for physical characters but not for mating characters. These findings suggest that it may be more effective to improve overall queen reproductive potential by culling lower-quality queens rather than systematically altering current queen production practices.

  5. Gram-Positive Bacteria with Probiotic Potential for the Apis mellifera L. Honey Bee: The Experience in the Northwest of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Audisio, Marcela Carina

    2017-03-01

    Apis mellifera L. is one of the most important natural pollinators of significant crops and flowers around the world. It can be affected by different types of illnesses: american foulbrood, nosemosis, varroasis, viruses, among others. Such infections mainly cause a reduction in honey production and in extreme situations, the death of the colony. Argentina is the world's second largest honey exporter and the third largest honey producer, after China and Turkey. Given both the prominence of the honey bee in nature and the economic importance of apiculture in Argentina and the world, it is crucial to develop efficient and sustainable strategies to control honey bee diseases and to improve bee colony health. Gram-positive bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria, mainly Lactobacillus, and Bacillus spp. are promising options. In the Northwest of Argentina, several Lactobacillus and Bacillus strains from the honey bee gut and honey were isolated by our research group and characterized by using in vitro tests. Two strains were selected because of their potential probiotic properties: Lactobacillus johnsonii CRL1647 and Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis Mori2. Under independent trials with both experimental and commercial hives, it was determined that each strain was able to elicit probiotic effects on bee colonies reared in the northwestern region of Argentina. One result was the increase in egg-laying by the queen which therefore produced an increase in bee number and, consequently, a higher honey yield. Moreover, the beneficial bacteria reduced the incidence of two important bee diseases: nosemosis and varroosis. These results are promising and extend the horizon of probiotic bacteria to the insect world, serving beekeepers worldwide as a natural tool that they can administer as is, or combine with other disease-controlling methods.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. T-RFLP analysis of bacterial communities in the midguts of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana honey bees in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Disayathanoowat, Terd; Young, John Peter W; Helgason, Thorunn; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2012-02-01

    This study investigated bacterial community structures in the midguts of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana in Thailand to understand how bacterial communities develop in Apis species. The bacterial species present in replicate colonies from different locations and life stages were analysed. PCR amplification of bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses revealed a total of 16 distinct terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs), 12 of which were shared between A. mellifera and A. cerana populations. The T-RFs were affiliated to Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinomycetes. The Gammaproteobacteria were found to be common in all stages of honey bee, but in addition, the Firmicutes group was found to be present in the worker bees. Bacterial community structure showed no difference amongst the replicate colonies, but was affected to some degree by geographical location, life stage and species of honey bees.

  9. 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.

  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.

  11. 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...

  12. Wind tunnel studies on spray deposition on leaves of tree species used for windbreaks and exposure of honey bees.

    PubMed

    Ucar, Tamer; Hall, Franklin R; Tew, James E; Hacker, James K

    2003-03-01

    A wind tunnel study was conducted to determine pesticide deposition on commonly used windbreak tree species used as spray drift barriers and associated exposure of honey bees. Although it has been known that windbreaks are effective in reducing chemical drift from agricultural applications, there is still an enormous information and data gap on details of the dependence of the mechanism on the biological materials of the barriers and on standardization of relevant assessment methods. Beneficial arthropods like honey bees are adversely affected by airborne drift of pesticides. A study was initiated by first establishing a wind tunnel to create a controlled environment for capture efficiency work. Suitable spray parameters were determined after a preliminary study to construct and develop a wind tunnel protocol. A tracer dye solution was sprayed onto the windbreak samples and honey bees located in the wind tunnel at various simulated wind speeds. Analysis of data from this work has shown that needle-like foliage of windbreak trees captures two to four times more spray than broad-leaves. In addition, it was determined that, at lower wind speeds, flying bees tend to capture slightly more spray than bees at rest.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. First molecular detection of a viral pathogen in Ugandan honey bees.

    PubMed

    Kajobe, Robert; Marris, Gay; Budge, Giles; Laurenson, Lynn; Cordoni, Guido; Jones, Ben; Wilkins, Selwyn; Cuthbertson, Andrew G S; Brown, Mike A

    2010-06-01

    Ugandan honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) produce honey, and are key pollinators within commercial crops and natural ecosystems. Real-time RT-PCR was used to screen immature and adult bees collected from 63 beekeeping sites across Uganda for seven viral pathogens. No samples tested positive for Chronic bee paralysis virus, Sacbrood virus, Deformed wing virus, Acute bee paralysis virus, Apis iridescent virus or Israeli acute paralysis virus. However, Black queen cell virus (BQCV) was found in 35.6% of samples. It occurred in adults and larvae, and was most prevalent in the Western highlands, accounting for over 40% of positive results nationally.

  16. Effects of Imidacloprid and Varroa destructor on survival and health of European honey bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Abbo, Pendo M; Kawasaki, Joshua K; Hamilton, Michele; Cook, Steven C; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Li, Wen Feng; Liu, Jie; Chen, Yan Ping

    2016-03-15

    There has been growing concern over declines in populations of honey bees and other pollinators which are a vital part to our food security. It is imperative to identify factors responsible for accelerated declines in bee populations and develop solutions for reversing bee losses. While exact causes of colony losses remain elusive, risk factors thought to play key roles are ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and neonicotinoid pesticides. The present study aims to investigate effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide Imidacloprid and Varroa mites individually on survivorship, growth, physiology, virus dynamics and immunity of honey bee workers. Our study provides clear evidence that the exposure to sublethal doses of Imidacloprid could exert a significantly negative effect on health and survival of honey bees. We observed a significant reduction in the titer of vitellogenin (Vg), an egg yolk precursor that regulates the honey bees development and behavior and often are linked to energy homeostasis, in bees exposed to Imidacloprid. This result indicates that sublethal exposure to neonicotinoid could lead to increased energy usage in honey bees as detoxification is a energy-consuming metabolic process and suggests that Vg could be a useful biomarker for measuring levels of energy stress and sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees. Measurement of the quantitative effects of different levels of Varroa mite infestation on the replication dynamic of Deformed wing virus (DWV), an RNA virus associated with Varroa infestation, and expression level of immune genes yields unique insights into how honey bees respond to stressors under laboratory conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient

    PubMed Central

    Han, Mingfeng

    2017-01-01

    In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ) as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution, and developed a method of obtaining long lived workers. We then compared the effects of longevity extension by RJ 4% with bee-collected pollen from rapeseed (Brassica napus). Lastly, we determined that a water soluble RJ protein obtained by precipitation with 60% ammonium sulfate (RJP60) contained the main component for longevity extension after comparing the effects of RJ crude protein extract (RJCP), RJP30 (obtained by precipitation with 30% ammonium sulfate), and RJ ethanol extract (RJEE). Understanding what regulates worker longevity has potential to help increase colony productivity and improve crop pollination efficiency. PMID:28367370

  19. Longevity extension of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) by royal jelly: optimal dose and active ingredient.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wenchao; Tian, Yuanyuan; Han, Mingfeng; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2017-01-01

    In the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, queens and workers have different longevity although they share the same genome. Queens consume royal jelly (RJ) as the main food throughout their life, including as adults, but workers only eat worker jelly when they are larvae less than 3 days old. In order to explore the effect of RJ and the components affecting longevity of worker honey bees, we first determined the optimal dose for prolonging longevity of workers as 4% RJ in 50% sucrose solution, and developed a method of obtaining long lived workers. We then compared the effects of longevity extension by RJ 4% with bee-collected pollen from rapeseed (Brassica napus). Lastly, we determined that a water soluble RJ protein obtained by precipitation with 60% ammonium sulfate (RJP60) contained the main component for longevity extension after comparing the effects of RJ crude protein extract (RJCP), RJP30 (obtained by precipitation with 30% ammonium sulfate), and RJ ethanol extract (RJEE). Understanding what regulates worker longevity has potential to help increase colony productivity and improve crop pollination efficiency.

  20. Molecular Prevalence of Acarapis Mite Infestations in Honey Bees in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Ah-Jin; Ahn, Kyu-Sung; Noh, Jin-Hyeong; Kim, Young-Ha; Yoo, Mi-Sun; Kang, Seung-Won; Yu, Do-Hyeon; Shin, Sung Shik

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26174825

  1. Molecular Effects of Neonicotinoids in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl

    2016-04-05

    Neonicotinoids are implicated in the decline of bee populations. As agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, they disturb acetylcholine receptor signaling leading to neurotoxicity. Several behavioral studies showed the link between neonicotinoid exposure and adverse effects on foraging activity and reproduction. However, molecular effects underlying these effects are poorly understood. Here we elucidated molecular effects at environmental realistic levels of three neonicotinoids and nicotine, and compared laboratory studies to field exposures with acetamiprid. We assessed transcriptional alterations of eight selected genes in caged honey bees exposed to different concentrations of the neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloporid, and thiamethoxam, as well as nicotine. We determined transcripts of several targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptor α 1 and α 2 subunit, the multifunctional gene vitellogenin, immune system genes apidaecin and defensin-1, stress-related gene catalase and two genes linked to memory formation, pka and creb. Vitellogenin showed a strong increase upon neonicotinoid exposures in the laboratory and field, while creb and pka transcripts were down-regulated. The induction of vitellogenin suggests adverse effects on foraging activity, whereas creb and pka down-regulation may be implicated in decreased long-term memory formation. Transcriptional alterations occurred at environmental concentrations and provide an explanation for the molecular basis of observed adverse effects of neonicotinoids to bees.

  2. Is the number of antennal plate organs (sensilla placodea) greater in hygienic than in non-hygienic Africanized honey bees?

    PubMed

    Gramacho, Kátia Peres; Gonçalves, Lionel Segui; Stort, Antônio Carlos; Noronha, Adriana Backx

    2003-09-30

    Hygienic behavior is a desirable trait in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), as hygienic bees quickly remove diseased brood, interrupting the infectious cycle. Hygienic lines of honey bees appear to be more sensitive to the odors of dead and diseased honey bee brood, and Africanized honey bees are generally more hygienic than are European honey bees. We compared the number of sensilla placodea, antennal sensory structures involved in the perception of odor, in 10 bees from each of six hygienic and four non-hygienic colonies of Africanized honey bees. The sensilla placodea of three of the terminal segments (flagellomeres) of the right antenna of each bee were counted with a scanning electron microscope. There were no significant differences in the mean numbers of sensilla placodea between the hygienic and non-hygienic bees, though the variance was higher in the hygienic group. Flagellomere 4 had significantly more sensilla placodea than flagellomeres 6 and 8. However, there was no significant difference between the other two flagellomeres. As hygienic bees are capable of identifying dead, injured, or infested brood inside a capped brood cell, sensilla placodea probably have an important role in enabling worker bees to sense sick brood. However, we did not find greater numbers of this sensory structure in the antennae of hygienic, compared to non-hygienic Africanized honey bees.

  3. Influence of Honey Bee Genotype and Wintering Method on Wintering Performance of Varroa destructor (Parasitiformes: Varroidae)-Infected Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies in a Northern Climate.

    PubMed

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-08-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance winter survival of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) when exposed to high levels of varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) in outdoor-wintered and indoor-wintered colonies. Half of the colonies from selected and unselected stocks were randomly assigned to be treated with late autumn oxalic acid treatment or to be left untreated. Colonies were then randomly assigned to be wintered either indoors (n = 37) or outdoors (n = 40). Late autumn treatment with oxalic acid did not improve wintering performance. However, genotype of bees affected colony survival and the proportion of commercially viable colonies in spring, as indicated by greater rates of colony survival and commercially viable colonies for selected stock (43% survived and 33% were viable) in comparison to unselected stock (19% survived and 9% were viable) across all treatment groups. Indoor wintering improved spring bee population score, proportion of colonies surviving, and proportion of commercially viable colonies relative to outdoor wintering (73% of selected stock and 41% of unselected stock survived during indoor wintering). Selected stock showed better "tolerance" to varroa as the selected stock also maintained higher bee populations relative to unselected stock. However, there was no evidence of "resistance" in selected colonies (reduced mite densities). Collectively, this experiment showed that breeding can improve tolerance to varroa and this can help minimize colony loss through winter and improve colony wintering performance. Overall, colony wintering success of both genotypes of bees was better when colonies were wintered indoors than when colonies were wintered outdoors.

  4. Fungicide contamination reduces beneficial fungi in bee bread based on an area-wide field study in honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Jay A; Jajack, Andrew J; Rosselot, Andrew E; Smith, Terrance J; Yerke, Mary Clare; Sammataro, Diana

    2013-01-01

    Fermentation by fungi converts stored pollen into bee bread that is fed to honey bee larvae, Apis mellifera, so the diversity of fungi in bee bread may be related to its food value. To explore the relationship between fungicide exposure and bee bread fungi, samples of bee bread collected from bee colonies pollinating orchards from 7 locations over 2 years were analyzed for fungicide residues and fungus composition. There were detectable levels of fungicides from regions that were sprayed before bloom. An organic orchard had the highest quantity and variety of fungicides, likely due to the presence of treated orchards within bees' flight range. Aspergillus, Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Cladosporium (beneficial fungi) were the primary fungal isolates found, regardless of habitat differences. There was some variation in fungal components amongst colonies, even within the same apiary. The variable components were Absidia, Alternaria, Aureobasidium, Bipolaris, Fusarium, Geotrichum, Mucor, Nigrospora, Paecilomyces, Scopulariopsis, and Trichoderma. The number of fungal isolates was reduced as an effect of fungicide contamination. Aspergillus abundance was particularly affected by increased fungicide levels, as indicated by Simpson's diversity index. Bee bread showing fungicide contamination originated from colonies, many of which showed chalkbrood symptoms.

  5. A neonicotinoid impairs olfactory learning in Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) exposed as larvae or as adults.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C

    2015-06-18

    Xenobiotics such as the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, are used globally, but their effects on native bee species are poorly understood. We studied the effects of sublethal doses of imidacloprid on olfactory learning in the native honey bee species, Apis cerana, an important pollinator of agricultural and native plants throughout Asia. We provide the first evidence that imidacloprid can impair learning in A. cerana workers exposed as adults or as larvae. Adults that ingested a single imidacloprid dose as low as 0.1 ng/bee had significantly reduced olfactory learning acquisition, which was 1.6-fold higher in control bees. Longer-term learning (1-17 h after the last learning trial) was also impaired. Bees exposed as larvae to a total dose of 0.24 ng/bee did not have reduced survival to adulthood. However, these larval-treated bees had significantly impaired olfactory learning when tested as adults: control bees exhibited up to 4.8-fold better short-term learning acquisition, though longer-term learning was not affected. Thus, sublethal cognitive deficits elicited by neonicotinoids on a broad range of native bee species deserve further study.

  6. Consumption of an acute dose of caffeine reduces acquisition but not memory in the honey bee.

    PubMed

    Mustard, Julie A; Dews, Lauren; Brugato, Arlana; Dey, Kevin; Wright, Geraldine A

    2012-06-15

    Caffeine affects several molecules that are also involved in the processes underlying learning and memory such as cAMP and calcium. However, studies of caffeine's influence on learning and memory in mammals are often contradictory. Invertebrate model systems have provided valuable insight into the actions of many neuroactive compounds including ethanol and cocaine. We use the honey bee (Apis mellifera) to investigate how the ingestion of acute doses of caffeine before, during, and after conditioning influences performance in an appetitive olfactory learning and memory task. Consumption of caffeine doses of 0.01 M or greater during or prior to conditioning causes a significant reduction in response levels during acquisition. Although bees find the taste of caffeine to be aversive at high concentrations, the bitter taste does not explain the reduction in acquisition observed for bees fed caffeine before conditioning. While high doses of caffeine reduced performance during acquisition, the response levels of bees given caffeine were the same as those of the sucrose only control group in a recall test 24h after conditioning. In addition, caffeine administered after conditioning had no affect on recall. These results suggest that caffeine specifically affects performance during acquisition and not the processes involved in the formation of early long term memory.

  7. Comparing alternative methods for holding virgin honey bee queens for one week in mailing cages before mating.

    PubMed

    Bigio, Gianluigi; Grüter, Christoph; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2012-01-01

    In beekeeping, queen honey bees are often temporarily kept alive in cages. We determined the survival of newly-emerged virgin honey bee queens every day for seven days in an experiment that simultaneously investigated three factors: queen cage type (wooden three-hole or plastic), attendant workers (present or absent) and food type (sugar candy, honey, or both). Ten queens were tested in each of the 12 combinations. Queens were reared using standard beekeeping methods (Doolittle/grafting) and emerged from their cells into vials held in an incubator at 34C. All 12 combinations gave high survival (90 or 100%) for three days but only one method (wooden cage, with attendants, honey) gave 100% survival to day seven. Factors affecting queen survival were analysed. Across all combinations, attendant bees significantly increased survival (18% vs. 53%, p<0.001). In addition, there was an interaction between food type and cage type (p<0.001) with the honey and plastic cage combination giving reduced survival. An additional group of queens was reared and held for seven days using the best method, and then directly introduced using smoke into queenless nucleus colonies that had been dequeened five days previously. Acceptance was high (80%, 8/10) showing that this combination is also suitable for preparing queens for introduction into colonies. Having a simple method for keeping newly-emerged virgin queens alive in cages for one week and acceptable for introduction into queenless colonies will be useful in honey bee breeding. In particular, it facilitates the screening of many queens for genetic or phenotypic characteristics when only a small proportion meets the desired criteria. These can then be introduced into queenless hives for natural mating or insemination, both of which take place when queens are one week old.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Draft genome sequences of two Bifidobacterium sp. from the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We provide genome sequences for two strains of honey bee associated Bifidobacterium. Reflecting an oxygen-rich niche, both strains possessed catalase, peroxidase, superoxide-dismutase and respiratory chain enzymes indicative of oxidative metabolism. The strains show markedly different carbohydrate ...

  11. Non-cultivated plants present a season-long route of pesticide exposure for honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Long, Elizabeth Y.; Krupke, Christian H.

    2016-01-01

    Recent efforts to evaluate the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides to worldwide pollinator declines have focused on honey bees and the chronic levels of exposure experienced when foraging on crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated seeds. However, few studies address non-crop plants as a potential route of pollinator exposure to neonicotinoid and other insecticides. Here we show that pollen collected by honey bee foragers in maize- and soybean-dominated landscapes is contaminated throughout the growing season with multiple agricultural pesticides, including the neonicotinoids used as seed treatments. Notably, however, the highest levels of contamination in pollen are pyrethroid insecticides targeting mosquitoes and other nuisance pests. Furthermore, pollen from crop plants represents only a tiny fraction of the total diversity of pollen resources used by honey bees in these landscapes, with the principle sources of pollen originating from non-cultivated plants. These findings provide fundamental information about the foraging habits of honey bees in these landscapes. PMID:27240870

  12. The power and promise of applying genomics to honey bee health.

    PubMed

    Grozinger, Christina M; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-08-01

    New genomic tools and resources are now being used to both understand honey bee health and develop tools to better manage it. Here, we describe the use of genomic approaches to identify and characterize bee parasites and pathogens, examine interactions among these parasites and pathogens, between them and their bee hosts, and to identify genetic markers for improved breeding of more resilient bee stocks. We also discuss several new genomic techniques that can be used to more efficiently study, monitor and improve bee health. In the case of using RNAi-based technologies to mitigate diseases in bee populations, we highlight advantages, disadvantages and strategies to reduce risk. The increased use of genomic analytical tools and manipulative technologies has already led to significant advances, and holds great promise for improvements in the health of honey bees and other critical pollinator species.

  13. The power and promise of applying genomics to honey bee health

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    New genomic tools and resources are now being used to both understand honey bee health and develop tools to better manage it. Here, we describe the use of genomic approaches to identify and characterize bee parasites and pathogens, examine interactions among these parasites and pathogens, between them and their bee hosts, and to identify genetic markers for improved breeding of more resilient bee stocks. We also discuss several new genomic techniques that can be used to more efficiently study, monitor and improve bee health. In the case of using RNAi-based technologies to mitigate diseases in bee populations, we highlight advantages, disadvantages and strategies to reduce risk. The increased use of genomic analytical tools and manipulative technologies has already led to significant advances, and holds great promise for improvements in the health of honey bees and other critical pollinator species. PMID:26273565

  14. The African honey bee: factors contributing to a successful biological invasion.

    PubMed

    Scott Schneider, Stanley; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Smith, Deborah Roan

    2004-01-01

    The African honey bee subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata has colonized much of the Americas in less than 50 years and has largely replaced European bees throughout its range in the New World. The African bee therefore provides an excellent opportunity to examine the factors that influence invasion success. We provide a synthesis of recent research on the African bee, concentrating on its ability to displace European honey bees. Specifically, we consider (a) the genetic composition of the expanding population and the symmetry of gene flow between African and European bees, (b) the mechanisms that favor the preservation of the African genome, and (c) the possible range and impact of the African bee in the United States.

  15. [Variability patterns of nest construction, physiological state, and morphometric traits in honey bee].

    PubMed

    Es'kov, E K; Es'kova, M D

    2014-01-01

    High variability of cells size is used selectively for reproduction of working bees and drones. A decrease in both distance between cells and cells size themselves causes similar effects to body mass and morphometric traits of developing individuals. Adaptation of honey bees to living in shelters has led to their becoming tolerant to hypoxia. Improvement of ethological and physiological mechanisms of thermal regulation is associated with limitation of ecological valence and acquiring of stenothermic features by breed. Optimal thermal conditions for breed are limited by the interval 33-34.5 degrees C. Deviations of temperature by 3-4 degrees C beyond this range have minimum lethal effect at embryonic stage of development and medium effect at the stage of pre-pupa and pupa. Developing at the low bound of the vital range leads to increasing, while developing at the upper bound--to decreasing of body mass, mandibular and hypopharyngeal glands, as well as other organs, which, later, affects the variability of these traits during the adult stage of development. Eliminative and teratogenic efficiency of ecological factors that affect a breed is most often manifested in underdevelopment of wings. However, their size (in case of wing laminas formation). is characterized by relatively low variability and size-dependent asymmetry. Asymmetry variability of wings and other pair organs is expressed through realignment of size excess from right- to left-side one with respect to their increase. Selective elimination by those traits whose emerging probability increases as developmental conditions deviate from the optimal ones promotes restrictions on individual variability. Physiological mechanisms that facilitate adaptability enhancement under conditions of increasing anthropogenic contamination of eivironment and trophic substrates consumed by honey bees, arrear to be toxicants accumulation in rectum and crops' ability to absorb contaminants from nectar in course of its

  16. Organophosphorus insecticides in honey, pollen and bees (Apis mellifera L.) and their potential hazard to bee colonies in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Al Naggar, Yahya; Codling, Garry; Vogt, Anja; Naiem, Elsaied; Mona, Mohamed; Seif, Amal; Giesy, John P

    2015-04-01

    There is no clear single factor to date that explains colony loss in bees, but one factor proposed is the wide-spread application of agrochemicals. Concentrations of 14 organophosphorous insecticides (OPs) in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive matrices (honey and pollen) were measured to assess their hazard to honey bees. Samples were collected during spring and summer of 2013, from 5 provinces in the middle delta of Egypt. LC/MS-MS was used to identify and quantify individual OPs by use of a modified Quick Easy Cheap Effective Rugged Safe (QuEChERS) method. Pesticides were detected more frequently in samples collected during summer. Pollen contained the greatest concentrations of OPs. Profenofos, chlorpyrifos, malation and diazinon were the most frequently detected OPs. In contrast, ethoprop, phorate, coumaphos and chlorpyrifos-oxon were not detected. A toxic units approach, with lethality as the endpoint was used in an additive model to assess the cumulative potential for adverse effects posed by OPs. Hazard quotients (HQs) in honey and pollen ranged from 0.01-0.05 during spring and from 0.02-0.08 during summer, respectively. HQs based on lethality due to direct exposure of adult worker bees to OPs during spring and summer ranged from 0.04 to 0.1 for best and worst case respectively. It is concluded that direct exposure and/or dietary exposure to OPs in honey and pollen pose little threat due to lethality of bees in Egypt.

  17. A Method for Distinctly Marking Honey Bees, Apis mellifera, Originating from Multiple Apiary Locations

    PubMed Central

    Hagler, James; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R.; Deynze, Allen Van; Martin, Joe

    2011-01-01

    Inexpensive and non-intrusive marking methods are essential to track natural behavior of insects for biological experiments. An inexpensive, easy to construct, and easy to install bee marking device is described in this paper. The device is mounted at the entrance of a standard honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) hive and is fitted with a removable tube that dispenses a powdered marker. Marking devices were installed on 80 honey bee colonies distributed in nine separate apiaries. Each device held a tube containing one of five colored fluorescent powders, or a combination of a fluorescent powder (either green or magenta) plus one of two protein powders, resulting in nine unique marks. The powdered protein markers included egg albumin from dry chicken egg whites and casein from dry powdered milk. The efficacy of the marking procedure for each of the unique markers was assessed on honey bees exiting each apiary. Each bee was examined, first by visual inspection for the presence of colored fluorescent powder and then by egg albumin and milk casein specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Data indicated that all five of the colored fluorescent powders and both of the protein powders were effective honey bee markers. However, the fluorescent powders consistently yielded more reliable marks than the protein powders. In general, there was less than a 1% chance of obtaining a false positive colored or protein-marked bee, but the chance of obtaining a false negative marked bee was higher for “protein-marked” bees. PMID:22236037

  18. A method for distinctly marking honey bees, Apis mellifera, originating from multiple apiary locations.

    PubMed

    Hagler, James; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R; Van Deynze, Allen; Martin, Joe

    2011-01-01

    Inexpensive and non-intrusive marking methods are essential to track natural behavior of insects for biological experiments. An inexpensive, easy to construct, and easy to install bee marking device is described in this paper. The device is mounted at the entrance of a standard honey bee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) hive and is fitted with a removable tube that dispenses a powdered marker. Marking devices were installed on 80 honey bee colonies distributed in nine separate apiaries. Each device held a tube containing one of five colored fluorescent powders, or a combination of a fluorescent powder (either green or magenta) plus one of two protein powders, resulting in nine unique marks. The powdered protein markers included egg albumin from dry chicken egg whites and casein from dry powdered milk. The efficacy of the marking procedure for each of the unique markers was assessed on honey bees exiting each apiary. Each bee was examined, first by visual inspection for the presence of colored fluorescent powder and then by egg albumin and milk casein specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Data indicated that all five of the colored fluorescent powders and both of the protein powders were effective honey bee markers. However, the fluorescent powders consistently yielded more reliable marks than the protein powders. In general, there was less than a 1% chance of obtaining a false positive colored or protein-marked bee, but the chance of obtaining a false negative marked bee was higher for "protein-marked" bees.

  19. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey: A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences

    PubMed Central

    Griffith, Adelaide; Ford, Col R.; Allainguillaume, Joel; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Baillie, Les; Adams-Groom, Beverley

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the floral composition of honey provides a method for investigating the plants that honey bees visit. We compared melissopalynology, where pollen grains retrieved from honey are identified morphologically, with a DNA metabarcoding approach using the rbcL DNA barcode marker and 454-pyrosequencing. We compared nine honeys supplied by beekeepers in the UK. DNA metabarcoding and melissopalynology were able to detect the most abundant floral components of honey. There was 92% correspondence for the plant taxa that had an abundance of over 20%. However, the level of similarity when all taxa were compared was lower, ranging from 22–45%, and there was little correspondence between the relative abundance of taxa found using the two techniques. DNA metabarcoding provided much greater repeatability, with a 64% taxa match compared to 28% with melissopalynology. DNA metabarcoding has the advantage over melissopalynology in that it does not require a high level of taxonomic expertise, a greater sample size can be screened and it provides greater resolution for some plant families. However, it does not provide a quantitative approach and pollen present in low levels are less likely to be detected. We investigated the plants that were frequently used by honey bees by examining the results obtained from both techniques. Plants with a broad taxonomic range were detected, covering 46 families and 25 orders, but a relatively small number of plants were consistently seen across multiple honey samples. Frequently found herbaceous species were Rubus fruticosus, Filipendula ulmaria, Taraxacum officinale, Trifolium spp., Brassica spp. and the non-native, invasive, Impatiens glandulifera. Tree pollen was frequently seen belonging to Castanea sativa, Crataegus monogyna and species of Malus, Salix and Quercus. We conclude that although honey bees are considered to be supergeneralists in their foraging choices, there are certain key species or plant groups that are particularly

  20. Using DNA Metabarcoding to Identify the Floral Composition of Honey: A New Tool for Investigating Honey Bee Foraging Preferences.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Jennifer; de Vere, Natasha; Griffith, Adelaide; Ford, Col R; Allainguillaume, Joel; Hegarty, Matthew J; Baillie, Les; Adams-Groom, Beverley

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the floral composition of honey provides a method for investigating the plants that honey bees visit. We compared melissopalynology, where pollen grains retrieved from honey are identified morphologically, with a DNA metabarcoding approach using the rbcL DNA barcode marker and 454-pyrosequencing. We compared nine honeys supplied by beekeepers in the UK. DNA metabarcoding and melissopalynology were able to detect the most abundant floral components of honey. There was 92% correspondence for the plant taxa that had an abundance of over 20%. However, the level of similarity when all taxa were compared was lower, ranging from 22-45%, and there was little correspondence between the relative abundance of taxa found using the two techniques. DNA metabarcoding provided much greater repeatability, with a 64% taxa match compared to 28% with melissopalynology. DNA metabarcoding has the advantage over melissopalynology in that it does not require a high level of taxonomic expertise, a greater sample size can be screened and it provides greater resolution for some plant families. However, it does not provide a quantitative approach and pollen present in low levels are less likely to be detected. We investigated the plants that were frequently used by honey bees by examining the results obtained from both techniques. Plants with a broad taxonomic range were detected, covering 46 families and 25 orders, but a relatively small number of plants were consistently seen across multiple honey samples. Frequently found herbaceous species were Rubus fruticosus, Filipendula ulmaria, Taraxacum officinale, Trifolium spp., Brassica spp. and the non-native, invasive, Impatiens glandulifera. Tree pollen was frequently seen belonging to Castanea sativa, Crataegus monogyna and species of Malus, Salix and Quercus. We conclude that although honey bees are considered to be supergeneralists in their foraging choices, there are certain key species or plant groups that are particularly

  1. Varroa destructor Mites Can Nimbly Climb from Flowers onto Foraging Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael L.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor, the introduced parasite of European honey bees associated with massive colony deaths, spreads readily through populations of honey bee colonies, both managed colonies living crowded together in apiaries and wild colonies living widely dispersed in natural settings. Mites are hypothesized to spread between most managed colonies via phoretically riding forager bees when they engage in robbing colonies or they drift between hives. However, widely spaced wild colonies show Varroa infestation despite limited opportunities for robbing and little or no drifting of bees between colonies. Both wild and managed colonies may also exchange mites via another mechanism that has received remarkably little attention or study: floral transmission. The present study tested the ability of mites to infest foragers at feeders or flowers. We show that Varroa destructor mites are highly capable of phoretically infesting foraging honey bees, detail the mechanisms and maneuvers by which they do so, and describe mite behaviors post-infestation. PMID:27942015

  2. Varroa destructor Mites Can Nimbly Climb from Flowers onto Foraging Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Peck, David T; Smith, Michael L; Seeley, Thomas D

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor, the introduced parasite of European honey bees associated with massive colony deaths, spreads readily through populations of honey bee colonies, both managed colonies living crowded together in apiaries and wild colonies living widely dispersed in natural settings. Mites are hypothesized to spread between most managed colonies via phoretically riding forager bees when they engage in robbing colonies or they drift between hives. However, widely spaced wild colonies show Varroa infestation despite limited opportunities for robbing and little or no drifting of bees between colonies. Both wild and managed colonies may also exchange mites via another mechanism that has received remarkably little attention or study: floral transmission. The present study tested the ability of mites to infest foragers at feeders or flowers. We show that Varroa destructor mites are highly capable of phoretically infesting foraging honey bees, detail the mechanisms and maneuvers by which they do so, and describe mite behaviors post-infestation.

  3. Modulatory Communication Signal Performance Is Associated with a Distinct Neurogenomic State in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Stanley S.; Southey, Bruce R.; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra; Robinson, Gene E.

    2009-01-01

    Studies of animal communication systems have revealed that the perception of a salient signal can cause large-scale changes in brain gene expression, but little is known about how communication affects the neurogenomic state of the sender. We explored this issue by studying honey bees that produce a vibratory modulatory signal. We chose this system because it represents an extreme case of animal communication; some bees perform this behavior intensively, effectively acting as communication specialists. We show large differences in patterns of brain gene expression between individuals producing vibratory signal as compared with carefully matched non-senders. Some of the differentially regulated genes have previously been implicated in the performance of other motor activities, including courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster and Parkinson's Disease in humans. Our results demonstrate for the first time a neurogenomic brain state associated with sending a communication signal and provide suggestive glimpses of molecular roots for motor control. PMID:19693278

  4. Drone and Worker Brood Microclimates Are Regulated Differentially in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhiyong; Huang, Zachary Y.; Sharma, Dhruv B.; Xue, Yunbo; Wang, Zhi; Ren, Bingzhong

    2016-01-01

    Background Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones and workers show differences in morphology, physiology, and behavior. Because the functions of drones are more related to colony reproduction, and those of workers relate to both survival and reproduction, we hypothesize that the microclimate for worker brood is more precisely regulated than that of drone brood. Methodology/Principal Findings We assessed temperature and relative humidity (RH) inside honey bee colonies for both drone and worker brood throughout the three-stage development period, using digital HOBO® Data Loggers. The major findings of this study are that 1) both drone and worker castes show the highest temperature for eggs, followed by larvae and then pupae; 2) temperature in drones are maintained at higher precision (smaller variance) in drone eggs and larvae, but at a lower precision in pupae than the corresponding stages of workers; 3) RH regulation showed higher variance in drone than workers across all brood stages; and 4) RH regulation seems largely due to regulation by workers, as the contribution from empty honey combs are much smaller compared to that from adult workers. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that honey bee colonies maintain both temperature and humidity actively; that the microclimate for sealed drone brood is less precisely regulated than worker brood; and that combs with honey contribute very little to the increase of RH in honey bee colonies. These findings increase our understanding of microclimate regulation in honey bees and may have implications for beekeeping practices. PMID:26882104

  5. Linking evolutionary lineage with parasite and pathogen prevalence in the Iberian honey bee.

    PubMed

    Jara, Laura; Cepero, Almudena; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2012-05-01

    The recent decline in honey bee colonies observed in both European countries and worldwide is of great interest and concern, although the underlying causes remain poorly understood. In recent years, growing evidence has implicated parasites and pathogens in this decline of both the vitality and number of honey bee colonies. The Iberian Peninsula provides an interesting environment in which to study the occurrence of pathogens and parasites in the host honey bee populations due to the presence of two evolutionary lineages in A. m. iberiensis (Western European [M] or African [A]). Here, we provide the first evidence linking the population structure of the Iberian honey bee with the prevalence of some of its most important parasites and pathogens: the Varroa destructor mite and the microsporidia Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Using data collected in two surveys conducted in 2006 and 2010 in 41 Spanish provinces, the evolutionary lineage and the presence of the three parasitic organisms cited above were analyzed in a total of 228 colonies. In 2006 N. apis was found in a significantly higher proportion of M lineage honey bees than in the A lineage. However, in 2010 this situation had changed significantly due to a higher prevalence of N. ceranae. We observed no significant relationships in either year between the distributions of V. destructor or N. ceranae and the evolutionary lineage present in A. m. iberiensis colonies, but the effects of these organisms on the genetic diversity of the honey bee populations need further research.

  6. Paratransgenesis: an approach to improve colony health and molecular insight in honey bees (Apis mellifera)?

    PubMed

    Rangberg, Anbjørg; Diep, Dzung B; Rudi, Knut; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-07-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is highly valued as a commercial crop pollinator and a model animal in research. Over the past several years, governments, beekeepers, and the general public in the United States and Europe have become concerned by increased losses of honey bee colonies, calling for more research on how to keep colonies healthy while still employing them extensively in agriculture. The honey bee, like virtually all multicellular organisms, has a mutually beneficial relationship with specific microbes. The microbiota of the gut can contribute essential nutrients and vitamins and prevent colonization by non-indigenous and potentially harmful species. The gut microbiota is also of interest as a resource for paratransgenesis; a Trojan horse strategy based on genetically modified symbiotic microbes that express effector molecules antagonizing development or transmission of pathogens. Paratransgenesis was originally engineered to combat human diseases and agricultural pests that are vectored by insects. We suggest an alternative use, as a method to promote health of honey bees and to expand the molecular toolbox for research on this beneficial social insect. The honey bees' gut microbiota contains lactic acid bacteria including the genus Lactobacillus that has paratransgenic potential. We present a strategy for transforming one Lactobacillus species, L. kunkeei, for use as a vector to promote health of honey bees and functional genetic research.

  7. A new device for monitoring individual activity rhythms of honey bees reveals critical effects of the social environment on behavior.

    PubMed

    Beer, Katharina; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Härtel, Stephan; Helfrich-Förster, Charlotte

    2016-08-01

    Chronobiological studies of individual activity rhythms in social insects can be constrained by the artificial isolation of individuals from their social context. We present a new experimental set-up that simultaneously measures the temperature rhythm in a queen-less but brood raising mini colony and the walking activity rhythms of singly kept honey bees that have indirect social contact with it. Our approach enables monitoring of individual bees in the social context of a mini colony under controlled laboratory conditions. In a pilot experiment, we show that social contact with the mini colony improves the survival of monitored young individuals and affects locomotor activity patterns of young and old bees. When exposed to conflicting Zeitgebers consisting of a light-dark (LD) cycle that is phase-delayed with respect to the mini colony rhythm, rhythms of young and old bees are socially synchronized with the mini colony rhythm, whereas isolated bees synchronize to the LD cycle. We conclude that the social environment is a stronger Zeitgeber than the LD cycle and that our new experimental set-up is well suited for studying the mechanisms of social entrainment in honey bees.

  8. Conservation in Mammals of Genes Associated with Aggression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hui; Robinson, Gene E; Jakobsson, Eric

    2016-06-01

    The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for social organization.

  9. The Honey Bee Pathosphere of Mongolia: European Viruses in Central Asia

    PubMed Central

    Tsevegmid, Khaliunaa; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando

    2016-01-01

    Parasites and pathogens are apparent key factors for the detrimental health of managed European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera. Apicultural trade is arguably the main factor for the almost global distribution of most honey bee diseases, thereby increasing chances for multiple infestations/infections of regions, apiaries, colonies and even individual bees. This imposes difficulties to evaluate the effects of pathogens in isolation, thereby creating demand to survey remote areas. Here, we conducted the first comprehensive survey for 14 honey bee pathogens in Mongolia (N = 3 regions, N = 9 locations, N = 151 colonies), where honey bee colonies depend on humans to overwinter. In Mongolia, honey bees, Apis spp., are not native and colonies of European A. mellifera subspecies have been introduced ~60 years ago. Despite the high detection power and large sample size across Mongolian regions with beekeeping, the mite Acarapis woodi, the bacteria Melissococcus plutonius and Paenibacillus larvae, the microsporidian Nosema apis, Acute bee paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus and Lake Sinai virus strain 2 were not detected, suggesting that they are either very rare or absent. The mite Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae and four viruses (Sacbrood virus, Black queen cell virus, Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Chronic bee paralysis virus) were found with different prevalence. Despite the positive correlation between the prevalence of V. destructor mites and DWV, some areas had only mites, but not DWV, which is most likely due to the exceptional isolation of apiaries (up to 600 km). Phylogenetic analyses of the detected viruses reveal their clustering and European origin, thereby supporting the role of trade for pathogen spread and the isolation of Mongolia from South-Asian countries. In conclusion, this survey reveals the distinctive honey bee pathosphere of Mongolia, which offers opportunities for exciting future research. PMID:26959221

  10. Multiple routes of pesticide exposure for honey bees living near agricultural fields.

    PubMed

    Krupke, Christian H; Hunt, Greg J; Eitzer, Brian D; Andino, Gladys; Given, Krispn

    2012-01-01

    Populations of honey bees and other pollinators have declined worldwide in recent years. A variety of stressors have been implicated as potential causes, including agricultural pesticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides, which are widely used and highly toxic to honey bees, have been found in previous analyses of honey bee pollen and comb material. However, the routes of exposure have remained largely undefined. We used LC/MS-MS to analyze samples of honey bees, pollen stored in the hive and several potential exposure routes associated with plantings of neonicotinoid treated maize. Our results demonstrate that bees are exposed to these compounds and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period. During spring, extremely high levels of clothianidin and thiamethoxam were found in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of treated maize seed. We also found neonicotinoids in the soil of each field we sampled, including unplanted fields. Plants visited by foraging bees (dandelions) growing near these fields were found to contain neonicotinoids as well. This indicates deposition of neonicotinoids on the flowers, uptake by the root system, or both. Dead bees collected near hive entrances during the spring sampling period were found to contain clothianidin as well, although whether exposure was oral (consuming pollen) or by contact (soil/planter dust) is unclear. We also detected the insecticide clothianidin in pollen collected by bees and stored in the hive. When maize plants in our field reached anthesis, maize pollen from treated seed was found to contain clothianidin and other pesticides; and honey bees in our study readily collected maize pollen. These findings clarify some of the mechanisms by which honey bees may be exposed to agricultural pesticides throughout the growing season. These results have implications for a wide range of large-scale annual cropping systems that utilize neonicotinoid seed treatments.

  11. Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields

    PubMed Central

    Krupke, Christian H.; Hunt, Greg J.; Eitzer, Brian D.; Andino, Gladys; Given, Krispn

    2012-01-01

    Populations of honey bees and other pollinators have declined worldwide in recent years. A variety of stressors have been implicated as potential causes, including agricultural pesticides. Neonicotinoid insecticides, which are widely used and highly toxic to honey bees, have been found in previous analyses of honey bee pollen and comb material. However, the routes of exposure have remained largely undefined. We used LC/MS-MS to analyze samples of honey bees, pollen stored in the hive and several potential exposure routes associated with plantings of neonicotinoid treated maize. Our results demonstrate that bees are exposed to these compounds and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period. During spring, extremely high levels of clothianidin and thiamethoxam were found in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of treated maize seed. We also found neonicotinoids in the soil of each field we sampled, including unplanted fields. Plants visited by foraging bees (dandelions) growing near these fields were found to contain neonicotinoids as well. This indicates deposition of neonicotinoids on the flowers, uptake by the root system, or both. Dead bees collected near hive entrances during the spring sampling period were found to contain clothianidin as well, although whether exposure was oral (consuming pollen) or by contact (soil/planter dust) is unclear. We also detected the insecticide clothianidin in pollen collected by bees and stored in the hive. When maize plants in our field reached anthesis, maize pollen from treated seed was found to contain clothianidin and other pesticides; and honey bees in our study readily collected maize pollen. These findings clarify some of the mechanisms by which honey bees may be exposed to agricultural pesticides throughout the growing season. These results have implications for a wide range of large-scale annual cropping systems that utilize neonicotinoid seed treatments. PMID

  12. Conservation in Mammals of Genes Associated with Aggression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.; Jakobsson, Eric

    2016-01-01

    The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for social organization

  13. Efficiency of QuEChERS approach for determining 52 pesticide residues in honey and honey bees.

    PubMed

    Calatayud-Vernich, Pau; Calatayud, Fernando; Simó, Enrique; Picó, Yolanda

    2016-01-01

    A comparison between QuEChERS and other pesticide extraction procedures for honey and honey bee matrices is discussed. Honey bee matrix was extracted by solvent based procedure whereas solid phase extraction was the protocol for the honey matrix. The citrate buffered QuEChERS method was used for both matrices. The methods were evaluated regarding cost (equipment and reagents), time, accuracy, precision, sensitivity and versatility. The results proved that the QuEChERS protocol was the most efficient method for the extraction of the selected pesticides in both matrices. •QuEChERS is the most economical and less time-consuming procedure.•SPE and solvent-based extraction procedures show equivalent recoveries to QuEChERS.•QuEChERS can be used to extract pesticide residues from both matrices.

  14. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-07-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic.

  15. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status

    PubMed Central

    Mogren, Christina L.; Lundgren, Jonathan G.

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide pollinator declines are attributed to a number of factors, including pesticide exposures. Neonicotinoid insecticides specifically have been detected in surface waters, non-target vegetation, and bee products, but the risks posed by environmental exposures are still not well understood. Pollinator strips were tested for clothianidin contamination in plant tissues, and the risks to honey bees assessed. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) quantified clothianidin in leaf, nectar, honey, and bee bread at organic and seed-treated farms. Total glycogen, lipids, and protein from honey bee workers were quantified. The proportion of plants testing positive for clothianidin were the same between treatments. Leaf tissue and honey had similar concentrations of clothianidin between organic and seed-treated farms. Honey (mean±SE: 6.61 ± 0.88 ppb clothianidin per hive) had seven times greater concentrations than nectar collected by bees (0.94 ± 0.09 ppb). Bee bread collected from organic sites (25.8 ± 3.0 ppb) had significantly less clothianidin than those at seed treated locations (41.6 ± 2.9 ppb). Increasing concentrations of clothianidin in bee bread were correlated with decreased glycogen, lipid, and protein in workers. This study shows that small, isolated areas set aside for conservation do not provide spatial or temporal relief from neonicotinoid exposures in agricultural regions where their use is largely prophylactic. PMID:27412495

  16. Earth sheltered bee wintering and solar honey house. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-01-01

    The construction and operation of an indoor wintering facility and a passive solar honey house are discussed. Goals for the project included both energy savings and financial savings for the beekeeping industry. The underground winter shelter provided a control temperature of approximately 46/sup 0/F in order to decrease both mortality rates and honey consumption rates of the bees. Three hundred square feet of glazing combined with wall insulation maintained comfortable work space temperatures for the ground level storage of honey. (BCS)

  17. Nosema ceranae Infection Promotes Proliferation of Yeasts in Honey Bee Intestines

    PubMed Central

    Paleolog, Jerzy; Borsuk, Grzegorz

    2016-01-01

    Background Nosema ceranae infection not only damages honey bee (Apis melifera) intestines, but we believe it may also affect intestinal yeast development and its seasonal pattern. In order to check our hypothesis, infection intensity versus intestinal yeast colony forming units (CFU) both in field and cage experiments were studied. Methods/Findings Field tests were carried out from March to October in 2014 and 2015. N. ceranae infection intensity decreased more than 100 times from 7.6 x 108 in March to 5.8 x 106 in October 2014. A similar tendency was observed in 2015. Therefore, in the European eastern limit of its range, N. ceranae infection intensity showed seasonality (spring peak and subsequent decline in the summer and fall), however, with an additional mid-summer peak that had not been recorded in other studies. Due to seasonal changes in the N. ceranae infection intensity observed in honey bee colonies, we recommend performing studies on new therapeutics during two consecutive years, including colony overwintering. A natural decrease in N. ceranae spore numbers observed from March to October might be misinterpreted as an effect of Nosema spp. treatment with new compounds. A similar seasonal pattern was observed for intestinal yeast population size in field experiments. Furthermore, cage experiments confirmed the size of intestinal yeast population to increase markedly together with the increase in the N. ceranae infection intensity. Yeast CFUs amounted to respectively 2,025 (CV = 13.04) and 11,150 (CV = 14.06) in uninfected and N. ceranae-infected workers at the end of cage experiments. Therefore, honey bee infection with N. ceranae supported additional opportunistic yeast infections, which may have resulted in faster colony depopulations. PMID:27736915

  18. Distance-responsive genes found in dancing honey bees.

    PubMed

    Sen Sarma, M; Rodriguez-Zas, S L; Gernat, T; Nguyen, T; Newman, T; Robinson, G E

    2010-10-01

    We report that regions of the honey bee brain involved in visual processing and learning and memory show a specific genomic response to distance information. These results were obtained with an established method that separates effects of perceived distance from effects of actual distance flown. Individuals forced to shift from a short to perceived long distance to reach a feeding site showed gene expression differences in the optic lobes and mushroom bodies relative to individuals that continued to perceive a short distance, even though they all flew the same distance. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that the genomic response to distance information involves learning and memory systems associated with well-known signaling pathways, synaptic remodeling, transcription factors and protein metabolism. By showing distance-sensitive brain gene expression, our findings also significantly extend the emerging paradigm of the genome as a dynamic regulator of behavior, that is particularly responsive to stimuli important in social life.

  19. An Algorithmic Analysis of the Honey-Bee Game

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischer, Rudolf; Woeginger, Gerhard J.

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

  20. Immunogene and viral transcript dynamics during parasitic Varroa destructor mite infection of developing honey bee (Apis mellifera) pupae.

    PubMed

    Kuster, Ryan D; Boncristiani, Humberto F; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-05-15

    The ectoparasitic Varroa destructor mite is a major contributor to the ongoing honey bee health crisis. Varroa interacts with honey bee viruses, exacerbating their pathogenicity. In addition to vectoring viruses, immunosuppression of the developing honey bee hosts by Varroa has been proposed to explain the synergy between viruses and mites. However, the evidence for honey bee immune suppression by V. destructor is contentious. We systematically studied the quantitative effects of experimentally introduced V. destructor mites on immune gene expression at five specific time points during the development of the honey bee hosts. Mites reproduced normally and were associated with increased titers of deformed wing virus in the developing bees. Our data on different immune genes show little evidence for immunosuppression of honey bees by V. destructor. Experimental wounding of developing bees increases relative immune gene expression and deformed wing virus titers. Combined, these results suggest that mite feeding activity itself and not immunosuppression may contribute to the synergy between viruses and mites. However, our results also suggest that increased expression of honey bee immune genes decreases mite reproductive success, which may be explored to enhance mite control strategies. Finally, our expression data for multiple immune genes across developmental time and different experimental treatments indicates co-regulation of several of these genes and thus improves our understanding of the understudied honey bee immune system.

  1. Detection of Deformed wing virus, a honey bee viral pathogen, in bumble bees (Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum) with wing deformities.

    PubMed

    Genersch, Elke; Yue, Constanze; Fries, Ingemar; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2006-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) productively infected with Deformed wing virus (DWV) through Varroa destructor (V. destructor) during pupal stages develop into adults showing wing and other morphological deformities. Here, we report for the first time the occurrence of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris, Bombus pascuorum) exhibiting wing deformities resembling those seen in clinically DWV-infected honey bees. Using specific RT-PCR protocols for the detection of DWV followed by sequencing of the PCR products we could demonstrate that the bumble bees were indeed infected with DWV. Since such deformed bumble bees are not viable DWV infection may pose a serious threat to bumble bee populations.

  2. Determination of neonicotinoid insecticides and their metabolites in honey bee and honey by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gbylik-Sikorska, Malgorzata; Sniegocki, Tomasz; Posyniak, Andrzej

    2015-05-15

    The original analytical method for the simultaneous determination and confirmation of neonicotinoids insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, acetamiprid, thiametoxam, thiacloprid, nitenpyram, dinotefuran) and some of their metabolites (imidacloprid guanidine, imidacloprid olefin, imidacloprid urea, desnitro-imidacloprid hydrochloride, thiacloprid-amid and acetamiprid-N-desmethyl) in honey bee and honey was developed. Preparation of honey bee samples involves the extraction with mixture of acetonitrile and ethyl acetate followed by cleaned up using the Sep-Pak Alumina N Plus Long cartridges. Honey samples were dissolved in 1% mixture of acetonitrile and ethyl acetate with addition of TEA, then extracts were cleaned up with Strata X-CW cartridges. The identity of analytes was confirmed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. All compounds were separated on a Luna C18 column with gradient elution. The whole procedure was validated according to the requirements of SANCO 12571/2013. The average recoveries of the analytes ranged from 85.3% to 112.0%, repeatabilities were in the range of 2.8-11.2%, within-laboratory reproducibility was in the range of 3.3-14.6%, the limits of quantitation were in the range of 0.1-0.5μgkg(-1), depending of analyte and matrices. The validated method was successfully applied for the determination of clothianidin, imidacloprid and imidacloprid urea in real incurred honey bee samples and clothianidin in honey.

  3. Lessons learned by the Managed Pollinator CAP: The impact of Varroa parasitism on honey bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several years of work consolidated under the Cooperative Agricultural Project (CAP) has allowed a multi-institutional group of scientists to address complex questions related to the decline of honey bee populations. The group implemented a coordinated multi-state approach to improve bee management...

  4. Are agrochemicals present in high fructose corn syrup fed to honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bee colonies are commonly fed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a nectar substitute. Many agrochemicals are applied to corn during cultivation including systemic neonicotinoids. Whether agrochemicals are present in HFCS fed to bees is unknown. Samples from the major manufacturers and distri...

  5. Interactions of tropilaelaps mercedesae, honey bee viruses, and immune response in Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tropilaelaps mites are the major health threat to Apis mellifera colonies in Asia because of their widespread occurrence, rapid population growth and potential ability to transfer bee viruses. Honey bee immune responses in the presence of feeding mites may occur in response to mite feeding, to the ...

  6. How hives collapse: Allee effects, ecological resilience, and the honey bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We construct a mathematical model to quantify the loss of resilience in collapsing honey bee colonies due to the presence of a strong Allee effect. In the model, recruitment and mortality of adult bees have substantial social components, with recruitment enhanced and mortality reduced by additional ...

  7. Infectivity and virulence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in commercially available North American honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema ceranae infection is ubiquitous in western honey bees, Apis mellifera. In the US, displacement of N. apis in bee colonies suggests that N. ceranae has competitive advantages. Our study, however, showed that N. ceranae was significantly less infective and less virulent than N. apis in commerc...

  8. A method for distinctly marking honey bees, Apis mellifera originating from multiple apiary locations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Inexpensive and non-intrusive marking methods are essential to track natural behavior of insects for biological experiments. An inexpensive, easy to construct, and easy to install bee marking device is described. The device is mounted at the entrance of a standard honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymen...

  9. Patriline variation of Nosema ceranae levels in Russian and Italian honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microsporidian Nosema ceranae has invaded managed honey bee colonies throughout the world. While the presence of N. ceranae is common, infection levels are highly variable, even among bees within a single colony. The underlying mechanisms driving this variation are not well-understood. The high ...

  10. Pancreatoprotective effects of Geniotrigona thoracica stingless bee honey in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced male diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Aziz, Muhammad Shakir Abdul; Giribabu, Nelli; Rao, Pasupuleti Visweswara; Salleh, Naguib

    2017-02-17

    Stingless bee honey (SLBH) has been claimed to possess multiple health benefits. Its anti-diabetic properties are however unknown. In this study, ability of SLBH from Geniotrigona thoracica stingless bee species in ameliorating pancreatic damage and in maintaining metabolic profiles were investigated in diabetic condition.

  11. The growing prevalence of Nosema ceranae in honey bees in Spain, an emerging problem for the last decade.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; González-Porto, Amelia; Martínez-Salvador, Amparo; De la Rúa, Pilar; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2012-08-01

    Microsporidiosis caused by infection with Nosema apis or Nosema ceranae has become one of the most widespread diseases of honey bees and can cause important economic losses for beekeepers. Honey can be contaminated by spores of both species and it has been reported as a suitable matrix to study the field prevalence of other honey bee sporulated pathogens. Historical honey sample collections from the CAR laboratory (Centro Apícola Regional) were analyzed by PCR to identify the earliest instance of emergence, and to determine whether the presence of Nosema spp. in honey was linked to the spread of these microsporidia in honey bee apiaries. A total of 240 frozen honey samples were analyzed by PCR and the results compared with rates of Nosema spp. infection in worker bee samples from different years and geographical areas. The presence of Nosema spp. in hive-stored honey from naturally infected honey bee colonies (from an experimental apiary) was also monitored, and although collected honey bees resulted in a more suitable sample to study the presence of microsporidian parasites in the colonies, a high probability of finding Nosema spp. in their hive-stored honey was observed. The first honey sample in which N. ceranae was detected dates back to the year 2000. In subsequent years, the number of samples containing N. ceranae tended to increase, as did the detection of Nosema spp. in adult worker bees. The presence of N. ceranae as early as 2000, long before generalized bee depopulation and colony losses in 2004 may be consistent with a long incubation period for nosemosis type C or related with other unknown factors. The current prevalence of nosemosis, primarily due to N. ceranae, has reached epidemic levels in Spain as confirmed by the analysis of worker honey bees and commercial honey.

  12. Cognitive components of color vision in honey bees: how conditioning variables modulate color learning and discrimination.

    PubMed

    Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; Giurfa, Martin

    2014-06-01

    Since the demonstration of color vision in honey bees 100 years ago by Karl von Frisch, appetitive conditioning to color targets has been used as the principal way to access behavioral aspects of bee color vision. Yet, analyses on how conditioning parameters affect color perception remained scarce. Conclusions on bee color vision have often been made without referring them to the experimental context in which they were obtained, and thus presented as absolute facts instead of realizing that subtle variations in conditioning procedures might yield different results. Here, we review evidence showing that color learning and discrimination in bees are not governed by immutable properties of their visual system, but depend on how the insects are trained and thus learn a task. The use of absolute or differential conditioning protocols, the presence of aversive reinforcement in differential conditioning and the degrees of freedom of motor components determine dramatic variations in color discrimination. We, thus, suggest top-down attentional modulation of color vision to explain the changes in color learning and discrimination reviewed here. We discuss the possible neural mechanisms of this modulation and conclude that color vision experiments require a careful consideration of how training parameters shape behavioral responses.

  13. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE AND CATALASE ACTIVITY AND EXPRESSION IN HONEY BEE.

    PubMed

    Nikolić, Tatjana V; Purać, Jelena; Orčić, Snežana; Kojić, Danijela; Vujanović, Dragana; Stanimirović, Zoran; Gržetić, Ivan; Ilijević, Konstantin; Šikoparija, Branko; Blagojević, Duško P

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the cellular stress response in honey bees will significantly contribute to their conservation. The aim of this study was to analyze the response of the antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase in honey bees related to the presence of toxic metals in different habitats. Three locations were selected: (i) Tunovo on the mountain Golija, as control area, without industry and large human impact, (ii) Belgrade as urban area, and (iii) Zajača, as mining and industrial zone. Our results showed that the concentrations of lead (Pb) in whole body of bees vary according to habitat, but there was very significant increase of Pb in bees from investigated industrial area. Bees from urban and industrial area had increased expression of both Sod1 and Cat genes, suggesting adaptation to increased oxidative stress. However, in spite increased gene expression, the enzyme activity of catalase was lower in bees from industrial area suggesting inhibitory effect of Pb on catalase.

  14. Effects of pollen dilution on infection of Nosema ceranae in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Jack, Cameron J; Uppala, Sai Sree; Lucas, Hannah M; Sagili, Ramesh R

    2016-04-01

    Multiple stressors are currently threatening honey bee health, including pests and pathogens. Among honey bee pathogens, Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian found parasitizing the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) relatively recently. Honey bee colonies are fed pollen or protein substitute during pollen dearth to boost colony growth and immunity against pests and pathogens. Here we hypothesize that N. ceranae intensity and prevalence will be low in bees receiving high pollen diets, and that honey bees on high pollen diets will have higher survival and/or increased longevity. To test this hypothesis we examined the effects of different quantities of pollen on (a) the intensity and prevalence of N. ceranae and (b) longevity and nutritional physiology of bees inoculated with N. ceranae. Significantly higher spore intensities were observed in treatments that received higher pollen quantities (1:0 and 1:1 pollen:cellulose) when compared to treatments that received relatively lower pollen quantities. There were no significant differences in N. ceranae prevalence among different pollen diet treatments. Interestingly, the bees in higher pollen quantity treatments also had significantly higher survival despite higher intensities of N. ceranae. Significantly higher hypopharyngeal gland protein was observed in the control (no Nosema infection, and receiving a diet of 1:0 pollen:cellulose), followed by 1:0 pollen:cellulose treatment that was inoculated with N. ceranae. Here we demonstrate that diet with higher pollen quantity increases N. ceranae intensity, but also enhances the survival or longevity of honey bees. The information from this study could potentially help beekeepers formulate appropriate protein feeding regimens for their colonies to mitigate N. ceranae problems.

  15. Hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing honey bees increase forager recruitment by stimulating dancing.

    PubMed

    Gilley, David C

    2014-01-01

    Hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing honey bees are known to reactivate experienced foragers to visit known food sources. This study investigates whether these hydrocarbons also increase waggle-dance recruitment by observing recruitment and dancing behavior when the dance compounds are introduced into the hive. If the hydrocarbons emitted by waggle-dancing bees affect the recruitment of foragers to a food source, then the number of recruits arriving at a food source should be greater after introduction of dance compounds versus a pure-solvent control. This prediction was supported by the results of experiments in which recruits were captured at a feeder following introduction of dance-compounds into a hive. This study also tested two nonexclusive behavioral mechanism(s) by which the compounds might stimulate recruitment; 1) increased recruitment could occur by means of increasing the recruitment effectiveness of each dance and/or 2) increased recruitment could occur by increasing the intensity of waggle-dancing. These hypotheses were tested by examining video records of the dancing and recruitment behavior of individually marked bees following dance-compound introduction. Comparisons of numbers of dance followers and numbers of recruits per dance and waggle run showed no significant differences between dance-compound and solvent-control introduction, thus providing no support for the first hypothesis. Comparison of the number of waggle-dance bouts and the number of waggle runs revealed significantly more dancing during morning dance-compound introduction than morning solvent-control introduction, supporting the second hypothesis. These results suggest that the waggle-dance hydrocarbons play an important role in honey bee foraging recruitment by stimulating foragers to perform waggle dances following periods of inactivity.

  16. Bees, honey and pollen as sentinels for lead environmental contamination.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Olivier; Piroux, Mélanie; Puyo, Sophie; Thorin, Chantal; Larhantec, Michaëlle; Delbac, Frédéric; Pouliquen, Hervé

    2012-11-01

    Three beehive matrices, sampled in eighteen apiaries from West France, were analysed for the presence of lead (Pb). Samples were collected during four different periods in both 2008 and 2009. Honey was the matrix the least contaminated by Pb (min = 0.004 μg g(-1); max = 0.378 μg g(-1); mean = 0.047 μg g(-1); sd = 0.057). The contamination of bees (min = 0.001 μg g(-1); max = 1.869 μg g(-1); mean = 0.223 μg g(-1); sd = 0.217) and pollen (min = 0.004 μg g(-1); max = 0.798 μg g(-1); mean = 0.240 μg g(-1); sd = 0.200) showed similar levels and temporal variations but bees seemed to be more sensitive bringing out the peaks of Pb contamination. Apiaries in urban and hedgerow landscapes appeared more contaminated than apiaries in cultivated and island landscapes. Sampling period had a significant effect on Pb contamination with higher Pb concentrations determined in dry seasons.

  17. The fungicide Pristine® inhibits mitochondrial function in vitro but not flight metabolic rates in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Jacob B; Nath, Rachna; Gadau, Juergen; Fox, Trevor; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Harrison, Jon F

    2016-03-01

    Honey bees and other pollinators are exposed to fungicides that act by inhibiting fungal mitochondria. Here we test whether a common fungicide (Pristine®) inhibits the function of mitochondria of honeybees, and whether consumption of ecologically-realistic concentrations can cause negative effects on the mitochondria of flight muscles, or the capability for flight, as judged by CO2 emission rates and thorax temperatures during flight. Direct exposure of mitochondria to Pristine® levels above 5 ppm strongly inhibited mitochondrial oxidation rates in vitro. However, bees that consumed pollen containing Pristine® at ecologically-realistic concentrations (≈ 1 ppm) had normal flight CO2 emission rates and thorax temperatures. Mitochondria isolated from the flight muscles of the Pristine®-consuming bees had higher state 3 oxygen consumption rates than control bees, suggesting that possibly Pristine®-consumption caused compensatory changes in mitochondria. It is likely that the lack of a strong functional effect of Pristine®-consumption on flight performance and the in vitro function of flight muscle mitochondria results from maintenance of Pristine® levels in the flight muscles at much lower levels than occur in the food, probably due to metabolism and detoxification. As Pristine® has been shown to negatively affect feeding rates and protein digestion of honey bees, it is plausible that Pristine® consumption negatively affects gut wall function (where mitochondria may be exposed to higher concentrations of Pristine®).

  18. Quantity, analysis, and lethality of European and Africanized honey bee venoms.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, M J; Schmidt, J O; Egen, N B; Lowry, J E

    1990-07-01

    Venom from Africanized honey bees (derived mainly from Apis mellifera scutellata) was compared with venom from domestic, European bees by study of lethality, immunological cross-reactivity, venom yield, isoelectric focusing (IEF) patterns, and melittin titers. The LD50s of European and Africanized bee venom by iv injection in mice were similar. In venom neutralization experiments, Africanized bee venom was mixed with antibodies from a beekeeper exposed only to European bees and used to challenge mice. Survival times of mice given these mixtures were significantly prolonged, indicating that human serum antibodies to European bee venom neutralized the lethal effects of Africanized bee venom. Reservoirs from Africanized bees contained less venom than European bees (94 and 147 micrograms venom/bee, respectively) and Africanized bee venom had a lower melittin content. The IEF patterns of venom from individual European bees varied considerably, as did IEF patterns of individual Africanized bees. Pools of venom from 1,000 bees of each population of A. mellifera showed noticeable but less obvious electrophoretic differences. The findings suggest that multiple stinging, and not increased venom potency or delivery, is the cause of serious reactions from Africanized bee attacks.

  19. Colony Level Prevalence and Intensity of Nosema ceranae in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Hannah M.; Webster, Thomas C.; Sagili, Ramesh R.

    2016-01-01

    Nosema ceranae is a widely prevalent microsporidian parasite in the western honey bee. There is considerable uncertainty regarding infection dynamics of this important pathogen in honey bee colonies. Understanding the infection dynamics at the colony level may aid in development of a reliable sampling protocol for N. ceranae diagnosis, and provide insights into efficient treatment strategies. The primary objective of this study was to characterize the prevalence (proportion of the sampled bees found infected) and intensity (number of spores per bee) of N. ceranae infection in bees from various age cohorts in a colony. We examined N. ceranae infection in both overwintered colonies that were naturally infected with N. ceranae and in quadruple cohort nucleus colonies that were established and artificially inoculated with N. ceranae. We also examined and quantified effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland protein content and gut pH. There was no correlation between the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection in composite samples (pooled bee samples used for analysis). Our results indicated that the prevalence and intensity of N. ceranae infection is significantly influenced by honey bee age. The N. ceranae infection prevalence values from composite samples of background bees (unmarked bees collected from four different locations in a colony) were not significantly different from those pertaining to marked-bee age cohorts specific to each sampling date. The foraging-aged bees had a higher prevalence of N. ceranae infection when compared to nurse-aged bees. N. ceranae did not have a significant effect on hypopharyngeal gland protein content. Further, there was no significant difference in mean gut pH of N. ceranae infected bees and non-infected bees. This study provides comprehensive insights into N. ceranae infection dynamics at the colony level, and also demonstrates the effects of N. ceranae infection on hypopharyngeal gland protein content and

  20. Effects of Nosema ceranae and thiametoxam in Apis mellifera: A comparative study in Africanized and Carniolan honey bees.

    PubMed

    Gregorc, Ales; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Kramberger, Doris; Teixeira, Erica W; Malaspina, Osmar

    2016-03-01

    Multiple stressors, such as chemicals and pathogens, are likely to be detrimental for the health and lifespan of Apis mellifera, a bee species frequently exposed to both factors in the field and inside hives. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate comparatively the health of Carniolan and Africanized honey bees (AHB) co-exposed to thiamethoxam and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae) spores. Newly-emerged worker honey bees were exposed solely with different sublethal doses of thiamethoxam (2% and 0.2% of LD50 for AHB), which could be consumed by bees under field conditions. Toxicity tests for the Carniolan bees were performed, and the LD50 of thiamethoxam for Carniolan honey bees was 7.86 ng bee(-1). Immunohistological analyses were also performed to detect cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and/or N. ceranae treated bees. Thiamethoxam exposure had no negative impact on Nosema development in experimental conditions, but it clearly inhibited cell death in the midgut of thiamethoxam and Nosema-exposed bees, as demonstrated by immunohistochemical data. Indeed, thiamethoxam exposure only had a minor synergistic toxic effect on midgut tissue when applied as a low dose simultaneously with N. ceranae to AHB and Carniolan honey bees, in comparison with the effect caused by both stressors separately. Our data provides insights into the effects of the neonicotenoid thiamethoxam on the AHB and Carniolan honey bee life span, as well as the effects of simultaneous application of thiamethoxam and N. ceranae spores to honey bees.

  1. Deformed wing virus associated with Tropilaelaps mercedesae infesting European honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Forsgren, Eva; de Miranda, Joachim R; Isaksson, Mats; Wei, Shi; Fries, Ingemar

    2009-02-01

    Mites in the genus Tropilaelaps (Acari: Laelapidae) are ectoparasites of the brood of honey bees (Apis spp.). Different Tropilaelaps subspecies were originally described from Apis dorsata, but a host switch occurred to the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, for which infestations can rapidly lead to colony death. Tropilaelaps is hence considered more dangerous to A. mellifera than the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. Honey bees are also infected by many different viruses, some of them associated with and vectored by V. destructor. In recent years, deformed wing virus (DWV) has become the most prevalent virus infection in honey bees associated with V. destructor. DWV is distributed world-wide, and found wherever the Varroa mite is found, although low levels of the virus can also be found in Varroa free colonies. The Varroa mite transmits viral particles when feeding on the haemolymph of pupae or adult bees. Both the Tropilaelaps mite and the Varroa mite feed on honey bee brood, but no observations of DWV in Tropilaelaps have so far been reported. In this study, quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to show the presence of DWV in infested brood and Tropilaelaps mercedesae mites collected in China, and to demonstrate a close quantitative association between mite-infested pupae of A. mellifera and DWV infections. Phylogenetic analysis of the DWV sequences recovered from matching pupae and mites revealed considerable DWV sequence heterogeneity and polymorphism. These polymorphisms appeared to be associated with the individual brood cell, rather than with a particular host.

  2. Testing Pollen of Single and Stacked Insect-Resistant Bt-Maize on In vitro Reared Honey Bee Larvae

    PubMed Central

    Hendriksma, Harmen P.; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    The ecologically and economic important honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a key non-target arthropod species in environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified (GM) crops. Honey bee larvae are directly exposed to transgenic products by the consumption of GM pollen. But most ERA studies only consider responses of adult bees, although Bt-proteins primarily affect the larval phases of target organisms. We adopted an in vitro larvae rearing system, to assess lethal and sublethal effects of Bt-pollen consumption in a standardized eco-toxicological bioassay. The effects of pollen from two Bt-maize cultivars, one expressing a single and the other a total of three Bt-proteins, on the survival and prepupae weight of honey bee larvae were analyzed. The control treatments included pollen from three non-transgenic maize varieties and of Heliconia rostrata. Three days old larvae were fed the realistic exposure dose of 2 mg pollen within the semi-artificial diet. The larvae were monitored over 120 h, until the prepupal stage, where larvae terminate feeding and growing. Neither single nor stacked Bt-maize pollen showed an adverse effect on larval survival and the prepupal weight. In contrast, feeding of H. rostrata pollen caused significant toxic effects. The results of this study indicate that pollen of the tested Bt-varieties does not harm the development of in vitro reared A. mellifera larvae. To sustain the ecosystem service of pollination, Bt-impact on A. mellifera should always be a crucial part of regulatory biosafety assessments. We suggest that our approach of feeding GM pollen on in vitro reared honey bee larvae is well suited of becoming a standard bioassay in regulatory risk assessments schemes of GM crops. PMID:22194811

  3. Testing pollen of single and stacked insect-resistant Bt-maize on in vitro reared honey bee larvae.

    PubMed

    Hendriksma, Harmen P; Härtel, Stephan; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf

    2011-01-01

    The ecologically and economic important honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a key non-target arthropod species in environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified (GM) crops. Honey bee larvae are directly exposed to transgenic products by the consumption of GM pollen. But most ERA studies only consider responses of adult bees, although Bt-proteins primarily affect the larval phases of target organisms. We adopted an in vitro larvae rearing system, to assess lethal and sublethal effects of Bt-pollen consumption in a standardized eco-toxicological bioassay. The effects of pollen from two Bt-maize cultivars, one expressing a single and the other a total of three Bt-proteins, on the survival and prepupae weight of honey bee larvae were analyzed. The control treatments included pollen from three non-transgenic maize varieties and of Heliconia rostrata. Three days old larvae were fed the realistic exposure dose of 2 mg pollen within the semi-artificial diet. The larvae were monitored over 120 h, until the prepupal stage, where larvae terminate feeding and growing. Neither single nor stacked Bt-maize pollen showed an adverse effect on larval survival and the prepupal weight. In contrast, feeding of H. rostrata pollen caused significant toxic effects. The results of this study indicate that pollen of the tested Bt-varieties does not harm the development of in vitro reared A. mellifera larvae. To sustain the ecosystem service of pollination, Bt-impact on A. mellifera should always be a crucial part of regulatory biosafety assessments. We suggest that our approach of feeding GM pollen on in vitro reared honey bee larvae is well suited of becoming a standard bioassay in regulatory risk assessments schemes of GM crops.

  4. Pheromonal regulation of starvation resistance in honey bee workers ( Apis mellifera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Patrick; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2008-08-01

    Most animals can modulate nutrient storage pathways according to changing environmental conditions, but in honey bees nutrient storage is also modulated according to changing behavioral tasks within a colony. Specifically, bees involved in brood care (nurses) have higher lipid stores in their abdominal fat bodies than forager bees. Pheromone communication plays an important role in regulating honey bee behavior and physiology. In particular, queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) slows the transition from nursing to foraging. We tested the effects of QMP exposure on starvation resistance, lipid storage, and gene expression in the fat bodies of worker bees. We found that indeed QMP-treated bees survived much longer compared to control bees when starved and also had higher lipid levels. Expression of vitellogenin RNA, which encodes a yolk protein that is found at higher levels in nurses than foragers, was also higher in the fat bodies of QMP-treated bees. No differences were observed in expression of genes involved in insulin signaling pathways, which are associated with nutrient storage and metabolism in a variety of species; thus, other mechanisms may be involved in increasing the lipid stores. These studies demonstrate that pheromone exposure can modify nutrient storage pathways and fat body gene expression in honey bees and suggest that chemical communication and social interactions play an important role in altering metabolic pathways.

  5. Sperm viability and gene expression in honey bee queens (Apis mellifera) following exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid and the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos.

    PubMed

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Evans, Jay D; Chen, Yanping; Jackson, Caitlin; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2016-06-01

    Honey bee population declines are of global concern. Numerous factors appear to cause these declines including parasites, pathogens, malnutrition and pesticides. Residues of the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos and the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid, widely used to combat Varroa mites and for crop protection in agriculture, respectively, have been detected in wax, pollen and comb samples. Here, we assess the effects of these compounds at different doses on the viability of sperm stored in the honey bee queens' spermatheca. Our results demonstrate that sub-lethal doses of imidacloprid (0.02ppm) decreased sperm viability by 50%, 7days after treatment. Sperm viability was a downward trend (about 33%) in queens treated with high doses of coumaphos (100ppm), but there was not significant difference. The expression of genes that are involved in development, immune responses and detoxification in honey bee queens and workers exposed to chemicals was measured by qPCR analysis. The data showed that expression levels of specific genes were triggered 1day after treatment. The expression levels of P450 subfamily genes, CYP306A1, CYP4G11 and CYP6AS14 were decreased in honey bee queens treated with low doses of coumaphos (5ppm) and imidacloprid (0.02ppm). Moreover, these two compounds suppressed the expression of genes related to antioxidation, immunity and development in queens at day 1. Up-regulation of antioxidants by these compounds in worker bees was observed at day 1. Coumaphos also caused a repression of CYP306A1 and CYP4G11 in workers. Antioxidants appear to prevent chemical damage to honey bees. We also found that DWV replication increased in workers treated with imidacloprid. This research clearly demonstrates that chemical exposure can affect sperm viability in queen honey bees.

  6. Development of a 44K SNP assay focussing on the analysis of a varroa-specific defence behaviour in honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica).

    PubMed

    Spötter, A; Gupta, P; Nürnberg, G; Reinsch, N; Bienefeld, K

    2012-03-01

    Honey bees are exposed to a number of damaging pathogens and parasites. The most destructive among them, affecting mainly the brood, is Varroa destructor. A promising approach to prevent its spread is to breed for Varroa-tolerant honey bees. A trait that has been shown to provide significant resistance against the Varroa mite is hygienic behaviour, a behavioural response of honey bee workers to brood diseases in general. This study reports the development of a 44K SNP assay, specifically designed for the analysis of hygienic behaviour of individual worker bees (Apis mellifera carnica) directed against V. destructor. Initially, 70,000 SNPs chosen from a large set of SNPs published by the Honey Bee Genome Project were validated for their suitability in the analysis of the Varroa resistance trait 'uncapping of Varroa-infested brood'. This was achieved by genotyping of pooled DNA samples of trait bearers and two trait-negative controls using next-generation sequencing. Approximately 36,000 of these validated SNPs and another 8000 SNPs not validated in this study were selected for the construction of a SNP assay. This assay will be employed in following experiments to analyse individualized DNA samples in order to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) involved in the control of the investigated trait and to evaluate and possibly confirm QTL found in other studies. However, this assay is not just suitable to study Varroa tolerance, it is as well applicable to analyse any other trait in honey bees. In addition, because of its high density, this assay provides access into genomic selection with respect to several traits considered in honey bee breeding. It will become publicly available via AROS Applied Biotechnology AS, Aarhus, Denmark, before the end of the year 2011.

  7. Linking magnetite in the abdomen of honey bees to a magnetoreceptive function.

    PubMed

    Lambinet, Veronika; Hayden, Michael E; Reigl, Katharina; Gomis, Surath; Gries, Gerhard

    2017-03-29

    Previous studies of magnetoreception in honey bees, Apis mellifera, focused on the identification of magnetic material, its formation, the location of the receptor and potential underlying sensory mechanisms, but never directly linked magnetic material to a magnetoreceptive function. In our study, we demonstrate that ferromagnetic material consistent with magnetite plays an integral role in the bees' magnetoreceptor. Subjecting lyophilized and pelletized bee tagmata to analyses by a superconducting quantum interference device generated a distinct hysteresis loop for the abdomen but not for the thorax or the head of bees, indicating the presence of ferromagnetic material in the bee abdomen. Magnetic remanence of abdomen pellets produced from bees that were, or were not, exposed to the 2.2-kOe field of a magnet while alive differed, indicating that magnet exposure altered the magnetization of this magnetite in live bees. In behavioural two-choice field experiments, bees briefly exposed to the same magnet, but not sham-treated control bees, failed to sense a custom-generated magnetic anomaly, indicating that magnet exposure had rendered the bees' magnetoreceptor dysfunctional. Our data support the conclusion that honey bees possess a magnetite-based magnetoreceptor located in the abdomen.

  8. Linking magnetite in the abdomen of honey bees to a magnetoreceptive function

    PubMed Central

    Lambinet, Veronika; Hayden, Michael E.; Reigl, Katharina; Gomis, Surath

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies of magnetoreception in honey bees, Apis mellifera, focused on the identification of magnetic material, its formation, the location of the receptor and potential underlying sensory mechanisms, but never directly linked magnetic material to a magnetoreceptive function. In our study, we demonstrate that ferromagnetic material consistent with magnetite plays an integral role in the bees' magnetoreceptor. Subjecting lyophilized and pelletized bee tagmata to analyses by a superconducting quantum interference device generated a distinct hysteresis loop for the abdomen but not for the thorax or the head of bees, indicating the presence of ferromagnetic material in the bee abdomen. Magnetic remanence of abdomen pellets produced from bees that were, or were not, exposed to the 2.2-kOe field of a magnet while alive differed, indicating that magnet exposure altered the magnetization of this magnetite in live bees. In behavioural two-choice field experiments, bees briefly exposed to the same magnet, but not sham-treated control bees, failed to sense a custom-generated magnetic anomaly, indicating that magnet exposure had rendered the bees' magnetoreceptor dysfunctional. Our data support the conclusion that honey bees possess a magnetite-based magnetoreceptor located in the abdomen. PMID:28330921

  9. A cell line resource derived from honey bee (Apis mellifera) embryonic tissues.

    PubMed

    Goblirsch, Michael J; Spivak, Marla S; Kurtti, Timothy J

    2013-01-01

    A major hindrance to the study of honey bee pathogens or the effects of pesticides and nutritional deficiencies is the lack of controlled in vitro culture systems comprised of honey bee cells. Such systems are important to determine the impact of these stress factors on the developmental and cell biology of honey bees. We have developed a method incorporating established insect cell culture techniques that supports sustained growth of honey bee cells in vitro. We used honey bee eggs mid to late in their embryogenesis to establish primary cultures, as these eggs contain cells that are progressively dividing. Primary cultures were initiated in modified Leibovitz's L15 medium and incubated at 32(°)C. Serial transfer of material from several primary cultures was maintained and has led to the isolation of young cell lines. A cell line (AmE-711) has been established that is composed mainly of fibroblast-type cells that form an adherent monolayer. Most cells in the line are diploid (2n = 32) and have the Apis mellifera karyotype as revealed by Giemsa stain. The partial sequence for the mitochondrial-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (Cox 1) gene in the cell line is identical to those from honey bee tissues and a consensus sequence for A. mellifera. The population doubling time is approximately 4 days. Importantly, the cell line is continuously subcultured every 10-14 days when split at a 1:3 ratio and is cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. The cell culture system we have developed has potential application for studies aimed at honey bee development, genetics, pathogenesis, transgenesis, and toxicology.

  10. Asymmetrical coexistence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yanping; Evans, Jay D; Zhou, Liang; Boncristiani, Humberto; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Xiao, Tieguang; Litkowski, A M; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2009-07-01

    Globalization has provided opportunities for parasites/pathogens to cross geographic boundaries and expand to new hosts. Recent studies showed that Nosema ceranae, originally considered a microsporidian parasite of Eastern honey bees, Apis cerana, is a disease agent of nosemosis in European honey bees, Apis mellifera, along with the resident species, Nosema apis. Further studies indicated that disease caused by N. ceranae in European honey bees is far more prevalent than that caused by N. apis. In order to gain more insight into the epidemiology of Nosema parasitism in honey bees, we conducted studies to investigate infection of Nosema in its original host, Eastern honey bees, using conventional PCR and duplex real time quantitative PCR methods. Our results showed that A. cerana was infected not only with N. ceranae as previously reported [Fries, I., Feng, F., Silva, A.D., Slemenda, S.B., Pieniazek, N.J., 1996. Nosema ceranae n. sp. (Microspora, Nosematidae), morphological and molecular characterization of a microsporidian parasite of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Eur. J. Protistol. 32, 356-365], but also with N. apis. Both microsporidia produced single and mixed infections. Overall and at each location alone, the prevalence of N. ceranae was higher than that of N. apis. In all cases of mixed infections, the number of N. ceranae gene copies (corresponding to the parasite load) significantly out numbered those of N. apis. Phylogenetic analysis based on a variable region of small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSUrRNA) showed four distinct clades of N. apis and five clades of N. ceranae and that geographical distance does not appear to influence the genetic diversity of Nosema populations. The results from this study demonstrated that duplex real-time qPCR assay developed in this study is a valuable tool for quantitative measurement of Nosema and can be used to monitor the progression of microsprodian infections of honey bees in a timely and cost

  11. Chronic bee paralysis virus and Nosema ceranae experimental co-infection of winter honey bee workers (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Toplak, Ivan; Jamnikar Ciglenečki, Urška; Aronstein, Katherine; Gregorc, Aleš

    2013-09-19

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. Despite comprehensive research, only limited data is available from experimental infection for this virus. In the present study winter worker bees were experimentally infected in three different experiments. Bees were first inoculated per os (p/o) or per cuticle (p/c) with CBPV field strain M92/2010 in order to evaluate the virus replication in individual bees. In addition, potential synergistic effects of co-infection with CBPV and Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae) on bees were investigated. In total 558 individual bees were inoculated in small cages and data were analyzed using quantitative real time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR). Our results revealed successful replication of CBPV after p/o inoculation, while it was less effective when bees were inoculated p/c. Dead bees harbored about 1,000 times higher copy numbers of the virus than live bees. Co-infection of workers with CBPV and N. ceranae using either method of virus inoculation (p/c or p/o) showed increased replication ability for CBPV. In the third experiment the effect of inoculation on bee mortality was evaluated. The highest level of bee mortality was observed in a group of bees inoculated with CBPV p/o, followed by a group of workers simultaneously inoculated with CBPV and N. ceranae p/o, followed by the group inoculated with CBPV p/c and the group with only N. ceranae p/o. The experimental infection with CBPV showed important differences after p/o or p/c inoculation in winter bees, while simultaneous infection with CBPV and N. ceranae suggesting a synergistic effect after inoculation.

  12. RNAi-mediated double gene knockdown and gustatory perception measurement in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Baker, Nicholas; Amdam, Gro V

    2013-07-25

    This video demonstrates novel techniques of RNA interference (RNAi) which downregulate two genes simultaneously in honey bees using double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) injections. It also presents a protocol of proboscis extension response (PER) assay for measuring gustatory perception. RNAi-mediated gene knockdown is an effective technique downregulating target gene expression. This technique is usually used for single gene manipulation, but it has limitations to detect interactions and joint effects between genes. In the first part of this video, we present two strategies to simultaneously knock down two genes (called double gene knockdown). We show both strategies are able to effectively suppress two genes, vitellogenin (vg) and ultraspiracle (usp), which are in a regulatory feedback loop. This double gene knockdown approach can be used to dissect interrelationships between genes and can be readily applied in different insect species. The second part of this video is a demonstration of proboscis extension response (PER) assay in honey bees after the treatment of double gene knockdown. The PER assay is a standard test for measuring gustatory perception in honey bees, which is a key predictor for how fast a honey bee's behavioral maturation is. Greater gustatory perception of nest bees indicates increased behavioral development which is often associated with an earlier age at onset of foraging and foraging specialization in pollen. In addition, PER assay can be applied to identify metabolic states of satiation or hunger in honey bees. Finally, PER assay combined with pairing different odor stimuli for conditioning the bees is also widely used for learning and memory studies in honey bees.

  13. Foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera, in alfalfa seed production fields.

    PubMed

    Hagler, James R; Mueller, Shannon; Teuber, Larry R; Machtley, Scott A; Van Deynze, Allen

    2011-01-01

    A study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 designed to examine the foraging range of honey bees, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in a 15.2 km(2) area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready alfalfa seed production fields (totaling 120.2 ha). Each year, honey bee self-marking devices were placed on 112 selected honey bee colonies originating from nine different apiary locations. The foraging bees exiting each apiary location were uniquely marked so that the apiary of origin and the distance traveled by the marked (field-collected) bees into each of the alfalfa fields could be pinpointed. Honey bee self-marking devices were installed on 14.4 and 11.2% of the total hives located within the research area in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The frequency of field-collected bees possessing a distinct mark was similar, averaging 14.0% in 2006 and 12.6% in 2007. A grand total of 12,266 bees were collected from the various alfalfa fields on seven sampling dates over the course of the study. The distances traveled by marked bees ranged from a minimum of 45 m to a maximum of 5983 m. On average, marked bees were recovered ~ 800 m from their apiary of origin and the recovery rate of marked bees decreased exponentially as the distance from the apiary of origin increased. Ultimately, these data will be used to identify the extent of pollen-mediated gene flow from Roundup Ready to conventional alfalfa.

  14. The effect of queen pheromone status on Varroa mite removal from honey bee colonies with different grooming ability.

    PubMed

    Bahreini, Rassol; Currie, Robert W

    2015-07-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the effects of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) with different grooming ability and queen pheromone status on mortality rates of Varroa mites (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman), mite damage, and mortality rates of honey bees. Twenty-four small queenless colonies containing either stock selected for high rates of mite removal (n = 12) or unselected stock (n = 12) were maintained under constant darkness at 5 °C. Colonies were randomly assigned to be treated with one of three queen pheromone status treatments: (1) caged, mated queen, (2) a synthetic queen mandibular pheromone lure (QMP), or (3) queenless with no queen substitute. The results showed overall mite mortality rate was greater in stock selected for grooming than in unselected stock. There was a short term transitory increase in bee mortality rates in selected stock when compared to unselected stock. The presence of queen pheromone from either caged, mated queens or QMP enhanced mite removal from clusters of bees relative to queenless colonies over short periods of time and increased the variation in mite mortality over time relative to colonies without queen pheromone, but did not affect the proportion of damaged mites. The effects of source of bees on mite damage varied with time but damage to mites was not reliably related to mite mortality. In conclusion, this study showed differential mite removal of different stocks was possible under low temperature. Queen status should be considered when designing experiments using bioassays for grooming response.

  15. Efficiency of local Indonesia honey bees (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis) on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pollination.

    PubMed

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p < 0.05) than T. iridipennis due to their larger colony demand and low reward provide by tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p < 0.05) even though the average weight and size of tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods.

  16. Protein levels and colony development of Africanized and European honey bees fed natural and artificial diets.

    PubMed

    Morais, M M; Turcatto, A P; Pereira, R A; Francoy, T M; Guidugli-Lazzarini, K R; Gonçalves, L S; de Almeida, J M V; Ellis, J D; De Jong, D

    2013-12-19

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in small cages and fed on one of four diets for seven days. The artificial diets included a high protein diet made of soy milk powder and albumin, and a lower protein level diet consisting of soy milk powder, brewer's yeast and rice bran. The initial protein levels in newly emerged bees were approximately 18-21 µg/µL hemolymph. After feeding on the diets for seven days, the protein leve