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Sample records for apis mellifera induced

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  3. Programmed Cell Death in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Worker Brain Induced by Imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yan-Yan; Zhou, Ting; Wang, Qiang; Dai, Ping-Li; Xu, Shu-Fa; Jia, Hui-Ru; Wang, Xing

    2015-08-01

    Honey bees are at an unavoidable risk of exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are used worldwide. Compared with the well-studied roles of these pesticides in nontarget site (including midgut, ovary, or salivary glands), little has been reported in the target sites, the brain. In the current study, laboratory-reared adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were treated with sublethal doses of imidacloprid. Neuronal apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL technique for DNA labeling. We observed significantly increased apoptotic markers in dose- and time-dependent manners in brains of bees exposed to imidacloprid. Neuronal activated caspase-3 and mRNA levels of caspase-1, as detected by immunofluorescence and real-time quantitative PCR, respectively, were significantly increased, suggesting that sublethal doses of imidacloprid may induce the caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway. Additionally, the overlap of apoptosis and autophagy in neurons was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. It further suggests that a relationship exists between neurotoxicity and behavioral changes induced by sublethal doses of imidacloprid, and that there is a need to determine reasonable limits for imidacloprid application in the field to protect pollinators. PMID:26470287

  4. Programmed Cell Death in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Worker Brain Induced by Imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yan-Yan; Zhou, Ting; Wang, Qiang; Dai, Ping-Li; Xu, Shu-Fa; Jia, Hui-Ru; Wang, Xing

    2015-08-01

    Honey bees are at an unavoidable risk of exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are used worldwide. Compared with the well-studied roles of these pesticides in nontarget site (including midgut, ovary, or salivary glands), little has been reported in the target sites, the brain. In the current study, laboratory-reared adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were treated with sublethal doses of imidacloprid. Neuronal apoptosis was detected using the TUNEL technique for DNA labeling. We observed significantly increased apoptotic markers in dose- and time-dependent manners in brains of bees exposed to imidacloprid. Neuronal activated caspase-3 and mRNA levels of caspase-1, as detected by immunofluorescence and real-time quantitative PCR, respectively, were significantly increased, suggesting that sublethal doses of imidacloprid may induce the caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway. Additionally, the overlap of apoptosis and autophagy in neurons was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. It further suggests that a relationship exists between neurotoxicity and behavioral changes induced by sublethal doses of imidacloprid, and that there is a need to determine reasonable limits for imidacloprid application in the field to protect pollinators.

  5. One retrieval trial induces reconsolidation in an appetitive learning paradigm in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Stollhoff, Nicola; Menzel, Randolf; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2008-05-01

    Combining memory retrieval with the application of a protein synthesis-inhibitor leads to an amnestic effect that is referred to as the reconsolidation phenomenon. Several behavioural studies demonstrate that only a few or weak retrieval trials (that do not result in significant extinction) lead to this phenomenon. In contrast, many trials (that result in significant extinction) combined with a protein synthesis inhibitor result in an inhibition of the extinction memory. Based on these findings it was suggested that extinction is the boundary condition for reconsolidation: when extinction is induced the consolidation of the extinction memory is the dominant process. Recently we were not able to confirm this hypothesis in the honeybee (Apis mellifera): we did not find the reconsolidation phenomenon after one retrieval trial, but demonstrated reconsolidation after five retrieval trials that led to extinction. To exclude that this observation resembles a special case in insects we here wanted to know if one retrieval trial induces reconsolidation as it has been demonstrated before in many other species. To do so we used experimental parameters that had been used before to demonstrate consolidation in the honeybee with the exception that this time the protein synthesis-inhibitor was applied 1 h after one memory retrieval instead after acquisition. We thereby demonstrate the reconsolidation phenomenon after one retrieval trial but only when using the doubled dose of protein synthesis-inhibitor that has been used to inhibit consolidation.

  6. Evidence of Apis cerana sacbrood virus infection in Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sacbrood virus (SBV) is one of the most serious threats to Apis cerana but is much less destructive to Apis mellifera. In previous studies, SBV isolates infecting A. cerana and A. mellifera were identified as different serotypes, suggesting a species-barrier of SBV infection. In order to clarify whe...

  7. Evidence of Apis cerana Sacbrood virus Infection in Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Hong-Ri; Chen, Xiu-Xian; Chen, Yan Ping; Hu, Fu-Liang; Zhang, Jiang-Lin; Lin, Zhe-Guang; Yu, Ji-Wei

    2016-01-01

    Sacbrood virus (SBV) is one of the most destructive viruses in the Asian honeybee Apis cerana but is much less destructive in Apis mellifera. In previous studies, SBV isolates infecting A. cerana (AcSBV) and SBV isolates infecting A. mellifera (AmSBV) were identified as different serotypes, suggesting a species barrier in SBV infection. In order to investigate this species isolation, we examined the presence of SBV infection in 318 A. mellifera colonies and 64 A. cerana colonies, and we identified the genotypes of SBV isolates. We also performed artificial infection experiments under both laboratory and field conditions. The results showed that 38 A. mellifera colonies and 37 A. cerana colonies were positive for SBV infection. Phylogenetic analysis based on RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene sequences indicated that A. cerana isolates and most A. mellifera isolates formed two distinct clades but two strains isolated from A. mellifera were clustered with the A. cerana isolates. In the artificial-infection experiments, AcSBV negative-strand RNA could be detected in both adult bees and larvae of A. mellifera, although there were no obvious signs of the disease, demonstrating the replication of AcSBV in A. mellifera. Our results suggest that AcSBV is able to infect A. mellifera colonies with low prevalence (0.63% in this study) and pathogenicity. This work will help explain the different susceptibilities of A. cerana and A. mellifera to sacbrood disease and is potentially useful for guiding beekeeping practices. PMID:26801569

  8. Standard methods for Apis mellifera propolis research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Propolis is one of the most fascinating honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) products. It is a plant derived product that bees produce from resins that they collect from different plant organs and with which they mix beeswax. Propolis is a building material and a protective agent in the beehive. It also pl...

  9. The Apis mellifera filamentous virus genome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A complete reference genome of the Apis mellifera Filamentous virus (AmFV) was determined using Illumina Hiseq sequencing. The AmFV genome is a double strand DNA molecule of approximately 498’500 nucleotides with a GC content of 50.8%. It encompasses 251 non overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), e...

  10. Alcohol dehydrogenase polymorphism in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Martins, E; Mestriner, M A; Contel, E P

    1977-04-01

    A polymorphic system of ADH isozymes is described in the honeybee Apis mellifera. Three and six different electrophoretic patterns were found, respectively, in drone and worker pupae analysis. The data indicate that the ADH isozymes are controlled by three alleles, Adh-1(1), Adh-1(2), and Adh-1(3). The frequency of the Adh-1 alleles is different in two analyzed subspecies, Apis mellifera adansonii (African bees) and Apis mellifera ligustica (Italian bees). In the African bees, the frequencies are 0.256 and 0.697 for Adh-1(1) and Adh-1(2), respectively. In the Italian bees, these values are shown to be 0.902 and 0.098, respectively. The allele Adh-1(3) was not detected in the Italian bee population. The effect of NAD on the resolution of this system was investigated, and only one region of ADH activity was obtained in drone pupae analysis when NAD was used in the gels. However, two different regions of activity were observed in the same samples, in the absence of the coenzyme. ADH activity was not detected in young larvae, but it increased to a maximum in prepupal and white-eyed pupal phases. It then declined progressively to total absence in the emerging bees.

  11. Induced thiacloprid insensitivity in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) is associated with up-regulation of detoxification genes.

    PubMed

    Alptekin, S; Bass, C; Nicholls, C; Paine, M J I; Clark, S J; Field, L; Moores, G D

    2016-04-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, are markedly less sensitive to neonicotinoid insecticides containing a cyanoimino pharmacophore than to those with a nitroimino group. Although previous work has suggested that this results from enhanced metabolism of the former by detoxification enzymes, the specific enzyme(s) involved remain to be characterized. In this work, a pretreatment of honey bees with a sublethal dose of thiacloprid resulted in induced insensitivity to the same compound immediately following thiacloprid feeding. A longer pretreatment time resulted in no, or increased, sensitivity. Transcriptome profiling, using microarrays, identified a number of genes encoding detoxification enzymes that were over-expressed significantly in insecticide-treated bees compared with untreated controls. These included five P450s, CYP6BE1, CYP305D1, CYP6AS5, CYP315A1, CYP301A1, and a carboxyl/cholinesterase (CCE) CCE8. Four of these P450s were functionally expressed in Escherichia coli and their ability to metabolize thiacloprid examined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis. PMID:26790026

  12. Induced thiacloprid insensitivity in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) is associated with up-regulation of detoxification genes.

    PubMed

    Alptekin, S; Bass, C; Nicholls, C; Paine, M J I; Clark, S J; Field, L; Moores, G D

    2016-04-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, are markedly less sensitive to neonicotinoid insecticides containing a cyanoimino pharmacophore than to those with a nitroimino group. Although previous work has suggested that this results from enhanced metabolism of the former by detoxification enzymes, the specific enzyme(s) involved remain to be characterized. In this work, a pretreatment of honey bees with a sublethal dose of thiacloprid resulted in induced insensitivity to the same compound immediately following thiacloprid feeding. A longer pretreatment time resulted in no, or increased, sensitivity. Transcriptome profiling, using microarrays, identified a number of genes encoding detoxification enzymes that were over-expressed significantly in insecticide-treated bees compared with untreated controls. These included five P450s, CYP6BE1, CYP305D1, CYP6AS5, CYP315A1, CYP301A1, and a carboxyl/cholinesterase (CCE) CCE8. Four of these P450s were functionally expressed in Escherichia coli and their ability to metabolize thiacloprid examined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis.

  13. Rare royal families in honeybees, Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Lattorff, H. Michael G.; Neumann, Peter; Kraus, F. Bernhard; Radloff, Sarah E.; Hepburn, H. Randall

    2005-10-01

    The queen is the dominant female in the honeybee colony, Apis mellifera, and controls reproduction. Queen larvae are selected by the workers and are fed a special diet (royal jelly), which determines caste. Because queens mate with many males a large number of subfamilies coexist in the colony. As a consequence, there is a considerable potential for conflict among the subfamilies over queen rearing. Here we show that honeybee queens are not reared at random but are preferentially reared from rare “royal” subfamilies, which have extremely low frequencies in the colony's worker force but a high frequency in the queens reared.

  14. Physiological and behavioral changes in honey bees (Apis mellifera) induced by Nosema ceranae infection.

    PubMed

    Goblirsch, Mike; Huang, Zachary Y; Spivak, Marla

    2013-01-01

    Persistent exposure to mite pests, poor nutrition, pesticides, and pathogens threaten honey bee survival. In healthy colonies, the interaction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg), and endocrine factor, juvenile hormone (JH), functions as a pacemaker driving the sequence of behaviors that workers perform throughout their lives. Young bees perform nursing duties within the hive and have high Vg and low JH; as older bees transition to foraging, this trend reverses. Pathogens and parasites can alter this regulatory network. For example, infection with the microsporidian, Nosema apis, has been shown to advance behavioral maturation in workers. We investigated the effects of infection with a recent honey bee pathogen on physiological factors underlying the division of labor in workers. Bees infected with N. ceranae were nearly twice as likely to engage in precocious foraging and lived 9 days less, on average, compared to controls. We also show that Vg transcript was low, while JH titer spiked, in infected nurse-aged bees in cages. This pattern of expression is atypical and the reverse of what would be expected for healthy, non-infected bees. Disruption of the basic underpinnings of temporal polyethism due to infection may be a contributing factor to recent high colony mortality, as workers may lose flexibility in their response to colony demands. PMID:23483987

  15. Physiological and behavioral changes in honey bees (Apis mellifera) induced by Nosema ceranae infection.

    PubMed

    Goblirsch, Mike; Huang, Zachary Y; Spivak, Marla

    2013-01-01

    Persistent exposure to mite pests, poor nutrition, pesticides, and pathogens threaten honey bee survival. In healthy colonies, the interaction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg), and endocrine factor, juvenile hormone (JH), functions as a pacemaker driving the sequence of behaviors that workers perform throughout their lives. Young bees perform nursing duties within the hive and have high Vg and low JH; as older bees transition to foraging, this trend reverses. Pathogens and parasites can alter this regulatory network. For example, infection with the microsporidian, Nosema apis, has been shown to advance behavioral maturation in workers. We investigated the effects of infection with a recent honey bee pathogen on physiological factors underlying the division of labor in workers. Bees infected with N. ceranae were nearly twice as likely to engage in precocious foraging and lived 9 days less, on average, compared to controls. We also show that Vg transcript was low, while JH titer spiked, in infected nurse-aged bees in cages. This pattern of expression is atypical and the reverse of what would be expected for healthy, non-infected bees. Disruption of the basic underpinnings of temporal polyethism due to infection may be a contributing factor to recent high colony mortality, as workers may lose flexibility in their response to colony demands.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Morphological alterations induced by boric acid and fipronil in the midgut of worker honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) larvae : Morphological alterations in the midgut of A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    da Silva Cruz, Aline; da Silva-Zacarin, Elaine C M; Bueno, Odair C; Malaspina, Osmar

    2010-04-01

    Morphological alterations, by means of histological and ultrastructural analysis, have been used to determine the effects of boric acid and fipronil on midgut tissues of honeybee worker, Apis mellifera L. larvae. In order to observe possible morphological alterations in the midgut, two groups of bioassays were performed. In the first one, the larvae were chronically treated with different concentrations of boric acid added to the food (1.0, 2.5 and 7.5 mg/g). In the second group, the larvae were fed with diets containing different concentrations of fipronil (0.1 and 1 microg/g) and compared with control groups without these chemical compounds. In the first bioassay, the larvae were collected on day 3 and in the second bioassay on day 4, when the mortality rate obtained in the toxicological bioassay was not very high. The larval midguts were removed and processed for morphological analyses using a light and transmission electron microscopy. We observed cytoplasmic vacuolizations, with the absence of autophagic vacuoles, and chromatinic compacting in most of the cells in the groups treated with pesticides. The morphological alterations were far greater in the larvae treated with boric acid than in the larvae treated with fipronil. Our data suggest that the midgut cell death observed was in response to boric acid and fipronil action. This study significantly improves the understanding of the toxicological effect of these insecticides from the ecotoxicological perspective.

  18. Ecologically Appropriate Xenobiotics Induce Cytochrome P450s in Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Reed M.; Mao, Wenfu; Pollock, Henry S.; Niu, Guodong; Schuler, Mary A.; Berenbaum, May R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Honey bees are exposed to phytochemicals through the nectar, pollen and propolis consumed to sustain the colony. They may also encounter mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fungi infesting pollen in beebread. Moreover, bees are exposed to agricultural pesticides, particularly in-hive acaricides used against the parasite Varroa destructor. They cope with these and other xenobiotics primarily through enzymatic detoxificative processes, but the regulation of detoxificative enzymes in honey bees remains largely unexplored. Methodology/Principal Findings We used several approaches to ascertain effects of dietary toxins on bee susceptibility to synthetic and natural xenobiotics, including the acaricide tau-fluvalinate, the agricultural pesticide imidacloprid, and the naturally occurring mycotoxin aflatoxin. We administered potential inducers of cytochrome P450 enzymes, the principal biochemical system for Phase 1 detoxification in insects, to investigate how detoxification is regulated. The drug phenobarbital induces P450s in many insects, yet feeding bees with phenobarbital had no effect on the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate, a pesticide known to be detoxified by bee P450s. Similarly, no P450 induction, as measured by tau-fluvalinate tolerance, occurred in bees fed xanthotoxin, salicylic acid, or indole-3-carbinol, all of which induce P450s in other insects. Only quercetin, a common pollen and honey constituent, reduced tau-fluvalinate toxicity. In microarray comparisons no change in detoxificative gene expression was detected in phenobarbital-treated bees. However, northern blot analyses of guts of bees fed extracts of honey, pollen and propolis showed elevated expression of three CYP6AS P450 genes. Diet did not influence tau-fluvalinate or imidacloprid toxicity in bioassays; however, aflatoxin toxicity was higher in bees consuming sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup than in bees consuming honey. Conclusions/Significance These results suggest that regulation of

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  1. The Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus Genome

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Laurent; Cornman, Scott; Hartmann, Ulrike; Cousserans, François; Evans, Jay D.; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Neumann, Peter

    2015-01-01

    A complete reference genome of the Apis mellifera Filamentous virus (AmFV) was determined using Illumina Hiseq sequencing. The AmFV genome is a double stranded DNA molecule of approximately 498,500 nucleotides with a GC content of 50.8%. It encompasses 247 non-overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), equally distributed on both strands, which cover 65% of the genome. While most of the ORFs lacked threshold sequence alignments to reference protein databases, twenty-eight were found to display significant homologies with proteins present in other large double stranded DNA viruses. Remarkably, 13 ORFs had strong similarity with typical baculovirus domains such as PIFs (per os infectivity factor genes: pif-1, pif-2, pif-3 and p74) and BRO (Baculovirus Repeated Open Reading Frame). The putative AmFV DNA polymerase is of type B, but is only distantly related to those of the baculoviruses. The ORFs encoding proteins involved in nucleotide metabolism had the highest percent identity to viral proteins in GenBank. Other notable features include the presence of several collagen-like, chitin-binding, kinesin and pacifastin domains. Due to the large size of the AmFV genome and the inconsistent affiliation with other large double stranded DNA virus families infecting invertebrates, AmFV may belong to a new virus family. PMID:26184284

  2. The Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus Genome.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Laurent; Cornman, Scott; Hartmann, Ulrike; Cousserans, François; Evans, Jay D; de Miranda, Joachim R; Neumann, Peter

    2015-07-01

    A complete reference genome of the Apis mellifera Filamentous virus (AmFV) was determined using Illumina Hiseq sequencing. The AmFV genome is a double stranded DNA molecule of approximately 498,500 nucleotides with a GC content of 50.8%. It encompasses 247 non-overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), equally distributed on both strands, which cover 65% of the genome. While most of the ORFs lacked threshold sequence alignments to reference protein databases, twenty-eight were found to display significant homologies with proteins present in other large double stranded DNA viruses. Remarkably, 13 ORFs had strong similarity with typical baculovirus domains such as PIFs (per os infectivity factor genes: pif-1, pif-2, pif-3 and p74) and BRO (Baculovirus Repeated Open Reading Frame). The putative AmFV DNA polymerase is of type B, but is only distantly related to those of the baculoviruses. The ORFs encoding proteins involved in nucleotide metabolism had the highest percent identity to viral proteins in GenBank. Other notable features include the presence of several collagen-like, chitin-binding, kinesin and pacifastin domains. Due to the large size of the AmFV genome and the inconsistent affiliation with other large double stranded DNA virus families infecting invertebrates, AmFV may belong to a new virus family.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Standard methods for research on apis mellifera gut symbionts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gut microbes can play an important role in digestion, disease resistance, and the general health of animals, but little is known about the biology of gut symbionts in Apis mellifera. This paper is part of a series on honey bee research methods, providing protocols for studying gut symbionts. We desc...

  5. Standard methods for research on Apis mellifera gut symbionts

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gut microbes can play an important role in digestion, disease resistance, and the general health of animals, but little is known about the biology of gut symbionts in Apis mellifera. This paper is part of a series on honey bee research methods, providing protocols for studying gut symbionts. We desc...

  6. Standard methods for Apis mellifera anatomy and dissection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An understanding of the anatomy and functions of internal and external structures are fundamental to many studies on the honey bee Apis mellifera. Similarly, proficiency in dissection techniques is vital for many more complex procedures. In this paper, which is a prelude to the other papers of the C...

  7. Fertile diploid drones in africanized honeybees, Apis mellifera adansonii.

    PubMed

    Chaud-Netto, J

    1977-02-15

    59 diploid drones of Apis mellifera adansonii, 12-37 days old, were tested for the presence of semen after provoked ejaculation; 13 drones ejaculated semen enough to be used in an instrumental insemination, but only three on them (5%) furnished 1 mm3 of semen. The problems referring to the attainment of descendants from the 2n drones are briefly discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  9. The effect of induced queen replacement on Nosema spp. infection in honey bee (Apis mellifera iberiensis) colonies.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Días, Joyce; García-Palencia, Pilar; Matabuena, María; Juarranz, Angeles; Barrios, Laura; Meana, Aránzazu; Nanetti, Antonio; Higes, Mariano

    2012-04-01

    Microsporidiosis of adult honeybees caused by Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae is a common worldwide disease with negative impacts on colony strength and productivity. Few options are available to control the disease at present. The role of the queen in bee population renewal and the replacement of bee losses due to Nosema infection is vital to maintain colony homeostasis. Younger queens have a greater egg laying potential and they produce a greater proportion of uninfected newly eclosed bees to compensate for adult bee losses; hence, a field study was performed to determine the effect of induced queen replacement on Nosema infection in honey bee colonies, focusing on colony strength and honey production. In addition, the impact of long-term Nosema infection of a colony on the ovaries and ventriculus of the queen was evaluated. Queen replacement resulted in a remarkable decrease in the rates of Nosema infection, comparable with that induced by fumagillin treatment. However, detrimental effects on the overall colony state were observed due to the combined effects of stressors such as the queenless condition, lack of brood and high infection rates. The ovaries and ventriculi of queens in infected colonies revealed no signs of Nosema infection and there were no lesions in ovarioles or epithelial ventricular cells.

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

    PubMed

    Fries, Ingemar

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Draft genome sequence of the Algerian bee Apis mellifera intermissa

    PubMed Central

    Haddad, Nizar Jamal; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida; Adjlane, Noureddine; Saini, Deepti; Manchiganti, Rushiraj; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; AlShagoor, Banan; Batainh, Ahmed Mahmud; Mugasimangalam, Raja

    2015-01-01

    Apis mellifera intermissa is the native honeybee subspecies of Algeria. A. m. intermissa occurs in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, between the Atlas and the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. This bee is very important due to its high ability to adapt to great variations in climatic conditions and due to its preferable cleaning behavior. Here we report the draft genome sequence of this honey bee, its Whole Genome Shotgun project has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank under the accession JSUV00000000. The 240-Mb genome is being annotated and analyzed. Comparison with the genome of other Apis mellifera sub-species promises to yield insights into the evolution of adaptations to high temperature and resistance to Varroa parasite infestation. PMID:26484171

  13. 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.

  14. Nosema ceranae in drone honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Traver, Brenna E; Fell, Richard D

    2011-07-01

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian intracellular parasite of honey bees, Apis mellifera. Previously Nosema apis was thought to be the only cause of nosemosis, but it has recently been proposed that N. ceranae is displacing N. apis. The rapid spread of N. ceranae could be due to additional transmission mechanisms, as well as higher infectivity. We analyzed drones for N. ceranae infections using duplex qPCR with species specific primers and probes. We found that both immature and mature drones are infected with N. ceranae at low levels. This is the first report detecting N. ceranae in immature bees. Our data suggest that because drones are known to drift from their parent hives to other hives, they could provide a means for disease spread within and between apiaries. PMID:21621543

  15. Population Genetics of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae: One Host (Apis mellifera) and Two Different Histories.

    PubMed

    Maside, Xulio; Gómez-Moracho, Tamara; Jara, Laura; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; De la Rúa, Pilar; Higes, Mariano; Bartolomé, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Two microsporidians are known to infect honey bees: Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Whereas population genetics data for the latter have been released in the last few years, such information is still missing for N. apis. Here we analyze the patterns of nucleotide polymorphism at three single-copy loci (PTP2, PTP3 and RPB1) in a collection of Apis mellifera isolates from all over the world, naturally infected either with N. apis (N = 22) or N. ceranae (N = 23), to provide new insights into the genetic diversity, demography and evolution of N. apis, as well as to compare them with evidence from N. ceranae. Neutral variation in N. apis and N. ceranae is of the order of 1%. This amount of diversity suggests that there is no substantial differentiation between the genetic content of the two nuclei present in these parasites, and evidence for genetic recombination provides a putative mechanism for the flow of genetic information between chromosomes. The analysis of the frequency spectrum of neutral variants reveals a significant surplus of low frequency variants, particularly in N. ceranae, and suggests that the populations of the two pathogens are not in mutation-drift equilibrium and that they have experienced a population expansion. Most of the variation in both species occurs within honey bee colonies (between 62%-90% of the total genetic variance), although in N. apis there is evidence for differentiation between parasites isolated from distinct A. mellifera lineages (20%-34% of the total variance), specifically between those collected from lineages A and C (or M). This scenario is consistent with a long-term host-parasite relationship and contrasts with the lack of differentiation observed among host-lineages in N. ceranae (< 4% of the variance), which suggests that the spread of this emergent pathogen throughout the A. mellifera worldwide population is a recent event.

  16. Population Genetics of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae: One Host (Apis mellifera) and Two Different Histories

    PubMed Central

    Maside, Xulio; Gómez-Moracho, Tamara; Jara, Laura; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; De la Rúa, Pilar; Higes, Mariano; Bartolomé, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Two microsporidians are known to infect honey bees: Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Whereas population genetics data for the latter have been released in the last few years, such information is still missing for N. apis. Here we analyze the patterns of nucleotide polymorphism at three single-copy loci (PTP2, PTP3 and RPB1) in a collection of Apis mellifera isolates from all over the world, naturally infected either with N. apis (N = 22) or N. ceranae (N = 23), to provide new insights into the genetic diversity, demography and evolution of N. apis, as well as to compare them with evidence from N. ceranae. Neutral variation in N. apis and N. ceranae is of the order of 1%. This amount of diversity suggests that there is no substantial differentiation between the genetic content of the two nuclei present in these parasites, and evidence for genetic recombination provides a putative mechanism for the flow of genetic information between chromosomes. The analysis of the frequency spectrum of neutral variants reveals a significant surplus of low frequency variants, particularly in N. ceranae, and suggests that the populations of the two pathogens are not in mutation-drift equilibrium and that they have experienced a population expansion. Most of the variation in both species occurs within honey bee colonies (between 62%-90% of the total genetic variance), although in N. apis there is evidence for differentiation between parasites isolated from distinct A. mellifera lineages (20%-34% of the total variance), specifically between those collected from lineages A and C (or M). This scenario is consistent with a long-term host-parasite relationship and contrasts with the lack of differentiation observed among host-lineages in N. ceranae (< 4% of the variance), which suggests that the spread of this emergent pathogen throughout the A. mellifera worldwide population is a recent event. PMID:26720131

  17. Population Genetics of Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae: One Host (Apis mellifera) and Two Different Histories.

    PubMed

    Maside, Xulio; Gómez-Moracho, Tamara; Jara, Laura; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; De la Rúa, Pilar; Higes, Mariano; Bartolomé, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    Two microsporidians are known to infect honey bees: Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Whereas population genetics data for the latter have been released in the last few years, such information is still missing for N. apis. Here we analyze the patterns of nucleotide polymorphism at three single-copy loci (PTP2, PTP3 and RPB1) in a collection of Apis mellifera isolates from all over the world, naturally infected either with N. apis (N = 22) or N. ceranae (N = 23), to provide new insights into the genetic diversity, demography and evolution of N. apis, as well as to compare them with evidence from N. ceranae. Neutral variation in N. apis and N. ceranae is of the order of 1%. This amount of diversity suggests that there is no substantial differentiation between the genetic content of the two nuclei present in these parasites, and evidence for genetic recombination provides a putative mechanism for the flow of genetic information between chromosomes. The analysis of the frequency spectrum of neutral variants reveals a significant surplus of low frequency variants, particularly in N. ceranae, and suggests that the populations of the two pathogens are not in mutation-drift equilibrium and that they have experienced a population expansion. Most of the variation in both species occurs within honey bee colonies (between 62%-90% of the total genetic variance), although in N. apis there is evidence for differentiation between parasites isolated from distinct A. mellifera lineages (20%-34% of the total variance), specifically between those collected from lineages A and C (or M). This scenario is consistent with a long-term host-parasite relationship and contrasts with the lack of differentiation observed among host-lineages in N. ceranae (< 4% of the variance), which suggests that the spread of this emergent pathogen throughout the A. mellifera worldwide population is a recent event. PMID:26720131

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Comb construction in mixed-species colonies of honeybees, Apis cerana and Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ming-Xian; Tan, Ken; Radloff, Sarah E; Phiancharoen, Mananya; Hepburn, H Randall

    2010-05-01

    Comb building in mixed-species colonies of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera was studied. Two types of cell-size foundation were made from the waxes of these species and inserted into mixed colonies headed either by an A. cerana or an A. mellifera queen. The colonies did not discriminate between the waxes but the A. cerana cell-size foundation was modified during comb building by the workers of both species. In pure A. cerana colonies workers did not accept any foundation but secreted wax and built on foundation in mixed colonies. Comb building is performed by small groups of workers through a mechanism of self-organisation. The two species cooperate in comb building and construct nearly normal combs but they contain many irregular cells. In pure A. mellifera colonies, the A. cerana cell size was modified and the queens were reluctant to lay eggs on such combs. In pure A. cerana colonies, the A. mellifera cell size was built without any modification but these cells were used either for drone brood rearing or for food storing. The principal elements of comb-building behaviour are common to both species, which indicates that they evolved prior to and were conserved after speciation.

  1. Physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Malaysian honeys produced by Apis cerana, Apis dorsata and Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The aim of the present study was to evaluate the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Malaysian monofloral honey samples—acacia, pineapple and borneo honey—and compare them with tualang honey. Acacia and pineapple honey are produced by Apis mellifera bees while borneo and tualang honey are produced by Apis cerana and Apis dorsata bees, respectively. Methods The physical parameters of honey, such as pH, moisture content, electrical conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), color intensity, total sugar and apparent sucrose content, were measured. Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) was measured using high performance liquid chromatography, and a number of biochemical and antioxidant tests were performed to determine the antioxidant properties of the honey samples. Results Acacia honey was the most acidic (pH 3.53), whereas pineapple honey had the lowest moisture content (14.86%), indicating that both types of honey can resist microbial spoilage more effectively when compared to tualang honey (pH 3.80 and 17.53% moisture content). Acacia honey contained the highest EC (0.76 mS/cm), whereas borneo honey had the highest (377 ppm) TDS. The mean HMF content in Malaysian honey was 35.98 mg/kg. Tualang honey, which is amber color, had the highest color intensity (544.33 mAU). Acacia honey is the sweetest, and contained the highest concentration of total sugar, reducing sugar and apparent sucrose. Tualang honey had the highest concentration of phenolic compounds (352.73 ± 0.81 mg galic acid/kg), flavonoids (65.65 ± 0.74 mg catechin/kg), DPPH (59.89%), FRAP values (576.91 ± 0.64 μM Fe (II)/100 g) and protein content (4.83 ± 0.02 g/kg) as well as the lowest AEAC values (244.10 ± 5.24 mg/kg), indicating its strong antioxidant properties. Proline, an important amino acid that is present in honey was also measured in the present study and it was found at the highest concentration in pineapple honey. Several strong correlations were found among the

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-10

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

  3. Genetic variation in natural honeybee populations, Apis mellifera capensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepburn, Randall; Neumann, Peter; Radloff, Sarah E.

    2004-09-01

    Genetic variation in honeybee, Apis mellifera, populations can be considerably influenced by breeding and commercial introductions, especially in areas with abundant beekeeping. However, in southern Africa apiculture is based on the capture of wild swarms, and queen rearing is virtually absent. Moreover, the introduction of European subspecies constantly failed in the Cape region. We therefore hypothesize a low human impact on genetic variation in populations of Cape honeybees, Apis mellifera capensis. A novel solution to studying genetic variation in honeybee populations based on thelytokous worker reproduction is applied to test this hypothesis. Environmental effects on metrical morphological characters of the phenotype are separated to obtain a genetic residual component. The genetic residuals are then re-calculated as coefficients of genetic variation. Characters measured included hair length on the abdomen, width and length of wax plate, and three wing angles. The data show for the first time that genetic variation in Cape honeybee populations is independent of beekeeping density and probably reflects naturally occurring processes such as gene flow due to topographic and climatic variation on a microscale.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Differential viral levels and immune gene expression in three stocks of Apis mellifera induced by different numbers of Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Khongphinitbunjong, Kitiphong; de Guzman, Lilia I; Tarver, Matthew R; Rinderer, Thomas E; Chen, Yanping; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2015-01-01

    The viral levels and immune responses of Italian honey bees (IHB), Russian honey bees (RHB) and an outcross of Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees (POL) deliberately infested with one or two foundress Varroa were compared. We found that the Deformed wing virus (DWV) level in IHB inoculated with one or two foundress Varroa increased to about 10(3) or 10(5) fold the levels of their uninfested brood. In contrast, POL (10(2) or 10(4) fold) and RHB (10(2) or l0(4) fold) supported a lower increase in DWV levels. The feeding of different stages of Varroa nymphs did not increase DWV levels of their pupal hosts. Analyses of their corresponding Varroa mites showed the same trends: two foundress Varroa yielded higher DWV levels than one foundress, and the addition of nymphs did not increase viral levels. Using the same pupae examined for the presence of viruses, 16 out of 24 genes evaluated showed significant differential mRNA expression levels among the three honey bee stocks. However, only four genes (Defensin, Dscam, PPOact and spaetzle), which were expressed at similar levels in uninfested pupae, were altered by the number of feeding foundress Varroa and levels of DWV regardless of stocks. This research provides the first evidence that immune response profiles of different honey bee stocks are induced by Varroa parasitism.

  6. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    of fipronil demonstrates that toxicity evaluation requires information on multiple endpoints (e.g. long term survival) to fully address pesticides risks for honeybees. Pyrethroid-induced locomotor deficits are discussed in light of recent advances regarding their mode of action on honeybee ion channels and current structure-function studies. PMID:26659095

  7. A Locomotor Deficit Induced by Sublethal Doses of Pyrethroid and Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the Honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Charreton, Mercédès; Decourtye, Axel; Henry, Mickaël; Rodet, Guy; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Charnet, Pierre; Collet, Claude

    2015-01-01

    fipronil demonstrates that toxicity evaluation requires information on multiple endpoints (e.g. long term survival) to fully address pesticides risks for honeybees. Pyrethroid-induced locomotor deficits are discussed in light of recent advances regarding their mode of action on honeybee ion channels and current structure-function studies.

  8. Inhibiting DNA methylation alters olfactory extinction but not acquisition learning in Apis cerana and Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Gong, Zhiwen; Wang, Chao; Nieh, James C; Tan, Ken

    2016-07-01

    DNA methylation plays a key role in invertebrate acquisition and extinction memory. Honey bees have excellent olfactory learning, but the role of DNA methylation in memory formation has, to date, only been studied in Apis mellifera. We inhibited DNA methylation by inhibiting DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) with zebularine (zeb) and studied the resulting effects upon olfactory acquisition and extinction memory in two honey bee species, Apis cerana and A. mellifera. We used the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay to measure memory. We provide the first demonstration that DNA methylation is also important in the olfactory extinction learning of A. cerana. DNMT did not reduce acquisition learning in either species. However, zeb bidirectionally and differentially altered extinction learning in both species. In particular, zeb provided 1h before acquisition learning improved extinction memory retention in A. mellifera, but reduced extinction memory retention in A. cerana. The reasons for these differences are unclear, but provide a basis for future studies to explore species-specific differences in the effects of methylation on memory formation. PMID:27262427

  9. Inhibiting DNA methylation alters olfactory extinction but not acquisition learning in Apis cerana and Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Gong, Zhiwen; Wang, Chao; Nieh, James C; Tan, Ken

    2016-07-01

    DNA methylation plays a key role in invertebrate acquisition and extinction memory. Honey bees have excellent olfactory learning, but the role of DNA methylation in memory formation has, to date, only been studied in Apis mellifera. We inhibited DNA methylation by inhibiting DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) with zebularine (zeb) and studied the resulting effects upon olfactory acquisition and extinction memory in two honey bee species, Apis cerana and A. mellifera. We used the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay to measure memory. We provide the first demonstration that DNA methylation is also important in the olfactory extinction learning of A. cerana. DNMT did not reduce acquisition learning in either species. However, zeb bidirectionally and differentially altered extinction learning in both species. In particular, zeb provided 1h before acquisition learning improved extinction memory retention in A. mellifera, but reduced extinction memory retention in A. cerana. The reasons for these differences are unclear, but provide a basis for future studies to explore species-specific differences in the effects of methylation on memory formation.

  10. Sperm-mediated transformation of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Robinson, K O; Ferguson, H J; Cobey, S; Vaessin, H; Smith, B H

    2000-12-01

    Our primary objective was to identify techniques to transform the genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) with foreign DNA constructs. The strategy we adopted was to linearize foreign DNA and introduce it with sperm during the instrumental insemination of virgin queen honey bees. We analysed extracts from larvae within the same cohort and isolated the predicted fragment by means of PCR amplification of genomic DNA. Larvae that carried the construct also expressed the introduced DNA. We propagated several transgenic lines for up to three generations, which demonstrates its heritability. Once carried by a queen, the construct can be detected in that queen's larvae over several months. However, there was no evidence of integration of the construct, at least as determined by genomic Southern analysis. Nevertheless, this demonstrates the general viability of the technique for introduction of DNA, and it should be augmented by further use of transposable elements that enhance integration. PMID:11122471

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-09-01

    In the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis, workers lay female eggs without mating by thelytokous parthenogenesis. As a result, workers are as related to worker-laid eggs as they are to queen-laid eggs and therefore worker policing is expected to be lower, or even absent. This was tested by transferring worker- and queen-laid eggs into three queenright A. m. capensis discriminator colonies and monitoring their removal. Our results show that worker policing is variable in A. m. capensis and that in one colony worker-laid eggs were not removed. This is the first report of a non-policing queenright honey bee colony. DNA microsatellite and morphometric analysis suggests that the racial composition of the three discriminator colonies was different. The variation in policing rates could be explained by differences in degrees of hybridisation between A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata, although a larger survey is needed to confirm this.

  12. Pheromonal contest between honeybee workers ( Apis mellifera capensis)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, R. F. A.; Simon, U. E.; Crewe, R. M.

    2000-10-01

    Queenless workers of the Cape honeybee ( Apis mellifera capensis) can develop into reproductives termed pseudoqueens. Although they morphologically remain workers they become physiologically queenlike, produce offspring, and secrete mandibular gland pheromones similar to those of true queens. However, after queen loss only very few workers gain pseudoqueen status. A strong intracolonial selection governs which workers start oviposition and which remain sterile. The "queen substance", 9-keto-2(E)-decenoic acid (9-ODA), the dominant compound of the queen's mandibular gland pheromones, suppresses the secretion of queenlike mandibular gland pheromones in workers. It may act as an important signal in pseudoqueen selection. By analysing the mandibular gland pheromones of workers kept in pairs, we found that A. m. capensis workers compete to produce the strongest queen-like signal.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Outcome of Colonization of Apis mellifera by Nosema ceranae▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    A multiplex PCR-based method, in which two small-subunit rRNA regions are simultaneously amplified in a single reaction, was designed for parallel detection of honeybee microsporidians (Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae). Each of two pairs of primers exclusively amplified the 16S rRNA targeted gene of a specific microsporidian. The multiplex PCR assay was useful for specific detection of the two species of microsporidians related to bee nosemosis, not only in purified spores but also in honeybee homogenates and in naturally infected bees. The multiplex PCR assay was also able to detect coinfections by the two species. Screening of bee samples from Spain, Switzerland, France, and Germany using the PCR technique revealed a greater presence of N. ceranae than of N. apis in Europe, although both species are widely distributed. From the year 2000 onward, statistically significant differences have been found in the proportions of Nosema spp. spore-positive samples collected between and within years. In the first period examined (1999 to 2002), the smallest number of samples diagnosed as Nosema positive was found during the summer months, showing clear seasonality in the diagnosis, which is characteristic of N. apis. From 2003 onward a change in the tendency resulted in an increase in Nosema-positive samples in all months until 2005, when a total absence of seasonality was detected. A significant causative association between the presence of N. ceranae and hive depopulation clearly indicates that the colonization of Apis mellifera by N. ceranae is related to bee losses. PMID:17675417

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

  18. Prochloraz and coumaphos induce different gene expression patterns in three developmental stages of the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann).

    PubMed

    Cizelj, Ivanka; Glavan, Gordana; Božič, Janko; Oven, Irena; Mrak, Vesna; Narat, Mojca

    2016-03-01

    The Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, is a Slovenian autochthonous subspecies of honey bee. In recent years, the country has recorded an annual loss of bee colonies through mortality of up to 35%. One possible reason for such high mortality could be the exposure of honey bees to xenobiotic residues that have been found in honey bee and beehive products. Acaricides are applied by beekeepers to control varroosis, while the most abundant common agricultural chemicals found in honey bee and beehive products are fungicides, which may enter the system when applied to nearby flowering crops and fruit plants. Acaricides and fungicides are not intrinsically highly toxic to bees but their action in combination might lead to higher honey bee sensitivity or mortality. In the present study we investigated the molecular immune response of honey bee workers at different developmental stages (prepupa, white-eyed pupa, adult) exposed to the acaricide coumaphos and the fungicide prochloraz individually and in combination. Expression of 17 immune-related genes was examined by quantitative RT-PCR. In treated prepupae downregulation of most immune-related genes was observed in all treatments, while in adults upregulation of most of the genes was recorded. Our study shows for the first time that negative impacts of prochloraz and a combination of coumaphos and prochloraz differ among the different developmental stages of honey bees. The main effect of the xenobiotic combination was found to be upregulation of the antimicrobial peptide genes abaecin and defensin-1 in adult honey bees. Changes in immune-related gene expression could result in depressed immunity of honey bees and their increased susceptibility to various pathogens. PMID:26969442

  19. [Genetic Differentiation of Local Populations of the Dark European Bee Apis mellifera mellifera L. in the Urals].

    PubMed

    Il'yasov, R A; Poskryakov, A V; Petukhov, A V; Nikolenko, A G

    2015-07-01

    For the last two centuries, beekeepers in Russia and Europe have been introducing bees from the southern regions to the northern ones, subjecting the genetic pool of the dark European bee Apis mellifera mellifera L. subspecies to extensive hybridization. In order to reconfirm on the genetic level the previously published morphological data on the native bee population in the Urals, the Bashkortostan Republic, and the Perm Krai, we analyzed the polymorphism of the mitochondrial (mtDNA COI-COII intergenic locus) and nuclear (two microsatellite loci, ap243 and 4a110) DNA markers. Four local populations of the dark European bee A. m. mellifera surviving in the Urals have been identified, and their principal genetic characteristics have been determined. Data on the genetic structure and geographical localization of the areals of the dark European bee local populations in the Urals may be of use in restoring the damaged genetic pool of A. m. mellifera in Russia and other northern countries.

  20. Microsporidia infecting Apis mellifera: coexistence or competition. Is Nosema ceranae replacing Nosema apis?

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

    Nosema ceranae has been suggested to be replacing Nosema apis in some populations of Apis mellifera honeybees. However, this replacement from one to the other is not supported when studying the distribution and prevalence of both microsporidia in professional apiaries in Spanish territories (transverse study), their seasonal pattern in experimental hives with co-infection or their prevalence at individual level (either in worker bees or drones). Nevertheless, N.ceranae has shown to present a higher prevalence at all the studied levels that could indicate any advantage for its development over N.apis or that it is more adapted to Spanish conditions. Also, both microsporidia show a different pattern of preference for its development according to the prevalence in the different Spanish bioclimatic belts studied. Finally, the fact that all analyses were carried out using an Internal PCR Control (IPC) newly developed guarantees the confidence of the data extracted from the PCR analyses. This IPC provides a useful tool for laboratory detection of honeybee pathogens.

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

    PubMed

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Erik M K; Amdam, Gro V

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2010-03-01

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

  7. Activity of telomerase and telomeric length in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Korandová, Michala; Frydrychová, Radmila Čapková

    2016-06-01

    Telomerase is an enzyme that adds repeats of DNA sequences to the ends of chromosomes, thereby preventing their shortening. Telomerase activity is associated with proliferative status of cells, organismal development, and aging. We report an analysis of telomerase activity and telomere length in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Telomerase activity was found to be regulated in a development and caste-specific manner. During the development of somatic tissues of larval drones and workers, telomerase activity declined to 10 % of its level in embryos and remained low during pupal and adult stages but was upregulated in testes of late pupae, where it reached 70 % of the embryo level. Upregulation of telomerase activity was observed in the ovaries of late pupal queens, reaching 160 % of the level in embryos. Compared to workers and drones, queens displayed higher levels of telomerase activity. In the third larval instar of queens, telomerase activity reached the embryo level, and an enormous increase was observed in adult brains of queens, showing a 70-fold increase compared to a brain of an adult worker. Southern hybridization of terminal TTAGG fragments revealed a high variability of telomeric length between different individuals, although the same pattern of hybridization signals was observed in different tissues of each individual.

  8. Synergistic interactions between in-hive miticides in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M; Pollock, Henry S; Berenbaum, May R

    2009-04-01

    The varroa mite, Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, is a devastating pest of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., that has been primarily controlled over the last 15 yr with two in-hive miticides: the organophosphate coumaphos (Checkmite+), and the pyrethroid tau-fluvalinate (Apistan). Both coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate are lipophilic compounds that are absorbed by the wax component of the hive, where they are stable and have the potential to build up over repeated treatments such that bees could be exposed to both compounds simultaneously. Although these compounds were chosen as in-hive miticides due to their low toxicity to honey bees, that low toxicity depends, at least in part, on rapid detoxification mediated by cytochrome P450 monooxygenase enzymes (P450s). In this laboratory study, we observed a large increase in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate to 3-d-old bees that had been treated previously with coumaphos, and a moderate increase in the toxicity of coumpahos in bees treated previously with tau-fluvalinate. The observed synergism may result from competition between miticides for access to detoxicative P450s. These results suggest that honey bee mortality may occur with the application of otherwise sublethal doses of miticide when tau-fluvalinate and coumaphos are simultaneously present in the hive. PMID:19449624

  9. 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.

  10. Activity of telomerase and telomeric length in Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Korandová, Michala; Frydrychová, Radmila Čapková

    2016-06-01

    Telomerase is an enzyme that adds repeats of DNA sequences to the ends of chromosomes, thereby preventing their shortening. Telomerase activity is associated with proliferative status of cells, organismal development, and aging. We report an analysis of telomerase activity and telomere length in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Telomerase activity was found to be regulated in a development and caste-specific manner. During the development of somatic tissues of larval drones and workers, telomerase activity declined to 10 % of its level in embryos and remained low during pupal and adult stages but was upregulated in testes of late pupae, where it reached 70 % of the embryo level. Upregulation of telomerase activity was observed in the ovaries of late pupal queens, reaching 160 % of the level in embryos. Compared to workers and drones, queens displayed higher levels of telomerase activity. In the third larval instar of queens, telomerase activity reached the embryo level, and an enormous increase was observed in adult brains of queens, showing a 70-fold increase compared to a brain of an adult worker. Southern hybridization of terminal TTAGG fragments revealed a high variability of telomeric length between different individuals, although the same pattern of hybridization signals was observed in different tissues of each individual. PMID:26490169

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Apoptosis is not only pivotal for development, but also for pathogen defence in multicellular organisms. Although numerous intracellular pathogens are known to interfere with the host’s apoptotic machinery to overcome this defence, its importance for host-parasite coevolution has been neglected. We conducted three inoculation experiments to investigate in the apoptotic respond during infection with the intracellular gut pathogen Nosema ceranae, which is considered as potential global threat to the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and other bee pollinators, in sensitive and tolerant honeybees. To explore apoptotic processes in the gut epithelium, we visualised apoptotic cells using TUNEL assays and measured the relative expression levels of subset of candidate genes involved in the apoptotic machinery using qPCR. Our results suggest that N. ceranae reduces apoptosis in sensitive honeybees by enhancing inhibitor of apoptosis protein-(iap)-2 gene transcription. Interestingly, this seems not be the case in Nosema tolerant honeybees. We propose that these tolerant honeybees are able to escape the manipulation of apoptosis by N. ceranae, which may have evolved a mechanism to regulate an anti-apoptotic gene as key adaptation for improved host invasion. PMID:26445372

  12. First detection of Apis mellifera filamentous virus in Apis cerana cerana in China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Chunsheng; Li, Beibei; Luo, Yuexiong; Deng, Shuai; Diao, Qingyun

    2016-07-01

    Although many honey bee RNA viruses have been correlated with colony declines, little is known regarding the potential role of DNA viruses. Here, we examined seemingly healthy and crawling bee samples from China using PCR to identify whether Apis mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) was present in A. cerana cerana. The highest AmFV infection percentage among Chinese provinces occurred in crawling bees from Gansu province (85.48%), and the lowest was in bees from Beijing (31.58%). A phylogenetic analysis showed that the Chinese isolate of AmFV exhibited a high genetic similarity with isolates from Belgium, Switzerland and USA. This is the first report of AmFV infections in Chinese A. cerana cerana populations. PMID:27369386

  13. Study of the obp5 gene in Apis mellifera ligustica and Apis cerana cerana.

    PubMed

    Zhao, H X; Zeng, X N; Liang, Q; Zhang, X F; Huang, W Z; Chen, H S; Luo, Y X

    2015-01-01

    Apis mellifera ligustica and A. cerana cerana exhibit differences in olfactory sensitivity to odors from nectariferous plants and diseased broods. It is presumed that the differences in odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) between these 2 species contribute to their olfactory sensitivity. We compared the sequences, temporal expression pattern, and binding properties of the 2 OBP-encoding genes. We cloned the Amobp5 and Acobp5 genes. Among the ligands tested, phenethyl acetate was the most variable, with AcOBP5 showing high affinity and AmOBP5 having no apparent affinity for this ligand. While AmOBP5 had high affinity to both benzyl alcohol and 2-phenylethanol, the binding affinity of AcOBP5 to these compounds was moderate. However, the fluorescence intensity of these compounds was not decreased below 50%; thus, the dissociation constants could not be calculated. The Amobp5 gene showed significantly higher expression in 10- and 15-day-old workers than in other stages, while the Acobp5 gene had the highest expression in 30-day-old workers. Both the Amobp5 and Acobp5 genes had the lowest expression level in 1-day-old workers. These results suggest that the binding properties and temporal expression patterns of the obp5 genes in A. mellifera and A. cerana play a critical role in the olfactory sensitivity of workers. PMID:26125853

  14. Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    2007-01-01

    Here we report the genome sequence of the honeybee Apis mellifera, a key model for social behaviour and essential to global ecology through pollination. Compared with other sequenced insect genomes, the A. mellifera genome has high A+T and CpG contents, lacks major transposon families, evolves more slowly, and is more similar to vertebrates for circadian rhythm, RNA interference and DNA methylation genes, among others. Furthermore, A. mellifera has fewer genes for innate immunity, detoxification enzymes, cuticle-forming proteins and gustatory receptors, more genes for odorant receptors, and novel genes for nectar and pollen utilization, consistent with its ecology and social organization. Compared to Drosophila, genes in early developmental pathways differ in Apis, whereas similarities exist for functions that differ markedly, such as sex determination, brain function and behaviour. Population genetics suggests a novel African origin for the species A. mellifera and insights into whether Africanized bees spread throughout the New World via hybridization or displacement. PMID:17073008

  15. Antibacterial Activity of a Cardanol from Thai Apis mellifera Propolis

    PubMed Central

    Boonsai, Pattaraporn; Phuwapraisirisan, Preecha; Chanchao, Chanpen

    2014-01-01

    Background: Propolis is a sticky, dark brown resinous residue made by bees that is derived from plant resins. It is used to construct and repair the nest, and in addition possesses several diverse bioactivities. Here, propolis from Apis mellifera from Nan province, Thailand, was tested for antibacterial activity against Gram+ve (Staphylococcus aureus and Paenibacillus larvae) and Gram-ve (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Materials and methods: The three bacterial isolates were confirmed for species designation by Gram staining and analysis of the partial sequence of 16S rDNA. Propolis was sequentially extracted by methanol, dichloromethane and hexane. The antibacterial activity was determined by agar well diffusion and microbroth dilution assays using streptomycin as a positive control. The most active crude extract was further purified by quick column and adsorption chromatography. The apparent purity of each bioactive fraction was tested by thin layer chromatography. The chemical structure of the isolated bioactive compound was analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Results: Crude methanol extract of propolis showed the best antibacterial activity with a minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) value of 5 mg/mL for S. aureus and E. coli and 6.25 mg/mL for P. larvae. After quick column chromatography, only three active fractions were inhibitory to the growth of S. aureus and E. coli with MIC values of 6.25 and 31.3 µg/mL, respectively. Further adsorption chromatography yielded one pure bioactive fraction (A1A) with an IC50 value of 0.175 µg/mL for E. coli and 0.683 µg/mL for P. larvae, and was determined to be cardanol by NMR analysis. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed unusual shaped (especially in dividing cells), damaged and dead cells in cardanol-treated E. coli. Conclusion: Thai propolis contains a promising antibacterial agent. PMID:24578609

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

    PubMed

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Viruses Associated with Ovarian Degeneration in Apis mellifera L. Queens

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier, Laurent; Ravallec, Marc; Tournaire, Magali; Cousserans, François; Bergoin, Max; Dainat, Benjamin; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2011-01-01

    Queen fecundity is a critical issue for the health of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies, as she is the only reproductive female in the colony and responsible for the constant renewal of the worker bee population. Any factor affecting the queen's fecundity will stagnate colony development, increasing its susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. We discovered a pathology affecting the ovaries, characterized by a yellow discoloration concentrated in the apex of the ovaries resulting from degenerative lesions in the follicles. In extreme cases, marked by intense discoloration, the majority of the ovarioles were affected and these cases were universally associated with egg-laying deficiencies in the queens. Microscopic examination of the degenerated follicles showed extensive paracrystal lattices of 30 nm icosahedral viral particles. A cDNA library from degenerated ovaries contained a high frequency of deformed wing virus (DWV) and Varroa destructor virus 1 (VDV-1) sequences, two common and closely related honeybee Iflaviruses. These could also be identified by in situ hybridization in various parts of the ovary. A large-scale survey for 10 distinct honeybee viruses showed that DWV and VDV-1 were by far the most prevalent honeybee viruses in queen populations, with distinctly higher prevalence in mated queens (100% and 67%, respectively for DWV and VDV-1) than in virgin queens (37% and 0%, respectively). Since very high viral titres could be recorded in the ovaries and abdomens of both functional and deficient queens, no significant correlation could be made between viral titre and ovarian degeneration or egg-laying deficiency among the wider population of queens. Although our data suggest that DWV and VDV-1 have a role in extreme cases of ovarian degeneration, infection of the ovaries by these viruses does not necessarily result in ovarian degeneration, even at high titres, and additional factors are likely to be involved in this pathology. PMID:21283547

  19. Viruses associated with ovarian degeneration in Apis mellifera L. queens.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Laurent; Ravallec, Marc; Tournaire, Magali; Cousserans, François; Bergoin, Max; Dainat, Benjamin; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2011-01-25

    Queen fecundity is a critical issue for the health of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies, as she is the only reproductive female in the colony and responsible for the constant renewal of the worker bee population. Any factor affecting the queen's fecundity will stagnate colony development, increasing its susceptibility to opportunistic pathogens. We discovered a pathology affecting the ovaries, characterized by a yellow discoloration concentrated in the apex of the ovaries resulting from degenerative lesions in the follicles. In extreme cases, marked by intense discoloration, the majority of the ovarioles were affected and these cases were universally associated with egg-laying deficiencies in the queens. Microscopic examination of the degenerated follicles showed extensive paracrystal lattices of 30 nm icosahedral viral particles. A cDNA library from degenerated ovaries contained a high frequency of deformed wing virus (DWV) and Varroa destructor virus 1 (VDV-1) sequences, two common and closely related honeybee Iflaviruses. These could also be identified by in situ hybridization in various parts of the ovary. A large-scale survey for 10 distinct honeybee viruses showed that DWV and VDV-1 were by far the most prevalent honeybee viruses in queen populations, with distinctly higher prevalence in mated queens (100% and 67%, respectively for DWV and VDV-1) than in virgin queens (37% and 0%, respectively). Since very high viral titres could be recorded in the ovaries and abdomens of both functional and deficient queens, no significant correlation could be made between viral titre and ovarian degeneration or egg-laying deficiency among the wider population of queens. Although our data suggest that DWV and VDV-1 have a role in extreme cases of ovarian degeneration, infection of the ovaries by these viruses does not necessarily result in ovarian degeneration, even at high titres, and additional factors are likely to be involved in this pathology.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  3. Lethal infection thresholds of Paenibacillus larvae for honeybee drone and worker larvae (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Behrens, Dieter; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-10-01

    We compared the mortality of honeybee (Apis mellifera) drone and worker larvae from a single queen under controlled in vitro conditions following infection with Paenibacillus larvae, a bacterium causing the brood disease American Foulbrood (AFB). We also determined absolute P. larvae cell numbers and lethal titres in deceased individuals of both sexes up to 8 days post infection using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Our results show that in drones the onset of infection induced mortality is delayed by 1 day, the cumulative mortality is reduced by 10% and P. larvae cell numbers are higher than in worker larvae. Since differences in bacterial cell titres between sexes can be explained by differences in body size, larval size appears to be a key parameter for a lethal threshold in AFB tolerance. Both means and variances for lethal thresholds are similar for drone and worker larvae suggesting that drone resistance phenotypes resemble those of related workers.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Lethal infection thresholds of Paenibacillus larvae for honeybee drone and worker larvae (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Behrens, Dieter; Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-10-01

    We compared the mortality of honeybee (Apis mellifera) drone and worker larvae from a single queen under controlled in vitro conditions following infection with Paenibacillus larvae, a bacterium causing the brood disease American Foulbrood (AFB). We also determined absolute P. larvae cell numbers and lethal titres in deceased individuals of both sexes up to 8 days post infection using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Our results show that in drones the onset of infection induced mortality is delayed by 1 day, the cumulative mortality is reduced by 10% and P. larvae cell numbers are higher than in worker larvae. Since differences in bacterial cell titres between sexes can be explained by differences in body size, larval size appears to be a key parameter for a lethal threshold in AFB tolerance. Both means and variances for lethal thresholds are similar for drone and worker larvae suggesting that drone resistance phenotypes resemble those of related workers. PMID:20545737

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  8. Nosema spp. infection alters pheromone production in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Alaux, Cedric; Tchamitchan, Sylvie; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Plettner, Erika; Belzunces, Luc P; Le Conte, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Pheromones in social insects play a key role in the regulation of group homoeostasis. It is well-established that parasites can modify hormone signaling of their host, but less is known about the effect of parasites on pheromone signaling in insect societies. We, thus, tested in honey bees (Apis mellifera) the effect of the widespread parasite Nosema spp. on the production of ethyl oleate (EO), the only identified primer pheromone in honey bee workers. Since environmental stressors like pesticides also can weaken honey bees, we also analyzed the effect of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid widely used in agriculture, on EO production. We show that, contrary to imidacloprid, Nosema spp. significantly altered EO production. In addition, the level of Nosema infection was correlated positively with the level of EO production. Since EO is involved in the regulation of division of labor among workers, our result suggests that the changes in EO signaling induced by parasitism have the potential to disturb the colony homoeostasis.

  9. Transcriptional markers of sub-optimal nutrition in developing young Apis mellifera nurse workers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) contribute substantially to the worldwide economy and ecosystem health as pollinators. Pollen is essential to the bee’s diet, providing protein, lipids, and micronutrients. The dramatic shifts in physiology, anatomy, and behavior that accompany normal worker development a...

  10. Involvement of Phosphorylated "Apis Mellifera" CREB in Gating a Honeybee's Behavioral Response to an External Stimulus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

    The transcription factor cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) is involved in neuronal plasticity. Phosphorylation activates CREB and an increased level of phosphorylated CREB is regarded as an indicator of CREB-dependent transcriptional activation. In honeybees ("Apis mellifera") we recently demonstrated a particular high…

  11. Evaluation of Apis mellifera syriaca Levant Region honeybee conservation using Comparative Genome Hybridization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apis mellifera syriaca is the native honeybee subspecies of Jordan and much of the Levant Region. It expresses behavioral adaptations to a regional climate with very high temperatures, nectar dearth in summer, attacks of the Oriental wasp and is resistant to Varroa mites. The A. m. syriaca control r...

  12. 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)...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 km2 area dominated by a 128.9 ha glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready® alfalfa seed production field and several non-Roundup Ready seed production fields (totalin...

  14. Concurrent infestations by Aethina tumida and Varroa destructor alters thermoregulation in Apis mellifera winter clusters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, and the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, are parasites of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Both parasites overwinter in honeybee colonies. The efficacy of thermoregulation might be reduced in beetle and mite infested clusters, due to altered activity of host...

  15. Morphotypes of Varroa destructor collected in Apis mellifera colonies from different geographic locations of Argentina.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Matías D; Sardella, Norma H; Ruffinengo, Sergio R; Eguaras, Martín J

    2009-11-01

    Parasites display considerable phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits such as, body size. Varroa destructor is an ectoparasitic mite of the western honey bee Apis mellifera. Several studies have reported that in V. destructor, there is a wide phenotypic plasticity within a population of mites. However, it is unknown if there are morphologic variations in V. destructor populations affecting different A. mellifera populations. A morphometric study of V. destructor populations was conducted to provide information concerned to the relationships among parasite populations found in different geographic locations from A. mellifera colonies of Argentina. The hypothesis tested was different morphotypes of V. destructor populations parasitizing different A. mellifera populations from Argentina exist. A discriminant analysis employing eight morphologic variables revealed that it is possible to differentiate morphotypes of mites in Argentina. However, the level of discrimination detected among mites population varied according to the grouping of mite's population. Possible causes explaining the morphometric variability in the V. destructor populations were discussed.

  16. [Genetic Differentiation of Local Populations of the Dark European Bee Apis mellifera mellifera L. in the Urals].

    PubMed

    Il'yasov, R A; Poskryakov, A V; Petukhov, A V; Nikolenko, A G

    2015-07-01

    For the last two centuries, beekeepers in Russia and Europe have been introducing bees from the southern regions to the northern ones, subjecting the genetic pool of the dark European bee Apis mellifera mellifera L. subspecies to extensive hybridization. In order to reconfirm on the genetic level the previously published morphological data on the native bee population in the Urals, the Bashkortostan Republic, and the Perm Krai, we analyzed the polymorphism of the mitochondrial (mtDNA COI-COII intergenic locus) and nuclear (two microsatellite loci, ap243 and 4a110) DNA markers. Four local populations of the dark European bee A. m. mellifera surviving in the Urals have been identified, and their principal genetic characteristics have been determined. Data on the genetic structure and geographical localization of the areals of the dark European bee local populations in the Urals may be of use in restoring the damaged genetic pool of A. m. mellifera in Russia and other northern countries. PMID:26410933

  17. The indigenous honey bees of Saudi Arabia (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner): Their natural history and role in beekeeping.

    PubMed

    Alqarni, Abdulaziz S; Hannan, Mohammed A; Owayss, Ayman A; Engel, Michael S

    2011-01-01

    Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner (= yemenitica auctorum: videEngel 1999) has been used in apiculture throughout the Arabian Peninsula since at least 2000 BC. Existing literature demonstrates that these populations are well adapted for the harsh extremes of the region. Populations of Apis mellifera jemenitica native to Saudi Arabia are far more heat tolerant than the standard races often imported from Europe. Central Saudi Arabia has the highest summer temperatures for the Arabian Peninsula, and it is in this region where only Apis mellifera jemenitica survives, while other subspecies fail to persist. The indigenous race of Saudi Arabia differs from other subspecies in the region in some morphological, biological, and behavioral characteristics. Further taxonomic investigation, as well as molecular studies, is needed in order to confirm whether the Saudi indigenous bee populations represent a race distinct from Apis mellifera jemenitica, or merely an ecotype of this subspecies.

  18. The indigenous honey bees of Saudi Arabia (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner): Their natural history and role in beekeeping

    PubMed Central

    Alqarni, Abdulaziz S.; Hannan, Mohammed A.; Owayss, Ayman A.; Engel, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Apis mellifera jemenitica Ruttner (= yemenitica auctorum: vide Engel 1999) has been used in apiculture throughout the Arabian Peninsula since at least 2000 BC. Existing literature demonstrates that these populations are well adapted for the harsh extremes of the region. Populations of Apis mellifera jemenitica native to Saudi Arabia are far more heat tolerant than the standard races often imported from Europe. Central Saudi Arabia has the highest summer temperatures for the Arabian Peninsula, and it is in this region where only Apis mellifera jemenitica survives, while other subspecies fail to persist. The indigenous race of Saudi Arabia differs from other subspecies in the region in some morphological, biological, and behavioral characteristics. Further taxonomic investigation, as well as molecular studies, is needed in order to confirm whether the Saudi indigenous bee populations represent a race distinct from Apis mellifera jemenitica, or merely an ecotype of this subspecies. PMID:22140343

  19. Comparative Analyses of Cu-Zn Superoxide Dismutase (SOD1) and Thioredoxin Reductase (TrxR) at the mRNA Level between Apis mellifera L. and Apis cerana F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Under Stress Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Hyun-Na; Lee, Soon-Gyu; Yun, Seung-Hwan; Kim, Hyun Kyung; Choi, Yong Soo; Kim, Gil-Hah

    2016-01-01

    This study compared stress-induced expression of Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) genes in the European honeybee Apis mellifera L. and Asian honeybee Apis cerana F. Expression of both SOD1 and TrxR rapidly increased up to 5 h after exposure to cold (4°C) or heat (37°C) treatment and then gradually decreased, with a stronger effect induced by cold stress in A. mellifera compared with A. cerana. Injection of stress-inducing substances (methyl viologen, [MV] and H2O2) also increased SOD1 and TrxR expression in both A. mellifera and A. cerana, and this effect was more pronounced with MV than H2O2. Additionally, we heterologously expressed the A. mellifera and A. cerana SOD1 and TrxR proteins in an Escherichia coli expression system, and detection by SDS-PAGE, confirmed by Western blotting using anti-His tag antibodies, revealed bands at 16 and 60 kDa, respectively. Our results show that the expression patterns of SOD1 and TrxR differ between A. mellifera and A. cerana under conditions of low or high temperature as well as oxidative stress. PMID:26798140

  20. Comparison of the energetic stress associated with experimental Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis infection of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Botías, Cristina; Barrios, Laura; Martínez-Salvador, Amparo; Meana, Aránzazu; Mayack, Christopher; Higes, Mariano

    2011-09-01

    Nosema ceranae is a relatively new and widespread parasite of the western honeybee Apis mellifera that provokes a new form of nosemosis. In comparison to Nosema apis, which has been infecting the honeybee for much longer, N. ceranae seems to have co-evolved less with this host, causing a more virulent disease. Given that N. apis and N. ceranae are obligate intracellular microsporidian parasites, needing host energy to reproduce, energetic stress may be an important factor contributing to the increased virulence observed. Through feeding experiments on caged bees, we show that both mortality and sugar syrup consumption were higher in N. ceranae-infected bees than in N. apis-infected and control bees. The mortality and sugar syrup consumption are also higher in N. apis-infected bees than in controls, but are less than in N. ceranae-infected bees. With both microsporidia, mortality and sugar syrup consumption increased in function of the increasing spore counts administered for infection. The differences in energetic requirements between both Nosema spp. confirm that their metabolic patterns are not the same, which may depend critically on host-parasite interactions and, ultimately, on host pathology. The repercussions of this increased energetic stress may even explain the changes in host behavior due to starvation, lack of thermoregulatory capacity, or higher rates of trophallaxis, which might enhance transmission and bee death.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-28

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

  5. A SNP Based High-Density Linkage Map of Apis cerana Reveals a High Recombination Rate Similar to Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zachary Y.; Wu, Xiao Bo; Zhu, Yong Qiang; Zheng, Hua Jun; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2013-01-01

    Background The Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana Fabricius, is distributed in southern and eastern Asia, from India and China to Korea and Japan and southeast to the Moluccas. This species is also widely kept for honey production besides Apis mellifera. Apis cerana is also a model organism for studying social behavior, caste determination, mating biology, sexual selection, and host-parasite interactions. Few resources are available for molecular research in this species, and a linkage map was never constructed. A linkage map is a prerequisite for quantitative trait loci mapping and for analyzing genome structure. We used the Chinese honey bee, Apis cerana cerana to construct the first linkage map in the Eastern honey bee. Results F2 workers (N = 103) were genotyped for 126,990 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). After filtering low quality and those not passing the Mendel test, we obtained 3,000 SNPs, 1,535 of these were informative and used to construct a linkage map. The preliminary map contains 19 linkage groups, we then mapped the 19 linkage groups to 16 chromosomes by comparing the markers to the genome of A. mellfiera. The final map contains 16 linkage groups with a total of 1,535 markers. The total genetic distance is 3,942.7 centimorgans (cM) with the largest linkage group (180 loci) measuring 574.5 cM. Average marker interval for all markers across the 16 linkage groups is 2.6 cM. Conclusion We constructed a high density linkage map for A. c. cerana with 1,535 markers. Because the map is based on SNP markers, it will enable easier and faster genotyping assays than randomly amplified polymorphic DNA or microsatellite based maps used in A. mellifera. PMID:24130775

  6. Nosema spp. infection alters pheromone production in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Maisonnasse, Alban; Alaux, Cedric; Tchamitchan, Sylvie; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Plettner, Erika; Belzunces, Luc P; Le Conte, Yves

    2010-05-01

    Pheromones in social insects play a key role in the regulation of group homoeostasis. It is well-established that parasites can modify hormone signaling of their host, but less is known about the effect of parasites on pheromone signaling in insect societies. We, thus, tested in honey bees (Apis mellifera) the effect of the widespread parasite Nosema spp. on the production of ethyl oleate (EO), the only identified primer pheromone in honey bee workers. Since environmental stressors like pesticides also can weaken honey bees, we also analyzed the effect of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid widely used in agriculture, on EO production. We show that, contrary to imidacloprid, Nosema spp. significantly altered EO production. In addition, the level of Nosema infection was correlated positively with the level of EO production. Since EO is involved in the regulation of division of labor among workers, our result suggests that the changes in EO signaling induced by parasitism have the potential to disturb the colony homoeostasis. PMID:20401523

  7. The ontogeny of immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. following an immune challenge.

    PubMed

    Laughton, Alice M; Boots, Michael; Siva-Jothy, Michael T

    2011-07-01

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is an ideal system for investigating ontogenetic changes in the immune system, because it combines holometabolous development within a eusocial caste system. As adults, male and female bees are subject to differing selective pressures: worker bees (females) exhibit temporal polyethism, while the male drones invest in mating. They are further influenced by changes in the threat of pathogen infection at different life stages. We investigated the immune response of workers and drones at all developmental phases, from larvae through to late stage adults, assaying both a constitutive (phenoloxidase, PO activity) and induced (antimicrobial peptide, AMP) immune response. We found that larval bees have low levels of PO activity. Adult workers produced stronger immune responses than drones, and a greater plasticity in immune investment. Immune challenge resulted in lower levels of PO activity in adult workers, which may be due to the rapid utilisation and a subsequent failure to replenish the constitutive phenoloxidase. Both adult workers and drones responded to an immune challenge by producing higher titres of AMPs, suggesting that the cost of this response prohibits its constant maintenance. Both castes showed signs of senescence in immune investment in the AMP response. Different sexes and life stages therefore alter their immune system management based on the combined factors of disease risk and life history.

  8. Characters that differ between diploid and haploid honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Matthias; Trenzcek, Tina; Fahrenhorst, Hartmut; Engels, Wolf

    2005-12-30

    Diploid males have long been considered a curiosity contradictory to the haplo-diploid mode of sex determination in the Hymenoptera. In Apis mellifera, 'false' diploid male larvae are eliminated by worker cannibalism immediately after hatching. A 'cannibalism substance' produced by diploid drone larvae to induce worker-assisted suicide has been hypothesized, but it has never been detected. Diploid drones are only removed some hours after hatching. Older larvae are evidently not regarded as 'false males' and instead are regularly nursed by the brood-attending worker bees. As the pheromonal cues presumably are located on the surface of newly hatched bee larvae, we extracted the cuticular secretions and analyzed their chemical composition by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses. Larvae were sexed and then reared in vitro for up to three days. The GC-MS pattern that was obtained, with alkanes as the major compounds, was compared between diploid and haploid drone larvae. We also examined some physical parameters of adult drones. There was no difference between diploid and haploid males in their weight at the day of emergence. The diploid adult drones had fewer wing hooks and smaller testes. The sperm DNA content was 0.30 and 0.15 pg per nucleus, giving an exact 2:1 ratio for the gametocytes of diploid and haploid drones, respectively. Vitellogenin was found in the hemolymph of both types of imaginal drones at 5 to 6 days, with a significantly lower titer in the diploids.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Pyrosequencing analysis of the bacterial communities in the guts of honey bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera in Korea.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Jae-Hyung; Hong, In-Pyo; Bok, Jeung-Im; Kim, Byung-Yong; Song, Jaekyeong; Weon, Hang-Yeon

    2012-10-01

    The bacterial communities in the guts of the adults and larvae of the Asian honey bee Apis cerana and the European honey bee Apis mellifera were surveyed by pyrosequencing the 16S rRNA genes. Most of the gut bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were highly similar to the known honey bee-specific ones and affiliated with Pasteurellaceae or lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs, defined at 97% similarity) were lower in the larval guts (6 or 9) than in the adult guts (18 or 20), and the frequencies of Pasteurellaceae-related OTUs were higher in the larval guts while those of LAB-related OTUs in the adult guts. The frequencies of Lactococcus, Bartonella, Spiroplasma, Enterobacteriaceae, and Flavobacteriaceae-related OTUs were much higher in A. cerana guts while Bifidobacterium and Lachnospiraceae-related OTUs were more abundant in A. mellfera guts. The bacterial community structures in the midguts and hindguts of the adult honey bees were not different for A. cerana, but significantly different for A. mellifera. The above results substantiated the previous observation that honey bee guts are dominated by several specific bacterial groups, and also showed that the relative abundances of OTUs could be markedly changed depending on the developmental stage, the location within the gut, and the honey bee species. The possibility of using the gut bacterial community as an indicator of honey bee health was discussed.

  13. Homology differences between complete Sacbrood virus genomes from infected Apis mellifera and Apis cerana honeybees in Korea.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Kondreddy Eswar; Yoo, Mi Sun; Kim, Young-Ha; Kim, Nam-Hee; Ramya, Mummadireddy; Jung, Ha-Na; Thao, Le Thi Bich; Lee, Hee-Soo; Kang, Seung-Won

    2016-04-01

    Sacbrood virus (SBV) represents a serious threat to the health of managed honeybees. We determined four complete SBV genomic sequences (AmSBV-Kor1, AmSBV-Kor2, AcSBV-Kor3, and AcSBV-Kor4) isolated from Apis mellifera and Apis cerana in various regions of South Korea. A phylogenetic tree was constructed from the complete genomic sequences of these Korean SBVs (KSBVs) and 21 previously reported SBV sequences from other countries. Three KSBVs (not AmSBV-Kor1) clustered with previously reported Korean genomes, but separately from SBV genomes from other countries. The KSBVs shared 90-98 % identity, and 89-97 % identity with the genomes from other countries. AmSBV-Kor1 was least similar (~90 % identity) to the other KSBVs, and was most similar to previously reported strains AmSBV-Kor21 (97 %) and AmSBV-UK (93 %). Phylogenetic analysis of the partial VP1 region sequences indicated that SBVs clustered by host species and country of origin. The KSBVs were aligned with nine previously reported complete SBV genomes and compared. The KSBVs were most different from the other genomes at the end of the 5' untranslated region and in the entire open reading frame. A SimPlot graph of the VP1 region confirmed its high variability, especially between the SBVs infecting A. mellifera and A. cerana. In this genomic region, SBVs from A. mellifera species contain an extra continuous 51-nucleotide sequence relative to the SBVs from A. cerana. This genomic diversity may reflect the adaptation of SBV to specific hosts, viral cross-infections, and the spatial distances separating the KSBVs from other SBVs. PMID:26810400

  14. Homology differences between complete Sacbrood virus genomes from infected Apis mellifera and Apis cerana honeybees in Korea.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Kondreddy Eswar; Yoo, Mi Sun; Kim, Young-Ha; Kim, Nam-Hee; Ramya, Mummadireddy; Jung, Ha-Na; Thao, Le Thi Bich; Lee, Hee-Soo; Kang, Seung-Won

    2016-04-01

    Sacbrood virus (SBV) represents a serious threat to the health of managed honeybees. We determined four complete SBV genomic sequences (AmSBV-Kor1, AmSBV-Kor2, AcSBV-Kor3, and AcSBV-Kor4) isolated from Apis mellifera and Apis cerana in various regions of South Korea. A phylogenetic tree was constructed from the complete genomic sequences of these Korean SBVs (KSBVs) and 21 previously reported SBV sequences from other countries. Three KSBVs (not AmSBV-Kor1) clustered with previously reported Korean genomes, but separately from SBV genomes from other countries. The KSBVs shared 90-98 % identity, and 89-97 % identity with the genomes from other countries. AmSBV-Kor1 was least similar (~90 % identity) to the other KSBVs, and was most similar to previously reported strains AmSBV-Kor21 (97 %) and AmSBV-UK (93 %). Phylogenetic analysis of the partial VP1 region sequences indicated that SBVs clustered by host species and country of origin. The KSBVs were aligned with nine previously reported complete SBV genomes and compared. The KSBVs were most different from the other genomes at the end of the 5' untranslated region and in the entire open reading frame. A SimPlot graph of the VP1 region confirmed its high variability, especially between the SBVs infecting A. mellifera and A. cerana. In this genomic region, SBVs from A. mellifera species contain an extra continuous 51-nucleotide sequence relative to the SBVs from A. cerana. This genomic diversity may reflect the adaptation of SBV to specific hosts, viral cross-infections, and the spatial distances separating the KSBVs from other SBVs.

  15. Molecular identification of chronic bee paralysis virus infection in Apis mellifera colonies in Japan.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Yang, Bu; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2012-07-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) infection causes chronic paralysis and loss of workers in honey bee colonies around the world. Although CBPV shows a worldwide distribution, it had not been molecularly detected in Japan. Our investigation of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana japonica colonies with RT-PCR has revealed CBPV infection in A. mellifera but not A. c. japonica colonies in Japan. The prevalence of CBPV is low compared with that of other viruses: deformed wing virus (DWV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and sac brood virus (SBV), previously reported in Japan. Because of its low prevalence (5.6%) in A. mellifera colonies, the incidence of colony losses by CBPV infection must be sporadic in Japan. The presence of the (-) strand RNA in dying workers suggests that CBPV infection and replication may contribute to their symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates a geographic separation of Japanese isolates from European, Uruguayan, and mainland US isolates. The lack of major exchange of honey bees between Europe/mainland US and Japan for the recent 26 years (1985-2010) may have resulted in the geographic separation of Japanese CBPV isolates. PMID:22852042

  16. Molecular Identification of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus Infection in Apis mellifera Colonies in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Yang, Bu; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2012-01-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) infection causes chronic paralysis and loss of workers in honey bee colonies around the world. Although CBPV shows a worldwide distribution, it had not been molecularly detected in Japan. Our investigation of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana japonica colonies with RT-PCR has revealed CBPV infection in A. mellifera but not A. c. japonica colonies in Japan. The prevalence of CBPV is low compared with that of other viruses: deformed wing virus (DWV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV), and sac brood virus (SBV), previously reported in Japan. Because of its low prevalence (5.6%) in A. mellifera colonies, the incidence of colony losses by CBPV infection must be sporadic in Japan. The presence of the (−) strand RNA in dying workers suggests that CBPV infection and replication may contribute to their symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates a geographic separation of Japanese isolates from European, Uruguayan, and mainland US isolates. The lack of major exchange of honey bees between Europe/mainland US and Japan for the recent 26 years (1985–2010) may have resulted in the geographic separation of Japanese CBPV isolates. PMID:22852042

  17. Reduced SNP Panels for Genetic Identification and Introgression Analysis in the Dark Honey Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Irene; Henriques, Dora; Johnston, J. Spencer; Chávez-Galarza, Julio; Kryger, Per; Pinto, M. Alice

    2015-01-01

    Beekeeping activities, especially queen trading, have shaped the distribution of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies in Europe, and have resulted in extensive introductions of two eastern European C-lineage subspecies (A. m. ligustica and A. m. carnica) into the native range of the M-lineage A. m. mellifera subspecies in Western Europe. As a consequence, replacement and gene flow between native and commercial populations have occurred at varying levels across western European populations. Genetic identification and introgression analysis using molecular markers is an important tool for management and conservation of honey bee subspecies. Previous studies have monitored introgression by using microsatellite, PCR-RFLP markers and most recently, high density assays using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. While the latter are almost prohibitively expensive, the information gained to date can be exploited to create a reduced panel containing the most ancestry-informative markers (AIMs) for those purposes with very little loss of information. The objective of this study was to design reduced panels of AIMs to verify the origin of A. m. mellifera individuals and to provide accurate estimates of the level of C-lineage introgression into their genome. The discriminant power of the SNPs using a variety of metrics and approaches including the Weir & Cockerham’s FST, an FST-based outlier test, Delta, informativeness (In), and PCA was evaluated. This study shows that reduced AIMs panels assign individuals to the correct origin and calculates the admixture level with a high degree of accuracy. These panels provide an essential tool in Europe for genetic stock identification and estimation of admixture levels which can assist management strategies and monitor honey bee conservation programs. PMID:25875986

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  19. Transcriptional markers of sub-optimal nutrition in developing Apis mellifera nurse workers

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Honey bees (Apis mellifera) contribute substantially to the worldwide economy and ecosystem health as pollinators. Pollen is essential to the bee’s diet, providing protein, lipids, and micronutrients. The dramatic shifts in physiology, anatomy, and behavior that accompany normal worker development are highly plastic and recent work demonstrates that development, particularly the transition from nurse to foraging roles, is greatly impacted by diet. However, the role that diet plays in the developmental transition of newly eclosed bees to nurse workers is poorly understood. To further understand honey bee nutrition and the role of diet in nurse development, we used a high-throughput screen of the transcriptome of 3 day and 8 day old worker bees fed either honey and stored pollen (rich diet) or honey alone (poor diet) within the hive. We employed a three factor (age, diet, age x diet) analysis of the transcriptome to determine whether diet affected nurse worker physiology and whether poor diet altered the developmental processes normally associated with aging. Results Substantial changes in gene expression occurred due to starvation. Diet-induced changes in gene transcription occurring in younger bees were largely a subset of those occurring in older bees, but certain signatures of starvation were only evident 8 day old workers. Of the 18,542 annotated transcripts in the A. mellifera genome, 150 transcripts exhibited differential expression due to poor diet at 3d of age compared with 17,226 transcripts that differed due to poor diet at 8d of age, and poor diet caused more frequent down-regulation of gene expression in younger bees compared to older bees. In addition, the age-related physiological changes that accompanied early adult development differed due to the diet these young adult bees were fed. More frequent down-regulation of gene expression was observed in developing bees fed a poor diet compared to those fed an adequate diet. Functional

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Behavioral studies of learning in the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Aquino, Italo S

    2002-01-01

    Experiments on basic classical conditioning phenomena in adult and young Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are described. Phenomena include conditioning to various stimuli, extinction (both unpaired and CS only), conditioned inhibition, color and odor discrimination. In addition to work on basic phenomena, experiments on practical applications of conditioning methodology are illustrated with studies demonstrating the effects of insecticides on learning and the reaction of bees to consumer products. Electron microscope photos are presented of Africanized workers, drones, and queen bees. Possible sub-species differences between Africanized and European bees are discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Classical conditioning of proboscis extension in harnessed Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Aquino, Italo S; Abramson, Charles I; Soares, Ademilson E E; Fernandes, Andrea Cardoso; Benbassat, Danny

    2004-06-01

    Experiments are reported on learning in virgin Africanized honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.). Queens restrained in a "Pavlovian harness" received a pairing of hexanal odor with a 1.8-M feeding of sucrose solution. Compared to explicitly unpaired controls, acquisition was rapid in reaching about 90%. Acquisition was also rapid in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of "bee candy" or an unconditioned stimulus administered by worker bees. During extinction the conditioned response declines. The steepest decline was observed in queens receiving an unconditioned stimulus of bee candy. These findings extend previous work on learning of Afrianized honey bee workers to a population of queen bees. PMID:15362396

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Assessing hygienic behavior of Apis mellifera unicolor (Hymenoptera: Apidae), the endemic honey bee from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Rasolofoarivao, H; Delatte, H; Raveloson Ravaomanarivo, L H; Reynaud, B; Clémencet, J

    2015-06-01

    Hygienic behavior (HB) is one of the natural mechanisms of honey bee for limiting the spread of brood diseases and Varroa destructor parasitic mite. Objective of our study was to measure HB of Apis mellifera unicolor colonies (N = 403) from three geographic regions (one infested and two free of V. destructor) in Madagascar. The pin-killing method was used for evaluation of the HB. Responses were measured from 3 h 30 min to 7 h after perforation of the cells. Colonies were very effective in detecting perforated cells. In the first 4 h, on average, they detected at least 50% of the pin-killed brood. Six hours after cell perforation, colonies tested (N = 91) showed a wide range of uncapped (0 to 100%) and cleaned cells (0 to 82%). Global distribution of the rate of cleaned cells at 6 h was multimodal and hygienic responses could be split in three classes. Colonies from the three regions showed a significant difference in HB responses. Three hypotheses (geographic, genetic traits, presence of V. destructor) are further discussed to explain variability of HB responses among the regions. Levels of HB efficiency of A. mellifera unicolor colonies are among the greatest levels reported for A. mellifera subspecies. Presence of highly hygienic colonies is a great opportunity for future breeding program in selection for HB.

  9. Permanent prevalence of Nosema ceranae in honey bees (Apis mellifera) in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Csáki, Tamás; Heltai, Miklós; Markolt, Ferenc; Kovács, Balázs; Békési, László; Ladányi, Márta; Péntek-Zakar, Erika; Meana, Aránzazu; Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano

    2015-09-01

    Nosema ceranae is present in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies worldwide. Studies on the comparative virulence of N. ceranae and N. apis showed significant differences in individual mortality, and the prevalence of N. ceranae seems to be predominant in both the continental and the Mediterranean climate regions. This study attempted to monitor the geographical and seasonal distribution of these two Nosema species in Hungary, using a simple laboratory method. The distribution of N. ceranae and N. apis infection rates along all seasons was homogeneous (P = 0.57). In co-infected samples, the intensity of N. ceranae infection was always significantly higher than that of N. apis infection (P < 0.001). The infection rate of infected bees in exterior samples was higher than in interior samples in each season; however, the differences were not statistically significant. The species N. ceranae had been present in Hungary already in 2004. Statistical analysis of data shows that the infection level is best represented by sampling exterior bees to establish the proportion of infected bees rather than by determining the mean spore count.

  10. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Jones, Andrew K; Raymond-Delpech, Valerie; Thany, Steeve H; Gauthier, Monique; Sattelle, David B

    2006-11-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast cholinergic synaptic transmission and play roles in many cognitive processes. They are under intense research as potential targets of drugs used to treat neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. Invertebrate nAChRs are targets of anthelmintics as well as a major group of insecticides, the neonicotinoids. The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of the most beneficial insects worldwide, playing an important role in crop pollination, and is also a valuable model system for studies on social interaction, sensory processing, learning, and memory. We have used the A. mellifera genome information to characterize the complete honey bee nAChR gene family. Comparison with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae shows that the honey bee possesses the largest family of insect nAChR subunits to date (11 members). As with Drosophila and Anopheles, alternative splicing of conserved exons increases receptor diversity. Also, we show that in one honey bee nAChR subunit, six adenosine residues are targeted for RNA A-to-I editing, two of which are evolutionarily conserved in Drosophila melanogaster and Heliothis virescens orthologs, and that the extent of editing increases as the honey bee lifecycle progresses, serving to maximize receptor diversity at the adult stage. These findings on Apis mellifera enhance our understanding of nAChR functional genomics and provide a useful basis for the development of improved insecticides that spare a major beneficial insect species.

  11. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Formation of Long-Term Reward Memories and Extinction Memories in the Honeybee ("Apis Mellifera")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

    The honeybee ("Apis mellifera") has long served as an invertebrate model organism for reward learning and memory research. Its capacity for learning and memory formation is rooted in the ecological need to efficiently collect nectar and pollen during summer to ensure survival of the hive during winter. Foraging bees learn to associate a…

  12. Genome characterization, prevalence and distribution of a Macula-like virus from Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Numerous viruses have been detected in honeybees, which can be roughly divided into 14 unique and distinct species-complexes, each with one or more strains or sub-species. Here we present the initial characterization of an entirely new virus species-complex discovered in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  14. Genetic variation and widespread dispersal of Nosema ceranae in Apis mellifera apiaries from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Medici, Sandra Karina; Sarlo, Edgardo Gabriel; Porrini, Martín Pablo; Braunstein, Martín; Eguaras, Martín Javier

    2012-02-01

    Using molecular techniques, we documented the presence of Nosema ceranae in honeybees (Apis mellífera) from Argentina. Samples were collected from A. mellifera colonies in 38 districts of Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Molecular characterization was achieved with a multiplex PCR-based method, which allows parallel diagnosis of N. ceranae and N. osema apis. N. ceranae was identified in all the samples analyzed. Moreover, coinfections with N. apis were detected in Balcarce and Maipú districts. We identified three rRNA sequence variants of N. ceranae, which may represent diverse sources of bee importation. The results suggest that N. ceranae is widely distributed in Argentina and that the genetic variation observed between the different isolates could be related with the difference in the symptomatology found previously by our work group. Our results highlight the need to re-assess the health protocols currently in force so that they recognize N. ceranae as the main causal agent of Nosemosis in this country.

  15. Genomic Analyses Reveal Demographic History and Temperate Adaptation of the Newly Discovered Honey Bee Subspecies Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan n. ssp

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chao; Liu, Zhiguang; Pan, Qi; Chen, Xiao; Wang, Huihua; Guo, Haikun; Liu, Shidong; Lu, Hongfeng; Tian, Shilin; Li, Ruiqiang; Shi, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Studying the genetic signatures of climate-driven selection can produce insights into local adaptation and the potential impacts of climate change on populations. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an interesting species to study local adaptation because it originated in tropical/subtropical climatic regions and subsequently spread into temperate regions. However, little is known about the genetic basis of its adaptation to temperate climates. Here, we resequenced the whole genomes of ten individual bees from a newly discovered population in temperate China and downloaded resequenced data from 35 individuals from other populations. We found that the new population is an undescribed subspecies in the M-lineage of A. mellifera (Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan). Analyses of population history show that long-term global temperature has strongly influenced the demographic history of A. m. sinisxinyuan and its divergence from other subspecies. Further analyses comparing temperate and tropical populations identified several candidate genes related to fat body and the Hippo signaling pathway that are potentially involved in adaptation to temperate climates. Our results provide insights into the demographic history of the newly discovered A. m. sinisxinyuan, as well as the genetic basis of adaptation of A. mellifera to temperate climates at the genomic level. These findings will facilitate the selective breeding of A. mellifera to improve the survival of overwintering colonies. PMID:26823447

  16. Genomic Analyses Reveal Demographic History and Temperate Adaptation of the Newly Discovered Honey Bee Subspecies Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan n. ssp.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chao; Liu, Zhiguang; Pan, Qi; Chen, Xiao; Wang, Huihua; Guo, Haikun; Liu, Shidong; Lu, Hongfeng; Tian, Shilin; Li, Ruiqiang; Shi, Wei

    2016-05-01

    Studying the genetic signatures of climate-driven selection can produce insights into local adaptation and the potential impacts of climate change on populations. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an interesting species to study local adaptation because it originated in tropical/subtropical climatic regions and subsequently spread into temperate regions. However, little is known about the genetic basis of its adaptation to temperate climates. Here, we resequenced the whole genomes of ten individual bees from a newly discovered population in temperate China and downloaded resequenced data from 35 individuals from other populations. We found that the new population is an undescribed subspecies in the M-lineage of A. mellifera (Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan). Analyses of population history show that long-term global temperature has strongly influenced the demographic history of A. m. sinisxinyuan and its divergence from other subspecies. Further analyses comparing temperate and tropical populations identified several candidate genes related to fat body and the Hippo signaling pathway that are potentially involved in adaptation to temperate climates. Our results provide insights into the demographic history of the newly discovered A. m. sinisxinyuan, as well as the genetic basis of adaptation of A. mellifera to temperate climates at the genomic level. These findings will facilitate the selective breeding of A. mellifera to improve the survival of overwintering colonies.

  17. Genomic Analyses Reveal Demographic History and Temperate Adaptation of the Newly Discovered Honey Bee Subspecies Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan n. ssp.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chao; Liu, Zhiguang; Pan, Qi; Chen, Xiao; Wang, Huihua; Guo, Haikun; Liu, Shidong; Lu, Hongfeng; Tian, Shilin; Li, Ruiqiang; Shi, Wei

    2016-05-01

    Studying the genetic signatures of climate-driven selection can produce insights into local adaptation and the potential impacts of climate change on populations. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an interesting species to study local adaptation because it originated in tropical/subtropical climatic regions and subsequently spread into temperate regions. However, little is known about the genetic basis of its adaptation to temperate climates. Here, we resequenced the whole genomes of ten individual bees from a newly discovered population in temperate China and downloaded resequenced data from 35 individuals from other populations. We found that the new population is an undescribed subspecies in the M-lineage of A. mellifera (Apis mellifera sinisxinyuan). Analyses of population history show that long-term global temperature has strongly influenced the demographic history of A. m. sinisxinyuan and its divergence from other subspecies. Further analyses comparing temperate and tropical populations identified several candidate genes related to fat body and the Hippo signaling pathway that are potentially involved in adaptation to temperate climates. Our results provide insights into the demographic history of the newly discovered A. m. sinisxinyuan, as well as the genetic basis of adaptation of A. mellifera to temperate climates at the genomic level. These findings will facilitate the selective breeding of A. mellifera to improve the survival of overwintering colonies. PMID:26823447

  18. Infra-population and -community dynamics of the parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, and consequences for honey bee (Apis mellifera) hosts.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Rogers, Richard E L

    2014-01-01

    Nosema spp. fungal gut parasites are among myriad possible explanations for contemporary increased mortality of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, hereafter honey bee) in many regions of the world. Invasive Nosema ceranae is particularly worrisome because some evidence suggests it has greater virulence than its congener N. apis. N. ceranae appears to have recently switched hosts from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) and now has a nearly global distribution in honey bees, apparently displacing N. apis. We examined parasite reproduction and effects of N. apis, N. ceranae, and mixed Nosema infections on honey bee hosts in laboratory experiments. Both infection intensity and honey bee mortality were significantly greater for N. ceranae than for N. apis or mixed infections; mixed infection resulted in mortality similar to N. apis parasitism and reduced spore intensity, possibly due to inter-specific competition. This is the first long-term laboratory study to demonstrate lethal consequences of N. apis and N. ceranae and mixed Nosema parasitism in honey bees, and suggests that differences in reproduction and intra-host competition may explain apparent heterogeneous exclusion of the historic parasite by the invasive species. PMID:24987989

  19. Infra-population and -community dynamics of the parasites Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, and consequences for honey bee (Apis mellifera) hosts.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Shutler, Dave; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Rogers, Richard E L

    2014-01-01

    Nosema spp. fungal gut parasites are among myriad possible explanations for contemporary increased mortality of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, hereafter honey bee) in many regions of the world. Invasive Nosema ceranae is particularly worrisome because some evidence suggests it has greater virulence than its congener N. apis. N. ceranae appears to have recently switched hosts from Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) and now has a nearly global distribution in honey bees, apparently displacing N. apis. We examined parasite reproduction and effects of N. apis, N. ceranae, and mixed Nosema infections on honey bee hosts in laboratory experiments. Both infection intensity and honey bee mortality were significantly greater for N. ceranae than for N. apis or mixed infections; mixed infection resulted in mortality similar to N. apis parasitism and reduced spore intensity, possibly due to inter-specific competition. This is the first long-term laboratory study to demonstrate lethal consequences of N. apis and N. ceranae and mixed Nosema parasitism in honey bees, and suggests that differences in reproduction and intra-host competition may explain apparent heterogeneous exclusion of the historic parasite by the invasive species.

  20. Proteomic Analysis of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera Larvae Fed with Heterospecific Royal Jelly and by CSBV Challenge

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xiu; Han, Richou

    2014-01-01

    Chinese honeybee Apis cerana (Ac) is one of the major Asian honeybee species for local apiculture. However, Ac is frequently damaged by Chinese sacbrood virus (CSBV), whereas Apis mellifera (Am) is usually resistant to it. Heterospecific royal jelly (RJ) breeding in two honeybee species may result in morphological and genetic modification. Nevertheless, knowledge on the resistant mechanism of Am to this deadly disease is still unknown. In the present study, heterospecific RJ breeding was conducted to determine the effects of food change on the larval mortality after CSBV infection at early larval stage. 2-DE and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS proteomic technology was employed to unravel the molecular event of the bees under heterospecific RJ breeding and CSBV challenge. The change of Ac larval food from RJC to RJM could enhance the bee resistance to CSBV. The mortality rate of Ac larvae after CSBV infection was much higher when the larvae were fed with RJC compared with the larvae fed with RJM. There were 101 proteins with altered expressions after heterospecific RJ breeding and viral infection. In Ac larvae, 6 differential expression proteins were identified from heterospecific RJ breeding only, 21 differential expression proteins from CSBV challenge only and 7 differential expression proteins from heterospecific RJ breeding plus CSBV challenge. In Am larvae, 17 differential expression proteins were identified from heterospecific RJ breeding only, 26 differential expression proteins from CSBV challenge only and 24 differential expression proteins from heterospecific RJ breeding plus CSBV challenge. The RJM may protect Ac larvae from CSBV infection, probably by activating the genes in energy metabolism pathways, antioxidation and ubiquitin-proteasome system. The present results, for the first time, comprehensively descript the molecular events of the viral infection of Ac and Am after heterospecific RJ breeding and are potentially useful for establishing CSBV resistant

  1. Antennal malformations in light ocelli drones of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    Chaud-Netto, J

    2000-02-01

    Malformed antennae of Apis mellifera light ocelli drones were drawn, dissected and mounted permanently on slides containing Canada balsam, in order to count the olfactory discs present in each segment, in comparison with the number of those structures in normal antennae of their brothers. Some drones presented morphological abnormalities in a single segment of the right or left antenna, but others had two or more malformed segments in a same antenna. Drones with malformations in both antennae were also observed. The 4th and 5th flagellum segments were the most frequently affected. In a low number of cases the frequency of olfactory discs in malformed segments did not differ from that one recorded for normal segments. However, in most cases studied, the antennal malformations brought about a significant reduction in the number of olfactory discs from malformed segments.

  2. Effects of captan on Apis mellifera brood development under field conditions in California almond orchards.

    PubMed

    Everich, R; Schiller, C; Whitehead, J; Beavers, M; Barrett, K

    2009-02-01

    Three almond field trials were conducted during 2003 and 2004 at two locations in central (Fresno County) and northern (Yolo County) California to evaluate the potential effects of commercial applications of Captan on honey bees, Apis mellifera L. Captan was applied at 5.0 kg (AI)/ha during bloom. Hives were evaluated for hive health and brood development parameters for approximately 2 mo after application. This study showed that the application of Captan was not harmful to foraging honey bees or their brood. No treatment-related effects were noted on hive weights, dead bee deformity, number of dead bees, survival of individual larvae, weight of individual emerging adults, and other hive health parameters.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Heritable variation for latent inhibition and its correlation with reversal learning in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Chandra, S B; Hosler, J S; Smith, B H

    2000-03-01

    Latent inhibition (LI) in honeybees (Apis mellifera) was studied by using a proboscis extension response conditioning procedure. Individual queens, drones, and workers differed in the degree to which they revealed LI. The authors hypothesized that individual differences would have a substantial genetic basis. Two sets of progeny were established by crossing virgin queens and individual drones, both of which had been selected for differential expression of inhibition. LI was stronger in the progeny from the queens and drones that had shown greater inhibition. The expression of LI was also dependent on environmental factors that are most likely associated with age, foraging experience outside of the colony, or both. Furthermore, there was a correlated response in the speed at which progeny reversed a learned discrimination of 2 odors. These genetic analyses may reveal underlying mechanisms that these 2 learning paradigms have in common.

  5. Brood cell size of Apis mellifera modifies the reproductive behavior of Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Matías; Damiani, Natalia; Ruffinengo, Sergio; De Jong, David; Principal, Judith; Eguaras, Martín

    2010-03-01

    We undertook a field study to determine whether comb cell size affects the reproductive behavior of Varroa destructor under natural conditions. We examined the effect of brood cell width on the reproductive behavior of V. destructor in honey bee colonies, under natural conditions. Drone and worker brood combs were sampled from 11 colonies of Apis mellifera. A Pearson correlation test and a Tukey test were used to determine whether mite reproduction rate varied with brood cell width. Generalized additive model analysis showed that infestation rate increased positively and linearly with the width of worker and drone cells. The reproduction rate for viable mother mites was 0.96 viable female descendants per original invading female. No significant correlation was observed between brood cell width and number of offspring of V. destructor. Infertile mother mites were more frequent in narrower brood cells.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moritz, Robin F. A.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Hepburn, H. Randall; Neumann, Peter

    2008-06-01

    The short-sighted selection hypothesis for parasite virulence predicts that winners of within-host competition are poorer at transmission to new hosts. Social parasitism by self-replicating, female-producing workers occurs in the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis, and colonies of other honeybee subspecies are susceptible hosts. We found high within-host virulence but low transmission rates in a clone of social parasitic A. m. capensis workers invading the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In contrast, parasitic workers from the endemic range of A. m. capensis showed low within-host virulence but high transmission rates. This suggests a short-sighted selection scenario for the host-parasite co-evolution in the invasive range of the Cape honeybee, probably facilitated by beekeeping-assisted parasite transmission in apiaries.

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

    PubMed

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

    1988-01-01

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

  8. Heritable variation for latent inhibition and its correlation with reversal learning in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Chandra, S B; Hosler, J S; Smith, B H

    2000-03-01

    Latent inhibition (LI) in honeybees (Apis mellifera) was studied by using a proboscis extension response conditioning procedure. Individual queens, drones, and workers differed in the degree to which they revealed LI. The authors hypothesized that individual differences would have a substantial genetic basis. Two sets of progeny were established by crossing virgin queens and individual drones, both of which had been selected for differential expression of inhibition. LI was stronger in the progeny from the queens and drones that had shown greater inhibition. The expression of LI was also dependent on environmental factors that are most likely associated with age, foraging experience outside of the colony, or both. Furthermore, there was a correlated response in the speed at which progeny reversed a learned discrimination of 2 odors. These genetic analyses may reveal underlying mechanisms that these 2 learning paradigms have in common. PMID:10739314

  9. Effects of captan on Apis mellifera brood development under field conditions in California almond orchards.

    PubMed

    Everich, R; Schiller, C; Whitehead, J; Beavers, M; Barrett, K

    2009-02-01

    Three almond field trials were conducted during 2003 and 2004 at two locations in central (Fresno County) and northern (Yolo County) California to evaluate the potential effects of commercial applications of Captan on honey bees, Apis mellifera L. Captan was applied at 5.0 kg (AI)/ha during bloom. Hives were evaluated for hive health and brood development parameters for approximately 2 mo after application. This study showed that the application of Captan was not harmful to foraging honey bees or their brood. No treatment-related effects were noted on hive weights, dead bee deformity, number of dead bees, survival of individual larvae, weight of individual emerging adults, and other hive health parameters. PMID:19253613

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

    PubMed Central

    Golding, Y C; Edmunds, M

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Golding, Y C; Edmunds, M

    2000-05-01

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

  12. Mimicry of queen Dufour's gland secretions by workers of Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis.

    PubMed

    Sole, Catherine L; Kryger, Per; Hefetz, Abraham; Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Crewe, Robin M

    2002-12-01

    The development of the Dufour's gland of workers of the two honey bee races Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis was measured. The Dufour's glands of A. m. capensis workers were longer and increased in length more rapidly than the glands of workers of A. m. scutellata at comparable ages. Analysis of the Dufour's gland secretions of workers and queens of both races revealed that there were caste and racial differences. Secretions of queenright A. m. scutellata workers were dominated by a series of long-chain hydrocarbons. In contrast the secretions of the A. m. capensis workers both under queenright and queenless conditions were a mixture of hydrocarbons and wax-type esters, as were those of queens. Multivariate analysis of the secretion profiles indicated that laying workers of both races mimic queens. The secretions of the A. m. capensis laying workers mimicked queen secretions most closely, enabling them to act as successful social parasites.

  13. Mimicry of queen Dufour's gland secretions by workers of Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sole, Catherine; Kryger, Per; Hefetz, Abraham; Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Crewe, Robin

    2002-10-01

    The development of the Dufour's gland of workers of the two honey bee races Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis was measured. The Dufour's glands of A. m. capensis workers were longer and increased in length more rapidly than the glands of workers of A. m. scutellata at comparable ages. Analysis of the Dufour's gland secretions of workers and queens of both races revealed that there were caste and racial differences. Secretions of queenright A. m. scutellata workers were dominated by a series of long-chain hydrocarbons. In contrast the secretions of the A. m. capensis workers both under queenright and queenless conditions were a mixture of hydrocarbons and wax-type esters, as were those of queens. Multivariate analysis of the secretion profiles indicated that laying workers of both races mimic queens. The secretions of the A. m. capensis laying workers mimicked queen secretions most closely, enabling them to act as successful social parasites.

  14. 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.

  15. Comparative toxicities and synergism of apple orchard pesticides to Apis mellifera (L.) and Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski).

    PubMed

    Biddinger, David J; Robertson, Jacqueline L; Mullin, Chris; Frazier, James; Ashcraft, Sara A; Rajotte, Edwin G; Joshi, Neelendra K; Vaughn, Mace

    2013-01-01

    The topical toxicities of five commercial grade pesticides commonly sprayed in apple orchards were estimated on adult worker honey bees, Apis mellifera (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Japanese orchard bees, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The pesticides were acetamiprid (Assail 30SG), λ-cyhalothrin (Warrior II), dimethoate (Dimethoate 4EC), phosmet (Imidan 70W), and imidacloprid (Provado 1.6F). At least 5 doses of each chemical, diluted in distilled water, were applied to freshly-eclosed adult bees. Mortality was assessed after 48 hr. Dose-mortality regressions were analyzed by probit analysis to test the hypotheses of parallelism and equality by likelihood ratio tests. For A. mellifera, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD₅₀ was imidacloprid, λ-cyhalothrin, dimethoate, phosmet, and acetamiprid. For O. cornifrons, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD₅₀ was dimethoate, λ-cyhalothrin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and phosmet. Interaction of imidacloprid or acetamiprid with the fungicide fenbuconazole (Indar 2F) was also tested in a 1∶1 proportion for each species. Estimates of response parameters for each mixture component applied to each species were compared with dose-response data for each mixture in statistical tests of the hypothesis of independent joint action. For each mixture, the interaction of fenbuconazole (a material non-toxic to both species) was significant and positive along the entire line for the pesticide. Our results clearly show that responses of A. mellifera cannot be extrapolated to responses of O.cornifrons, and that synergism of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides occurs using formulated product in mixtures as they are commonly applied in apple orchards. PMID:24039783

  16. Drug leads agents from methanol extract of Nigerian bee (Apis mellifera) propolis

    PubMed Central

    Lawal, Bashir; Shittu, Oluwatosin Kudirat; Abubakar, Asmau Niwoye; Olalekan, Ibrahim Azeez; Jimoh, Adisa Mohammed; Abdulazeez, Adeniyi Kamoru

    2016-01-01

    Background: Propolis is a bee (Apis mellifera) product of plant origin with varied chemical composition depending on the ecology of the botanical origin. It has been reported in literature to possess various therapeutic effects both traditionally, clinical trial, and animal study. Objectives: In the present study bioactive principle in methanol extract of Nigerian bee (A. mellifera) propolis was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) study. Materials and Methods: The methanol extract of Nigerian bee (A. mellifera) propolis was characterized for its chemical composition by preliminary phytochemicals screening and GC/MS analysis using standard procedures and methods. Results: Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, tannins, cardiac glycosides, anthraquinones phlobatannins, and steroids while GC/MS chromatogram revealed nineteen peaks representing 60 different chemical compounds. The first compounds identified with less retention time (RT) (13.33s) were methyl tetradecanoate, tridecanoic acid, methyl ester, decanoic acid, methyl ester while squalene, all-trans-squalene, 2,6,10-dodecatrien-1-ol, 3,7,11-trimethyl-, (E,E)- and farnesol isomer a took longest RT (23.647s) to identify. Methyl 14-methylpentadecanoate, hexadecanoic acid methyl ester, methyl isoheptadecanoate, and methyl tridecanoate were the most concentrated constituent as revealed by there peak height (26.01%) while eicosanoic acid was the least concentrated (peak height 0.81%) constituent of Nigerian bee propolis. Conclusion: The presence of these chemical principles is an indication that methanol extract of Nigeria bee propolis, if properly screened could yield a drug of pharmaceutical importance. PMID:27069724

  17. MRJP microsatellite markers in Africanized Apis mellifera colonies selected on the basis of royal jelly production.

    PubMed

    Parpinelli, R S; Ruvolo-Takasusuki, M C C; Toledo, V A A

    2014-01-01

    It is important to select the best honeybees that produce royal jelly to identify important molecular markers, such as major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), and hence contribute to the development of new breeding strategies to improve the production of this substance. Therefore, this study focused on evaluating the genetic variability of mrjp3, mrjp5, and mrjp8 and associated allele maintenance during the process of selective reproduction in Africanized Apis mellifera individuals, which were chosen based on royal jelly production. The three loci analyzed were polymorphic, and produced a total of 16 alleles, with 4 new alleles, which were identified at mrjp5. The effective number of alleles at mrjp3 was 3.81. The observed average heterozygosity was 0.4905, indicating a high degree of genetic variability at these loci. The elevated FIS values for mrjp3, mrjp5, and mrjp8 (0.4188, 0.1077, and 0.2847, respectively) indicate an excess of homozygotes. The selection of Africanized A. mellifera queens for royal jelly production has maintained the mrjp3 C, D, and E alleles; although, the C allele occurred at a low frequency. The heterozygosity and FIS values show that the genetic variability of the queens is decreasing at the analyzed loci, generating an excess of homozygotes. However, the large numbers of drones that fertilize the queens make it difficult to develop homozygotes at mrjp3. Mating through instrumental insemination using the drones of known genotypes is required to increase the efficiency of Africanized A. mellifera-breeding programs, and to improve the quality and efficiency of commercial royal jelly apiaries. PMID:25177952

  18. Comparative toxicities and synergism of apple orchard pesticides to Apis mellifera (L.) and Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski).

    PubMed

    Biddinger, David J; Robertson, Jacqueline L; Mullin, Chris; Frazier, James; Ashcraft, Sara A; Rajotte, Edwin G; Joshi, Neelendra K; Vaughn, Mace

    2013-01-01

    The topical toxicities of five commercial grade pesticides commonly sprayed in apple orchards were estimated on adult worker honey bees, Apis mellifera (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Japanese orchard bees, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The pesticides were acetamiprid (Assail 30SG), λ-cyhalothrin (Warrior II), dimethoate (Dimethoate 4EC), phosmet (Imidan 70W), and imidacloprid (Provado 1.6F). At least 5 doses of each chemical, diluted in distilled water, were applied to freshly-eclosed adult bees. Mortality was assessed after 48 hr. Dose-mortality regressions were analyzed by probit analysis to test the hypotheses of parallelism and equality by likelihood ratio tests. For A. mellifera, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD₅₀ was imidacloprid, λ-cyhalothrin, dimethoate, phosmet, and acetamiprid. For O. cornifrons, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD₅₀ was dimethoate, λ-cyhalothrin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and phosmet. Interaction of imidacloprid or acetamiprid with the fungicide fenbuconazole (Indar 2F) was also tested in a 1∶1 proportion for each species. Estimates of response parameters for each mixture component applied to each species were compared with dose-response data for each mixture in statistical tests of the hypothesis of independent joint action. For each mixture, the interaction of fenbuconazole (a material non-toxic to both species) was significant and positive along the entire line for the pesticide. Our results clearly show that responses of A. mellifera cannot be extrapolated to responses of O.cornifrons, and that synergism of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides occurs using formulated product in mixtures as they are commonly applied in apple orchards.

  19. MRJP microsatellite markers in Africanized Apis mellifera colonies selected on the basis of royal jelly production.

    PubMed

    Parpinelli, R S; Ruvolo-Takasusuki, M C C; Toledo, V A A

    2014-08-28

    It is important to select the best honeybees that produce royal jelly to identify important molecular markers, such as major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), and hence contribute to the development of new breeding strategies to improve the production of this substance. Therefore, this study focused on evaluating the genetic variability of mrjp3, mrjp5, and mrjp8 and associated allele maintenance during the process of selective reproduction in Africanized Apis mellifera individuals, which were chosen based on royal jelly production. The three loci analyzed were polymorphic, and produced a total of 16 alleles, with 4 new alleles, which were identified at mrjp5. The effective number of alleles at mrjp3 was 3.81. The observed average heterozygosity was 0.4905, indicating a high degree of genetic variability at these loci. The elevated FIS values for mrjp3, mrjp5, and mrjp8 (0.4188, 0.1077, and 0.2847, respectively) indicate an excess of homozygotes. The selection of Africanized A. mellifera queens for royal jelly production has maintained the mrjp3 C, D, and E alleles; although, the C allele occurred at a low frequency. The heterozygosity and FIS values show that the genetic variability of the queens is decreasing at the analyzed loci, generating an excess of homozygotes. However, the large numbers of drones that fertilize the queens make it difficult to develop homozygotes at mrjp3. Mating through instrumental insemination using the drones of known genotypes is required to increase the efficiency of Africanized A. mellifera-breeding programs, and to improve the quality and efficiency of commercial royal jelly apiaries.

  20. Comparative Toxicities and Synergism of Apple Orchard Pesticides to Apis mellifera (L.) and Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski)

    PubMed Central

    Biddinger, David J.; Robertson, Jacqueline L.; Mullin, Chris; Frazier, James; Ashcraft, Sara A.; Rajotte, Edwin G.; Joshi, Neelendra K.; Vaughn, Mace

    2013-01-01

    The topical toxicities of five commercial grade pesticides commonly sprayed in apple orchards were estimated on adult worker honey bees, Apis mellifera (L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Japanese orchard bees, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). The pesticides were acetamiprid (Assail 30SG), λ-cyhalothrin (Warrior II), dimethoate (Dimethoate 4EC), phosmet (Imidan 70W), and imidacloprid (Provado 1.6F). At least 5 doses of each chemical, diluted in distilled water, were applied to freshly-eclosed adult bees. Mortality was assessed after 48 hr. Dose-mortality regressions were analyzed by probit analysis to test the hypotheses of parallelism and equality by likelihood ratio tests. For A. mellifera, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD50 was imidacloprid, λ-cyhalothrin, dimethoate, phosmet, and acetamiprid. For O. cornifrons, the decreasing order of toxicity at LD50 was dimethoate, λ-cyhalothrin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and phosmet. Interaction of imidacloprid or acetamiprid with the fungicide fenbuconazole (Indar 2F) was also tested in a 1∶1 proportion for each species. Estimates of response parameters for each mixture component applied to each species were compared with dose-response data for each mixture in statistical tests of the hypothesis of independent joint action. For each mixture, the interaction of fenbuconazole (a material non-toxic to both species) was significant and positive along the entire line for the pesticide. Our results clearly show that responses of A. mellifera cannot be extrapolated to responses of O.cornifrons, and that synergism of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides occurs using formulated product in mixtures as they are commonly applied in apple orchards. PMID:24039783

  1. Morphometric and genetic changes in a population of Apis mellifera after 34 years of Africanization.

    PubMed

    Francoy, T M; Wittmann, D; Steinhage, V; Drauschke, M; Müller, S; Cunha, D R; Nascimento, A M; Figueiredo, V L C; Simões, Z L P; De Jong, D; Arias, M C; Gonçalves, L S

    2009-01-01

    Though the replacement of European bees by Africanized honey bees in tropical America has attracted considerable attention, little is known about the temporal changes in morphological and genetic characteristics in these bee populations. We examined the changes in the morphometric and genetic profiles of an Africanized honey bee population collected near where the original African swarms escaped, after 34 years of Africanization. Workers from colonies sampled in 1968 and in 2002 were morphometrically analyzed using relative warps analysis and an Automatic Bee Identification System (ABIS). All the colonies had their mitochondrial DNA identified. The subspecies that mixed to form the Africanized honey bees were used as a comparison for the morphometric analysis. The two morphometric approaches showed great similarity of Africanized bees with the African subspecies, Apis mellifera scutellata, corroborating with other markers. We also found the population of 1968 to have the pattern of wing venation to be more similar to A. m. scutellata than the current population. The mitochondrial DNA of European origin, which was very common in the 1968 population, was not found in the current population, indicating selective pressure replacing the European with the African genome in this tropical region. Both morphometric methodologies were very effective in discriminating the A. mellifera groups; the non-linear analysis of ABIS was the most successful in identifying the bees, with more than 94% correct classifications. PMID:19554770

  2. Developing an in vivo toxicity assay for RNAi risk assessment in honey bees, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Vélez, Ana María; Jurzenski, Jessica; Matz, Natalie; Zhou, Xuguo; Wang, Haichuan; Ellis, Marion; Siegfried, Blair D

    2016-02-01

    Maize plants expressing dsRNA for the management of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera are likely to be commercially available by the end of this decade. Honey bees, Apis mellifera, can potentially be exposed to pollen from transformed maize expressing dsRNA. Consequently, evaluation of the biological impacts of RNAi in honey bees is a fundamental component for ecological risk assessment. The insecticidal activity of a known lethal dsRNA target for D. v. virgifera, the vATPase subunit A, was evaluated in larval and adult honey bees. Activity of both D. v. virgifera (Dvv)- and A. mellifera (Am)-specific dsRNA was tested by dietary exposure to dsRNA. Larval development, survival, adult eclosion, adult life span and relative gene expression were evaluated. The results of these tests indicated that Dvv vATPase-A dsRNA has limited effects on larval and adult honey bee survival. Importantly, no effects were observed upon exposure of Am vATPase-A dsRNA suggesting that the lack of response involves factors other than sequence specificity. The results from this study provide guidance for future RNAi risk analyses and for the development of a risk assessment framework that incorporates similar hazard assessments.

  3. Genetic structure of Varroa destructor populations infesting Apis mellifera colonies in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Maggi, M; Medici, S; Quintana, S; Ruffinengo, S; Marcángeli, J; Gimenez Martinez, P; Fuselli, S; Eguaras, M

    2012-04-01

    Although mitochondrial DNA mapping of Varroa destructor revealed the presence of several haplotypes, only two of them (Korean and Japanese haplotypes) were capable to infest Apis mellifera populations. Even though the Korean haplotype is the only one that has been reported in Argentina, these conclusions were based on mites sampled in apiaries from a specific geographical place (Buenos Aires province). To study mites from several sites of Argentina could reveal the presence of the Japanese genotype, especially considering sites near to Brazil, where Japanese haplotype was already detected. The aim of this work was to study the genetic structure of V. destructor populations from apiaries located in various provinces of Argentina, in order to determine the presence of different haplotypes. The study was carried out between January 2006 and December 2009. Phoretic adult Varroa mites were collected from honey bee workers sampled from colonies of A. mellifera located in Entre Ríos, Buenos Aires, Corrientes, Río Negro, Santa Cruz and Neuquén provinces. Twenty female mites from each sampling site were used to carry out the genetic analysis. For DNA extraction a nondestructive method was used. DNA sequences were compared to Korean haplotype (AF106899) and Japanese haplotype (AF106897). All DNA sequences obtained from mite populations sampled in Argentina, share 98% of similitude with Korean Haplotype (AF106899). Taking into account these results, we are able to conclude that Korean haplotype is cosmopolite in Argentina.

  4. Beyond 9-ODA: sex pheromone communication in the European honey bee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Brockmann, Axel; Dietz, Daniel; Spaethe, Johannes; Tautz, Jürgen

    2006-03-01

    The major component of the mandibular gland secretion of queen honeybees (Apis mellifera L.), 9-ODA ((2E)-9-oxodecenoic acid), has been known for more than 40 yr to function as a long-range sex pheromone, attracting drones at congregation areas and drone flyways. Tests of other mandibular gland components failed to demonstrate attraction. It remained unclear whether these components served any function in mating behavior. We performed dual-choice experiments, using a rotating drone carousel, to test the attractiveness of 9-ODA compared to mixtures of 9-ODA with three other most abundant components in virgin queen mandibular gland secretions: (2E)-9-hydroxydecenoic acid (9-HDA), (2E)-10-hydroxydecenoic acid (10-HDA), and p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB). We found no differences in the number of drones attracted to 9-ODA or the respective mixtures over a distance. However, adding 9-HDA and 10-HDA, or 9-HDA, 10-HDA, and HOB to 9-ODA increased the number of drones making contact with the baited dummy. On the basis of these results, we suggest that at least 9-HDA and 10-HDA are additional components of the sex pheromone blend of A. mellifera.

  5. Bee Venom (Apis Mellifera) an Effective Potential Alternative to Gentamicin for Specific Bacteria Strains

    PubMed Central

    Zolfagharian, Hossein; Mohajeri, Mohammad; Babaie, Mahdi

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Mellitine, a major component of bee venom (BV, Apis mellifera), is more active against gram positive than gram negative bacteria. Moreover, BV has been reported to have multiple effects, including antibacterial, antivirus, and anti-inflammation effects, in various types of cells. In addition, wasp venom has been reported to have antibacterial properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of BV against selected gram positive and gram negative bacterial strains of medical importance. Methods: This investigation was set up to evaluate the antibacterial activity of BV against six grams positive and gram negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Three concentrations of crude BV and standard antibiotic (gentamicin) disks as positive controls were tested by using the disc diffusion method. Results: BV was found to have a significant antibacterial effect against E. coli, S. aureus, and Salmonella typhyimurium in all three concentrations tested. However, BV had no noticeable effect on other tested bacteria for any of the three doses tested. Conclusion: The results of the current study indicate that BV inhibits the growth and survival of bacterial strains and that BV can be used as a complementary antimicrobial agent against pathogenic bacteria. BV lacked the effective proteins necessary for it to exhibit antibacterial activity for some specific strains while being very effective against other specific strains. Thus, one may conclude, that Apis mellifera venom may have a specific mechanism that allows it to have an antibacterial effect on certain susceptible bacteria, but that mechanism is not well understood. PMID:27695631

  6. Bee Venom (Apis Mellifera) an Effective Potential Alternative to Gentamicin for Specific Bacteria Strains

    PubMed Central

    Zolfagharian, Hossein; Mohajeri, Mohammad; Babaie, Mahdi

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Mellitine, a major component of bee venom (BV, Apis mellifera), is more active against gram positive than gram negative bacteria. Moreover, BV has been reported to have multiple effects, including antibacterial, antivirus, and anti-inflammation effects, in various types of cells. In addition, wasp venom has been reported to have antibacterial properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of BV against selected gram positive and gram negative bacterial strains of medical importance. Methods: This investigation was set up to evaluate the antibacterial activity of BV against six grams positive and gram negative bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Three concentrations of crude BV and standard antibiotic (gentamicin) disks as positive controls were tested by using the disc diffusion method. Results: BV was found to have a significant antibacterial effect against E. coli, S. aureus, and Salmonella typhyimurium in all three concentrations tested. However, BV had no noticeable effect on other tested bacteria for any of the three doses tested. Conclusion: The results of the current study indicate that BV inhibits the growth and survival of bacterial strains and that BV can be used as a complementary antimicrobial agent against pathogenic bacteria. BV lacked the effective proteins necessary for it to exhibit antibacterial activity for some specific strains while being very effective against other specific strains. Thus, one may conclude, that Apis mellifera venom may have a specific mechanism that allows it to have an antibacterial effect on certain susceptible bacteria, but that mechanism is not well understood.

  7. Honey Bee Venom (Apis mellifera) Contains Anticoagulation Factors and Increases the Blood-clotting Time

    PubMed Central

    Zolfagharian, Hossein; Mohajeri, Mohammad; Babaie, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Bee venom (BV) is a complex mixture of proteins and contains proteins such as phospholipase and melittin, which have an effect on blood clotting and blood clots. The mechanism of action of honey bee venom (HBV, Apis mellifera) on human plasma proteins and its anti-thrombotic effect were studied. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-coagulation effect of BV and its effects on blood coagulation and purification. Methods: Crude venom obtained from Apis mellifera was selected. The anti-coagulation factor of the crude venom from this species was purified by using gel filtration chromatography (sephadex G-50), and the molecular weights of the anti-coagulants in this venom estimated by using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Blood samples were obtained from 10 rabbits, and the prothrombin time (PT) and the partial thromboplastin time (PTT) tests were conducted. The approximate lethal dose (LD) values of BV were determined. Results: Crude BV increased the blood clotting time. For BV concentrations from 1 to 4 mg/mL, clotting was not observed even at more than 300 seconds, standard deviations (SDs) = ± 0.71; however, clotting was observed in the control group 13.8 s, SDs = ± 0.52. Thus, BV can be considered as containing anti-coagulation factors. Crude BV is composed 4 protein bands with molecular weights of 3, 15, 20 and 41 kilodalton (kDa), respectively. The LD50 of the crude BV was found to be 177.8 μg/mouse. Conclusion: BV contains anti-coagulation factors. The fraction extracted from the Iranian bees contains proteins that are similar to anti-coagulation proteins, such as phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and melittin, and that can increase the blood clotting times in vitro. PMID:26998384

  8. Sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey R; Mehmann, Marion M; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone) and female (worker) honey bees (Apis mellifera), inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV). These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  11. Sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey R; Mehmann, Marion M; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone) and female (worker) honey bees (Apis mellifera), inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV). These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels. PMID:24465518

  12. Sex-Specific Differences in Pathogen Susceptibility in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Retschnig, Gina; Williams, Geoffrey R.; Mehmann, Marion M.; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Neumann, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Sex-related differences in susceptibility to pathogens are a common phenomenon in animals. In the eusocial Hymenoptera the two female castes, workers and queens, are diploid and males are haploid. The haploid susceptibility hypothesis predicts that haploid males are more susceptible to pathogen infections compared to females. Here we test this hypothesis using adult male (drone) and female (worker) honey bees (Apis mellifera), inoculated with the gut endoparasite Nosema ceranae and/or black queen cell virus (BQCV). These pathogens were chosen due to previously reported synergistic interactions between Nosema apis and BQCV. Our data do not support synergistic interactions between N. ceranae and BQCV and also suggest that BQCV has limited effect on both drone and worker health, regardless of the infection level. However, the data clearly show that, despite lower levels of N. ceranae spores in drones than in workers, Nosema-infected drones had both a higher mortality and a lower body mass than non-infected drones, across all treatment groups, while the mortality and body mass of worker bees were largely unaffected by N. ceranae infection, suggesting that drones are more susceptible to this pathogen than workers. In conclusion, the data reveal considerable sex-specific differences in pathogen susceptibility in honey bees and highlight the importance of ultimate measures for determining susceptibility, such as mortality and body quality, rather than mere infection levels. PMID:24465518

  13. Honey Bee Apis mellifera Parasites in the Absence of Nosema ceranae Fungi and Varroa destructor Mites

    PubMed Central

    Shutler, Dave; Head, Krista; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L.; Colwell, Megan J.; Levitt, Abby L.; Ostiguy, Nancy; Williams, Geoffrey R.

    2014-01-01

    Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi) and Varroa destructor (mites). Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%). Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray), tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0%) were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3%) had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%). Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively) with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present. PMID:24955834

  14. Honey bee Apis mellifera parasites in the absence of Nosema ceranae fungi and Varroa destructor mites.

    PubMed

    Shutler, Dave; Head, Krista; Burgher-MacLellan, Karen L; Colwell, Megan J; Levitt, Abby L; Ostiguy, Nancy; Williams, Geoffrey R

    2014-01-01

    Few areas of the world have western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies that are free of invasive parasites Nosema ceranae (fungi) and Varroa destructor (mites). Particularly detrimental is V. destructor; in addition to feeding on host haemolymph, these mites are important vectors of several viruses that are further implicated as contributors to honey bee mortality around the world. Thus, the biogeography and attendant consequences of viral communities in the absence of V. destructor are of significant interest. The island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is free of V. destructor; the absence of N. ceranae has not been confirmed. Of 55 Newfoundland colonies inspected visually for their strength and six signs of disease, only K-wing had prevalence above 5% (40/55 colonies = 72.7%). Similar to an earlier study, screenings again confirmed the absence of V. destructor, small hive beetles Aethina tumida (Murray), tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie), and Tropilaelaps spp. ectoparasitic mites. Of a subset of 23 colonies screened molecularly for viruses, none had Israeli acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, or sacbrood virus. Sixteen of 23 colonies (70.0%) were positive for black queen cell virus, and 21 (91.3%) had some evidence for deformed wing virus. No N. ceranae was detected in molecular screens of 55 colonies, although it is possible extremely low intensity infections exist; the more familiar N. apis was found in 53 colonies (96.4%). Under these conditions, K-wing was associated (positively) with colony strength; however, viruses and N. apis were not. Furthermore, black queen cell virus was positively and negatively associated with K-wing and deformed wing virus, respectively. Newfoundland honey bee colonies are thus free of several invasive parasites that plague operations in other parts of the world, and they provide a unique research arena to study independent pathology of the parasites that are present.

  15. A multiplex PCR assay to diagnose and quantify Nosema infections in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Goodwin, Paul H

    2010-10-01

    Correct identification of the microsporidia, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, is key to the study and control of Nosema disease of honey bees (Apis mellifera). A rapid DNA extraction method combined with multiplex PCR to amplify the 16S rRNA gene with species-specific primers was compared with a previously published assay requiring spore-germination buffer and a DNA extraction kit. When the spore germination-extraction kit method was used, 10 or more bees were required to detect the pathogens, whereas the new extraction method made it possible to detect the pathogens in single bees. Approx. 4-8 times better detection of N. ceranae was found with the new method compared to the spore germination-extraction kit method. In addition, the time and cost required to process samples was lower with the proposed method compared to using a kit. Using the new DNA extraction method, a spore quantification procedure was developed using a triplex PCR involving co-amplifying the N. apis and N. ceranae 16S rRNA gene with the ribosomal protein gene, RpS5, from the honey bee. The accuracy of this semi-quantitative PCR was determined by comparing the relative band intensities to the number of spores per bee determined by microscopy for 23 samples, and a high correlation (R(2)=0.95) was observed. This method of Nosema spore quantification revealed that spore numbers as low as 100 spores/bee could be detected by PCR. The new semi-quantitative triplex PCR assay is more sensitive, economical, rapid, simple, and reliable than previously published standard PCR-based methods for detection of Nosema and will be useful in laboratories where real-time PCR is not available.

  16. Go East for Better Honey Bee Health: Apis cerana Is Faster at Hygienic Behavior than A. mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Li, Li; Qin, Yao; Zhang, Yingying; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Zheng, Huoqing; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The poor health status of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, compared to its Eastern counterpart, Apis cerana, is remarkable. This has been attributed to lower pathogen prevalence in A. cerana colonies and to their ability to survive infestations with the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. These properties have been linked to an enhanced removal of dead or unhealthy immature bees by adult workers in this species. Although such hygienic behavior is known to contribute to honey bee colony health, comparative data of A. mellifera and A. cerana in performing this task are scarce. Here, we compare for the first time the removal of freeze-killed brood in one population of each species and over two seasons in China. Our results show that A. cerana was significantly faster than A. mellifera at both opening cell caps and removing freeze-killed brood. The fast detection and removal of diseased brood is likely to limit the proliferation of pathogenic agents. Given our results can be generalized to the species level, a rapid hygienic response could contribute to the better health of A. cerana. Promoting the fast detection and removal of worker brood through adapted breeding programs could further improve the social immunity of A. mellifera colonies and contribute to a better health status of the Western honey bee worldwide. PMID:27606819

  17. Go East for Better Honey Bee Health: Apis cerana Is Faster at Hygienic Behavior than A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    Lin, Zheguang; Page, Paul; Li, Li; Qin, Yao; Zhang, Yingying; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Zheng, Huoqing; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The poor health status of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, compared to its Eastern counterpart, Apis cerana, is remarkable. This has been attributed to lower pathogen prevalence in A. cerana colonies and to their ability to survive infestations with the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. These properties have been linked to an enhanced removal of dead or unhealthy immature bees by adult workers in this species. Although such hygienic behavior is known to contribute to honey bee colony health, comparative data of A. mellifera and A. cerana in performing this task are scarce. Here, we compare for the first time the removal of freeze-killed brood in one population of each species and over two seasons in China. Our results show that A. cerana was significantly faster than A. mellifera at both opening cell caps and removing freeze-killed brood. The fast detection and removal of diseased brood is likely to limit the proliferation of pathogenic agents. Given our results can be generalized to the species level, a rapid hygienic response could contribute to the better health of A. cerana. Promoting the fast detection and removal of worker brood through adapted breeding programs could further improve the social immunity of A. mellifera colonies and contribute to a better health status of the Western honey bee worldwide.

  18. Go East for Better Honey Bee Health: Apis cerana Is Faster at Hygienic Behavior than A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    Lin, Zheguang; Page, Paul; Li, Li; Qin, Yao; Zhang, Yingying; Hu, Fuliang; Neumann, Peter; Zheng, Huoqing; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The poor health status of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, compared to its Eastern counterpart, Apis cerana, is remarkable. This has been attributed to lower pathogen prevalence in A. cerana colonies and to their ability to survive infestations with the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor. These properties have been linked to an enhanced removal of dead or unhealthy immature bees by adult workers in this species. Although such hygienic behavior is known to contribute to honey bee colony health, comparative data of A. mellifera and A. cerana in performing this task are scarce. Here, we compare for the first time the removal of freeze-killed brood in one population of each species and over two seasons in China. Our results show that A. cerana was significantly faster than A. mellifera at both opening cell caps and removing freeze-killed brood. The fast detection and removal of diseased brood is likely to limit the proliferation of pathogenic agents. Given our results can be generalized to the species level, a rapid hygienic response could contribute to the better health of A. cerana. Promoting the fast detection and removal of worker brood through adapted breeding programs could further improve the social immunity of A. mellifera colonies and contribute to a better health status of the Western honey bee worldwide. PMID:27606819

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  1. Pollination services provided by bees in pumpkin fields supplemented with either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or not supplemented.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Jessica D; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system.

  2. Pollination services provided by bees in pumpkin fields supplemented with either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or not supplemented.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Jessica D; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system. PMID:23894544

  3. Pollination Services Provided by Bees in Pumpkin Fields Supplemented with Either Apis mellifera or Bombus impatiens or Not Supplemented

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Jessica D.; Reiners, Stephen; Nault, Brian A.

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators provide an important service in many crops. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are used to supplement pollination services provided by wild bees with the assumption that they will enhance pollination, fruit set and crop yield beyond the levels provided by the wild bees. Recent declines in managed honey bee populations have stimulated interest in finding alternative managed pollinators to service crops. In the eastern U.S., managed hives of the native common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) may be an excellent choice. To examine this issue, a comprehensive 2-yr study was conducted to compare fruit yield and bee visits to flowers in pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) fields that were either supplemented with A. mellifera hives, B. impatiens hives or were not supplemented. We compared pumpkin yield, A. mellifera flower visitation frequency and B. impatiens flower visitation frequency between treatments. Results indicated that supplementing pumpkin fields with either A. mellifera or B. impatiens hives did not increase their visitation to pumpkin flowers or fruit yield compared with those that were not supplemented. Next, the relationship between frequency of pumpkin flower visitation by the most prominent bee species (Peponapis pruinosa (Say), B. impatiens and A. mellifera) and fruit yield was determined across all pumpkin fields sampled. Fruit yield increased as the frequency of flower visits by A. mellifera and B. impatiens increased in 2011 and 2012, respectively. These results suggest that supplementation with managed bees may not improve pumpkin production and that A. mellifera and B. impatiens are important pollinators of pumpkin in our system. PMID:23894544

  4. A microsatellite-based linkage map of the honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed Central

    Solignac, Michel; Vautrin, Dominique; Baudry, Emmanuelle; Mougel, Florence; Loiseau, Anne; Cornuet, Jean-Marie

    2004-01-01

    A linkage map for the honeybee (Apis mellifera) was constructed mainly from the progeny of two hybrid queens (A. m. ligustica x A. m. mellifera). A total of 541 loci were mapped; 474 were microsatellite loci; a few were additional bands produced during PCRs, one of the two rDNA loci (using ITS), the MDH locus, and three sex-linked markers (Q and FB loci and one RAPD band). Twenty-four linkage groups were estimated of which 5 were minute (between 7.1 and 22.8 cM) and 19 were major groups (>76.5 cM). The number of major linkage groups exceeded by three the number of chromosomes of the complement (n = 16). The sum of the lengths of all linkage groups amounts to 4061 cM to which must be added at least 320 cM to link groups in excess, making a total of at least 4381 cM. The length of the largest linkage group I was 630 cM. The average density of markers was 7.5 cM and the average resolution was about one marker every 300 kb. For most of the large groups, the centromeric region was determined genetically, as described in (accompanying article in this issue), using half-tetrad analysis of thelytokous parthenogens in which diploid restoration occurs through central fusion. Several cases of segregation distortion that appreared to result from deleterious recessives were discovered. A low positive interference was also detected. PMID:15166152

  5. Regular dorsal dimples and damaged mites of Varroa destructor in some Iranian honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Ardestani, Masoud M; Ebadi, Rahim; Tahmasbi, Gholamhossein

    2011-07-01

    The frequency of damaged Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Mesostigmata: Varroidae) found on the bottom board of hives of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has been used as an indicator of the degree of tolerance or resistance of honey bee colonies against mites. However, it is not clear that this measure is adequate. These injuries should be separated from regular dorsal dimples that have a developmental origin. To investigate damage to Varroa mites and regular dorsal dimples, 32 honey bee (A. mellifera) colonies were selected from four Iranian provinces: Isfahan, Markazi, Qazvin, and Tehran. These colonies were part of the National Honey bee Breeding Program that resulted in province-specific races. In April, Varroa mites were collected from heavily infested colonies and used to infest the 32 experimental colonies. In August, 20 of these colonies were selected (five colonies from each province). Adult bees from these colonies were placed in cages and after introducing mites, damaged mites were collected from each cage every day. The average percentage of injured mites ranged from 0.6 to 3.0% in four provinces. The results did not show any statistical differences between the colonies within provinces for injuries to mites, but there were some differences among province-specific lines. Two kinds of injuries to the mites were observed: injuries to legs and pedipalps, and injuries to other parts of the body. There were also some regular dorsal dimples on dorsal idiosoma of the mites that were placed in categories separate from mites damaged by bees. This type of classification helps identifying damage to mites and comparing them with developmental origin symptoms, and may provide criteria for selecting bees tolerant or resistant to this mite.

  6. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones survive oxidative stress due to increased tolerance instead of avoidance or repair of oxidative damage.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees.

  7. Effect of Olfactory Stimulus on the Flight Course of a Honeybee, Apis mellifera, in a Wind Tunnel.

    PubMed

    Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Akamatsu, Tadaaki; Hasegawa, Yuji; Ai, Hiroyuki

    2013-12-31

    It is known that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, uses olfactory stimulus as important information for orienting to food sources. Several studies on olfactory-induced orientation flight have been conducted in wind tunnels and in the field. From these studies, optical sensing is used as the main information with the addition of olfactory signals and the navigational course followed by these sensory information. However, it is not clear how olfactory information is reflected in the navigation of flight. In this study, we analyzed the detailed properties of flight when oriented to an odor source in a wind tunnel. We recorded flying bees with a video camera to analyze the flight area, speed, angular velocity and trajectory. After bees were trained to be attracted to a feeder, the flight trajectories with or without the olfactory stimulus located upwind of the feeder were compared. The results showed that honeybees flew back and forth in the proximity of the odor source, and the search range corresponded approximately to the odor spread area. It was also shown that the angular velocity was different inside and outside the odor spread area, and trajectories tended to be bent or curved just outside the area.

  8. Effect of Olfactory Stimulus on the Flight Course of a Honeybee, Apis mellifera, in a Wind Tunnel

    PubMed Central

    Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Akamatsu, Tadaaki; Hasegawa, Yuji; Ai, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    It is known that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, uses olfactory stimulus as important information for orienting to food sources. Several studies on olfactory-induced orientation flight have been conducted in wind tunnels and in the field. From these studies, optical sensing is used as the main information with the addition of olfactory signals and the navigational course followed by these sensory information. However, it is not clear how olfactory information is reflected in the navigation of flight. In this study, we analyzed the detailed properties of flight when oriented to an odor source in a wind tunnel. We recorded flying bees with a video camera to analyze the flight area, speed, angular velocity and trajectory. After bees were trained to be attracted to a feeder, the flight trajectories with or without the olfactory stimulus located upwind of the feeder were compared. The results showed that honeybees flew back and forth in the proximity of the odor source, and the search range corresponded approximately to the odor spread area. It was also shown that the angular velocity was different inside and outside the odor spread area, and trajectories tended to be bent or curved just outside the area. PMID:26462581

  9. Ultrastructural alterations in cortex of adrenal gland caused by the toxic effect of bee (Apis mellifera) venom.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Acosta, A; Vega, J; Finol, H J; Pulido-Mendez, M

    2003-07-01

    Bee accidents incidence is underestimated because many people do not consult to the physicians. Here it is described for the first time the severe mice adrenal gland damage induced by Apis mellifera venom. Biopsy specimens were obtained from mice adrenal gland and after sample preparation observed in Hitachi H-7100 electron microscope. In this work the ultrastructural analysis showed, 6 h after injection, a non homogeneous smooth endothelial reticulum, and in some places loss of plasma membrane. The fenestrae spaces were bigger and detritus in the capillary lumen were observed. Erythrocytes were seen in a cortical cell. After 48 h of venom injection, expanded fenestrae were observed. Capillary basal membrane was interrupted. Myelin-like figures and autophagic vacuoles were noticed. Swollen smooth endoplasmic reticulum elements and endothelial unfolding to the light were seen. Moreover, swollen Golgi and mitochondria were observed, in some places forming myelinic-like figures. At 144 h after venom injection, widened spaces were noticed in capillary fenestrae. Cellular section showed swollen and lost smooth endoplasmic reticulum elements. Smooth endoplasmic reticulum tubules disappearance suggested non steroidogenesis. In conclusion, we suggest that some of the bee envenoming human clinical manifestations, as is observed in mice, are determined by suprarenal gland damage produced by toxins present in this venom.

  10. A Causal Analysis of Observed Declines in Managed Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Staveley, Jane P.; Law, Sheryl A.; Fairbrother, Anne; Menzie, Charles A.

    2013-01-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a highly valuable, semi-free-ranging managed agricultural species. While the number of managed hives has been increasing, declines in overwinter survival, and the onset of colony collapse disorder in 2006, precipitated a large amount of research on bees' health in an effort to isolate the causative factors. A workshop was convened during which bee experts were introduced to a formal causal analysis approach to compare 39 candidate causes against specified criteria to evaluate their relationship to the reduced overwinter survivability observed since 2006 of commercial bees used in the California almond industry. Candidate causes were categorized as probable, possible, or unlikely; several candidate causes were categorized as indeterminate due to lack of information. Due to time limitations, a full causal analysis was not completed at the workshop. In this article, examples are provided to illustrate the process and provide preliminary findings, using three candidate causes. Varroa mites plus viruses were judged to be a “probable cause” of the reduced survival, while nutrient deficiency was judged to be a “possible cause.” Neonicotinoid pesticides were judged to be “unlikely” as the sole cause of this reduced survival, although they could possibly be a contributing factor. PMID:24363549

  11. The effect of insecticides on learning in the Africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Abramson, C I; Aquino, I S; Ramalho, F S; Price, J M

    1999-11-01

    The present study was designed to examine the effects of endosulfan, decis, baytroid, and sevin on the learning ability of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Although these insecticides were recommended by the government of Brazil to control the cotton boll weevil, the effects on bees have been unknown. Results of the present research show that: (1) bees readily consume each of the pesticides when placed in a sucrose solution; (2) the odors of the pesticides are not repellent to bees, and such odors can serve as conditioned stimuli; (3) learning occurs to various degrees when the insecticides are combined with the sucrose solution and used as an unconditioned stimulus; and (4) feeding the insecticides to the bees 1 h prior to conditioning leads to differing mortality. Because of the importance of bees for honey production, as well as pollination of cotton and other crops, recommendations are made for the use of decis and other measures for boll weevil control.http://link. springer-ny.com/link/service/journals/00244/bibs/37n4p529.++ +html

  12. In vitro effects of thiamethoxam on larvae of Africanized honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Tavares, Daiana Antonia; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Silva-Zacarin, Elaine Cristina Mathias; Malaspina, Osmar

    2015-09-01

    Several investigations have revealed the toxic effects that neonicotinoids can have on Apis mellifera, while few studies have evaluated the impact of these insecticides can have on the larval stage of the honeybee. From the lethal concentration (LC50) of thiamethoxam for the larvae of the Africanized honeybee, we evaluated the sublethal effects of this insecticide on morphology of the brain. After determine the LC50 (14.34 ng/μL of diet) of thiamethoxam, larvae were exposed to a sublethal concentration of thiamethoxam equivalent to 1.43 ng/μL by acute and subchronic exposure. Morphological and immunocytochemistry analysis of the brains of the exposed bees, showed condensed cells and early cell death in the optic lobes. Additional dose-related effects were observed on larval development. Our results show that the sublethal concentrations of thiamethoxam tested are toxic to Africanized honeybees larvae and can modulate the development and consequently could affect the maintenance and survival of the colony. These results represent the first assessment of the effects of thiamethoxam in Africanized honeybee larvae and should contribute to studies on honey bee colony decline. PMID:25985214

  13. Glycogen in honeybee queens, workers and drones (Apis mellifera carnica Pollm.).

    PubMed

    Crailsheim, K; Panzenböck, U

    1997-02-21

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica Pollm.) have low glycogen reserves in summer. Upon emergence drones have significantly larger amounts per unit weight when emerging, than workers; perhaps as adaption to the risk of not being fed as intensely as young workers. Maximum content was 0.23mg for workers (28d), and 0.59mg for drones (after emergence). Workers have relatively constant glycogen contents during their life, and very young drones have more glycogen than older ones. Young queens are similar to workers. In workers and queens in summer the greatest amounts of glycogen are found in the thorax. When the bees start flying (6th-8th day of life), drones have the highest amounts in the head (probably to supply their eyes), and upon maturity, drones have the least glycogen in the abdomen.Workers in winter show different glycogen values depending on whether they are active bees from the core area (0.23mg) or inactive ones from the outer surface of the winter cluster (0.37mg). They use glycogen from the thorax and the abdomen for their ongoing energy need.

  14. The dynamic DNA methylation cycle from egg to sperm in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Drewell, Robert A; Bush, Eliot C; Remnant, Emily J; Wong, Garrett T; Beeler, Suzannah M; Stringham, Jessica L; Lim, Julianne; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2014-07-01

    In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is central to the developmental regulation of caste differentiation, but may also be involved in additional biological functions. In this study, we examine the whole genome methylation profiles of three stages of the haploid honey bee genome: unfertilised eggs, the adult drones that develop from these eggs and the sperm produced by these drones. These methylomes reveal distinct patterns of methylation. Eggs and sperm show 381 genes with significantly different CpG methylation patterns, with the vast majority being more methylated in eggs. Adult drones show greatly reduced levels of methylation across the genome when compared with both gamete samples. This suggests a dynamic cycle of methylation loss and gain through the development of the drone and during spermatogenesis. Although fluxes in methylation during embryogenesis may account for some of the differentially methylated sites, the distinct methylation patterns at some genes suggest parent-specific epigenetic marking in the gametes. Extensive germ line methylation of some genes possibly explains the lower-than-expected frequency of CpG sites in these genes. We discuss the potential developmental and evolutionary implications of methylation in eggs and sperm in this eusocial insect species.

  15. 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

  16. Aversive conditioning in honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica): a comparison of drones and workers.

    PubMed

    Dinges, Christopher W; Avalos, Arian; Abramson, Charles I; Craig, David Philip Arthur; Austin, Zoe M; Varnon, Christopher A; Dal, Fatima Nur; Giray, Tugrul; Wells, Harrington

    2013-11-01

    Honey bees provide a model system to elucidate the relationship between sociality and complex behaviors within the same species, as females (workers) are highly social and males (drones) are more solitary. We report on aversive learning studies in drone and worker honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica) in escape, punishment and discriminative punishment situations. In all three experiments, a newly developed electric shock avoidance assay was used. The comparisons of expected and observed responses were performed with conventional statistical methods and a systematic randomization modeling approach called object oriented modeling. The escape experiment consisted of two measurements recorded in a master-yoked paradigm: frequency of response and latency to respond following administration of shock. Master individuals could terminate an unavoidable shock triggered by a decrementing 30 s timer by crossing the shuttlebox centerline following shock activation. Across all groups, there was large individual response variation. When assessing group response frequency and latency, master subjects performed better than yoked subjects for both workers and drones. In the punishment experiment, individuals were shocked upon entering the shock portion of a bilaterally wired shuttlebox. The shock portion was spatially static and unsignalled. Only workers effectively avoided the shock. The discriminative punishment experiment repeated the punishment experiment but included a counterbalanced blue and yellow background signal and the side of shock was manipulated. Drones correctly responded less than workers when shock was paired with blue. However, when shock was paired with yellow there was no observable difference between drones and workers.

  17. Cytotoxic effects of thiamethoxam in the midgut and malpighian tubules of Africanized Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Catae, Aline Fernanda; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; De Oliveira, Regiane Alves; Nocelli, Roberta Cornélio Ferreira; Malaspina, Osmar

    2014-04-01

    Due to its expansion, agriculture has become increasingly dependent on the use of pesticides. However, the indiscriminate use of insecticides has had additional effects on the environment. These products have a broad spectrum of action, and therefore the insecticide affects not only the pests but also non-target insects such as bees, which are important pollinators of agricultural crops and natural environments. Among the most used pesticides, the neonicotinoids are particularly harmful. One of the neonicotinoids of specific concern is thiamethoxam, which is used on a wide variety of crops and is toxic to bees. Thus, this study aimed to analyze the effects of this insecticide in the midgut and Malpighian tubule cells of Africanized Apis mellifera. Newly emerged workers were exposed until 8 days to a diet containing a sublethal dose of thiamethoxam equal to 1/10 of LC₅₀ (0.0428 ng a.i./l L of diet). The bees were dissected and the organs were processed for transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that thiamethoxam is cytotoxic to midgut and Malpighian tubules. In the midgut, the damage was more evident in bees exposed to the insecticide on the first day. On the eighth day, the cells were ultrastructurally intact suggesting a recovery of this organ. The Malpighian tubules showed pronounced alterations on the eighth day of exposure of bees to the insecticide. This study demonstrates that the continuous exposure to a sublethal dose of thiamethoxam can impair organs that are used during the metabolism of the insecticide.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  19. Routes of Acquisition of the Gut Microbiota of the Honey Bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Martinson, Vincent G.; Urban-Mead, Katherine; Moran, Nancy A.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of newly emerged Apis mellifera worker bees have demonstrated that their guts are colonized by a consistent core microbiota within several days of eclosure. We conducted experiments aimed at illuminating the transmission routes and spatiotemporal colonization dynamics of this microbiota. Experimental groups of newly emerged workers were maintained in cup cages and exposed to different potential transmission sources. Colonization patterns were evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to assess community sizes and using deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons to assess community composition. In addition, we monitored the establishment of the ileum and rectum communities within workers sampled over time from natural hive conditions. The study verified that workers initially lack gut bacteria and gain large characteristic communities in the ileum and rectum within 4 to 6 days within hives. Typical communities, resembling those of workers within hives, were established in the presence of nurse workers or nurse worker fecal material, and atypical communities of noncore or highly skewed compositions were established when workers were exposed only to oral trophallaxis or hive components (comb, honey, bee bread). The core species of Gram-negative bacteria, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, and Frischella perrara, were dependent on the presence of nurses or hindgut material, whereas some Gram-positive species were more often transferred through exposure to hive components. These results indicate aspects of the colony life cycle and behavior that are key to the propagation of the characteristic honey bee gut microbiota. PMID:25239900

  20. Caste-Specific Differences in Hindgut Microbial Communities of Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Yeoman, Carl J.; Wilson, Brenda A.; White, Bryan A.; Goldenfeld, Nigel; Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    Host-symbiont dynamics are known to influence host phenotype, but their role in social behavior has yet to be investigated. Variation in life history across honey bee (Apis mellifera) castes may influence community composition of gut symbionts, which may in turn influence caste phenotypes. We investigated the relationship between host-symbiont dynamics and social behavior by characterizing the hindgut microbiome among distinct honey bee castes: queens, males and two types of workers, nurses and foragers. Despite a shared hive environment and mouth-to-mouth food transfer among nestmates, we detected separation among gut microbiomes of queens, workers, and males. Gut microbiomes of nurses and foragers were similar to previously characterized honey bee worker microbiomes and to each other, despite differences in diet, activity, and exposure to the external environment. Queen microbiomes were enriched for bacteria that may enhance metabolic conversion of energy from food to egg production. We propose that the two types of workers, which have the highest diversity of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of bacteria, are central to the maintenance of the colony microbiome. Foragers may introduce new strains of bacteria to the colony from the environment and transfer them to nurses, who filter and distribute them to the rest of the colony. Our results support the idea that host-symbiont dynamics influence microbiome composition and, reciprocally, host social behavior. PMID:25874551

  1. Unexpectedly strong effect of caffeine on the vitality of western honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Strachecka, A; Krauze, M; Olszewski, K; Borsuk, G; Paleolog, J; Merska, M; Chobotow, J; Bajda, M; Grzywnowicz, K

    2014-11-01

    We examined the influence of caffeine on honeybee lifespan, Nosema resistance, key enzyme activities, metabolic compound concentrations, and total DNA methylation levels. Caffeine slowed age-related metabolic tendencies. Bees that consumed caffeine lived longer and were not infested with Nosema spp. Caffeine-treated workers had higher protein concentrations. The levels increased with aging but they then decreased in older bees. Caffeine increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, GPx, CAT, GST), AST, ALT, ALP, neutral proteases, and protease inhibitors, and the concentrations of uric acid, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, and Ca2+. Acidic and alkaline protease activities were lower in the bees treated with caffeine. Creatinine and Mg2+ concentrations were higher in the caffeine-treated workers but only up to 14 days of age. Caffeine significantly decreased DNA methylation levels in older bees. The compound could be considered as a natural diet supplement increasing apian resistance to stress factors. Our studies will enhance possibilities of using Apis mellifera as a model organism in gerontological studies.

  2. The dynamic DNA methylation cycle from egg to sperm in the honey bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Drewell, Robert A.; Bush, Eliot C.; Remnant, Emily J.; Wong, Garrett T.; Beeler, Suzannah M.; Stringham, Jessica L.; Lim, Julianne; Oldroyd, Benjamin P.

    2014-01-01

    In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is central to the developmental regulation of caste differentiation, but may also be involved in additional biological functions. In this study, we examine the whole genome methylation profiles of three stages of the haploid honey bee genome: unfertilised eggs, the adult drones that develop from these eggs and the sperm produced by these drones. These methylomes reveal distinct patterns of methylation. Eggs and sperm show 381 genes with significantly different CpG methylation patterns, with the vast majority being more methylated in eggs. Adult drones show greatly reduced levels of methylation across the genome when compared with both gamete samples. This suggests a dynamic cycle of methylation loss and gain through the development of the drone and during spermatogenesis. Although fluxes in methylation during embryogenesis may account for some of the differentially methylated sites, the distinct methylation patterns at some genes suggest parent-specific epigenetic marking in the gametes. Extensive germ line methylation of some genes possibly explains the lower-than-expected frequency of CpG sites in these genes. We discuss the potential developmental and evolutionary implications of methylation in eggs and sperm in this eusocial insect species. PMID:24924193

  3. Mitochondrial structure and dynamics as critical factors in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) caste development.

    PubMed

    Santos, Douglas Elias; Alberici, Luciane Carla; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2016-06-01

    The relationship between nutrition and phenotype is an especially challenging question in cases of facultative polyphenism, like the castes of social insects. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, unexpected modifications in conserved signaling pathways revealed the hypoxia response as a possible mechanism underlying the regulation of body size and organ growth. Hence, the current study was designed to investigate possible causes of why the three hypoxia core genes are overexpressed in worker larvae. Parting from the hypothesis that this has an endogenous cause and is not due to differences in external oxygen levels we investigated mitochondrial numbers and distribution, as well as mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates in fat body cells of queen and worker larvae during the caste fate-critical larval stages. By immunofluorescence and electron microscopy we found higher densities of mitochondria in queen larval fat body, a finding further confirmed by a citrate synthase assay quantifying mitochondrial functional units. Oxygen consumption measurements by high-resolution respirometry revealed that queen larvae have higher maximum capacities of ATP production at lower physiological demand. Finally, the expression analysis of mitogenesis-related factors showed that the honey bee TFB1 and TFB2 homologs, and a nutritional regulator, ERR, are overexpressed in queen larvae. These results are strong evidence that the differential nutrition of queen and worker larvae by nurse bees affects mitochondrial dynamics and functionality in the fat body of these larvae, hence explaining their differential hypoxia response. PMID:27058771

  4. The moment before touchdown: landing manoeuvres of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Evangelista, C; Kraft, P; Dacke, M; Reinhard, J; Srinivasan, M V

    2010-01-15

    Although landing is a crucial part of insect flight, it has attracted relatively little study. Here, we investigate, for the first time, the final moments of a honeybee's (Apis mellifera) landing manoeuvre. Using high-speed video recordings, we analyse the behaviour of bees as they approach and land on surfaces of various orientations. The bees enter a stable hover phase, immediately prior to touchdown. We have quantified behaviour during this hover phase and examined whether it changes as the tilt of the landing surface is varied from horizontal (floor), through sloped (uphill) and vertical (wall), to inverted (ceiling). The bees hover at a remarkably constant distance from the surface, irrespective of its tilt. Body inclination increases progressively as the tilt of the surface is increased, and is accompanied by an elevation of the antennae. The tight correlation between the tilt of the surface, and the orientation of the body and the antennae, indicates that the bee's visual system is capable of inferring the tilt of the surface, and pointing the antennae toward it. Touchdown is initiated by extending the appendage closest to the surface, namely, the hind legs when landing on horizontal or sloping surfaces, and the front legs or antennae when landing on vertical surfaces. Touchdown on inverted surfaces is most likely triggered by a mechanosensory signal from the antennae. Evidently, bees use a landing strategy that is flexibly tailored to the varying topography of the terrain.

  5. Forager bees (Apis mellifera) highly express immune and detoxification genes in tissues associated with nectar processing.

    PubMed

    Vannette, Rachel L; Mohamed, Abbas; Johnson, Brian R

    2015-11-09

    Pollinators, including honey bees, routinely encounter potentially harmful microorganisms and phytochemicals during foraging. However, the mechanisms by which honey bees manage these potential threats are poorly understood. In this study, we examine the expression of antimicrobial, immune and detoxification genes in Apis mellifera and compare between forager and nurse bees using tissue-specific RNA-seq and qPCR. Our analysis revealed extensive tissue-specific expression of antimicrobial, immune signaling, and detoxification genes. Variation in gene expression between worker stages was pronounced in the mandibular and hypopharyngeal gland (HPG), where foragers were enriched in transcripts that encode antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and immune response. Additionally, forager HPGs and mandibular glands were enriched in transcripts encoding detoxification enzymes, including some associated with xenobiotic metabolism. Using qPCR on an independent dataset, we verified differential expression of three AMP and three P450 genes between foragers and nurses. High expression of AMP genes in nectar-processing tissues suggests that these peptides may contribute to antimicrobial properties of honey or to honey bee defense against environmentally-acquired microorganisms. Together, these results suggest that worker role and tissue-specific expression of AMPs, and immune and detoxification enzymes may contribute to defense against microorganisms and xenobiotic compounds acquired while foraging.

  6. Odour coding is bilaterally symmetrical in the antennal lobes of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Galizia, C G; Nägler, K; Hölldobler, B; Menzel, R

    1998-09-01

    The primary olfactory neuropil, the antennal lobe (AL) in insects, is organized in glomeruli. Glomerular activity patterns are believed to represent the across-fibre pattern of the olfactory code. These patterns depend on an organized innervation from the afferent receptor cells, and interconnections of local interneurons. It is unclear how the complex organization of the AL is achieved ontogenetically. In this study, we measured the functional activity patterns elicited by stimulation with odours in the right and the left AL of the same honeybee (Apis mellifera) using optical imaging of the calcium-sensitive dye calcium green. We show here that these patterns are bilaterally symmetrical (n=25 bees). This symmetry holds true for all odours tested, irrespective of their role as pheromones or as environmental odours, or whether they were pure substances or complex blends (n=13 odours). Therefore, we exclude that activity dependent mechanisms local to one AL determine the functional glomerular activity. This identity is genetically predetermined. Alternatively, if activity dependent processes are involved, bilateral connections would have to shape symmetry, or, temporal constraints could lead to identical patterns on both sides due to their common history of odour exposure. PMID:9758166

  7. Apis mellifera pollination improves agronomic productivity of anemophilous castor bean (Ricinus communis).

    PubMed

    Rizzardo, Rômulo A G; Milfont, Marcelo O; Silva, Eva M S da; Freitas, Breno M

    2012-12-01

    Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) is cultivated mainly for biodiesel production because of its oil-rich seeds; it is assumed to be an anemophylous species. But pollination deficit can lead to low productivity often attributed to other reasons. In this paper, we investigated pollination requirements, pollination mechanism, occurrence of pollination deficit, and the role of biotic pollinators in a large commercial plantation of castor bean. Our results show that R. communis bears a mixed breeding system favoring selfing by geitonogamy, although the wind promotes mostly outcrossing. We also found that the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) foraging on castor bean can both transfer pollen from male to female flowers within the same raceme and boost the release of airborne pollen by male flowers. Both situations increase geitonogamy rates, raising significantly fruit set and seed yield. This is the first report of an animal foraging activity increasing seed yield in an anemophilous and geitonogamous crop and elucidates the role of biotic pollinators in castor bean reproduction.

  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. PMID:27560969

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  10. Differential gene expression of two extreme honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies showing varroa tolerance and susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Jiang, S; Robertson, T; Mostajeran, M; Robertson, A J; Qiu, X

    2016-06-01

    Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of honey bees (Apis mellifera), is the most serious pest threatening the apiculture industry. In our honey bee breeding programme, two honey bee colonies showing extreme phenotypes for varroa tolerance/resistance (S88) and susceptibility (G4) were identified by natural selection from a large gene pool over a 6-year period. To investigate potential defence mechanisms for honey bee tolerance to varroa infestation, we employed DNA microarray and real time quantitative (PCR) analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in the tolerant and susceptible colonies at pupa and adult stages. Our results showed that more differentially expressed genes were identified in the tolerant bees than in bees from the susceptible colony, indicating that the tolerant colony showed an increased genetic capacity to respond to varroa mite infestation. In both colonies, there were more differentially expressed genes identified at the pupa stage than at the adult stage, indicating that pupa bees are more responsive to varroa infestation than adult bees. Genes showing differential expression in the colony phenotypes were categorized into several groups based on their molecular functions, such as olfactory signalling, detoxification processes, exoskeleton formation, protein degradation and long-chain fatty acid metabolism, suggesting that these biological processes play roles in conferring varroa tolerance to naturally selected colonies. Identification of differentially expressed genes between the two colony phenotypes provides potential molecular markers for selecting and breeding varroa-tolerant honey bees. PMID:26919127

  11. Regulation of life history determines lifespan of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Rueppell, Olav; Bachelier, Cédric; Fondrk, M Kim; Page, Robert E

    2007-10-01

    Life expectancy of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) is of general interest to gerontological research because its variability among different groups of bees is one of the most striking cases of natural plasticity of aging. Worker honey bees spend their first days of adult life working in the nest, then transition to foraging and die between 4 and 8 weeks of age. Foraging is believed to be primarily responsible for the early death of workers. Three large-scale experiments were performed to quantitatively assess the importance of flight activity, chronological age, extrinsic mortality factors and foraging specialization. Forager mortality was higher than in-hive bee mortality. Most importantly however, reducing the external mortality hazards and foraging activity did not lead to the expected strong extension of life. Most of the experimental effects were attributable to an earlier transition from hive tasks to foraging. This transition is accompanied by a significant mortality peak. The age at the onset of foraging is the central variable in worker life-history and behavioral state was found more important than chronological age for honey bee aging. However, mortality risk increased with age and the negative relation between pre-foraging and foraging lifespan indicate some senescence irrespective of behavioral state. Overall, honey bee workers exhibit a logistic mortality dynamic which is mainly caused by the age-dependent transition from a low mortality pre-foraging state to a higher mortality foraging state.

  12. Ultrastructure and bacterial infection of wounds in honey bee ( Apis mellifera) pupae punctured by Varroa mites.

    PubMed

    Kanbar, G; Engels, W

    2003-08-01

    The damage to western honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies caused by the originally Asian ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is mainly a consequence of the infestation of host bee pupae. In the capped brood cell, female mites puncture the host's integument at preferred sites in order to suck haemolymph. Due to repeated feeding by the mother mite and her progeny, these perforations are kept open until shortly before the imaginal moult of the bee. Thereafter scarring takes place, thus preventing microbial infection after the adult bee has emerged from the protected environment of the sealed brood cell. However, colonies of various bacteria were found in the open wounds of about 15-30% of all inspected host pupae with an abundance depended on the level of host brood cell infestation by the mite. The small punctures of the pupal integument are difficult to detect but, by vital staining with trypan blue, the wounds can be visualised. The ultrastructure of the pupal wounds, the bacterial colonies and the scarring process are documented by a series of scanning electron micrographs.

  13. Localization of deformed wing virus (DWV) in the brains of the honeybee, Apis mellifera Linnaeus

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a positive-strand RNA virus that infects European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and has been isolated from the brains of aggressive bees in Japan. DWV is known to be transmitted both vertically and horizontally between bees in a colony and can lead to both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections in bees. In environmentally stressful conditions, DWV can contribute to the demise of a honeybee colony. The purpose of the current study is to identify regions within the brains of honeybees where DWV replicates using in-situ hybridization. Results In-situ hybridizations were conducted with both sense and antisense probes on the brains of honeybees that were positive for DWV as measured by real-time RT-PCR. The visual neuropils demonstrated detectable levels of the DWV positive-strand genome. The mushroom bodies and antenna lobe neuropils also showed the presence of the viral genome. Weaker staining with the sense probe in the same regions demonstrates that the antigenome is also present and that the virus is actively replicating in these regions of the brain. Conclusion These results demonstrate that in bees infected with DWV the virus is replicating in critical regions of the brain, including the neuropils responsible for vision and olfaction. Therefore DWV infection of the brain could adversely affect critical sensory functions and alter normal bee behavior. PMID:19878557

  14. Molecular and Biological Characterization of Deformed Wing Virus of Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Lanzi, Gaetana; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Boniotti, Maria Beatrice; Cameron, Craig E.; Lavazza, Antonio; Capucci, Lorenzo; Camazine, Scott M.; Rossi, Cesare

    2006-01-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) of honeybees (Apis mellifera) is closely associated with characteristic wing deformities, abdominal bloating, paralysis, and rapid mortality of emerging adult bees. The virus was purified from diseased insects, and its genome was cloned and sequenced. The genomic RNA of DWV is 10,140 nucleotides in length and contains a single large open reading frame encoding a 328-kDa polyprotein. The coding sequence is flanked by a 1,144-nucleotide 5′ nontranslated leader sequence and a 317-nucleotide 3′ nontranslated region, followed by a poly(A) tail. The three major structural proteins, VP1 (44 kDa), VP2 (32 kDa), and VP3 (28 kDa), were identified, and their genes were mapped to the N-terminal section of the polyprotein. The C-terminal part of the polyprotein contains sequence motifs typical of well-characterized picornavirus nonstructural proteins: an RNA helicase, a chymotrypsin-like 3C protease, and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The genome organization, capsid morphology, and sequence comparison data indicate that DWV is a member of the recently established genus Iflavirus. PMID:16641291

  15. Practical sampling plans for Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies and apiaries.

    PubMed

    Lee, K V; Moon, R D; Burkness, E C; Hutchison, W D; Spivak, M

    2010-08-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) is arguably the most detrimental pest of the European-derived honey bee, Apis mellifera L. Unfortunately, beekeepers lack a standardized sampling plan to make informed treatment decisions. Based on data from 31 commercial apiaries, we developed sampling plans for use by beekeepers and researchers to estimate the density of mites in individual colonies or whole apiaries. Beekeepers can estimate a colony's mite density with chosen level of precision by dislodging mites from approximately to 300 adult bees taken from one brood box frame in the colony, and they can extrapolate to mite density on a colony's adults and pupae combined by doubling the number of mites on adults. For sampling whole apiaries, beekeepers can repeat the process in each of n = 8 colonies, regardless of apiary size. Researchers desiring greater precision can estimate mite density in an individual colony by examining three, 300-bee sample units. Extrapolation to density on adults and pupae may require independent estimates of numbers of adults, of pupae, and of their respective mite densities. Researchers can estimate apiary-level mite density by taking one 300-bee sample unit per colony, but should do so from a variable number of colonies, depending on apiary size. These practical sampling plans will allow beekeepers and researchers to quantify mite infestation levels and enhance understanding and management of V. destructor.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Gene expression in honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae exposed to pesticides and Varroa mites (Varroa destructor).

    PubMed

    Gregorc, Aleš; Evans, Jay D; Scharf, Mike; Ellis, James D

    2012-08-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae reared in vitro were exposed to one of nine pesticides and/or were challenged with the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Total RNA was extracted from individual larvae and first strand cDNAs were generated. Gene-expression changes in larvae were measured using quantitative PCR (qPCR) targeting transcripts for pathogens and genes involved in physiological processes, bee health, immunity, and/or xenobiotic detoxification. Transcript levels for Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein (PGRPSC), a pathogen recognition gene, increased in larvae exposed to Varroa mites (P<0.001) and were not changed in pesticide treated larvae. As expected, Varroa-parasitized brood had higher transcripts of Deformed Wing Virus than did control larvae (P<0.001). Varroa parasitism, arguably coupled with virus infection, resulted in significantly higher transcript abundances for the antimicrobial peptides abaecin, hymenoptaecin, and defensin1. Transcript levels for Prophenoloxidase-activating enzyme (PPOact), an immune end product, were elevated in larvae treated with myclobutanil and chlorothalonil (both are fungicides) (P<0.001). Transcript levels for Hexameric storage protein (Hsp70) were significantly upregulated in imidacloprid, fluvalinate, coumaphos, myclobutanil, and amitraz treated larvae. Definitive impacts of pesticides and Varroa parasitism on honey bee larval gene expression were demonstrated. Interactions between larval treatments and gene expression for the targeted genes are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Marina; Gustav, David

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Selection on worker honeybee responses to queen pheromone (Apis mellifera L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankiw, T.; Winston, Mark L.; Fondrk, M. Kim; Slessor, Keith N.

    Disruptive selection for responsiveness to queen mandibular gland pheromone (QMP) in the retinue bioassay resulted in the production of high and low QMP responding strains of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.). Strains differed significantly in their retinue response to QMP after one generation of selection. By the third generation the high strain was on average at least nine times more responsive than the low strain. The strains showed seasonal phenotypic plasticity such that both strains were more responsive to the pheromone in the spring than in the fall. Directional selection for low seasonal variation indicated that phenotypic plasticity was an additional genetic component to retinue response to QMP. Selection for high and low retinue responsiveness to QMP was not an artifact of the synthetic blend because both strains were equally responsive or non-responsive to whole mandibular gland extracts compared with QMP. The use of these strains clearly pointed to an extra-mandibular source of retinue pheromones (Pankiw et al. 1995; Slessor et al. 1998; Keeling et al. 1999).

  20. Changes in cellular degradation activity in young and old worker honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chin-Yuan; Chuang, Yu-Lung; Chan, Yu-Pei

    2014-02-01

    The trophocytes and fat cells of honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been used in cellular senescence studies, but the changes of cellular degradation activity with aging in workers are unknown. In this study, cellular degradation activity was evaluated in the trophocytes and fat cells of young and old workers reared in a field hive. The results showed the following: (1) 20S proteosome activity decreased with aging, whereas its expression increased with aging; (2) the expression of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) and the 70 kD heat shock cognate protein (Hsc70) decreased with aging; (3) the size and number of autophagic vacuoles decreased with aging; (4) p62/SQSTM1 and polyubiquitin aggregate expression decreased with aging; (5) lysosomal efficiency decreased with aging; and (6) molecular target of rapamycin (mTOR) expression increased with aging. These results indicate that young workers have higher levels of cellular degradation activity than old workers and that aging results in a decline in the cellular degradation activity in worker honeybees.

  1. Genome-Wide Association Study of a Varroa-Specific Defense Behavior in Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Spötter, Andreas; Gupta, Pooja; Mayer, Manfred; Reinsch, Norbert; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2016-05-01

    Honey bees are exposed to many damaging pathogens and parasites. The most devastating is Varroa destructor, which mainly affects the brood. A promising approach for preventing its spread is to breed Varroa-resistant honey bees. One trait that has been shown to provide significant resistance against the Varroa mite is hygienic behavior, which is a behavioral response of honeybee workers to brood diseases in general. Here, we report the use of an Affymetrix 44K SNP array to analyze SNPs associated with detection and uncapping of Varroa-parasitized brood by individual worker bees (Apis mellifera). For this study, 22 000 individually labeled bees were video-monitored and a sample of 122 cases and 122 controls was collected and analyzed to determine the dependence/independence of SNP genotypes from hygienic and nonhygienic behavior on a genome-wide scale. After false-discovery rate correction of the P values, 6 SNP markers had highly significant associations with the trait investigated (α < 0.01). Inspection of the genomic regions around these SNPs led to the discovery of putative candidate genes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-27

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

  3. 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

  4. Routes of Acquisition of the Gut Microbiota of the Honey Bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Powell, J Elijah; Martinson, Vincent G; Urban-Mead, Katherine; Moran, Nancy A

    2014-12-01

    Studies of newly emerged Apis mellifera worker bees have demonstrated that their guts are colonized by a consistent core microbiota within several days of eclosure. We conducted experiments aimed at illuminating the transmission routes and spatiotemporal colonization dynamics of this microbiota. Experimental groups of newly emerged workers were maintained in cup cages and exposed to different potential transmission sources. Colonization patterns were evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to assess community sizes and using deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons to assess community composition. In addition, we monitored the establishment of the ileum and rectum communities within workers sampled over time from natural hive conditions. The study verified that workers initially lack gut bacteria and gain large characteristic communities in the ileum and rectum within 4 to 6 days within hives. Typical communities, resembling those of workers within hives, were established in the presence of nurse workers or nurse worker fecal material, and atypical communities of noncore or highly skewed compositions were established when workers were exposed only to oral trophallaxis or hive components (comb, honey, bee bread). The core species of Gram-negative bacteria, Snodgrassella alvi, Gilliamella apicola, and Frischella perrara, were dependent on the presence of nurses or hindgut material, whereas some Gram-positive species were more often transferred through exposure to hive components. These results indicate aspects of the colony life cycle and behavior that are key to the propagation of the characteristic honey bee gut microbiota.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26027748

  8. Does pea lectin expressed transgenically in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) influence honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae?

    PubMed

    Lehrman, Anna

    2007-01-01

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is important both for pollination and for honey production. Pollen is the major protein source for bees, which exposes them directly to changes in pollen quality e.g. through genetic engineering. In order to create a worst case scenario regarding pea lectin (PSL) expressed transgenically in oilseed rape anthers and pollen, the maximum amount of dried pollen that could be mixed in an artificial diet without negatively affecting larval performance (1.5% w/w) was fed to bee larvae. Pollen from two transgenic plant lines expressing PSL up to 1.2% of total soluble protein and pollen from one non-transgenic line was added to the same diet and used as a pollen control. When these three pollen diets and the control diet (without added pollen) were compared, no negative effect from the pollen of the transgenic plants could be detected on larval mortality, weight, or development time. An increased weight and a reduced developmental time were recorded for larvae on all diets containing pollen when compared to the diet without pollen. PMID:18289502

  9. 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.

  10. Nest-mate recognition template of guard honeybees (Apis mellifera) is modified by wax comb transfer.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; Caple, Jamie P; Endsor, Samuel L; Kärcher, Martin; Russell, Trudy E; Storey, Darren E; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2007-06-22

    In recognition, discriminators use sensory information to make decisions. For example, honeybee (Apis mellifera) entrance guards discriminate between nest-mates and intruders by comparing their odours with a template of the colony odour. Comb wax plays a major role in honeybee recognition. We measured the rejection rates of nest-mate and non-nest-mate worker bees by entrance guards before and after a unidirectional transfer of wax comb from a 'comb donor' hive to a 'comb receiver' hive. Our results showed a significant effect that occurred in one direction. Guards in the comb receiver hive became more accepting of non-nest-mates from the comb donor hive (rejection decreased from 70 to 47%); however, guards in the comb donor hive did not become more accepting of bees from the comb receiver hive. These data strongly support the hypothesis that the transfer of wax comb increases the acceptance of non-nest-mates not by changing the odour of the bees, but by changing the template used by guards.

  11. Immunosenescence and resistance to parasite infection in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Katherine E; Hughes, William O H

    2014-09-01

    Immunosenescence, the systemic reduction of immune efficiency with age, is increasingly recognised as having important implications for host-parasite dynamics. Changes in the immune response can impact on the ability of an individual to resist or moderate parasite infection, depending on how and when it encounters a parasite challenge. Using the European honey bee Apis mellifera and its microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae, we investigated the effects of host age on the ability to resist parasite infection and on baseline immunocompetence, assessed by quantifying constitutive (PO) and potential levels (PPO) of the phenoloxidase immune enzyme as general measures of immune function. There was a significant correlation between the level of general immune function and infection intensity, but not with survival, and changes in immune function with age correlated with the ability of individuals to resist parasite infection. Older individuals had better survival when challenged with a parasite than younger individuals, however they also had more intense infections and lower baseline immunocomptence. The ability of older individuals to have high infection intensities yet live longer, has potential consequences for parasite transmission. The results highlight the need to consider age in host-parasite studies and show the importance of choosing the correct measure when assaying invertebrate immunity.

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

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Tactile learning and the individual evaluation of the reward in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Scheiner, R; Erber, J; Page, R E

    1999-07-01

    Using the proboscis extension response we conditioned pollen and nectar foragers of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) to tactile patterns under laboratory conditions. Pollen foragers demonstrated better acquisition, extinction, and reversal learning than nectar foragers. We tested whether the known differences in response thresholds to sucrose between pollen and nectar foragers could explain the observed differences in learning and found that nectar foragers with low response thresholds performed better during acquisition and extinction than ones with higher thresholds. Conditioning pollen and nectar foragers with similar response thresholds did not yield differences in their learning performance. These results suggest that differences in the learning performance of pollen and nectar foragers are a consequence of differences in their perception of sucrose. Furthermore, we analysed the effect which the perception of sucrose reward has on associative learning. Nectar foragers with uniform low response thresholds were conditioned using varying concentrations of sucrose. We found significant positive correlations between the concentrations of the sucrose rewards and the performance during acquisition and extinction. The results are summarised in a model which describes the relationships between learning performance, response threshold to sucrose, concentration of sucrose and the number of rewards.

  14. Physiology of reproductive worker honey bees (Apis mellifera): insights for the development of the worker caste.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Reproductive and behavioural specialisations characterise advanced social insect societies. Typically, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) shows a pronounced reproductive division of labour between worker and queen castes, and a clear division of colony roles among workers. In a queenless condition, however, both of these aspects of social organisation break down. Queenless workers reproduce, forage and maintain their colony operating in a manner similar to communal bees, rather than as an advanced eusocial group. This plasticity in social organisation provides a natural experiment for exploring physiological mechanisms of division of labour. We measured brain biogenic amine (BA) levels and abdominal fat body vitellogenin gene expression levels of workers in queenright and queenless colonies. Age, ovary activation and social environment influenced brain BA levels in honey bees. BA levels were most influenced by ovary activation state in queenless bees. Vitellogenin expression levels were higher in queenless workers than queenright workers, but in both colony environments vitellogenin expression was lower in foragers than non-foragers. We propose this plasticity in the interacting signalling systems that influence both reproductive and behavioural development allows queenless workers to deviate significantly from the typical worker bee reaction norm and develop as reproductively active behavioural generalists.

  15. Vasculature of the hive: heat dissipation in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) hive.

    PubMed

    Bonoan, Rachael E; Goldman, Rhyan R; Wong, Peter Y; Starks, Philip T

    2014-06-01

    Eusocial insects are distinguished by their elaborate cooperative behavior and are sometimes defined as superorganisms. As a nest-bound superorganism, individuals work together to maintain favorable nest conditions. Residing in temperate environments, honey bees (Apis mellifera) work especially hard to maintain brood comb temperature between 32 and 36 °C. Heat shielding is a social homeostatic mechanism employed to combat local heat stress. Workers press the ventral side of their bodies against heated surfaces, absorb heat, and thus protect developing brood. While the absorption of heat has been characterized, the dissipation of absorbed heat has not. Our study characterized both how effectively worker bees absorb heat during heat shielding, and where worker bees dissipate absorbed heat. Hives were experimentally heated for 15 min during which internal temperatures and heat shielder counts were taken. Once the heat source was removed, hives were photographed with a thermal imaging camera for 15 min. Thermal images allowed for spatial tracking of heat flow as cooling occurred. Data indicate that honey bee workers collectively minimize heat gain during heating and accelerate heat loss during cooling. Thermal images show that heated areas temporarily increase in size in all directions and then rapidly decrease to safe levels (<37 °C). As such, heat shielding is reminiscent of bioheat removal via the cardiovascular system of mammals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Medium for development of bee cell cultures (Apis mellifera: Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Hunter, Wayne B

    2010-02-01

    A media for the production of cell cultures from hymenopteran species such as honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) was developed. Multiple bee cell cultures were produced when using bee larvae and pupae as starting material and modified Hert-Hunter 70 media. Cell culture systems for bees solves an impasse that has hindered efforts to isolate and screen pathogens which may be influencing or causing colony collapse disorder of bees. Multiple life stages of maturing larvae to early pupae were used to successfully establish cell cultures from the tissues of the head, thorax, and abdomen. Multiple cell types were observed which included free-floating suspensions, fibroblast-like, and epithelia-like monolayers. The final culture medium, WH2, was originally developed for hemipterans, Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri, and leafhopper, Homalodisca vitripennis cell cultures but has been shown to work for a diverse range of insect species such as bees. Bee cell cultures had various doubling times at 21-23 degrees C ranging from 9-15 d. Deformed wing virus was detected in the primary explanted tissues, which tested negative by rt-PCR for Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), Kashmir bee virus, acute bee paralysis virus, and black queen cell virus. Culture inoculation with IAPV from an isolate from Florida field samples, was detectable in cell cultures after two subcultures. Cell culture from hymenoptera species, such as bees, greatly advances the approaches available to the field of study on colony collapse disorders. PMID:20033792

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  19. Aversive conditioning in honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica): a comparison of drones and workers.

    PubMed

    Dinges, Christopher W; Avalos, Arian; Abramson, Charles I; Craig, David Philip Arthur; Austin, Zoe M; Varnon, Christopher A; Dal, Fatima Nur; Giray, Tugrul; Wells, Harrington

    2013-11-01

    Honey bees provide a model system to elucidate the relationship between sociality and complex behaviors within the same species, as females (workers) are highly social and males (drones) are more solitary. We report on aversive learning studies in drone and worker honey bees (Apis mellifera anatolica) in escape, punishment and discriminative punishment situations. In all three experiments, a newly developed electric shock avoidance assay was used. The comparisons of expected and observed responses were performed with conventional statistical methods and a systematic randomization modeling approach called object oriented modeling. The escape experiment consisted of two measurements recorded in a master-yoked paradigm: frequency of response and latency to respond following administration of shock. Master individuals could terminate an unavoidable shock triggered by a decrementing 30 s timer by crossing the shuttlebox centerline following shock activation. Across all groups, there was large individual response variation. When assessing group response frequency and latency, master subjects performed better than yoked subjects for both workers and drones. In the punishment experiment, individuals were shocked upon entering the shock portion of a bilaterally wired shuttlebox. The shock portion was spatially static and unsignalled. Only workers effectively avoided the shock. The discriminative punishment experiment repeated the punishment experiment but included a counterbalanced blue and yellow background signal and the side of shock was manipulated. Drones correctly responded less than workers when shock was paired with blue. However, when shock was paired with yellow there was no observable difference between drones and workers. PMID:24133154

  20. Physiology of reproductive worker honey bees (Apis mellifera): insights for the development of the worker caste.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    Reproductive and behavioural specialisations characterise advanced social insect societies. Typically, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) shows a pronounced reproductive division of labour between worker and queen castes, and a clear division of colony roles among workers. In a queenless condition, however, both of these aspects of social organisation break down. Queenless workers reproduce, forage and maintain their colony operating in a manner similar to communal bees, rather than as an advanced eusocial group. This plasticity in social organisation provides a natural experiment for exploring physiological mechanisms of division of labour. We measured brain biogenic amine (BA) levels and abdominal fat body vitellogenin gene expression levels of workers in queenright and queenless colonies. Age, ovary activation and social environment influenced brain BA levels in honey bees. BA levels were most influenced by ovary activation state in queenless bees. Vitellogenin expression levels were higher in queenless workers than queenright workers, but in both colony environments vitellogenin expression was lower in foragers than non-foragers. We propose this plasticity in the interacting signalling systems that influence both reproductive and behavioural development allows queenless workers to deviate significantly from the typical worker bee reaction norm and develop as reproductively active behavioural generalists. PMID:26715114

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

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Cognitive aging is linked to social role in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Behrends, Andreas; Scheiner, Ricarda; Baker, Nicholas; Amdam, Gro V

    2007-12-01

    Aging is associated with cognitive impairment in numerous animal species. Across taxa, decline in learning performance is linked to chronological age. The honey bee (Apis mellifera), in contrast, offers an opportunity to study such aspects of aging largely independent of age per se. This is because foraging onset can be decoupled from chronological age, although workers typically first perform tasks inside the nest and later forage outside the hive. Further, early phases of foraging are characterized by growth of specific brain neuropiles, whereas late phases of the forager life-stage are accompanied by accelerated rates of physiological senescence. Yet, it is unclear if these patterns of senescence include cognitive function. The flexibility of worker ontogeny, however, suggests that the bee can become an attractive model for studies of plasticity in cognitive aging that ultimately may lead to insight into mechanisms that govern age-related cognitive decline. To address this potential, we studied effects of honey bee chronological age and of social role on sensory sensitivity and associative olfactory learning performance. Our results show a decline in olfactory acquisition performance that is linked to social role, but not to chronological age. This decline occurs only in foragers with long foraging duration, but at the same time the foragers show less generalization of odors, which is indicative of more precise learning. Foragers that are reversed from foraging to nest tasks, furthermore, do not show deficits in olfactory acquisition. These results point to complex effects of aging on associative learning in honey bees. PMID:17976939

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-01-01

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

  4. The dynamic DNA methylation cycle from egg to sperm in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Drewell, Robert A; Bush, Eliot C; Remnant, Emily J; Wong, Garrett T; Beeler, Suzannah M; Stringham, Jessica L; Lim, Julianne; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2014-07-01

    In honey bees (Apis mellifera), the epigenetic mark of DNA methylation is central to the developmental regulation of caste differentiation, but may also be involved in additional biological functions. In this study, we examine the whole genome methylation profiles of three stages of the haploid honey bee genome: unfertilised eggs, the adult drones that develop from these eggs and the sperm produced by these drones. These methylomes reveal distinct patterns of methylation. Eggs and sperm show 381 genes with significantly different CpG methylation patterns, with the vast majority being more methylated in eggs. Adult drones show greatly reduced levels of methylation across the genome when compared with both gamete samples. This suggests a dynamic cycle of methylation loss and gain through the development of the drone and during spermatogenesis. Although fluxes in methylation during embryogenesis may account for some of the differentially methylated sites, the distinct methylation patterns at some genes suggest parent-specific epigenetic marking in the gametes. Extensive germ line methylation of some genes possibly explains the lower-than-expected frequency of CpG sites in these genes. We discuss the potential developmental and evolutionary implications of methylation in eggs and sperm in this eusocial insect species. PMID:24924193

  5. Sperm storage and antioxidative enzyme expression in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Collins, A M; Williams, V; Evans, J D

    2004-04-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) sperm remains viable in the spermatheca of mated female honey bees for several years. During this time, the sperm retains respiratory activity, placing it at risk of the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species common to many biological processes. Antioxidative enzymes might help reduce this damage. Here we use quantitative real-time RT-PCR to establish gene-expression profiles in male and female honey bee reproductive tissues for three antioxidative enzymes: catalase, glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and superoxide dismutase (SOD1, cytosolic). Catalase and GST showed ten- to twenty-fold transcript increases in the sperm storage organs of mated queens vs. unmated queens, whereas SOD1 levels are high in both mated and unmated queens. Male reproductive and somatic tissues showed relatively high levels of all three antioxidant-encoding transcripts. All three enzymes screened were higher in mature males vs. young males, although this effect did not appear to be confined to reproductive tissues and, hence, need not reflect a role in sperm longevity. Furthermore, antioxidative enzyme transcripts remained present, and apparently increased, in male tissues long after sperm had matured and seminal fluid was produced. We also found measurable levels of catalase transcripts in honey bee semen. The presence of catalase transcripts in both reproductive tissues and semen in bees suggests that this enzyme might play a key role in antioxidative protection.

  6. Viability assessment of honey bee, Apis mellifera, sperm using dual fluorescent staining.

    PubMed

    Collins, A M; Donoghue, A M

    1999-06-01

    Since the development of instrumental insemination of honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens in the 1930s, there has been interest in the evaluation and in vitro storage of semen. Several fluorescent stains, when used in combination, have been effectively used to assess sperm viability in mammalian and avian species. Our objectives were to test two combinations of living:dead fluorescent stains, SYBR-14 with propidium iodide (PI), or Calcein-AM with PI, and validate the use of these probes with honey bee sperm. SYBR-14 is a nuclear stain producing green fluorescence of the DNA in living sperm, Calcein-AM is a membrane-permeant esterase substrate staining entire sperm green, and PI is a traditional dead cell stain giving a contrasting red color. Both living stains fluoresced bee sperm, but the SYBR-14:PI produced a clearer distinction between the living and dead sperm. A graduated series of known living:dead sperm proportions was used to validate the accuracy of the stains for determining sperm viability in honey bees.

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

    PubMed

    Hopkins, Brandon K; Herr, Charles; Sheppard, Walter S

    2012-01-01

    Much of the world's food production is dependent on honey bees for pollination, and expanding food production will further increase the demand for managed pollination services. Apiculturists outside the native range of the honey bee, in the Americas, Australia and eastern Asia, have used only a few of the 27 described subspecies of honey bees (Apis mellifera) for beekeeping purposes. Within the endemic ranges of a particular subspecies, hybridisation can threaten native subspecies when local beekeepers import and propagate non-native honey bees. For many threatened species, cryopreserved germplasm can provide a resource for the preservation of diversity and recovery of endangered populations. However, although instrumental insemination of queen honey bees is well established, the absence of an effective means to cryopreserve honey bee semen has limited the success of efforts to preserve genetic diversity within the species or to develop repositories of honey bee germplasm for breeding purposes. Herein we report that some queens inseminated with cryopreserved semen were capable of producing a substantial number of fertilised offspring. These diploid female larvae were used to produce two additional sequential generations of new queens, which were then back-crossed to the same stock of frozen semen. Our results demonstrate the ability to produce queens using cryopreserved honey bee spermatozoa and the potential for the establishment of a honey bee genetic repository.

  8. 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.

  9. Forager bees (Apis mellifera) highly express immune and detoxification genes in tissues associated with nectar processing

    PubMed Central

    Vannette, Rachel L.; Mohamed, Abbas; Johnson, Brian R.

    2015-01-01

    Pollinators, including honey bees, routinely encounter potentially harmful microorganisms and phytochemicals during foraging. However, the mechanisms by which honey bees manage these potential threats are poorly understood. In this study, we examine the expression of antimicrobial, immune and detoxification genes in Apis mellifera and compare between forager and nurse bees using tissue-specific RNA-seq and qPCR. Our analysis revealed extensive tissue-specific expression of antimicrobial, immune signaling, and detoxification genes. Variation in gene expression between worker stages was pronounced in the mandibular and hypopharyngeal gland (HPG), where foragers were enriched in transcripts that encode antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and immune response. Additionally, forager HPGs and mandibular glands were enriched in transcripts encoding detoxification enzymes, including some associated with xenobiotic metabolism. Using qPCR on an independent dataset, we verified differential expression of three AMP and three P450 genes between foragers and nurses. High expression of AMP genes in nectar-processing tissues suggests that these peptides may contribute to antimicrobial properties of honey or to honey bee defense against environmentally-acquired microorganisms. Together, these results suggest that worker role and tissue-specific expression of AMPs, and immune and detoxification enzymes may contribute to defense against microorganisms and xenobiotic compounds acquired while foraging. PMID:26549293

  10. Distance Between Honey Bee Apis mellifera Colonies Regulates Populations of Varroa destructor at a Landscape Scale

    PubMed Central

    Nolan, Maxcy P.; Delaplane, Keith S.

    2016-01-01

    Inter-colony distance of Apis mellifera significantly affects colony numbers of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. We set up 15 apiaries, each consisting of two colonies. Each apiary pair was assigned an inter-colony distance of 0, 10, or 100 m. Colonies were rendered nearly mite-free, then one colony in each pair was seeded with 300 female mites (mite-donor colony), while the other remained uninoculated (mite-recipient colony). After four months of monitoring, a whole model analysis showed that apiaries in which colonies were spaced 100 m apart contained lower average mite numbers than 0 m or 10 m apiaries. There were interactions among colony type, distance, and sampling date; however, when there were significant differences mite numbers were always lower in 100 m apiaries than 10 m apiaries. These findings pose the possibility that Varroa populations are resource regulated at a landscape scale: near-neighbor colonies constitute reproductive resource for mites in the form of additional bee brood. PMID:27812228

  11. The absolute configurations of hydroxy fatty acids from the royal jelly of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Kodai, Tetsuya; Nakatani, Takafumi; Noda, Naoki

    2011-03-01

    9-Hydroxy-2E-decenoic acid (9-HDA) is a precursor of the queen-produced substance, 9-oxo-2E-decenoic acid (9-ODA), which has various important functions and roles for caste maintenance in honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera). 9-HDA in royal jelly is considered to be a metabolite of 9-ODA produced by worker bees, and it is fed back to the queen who then transforms it into 9-ODA. Recently we found that 9-HDA is present in royal jelly as a mixture of optical isomers (R:S, 2:1). The finding leads us to suspect that chiral fatty acids in royal jelly are precursors of semiochemicals. Rather than looking for semiochemicals in the mandibular glands of the queen bee, this study involves the search for precursors of pheromones from large quantities of royal jelly. Seven chiral hydroxy fatty acids, 9,10-dihydroxy-2E-decenoic, 4,10-dihydroxy-2E-decenoic, 4,9-dihydroxy-2E-decenoic, 3-hydroxydecanoic, 3,9-dihydroxydecanoic, 3,11-dihydroxydodecanoic, and 3,10-dihydroxydecanoic acids were isolated. The absolute configurations of these acids were determined using the modified Mosher's method, and it was revealed that, similar to 9-HDA, five acids are present in royal jelly as mixtures of optical isomers.

  12. Vasculature of the hive: heat dissipation in the honey bee ( Apis mellifera) hive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonoan, Rachael E.; Goldman, Rhyan R.; Wong, Peter Y.; Starks, Philip T.

    2014-06-01

    Eusocial insects are distinguished by their elaborate cooperative behavior and are sometimes defined as superorganisms. As a nest-bound superorganism, individuals work together to maintain favorable nest conditions. Residing in temperate environments, honey bees ( Apis mellifera) work especially hard to maintain brood comb temperature between 32 and 36 °C. Heat shielding is a social homeostatic mechanism employed to combat local heat stress. Workers press the ventral side of their bodies against heated surfaces, absorb heat, and thus protect developing brood. While the absorption of heat has been characterized, the dissipation of absorbed heat has not. Our study characterized both how effectively worker bees absorb heat during heat shielding, and where worker bees dissipate absorbed heat. Hives were experimentally heated for 15 min during which internal temperatures and heat shielder counts were taken. Once the heat source was removed, hives were photographed with a thermal imaging camera for 15 min. Thermal images allowed for spatial tracking of heat flow as cooling occurred. Data indicate that honey bee workers collectively minimize heat gain during heating and accelerate heat loss during cooling. Thermal images show that heated areas temporarily increase in size in all directions and then rapidly decrease to safe levels (<37 °C). As such, heat shielding is reminiscent of bioheat removal via the cardiovascular system of mammals.

  13. Morphometric Identification of Queens, Workers and Intermediates in In Vitro Reared Honey Bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    De Souza, Daiana A; Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; De Jong, David; Amdam, Gro V; Gonçalves, Lionel S; Francoy, Tiago M

    2015-01-01

    In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are not seen in hive-reared bees, except when larvae older than three days are grafted for queen rearing. Morphological classification (queen versus worker or intercastes) of bees produced by this method can be subjective and generally depends on size differences. Here, we propose an alternative method for caste classification of female honey bees reared in vitro, based on weight at emergence, ovariole number, spermatheca size and size and shape, and features of the head, mandible and basitarsus. Morphological measurements were made with both traditional morphometric and geometric morphometrics techniques. The classifications were performed by principal component analysis, using naturally developed queens and workers as controls. First, the analysis included all the characters. Subsequently, a new analysis was made without the information about ovariole number and spermatheca size. Geometric morphometrics was less dependent on ovariole number and spermatheca information for caste and intercaste identification. This is useful, since acquiring information concerning these reproductive structures requires time-consuming dissection and they are not accessible when abdomens have been removed for molecular assays or in dried specimens. Additionally, geometric morphometrics divided intercastes into more discrete phenotype subsets. We conclude that morphometric geometrics are superior to traditional morphometrics techniques for identification and classification of honey bee castes and intermediates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  15. The HEX 110 Hexamerin Is a Cytoplasmic and Nucleolar Protein in the Ovaries of Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile

    2016-01-01

    Hexamerins are insect storage proteins abundantly secreted by the larval fat body into the haemolymph. The canonical role of hexamerins consists of serving as an amino acid reserve for development toward the adult stage. However, in Apis mellifera, immunofluorescence assays coupled to confocal laser-scanning microscopy, and high-throughput sequencing, have recently shown the presence of hexamerins in other organs than the fat body. These findings have led us to study these proteins with the expectation of uncovering additional functions in insect development. We show here that a honeybee hexamerin, HEX 110, localizes in the cytoplasm and nucleus of ovarian cells. In the nucleus of somatic and germline cells, HEX 110 colocalized with a nucleolar protein, fibrillarin, suggesting a structural or even regulatory function in the nucleolus. RNase A provoked the loss of HEX 110 signals in the ovarioles, indicating that the subcellular localization depends on RNA. This was reinforced by incubating ovaries with pyronin Y, a RNA-specific dye. Together, the colocalization with fibrillarin and pyronin Y, and the sensitivity to RNase, highlight unprecedented roles for HEX110 in the nucleolus, the nuclear structure harbouring the gene cluster involved in ribosomal RNA production. However, the similar patterns of HEX 110 foci distribution in the active and inactive ovaries of queens and workers preclude its association with the functional status of these organs. PMID:26954256

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Kenichi; Hamamoto, Hiroshi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

  20. Morphometric Identification of Queens, Workers and Intermediates in In Vitro Reared Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    A. De Souza, Daiana; Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; De Jong, David; V. Amdam, Gro; S. Gonçalves, Lionel; M. Francoy, Tiago

    2015-01-01

    In vitro rearing is an important and useful tool for honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) studies. However, it often results in intercastes between queens and workers, which are normally are not seen in hive-reared bees, except when larvae older than three days are grafted for queen rearing. Morphological classification (queen versus worker or intercastes) of bees produced by this method can be subjective and generally depends on size differences. Here, we propose an alternative method for caste classification of female honey bees reared in vitro, based on weight at emergence, ovariole number, spermatheca size and size and shape, and features of the head, mandible and basitarsus. Morphological measurements were made with both traditional morphometric and geometric morphometrics techniques. The classifications were performed by principal component analysis, using naturally developed queens and workers as controls. First, the analysis included all the characters. Subsequently, a new analysis was made without the information about ovariole number and spermatheca size. Geometric morphometrics was less dependent on ovariole number and spermatheca information for caste and intercaste identification. This is useful, since acquiring information concerning these reproductive structures requires time-consuming dissection and they are not accessible when abdomens have been removed for molecular assays or in dried specimens. Additionally, geometric morphometrics divided intercastes into more discrete phenotype subsets. We conclude that morphometric geometrics are superior to traditional morphometrics techniques for identification and classification of honey bee castes and intermediates. PMID:25894528

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Diffusion and consumption of oxygen in the superfused retina of the drone (Apis mellifera) in darkness.

    PubMed

    Tsacopoulos, M; Poitry, S; Borsellino, A

    1981-06-01

    Double-barreled O2 microelectrodes were used to study O2 diffusion and consumption in the superfused drone (Apis mellifera) retina in darkness at 22 degrees C. Po2 was measured at different sites in the bath and retinas. It was found that diffusion was essentially in one dimension and that the rate of O2 consumption (Q) was practically constant (on the macroscale) down to Po2 s less than 20 mm Hg, a situation that greatly simplified the analysis. The value obtained for Q was 18 +/- 0.7 (SEM) microliter O2/cm3 tissue . min (n = 10), and Krogh's permeation coefficient (alpha D) was 3.24 +/- 0.18 (SEM) X 10(-5) ml O1/min . atm . cm (n = 10). Calculations indicate that only a small fraction of this Q in darkness is necessary for the energy requirements of the sodium pump. the diffusion coefficient (D) in the retina was measured by abruptly cutting off diffusion from the bath and analyzing the time-course of the fall in Po2 at the surface of the tissue. The mean value of D was 1.03 +/- 0.08 (SEM) X 10(-5) cm2/s (n = 10). From alpha D and D, the solubility coefficient alpha was calculated to be 54 +/- 4.0 (SEM) microliter O2 STP/cm3 . atm (n = 10), approximately 1.8 times that for water.

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

    PubMed

    Beye, M; Moritz, R F

    1995-01-01

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

  4. Vertical-transmission routes for deformed wing virus of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Yue, Constanze; Schröder, Marion; Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2007-08-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a viral pathogen of the European honeybee (Apis mellifera), associated with clinical symptoms and colony collapse when transmitted by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. In the absence of V. destructor, DWV infection does not result in visible symptoms, suggesting that mite-independent transmission results in covert infections. True covert infections are a known infection strategy for insect viruses, resulting in long-term persistence of the virus in the population. They are characterized by the absence of disease symptoms in the presence of the virus and by vertical transmission of the virus. To demonstrate vertical transmission and, hence, true covert infections for DWV, a detailed study was performed on the vertical-transmission routes of DWV. In total, 192 unfertilized eggs originating from eight virgin queens, and the same number of fertilized eggs from the same queens after artificial insemination with DWV-negative (three queens) or DWV-positive (five queens) semen, were analysed individually. The F0 queens and drones and F1 drones and workers were also analysed for viral RNA. By in situ hybridization, viral sequences were detected in the ovary of an F0 queen that had laid DWV-positive unfertilized eggs and was inseminated with DWV-positive semen. In conclusion, vertical transmission of DWV from queens and drones to drone and worker offspring through unfertilized and fertilized eggs, respectively, was demonstrated. Viral sequences in fertilized eggs can originate from the queen, as well as from drones via DWV-positive semen.

  5. Prepro-tachykinin gene expression in the brain of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Hideaki; Yasuda, Akikazu; Yasuda-Kamatani, Yoshimi; Sawata, Miyuki; Matsuo, Yuko; Kato, Azusa; Tsujimoto, Atsumi; Nakajima, Terumi; Kubo, Takeo

    2004-05-01

    We have recently identified a tachykinin-related peptide (AmTRP) from the mushroom bodies (MBs) of the brain of the honeybee Apis mellifera L. by using direct matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization with time-of-flight mass spectometry and have isolated its cDNA. Here, we have examined prepro-AmTRP gene expression in the honeybee brain by using in situ hybridization. The prepro-AmTRP gene is expressed predominantly in the MBs and in some neurons located in the optic and antennal lobes. cDNA microarray studies have revealed that AmTRP expression is enriched in the MBs compared with other brain regions. There is no difference in AmTRP-expressing cells among worker, queen, and drone brains, suggesting that the cell types that express the prepro-AmTRP gene do not change according to division of labor, sex, or caste. The unique expression pattern of the prepro-AmTRP gene suggests that AmTRPs function as neuromodulators in the MBs of the honeybee brain.

  6. Structural differences in the drone olfactory system of two phylogenetically distant Apis species, A. florea and A. mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brockmann, Axel; Brückner, Dorothea

    2001-01-01

    Male insects that are attracted by sex pheromones to find their female mates over long distances have specialized olfactory subsystems. Morphologically, these subsystems are characterized by a large number of receptor neurons sensitive to components of the female's pheromones and hypertrophied glomerular subunits ('macroglomeruli' or 'macroglomerular complexes') in the antennal lobes, in which the axons of the receptor neurons converge. The olfactory subsystems are adapted for an increased sensitivity to perceive minute amounts of pheromones. In Apis mellifera, drones have 18,600 olfactory poreplate sensilla per antenna, each equipped with receptor neurons sensitive to the queen's sex pheromone, and four voluminous macroglomeruli (MG1-MG4) in the antennal lobes. In contrast, we show that drones of the phylogenetically distant species, Apis florea, have only 1,200 poreplate sensilla per antenna and only two macroglomeruli in their antennal lobes. These macroglomeruli are homologous in anatomical position to the two most prominent macroglomeruli in A. mellifera, the MG1 and MG2, but they are much smaller in size. The morphological and anatomical differences described here suggest major modifications in the sex-pheromone processing subsystem of both species: (1) less pheromone sensitivity in A. florea and (2) a more complex sex-pheromone processing and thus a more complex sex-pheromone communication in A. mellifera.

  7. Structural differences in the drone olfactory system of two phylogenetically distant Apis species, A. florea and A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    Brockmann, A; Brückner, D

    2001-02-01

    Male insects that are attracted by sex pheromones to find their female mates over long distances have specialized olfactory subsystems. Morphologically, these subsystems are characterized by a large number of receptor neurons sensitive to components of the female's pheromones and hypertrophied glomerular subunits ('macroglomeruli' or 'macroglomerular complexes') in the antennal lobes, in which the axons of the receptor neurons converge. The olfactory subsystems are adapted for an increased sensitivity to perceive minute amounts of pheromones. In Apis mellifera, drones have 18,600 olfactory poreplate sensilla per antenna, each equipped with receptor neurons sensitive to the queen's sex pheromone, and four voluminous macroglomeruli (MG1-MG4) in the antennal lobes. In contrast, we show that drones of the phylogenetically distant species, Apis florea, have only 1,200 poreplate sensilla per antenna and only two macroglomeruli in their antennal lobes. These macroglomeruli are homologous in anatomical position to the two most prominent macroglomeruli in A. mellifera, the MG1 and MG2, but they are much smaller in size. The morphological and anatomical differences described here suggest major modifications in the sex-pheromone processing subsystem of both species: (1) less pheromone sensitivity in A. florea and (2) a more complex sex-pheromone processing and thus a more complex sex-pheromone communication in A. mellifera. Research in honey bee sex-pheromone communication dates back to the 1960s, when Gary (1962) demonstrated that in Apis mellifera the queen's mandibular gland secretion and especially its main component, 9-ODA (9-keto-2(E)-decenoic acid), is highly attractive to drones on their nuptial flight. Later, cross-species attraction experiments showed that other honey bee species, Apis florea, A. cerana, and A. dorsata probably also use the queen's mandibular gland secretion as a mating attractant (Butler et al. 1967; Sanasi et al. 1971). Besides its function in

  8. Structural differences in the drone olfactory system of two phylogenetically distant Apis species, A. florea and A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    Brockmann, A; Brückner, D

    2001-02-01

    Male insects that are attracted by sex pheromones to find their female mates over long distances have specialized olfactory subsystems. Morphologically, these subsystems are characterized by a large number of receptor neurons sensitive to components of the female's pheromones and hypertrophied glomerular subunits ('macroglomeruli' or 'macroglomerular complexes') in the antennal lobes, in which the axons of the receptor neurons converge. The olfactory subsystems are adapted for an increased sensitivity to perceive minute amounts of pheromones. In Apis mellifera, drones have 18,600 olfactory poreplate sensilla per antenna, each equipped with receptor neurons sensitive to the queen's sex pheromone, and four voluminous macroglomeruli (MG1-MG4) in the antennal lobes. In contrast, we show that drones of the phylogenetically distant species, Apis florea, have only 1,200 poreplate sensilla per antenna and only two macroglomeruli in their antennal lobes. These macroglomeruli are homologous in anatomical position to the two most prominent macroglomeruli in A. mellifera, the MG1 and MG2, but they are much smaller in size. The morphological and anatomical differences described here suggest major modifications in the sex-pheromone processing subsystem of both species: (1) less pheromone sensitivity in A. florea and (2) a more complex sex-pheromone processing and thus a more complex sex-pheromone communication in A. mellifera. Research in honey bee sex-pheromone communication dates back to the 1960s, when Gary (1962) demonstrated that in Apis mellifera the queen's mandibular gland secretion and especially its main component, 9-ODA (9-keto-2(E)-decenoic acid), is highly attractive to drones on their nuptial flight. Later, cross-species attraction experiments showed that other honey bee species, Apis florea, A. cerana, and A. dorsata probably also use the queen's mandibular gland secretion as a mating attractant (Butler et al. 1967; Sanasi et al. 1971). Besides its function in

  9. Differences in mushroom bodies morphogenesis in workers, queens and drones of Apis mellifera: neuroblasts proliferation and death.

    PubMed

    Roat, Thaisa Cristina; da Cruz Landim, Carminda

    2010-06-01

    Apis mellifera is an interesting model to neurobiological studies. It has a relatively small brain that commands the complex learning and memory tasks demanded by the social organization. An A. mellifera colony is made up of a queen, thousands of workers and a varying number of drones. The latter are males, whereas the former are the two female castes. These three phenotypes differ in morphology, physiology and behavior, correlated with their respective functions in the society. Such differences include the morphology and architecture of their brains. To understand the processes generating such polymorphic brains we characterized the cell division and cell death dynamics which underlie the morphogenesis of the mushroom bodies, through several methods suitable for evidence the time and place of occurrence. Cell death was detected in mushroom bodies of last larval instar and mainly in black-eyed pupae. Cell division was observed in mushroom bodies, primarily at the start of metamorphosis, exhibiting temporal differences among workers, queens and males.

  10. Frequency and foraging behavior of Apis mellifera in two melon hybrids in Juazeiro, state of Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Kiill, Lúcia H P; Siqueira, Kátia M M; Coelho, Márcia S; Silva, Tamires A; Gama, Diego R S; Araújo, Diego C S; Pereira Neto, Joaquim

    2014-12-01

    The study was carried out to verify if there are differences in foraging frequency and behavior of Apis mellifera in two melon hybrids (10:00 - 'Yellow melon' and Sancho -'Piel de Sapo') in the municipality of Juazeiro, state of Bahia, Brazil. The frequency, behavior of visitors and the floral resource foraged were registered from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm. There was a significant difference in the frequency of visits when comparing hydrids (F = 103.74, p <0.0001), floral type (F = 47.25, p <0.0001) and resource foraged (F = 239.14, p <0.0001). The flowers of Sancho were more attractive to A. mellifera when compared with hybrid 10:00, which may be correlated to the morphology and floral resources available. This could be solved with scaled planting, avoiding the overlapping of flowering of both types.

  11. Field assessment of Bt cry1Ah corn pollen on the survival, development and behavior of Apis mellifera ligustica.

    PubMed

    Dai, Ping-Li; Zhou, Wei; Zhang, Jie; Cui, Hong-Juan; Wang, Qiang; Jiang, Wei-Yu; Sun, Ji-Hu; Wu, Yan-Yan; Zhou, Ting

    2012-05-01

    Honeybees may be exposed to insecticidal proteins from transgenic plants via pollen. An assessment of the impact of such exposures on the honeybee is an essential part of the risk assessment process for transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis corn. A field trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of transgenic Bt cry1Ah corn on the honeybee Apis mellifera ligustica. Colonies of honeybees were moved to Bt or non-Bt corn fields during anthesis and then sampled to record their survival, development and behavior. No differences in immature stages, worker survival, bee body weight, hypopharyngeal gland weight, colony performance, foraging activity or olfactory learning abilities were detected between colonies that were placed in non-Bt corn fields and those placed in Bt corn fields. We conclude that cry1Ah corn carries no risk for the survival, development, colony performance or behavior of the honeybee A. mellifera ligustica. PMID:22364780

  12. Molecular and Kinetic Properties of Two Acetylcholinesterases from the Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young Ho; Cha, Deok Jea; Jung, Je Won; Kwon, Hyung Wook; Lee, Si Hyeock

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the molecular and kinetic properties of two acetylcholinesterases (AmAChE1 and AmAChE2) from the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Western blot analysis revealed that AmAChE2 has most of catalytic activity rather than AmAChE1, further suggesting that AmAChE2 is responsible for synaptic transmission in A. mellifera, in contrast to most other insects. AmAChE2 was predominately expressed in the ganglia and head containing the central nervous system (CNS), while AmAChE1 was abundantly observed not only in the CNS but also in the peripheral nervous system/non-neuronal tissues. Both AmAChEs exist as homodimers; the monomers are covalently connected via a disulfide bond under native conditions. However, AmAChE2 was associated with the cell membrane via the glycophosphatidylinositol anchor, while AmAChE1 was present as a soluble form. The two AmAChEs were functionally expressed with a baculovirus system. Kinetic analysis revealed that AmAChE2 has approximately 2,500-fold greater catalytic efficiency toward acetylthiocholine and butyrylthiocholine than AmAChE1, supporting the synaptic function of AmAChE2. In addition, AmAChE2 likely serves as the main target of the organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CB) insecticides as judged by the lower IC50 values against AmAChE2 than against AmAChE1. When OP and CB insecticides were pre-incubated with a mixture of AmAChE1 and AmAChE2, a significant reduction in the inhibition of AmAChE2 was observed, suggesting a protective role of AmAChE1 against xenobiotics. Taken together, based on their tissue distribution pattern, molecular and kinetic properties, AmAChE2 plays a major role in synaptic transmission, while AmAChE1 has non-neuronal functions, including chemical defense. PMID:23144990

  13. Hyperalgesic and edematogenic effects of peptides isolated from the venoms of honeybee (Apis mellifera) and neotropical social wasps (Polybia paulista and Protonectarina sylveirae).

    PubMed

    Brigatte, P; Cury, Y; de Souza, B M; Baptista-Saidemberg, N B; Saidemberg, D M; Gutierrez, V P; Palma, Mario Sérgio

    2011-01-01

    Stings by bees and wasps, including Brazilian species, are a severe public health problem. The local reactions observed after the envenoming includes typical inflammatory response and pain. Several studies have been performed to identify the substances, including peptides that are responsible for such phenomena. The aim of the present study is to characterize the possible nociceptive (hyperalgesic) and edematogenic effects of some peptides isolated from the venoms of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the social wasps Polybia paulista and Protonectarina sylveirae, in addition to characterize some of the mechanisms involved in these phenomena. For this purpose, different doses of the peptides mellitin (Apis mellifera), Polybia-MP-I, N-2-Polybia-MP-I (Polybia paulista), Protonectarina-MP-NH2 and Protonectarina-MP-OH (Protonectarina sylveirae) were injected into the hind paw of mice. Hyperalgesia and edema were determined after peptide application, by using an electronic von Frey apparatus and a paquimeter. Carrageenin and saline were used as controls. Results showed that melittin, Polybia-MP-I, N-2-Polybia-MP-I, Protonectarina-MP-NH(2) and Protonectarina-MP-OH peptides produced a dose- and time-related hyperalgesic and edematogenic responses. Both phenomena are detected 2 h after melittin, Polybia-MP-I, N-2-Polybia-MP-I injection; their effects lasted until 8 h. In order to evaluate the role of prostanoids and the involvement of lipidic mediators in hyperalgesia induced by the peptides, indomethacin and zileuton were used. Results showed that zileuton blocked peptide-induced hyperalgesia and induced a decrease of the edematogenic response. On the other hand, indomethacin did not interfere with these phenomena. These results indicate that melittin, Polybia-MP-I, N-2-Polybia-MP-I, Protonectarina-MP-NH(2), and Protonectarina-MP-OH peptides could contribute to inflammation and pain induced by insect venoms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  15. Analysis of the organization and overlap of the visual fields in the compound eye of the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Wiitanen, W; Varela, F G

    1971-03-01

    Using the results of an optical analysis, a digital computer technique was developed to analyze the relative excitation produced by arbitrary figures at the rhabdom of the receptors of a compound eye. This technique was applied to several sets of figures for the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and a reasonable agreement was found with behavioral data. Similarly, the significance of a fixed cutoff angle for a visual field was investigated. It is concluded that overlap between neighboring ommatidia is highly significant for visual processing in the apposition eye, contrary to the assumptions of the mosaic theory.

  16. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L.) as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter.

    PubMed

    Negri, Ilaria; Mavris, Christian; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Caprio, Emilio; Pellecchia, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy) that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs). The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants. PMID:26147982

  17. Protein and Peptide Composition of Male Accessory Glands of Apis mellifera Drones Investigated by Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gorshkov, Vladimir; Blenau, Wolfgang; Koeniger, Gudrun; Römpp, Andreas; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Spengler, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    In honeybees, reproductive females usually mate early in their life with more than 10 males in free flight, often within 10 minutes, and then store male gametes for up to five years. Because of the extreme polyandry and mating in free flight special adaptations in males are most likely. We present here the results of an investigation of the protein content of four types of male reproductive glands from the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) drone, namely seminal vesicles (secretion in ejaculate), as well as bulbus, cornua and mucus glands (secretions for the mating plug). Using high resolution and accuracy mass spectrometry and a combination of database searching and de novo sequencing techniques it was possible to identify 50 different proteins in total, inside all mentioned glands, except in the mucus gland. Most of the proteins are unique for a specific gland type, only one of them (H9KEY1/ATP synthase subunit O) was found in three glands, and 7 proteins were found in two types of glands. The identified proteins represent a wide variety of biological functions and can be assigned to several physiological classes, such as protection, energy generation, maintaining optimal conditions, associated mainly with vesicula seminalis; signaling, cuticle proteins, icarpin and apolipoproteins located mainly in the bulbus and cornua glands; and some other classes. Most of the discovered proteins were not found earlier during investigation of semen, seminal fluid and tissue of reproductive glands of the bee drone. Moreover, we provide here the origin of each protein. Thus, the presented data might shed light on the role of each reproductive gland.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  19. No genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and individual innate immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Harpur, Brock A; Chernyshova, Anna; Soltani, Arash; Tsvetkov, Nadejda; Mahjoorighasrodashti, Mohammad; Xu, Zhixing; Zayed, Amro

    2014-01-01

    Many animals have individual and social mechanisms for combating pathogens. Animals may exhibit short-term physiological tradeoffs between social and individual immunity because the latter is often energetically costly. Genetic tradeoffs between these two traits can also occur if mutations that enhance social immunity diminish individual immunity, or vice versa. Physiological tradeoffs between individual and social immunity have been previously documented in insects, but there has been no study of genetic tradeoffs involving these traits. There is strong evidence that some genes influence both innate immunity and behaviour in social insects--a prerequisite for genetic tradeoffs. Quantifying genetic tradeoffs is critical for understanding the evolution of immunity in social insects and for devising effective strategies for breeding disease-resistant pollinator populations. We conducted two experiments to test the hypothesis of a genetic tradeoff between social and individual immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. First, we estimated the relative contribution of genetics to individual variation in innate immunity of honey bee workers, as only heritable traits can experience genetic tradeoffs. Second, we examined if worker bees with hygienic sisters have reduced individual innate immune response. We genotyped several hundred workers from two colonies and found that patriline genotype does not significantly influence the antimicrobial activity of a worker's hemolymph. Further, we did not find a negative correlation between hygienic behaviour and the average antimicrobial activity of a worker's hemolymph across 30 honey bee colonies. Taken together, our work indicates no genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and innate immunity in honey bees. Our work suggests that using artificial selection to increase hygienic behaviour of honey bee colonies is not expected to concurrently compromise individual innate immunity of worker bees.

  20. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L.) as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter

    PubMed Central

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Caprio, Emilio; Pellecchia, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy) that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry -, postmining -, and soil –derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs). The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants. PMID:26147982

  1. Protein and Peptide Composition of Male Accessory Glands of Apis mellifera Drones Investigated by Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Gorshkov, Vladimir; Blenau, Wolfgang; Koeniger, Gudrun; Römpp, Andreas; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Spengler, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    In honeybees, reproductive females usually mate early in their life with more than 10 males in free flight, often within 10 minutes, and then store male gametes for up to five years. Because of the extreme polyandry and mating in free flight special adaptations in males are most likely. We present here the results of an investigation of the protein content of four types of male reproductive glands from the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) drone, namely seminal vesicles (secretion in ejaculate), as well as bulbus, cornua and mucus glands (secretions for the mating plug). Using high resolution and accuracy mass spectrometry and a combination of database searching and de novo sequencing techniques it was possible to identify 50 different proteins in total, inside all mentioned glands, except in the mucus gland. Most of the proteins are unique for a specific gland type, only one of them (H9KEY1/ATP synthase subunit O) was found in three glands, and 7 proteins were found in two types of glands. The identified proteins represent a wide variety of biological functions and can be assigned to several physiological classes, such as protection, energy generation, maintaining optimal conditions, associated mainly with vesicula seminalis; signaling, cuticle proteins, icarpin and apolipoproteins located mainly in the bulbus and cornua glands; and some other classes. Most of the discovered proteins were not found earlier during investigation of semen, seminal fluid and tissue of reproductive glands of the bee drone. Moreover, we provide here the origin of each protein. Thus, the presented data might shed light on the role of each reproductive gland. PMID:25955586

  2. Honey Bees (Apis mellifera, L.) as Active Samplers of Airborne Particulate Matter.

    PubMed

    Negri, Ilaria; Mavris, Christian; Di Prisco, Gennaro; Caprio, Emilio; Pellecchia, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are bioindicators of environmental pollution levels. During their wide-ranging foraging activity, these hymenopterans are exposed to pollutants, thus becoming a useful tool to trace the environmental contaminants as heavy metals, pesticides, radionuclides and volatile organic compounds. In the present work we demonstrate that bees can also be used as active samplers of airborne particulate matter. Worker bees were collected from hives located in a polluted postmining area in South West Sardinia (Italy) that is also exposed to dust emissions from industrial plants. The area is included in an official list of sites of national interest for environmental remediation, and has been characterized for the effects of pollutants on the health of the resident population. The head, wings, hind legs and alimentary canal of the bees were investigated with Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The analyses pointed to specific morphological and chemical features of the particulate, and resulted into the identification of three categories of particles: industry-, postmining-, and soil-derived. With the exception of the gut, all the analyzed body districts displayed inorganic particles, mostly concentrated in specific areas of the body (i.e. along the costal margin of the fore wings, the medial plane of the head, and the inner surface of the hind legs). The role of both past mining activities and the industrial activity close to the study area as sources of the particulate matter is also discussed. We conclude that honey bees are able to collect samples of the main airborne particles emitted from different sources, therefore could be an ideal tool for monitoring such a kind of pollutants.

  3. Programmed cell death in the larval salivary glands of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    Silva-Zacarin, E C M; Tomaino, G A; Brocheto-Braga, M R; Taboga, S R; De Moraes, R L M Silva

    2007-03-01

    The morphological and histochemical features of degeneration in honeybee (Apis mellifera) salivary glands were investigated in 5th instar larvae and in the pre-pupal period. The distribution and activity patterns of acid phosphatase enzyme were also analysed. As a routine,the larval salivary glands were fixed and processed for light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy.Tissue sections were subsequently stained with haematoxylin -eosin,bromophenol blue,silver,or a variant of the critical electrolyte concentration (CEC) method.Ultrathin sections were contrasted with uranyl acetate and lead citrate.Glands were processed for the histochemical and cytochemical localization of acid phosphatase,as well as biochemical assay to detect its activity pattern. Acid phosphatase activity was histochemically detected in all the salivary glands analysed.The cytochemical results showed acid phosphatase in vesicles, Golgi apparatus and lysosomes during the secretory phase and,additionally, in autophagic structures and luminal secretion during the degenerative phase. These findings were in agreement with the biochemical assay. At the end of the 5th instar, the glandular cells had a vacuolated cytoplasm and pyknotic nuclei, and epithelial cells were shed into the glandular lumen.The transition phase from the 5th instar to the pre-pupal period was characterized by intense vacuolation of the basal cytoplasm and release of parts of the cytoplasm into the lumen by apical blebbing; these blebs contained cytoplasmic RNA, rough endoplasmic reticule and, occasionally, nuclear material. In the pre-pupal phase, the glandular epithelium showed progressive degeneration so that at the end of this phase only nuclei and remnants of the cytoplasm were observed.The nuclei were pyknotic,with peripheral chromatin and blebs. The gland remained in the haemolymph and was recycled during metamorphosis. The programmed cell death in this gland represented a morphological form intermediate between

  4. Viral epidemiology of the adult Apis Mellifera infested by the Varroa destructor mite.

    PubMed

    Bernardi, Sara; Venturino, Ezio

    2016-05-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has become one of the major worldwide threats for apiculture. Varroa destructor attacks the honey bee Apis mellifera weakening its host by sucking hemolymph. However, the damage to bee colonies is not strictly related to the parasitic action of the mite but it derives, above all, from its action as vector increasing the transmission of many viral diseases such as acute paralysis (ABPV) and deformed wing viruses (DWV), that are considered among the main causes of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). In this work we discuss an [Formula: see text] model that describes how the presence of the mite affects the epidemiology of these viruses on adult bees. The acronym [Formula: see text] means that the disease affects both populations. In fact it accounts for the bee and mite populations, that are each divided among the S (susceptible) and I (infected) states. We characterize the system behavior, establishing that ultimately either only healthy bees survive, or the disease becomes endemic and mites are wiped out. Another dangerous alternative is the Varroa invasion scenario with the extinction of healthy bees. The final possible configuration is the coexistence equilibrium in which honey bees share their infected hive with mites. The analysis is in line with some observed facts in natural honey bee colonies. Namely, these diseases are endemic. Further, if the mite population is present, necessarily the viral infection occurs. The findings of this study indicate that a low horizontal transmission rate of the virus among honey bees in beehives will help in protecting bee colonies from Varroa infestation and viral epidemics. PMID:27441276

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Learning and memory in workers reared by nutritionally stressed honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Smith, Brian H

    2008-12-15

    Chronic nutritional stress can have a negative impact on an individual's learning ability and memory. However, in social animals that share food among group members, such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), it is unknown whether group-level nutritional stress is manifested in the learning performance of individuals. Accordingly, we examined learning and memory in honey bee workers reared by colonies exposed to varying degrees of long-term pollen stress. Pollen provides honey bee workers with almost all of the proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals that they require as larvae and adults. Colonies were created that were either chronically pollen poor or pollen rich, or were intermediate in pollen supply; treatments altered colonies' pollen stores and brood-rearing capacity. Workers from these colonies were put through a series of olfactory-conditioning assays using proboscis-extension response (PER). PER thresholds were determined, then workers learned in olfactory-conditioning trials to associate two floral odors (one novel and the other presented previously without reward) with stimulation with sucrose and a sucrose reward. The strength of the memory that was formed for the odor/sucrose association was tested after olfactory-conditioning assays ended. Colony-level nutritional status had no effect on worker learning or memory (response threshold of workers to sucrose, acquisition of the odor/sucrose association, occurrence of latent inhibition, or memory retention over 72 h). We conclude that potential effects of chronic, colony-wide nutrient deprivation on learning and memory are not found in workers, probably because colonies use brood-rearing capacity to buffer nutrient stress at the level of the individual.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) propolis from subtropical eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Massaro, Carmelina Flavia; Simpson, Jack Bruce; Powell, Daniel; Brooks, Peter

    2015-12-01

    Propolis is a material manufactured by bees and contains beeswax, bee salivary secretions and plant resins. Propolis preparations have been used for millennia by humans in food, cosmetics and medicines due to its antibacterial effects. Within the hive, propolis plays an important role in bees' health, with much of its bioactivity largely dependent on the plant resins the bees select for its production. Few chemical studies are available on the chemistry of propolis produced by Australian honeybees (Apis mellifera, Apidae). This study aimed to determine the chemical composition as well as in vitro antimicrobial effects of propolis harvested from honeybees in subtropical eastern Australia. Honeybee propolis was produced using plastic frames and multiple beehives in two subtropical sites in eastern Australia. Methanolic extracts of propolis were analysed by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and high-resolution mass spectrometry (ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-UV-high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HR-MS/MS)) and by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The resulting chemical data were dereplicated for compound characterisation. The two crude extracts in abs. ethanol were tested in vitro by the agar diffusion and broth dilution methods, using a phenol standard solution as the positive control and abs. ethanol as the negative control. Chemical constituents were identified to be pentacyclic triterpenoids and C-prenylated flavonoids, including Abyssinoflavanone VII, Propolin C and Nymphaeol C. The two propolis crude extracts showed bactericidal effects at the minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.37-2.04 mg mL(-1) against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. However, the extracts were inactive against Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 13883 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. The antistaphylococcal potential of propolis was discussed, also in relation to honeybees' health, as it warrants further investigations on the social and

  13. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of honeybee ( Apis mellifera ligustica) propolis from subtropical eastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massaro, Carmelina Flavia; Simpson, Jack Bruce; Powell, Daniel; Brooks, Peter

    2015-12-01

    Propolis is a material manufactured by bees and contains beeswax, bee salivary secretions and plant resins. Propolis preparations have been used for millennia by humans in food, cosmetics and medicines due to its antibacterial effects. Within the hive, propolis plays an important role in bees' health, with much of its bioactivity largely dependent on the plant resins the bees select for its production. Few chemical studies are available on the chemistry of propolis produced by Australian honeybees ( Apis mellifera, Apidae). This study aimed to determine the chemical composition as well as in vitro antimicrobial effects of propolis harvested from honeybees in subtropical eastern Australia. Honeybee propolis was produced using plastic frames and multiple beehives in two subtropical sites in eastern Australia. Methanolic extracts of propolis were analysed by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and high-resolution mass spectrometry (ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-UV-high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HR-MS/MS)) and by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The resulting chemical data were dereplicated for compound characterisation. The two crude extracts in abs. ethanol were tested in vitro by the agar diffusion and broth dilution methods, using a phenol standard solution as the positive control and abs. ethanol as the negative control. Chemical constituents were identified to be pentacyclic triterpenoids and C-prenylated flavonoids, including Abyssinoflavanone VII, Propolin C and Nymphaeol C. The two propolis crude extracts showed bactericidal effects at the minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.37-2.04 mg mL-1 against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. However, the extracts were inactive against Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 13883 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. The antistaphylococcal potential of propolis was discussed, also in relation to honeybees' health, as it warrants further investigations on the social and

  14. Reproduction of Varroa destructor in worker brood of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Medina, Luis Medina; Martin, Stephen J; Espinosa-Montaño, Laura; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2002-01-01

    Reproduction and population growth of Varroa destructor was studied in ten naturally infested, Africanized honey bee (AHB) (Apis mellifera) colonies in Yucatan, Mexico. Between February 1997 and January 1998 monthly records of the amount of pollen, honey, sealed worker and drone brood were recorded. In addition, mite infestation levels of adult bees and worker brood and the fecundity of the mites reproducing in worker cells were determined. The mean number of sealed worker brood cells (10,070 +/- 1,790) remained fairly constant over the experimental period in each colony. However, the presence and amount of sealed drone brood was very variable. One colony had drone brood for 10 months and another for only 1 month. Both the mean infestation level of worker brood (18.1 +/- 8.4%) and adult bees (3.5 +/- 1.3%) remained fairly constant over the study period and did not increase rapidly as is normally observed in European honey bees. In fact, the estimated mean number of mites fell from 3,500 in February 1997 to 2,380 in January 1998. In May 2000 the mean mite population in the study colonies was still only 1,821 mites. The fertility level of mites in this study was much higher (83-96%) than in AHB in Brazil (25-57%). and similar to that found in EHB (76-94%). Mite fertility remained high throughout the entire study and was not influenced by the amount of pollen, honey or worker brood in the colonies.

  15. Linkage analysis of sex determination in the honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Hunt, G J; Page, R E

    1994-09-01

    A colony-level phenotype was used to map the major sex determination locus (designated X) in the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Individual queen bees (reproductive females) were mated to single drones (fertile males) by instrumental insemination. Haploid drone progeny of an F1 queen were each backcrossed to daughter queens from one of the parental lines. Ninety-eight of the resulting colonies containing back-cross progeny were evaluated for the trait 'low brood-viability' resulting from the production of diploid drones that were homozygous at X. DNA samples from the haploid drone fathers of these colonies were used individually in polymerase chain reactions (PCR) with 10-base primers. These reactions generated random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers that were analyzed for cosegregation with the colony-level phenotype. One RAPD marker allele was shared by 22 of 25 drones that fathered low brood-viability colonies. The RAPD marker fragment was cloned and partially sequenced. Two primers were designed that define a sequence-tagged site (STS) for this locus. The primers amplified DNA marker fragments that cosegregated with the original RAPD marker. In order to more precisely estimate the linkage between X and the STS locus, another group of bees consisting of progeny from one of the low-brood viability colonies was used in segregation analysis. Four diploid drones and 181 of their diploid sisters (workers, nonfertile females) were tested for segregation of the RAPD and STS markers. The cosegregating RAPD and STS markers were codominant due to the occurrence of fragment-length alleles. The four diploid drones were homozygous for these markers but only three of the 181 workers were homozygotes (recombinants). Therefore the distance between X and the STS locus was estimated at 1.6 cM. An additional linked marker was found that was 6.6 cM from the STS locus.

  16. Gut pathology and responses to the microsporidium Nosema ceranae in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Dussaubat, Claudia; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Higes, Mariano; Colbourne, John K; Lopez, Jacqueline; Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Botías, Cristina; Cousin, Marianne; McDonnell, Cynthia; Bonnet, Marc; Belzunces, Luc P; Moritz, Robin F A; Le Conte, Yves; Alaux, Cédric

    2012-01-01

    The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase). At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway), a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses.

  17. Viral epidemiology of the adult Apis Mellifera infested by the Varroa destructor mite.

    PubMed

    Bernardi, Sara; Venturino, Ezio

    2016-05-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has become one of the major worldwide threats for apiculture. Varroa destructor attacks the honey bee Apis mellifera weakening its host by sucking hemolymph. However, the damage to bee colonies is not strictly related to the parasitic action of the mite but it derives, above all, from its action as vector increasing the transmission of many viral diseases such as acute paralysis (ABPV) and deformed wing viruses (DWV), that are considered among the main causes of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). In this work we discuss an [Formula: see text] model that describes how the presence of the mite affects the epidemiology of these viruses on adult bees. The acronym [Formula: see text] means that the disease affects both populations. In fact it accounts for the bee and mite populations, that are each divided among the S (susceptible) and I (infected) states. We characterize the system behavior, establishing that ultimately either only healthy bees survive, or the disease becomes endemic and mites are wiped out. Another dangerous alternative is the Varroa invasion scenario with the extinction of healthy bees. The final possible configuration is the coexistence equilibrium in which honey bees share their infected hive with mites. The analysis is in line with some observed facts in natural honey bee colonies. Namely, these diseases are endemic. Further, if the mite population is present, necessarily the viral infection occurs. The findings of this study indicate that a low horizontal transmission rate of the virus among honey bees in beehives will help in protecting bee colonies from Varroa infestation and viral epidemics.

  18. Endopolyploidy Changes with Age-Related Polyethism in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Rangel, Juliana; Strauss, Kim; Seedorf, Kaileah; Hjelmen, Carl E.; Johnston, J. Spencer

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit age polyethism, whereby female workers assume increasingly complex colony tasks as they age. While changes in DNA methylation accompany age polyethism, other DNA modifications accompanying age polyethism are less known. Changes in endopolyploidy (DNA amplification in the absence of cell division) with increased larval age are typical in many insect cells and are essential in adults for creating larger cells, more copies of essential loci, or greater storage capacity in secretory cells. However, changes in endopolyploidy with increased adult worker age and polyethism are unstudied. In this study, we examined endopolyploidy in honey bee workers ranging in age from newly emerged up to 55 days old. We found a nonsignificant increase in ploidy levels with age (P < 0.1) in the most highly endopolyploid secretory cells, the Malpighian tubules. All other cell types decreased ploidy levels with age. Endopolyploidy decreased the least amount (nonsignificant) in neural (brain) cells and the stinger (P < 0.1). There was a significant reduction of endopolyploidy with age in leg (P < 0.05) and thoracic (P < 0.001) muscles. Ploidy in thoracic muscle dropped from an average of 0.5 rounds of replication in newly emerged workers to essentially no rounds of replication (0.125) in the oldest workers. Ploidy reduction in flight muscle cells is likely due to the production of G1 (2C) nuclei by amitotic division in the multinucleate striated flight muscles that are essential to foragers, the oldest workers. We suggest that ploidy is constrained by the shape, size and makeup of the multinucleate striated muscle cells. Furthermore, the presence of multiple 2C nuclei might be optimal for cell function, while higher ploidy levels might be a dead-end strategy of some aging adult tissues, likely used to increase cell size and storage capacity in secretory cells. PMID:25881205

  19. Discrimination of closed shapes by two species of bee, Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata.

    PubMed

    Campan, Raymond; Lehrer, Miriam

    2002-02-01

    In the present study, the performance of two bee species, the honeybee Apis mellifera and the leaf-cutter bee Megachile rotundata, in discriminating among various closed (convex) shapes was examined systematically for the first time. Bees were trained to each of five different shapes, a disc, a square, a diamond and two different triangles, all of the same area, using fresh bees in each experiment. In subsequent tests, the trained bees were given a choice between the learned shape and each of the other four shapes. Two sets of experiments were conducted with both species. In the first, solid black shapes were presented against a white background, thus providing a high luminance contrast. In the second, the shapes carried a random black-and-white pattern and were presented 5 cm in front of a similar pattern, thus producing motion contrast, rather than luminance contrast, against the background. The results obtained with the solid shapes reveal that both bee species accomplish the discrimination, although the performance of the honeybee is significantly better than that of the leaf-cutter bee. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the various shapes differs between the two species. However, in neither species is the discrimination performance correlated with the amount of overlap of the black areas contained in the various pairs of shapes, suggesting that, in our experiments, shape discrimination is not based on a template-matching process. We propose that it is based on the use of local parameters situated at the outline of the shape, such as the position of angles or acute points and, in particular, the position and orientation of edges. This conclusion is supported by the finding that bees of both species accomplish the discrimination even with the patterned shapes. These shapes are visible only because of the discontinuity of the speed of image motion perceived at the edge between the shape and the background. PMID:11893770

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. CYP9Q-mediated detoxification of acaricides in the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Although Apis mellifera, the western honey bee, has long encountered pesticides when foraging in agricultural fields, for two decades it has encountered pesticides in-hive in the form of acaricides to control Varroa destructor, a devastating parasitic mite. The pyrethroid tau-fluvalinate and the organophosphate coumaphos have been used for Varroa control, with little knowledge of honey bee detoxification mechanisms. Cytochrome P450-mediated detoxification contributes to pyrethroid tolerance in many insects, but specific P450s responsible for pesticide detoxification in honey bees (indeed, in any hymenopteran pollinator) have not been defined. We expressed and assayed CYP3 clan midgut P450s and demonstrated that CYP9Q1, CYP9Q2, and CYP9Q3 metabolize tau-fluvalinate to a form suitable for further cleavage by the carboxylesterases that also contribute to tau-fluvalinate tolerance. These in vitro assays indicated that all of the three CYP9Q enzymes also detoxify coumaphos. Molecular models demonstrate that coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate fit into the same catalytic pocket, providing a possible explanation for the synergism observed between these two compounds. Induction of CYP9Q2 and CYP9Q3 transcripts by honey extracts suggested that diet-derived phytochemicals may be natural substrates and heterologous expression of CYP9Q3 confirmed activity against quercetin, a flavonoid ubiquitous in honey. Up-regulation by honey constituents suggests that diet may influence the ability of honey bees to detoxify pesticides. Quantitative RT-PCR assays demonstrated that tau-fluvalinate enhances CYP9Q3 transcripts, whereas the pyrethroid bifenthrin enhances CYP9Q1 and CYP9Q2 transcripts and represses CYP9Q3 transcripts. The independent regulation of these P450s can be useful for monitoring and differentiating between pesticide exposures in-hive and in agricultural fields. PMID:21775671

  2. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) propolis from subtropical eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Massaro, Carmelina Flavia; Simpson, Jack Bruce; Powell, Daniel; Brooks, Peter

    2015-12-01

    Propolis is a material manufactured by bees and contains beeswax, bee salivary secretions and plant resins. Propolis preparations have been used for millennia by humans in food, cosmetics and medicines due to its antibacterial effects. Within the hive, propolis plays an important role in bees' health, with much of its bioactivity largely dependent on the plant resins the bees select for its production. Few chemical studies are available on the chemistry of propolis produced by Australian honeybees (Apis mellifera, Apidae). This study aimed to determine the chemical composition as well as in vitro antimicrobial effects of propolis harvested from honeybees in subtropical eastern Australia. Honeybee propolis was produced using plastic frames and multiple beehives in two subtropical sites in eastern Australia. Methanolic extracts of propolis were analysed by liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection and high-resolution mass spectrometry (ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-UV-high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (HR-MS/MS)) and by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The resulting chemical data were dereplicated for compound characterisation. The two crude extracts in abs. ethanol were tested in vitro by the agar diffusion and broth dilution methods, using a phenol standard solution as the positive control and abs. ethanol as the negative control. Chemical constituents were identified to be pentacyclic triterpenoids and C-prenylated flavonoids, including Abyssinoflavanone VII, Propolin C and Nymphaeol C. The two propolis crude extracts showed bactericidal effects at the minimal inhibitory concentrations of 0.37-2.04 mg mL(-1) against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923. However, the extracts were inactive against Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 13883 and Candida albicans ATCC 10231. The antistaphylococcal potential of propolis was discussed, also in relation to honeybees' health, as it warrants further investigations on the social and

  3. Learning and memory in workers reared by nutritionally stressed honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Smith, Brian H

    2008-12-15

    Chronic nutritional stress can have a negative impact on an individual's learning ability and memory. However, in social animals that share food among group members, such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), it is unknown whether group-level nutritional stress is manifested in the learning performance of individuals. Accordingly, we examined learning and memory in honey bee workers reared by colonies exposed to varying degrees of long-term pollen stress. Pollen provides honey bee workers with almost all of the proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals that they require as larvae and adults. Colonies were created that were either chronically pollen poor or pollen rich, or were intermediate in pollen supply; treatments altered colonies' pollen stores and brood-rearing capacity. Workers from these colonies were put through a series of olfactory-conditioning assays using proboscis-extension response (PER). PER thresholds were determined, then workers learned in olfactory-conditioning trials to associate two floral odors (one novel and the other presented previously without reward) with stimulation with sucrose and a sucrose reward. The strength of the memory that was formed for the odor/sucrose association was tested after olfactory-conditioning assays ended. Colony-level nutritional status had no effect on worker learning or memory (response threshold of workers to sucrose, acquisition of the odor/sucrose association, occurrence of latent inhibition, or memory retention over 72 h). We conclude that potential effects of chronic, colony-wide nutrient deprivation on learning and memory are not found in workers, probably because colonies use brood-rearing capacity to buffer nutrient stress at the level of the individual. PMID:18761030

  4. Protein and Peptide Composition of Male Accessory Glands of Apis mellifera Drones Investigated by Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gorshkov, Vladimir; Blenau, Wolfgang; Koeniger, Gudrun; Römpp, Andreas; Vilcinskas, Andreas; Spengler, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    In honeybees, reproductive females usually mate early in their life with more than 10 males in free flight, often within 10 minutes, and then store male gametes for up to five years. Because of the extreme polyandry and mating in free flight special adaptations in males are most likely. We present here the results of an investigation of the protein content of four types of male reproductive glands from the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) drone, namely seminal vesicles (secretion in ejaculate), as well as bulbus, cornua and mucus glands (secretions for the mating plug). Using high resolution and accuracy mass spectrometry and a combination of database searching and de novo sequencing techniques it was possible to identify 50 different proteins in total, inside all mentioned glands, except in the mucus gland. Most of the proteins are unique for a specific gland type, only one of them (H9KEY1/ATP synthase subunit O) was found in three glands, and 7 proteins were found in two types of glands. The identified proteins represent a wide variety of biological functions and can be assigned to several physiological classes, such as protection, energy generation, maintaining optimal conditions, associated mainly with vesicula seminalis; signaling, cuticle proteins, icarpin and apolipoproteins located mainly in the bulbus and cornua glands; and some other classes. Most of the discovered proteins were not found earlier during investigation of semen, seminal fluid and tissue of reproductive glands of the bee drone. Moreover, we provide here the origin of each protein. Thus, the presented data might shed light on the role of each reproductive gland. PMID:25955586

  5. Temporal and preparation effects in the magnetic nanoparticles of Apis mellifera body parts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chambarelli, L. L.; Pinho, M. A.; Abraçado, L. G.; Esquivel, D. M. S.; Wajnberg, E.

    Magnetic nanoparticles in the Apis mellifera abdomens are well accepted as involved in their magnetoreception mechanism. The effects of sample preparation on the time evolution of magnetic particles in the honeybee body parts (antennae, head, thorax and abdomen) were investigated by Ferromagnetic Resonance (FMR) at room temperature (RT), for about 100 days. Three preparations were tested: (a) washed with water (WT); (b) as (a), kept in glutaraldehyde 2.5% in 0.1 M cacodylate buffer (pH 7.4) for 24 h and washed with cacodylate buffer (C); (c) as (a), kept in glutaraldehyde 2.5% for 24 h and washed with glutaraldehyde 2.5% in cacodylate buffer (GLC). The four body parts of young and adult worker presented magnetic nanoparticles. The Mn 2+ lines are observed except for the antennae spectra. The high field (HF) and low field (LF) components previously observed in the spectra of social insects, are confirmed in these spectra. The HF line is present in all spectra while the LF is easily observed in the spectra of the young bee and it appears as a baseline shift in spectra of some adult parts. The HF intensity of the abdomen is commonly one order of magnitude larger than any other body parts. This is the first systematic study on the conservation of magnetic material in all body parts of bees. The results show that the time evolution of the spectra depends on the body part, conserving solution and bee age. Further measurements are necessary to understand these effects and extend it to other social insects.

  6. No Genetic Tradeoffs between Hygienic Behaviour and Individual Innate Immunity in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Harpur, Brock A.; Chernyshova, Anna; Soltani, Arash; Tsvetkov, Nadejda; Mahjoorighasrodashti, Mohammad; Xu, Zhixing; Zayed, Amro

    2014-01-01

    Many animals have individual and social mechanisms for combating pathogens. Animals may exhibit short-term physiological tradeoffs between social and individual immunity because the latter is often energetically costly. Genetic tradeoffs between these two traits can also occur if mutations that enhance social immunity diminish individual immunity, or vice versa. Physiological tradeoffs between individual and social immunity have been previously documented in insects, but there has been no study of genetic tradeoffs involving these traits. There is strong evidence that some genes influence both innate immunity and behaviour in social insects – a prerequisite for genetic tradeoffs. Quantifying genetic tradeoffs is critical for understanding the evolution of immunity in social insects and for devising effective strategies for breeding disease-resistant pollinator populations. We conducted two experiments to test the hypothesis of a genetic tradeoff between social and individual immunity in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. First, we estimated the relative contribution of genetics to individual variation in innate immunity of honey bee workers, as only heritable traits can experience genetic tradeoffs. Second, we examined if worker bees with hygienic sisters have reduced individual innate immune response. We genotyped several hundred workers from two colonies and found that patriline genotype does not significantly influence the antimicrobial activity of a worker’s hemolymph. Further, we did not find a negative correlation between hygienic behaviour and the average antimicrobial activity of a worker’s hemolymph across 30 honey bee colonies. Taken together, our work indicates no genetic tradeoffs between hygienic behaviour and innate immunity in honey bees. Our work suggests that using artificial selection to increase hygienic behaviour of honey bee colonies is not expected to concurrently compromise individual innate immunity of worker bees. PMID:25162411

  7. Function and Distribution of 5-HT2 Receptors in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Thamm, Markus; Rolke, Daniel; Jordan, Nadine; Balfanz, Sabine; Schiffer, Christian; Baumann, Arnd; Blenau, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    Background Serotonin plays a pivotal role in regulating and modulating physiological and behavioral processes in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In the honeybee (Apis mellifera), serotonin has been implicated in division of labor, visual processing, and learning processes. Here, we present the cloning, heterologous expression, and detailed functional and pharmacological characterization of two honeybee 5-HT2 receptors. Methods Honeybee 5-HT2 receptor cDNAs were amplified from brain cDNA. Recombinant cell lines were established constitutively expressing receptor variants. Pharmacological properties of the receptors were investigated by Ca2+ imaging experiments. Quantitative PCR was applied to explore the expression patterns of receptor mRNAs. Results The honeybee 5-HT2 receptor class consists of two subtypes, Am5-HT2α and Am5-HT2β. Each receptor gene also gives rise to alternatively spliced mRNAs that possibly code for truncated receptors. Only activation of the full-length receptors with serotonin caused an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration. The effect was mimicked by the agonists 5-methoxytryptamine and 8-OH-DPAT at low micromolar concentrations. Receptor activities were blocked by established 5-HT receptor antagonists such as clozapine, methiothepin, or mianserin. High transcript numbers were detected in exocrine glands suggesting that 5-HT2 receptors participate in secretory processes in the honeybee. Conclusions This study marks the first molecular and pharmacological characterization of two 5-HT2 receptor subtypes in the same insect species. The results presented should facilitate further attempts to unravel central and peripheral effects of serotonin mediated by these receptors. PMID:24324783

  8. A Mathematical Model of Intra-Colony Spread of American Foulbrood in European Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Jatulan, Eduardo O.; Rabajante, Jomar F.; Banaay, Charina Gracia B.; Fajardo, Alejandro C.; Jose, Editha C.

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood (AFB) is one of the severe infectious diseases of European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and other Apis species. This disease is caused by a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. In this paper, a compartmental (SI framework) model is constructed to represent the spread of AFB within a colony. The model is analyzed to determine the long-term fate of the colony once exposed to AFB spores. It was found out that without effective and efficient treatment, AFB infection eventually leads to colony collapse. Furthermore, infection thresholds were predicted based on the stability of the equilibrium states. The number of infected cell combs is one of the factors that drive disease spread. Our results can be used to forecast the transmission timeline of AFB infection and to evaluate the control strategies for minimizing a possible epidemic. PMID:26674357

  9. A Mathematical Model of Intra-Colony Spread of American Foulbrood in European Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Jatulan, Eduardo O; Rabajante, Jomar F; Banaay, Charina Gracia B; Fajardo, Alejandro C; Jose, Editha C

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood (AFB) is one of the severe infectious diseases of European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and other Apis species. This disease is caused by a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. In this paper, a compartmental (SI framework) model is constructed to represent the spread of AFB within a colony. The model is analyzed to determine the long-term fate of the colony once exposed to AFB spores. It was found out that without effective and efficient treatment, AFB infection eventually leads to colony collapse. Furthermore, infection thresholds were predicted based on the stability of the equilibrium states. The number of infected cell combs is one of the factors that drive disease spread. Our results can be used to forecast the transmission timeline of AFB infection and to evaluate the control strategies for minimizing a possible epidemic.

  10. Spontaneous recovery from extinction depends on the reconsolidation of the acquisition memory in an appetitive learning paradigm in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Stollhoff, Nicola; Menzel, Randolf; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2005-05-01

    Memory retrieval initiates two consolidation processes: consolidation of an extinction memory and reconsolidation of the acquisition memory. The strength of the consolidation processes depends on both the strength of the acquisition memory and the strength of retrieval trials and is correlated with its sensitivity to inhibition. We demonstrate that in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), memory retrieval of a consolidated appetitive olfactory memory leads to both consolidation processes, depending on the number of retrieval trials. Spontaneous recovery from extinction is induced by many (five), but not by few (one and two), retrieval trials. Spontaneous recovery is blocked by emetine, an inhibitor of protein synthesis. We conclude that reconsolidation of the acquisition memory underlies spontaneous recovery.

  11. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones survive oxidative stress due to increased tolerance instead of avoidance or repair of oxidative damage.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    Oxidative stress can lead to premature aging symptoms and cause acute mortality at higher doses in a range of organisms. Oxidative stress resistance and longevity are mechanistically and phenotypically linked; considerable variation in oxidative stress resistance exists among and within species and typically covaries with life expectancy. However, it is unclear whether stress-resistant, long-lived individuals avoid, repair, or tolerate molecular damage to survive longer than others. The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is an emerging model system that is well-suited to address this question. Furthermore, this species is the most economically important pollinator, whose health may be compromised by pesticide exposure, including oxidative stressors. Here, we develop a protocol for inducing oxidative stress in honey bee males (drones) via Paraquat injection. After injection, individuals from different colony sources were kept in common social conditions to monitor their survival compared to saline-injected controls. Oxidative stress was measured in susceptible and resistant individuals. Paraquat drastically reduced survival but individuals varied in their resistance to treatment within and among colony sources. Longer-lived individuals exhibited higher levels of lipid peroxidation than individuals dying early. In contrast, the level of protein carbonylation was not significantly different between the two groups. This first study of oxidative stress in male honey bees suggests that survival of an acute oxidative stressor is due to tolerance, not prevention or repair, of oxidative damage to lipids. It also demonstrates colony differences in oxidative stress resistance that might be useful for breeding stress-resistant honey bees. PMID:27422326

  12. A scientific note on the lactic acid bacterial flora within the honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera (Buckfast), A.m. scutellata, A.m. mellifera, and A.m. monticola

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It was discovered by Olofsson and Vásquez (2008) that a novel lactic acid bacteria (LAB) microbiota with numerous LAB, comprising the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, live in a symbiotic relationship with honeybees (Apis mellifera) in their honey stomach. Previous results from 16S rRNA gene...

  13. Recent worldwide expansion of Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) in Apis mellifera populations inferred from multilocus patterns of genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Moracho, T; Bartolomé, C; Bello, X; Martín-Hernández, R; Higes, M; Maside, X

    2015-04-01

    Nosema ceranae has been found infecting Apismellifera colonies with increasing frequency and it now represents a major threat to the health and long-term survival of these honeybees worldwide. However, so far little is known about the population genetics of this parasite. Here, we describe the patterns of genetic variation at three genomic loci in a collection of isolates from all over the world. Our main findings are: (i) the levels of genetic polymorphism (πS≈1%) do not vary significantly across its distribution range, (ii) there is substantial evidence for recombination among haplotypes, (iii) the best part of the observed genetic variance corresponds to differences within bee colonies (up to 88% of the total variance), (iv) parasites collected from Asian honeybees (Apis cerana and Apis florea) display significant differentiation from those obtained from Apismellifera (8-16% of the total variance, p<0.01) and (v) there is a significant excess of low frequency variants over neutral expectations among samples obtained from A. mellifera, but not from Asian honeybees. Overall these results are consistent with a recent colonization and rapid expansion of N. ceranae throughout A. mellifera colonies.

  14. Recent worldwide expansion of Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) in Apis mellifera populations inferred from multilocus patterns of genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Moracho, T; Bartolomé, C; Bello, X; Martín-Hernández, R; Higes, M; Maside, X

    2015-04-01

    Nosema ceranae has been found infecting Apismellifera colonies with increasing frequency and it now represents a major threat to the health and long-term survival of these honeybees worldwide. However, so far little is known about the population genetics of this parasite. Here, we describe the patterns of genetic variation at three genomic loci in a collection of isolates from all over the world. Our main findings are: (i) the levels of genetic polymorphism (πS≈1%) do not vary significantly across its distribution range, (ii) there is substantial evidence for recombination among haplotypes, (iii) the best part of the observed genetic variance corresponds to differences within bee colonies (up to 88% of the total variance), (iv) parasites collected from Asian honeybees (Apis cerana and Apis florea) display significant differentiation from those obtained from Apismellifera (8-16% of the total variance, p<0.01) and (v) there is a significant excess of low frequency variants over neutral expectations among samples obtained from A. mellifera, but not from Asian honeybees. Overall these results are consistent with a recent colonization and rapid expansion of N. ceranae throughout A. mellifera colonies. PMID:25583446

  15. Communal use of integumental wounds in honey bee (Apis mellifera) pupae multiply infested by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Kanbar, Ghazwan; Engels, Wolf

    2005-09-30

    The ectoparasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor, is highly adapted to its natural and adopted honey bee hosts, Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. Adult females perforate the integument of bee pupae in such a way that they and their progeny can feed. We examined the wounds that founder females made, and usually found one, and rarely up to three, integumental wounds on pupae of A. mellifera multiply infested by V. destructor. The punctures were mainly on the 2nd abdominal sternite of the host. These perforations are used repeatedly as feeding sites by these hemolymph-sucking mites and by their progeny. The diameter of the wounds increased during pupal development. In brood cells containing 4-5 invading female mites and their progeny, healing of the wound is delayed, normally occurring just before the imaginal moult of the bee pupa. These wounds are subject to microbial infections, and they are relevant to the evolution of behavioral traits in these parasitic mites and their relations to host bees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Large pathogen screening reveals first report of Megaselia scalaris (Diptera: Phoridae) parasitizing Apis mellifera intermissa (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Menail, Ahmed Hichem; Piot, Niels; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida

    2016-06-01

    As it is most likely that global warming will also lead to a shift in pollinator-habitats northwards, the study of southern species becomes more and more important. Pathogen screenings in subspecies of Apis mellifera capable of withstanding higher temperatures, provide an insight into future pathogen host interactions. Screenings in different climate regions also provide a global perspective on the prevalence of certain pathogens. In this project, we performed a pathogen screening in Apis mellifera intermissa, a native subspecies of Algeria in northern Africa. Colonies were sampled from different areas in the region of Annaba over a period of two years. Several pathogens were detected, among them Apicystis bombi, Crithidia mellificae, Nosema ceranae, Paenibacillus larvae, Lake Sinai Virus, Sacbrood Virus and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). Our screening also revealed a phoroid fly, Megaselia scalaris, parasitizing honey bee colonies, which we report here for the first time. In addition, we found DWV to be present in the adult flies and replicating virus in the larval stages of the fly, which could indicate that M. scalaris acts as a vector of DWV. PMID:27130035

  18. Risk posed to honeybees (Apis mellifera L, Hymenoptera) by an imidacloprid seed dressing of sunflowers.

    PubMed

    Schmuck, R; Schöning, R; Stork, A; Schramel, O

    2001-03-01

    In a greenhouse metabolism study, sunflowers were seed-treated with radiolabelled imidacloprid in a 700 g kg-1 WS formulation (Gaucho WS 70) at 0.7 mg AI per seed, and the nature of the resulting residues in nectar and pollen was determined. Only the parent compound and no metabolites were detected in nectar and pollen of these seed-treated sunflower plants (limit of detection < 0.001 mg kg-1). In standard LD50 laboratory tests, imidacloprid showed high oral toxicity to honeybees (Apis mellifera), with LD50 values between 3.7 and 40.9 ng per bee, corresponding to a lethal food concentration between 0.14 and 1.57 mg kg-1. The residue level of imidacloprid in nectar and pollen of seed-treated sunflower plants in the field was negligible. Under field-growing conditions no residues were detected (limit of detection: 0.0015 mg kg-1) in either nectar or pollen. There were also no detectable residues in nectar and pollen of sunflowers planted as a succeeding crop in soils which previously had been cropped with imidacloprid seed-treated plants. Chronic feeding experiments with sunflower honey fortified with 0.002, 0.005, 0.010 and 0.020 mg kg-1 imidacloprid were conducted to assess potential long-term adverse effects on honeybee colonies. Testing end-points in this 39-day feeding study were mortality, feeding activity, wax/comb production, breeding performance and colony vitality. Even at the highest test concentration, imidacloprid showed no adverse effects on the development of the exposed bee colonies. This no-adverse-effect concentration of 0.020 mg kg-1 compares with a field residue level of less than 0.0015 mg kg-1 (= limit of detection in the field residue studies) which clearly shows that a sunflower seed dressing with imidacloprid poses no risk to honeybees. This conclusion is confirmed by observations made in more than 10 field studies and several tunnel tests. PMID:11455652

  19. Hovering flight in the honeybee Apis mellifera: kinematic mechanisms for varying aerodynamic forces.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    During hovering flight, animals can increase the wing velocity and therefore the net aerodynamic force per stroke by increasing wingbeat frequency, wing stroke amplitude, or both. The magnitude and orientation of aerodynamic forces are also influenced by the geometric angle of attack, timing of wing rotation, wing contact, and pattern of deviation from the primary stroke plane. Most of the kinematic data available for flying animals are average values for wing stroke amplitude and wingbeat frequency because these features are relatively easy to measure, but it is frequently suggested that the more subtle and difficult-to-measure features of wing kinematics can explain variation in force production for different flight behaviors. Here, we test this hypothesis with multicamera high-speed recording and digitization of wing kinematics of honeybees (Apis mellifera) hovering and ascending in air and hovering in a hypodense gas (heliox: 21% O2, 79% He). Bees employed low stroke amplitudes (86.7° ± 7.9°) and high wingbeat frequencies (226.8 ± 12.8 Hz) when hovering in air. When ascending in air or hovering in heliox, bees increased stroke amplitude by 30%-45%, which yielded a much higher wing tip velocity relative to that during simple hovering in air. Across the three flight conditions, there were no statistical differences in the amplitude of wing stroke deviation, minimum and stroke-averaged geometric angle of attack, maximum wing rotation velocity, or even wingbeat frequency. We employed a quasi-steady aerodynamic model to estimate the effects of wing tip velocity and geometric angle of attack on lift and drag. Lift forces were sensitive to variation in wing tip velocity, whereas drag was sensitive to both variation in wing tip velocity and angle of attack. Bees utilized kinematic patterns that did not maximize lift production but rather maintained lift-to-drag ratio. Thus, our data indicate that, at least for honeybees, the overall time course of wing angles is

  20. Reproductive biology of Varroa destructor in Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Calderón, R A; van Veen, J W; Sommeijer, M J; Sanchez, L A

    2010-04-01

    Since its first contact with Apis mellifera, the population dynamics of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor varies from one region to another. In many regions of the world, apiculture has come to depend on the use of acaricides, because of the extensive damage caused by varroa to bee colonies. At present, the mite is considered to contribute to the recent decline of honey bee colonies in North America and Europe. Because in tropical climates worker brood rearing and varroa reproduction occurs all year round, it could be expected that here the impact of the parasite will be even more devastating. Yet, this has not been the case in tropical areas of South America. In Brazil, varroa was introduced more than 30 years ago and got established at low levels of infestation, without causing apparent damage to apiculture with Africanized honey bees (AHB). The tolerance of AHB to varroa is apparently attributable, at least in part, to resistance in the bees. The low fertility of this parasite in Africanized worker brood and the grooming and hygienic behavior of the bees are referred as important factors in keeping mite infestation low in the colonies. It has also been suggested that the type of mite influences the level of tolerance in a honey bee population. The Korea haplotype is predominant in unbalanced host-parasite systems, as exist in Europe, whereas in stable systems, as in Brazil, the Japan haplotype used to predominate. However, the patterns of varroa genetic variation have changed in Brazil. All recently sampled mites were of the Korea haplotype, regardless whether the mites had reproduced or not. The fertile mites on AHB in Brazil significantly increased from 56% in the 1980s to 86% in recent years. Nevertheless, despite the increased fertility, no increase in mite infestation rates in the colonies has been detected so far. A comprehensive literature review of varroa reproduction data, focusing on fertility and production of viable female mites, was conducted to

  1. Hovering flight in the honeybee Apis mellifera: kinematic mechanisms for varying aerodynamic forces.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    During hovering flight, animals can increase the wing velocity and therefore the net aerodynamic force per stroke by increasing wingbeat frequency, wing stroke amplitude, or both. The magnitude and orientation of aerodynamic forces are also influenced by the geometric angle of attack, timing of wing rotation, wing contact, and pattern of deviation from the primary stroke plane. Most of the kinematic data available for flying animals are average values for wing stroke amplitude and wingbeat frequency because these features are relatively easy to measure, but it is frequently suggested that the more subtle and difficult-to-measure features of wing kinematics can explain variation in force production for different flight behaviors. Here, we test this hypothesis with multicamera high-speed recording and digitization of wing kinematics of honeybees (Apis mellifera) hovering and ascending in air and hovering in a hypodense gas (heliox: 21% O2, 79% He). Bees employed low stroke amplitudes (86.7° ± 7.9°) and high wingbeat frequencies (226.8 ± 12.8 Hz) when hovering in air. When ascending in air or hovering in heliox, bees increased stroke amplitude by 30%-45%, which yielded a much higher wing tip velocity relative to that during simple hovering in air. Across the three flight conditions, there were no statistical differences in the amplitude of wing stroke deviation, minimum and stroke-averaged geometric angle of attack, maximum wing rotation velocity, or even wingbeat frequency. We employed a quasi-steady aerodynamic model to estimate the effects of wing tip velocity and geometric angle of attack on lift and drag. Lift forces were sensitive to variation in wing tip velocity, whereas drag was sensitive to both variation in wing tip velocity and angle of attack. Bees utilized kinematic patterns that did not maximize lift production but rather maintained lift-to-drag ratio. Thus, our data indicate that, at least for honeybees, the overall time course of wing angles is

  2. Modification of potassium movement through the retina of the drone (Apis mellifera male) by glial uptake.

    PubMed

    Coles, J A; Orkand, R K

    1983-07-01

    Intracellular recordings were made in photoreceptors and glial cells (outer pigment cells) of the superfused cut head of the honey-bee drone (Apis mellifera male). When the [K+] in the superfusate was abruptly increased from 3.2 mM to 17.9 mM both photoreceptors and glial cells depolarized. The time course of the depolarization of the photoreceptors was slower with increasing depth from the surface. Half time of depolarization was plotted against depth: this graph was compatible with the arrival of K+ being exclusively by diffusion through the extracellular clefts. However, as we then showed, this interpretation is inadequate. The time course of depolarization of the glial cells was almost the same at all depths. This indicates that they are electrically coupled. Consequently, current-mediated K+ flux (spatial buffering) through glial cells will contribute to the transport of K+ through the tissue: K+ ions enter the glial syncytium in the region of high external potassium concentration, [K+]0, and an equivalent quantity of K+ ions leave in regions of low [K+]0. Intracellular K+ activity (aiK) was measured with double-barrelled K+-sensitive micro-electrodes in slices of retina superfused on both faces. When [K+] in the superfusate was increased from 7.5 mM to 17.9 mM an increase in aiK was observed in glial cells at all depths in the slice (initial rate 1.7 mM min-1, S.E. of the mean = 0.2 mM min-1), but there was little increase in the photoreceptors (0.3 +/- 0.2 mM min-1). The increase in aiK in glial cells near the centre of the slice could not have been caused by spatial buffering; it presumably resulted from net uptake. We conclude that when [K+] is increased at the surface of this tissue, the build up of K+ in the extracellular clefts depends on extracellular diffusion, spatial buffering and net uptake. The latter two processes, which have opposing effects, involve about 10 times as much K+ as the first. This is in rough agreement with less direct experiments

  3. Reproductive biology of Varroa destructor in Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Calderón, R A; van Veen, J W; Sommeijer, M J; Sanchez, L A

    2010-04-01

    Since its first contact with Apis mellifera, the population dynamics of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor varies from one region to another. In many regions of the world, apiculture has come to depend on the use of acaricides, because of the extensive damage caused by varroa to bee colonies. At present, the mite is considered to contribute to the recent decline of honey bee colonies in North America and Europe. Because in tropical climates worker brood rearing and varroa reproduction occurs all year round, it could be expected that here the impact of the parasite will be even more devastating. Yet, this has not been the case in tropical areas of South America. In Brazil, varroa was introduced more than 30 years ago and got established at low levels of infestation, without causing apparent damage to apiculture with Africanized honey bees (AHB). The tolerance of AHB to varroa is apparently attributable, at least in part, to resistance in the bees. The low fertility of this parasite in Africanized worker brood and the grooming and hygienic behavior of the bees are referred as important factors in keeping mite infestation low in the colonies. It has also been suggested that the type of mite influences the level of tolerance in a honey bee population. The Korea haplotype is predominant in unbalanced host-parasite systems, as exist in Europe, whereas in stable systems, as in Brazil, the Japan haplotype used to predominate. However, the patterns of varroa genetic variation have changed in Brazil. All recently sampled mites were of the Korea haplotype, regardless whether the mites had reproduced or not. The fertile mites on AHB in Brazil significantly increased from 56% in the 1980s to 86% in recent years. Nevertheless, despite the increased fertility, no increase in mite infestation rates in the colonies has been detected so far. A comprehensive literature review of varroa reproduction data, focusing on fertility and production of viable female mites, was conducted to

  4. The total protein content, protein fractions and proteases activities of drone prepupae of Apis mellifera due to varrosis.

    PubMed

    Zółtowska, Krystyna; Lipiński, Zbigniew; Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata

    2005-01-01

    The proteins level and activities of acid and alkaline proteases in whole body extracts of drone prepupae of Apis mellifera naturally infested with Varroa destructor were studied. The infested and a non-infested group did not differ significantly in their total protein content. However, some differences in protein profiles were found. A lack of three protein fractions of moderate and lower molecular weight in infested prepupae was noted. Moreover, some differences in the quantity of protein in most of the fractions were observed. The activity of acid proteases from infested prepupae was lower (p < 0.05) compared with the activity of these proteases from the non-infested one group. The infested drone had higher activity of alkaline proteases than non-infested but this difference was not statisticaly significant.

  5. The total protein content, protein fractions and proteases activities of drone prepupae of Apis mellifera due to varrosis.

    PubMed

    Zółtowska, Krystyna; Lipiński, Zbigniew; Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata

    2005-01-01

    The proteins level and activities of acid and alkaline proteases in whole body extracts of drone prepupae of Apis mellifera naturally infested with Varroa destructor were studied. The infested and a non-infested group did not differ significantly in their total protein content. However, some differences in protein profiles were found. A lack of three protein fractions of moderate and lower molecular weight in infested prepupae was noted. Moreover, some differences in the quantity of protein in most of the fractions were observed. The activity of acid proteases from infested prepupae was lower (p < 0.05) compared with the activity of these proteases from the non-infested one group. The infested drone had higher activity of alkaline proteases than non-infested but this difference was not statisticaly significant. PMID:16841690

  6. A worldwide survey of genome sequence variation provides insight into the evolutionary history of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wallberg, Andreas; Han, Fan; Wellhagen, Gustaf; Dahle, Bjørn; Kawata, Masakado; Haddad, Nizar; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Allsopp, Mike H; Kandemir, Irfan; De la Rúa, Pilar; Pirk, Christian W; Webster, Matthew T

    2014-10-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has major ecological and economic importance. We analyze patterns of genetic variation at 8.3 million SNPs, identified by sequencing 140 honeybee genomes from a worldwide sample of 14 populations at a combined total depth of 634×. These data provide insight into the evolutionary history and genetic basis of local adaptation in this species. We find evidence that population sizes have fluctuated greatly, mirroring historical fluctuations in climate, although contemporary populations have high genetic diversity, indicating the absence of domestication bottlenecks. Levels of genetic variation are strongly shaped by natural selection and are highly correlated with patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation. We identify genomic signatures of local adaptation, which are enriched in genes expressed in workers and in immune system- and sperm motility-related genes that might underlie geographic variation in reproduction, dispersal and disease resistance. This study provides a framework for future investigations into responses to pathogens and climate change in honeybees.

  7. Composition of fatty acids in the Varroa destructor mites and their hosts, Apis mellifera drone-prepupae.

    PubMed

    Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata; Zalewski, Kazimierz; Raczkowski, Marek; Żółtowska, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    The fatty acid (FA) profile of lipids extracted from the Varroa destructor parasitic mite and its host, drone-prepupae of Apis mellifera, was determined by gas chromatography (GC). The percentages of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were generally similar in parasites and their hosts. Fatty acids were arranged in the following descending order based on their content: MUFAs (ca. 52-55%), SFAs (ca. 41%) and PUFAs (ca. 3%). The predominant fatty acids were oleic acid (46% in mites, 44% in prepupae) and palmitic acid (23% and 30%, respectively). Varroa parasites differed from their hosts in the quantity of individual FAs and in their FA profiles. Three PUFAs noted in the host were not observed in parasitic mites, whereas the presence of C21:0, C24:0 and C22:1 FAs was reported in mites, but not in drones.

  8. Compositions of royal jelly II. Organic acid glycosides and sterols of the royal jelly of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Kodai, Tetsuya; Umebayashi, Kazue; Nakatani, Takafumi; Ishiyama, Kaori; Noda, Naoki

    2007-10-01

    Two organic acid glycosides (1, 2) and 16 sterols were isolated from the royal jelly of honeybees (Apis mellifera). The former two were monoglucosides of 10-hydroxy-2E-decenoic and 10-hydroxydecanoic acids. They are the first examples of glycosides isolated from royal jelly. The latter 16 were sterols mainly composed of 28 or 29 carbons. Among them, four compounds were new isofucosterol derivatives, and their structures were characterized as (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-dien-3beta-ol-7-one (3), (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-diene-3beta,7beta-diol (4), (24Z)-stigmasta-5,24(28)-diene-3beta,7alpha-diol (5), and (24Z)-stigmast-24(28)-ene-3beta,5alpha,6beta-triol (6) on the basis of various NMR spectroscopic data.

  9. Composition of fatty acids in the Varroa destructor mites and their hosts, Apis mellifera drone-prepupae.

    PubMed

    Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata; Zalewski, Kazimierz; Raczkowski, Marek; Żółtowska, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    The fatty acid (FA) profile of lipids extracted from the Varroa destructor parasitic mite and its host, drone-prepupae of Apis mellifera, was determined by gas chromatography (GC). The percentages of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were generally similar in parasites and their hosts. Fatty acids were arranged in the following descending order based on their content: MUFAs (ca. 52-55%), SFAs (ca. 41%) and PUFAs (ca. 3%). The predominant fatty acids were oleic acid (46% in mites, 44% in prepupae) and palmitic acid (23% and 30%, respectively). Varroa parasites differed from their hosts in the quantity of individual FAs and in their FA profiles. Three PUFAs noted in the host were not observed in parasitic mites, whereas the presence of C21:0, C24:0 and C22:1 FAs was reported in mites, but not in drones. PMID:25911034

  10. A new gene, SRP16, differentially expressed in the spermathecae of honeybee queens (Apis mellifera) related with reproduction status.

    PubMed

    Wu, Liming; Wuxiang, Danping; Zheng, Huoqing; Li, Jilian; Pan, Gang

    2012-12-01

    Honey bee queens have the ability to store sperm in spermathecae for fertilizing eggs throughout their life. To investigate mechanisms for sperm storage in Apis mellifera, we employed suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to find differentially expressed fragments in spermathecae between virgin queens and newly mated queens. A new gene, named SRP16, was obtained by joining the SSH products with 5'-RACE and 3'-RACE. SRP16 is predicted to encode a 41 kDa protein with 363 amino acid residues. Its expression was found in the spermathecae dominantly in honey bee queens but not in honey bee workers, with the highest expression found in spermathecae of virgin and newly mated queens. SRP16 expression was weak in other tissues of queens other than in the spermathecae and showed no obvious change with reproductive status of queens. The results suggest that SRP16 may play important roles in sperm storage and honey bee reproduction.

  11. Fine scale population genetic structure of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Dynes, Travis L.; De Roode, Jacobus C.; Lyons, Justine I.; Berry, Jennifer A.; Delaplane, Keith S.; Brosi, Berry J.

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor is an obligate ectoparasitic mite and the most important biotic threat currently facing honey bees (Apis mellifera). We used neutral microsatellites to analyze previously unreported fine scale population structure of V. destructor, a species characterized by extreme lack of genetic diversity owing to multiple bottleneck events, haplodiploidy, and primarily brother-sister matings. Our results surprisingly indicate that detectable hierarchical genetic variation exists between apiaries, between colonies within an apiary, and even within colonies. This finding of within-colony parasite diversity provides empirical evidence that the spread of V. destructor is not accomplished solely by vertical transmission but that horizontal transmission (natural or human-mediated) must occur regularly. PMID:27812229

  12. Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as a potential Brassica napus pollinator (cv. Hyola 432) (Brassicaceae), in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Rosa, A S; Blochtein, B; Ferreira, N R; Witter, S

    2010-11-01

    Brassica napus Linnaeus is considered a self-compatible crop; however, studies show that bee foraging elevates their seed production. Considering bee food shortages during the winter season and that the canola is a winter crop, this study aimed to evaluate the foraging behaviour of Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 regarding those flowers, and to verify if it presents adequate behaviour for successfully pollinating this crop in Rio Grande do Sul State. The study was carried out in a canola field, in Southern Brazil. The anthesis stages were morphologically characterised and then related to stigma receptivity and pollen grain viability. Similarly, the behaviour of A. mellifera individuals on flowers was followed, considering the number of flowers visited per plant, the amount of time spent on the flowers, touched structures, and collected resources. Floral fidelity was inferred by analysing the pollen load of bees collected on flowers. The bees visited from 1-7 flowers/plant (x = 2.02; sd = 1.16), the time spent on the flowers varied between 1-43 seconds (x = 3.29; sd = 2.36) and, when seeking nectar and pollen, they invariably touched anthers and stigmas. The pollen load presented 100% of B. napus pollen. The bees' attendance to a small number of flowers/plants, their short permanence on flowers, their contact with anthers and stigma and the integral floral constancy allows their consideration as potential B. napus pollinators. PMID:21180917

  13. Biological activity of some plant essential oils against Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae), an ectoparasitic mite of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, Vahid; Moharramipour, Saeid; Tahmasbi, Gholamhosein

    2011-10-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate acaricidal activity of the essential oils of Thymus kotschyanus, Ferula assa-foetida and Eucalyptus camaldulensis against Varroa destructor under laboratory conditions. Moreover, fumigant toxicity of these oils was tested on Apis mellifera. After preliminary dose-setting experiments, mites and honey bees were exposed to different concentrations of the oil, with 10 h exposure time. Essential oil of T. kotschyanus appeared the most potent fumigant for V. destructor (LC(50) = 1.07, 95% confidence limit (CL) = 0.87-1.26 μl/l air), followed by E. camaldulensis (LC(50) = 1.74, 95% CL = 0.96-2.50 μl/l air). The lowest acaricidal activity (LC(50) = 2.46, 95% CL = 2.10-2.86 μl/l air) was attributed to essential oil of F. assa-foetida. Surprisingly, among the three oils tested, essential oil of T. kotschyanus had the lowest insecticidal activity against A. mellifera (LC(50) = 5.08, 95% CL = 4.54-5.06 μl/l air). These findings proved that essential oil of T. kotschyanus has potential of practical value for use as alternative acaricide in the management of varroa in apiaries.

  14. Sequence recombination and conservation of Varroa destructor virus-1 and deformed wing virus in field collected honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Wang, Hui; Xie, Jiazheng; Shreeve, Tim G; Ma, Jinmin; Pallett, Denise W; King, Linda A; Possee, Robert D

    2013-01-01

    We sequenced small (s) RNAs from field collected honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombuspascuorum) using the Illumina technology. The sRNA reads were assembled and resulting contigs were used to search for virus homologues in GenBank. Matches with Varroadestructor virus-1 (VDV1) and Deformed wing virus (DWV) genomic sequences were obtained for A. mellifera but not B. pascuorum. Further analyses suggested that the prevalent virus population was composed of VDV-1 and a chimera of 5'-DWV-VDV1-DWV-3'. The recombination junctions in the chimera genomes were confirmed by using RT-PCR, cDNA cloning and Sanger sequencing. We then focused on conserved short fragments (CSF, size > 25 nt) in the virus genomes by using GenBank sequences and the deep sequencing data obtained in this study. The majority of CSF sites confirmed conservation at both between-species (GenBank sequences) and within-population (dataset of this study) levels. However, conserved nucleotide positions in the GenBank sequences might be variable at the within-population level. High mutation rates (Pi>10%) were observed at a number of sites using the deep sequencing data, suggesting that sequence conservation might not always be maintained at the population level. Virus-host interactions and strategies for developing RNAi treatments against VDV1/DWV infections are discussed.

  15. Biological activity of some plant essential oils against Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae), an ectoparasitic mite of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, Vahid; Moharramipour, Saeid; Tahmasbi, Gholamhosein

    2011-10-01

    This experiment was conducted to evaluate acaricidal activity of the essential oils of Thymus kotschyanus, Ferula assa-foetida and Eucalyptus camaldulensis against Varroa destructor under laboratory conditions. Moreover, fumigant toxicity of these oils was tested on Apis mellifera. After preliminary dose-setting experiments, mites and honey bees were exposed to different concentrations of the oil, with 10 h exposure time. Essential oil of T. kotschyanus appeared the most potent fumigant for V. destructor (LC(50) = 1.07, 95% confidence limit (CL) = 0.87-1.26 μl/l air), followed by E. camaldulensis (LC(50) = 1.74, 95% CL = 0.96-2.50 μl/l air). The lowest acaricidal activity (LC(50) = 2.46, 95% CL = 2.10-2.86 μl/l air) was attributed to essential oil of F. assa-foetida. Surprisingly, among the three oils tested, essential oil of T. kotschyanus had the lowest insecticidal activity against A. mellifera (LC(50) = 5.08, 95% CL = 4.54-5.06 μl/l air). These findings proved that essential oil of T. kotschyanus has potential of practical value for use as alternative acaricide in the management of varroa in apiaries. PMID:21484423

  16. Pollination of tomatoes by the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    dos Santos, S A Bispo; Roselino, A C; Hrncir, M; Bego, L R

    2009-06-30

    The pollination effectiveness of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata and the honey bee Apis mellifera was tested in tomato plots. The experiment was conducted in four greenhouses as well as in an external open plot in Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. The tomato plants were exposed to visits by M. quadrifasciata in one greenhouse and to A. mellifera in another; two greenhouses were maintained without bees (controls) and an open field plot was exposed to pollinators in an area where both honey bee and stingless bee colonies are abundant. We counted the number of tomatoes produced in each plot. Two hundred tomatoes from each plot were weighed, their vertical and transversal circumferences were measured, and the seeds were counted. We collected 253 Chrysomelidae, 17 Halictidae, one Paratrigona sp, and one honey bee from the flowers of the tomato plants in the open area. The largest number of fruits (1414 tomatoes), the heaviest and largest tomatoes, and the ones with the most seed were collected from the greenhouse with stingless bees. Fruits cultivated in the greenhouse with honey bees had the same weight and size as those produced in one of the control greenhouses. The stingless bee, M. quadrifasciata, was significantly more efficient than honey bees in pollinating greenhouse tomatoes.

  17. Performance evaluation of indigenous and exotic honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) races in Assir region, southwestern Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Alqarni, Abdulaziz S.; Balhareth, Hassan M.; Owayss, Ayman A.

    2013-01-01

    This study was conducted in the Assir region of southwestern Saudi Arabia to compare the activities of honeybee colonies of indigenous Apis mellifera jemenitica (AMJ) and imported Apis mellifera carnica (AMC) during the late summer and autumn of 2009 and 2010. The results showed that the workers of the two races exhibited relatively similar forage timings throughout the period of study (August–November). The highest numbers of foraged workers were recorded at 6:00 am, 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, while the lowest numbers were recorded at 8:00 am, 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Although foraging activity was negatively affected by decreased temperature, AMJ was more resistant to cold than AMC. In the first season, the smallest amount of worker brood rearing was recorded in August, and the highest amount of rearing occurred in November in both races. In the second season, the smallest amount of brood was observed in October, and the largest amount of brood was observed in November. Brood rearing and pollen collecting was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in AMJ compared with AMC, while AMC stored significantly (P < 0.05) more honey than AMJ during the tested periods. In AMJ colonies, a positive significant correlation was observed between the area of the sealed worker brood and stored pollen, while a negative but nonsignificant correlation was observed between the area of the sealed worker brood and surplus honey. In the AMC colonies, a positive significant correlation was observed between the area of the sealed brood and the stored pollen and surplus honey. PMID:24955011

  18. Prevalence and reproduction of Tropilaelaps mercedesae and Varroa destructor in concurrently infested Apis mellifera colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prevalence of Tropilaelaps mercedesae and Varroa destructor in concurrently infested A. mellifera colonies in Thailand was monitored. We also assessed the fecundity of T. mercedesae and V. destructor in naturally infested brood and in brood cells deliberately infested with both mite genera. Resu...

  19. Tropilaelaps mercedesae and Varroa destructor: prevalence and reproduction in concurrently infested Apis mellifera colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prevalence of Tropilaelaps mercedesae and Varroa destructor in concurrently infested A. mellifera colonies in Thailand was monitored. We also assessed the reproductive ability of T. mercedesae and V. destructor in naturally infested brood and in brood cells deliberately infested with both mite g...

  20. In-Depth N-Glycosylation Reveals Species-Specific Modifications and Functions of the Royal Jelly Protein from Western (Apis mellifera) and Eastern Honeybees (Apis cerana).

    PubMed

    Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Han, Bin; Xu, Xiang; Fan, Pei; Hao, Yue; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Wu, Bin; Li, Jianke

    2015-12-01

    Royal jelly (RJ), secreted by honeybee workers, plays diverse roles as nutrients and defense agents for honeybee biology and human health. Despite being reported to be glycoproteins, the glycosylation characterization and functionality of RJ proteins in different honeybee species are largely unknown. An in-depth N-glycoproteome analysis and functional assay of RJ produced by Apis mellifera lingustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) were conducted. RJ produced by Aml yielded 80 nonredundant N-glycoproteins carrying 190 glycosites, of which 23 novel proteins harboring 35 glycosites were identified. For Acc, all 43 proteins glycosylated at 138 glycosites were reported for the first time. Proteins with distinct N-glycoproteomic characteristics in terms of glycoprotein species, number of N-glycosylated sites, glycosylation motif, abundance level of glycoproteins, and N-glycosites were observed in this two RJ samples. The fact that the low inhibitory efficiency of N-glycosylated major royal jelly protein 2 (MRJP2) against Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) and the absence of antibacterial related glycosylated apidaecin, hymenoptaecin, and peritrophic matrix in the Aml RJ compared to Acc reveal the mechanism for why the Aml larvae are susceptible to P. larvae, the causative agent of a fatal brood disease (American foulbrood, AFB). The observed antihypertension activity of N-glycosylated MRJP1 in two RJ samples and a stronger activity found in Acc than in Aml reveal that specific RJ protein and modification are potentially useful for the treatment of hypertensive disease for humans. Our data gain novel understanding that the western and eastern bees have evolved species-specific strategies of glycosylation to fine-tune protein activity for optimizing molecular function as nutrients and immune agents for the good of honeybee and influence on the health promoting activity for human as well. This serves as a valuable resource for the targeted probing of the biological

  1. Toxicological, Biochemical, and Histopathological Analyses Demonstrating That Cry1C and Cry2A Are Not Toxic to Larvae of the Honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan-Yuan; Li, Yun-He; Huang, Zachary Y; Chen, Xiu-Ping; Romeis, Jörg; Dai, Ping-Li; Peng, Yu-Fa

    2015-07-15

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is commonly used as a test species for the regulatory risk assessment of insect-resistant genetically engineered (IRGE) plants. In the current study, a dietary exposure assay was developed, validated, and used to assess the potential toxicity of Cry1C and Cry2A proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to A. mellifera larvae; Cry1C and Cry2A are produced by different IRGE crops. The assay, which uses the soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI) as a positive control and bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a negative control, was used to measure the responses of A. mellifera larvae to high concentrations of Cry1C and Cry2A. Survival was reduced and development was delayed when larvae were fed SBTI (1 mg/g diet) but were unaffected when larvae were fed BSA (400 μg/g), Cry1C (50 μg/g), or Cry2A (400 μg/g). The enzymatic activities of A. mellifera larvae were not altered and their midgut brush border membranes (BBMs) were not damaged after being fed with diets containing BSA, Cry1C, or Cry2A; however, enzymatic activities were increased and BBMs were damaged when diets contained SBTI. The study confirms that Cry1C and Cry2A have no acute toxicity to A. mellifera larvae at concentrations >10 times higher than those detected in pollen from Bt plants. PMID:26084400

  2. Development of biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotics in the honey bee Apis mellifera: application to the systemic insecticide thiamethoxam.

    PubMed

    Badiou-Bénéteau, Alexandra; Carvalho, Stephan M; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Carvalho, Geraldo A; Buleté, Audrey; Giroud, Barbara; Belzunces, Luc P

    2012-08-01

    This study describes the development of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterases (CaE1, CaE2, CaE3), glutathion-S-transferase (GST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and catalase (CAT) as enzyme biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotics such as thiamethoxam in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Extraction efficiency, stability under freezing and biological variability were studied. The extraction procedure achieved good recovery rates in one extraction step and ranged from 65 percent (AChE) to 97.3 percent (GST). Most of the enzymes were stable at -20°C, except ALP that displayed a slight but progressive decrease in its activity. Modifications of enzyme activities were considered after exposure to thiamethoxam at the lethal dose 50 percent (LD(50), 51.16 ng bee(-1)) and two sublethal doses, LD(50)/10 (5.12 ng bee(-1)) and LD(50)/20 (2.56 ng bee(-1)). The biomarker responses revealed that, even at the lowest dose used, exposure to thiamethoxam elicited sublethal effects and modified the activity of CaEs, GST, CAT and ALP. Different patterns of biomarker responses were observed: no response for AChE, an increase for GST and CAT, and differential effects for CaEs isoforms with a decrease in CaE1 and CaE3 and an increase in CaE2. ALP and CaE3 displayed contrasting variations but only at 2.56 ng bee(-1). We consider that this profile of biomarker variation could represent a useful fingerprint to characterise exposure to thiamethoxam in the honey bee A. mellifera. This battery of honey bee biomarkers might be a promising option to biomonitor the health of aerial and terrestrial ecosystems and to generate valuable information on the modes of action of pesticides. PMID:22683234

  3. Next generation sequencing of Apis mellifera syriaca identifies genes for Varroa resistance and beneficial bee keeping traits.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nizar; Mahmud Batainh, Ahmed; Suleiman Migdadi, Osama; Saini, Deepti; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; Parameswaran, Sriram; Alhamuri, Zaid

    2016-08-01

    Apis mellifera syriaca exhibits a high degree of tolerance to pests and pathogens including varroa mites. This native honey bee subspecies of Jordan expresses behavioral adaptations to high temperature and dry seasons typical of the region. However, persistent honey bee imports of commercial breeder lines are endangering local honey bee population. This study reports the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to study the A. m. syriaca genome and to identify genetic factors possibly contributing toward mite resistance and other favorable traits. We obtained a total of 46.2 million raw reads by applying the NGS to sequence A. m. syriaca and used extensive bioinformatics approach to identify several candidate genes for Varroa mite resistance, behavioral and immune responses characteristic for these bees. As a part of characterizing the functional regulation of molecular genetic pathway, we have mapped the pathway genes potentially involved using information from Drosophila melanogaster and present possible functional changes implicated in responses to Varroa destructor mite infestation toward this. We performed in-depth functional annotation methods to identify ∼600 candidates that are relevant, genes involved in pathways such as microbial recognition and phagocytosis, peptidoglycan recognition protein family, Gram negative binding protein family, phagocytosis receptors, serpins, Toll signaling pathway, Imd pathway, Tnf, JAK-STAT and MAPK pathway, heamatopioesis and cellular response pathways, antiviral, RNAi pathway, stress factors, etc. were selected. Finally, we have cataloged function-specific polymorphisms between A. mellifera and A. m. syriaca that could give better understanding of varroa mite resistance mechanisms and assist in breeding. We have identified immune related embryonic development (Cactus, Relish, dorsal, Ank2, baz), Varroa hygiene (NorpA2, Zasp, LanA, gasp, impl3) and Varroa resistance (Pug, pcmt, elk, elf3-s10, Dscam2, Dhc64C, gro

  4. Next generation sequencing of Apis mellifera syriaca identifies genes for Varroa resistance and beneficial bee keeping traits.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nizar; Mahmud Batainh, Ahmed; Suleiman Migdadi, Osama; Saini, Deepti; Krishnamurthy, Venkatesh; Parameswaran, Sriram; Alhamuri, Zaid

    2016-08-01

    Apis mellifera syriaca exhibits a high degree of tolerance to pests and pathogens including varroa mites. This native honey bee subspecies of Jordan expresses behavioral adaptations to high temperature and dry seasons typical of the region. However, persistent honey bee imports of commercial breeder lines are endangering local honey bee population. This study reports the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to study the A. m. syriaca genome and to identify genetic factors possibly contributing toward mite resistance and other favorable traits. We obtained a total of 46.2 million raw reads by applying the NGS to sequence A. m. syriaca and used extensive bioinformatics approach to identify several candidate genes for Varroa mite resistance, behavioral and immune responses characteristic for these bees. As a part of characterizing the functional regulation of molecular genetic pathway, we have mapped the pathway genes potentially involved using information from Drosophila melanogaster and present possible functional changes implicated in responses to Varroa destructor mite infestation toward this. We performed in-depth functional annotation methods to identify ∼600 candidates that are relevant, genes involved in pathways such as microbial recognition and phagocytosis, peptidoglycan recognition protein family, Gram negative binding protein family, phagocytosis receptors, serpins, Toll signaling pathway, Imd pathway, Tnf, JAK-STAT and MAPK pathway, heamatopioesis and cellular response pathways, antiviral, RNAi pathway, stress factors, etc. were selected. Finally, we have cataloged function-specific polymorphisms between A. mellifera and A. m. syriaca that could give better understanding of varroa mite resistance mechanisms and assist in breeding. We have identified immune related embryonic development (Cactus, Relish, dorsal, Ank2, baz), Varroa hygiene (NorpA2, Zasp, LanA, gasp, impl3) and Varroa resistance (Pug, pcmt, elk, elf3-s10, Dscam2, Dhc64C, gro

  5. Insecticide residues in cotton soils of Burkina Faso and effects of insecticides on fluctuating asymmetry in honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus).

    PubMed

    Ondo Zue Abaga, Norbert; Alibert, Paul; Dousset, Sylvie; Savadogo, Paul W; Savadogo, Moussa; Sedogo, Michel

    2011-04-01

    Four insecticides (acetamiprid, cypermethrin, endosulfan and profenofos) are used quarterly in the cotton-growing areas of Burkina Faso, West Africa. These insecticides were investigated in soils collected from traditionally cultivated and new cotton areas. Also, the effects of insecticide exposure on the developmental instability of honey bees, Apis mellifera, were explored. In soil samples collected three months after insecticide treatments, endosulfan and profenofos concentrations varied in the range of 10-30 μg kg(-1) in the traditionally cultivated zones and 10-80 μg kg(-1) in the new cotton zones, indicating a pollution of agricultural lands. However, only profenofos concentrations were significantly higher in the new cotton zone than the traditionally cultivated zones. In addition, the index of fluctuating asymmetry, FA1, in the length of second tarsus (L(HW)) was increased for bees when exposed to pesticide treated cotton fields for 82d, and their FA levels were significantly higher than those in the control colony in an orchard. The other studied traits of bees exposed to insecticides were not significantly different from controls. Our results indicate that FA may be considered as a biomarker reflecting the stress induced by insecticide treatments. However, the relationship between FA and stressors needs further investigations. PMID:21190716

  6. Evaluation of the distribution and impacts of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in East Africa.

    PubMed

    Muli, Elliud; Patch, Harland; Frazier, Maryann; Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations.

  7. Evaluation of the distribution and impacts of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in East Africa.

    PubMed

    Muli, Elliud; Patch, Harland; Frazier, Maryann; Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations. PMID:24740399

  8. Evaluation of the Distribution and Impacts of Parasites, Pathogens, and Pesticides on Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Populations in East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations. PMID:24740399

  9. 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

  10. Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying sex- and maturation-related variation in pheromone responses in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Villar, Gabriel; Baker, Thomas C; Patch, Harland M; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-07-01

    In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system.

  11. Three QTL in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. suppress reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Behrens, Dieter; Huang, Qiang; Geßner, Cornelia; Rosenkranz, Peter; Frey, Eva; Locke, Barbara; Moritz, Robin F A; Kraus, F B

    2011-12-01

    Varroa destructor is a highly virulent ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and a major cause of colony losses for global apiculture. Typically, chemical treatment is essential to control the parasite population in the honey bee colony. Nevertheless a few honey bee populations survive mite infestation without any treatment. We used one such Varroa mite tolerant honey bee lineage from the island of Gotland, Sweden, to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling reduced mite reproduction. We crossed a queen from this tolerant population with drones from susceptible colonies to rear hybrid queens. Two hybrid queens were used to produce a mapping population of haploid drones. We discriminated drone pupae with and without mite reproduction, and screened the genome for potential QTL using a total of 216 heterozygous microsatellite markers in a bulk segregant analysis. Subsequently, we fine mapped three candidate target regions on chromosomes 4, 7, and 9. Although the individual effect of these three QTL was found to be relatively small, the set of all three had significant impact on suppression of V. destructor reproduction by epistasis. Although it is in principle possible to use these loci for marker-assisted selection, the strong epistatic effects between the three loci complicate selective breeding programs with the Gotland Varroa tolerant honey bee stock.

  12. Potential exposure of bees, Apis mellifera L., to particulate matter and pesticides derived from seed dressing during maize sowing.

    PubMed

    Pochi, Daniele; Biocca, Marcello; Fanigliulo, Roberto; Pulcini, Patrizio; Conte, Elisa

    2012-08-01

    This paper assessed the potential exposure of bees (Apis mellifera L.) to pesticides during maize (Zea mays L.) sowing with pneumatic drills. Data were derived from tests carried out in field tests, comparing two configurations of a pneumatic precision drill: conventional drill; drill with air deflectors. In addition, static tests simulating the sowing under controlled conditions, were performed on the drill equipped with an innovative system developed at CRA-ING. During the field tests, the concentrations in the air of the active ingredients of four insecticides used in maize seed dressing (imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam and fipronil) were recorded. The concentrations of active ingredients in the air were used for assessing the quantities of active ingredients that a bee might intercept as it flies in a sort of virtual tunnel, the dimensions of which were dependent upon the bee body cross-section and the length of flight. The results of the field tests show that the air deflectors were not completely effective in reducing the amount of active ingredients dispersed in the air. The results of the static tests with drill equipped with the prototype indicated reductions of the active ingredient air concentrations ranging from 72 % up to 95 %, with reference to the conventional drill. Such ratios were applied to the amounts of active ingredients intercepted by the bees in the virtual tunnel contributing to a consistent reduction of the probability that sub-lethal effects can occur.

  13. Side-effects of thiamethoxam on the brain andmidgut of the africanized honeybee Apis mellifera (Hymenopptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Regiane Alves; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Malaspina, Osmar

    2014-10-01

    The development of agricultural activities coincides with the increased use of pesticides to control pests, which can also be harmful to nontarget insects such as bees. Thus, the goal of this work was assess the toxic effects of thiamethoxam on newly emerged worker bees of Apis mellifera (africanized honeybee-AHB). Initially, we determined that the lethal concentration 50 (LC50 ) of thiamethoxam was 4.28 ng a.i./μL of diet. To determine the lethal time 50 (LT50 ), a survival assay was conducted using diets containing sublethal doses of thiamethoxam equal to 1/10 and 1/100 of the LC50. The group of bees exposed to 1/10 of the LC50 had a 41.2% reduction of lifespan. When AHB samples were analyzed by morphological technique we found the presence of condensed cells in the mushroom bodies and optical lobes in exposed honeybees. Through Xylidine Ponceau technique, we found cells which stained more intensely in groups exposed to thiamethoxam. The digestive and regenerative cells of the midgut from exposed bees also showed morphological and histochemical alterations, like cytoplasm vacuolization, increased apocrine secretion and increased cell elimination. Thus, intoxication with a sublethal doses of thiamethoxam can cause impairment in the brain and midgut of AHB and contribute to the honeybee lifespan reduction.

  14. Morphological and Chemical Characterization of the Invasive Ants in Hives of Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Simoes, M R; Giannotti, E; Tofolo, V C; Pizano, M A; Firmino, E L B; Antonialli-Junior, W F; Andrade, L H C; Lima, S M

    2016-02-01

    Apiculture in Brazil is quite profitable and has great potential for expansion because of the favorable climate and abundancy of plant diversity. However, the occurrence of pests, diseases, and parasites hinders the growth and profitability of beekeeping. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, apiaries are attacked by ants, especially the species Camponotus atriceps (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which use the substances produced by Apis mellifera scutellata (Lepeletier) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), like honey, wax, pollen, and offspring as a source of nourishment for the adult and immature ants, and kill or expel the adult bees during the invasion. This study aimed to understand the invasion of C. atriceps in hives of A. m. scutellata. The individuals were classified into castes and subcastes according to morphometric analyses, and their cuticular chemical compounds were identified using Photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The morphometric analyses were able to classify the individuals into reproductive castes (queen and gynes), workers (minor and small ants), and the soldier subcaste (medium and major ants). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons of these individuals revealed that the eight beehives were invaded by only three colonies of C. atriceps; one of the colonies invaded only one beehive, and the other two colonies underwent a process called sociotomy and were responsible for the invasion of the other seven beehives. The lack of preventive measures and the nocturnal behavior of the ants favored the invasion and attack on the bees. PMID:26563402

  15. Moving without a purpose: an experimental study of swarm guidance in the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Makinson, James C; Beekman, Madeleine

    2014-06-01

    During reproductive swarming, honey bee scouts perform two very important functions. Firstly, they find new nesting locations and return to the swarm cluster to communicate their discoveries. Secondly, once the swarm is ready to depart, informed scout bees act as guides, leading the swarm to its final destination. We have previously hypothesised that the two processes, selecting a new nest site and swarm guidance, are tightly linked in honey bees. When swarms can be laissez faire about where they nest, reaching directional consensus prior to lift off seems unnecessary. If, in contrast, it is essential that the swarm reaches a precise location, either directional consensus must be near unanimous prior to swarm departure or only a select subgroup of the scouts guide the swarm. Here, we tested experimentally whether directional consensus is necessary for the successful guidance of swarms of the Western honey bee Apis mellifera by forcing swarms into the air prior to the completion of the decision-making process. Our results show that swarms were unable to guide themselves prior to the swarm reaching the pre-flight buzzing phase of the decision-making process, even when directional consensus was high. We therefore suggest that not all scouts involved in the decision-making process attempt to guide the swarm. PMID:24675563

  16. Starvation stress during larval development facilitates an adaptive response in adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Brent, Colin S; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V

    2016-04-01

    Most organisms are constantly faced with environmental changes and stressors. In diverse organisms, there is an anticipatory mechanism during development that can program adult phenotypes. The adult phenotype would be adapted to the predicted environment that occurred during organism maturation. However, whether this anticipatory mechanism is present in eusocial species is questionable because eusocial organisms are largely shielded from exogenous conditions by their stable nest environment. In this study, we tested whether food deprivation during development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a eusocial insect model, can shift adult phenotypes to better cope with nutritional stress. After subjecting fifth instar worker larvae to short-term starvation, we measured nutrition-related morphology, starvation resistance, physiology, endocrinology and behavior in the adults. We found that the larval starvation caused adult honey bees to become more resilient toward starvation. Moreover, the adult bees were characterized by reduced ovary size, elevated glycogen stores and juvenile hormone (JH) titers, and decreased sugar sensitivity. These changes, in general, can help adult insects survive and reproduce in food-poor environments. Overall, we found for the first time support for an anticipatory mechanism in a eusocial species, the honey bee. Our results suggest that this mechanism may play a role in honey bee queen-worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress. PMID:27030775

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Accelerated behavioural development changes fine-scale search behaviour and spatial memory in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Ushitani, Tomokazu; Perry, Clint J; Cheng, Ken; Barron, Andrew B

    2016-02-01

    Normally, worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) begin foraging when more than 2 weeks old as adults, but if individual bees or the colony is stressed, bees often begin foraging precociously. Here, we examined whether bees that accelerated their behavioural development to begin foraging precociously differed from normal-aged foragers in cognitive performance. We used a social manipulation to generate precocious foragers from small experimental colonies and tested their performance in a free-flight visual reversal learning task, and a test of spatial memory. To assess spatial memory, bees were trained to learn the location of a small sucrose feeder within an array of three landmarks. In tests, the feeder and one landmark were removed and the search behaviour of the bees was recorded. Performance of precocious and normal-aged foragers did not differ in a visual reversal learning task, but the two groups showed a clear difference in spatial memory. Flight behaviour suggested normal-aged foragers were better able to infer the position of the removed landmark and feeder relative to the remaining landmarks than precocious foragers. Previous studies have documented the cognitive decline of old foragers, but this is the first suggestion of a cognitive deficit in young foragers. These data imply that worker honey bees continue their cognitive development during the adult stage. These findings may also help to explain why precocious foragers perform quite poorly as foragers and have a higher than normal loss rate.

  1. Mating frequencies of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.) in a population of feral colonies in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Delaney, Deborah A; Seeley, Thomas D

    2015-01-01

    Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens-and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers-has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one.

  2. An assessment of fixed interval timing in free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica): an analysis of individual performance.

    PubMed

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Varnon, Christopher A; Sokolowski, Michel B C; Wells, Harrington; Abramson, Charles I

    2014-01-01

    Interval timing is a key element of foraging theory, models of predator avoidance, and competitive interactions. Although interval timing is well documented in vertebrate species, it is virtually unstudied in invertebrates. In the present experiment, we used free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) as a model for timing behaviors. Subjects were trained to enter a hole in an automated artificial flower to receive a nectar reinforcer (i.e. reward). Responses were continuously reinforced prior to exposure to either a fixed interval (FI) 15-sec, FI 30-sec, FI 60-sec, or FI 120-sec reinforcement schedule. We measured response rate and post-reinforcement pause within each fixed interval trial between reinforcers. Honey bees responded at higher frequencies earlier in the fixed interval suggesting subject responding did not come under traditional forms of temporal control. Response rates were lower during FI conditions compared to performance on continuous reinforcement schedules, and responding was more resistant to extinction when previously reinforced on FI schedules. However, no "scalloped" or "break-and-run" patterns of group or individual responses reinforced on FI schedules were observed; no traditional evidence of temporal control was found. Finally, longer FI schedules eventually caused all subjects to cease returning to the operant chamber indicating subjects did not tolerate the longer FI schedules.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Immunogold Localization of Vitellogenin in the Ovaries, Hypopharyngeal Glands and Head Fat Bodies of Honeybee Workers, Apis Mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Seehuus, Siri-Christine; Norberg, Kari; Krekling, Trygve; Fondrk, Kim; Amdam, Gro V.

    2007-01-01

    Vitellogenin is a yolk precursor protein in most oviparous females. In the advanced eusocial honeybee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), vitellogenin has recently attracted much interest as this protein, in addition to a classical function in oocyte development in the reproductive queen caste, has evolved functions in the facultatively sterile female worker caste not documented in other species. However, research on the spatial dynamics of vitellogenin in various tissues is not easily performed with available tools. Here we present an immunogold staining procedure that visualizes honeybee vitellogenin in resin embedded tissue. To establish the protocol, we used ovaries of worker bees from colonies with and without a queen. Under the first condition, vitellogenin is assumed not to be present in the workers' ovaries. Under the second condition, the ovaries of worker bees become vitellogenic, with abundant opportunities for detection of complex patterns of vitellogenin uptake and storage. By use of this experimental setup, the staining method is shown to be both sensitive and specific. To demonstrate the functional significance of the protocol, it was subsequently used to identify vitellogenin protein in the hypopharyngeal glands (brood food producing head glands) of nursing worker bees and in adjacent head fat body cells for the first time. Localization of vitellogenin in these tissues supports previously hypothesized roles of vitellogenin in social behavior. This protocol thus provides deeper insights into the functions of vitellogenin in the honeybee. PMID:20337562

  5. ULTRASTRUCURAL STUDY OF BEE LOUSE VARROA DESTRUCTOR ANDERSON & TRUEMAN 2000 (ACARI: VARROIDAE) WITH RESISTANCE MODELS FROM APIS MELLIFERA L.

    PubMed

    Ammar, Khalaf Nour Abd El-Wahed

    2015-08-01

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the most dangerous pest of honeybee Egyptian race Apis mellifera L., as it causes many losses in apiculture worldwide. Adult female mites are flattened with a dome-shaped dorsal shield. The present SEM study revealed that the flat ventral surface is composed of series of plates. There are 5 rows of small, chemoreceptor papillae posterior to the genito-ventro anal shield, and a unique respiratory structure (peritreme) is located laterally above Coxa III. Peritreme is a chitinized elongated area surrounding stigma opening, provided by a lid that looks like a rose with a curly thick inner membrane which has numerous teeth-like projections. Mite' legs appeared to be modified for parasitism and each is tipped by one distal empodium. The pretarsus of the first pair of legs becomes a concave sucker and the pretarsus of the 3 pairs of the posterior legs consists of membranous amblacral pad (the caruncle). The mouthparts appeared well modified for its diet on bee hernolymph with its' powerful pedipalp for host attachment. High magnification revealed different types of setae distributed on the body, the mechano-receptor pedipalp short. and long anal setae and dorsal shield sensory simple setae.

  6. Differences in Varroa destructor infestation rates of two indigenous subspecies of Apis mellifera in the Republic of South Africa.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Schmehl, Daniel R; Allsopp, Mike; Bustamante, Tomas A; Kimmel, Chase B; Dykes, Mark E; Ellis, James D

    2016-04-01

    Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Varroa) is a damaging pest of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, in North America, Europe, and Asia. However, Varroa infestations have not produced equivalent colony losses of African subspecies of honey bee throughout Africa and parts of the Americas. We surveyed the Varroa infestation rates (number of Varroa per 100 adult honey bees) in colonies of A. m. scutellata, A. m. capensis, and hybrids of the two subspecies throughout the Republic of South Africa in the fall of 2014. We found that A. m. scutellata colonies had significantly higher Varroa infestations than did A. m. capensis colonies. Furthermore, hybridized colonies of the two subspecies had Varroa infestations intermediate to those of A. m. scutellata and A. m. capensis. This is the first documentation of a clear difference in Varroa infestation rates of A. m. scutellata, A. m. capensis, and hybridized colonies in South Africa. Furthermore, our data confirm that Varroa populations in A. m. scutellata colonies are within the range of populations that are damaging to European honey bees.

  7. Acaricidal and insecticidal activity of essential oils on Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) and Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Damiani, Natalia; Gende, Liesel B; Bailac, Pedro; Marcangeli, Jorge A; Eguaras, Martín J

    2009-12-01

    Varroa destructor is an external parasitic mite that is a serious pest of honeybees and has caused severe losses of colonies worldwide. One of the feasible alternative treatments being used for their control is essential oils. The aim of this work was to evaluate the bioactivity of some essential oils on V. destructor and Apis mellifera in relation with their chemical composition and physicochemical properties. Lavender, lavendin and laurel essential oils showed linalool as main compound in their composition. 1,8-Cineole was also present as a predominant component in the laurel essential oil. However, thyme oil was characterized by a high concentration of thymol. Mites and bees toxicity was tested by means of complete exposure method. For mites, LC(50) values for laurel, lavender and lavendin essential oil did not show significant variation throughout all observation times. However, the LC(50) values for thyme oil at 48 and 72 h were lower than at 24 h. Bee mortality was evident only in treatment with thyme oil. At 48 and 72 h, lavender essential oil presented better selectivity indexes. In this research, all essential oils caused mite mortality without severe harmful effects on adult bees. The simultaneous evaluation of the physicochemical analysis of the essential oils, the characterization of the dosage response relationships among them, and the mortality effects on mite and bees, give us the possibility to obtain comparative results for future research in Varroa control.

  8. Towards a better understanding of Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor microbiomes: introducing 'phyloh' as a novel phylogenetic diversity analysis tool.

    PubMed

    Sandionigi, A; Vicario, S; Prosdocimi, E M; Galimberti, A; Ferri, E; Bruno, A; Balech, B; Mezzasalma, V; Casiraghi, M

    2015-07-01

    The study of diversity in biological communities is an intriguing field. Huge amount of data are nowadays available (provided by the innovative DNA sequencing techniques), and management, analysis and display of results are not trivial. Here, we propose for the first time the use of phylogenetic entropy as a measure of bacterial diversity in studies of microbial community structure. We then compared our new method (i.e. the web tool phyloh) for partitioning phylogenetic diversity with the traditional approach in diversity analyses of bacteria communities. We tested phyloh to characterize microbiome in the honeybee (Apis mellifera, Insecta: Hymenoptera) and its parasitic mite varroa (Varroa destructor, Arachnida: Parasitiformes). The rationale is that the comparative analysis of honeybee and varroa microbiomes could open new perspectives concerning the role of the parasites on honeybee colonies health. Our results showed a dramatic change of the honeybee microbiome when varroa occurs, suggesting that this parasite is able to influence host microbiome. Among the different approaches used, only the entropy method, in conjunction with phylogenetic constraint as implemented in phyloh, was able to discriminate varroa microbiome from that of parasitized honeybees. In conclusion, we foresee that the use of phylogenetic entropy could become a new standard in the analyses of community structure, in particular to prove the contribution of each biological entity to the overall diversity.

  9. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) have low infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor in different ecological regions in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A

    2014-02-21

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America.

  10. Supplementing with vitamin C the diet of honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica) parasitized with Varroa destructor: effects on antioxidative status.

    PubMed

    Farjan, Marek; Łopieńska-Biernat, Elżbieta; Lipiński, Zbigniew; Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata; Żółtowska, Krystyna

    2014-05-01

    We studied a total of eight developmental stages of capped brood and newly emerged workers of Apis mellifera carnica colonies naturally parasitized with Varroa destructor. During winter and early spring four colonies were fed syrup containing 1.8 mg vitamin C kg(-1) (ascorbic acid group; group AA) while four colonies were fed syrup without the vitamin C (control group C). Selected elements of the antioxidative system were analysed including total antioxidant status (TAS), glutathione content and antioxidative enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase). Body weight, protein content and indices of infestation were also determined. The prevalence (8.11%) and intensity (1·15 parasite per bee) of the infestation were lower in group AA compared with group C (11.3% and 1.21, respectively). Changes in the indicators of antioxidative stress were evidence for the strengthening of the antioxidative system in the brood by administration of vitamin C. In freshly emerged worker bees of group AA, despite the infestation, protein content, TAS, and the activity of all antioxidative enzymes had significantly higher values in relation to group C.

  11. Genome Characterization, Prevalence and Distribution of a Macula-Like Virus from Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    de Miranda, Joachim R; Cornman, R Scott; Evans, Jay D; Semberg, Emilia; Haddad, Nizar; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-07-06

    Around 14 distinct virus species-complexes have been detected in honeybees, each with one or more strains or sub-species. Here we present the initial characterization of an entirely new virus species-complex discovered in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) and varroa mite (Varroa destructor) samples from Europe and the USA. The virus has a naturally poly-adenylated RNA genome of about 6500 nucleotides with a genome organization and sequence similar to the Tymoviridae (Tymovirales; Tymoviridae), a predominantly plant-infecting virus family. Literature and laboratory analyses indicated that the virus had not previously been described. The virus is very common in French apiaries, mirroring the results from an extensive Belgian survey, but could not be detected in equally-extensive Swedish and Norwegian bee disease surveys. The virus appears to be closely linked to varroa, with the highest prevalence found in varroa samples and a clear seasonal distribution peaking in autumn, coinciding with the natural varroa population development. Sub-genomic RNA analyses show that bees are definite hosts, while varroa is a possible host and likely vector. The tentative name of Bee Macula-like virus (BeeMLV) is therefore proposed. A second, distantly related Tymoviridae-like virus was also discovered in varroa transcriptomes, tentatively named Varroa Tymo-like virus (VTLV).

  12. Expression analysis of putative vitellogenin and lipophorin receptors in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens and workers.

    PubMed

    Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Tanaka, Erica Donato; Piulachs, Maria Dolors; Hartfelder, Klaus; Bitondi, Márcia Gentile; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2008-07-01

    Two members of the low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) family were identified as putative orthologs for a vitellogenin receptor (Amvgr) and a lipophorin receptor (Amlpr) in the Apis mellifera genome. Both receptor sequences have the structural motifs characteristic of LDLR family members and show a high degree of similarity with sequences of other insects. RT-PCR analysis of Amvgr and Amlpr expression detected the presence of both transcripts in different tissues of adult female (ovary, fat body, midgut, head and specifically hypopharyngeal gland), as well as in embryos. In the head RNA samples we found two variant forms of AmLpR: a full length one and a shorter one lacking 29 amino acids in the O-linked sugar domain. In ovaries the expression levels of the two honey bee LDLR members showed opposing trends: whereas Amvgr expression was upregulated as the ovaries became activated, Amlpr transcript levels gradually declined. In situ hybridization analysis performed on ovaries detected Amvgr mRNA exclusively in germ line cells and corroborated the qPCR results showing an increase in Amvgr gene expression concomitant with follicle growth.

  13. Proboscis Conditioning Experiments with Honeybees, Apis Mellifera Caucasica, with Butyric Acid and DEET Mixture as Conditioned and Unconditioned Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Abramson, Charles I.; Giray, Tugrul; Mixson, T. Andrew; Nolf, Sondra L.; Wells, Harrington; Kence, Aykut; Kence, Meral

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments are described investigating whether olfactory repellents DEET and butyric acid can support the classical conditioning of proboscis extension in the honeybee, Apis mellifera caucasica (Hymenoptera: Apidae). In the first experiment DEET and butyric acid readily led to standard acquisition and extinction effects, which are comparable to the use of cinnamon as a conditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that the odor of DEET or butyric acid is not intrinsically repellent to honey bees. In a second experiment, with DEET and butyric acid mixed with sucrose as an unconditioned stimulus, proboscis conditioning was not established. After several trials, few animals responded to the unconditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that these chemicals are gustatory repellents when in direct contact. In the last experiment a conditioned suppression paradigm was used. Exposing animals to butyric acid or DEET when the proboscis was extended by direct sucrose stimulation or by learning revealed that retraction of the proboscis was similar to another novel odor, lavender, and in all cases greatest when the animal was not permitted to feed. These results again demonstrate that DEET or butyric acid are not olfactory repellents, and in addition, conditioned suppression is influenced by feeding state of the bee. PMID:20879917

  14. Antimicrobial activity of apitoxin, melittin and phospholipase A₂ of honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom against oral pathogens.

    PubMed

    Leandro, Luís F; Mendes, Carlos A; Casemiro, Luciana A; Vinholis, Adriana H C; Cunha, Wilson R; de Almeida, Rosana; Martins, Carlos H G

    2015-03-01

    In this work, we used the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) technique to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the apitoxin produced by Apis mellifera bees against the causative agents of tooth decay. Apitoxin was assayed in natura and in the commercially available form. The antibacterial actions of the main components of this apitoxin, phospholipase A2, and melittin were also assessed, alone and in combination. The following bacteria were tested: Streptococcus salivarius, S. sobrinus, S. mutans, S. mitis, S. sanguinis, Lactobacillus casei, and Enterococcus faecalis. The MIC results obtained for the commercially available apitoxin and for the apitoxin in natura were close and lay between 20 and 40 µg / mL, which indicated good antibacterial activity. Melittin was the most active component in apitoxin; it displayed very promising MIC values, from 4 to 40 µg / mL. Phospholipase A2 presented MIC values higher than 400 µg / mL. Association of mellitin with phospholipase A2 yielded MIC values ranging between 6 and 80 µg / mL. Considering that tooth decay affects people's health, apitoxin and its component melittin have potential application against oral pathogens. PMID:25806982

  15. Starvation stress during larval development facilitates an adaptive response in adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Brent, Colin S; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V

    2016-04-01

    Most organisms are constantly faced with environmental changes and stressors. In diverse organisms, there is an anticipatory mechanism during development that can program adult phenotypes. The adult phenotype would be adapted to the predicted environment that occurred during organism maturation. However, whether this anticipatory mechanism is present in eusocial species is questionable because eusocial organisms are largely shielded from exogenous conditions by their stable nest environment. In this study, we tested whether food deprivation during development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a eusocial insect model, can shift adult phenotypes to better cope with nutritional stress. After subjecting fifth instar worker larvae to short-term starvation, we measured nutrition-related morphology, starvation resistance, physiology, endocrinology and behavior in the adults. We found that the larval starvation caused adult honey bees to become more resilient toward starvation. Moreover, the adult bees were characterized by reduced ovary size, elevated glycogen stores and juvenile hormone (JH) titers, and decreased sugar sensitivity. These changes, in general, can help adult insects survive and reproduce in food-poor environments. Overall, we found for the first time support for an anticipatory mechanism in a eusocial species, the honey bee. Our results suggest that this mechanism may play a role in honey bee queen-worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress.

  16. The effects of Bt Cry1Ie toxin on bacterial diversity in the midgut of Apis mellifera ligustica (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Jia, Hui-Ru; Geng, Li-Li; Li, Yun-He; Wang, Qiang; Diao, Qing-Yun; Zhou, Ting; Dai, Ping-Li

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee has been regarded as a key species in the environmental risk assessment of biotech crops. Here, the potential adverse effects of Cry1Ie toxin on the midgut bacteria of the worker bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) were investigated under laboratory conditions. Newly emerged bees were fed with different concentrations of Cry1Ie toxin syrups (20 ng/mL, 200 ng/mL, and 20 μg/mL), pure sugar syrup, and 48 ppb of imidacloprid syrups, then sampled after 15 and 30 d. We characterized the dominant midgut bacteria and compared the composition and structure of the midgut bacterial community in all samples using the Illumina MiSeq platform targeting the V3-V4 regions of 16S rDNA. No significant differences in the diversity of the midgut bacteria were observed between the five treatments. This work was the first to show the effects of Cry1Ie toxin on honey bees, and our study provided a theoretical basis for the biosafety assessment of transgenic Cry1Ie maize. PMID:27090812

  17. Morphological and Chemical Characterization of the Invasive Ants in Hives of Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Simoes, M R; Giannotti, E; Tofolo, V C; Pizano, M A; Firmino, E L B; Antonialli-Junior, W F; Andrade, L H C; Lima, S M

    2016-02-01

    Apiculture in Brazil is quite profitable and has great potential for expansion because of the favorable climate and abundancy of plant diversity. However, the occurrence of pests, diseases, and parasites hinders the growth and profitability of beekeeping. In the interior of the state of São Paulo, apiaries are attacked by ants, especially the species Camponotus atriceps (Smith) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), which use the substances produced by Apis mellifera scutellata (Lepeletier) (Hymenoptera: Apidae), like honey, wax, pollen, and offspring as a source of nourishment for the adult and immature ants, and kill or expel the adult bees during the invasion. This study aimed to understand the invasion of C. atriceps in hives of A. m. scutellata. The individuals were classified into castes and subcastes according to morphometric analyses, and their cuticular chemical compounds were identified using Photoacoustic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-PAS). The morphometric analyses were able to classify the individuals into reproductive castes (queen and gynes), workers (minor and small ants), and the soldier subcaste (medium and major ants). Identification of cuticular hydrocarbons of these individuals revealed that the eight beehives were invaded by only three colonies of C. atriceps; one of the colonies invaded only one beehive, and the other two colonies underwent a process called sociotomy and were responsible for the invasion of the other seven beehives. The lack of preventive measures and the nocturnal behavior of the ants favored the invasion and attack on the bees.

  18. Mating Frequencies of Honey Bee Queens (Apis mellifera L.) in a Population of Feral Colonies in the Northeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Tarpy, David R.; Delaney, Deborah A.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens—and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers—has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one. PMID:25775410

  19. Analysis of moisture content, acidity and contamination by yeast and molds in Apis mellifera L. honey from central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Ananias, Karla Rubia; de Melo, Adriane Alexandre Machado; de Moura, Celso José

    2013-01-01

    The development of mold of environmental origin in honey affects its quality and leads to its deterioration, so yeasts and molds counts have been used as an important indicator of hygiene levels during its processing, transportation and storage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of yeasts and molds contamination and their correlation with moisture and acidity levels in Apis mellifera L. honey from central Brazil. In 20% of the samples, the yeasts and molds counts exceeded the limit established by legislation for the marketing of honey in the MERCOSUR, while 42.8% and 5.7% presented above-standard acidity and moisture levels, respectively. Although samples showed yeasts and molds counts over 1.0 × 102 UFC.g−1, there was no correlation between moisture content and the number of microorganisms, since, in part of the samples with above-standard counts, the moisture level was below 20%. In some samples the acidity level was higher than that established by legislation, but only one sample presented a yeasts and molds count above the limit established by MERCOSUR, which would suggest the influence of the floral source on this parameter. In general, of the 35 samples analyzed, the quality was considered inadequate in 45.7% of cases. PMID:24516434

  20. Differential responses of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to viral replication following mechanical transmission or Varroa destructor parasitism.

    PubMed

    Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Goodwin, Paul H; Reyes-Quintana, Mariana; Koleoglu, Gun; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Petukhova, Tatiana

    2015-03-01

    For the first time, adults and brood of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were compared for relative virus levels over 48 h following Varroa destructor parasitism or injection of V. destructor homogenate. Rates of increase of deformed wing virus (DWV) for Africanized versus European bees were temporarily lowered for 12h with parasitism and sustainably lowered over the entire experiment (48 h) with homogenate injection in adults. The rates were also temporarily lowered for 24h with parasitism but were not affected by homogenate injection in brood. Rates of increase of black queen cell virus (BQCV) for Africanized versus European bees were similar with parasitism but sustainably lowered over the entire experiment with homogenate injection in adults and were similar for parasitism and homogenate injection in brood. Analyses of sac brood bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus were limited as detection did not occur after both homogenate injection and parasitism treatment, or levels were not significantly higher than those following control buffer injection. Lower rates of replication of DWV and BQCV in Africanized bees shows that they may have greater viral resistance, at least early after treatment.

  1. Proboscis conditioning experiments with honeybees, Apis mellifera caucasica, with butyric acid and DEET mixture as conditioned and unconditioned stimuli.

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Giray, Tugrul; Mixson, T Andrew; Nolf, Sondra L; Wells, Harrington; Kence, Aykut; Kence, Meral

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments are described investigating whether olfactory repellents DEET and butyric acid can support the classical conditioning of proboscis extension in the honeybee, Apis mellifera caucasica (Hymenoptera: Apidae). In the first experiment DEET and butyric acid readily led to standard acquisition and extinction effects, which are comparable to the use of cinnamon as a conditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that the odor of DEET or butyric acid is not intrinsically repellent to honey bees. In a second experiment, with DEET and butyric acid mixed with sucrose as an unconditioned stimulus, proboscis conditioning was not established. After several trials, few animals responded to the unconditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that these chemicals are gustatory repellents when in direct contact. In the last experiment a conditioned suppression paradigm was used. Exposing animals to butyric acid or DEET when the proboscis was extended by direct sucrose stimulation or by learning revealed that retraction of the proboscis was similar to another novel odor, lavender, and in all cases greatest when the animal was not permitted to feed. These results again demonstrate that DEET or butyric acid are not olfactory repellents, and in addition, conditioned suppression is influenced by feeding state of the bee.

  2. Dynamics of Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus (AmFV) Infections in Honey Bees and Relationships with Other Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Ulrike; Forsgren, Eva; Charrière, Jean-Daniel; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Apis mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) is a large double stranded DNA virus of honey bees, but its relationship with other parasites and prevalence are poorly known. We analyzed individual honey bees from three colonies at different times post emergence in order to monitor the dynamics of the AmFV gut colonization under natural conditions. Prevalence and loads of microsporidia and trypanosomes were also recorded, as well as five common honey bee RNA viruses. The results show that a high proportion of bees get infected with AmFV during the first week post-emergence (75%) and that AmFV DNA levels remained constant. A similar pattern was observed for microsporidia while trypanosomes seem to require more time to colonize the gut. No significant associations between these three infections were found, but significant positive correlations were observed between AmFV and RNA viruses. In parallel, the prevalence of AmFV in France and Sweden was assessed from pooled honey bee workers. The data indicate that AmFV is almost ubiquitous, and does not seem to follow seasonal patterns, although higher viral loads were significantly detected in spring. A high prevalence of AmFV was also found in winter bees, without obvious impact on overwintering of the colonies. PMID:26008705

  3. Genome Characterization, Prevalence and Distribution of a Macula-Like Virus from Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor

    PubMed Central

    de Miranda, Joachim R.; Cornman, R. Scott; Evans, Jay D.; Semberg, Emilia; Haddad, Nizar; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Around 14 distinct virus species-complexes have been detected in honeybees, each with one or more strains or sub-species. Here we present the initial characterization of an entirely new virus species-complex discovered in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) and varroa mite (Varroa destructor) samples from Europe and the USA. The virus has a naturally poly-adenylated RNA genome of about 6500 nucleotides with a genome organization and sequence similar to the Tymoviridae (Tymovirales; Tymoviridae), a predominantly plant-infecting virus family. Literature and laboratory analyses indicated that the virus had not previously been described. The virus is very common in French apiaries, mirroring the results from an extensive Belgian survey, but could not be detected in equally-extensive Swedish and Norwegian bee disease surveys. The virus appears to be closely linked to varroa, with the highest prevalence found in varroa samples and a clear seasonal distribution peaking in autumn, coinciding with the natural varroa population development. Sub-genomic RNA analyses show that bees are definite hosts, while varroa is a possible host and likely vector. The tentative name of Bee Macula-like virus (BeeMLV) is therefore proposed. A second, distantly related Tymoviridae-like virus was also discovered in varroa transcriptomes, tentatively named Varroa Tymo-like virus (VTLV). PMID:26154017

  4. Differential responses of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to viral replication following mechanical transmission or Varroa destructor parasitism.

    PubMed

    Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Goodwin, Paul H; Reyes-Quintana, Mariana; Koleoglu, Gun; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Petukhova, Tatiana

    2015-03-01

    For the first time, adults and brood of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were compared for relative virus levels over 48 h following Varroa destructor parasitism or injection of V. destructor homogenate. Rates of increase of deformed wing virus (DWV) for Africanized versus European bees were temporarily lowered for 12h with parasitism and sustainably lowered over the entire experiment (48 h) with homogenate injection in adults. The rates were also temporarily lowered for 24h with parasitism but were not affected by homogenate injection in brood. Rates of increase of black queen cell virus (BQCV) for Africanized versus European bees were similar with parasitism but sustainably lowered over the entire experiment with homogenate injection in adults and were similar for parasitism and homogenate injection in brood. Analyses of sac brood bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus were limited as detection did not occur after both homogenate injection and parasitism treatment, or levels were not significantly higher than those following control buffer injection. Lower rates of replication of DWV and BQCV in Africanized bees shows that they may have greater viral resistance, at least early after treatment. PMID:25527405

  5. An Assessment of Fixed Interval Timing in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera ligustica): An Analysis of Individual Performance

    PubMed Central

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Varnon, Christopher A.; Sokolowski, Michel B. C.; Wells, Harrington; Abramson, Charles I.

    2014-01-01

    Interval timing is a key element of foraging theory, models of predator avoidance, and competitive interactions. Although interval timing is well documented in vertebrate species, it is virtually unstudied in invertebrates. In the present experiment, we used free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) as a model for timing behaviors. Subjects were trained to enter a hole in an automated artificial flower to receive a nectar reinforcer (i.e. reward). Responses were continuously reinforced prior to exposure to either a fixed interval (FI) 15-sec, FI 30-sec, FI 60-sec, or FI 120-sec reinforcement schedule. We measured response rate and post-reinforcement pause within each fixed interval trial between reinforcers. Honey bees responded at higher frequencies earlier in the fixed interval suggesting subject responding did not come under traditional forms of temporal control. Response rates were lower during FI conditions compared to performance on continuous reinforcement schedules, and responding was more resistant to extinction when previously reinforced on FI schedules. However, no “scalloped” or “break-and-run” patterns of group or individual responses reinforced on FI schedules were observed; no traditional evidence of temporal control was found. Finally, longer FI schedules eventually caused all subjects to cease returning to the operant chamber indicating subjects did not tolerate the longer FI schedules. PMID:24983960

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  7. An assessment of fixed interval timing in free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica): an analysis of individual performance.

    PubMed

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Varnon, Christopher A; Sokolowski, Michel B C; Wells, Harrington; Abramson, Charles I

    2014-01-01

    Interval timing is a key element of foraging theory, models of predator avoidance, and competitive interactions. Although interval timing is well documented in vertebrate species, it is virtually unstudied in invertebrates. In the present experiment, we used free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) as a model for timing behaviors. Subjects were trained to enter a hole in an automated artificial flower to receive a nectar reinforcer (i.e. reward). Responses were continuously reinforced prior to exposure to either a fixed interval (FI) 15-sec, FI 30-sec, FI 60-sec, or FI 120-sec reinforcement schedule. We measured response rate and post-reinforcement pause within each fixed interval trial between reinforcers. Honey bees responded at higher frequencies earlier in the fixed interval suggesting subject responding did not come under traditional forms of temporal control. Response rates were lower during FI conditions compared to performance on continuous reinforcement schedules, and responding was more resistant to extinction when previously reinforced on FI schedules. However, no "scalloped" or "break-and-run" patterns of group or individual responses reinforced on FI schedules were observed; no traditional evidence of temporal control was found. Finally, longer FI schedules eventually caused all subjects to cease returning to the operant chamber indicating subjects did not tolerate the longer FI schedules. PMID:24983960

  8. Dynamics of Apis mellifera Filamentous Virus (AmFV) Infections in Honey Bees and Relationships with Other Parasites.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Ulrike; Forsgren, Eva; Charrière, Jean-Daniel; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent

    2015-05-22

    Apis mellifera filamentous virus (AmFV) is a large double stranded DNA virus of honey bees, but its relationship with other parasites and prevalence are poorly known. We analyzed individual honey bees from three colonies at different times post emergence in order to monitor the dynamics of the AmFV gut colonization under natural conditions. Prevalence and loads of microsporidia and trypanosomes were also recorded, as well as five common honey bee RNA viruses. The results show that a high proportion of bees get infected with AmFV during the first week post-emergence (75%) and that AmFV DNA levels remained constant. A similar pattern was observed for microsporidia while trypanosomes seem to require more time to colonize the gut. No significant associations between these three infections were found, but significant positive correlations were observed between AmFV and RNA viruses. In parallel, the prevalence of AmFV in France and Sweden was assessed from pooled honey bee workers. The data indicate that AmFV is almost ubiquitous, and does not seem to follow seasonal patterns, although higher viral loads were significantly detected in spring. A high prevalence of AmFV was also found in winter bees, without obvious impact on overwintering of the colonies.

  9. Analysis of moisture content, acidity and contamination by yeast and molds in Apis mellifera L. honey from central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ananias, Karla Rubia; de Melo, Adriane Alexandre Machado; de Moura, Celso José

    2013-01-01

    The development of mold of environmental origin in honey affects its quality and leads to its deterioration, so yeasts and molds counts have been used as an important indicator of hygiene levels during its processing, transportation and storage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of yeasts and molds contamination and their correlation with moisture and acidity levels in Apis mellifera L. honey from central Brazil. In 20% of the samples, the yeasts and molds counts exceeded the limit established by legislation for the marketing of honey in the MERCOSUR, while 42.8% and 5.7% presented above-standard acidity and moisture levels, respectively. Although samples showed yeasts and molds counts over 1.0 × 10(2) UFC.g(-1), there was no correlation between moisture content and the number of microorganisms, since, in part of the samples with above-standard counts, the moisture level was below 20%. In some samples the acidity level was higher than that established by legislation, but only one sample presented a yeasts and molds count above the limit established by MERCOSUR, which would suggest the influence of the floral source on this parameter. In general, of the 35 samples analyzed, the quality was considered inadequate in 45.7% of cases.

  10. Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying sex- and maturation-related variation in pheromone responses in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Villar, Gabriel; Baker, Thomas C; Patch, Harland M; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-07-01

    In the honey bee (Apis mellifera), social organization is primarily mediated by pheromones. Queen-produced 9-oxo-2-decenoic acid (9-ODA) functions as both a social and sex pheromone, eliciting attraction in both female workers and male drones, but also affecting other critical aspects of worker physiology and behavior. These effects are also maturation related, as younger workers and sexually mature drones are most receptive to 9-ODA. While changes in the peripheral nervous system drive sex-related differences in sensitivity to 9-ODA, the mechanisms driving maturation-related shifts in receptivity to 9-ODA remain unknown. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that changes at the peripheral nervous system may be mediating plastic responses to 9-ODA by characterizing expression levels of AmOR11 (the olfactory receptor tuned to 9-ODA) and electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA. We find that receptor expression correlates significantly with behavioral receptivity to 9-ODA, with nurses and sexually mature drones exhibiting higher levels of expression than foragers and immature drones, respectively. Electrophysiological responses to 9-ODA were not found to correlate with behavioral receptivity or receptor expression, however. Thus, while receptor expression at the periphery exhibits a level of plasticity that correlates with behavior, the mechanisms driving maturation-dependent responsiveness to 9-ODA appear to function primarily in the central nervous system. PMID:25840687

  11. A worldwide survey of genome sequence variation provides insight into the evolutionary history of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wallberg, Andreas; Han, Fan; Wellhagen, Gustaf; Dahle, Bjørn; Kawata, Masakado; Haddad, Nizar; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Allsopp, Mike H; Kandemir, Irfan; De la Rúa, Pilar; Pirk, Christian W; Webster, Matthew T

    2014-10-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has major ecological and economic importance. We analyze patterns of genetic variation at 8.3 million SNPs, identified by sequencing 140 honeybee genomes from a worldwide sample of 14 populations at a combined total depth of 634×. These data provide insight into the evolutionary history and genetic basis of local adaptation in this species. We find evidence that population sizes have fluctuated greatly, mirroring historical fluctuations in climate, although contemporary populations have high genetic diversity, indicating the absence of domestication bottlenecks. Levels of genetic variation are strongly shaped by natural selection and are highly correlated with patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation. We identify genomic signatures of local adaptation, which are enriched in genes expressed in workers and in immune system- and sperm motility-related genes that might underlie geographic variation in reproduction, dispersal and disease resistance. This study provides a framework for future investigations into responses to pathogens and climate change in honeybees. PMID:25151355

  12. Effects of seasonal variations and collection methods on the mineral composition of propolis from Apis mellifera Linnaeus Beehives.

    PubMed

    Souza, E A; Zaluski, R; Veiga, N; Orsi, R O

    2016-06-01

    The effects of seasonal variations and the methods of collection of propolis produced by Africanized honey bees Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758, on the composition of constituent minerals such as magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), and potassium (K) were evaluated. Propolis was harvested from 25 beehives by scraping or by means of propolis collectors (screen, "intelligent" collector propolis [ICP], lateral opening of the super [LOS], and underlay method). During the one-year study, the propolis produced was harvested each month, ground, homogenized, and stored in a freezer at -10 ºC. Seasonal analyses of the mineral composition were carried out by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and the results were evaluated by analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by Tukey-Kramer's test to compare the mean values (p<0.05). The results showed that seasonal variations influence the contents of 5 minerals (Mg, Fe, Na, Ca, and Cu), and the propolis harvesting method affects the contents of 4 minerals (Mg, Zn, Fe, and Ca). PMID:26934152

  13. The effects of Bt Cry1Ie toxin on bacterial diversity in the midgut of Apis mellifera ligustica (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Hui-Ru; Geng, Li-Li; Li, Yun-He; Wang, Qiang; Diao, Qing-Yun; Zhou, Ting; Dai, Ping-Li

    2016-01-01

    The honey bee has been regarded as a key species in the environmental risk assessment of biotech crops. Here, the potential adverse effects of Cry1Ie toxin on the midgut bacteria of the worker bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) were investigated under laboratory conditions. Newly emerged bees were fed with different concentrations of Cry1Ie toxin syrups (20 ng/mL, 200 ng/mL, and 20 μg/mL), pure sugar syrup, and 48 ppb of imidacloprid syrups, then sampled after 15 and 30 d. We characterized the dominant midgut bacteria and compared the composition and structure of the midgut bacterial community in all samples using the Illumina MiSeq platform targeting the V3–V4 regions of 16S rDNA. No significant differences in the diversity of the midgut bacteria were observed between the five treatments. This work was the first to show the effects of Cry1Ie toxin on honey bees, and our study provided a theoretical basis for the biosafety assessment of transgenic Cry1Ie maize. PMID:27090812

  14. Three QTL in the honey bee Apis mellifera L. suppress reproduction of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor

    PubMed Central

    Behrens, Dieter; Huang, Qiang; Geßner, Cornelia; Rosenkranz, Peter; Frey, Eva; Locke, Barbara; Moritz, Robin F A; Kraus, F B

    2011-01-01

    Varroa destructor is a highly virulent ectoparasitic mite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and a major cause of colony losses for global apiculture. Typically, chemical treatment is essential to control the parasite population in the honey bee colony. Nevertheless a few honey bee populations survive mite infestation without any treatment. We used one such Varroa mite tolerant honey bee lineage from the island of Gotland, Sweden, to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling reduced mite reproduction. We crossed a queen from this tolerant population with drones from susceptible colonies to rear hybrid queens. Two hybrid queens were used to produce a mapping population of haploid drones. We discriminated drone pupae with and without mite reproduction, and screened the genome for potential QTL using a total of 216 heterozygous microsatellite markers in a bulk segregant analysis. Subsequently, we fine mapped three candidate target regions on chromosomes 4, 7, and 9. Although the individual effect of these three QTL was found to be relatively small, the set of all three had significant impact on suppression of V. destructor reproduction by epistasis. Although it is in principle possible to use these loci for marker-assisted selection, the strong epistatic effects between the three loci complicate selective breeding programs with the Gotland Varroa tolerant honey bee stock. PMID:22393513

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

    PubMed

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-10-01

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

  16. The Africanization of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) of the Yucatan: a study of a massive hybridization event across time.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Kylea E; Rinderer, Thomas E; Franck, Pierre; Quezada-Euán, Javier G; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2002-07-01

    Until recently, African and European subspecies of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) had been geographically separated for around 10,000 years. However, human-assisted introductions have caused the mixing of large populations of African and European subspecies in South and Central America, permitting an unprecedented opportunity to study a large-scale hybridization event using molecular analyses. We obtained reference populations from Europe, Africa, and South America and used these to provide baseline information for a microsatellite and mitochondrial analysis of the process of Africanization of the bees of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The genetic structure of the Yucatecan population has changed dramatically over time. The pre-Africanized Yucatecan population (1985) comprised bees that were most similar to samples from southeastern Europe and northern and western Europe. Three years after the arrival of Africanized bees (1989), substantial paternal gene flow had occurred from feral Africanized drones into the resident European population, but maternal gene flow from the invading Africanized population into the local population was negligible. However by 1998, there was a radical shift with both African nuclear alleles (65%) and African-derived mitochondria (61%) dominating the genomes of domestic colonies. We suggest that although European mitochondria may eventually be driven to extinction in the feral population, stable introgression of European nuclear alleles has occurred.

  17. 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. PMID:25574845

  18. Defensive behaviour of Apis mellifera against Vespa velutina in France: testing whether European honeybees can develop an effective collective defence against a new predator.

    PubMed

    Arca, Mariangela; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Mougel, Florence; Rortais, Agnès; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Tardy, Pascal; Thiéry, Denis; Silvain, Jean-François; Arnold, Gérard

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the prey-predator interactions between the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, which first invaded France in 2004 and thereafter spread to neighbouring European countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Our goal was to determine how successfully honeybees are able to defend their colonies against their new predator in Europe. Experiments were conducted in the southwest of France-the point of entry of the hornet in Europe-under natural and semi-controlled field conditions. We investigated a total of eight apiaries and 95 colonies subjected to either low or high levels of predation. We analyzed hornet predatory behaviour and collective response of colonies under attack. The results showed that A. mellifera in France exhibit an inefficient and unorganized defence against V. velutina, unlike in other regions of Europe and other areas around the globe where honeybees have co-evolved with their natural Vespa predators. PMID:24857979

  19. Genome sequencing and analysis of the first complete genome of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, an Apis mellifera gut isolate.

    PubMed

    Asenjo, Freddy; Olmos, Alejandro; Henríquez-Piskulich, Patricia; Polanco, Victor; Aldea, Patricia; Ugalde, Juan A; Trombert, Annette N

    2016-01-01

    Background. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important pollinator in agriculture worldwide. However, the number of honey bees has fallen significantly since 2006, becoming a huge ecological problem nowadays. The principal cause is CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, characterized by the seemingly spontaneous abandonment of hives by their workers. One of the characteristics of CCD in honey bees is the alteration of the bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract, mainly due to the decrease of Firmicutes populations, such as the Lactobacilli. At this time, the causes of these alterations remain unknown. We recently isolated a strain of Lactobacillus kunkeei (L. kunkeei strain MP2) from the gut of Chilean honey bees. L. kunkeei, is one of the most commonly isolated bacterium from the honey bee gut and is highly versatile in different ecological niches. In this study, we aimed to elucidate in detail, the L. kunkeei genetic background and perform a comparative genome analysis with other Lactobacillus species. Methods. L. kunkeei MP2 was originally isolated from the guts of Chilean A. mellifera individuals. Genome sequencing was done using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. De novo assembly was performed using Celera assembler. The genome was annotated using Prokka, and functional information was added using the EggNOG 3.1 database. In addition, genomic islands were predicted using IslandViewer, and pro-phage sequences using PHAST. Comparisons between L. kunkeei MP2 with other L. kunkeei, and Lactobacillus strains were done using Roary. Results. The complete genome of L. kunkeei MP2 comprises one circular chromosome of 1,614,522 nt. with a GC content of 36,9%. Pangenome analysis with 16 L. kunkeei strains, identified 113 unique genes, most of them related to phage insertions. A large and unique region of L. kunkeei MP2 genome contains several genes that encode for phage structural protein and replication components

  20. Genome sequencing and analysis of the first complete genome of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, an Apis mellifera gut isolate.

    PubMed

    Asenjo, Freddy; Olmos, Alejandro; Henríquez-Piskulich, Patricia; Polanco, Victor; Aldea, Patricia; Ugalde, Juan A; Trombert, Annette N

    2016-01-01

    Background. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important pollinator in agriculture worldwide. However, the number of honey bees has fallen significantly since 2006, becoming a huge ecological problem nowadays. The principal cause is CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, characterized by the seemingly spontaneous abandonment of hives by their workers. One of the characteristics of CCD in honey bees is the alteration of the bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract, mainly due to the decrease of Firmicutes populations, such as the Lactobacilli. At this time, the causes of these alterations remain unknown. We recently isolated a strain of Lactobacillus kunkeei (L. kunkeei strain MP2) from the gut of Chilean honey bees. L. kunkeei, is one of the most commonly isolated bacterium from the honey bee gut and is highly versatile in different ecological niches. In this study, we aimed to elucidate in detail, the L. kunkeei genetic background and perform a comparative genome analysis with other Lactobacillus species. Methods. L. kunkeei MP2 was originally isolated from the guts of Chilean A. mellifera individuals. Genome sequencing was done using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. De novo assembly was performed using Celera assembler. The genome was annotated using Prokka, and functional information was added using the EggNOG 3.1 database. In addition, genomic islands were predicted using IslandViewer, and pro-phage sequences using PHAST. Comparisons between L. kunkeei MP2 with other L. kunkeei, and Lactobacillus strains were done using Roary. Results. The complete genome of L. kunkeei MP2 comprises one circular chromosome of 1,614,522 nt. with a GC content of 36,9%. Pangenome analysis with 16 L. kunkeei strains, identified 113 unique genes, most of them related to phage insertions. A large and unique region of L. kunkeei MP2 genome contains several genes that encode for phage structural protein and replication components

  1. Genome sequencing and analysis of the first complete genome of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, an Apis mellifera gut isolate

    PubMed Central

    Asenjo, Freddy; Olmos, Alejandro; Henríquez-Piskulich, Patricia; Polanco, Victor; Aldea, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Background. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important pollinator in agriculture worldwide. However, the number of honey bees has fallen significantly since 2006, becoming a huge ecological problem nowadays. The principal cause is CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, characterized by the seemingly spontaneous abandonment of hives by their workers. One of the characteristics of CCD in honey bees is the alteration of the bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract, mainly due to the decrease of Firmicutes populations, such as the Lactobacilli. At this time, the causes of these alterations remain unknown. We recently isolated a strain of Lactobacillus kunkeei (L. kunkeei strain MP2) from the gut of Chilean honey bees. L. kunkeei, is one of the most commonly isolated bacterium from the honey bee gut and is highly versatile in different ecological niches. In this study, we aimed to elucidate in detail, the L. kunkeei genetic background and perform a comparative genome analysis with other Lactobacillus species. Methods. L. kunkeei MP2 was originally isolated from the guts of Chilean A. mellifera individuals. Genome sequencing was done using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. De novo assembly was performed using Celera assembler. The genome was annotated using Prokka, and functional information was added using the EggNOG 3.1 database. In addition, genomic islands were predicted using IslandViewer, and pro-phage sequences using PHAST. Comparisons between L. kunkeei MP2 with other L. kunkeei, and Lactobacillus strains were done using Roary. Results. The complete genome of L. kunkeei MP2 comprises one circular chromosome of 1,614,522 nt. with a GC content of 36,9%. Pangenome analysis with 16 L. kunkeei strains, identified 113 unique genes, most of them related to phage insertions. A large and unique region of L. kunkeei MP2 genome contains several genes that encode for phage structural protein and replication components

  2. Variable induction of vitellogenin genes in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman), by the honeybee, Apis mellifera L, host and its environment.

    PubMed

    Cabrera Cordon, A R; Shirk, P D; Duehl, A J; Evans, J D; Teal, P E A

    2013-02-01

    Transcript levels of vitellogenins (Vgs) in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman), were variably induced by interactions between the developing honeybee, Apis mellifera L, as a food source and the capped honeybee cell environment. Transcripts for two Vgs of varroa mites were sequenced and putative Vg protein products characterized. Sequence analysis of VdVg1 and VdVg2 proteins showed that each had greater similarity with Vg1 and Vg2 proteins from ticks, respectively, than between themselves and were grouped separately by phylogenetic analyses. This suggests there was a duplication of the ancestral acarine Vg gene prior to the divergence of the mites and ticks. Low levels of transcript were detected in immature mites, males and phoretic females. Following cell invasion by phoretic females, VdVg1 and VdVg2 transcript levels were up-regulated after cell capping to a maximum at the time of partial cocoon formation by the honeybee. During oviposition the two transcripts were differentially expressed with higher levels of VdVg2 being observed. A bioassay based on assessing the transcript levels was established. Increases in VdVg1 and VdVg2 transcripts were induced experimentally in phoretic females when they were placed inside a cell containing an early metamorphosing last instar bee but not when exposed to the metamorphosing bee alone. The variable response of Vg expression to the food source as well as environmental cues within the capped cell demonstrates that perturbation of host-parasite interactions may provide avenues to disrupt the reproductive cycle of the varroa mites and prevent varroasis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has emerged as the primary pest of domestic honey bees (Apis mellifera). Here we present an initial survey of the V. destructor genome carried out to advance our understanding of Varroa biology and to identify new avenues for mite control. This sequence survey provides immediate resources for molecular and population-genetic analyses of Varroa-Apis interactions and defines the challenges ahead for a comprehensive Varroa genome project. Results The genome size was estimated by flow cytometry to be 565 Mbp, larger than most sequenced insects but modest relative to some other Acari. Genomic DNA pooled from ~1,000 mites was sequenced to 4.3× coverage with 454 pyrosequencing. The 2.4 Gbp of sequencing reads were assembled into 184,094 contigs with an N50 of 2,262 bp, totaling 294 Mbp of sequence after filtering. Genic sequences with homology to other eukaryotic genomes were identified on 13,031 of these contigs, totaling 31.3 Mbp. Alignment of protein sequence blocks conserved among V. destructor and four other arthropod genomes indicated a higher level of sequence divergence within this mite lineage relative to the tick Ixodes scapularis. A number of microbes potentially associated with V. destructor were identified in the sequence survey, including ~300 Kbp of sequence deriving from one or more bacterial species of the Actinomycetales. The presence of this bacterium was confirmed in individual mites by PCR assay, but varied significantly by age and sex of mites. Fragments of a novel virus related to the Baculoviridae were also identified in the survey. The rate of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the pooled mites was estimated to be 6.2 × 10-5per bp, a low rate consistent with the historical demography and life history of the species. Conclusions This survey has provided general tools for the research community and novel directions for investigating the biology and control of Varroa mites. Ongoing

  5. Acute exposure to selenium disrupts associative conditioning and long-term memory recall in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Burden, Christina M; Elmore, Christopher; Hladun, Kristen R; Trumble, John T; Smith, Brian H

    2016-05-01

    A plethora of toxic compounds - including pesticides, heavy metals, and metalloids - have been detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and their colonies. One such compound is selenium, which bees are exposed to by consuming nectar and pollen from flowers grown in contaminated areas. Though selenium is lethal at high concentrations, sublethal exposure may also impair honey bees' ability to function normally. Examining the effect of selenium exposure on learning and memory provides a sensitive assay with which to identify sublethal effects on honey bee health and behavior. To determine whether sublethal selenium exposure causes learning and memory deficits, we used proboscis extension reflex conditioning coupled with recall tests 30min and 24h post-conditioning. We exposed forager honey bees to a single sublethal dose of selenium, and 3h later we used an olfactory conditioning assay to train the bees to discriminate between one odor associated with sucrose-reinforcement and a second unreinforced odor. Following conditioning we tested short- and long-term recall of the task. Acute exposure to as little as 1.8ng of an inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenate) before conditioning caused a reduction in behavioral performance during conditioning. And, exposure to 18ng of either an inorganic form (sodium selenate) or an organic form (methylseleno-l-cysteine) of selenium caused a reduction in the bees' performance during the long-term recall test. These concentrations of selenium are lower than those found in the nectar of plants grown in selenium-contaminated soil, indicating that even low-grade selenium toxicity produces significant learning and memory impairments. This may reduce foragers' ability to effectively gather resources for the colony or nurse bees' ability to care for and maintain a healthy colony. PMID:26802564

  6. The Effect of Application Rate of GF-120 (Spinosad) and Malathion on the Mortality of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foragers.

    PubMed

    Cabrera-Marín, Nina Vanessa; Liedo, Pablo; Sánchez, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Beneficial organisms like the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), are heavily affected by pest control practices that incorporate insecticides. Safer alternatives as the spinosad-based formulation GF-120 have been developed to overcome this issue. Though both the low concentration of spinosad and the ultra-low-volume application rate of GF-120 are supposed to have a low acute toxicity in honey bee foragers, to our knowledge such claims have not been explicitly proven. We thus carried out a series of experiments to assess the effect of GF-120, malathion, and Spintor (spinosad) on honey bee foragers when applied at two concentrations (80 and 1,500 ppm) and two application rates (low density rate [LDR]—80 drops of 5 mm diameter per square meter; high density rate [HDR]—thousands of 200 -µm-diameter droplets per square meter). Interestingly, the three pesticides caused low mortality on foragers when applied at LDR-80, LDR-1,500, or HDR-80. However, HDR-1,500 caused a very high mortality. Based upon these results, we developed a computer program to estimate the average number of foragers that are exposed at LDR and HDR. We found that more foragers receive a lethal dose when exposed at HDR than at the other rates. Our results support the hypothesis that the impact of GF-120 and malathion upon honey bees is minimal when applied at LDR and that computer simulation can help greatly in understanding the effects of pesticides upon nontarget species. PMID:26739308

  7. Removal of drone brood from Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies to control Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) and retain adult drones.

    PubMed

    Wantuch, Holly A; Tarpy, David R

    2009-12-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) has plagued European honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in the Americas since its introduction in the 1980s. For many years, these mites were sufficiently controlled using synthetic acaricides. Recently, however, beekeepers have experienced increased resistance by mites to chemical pesticides, which are also known to leave residues in hive products such as wax and honey. Thus there has been increased emphasis on nonchemical integrated pest management control tactics for Varroa. Because mites preferentially reproduce in drone brood (pupal males), we developed a treatment strategy focusing on salvaging parasitized drones while removing mites from them. We removed drone brood from colonies in which there was no acaricidal application and banked them in separate "drone-brood receiving" colonies treated with pesticides to kill mites emerging with drones. We tested 20 colonies divided into three groups: 1) negative control (no mite treatment), 2) positive control (treatment with acaricides), and 3) drone-brood removal and placement into drone-brood receiving colonies. We found that drone-brood trapping significantly lowered mite numbers during the early months of the season, eliminating the need for additional control measures in the spring. However, mite levels in the drone-brood removal group increased later in the summer, suggesting that this benefit does not persist throughout the entire season. Our results suggest that this method of drone-brood trapping can be used as an element of an integrated control strategy to control varroa mites, eliminating a large portion of the Varroa population with limited chemical treatments while retaining the benefits of maintaining adult drones in the population.

  8. 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

  9. Improving viability of cryopreserved honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) sperm with selected diluents, cryoprotectants, and semen dilution ratios.

    PubMed

    Taylor, M A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Morfin, N; Buhr, M M

    2009-07-15

    This is the first study where the systematic application of theories and techniques used in mammalian sperm cryopreservation have been applied to honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) semen as a means to improve postthaw viability of cryopreserved sperm. Six newly designed diluents, three cryoprotectants (dimethyl sulfoxide, DMA, glycerol), and five diluent:semen ratios (1:1, 3:1, 6:1, 9:1, and 12:1) were tested. In addition, the sperm freezing tolerance of three honey bee strains was evaluated. Specific protocols were designed to control semen freezing and thawing rates. Sperm motility was assessed visually, whereas sperm viability was assessed using SYBR-14 and propidium iodide fluorescent stains. Diluent treatments did not affect fresh (nonfrozen) sperm viability yet affected fresh sperm motility (P<0.05). Based on these assessments, two diluents were chosen and used in all successive cryopreservation experiments. Using the selected diluents, semen was collected at various diluent:semen ratios, along with one of the three cryoprotectants. Semen collected at high dilution ratios, using a hypotonic antioxidant diluent containing catalase, in combination with dimethyl sulfoxide, provided higher postthaw sperm viability than that of all other combinations tested (68.3+/-5.4%; P<0.05). Using this combination of dilution ratio, diluent, and cryoprotectant, there were no differences among honey bee strains for postthaw sperm viability (P=0.805). Nevertheless, these new semen dilution and freezing methods improved postthaw viability of sperm to levels that could theoretically sustain worker populations in colonies, thus providing potential for further optimization of cryopreservation techniques for the genetic preservation and improvement of honey bee genotypes. PMID:19329172

  10. Removal of drone brood from Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies to control Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) and retain adult drones.

    PubMed

    Wantuch, Holly A; Tarpy, David R

    2009-12-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) has plagued European honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), in the Americas since its introduction in the 1980s. For many years, these mites were sufficiently controlled using synthetic acaricides. Recently, however, beekeepers have experienced increased resistance by mites to chemical pesticides, which are also known to leave residues in hive products such as wax and honey. Thus there has been increased emphasis on nonchemical integrated pest management control tactics for Varroa. Because mites preferentially reproduce in drone brood (pupal males), we developed a treatment strategy focusing on salvaging parasitized drones while removing mites from them. We removed drone brood from colonies in which there was no acaricidal application and banked them in separate "drone-brood receiving" colonies treated with pesticides to kill mites emerging with drones. We tested 20 colonies divided into three groups: 1) negative control (no mite treatment), 2) positive control (treatment with acaricides), and 3) drone-brood removal and placement into drone-brood receiving colonies. We found that drone-brood trapping significantly lowered mite numbers during the early months of the season, eliminating the need for additional control measures in the spring. However, mite levels in the drone-brood removal group increased later in the summer, suggesting that this benefit does not persist throughout the entire season. Our results suggest that this method of drone-brood trapping can be used as an element of an integrated control strategy to control varroa mites, eliminating a large portion of the Varroa population with limited chemical treatments while retaining the benefits of maintaining adult drones in the population. PMID:20069828

  11. Sulfur single-wavelength anomalous diffraction crystal structure of a pheromone-binding protein from the honeybee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Lartigue, Audrey; Gruez, Arnaud; Briand, Loïc; Blon, Florence; Bézirard, Valérie; Walsh, Martin; Pernollet, Jean-Claude; Tegoni, Mariella; Cambillau, Christian

    2004-02-01

    Pheromone binding proteins (PBPs) are small helical proteins ( approximately 13-17 kDa) present in several sensory organs from moth and other insect species. They are involved in the transport of pheromones from the sensillar lymph to the olfactory receptors. We report here the crystal structure of a PBP (Amel-ASP1) originating from the honey-bee (Apis mellifera) antennae and expressed as recombinant protein in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Crystals of Amel-ASP1 were obtained at pH 5.5 using the nano-drops technique of crystallization with a novel optimization procedure, and the structure was solved initially with the single-wavelength anomalous diffraction technique using sulfur anomalous dispersion. The structure of Amel-ASP1 has been refined at 1.6-A resolution. Its fold is roughly similar to that of other PBP/odorant binding proteins, presenting six helices and three disulfide bridges. Contrary to the PBPs from Bombyx mori (Sandler, B. H., Nikonova, L., Leal, W. S., and Clardy, J. (2000) Chem. Biol. 7, 143-151) and Leucophea maderae (Lartigue, A., Gruez, A., Spinelli, S., Riviere, S., Brossut, R., Tegoni, M., and Cambillau, C. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 30213-30218), the extended C terminus folds into the protein and forms a wall of the internal hydrophobic cavity. Its backbone groups establish two hydrogen bonds with a serendipitous ligand, n-butyl-benzene-sulfonamide, an additive used in plastics. This mode of binding might, however, mimic that used by one of the pheromonal blend components and illustrates the binding versatility of PBPs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Acute exposure to selenium disrupts associative conditioning and long-term memory recall in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Burden, Christina M; Elmore, Christopher; Hladun, Kristen R; Trumble, John T; Smith, Brian H

    2016-05-01

    A plethora of toxic compounds - including pesticides, heavy metals, and metalloids - have been detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) and their colonies. One such compound is selenium, which bees are exposed to by consuming nectar and pollen from flowers grown in contaminated areas. Though selenium is lethal at high concentrations, sublethal exposure may also impair honey bees' ability to function normally. Examining the effect of selenium exposure on learning and memory provides a sensitive assay with which to identify sublethal effects on honey bee health and behavior. To determine whether sublethal selenium exposure causes learning and memory deficits, we used proboscis extension reflex conditioning coupled with recall tests 30min and 24h post-conditioning. We exposed forager honey bees to a single sublethal dose of selenium, and 3h later we used an olfactory conditioning assay to train the bees to discriminate between one odor associated with sucrose-reinforcement and a second unreinforced odor. Following conditioning we tested short- and long-term recall of the task. Acute exposure to as little as 1.8ng of an inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenate) before conditioning caused a reduction in behavioral performance during conditioning. And, exposure to 18ng of either an inorganic form (sodium selenate) or an organic form (methylseleno-l-cysteine) of selenium caused a reduction in the bees' performance during the long-term recall test. These concentrations of selenium are lower than those found in the nectar of plants grown in selenium-contaminated soil, indicating that even low-grade selenium toxicity produces significant learning and memory impairments. This may reduce foragers' ability to effectively gather resources for the colony or nurse bees' ability to care for and maintain a healthy colony.

  14. 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.

  15. Africanization of a feral honey bee (Apis mellifera) population in South Texas: does a decade make a difference?

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Giresi, Melissa; Pinto, Maria Alice; Baum, Kristen A; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, John Spencer

    2016-04-01

    The arrival to the United States of the Africanized honey bee, a hybrid between European subspecies and the African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, is a remarkable model for the study of biological invasions. This immigration has created an opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of honey bee subspecies from African and European lineages in a feral population in South Texas. An 11-year survey of this population (1991-2001) showed that mitochondrial haplotype frequencies changed drastically over time from a resident population of eastern and western European maternal ancestry, to a population dominated by the African haplotype. A subsequent study of the nuclear genome showed that the Africanization process included bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honey bees, giving rise to a new panmictic mixture of A. m. scutellata- and European-derived genes. In this study, we examined gene flow patterns in the same population 23 years after the first hybridization event occurred. We found 28 active colonies inhabiting 92 tree cavities surveyed in a 5.14 km(2) area, resulting in a colony density of 5.4 colonies/km(2). Of these 28 colonies, 25 were of A. m. scutellata maternal ancestry, and three were of western European maternal ancestry. No colonies of eastern European maternal ancestry were detected, although they were present in the earlier samples. Nuclear DNA revealed little change in the introgression of A. m. scutellata-derived genes into the population compared to previous surveys. Our results suggest this feral population remains an admixed swarm with continued low levels of European ancestry and a greater presence of African-derived mitochondrial genetic composition.

  16. Effects of some insecticides on longevity of the foragers honey bee worker of local honey bee race Apis mellifera jemenatica

    PubMed Central

    Aljedani, Dalal Musleh; Almehmadi, Roqaya Mohammed

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Honeybees are constantly exposed to a wide range of vital and non-vital pressures that may interact with each other and affect the health or survival of the insects. Pesticides are the main danger for the insects, and they subsequently have impacts on human and environmental health. Methods Field research was conducted in the apiary of Hada Al Sham Research Station, where the worker honeybees forager Apis mellifera jemenatica were selected to examine the effect of pesticides on workers’ longevity. We used three insecticides, i.e., deltamethrin, malathion, and abamectin, in different concentrations. The longevity of worker honeybee foragers was calculated; the honeybees were supplied with water, food, natural protein, and sugar solution laced with selected insecticide by mouth under laboratory conditions. Results The longest period of insect longevity was 15.5 days when using deltamethrin concentrate at a concentration of 1.00 ppm; the lowest longevity was two days when using abamectin at a concentration 1.00 ppm. The longevity of the unexposed forager worker honeybees was 18 days, as the variation in the intensity of the effect of the insecticide on the bees appeared with the severity of the effect diminishing in the order of abamectin followed by malathion followed by deltamethrin. Conclusion The study found that the type and concentration of the insecticides that are found in the honeybees’ food had a significant impact on the time of survival of the insects. The longevity of a worker honeybee depends on the health and safety of all of the members of the beehive, and safe alternatives to insecticides must be used because of the danger imposed by the application of insecticides on the continuity of life of the entire society depends on the life of this layer bee community. PMID:26955457

  17. The expression and phylogenetics of the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide OCLP1 in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Guy; Cohen, Mira

    2014-06-01

    Small cysteine-rich peptides have diverse functions in insects including antimicrobial defense, phenoloxidase activity regulation, and toxic inhibition of ion channels of prey or predator. We combined bioinformatics and measurements of transcript abundance to start characterizing AmOCLP1, a recently discovered Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide in the honey bee Apis mellifera. We found that the genomes of ants, bees, and the wasp Nasonia vitripennis encode orthologous sequences indicating that OCLP1 is a conserved peptide and not unique to the honey bee. Search of available EST libraries and quantitative real time PCR analyses indicate that the transcript of AmOCLP1 is ubiquitous with expression in life stages ranging from embryos to adults and in all tested tissues. In worker honey bees AmOCLP1 expression was not associated with age or task and did not show clear enrichment in any of the tested tissues. There was however a consistent trend toward higher transcript levels in the abdomen of foragers relative to levels in the head or thorax, and compared to levels in the abdomen of younger worker bees. By contrast, in drones AmOCLP1 transcript levels appeared higher in the head relative to the abdomen. Finer analyses of the head and abdomen indicated that the AmOCLP1 transcript is not enriched in the stinger and the associated venom sac or in cephalic exocrine glands. The evolutionary conservation in the Hymenoptera, the ubiquitous expression, and the lack of enrichment in the venom gland, stinger, exocrine glands, and the brain are not consistent with the hypotheses that OCLP1 is a secreted honeybee toxin or an endotoxin acting in the central nervous system. Rather we hypothesize that OCLP1 is a conserved antimicrobial or phenoloxidase inhibitor peptide.

  18. Effect of Stacked Insecticidal Cry Proteins from Maize Pollen on Nurse Bees (Apis mellifera carnica) and Their Gut Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Härtel, Stephan; Näther, Astrid; Dohrmann, Anja B.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tebbe, Christoph C.

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee pollination is a key ecosystem service to nature and agriculture. However, biosafety research on genetically modified crops rarely considers effects on nurse bees from intact colonies, even though they receive and primarily process the largest amount of pollen. The objective of this study was to analyze the response of nurse bees and their gut bacteria to pollen from Bt maize expressing three different insecticidal Cry proteins (Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2, and Cry3Bb1). Naturally Cry proteins are produced by bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). Colonies of Apis mellifera carnica were kept during anthesis in flight cages on field plots with the Bt maize, two different conventionally bred maize varieties, and without cages, 1-km outside of the experimental maize field to allow ad libitum foraging to mixed pollen sources. During their 10-days life span, the consumption of Bt maize pollen had no effect on their survival rate, body weight and rates of pollen digestion compared to the conventional maize varieties. As indicated by ELISA-quantification of Cry1A.105 and Cry3Bb1, more than 98% of the recombinant proteins were degraded. Bacterial population sizes in the gut were not affected by the genetic modification. Bt-maize, conventional varieties and mixed pollen sources selected for significantly different bacterial communities which were, however, composed of the same dominant members, including Proteobacteria in the midgut and Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp. in the hindgut. Surprisingly, Cry proteins from natural sources, most likely B. thuringiensis, were detected in bees with no exposure to Bt maize. The natural occurrence of Cry proteins and the lack of detectable effects on nurse bees and their gut bacteria give no indication for harmful effects of this Bt maize on nurse honey bees. PMID:23533634

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Beta-cyclodextrins as carriers of monoterpenes into the hemolymph of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) for integrated pest management.

    PubMed

    LeBlanc, Blaise W; Boué, Stephen; De-Grandi Hoffman, Gloria; Deeby, Thomas; McCready, Holly; Loeffelmann, Kevin

    2008-09-24

    The Varroa mite ( Varroa destructor) is becoming ubiquitous worldwide and is a serious threat to honey bees. The cultivation of certain food crops are at risk. The most noted acaricides against Varroa mites are tau-fluvaninate and coumaphos, but the mites are showing resistance. Since these insecticides are used in the proximity of honey, it is desirable to use natural alternatives. Monoterpenoids such as thymol and carvacrol, that are constituents of oil of thyme and oil of origanum, show promise as acaricides against the Varroa mite ( Varroa destructor), but the delivery of these compounds remains a challenge due to the low water solubility and uncontrolled release into the colony. Beta-cyclodextrin (beta-CD) inclusion complexes of thymol, oil of origanum, and carvacrol were prepared on a preparative scale. Competitive binding was studied by fluorescence spectroscopy by using 6- p-toluidinylnaphthalene-2-sulfonate as a fluorescent probe. The complexes were characterized, and the competitive binding described by (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy chemical shifts. The toxicity of beta-CD and the prepared complexes in enriched sucrose syrup was studied by conducting caged honey bee ( Apis mellifera) feeding trials. After the first and second weeks of feeding, hemolymph and gut tissue samples were acquired from the caged bee study. The levels of thymol and carvacrol were quantified by solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography mass spectroscopy, using an optimized procedure we developed. High (mM) levels of thymol and carvacrol were detected in bee tissues without any imposed toxicity to the bees, in an effort to deter Varroa mites from feeding on honey bee hemolymph.

  2. The expression and phylogenetics of the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide OCLP1 in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Guy; Cohen, Mira

    2014-06-01

    Small cysteine-rich peptides have diverse functions in insects including antimicrobial defense, phenoloxidase activity regulation, and toxic inhibition of ion channels of prey or predator. We combined bioinformatics and measurements of transcript abundance to start characterizing AmOCLP1, a recently discovered Inhibitor Cysteine Knot peptide in the honey bee Apis mellifera. We found that the genomes of ants, bees, and the wasp Nasonia vitripennis encode orthologous sequences indicating that OCLP1 is a conserved peptide and not unique to the honey bee. Search of available EST libraries and quantitative real time PCR analyses indicate that the transcript of AmOCLP1 is ubiquitous with expression in life stages ranging from embryos to adults and in all tested tissues. In worker honey bees AmOCLP1 expression was not associated with age or task and did not show clear enrichment in any of the tested tissues. There was however a consistent trend toward higher transcript levels in the abdomen of foragers relative to levels in the head or thorax, and compared to levels in the abdomen of younger worker bees. By contrast, in drones AmOCLP1 transcript levels appeared higher in the head relative to the abdomen. Finer analyses of the head and abdomen indicated that the AmOCLP1 transcript is not enriched in the stinger and the associated venom sac or in cephalic exocrine glands. The evolutionary conservation in the Hymenoptera, the ubiquitous expression, and the lack of enrichment in the venom gland, stinger, exocrine glands, and the brain are not consistent with the hypotheses that OCLP1 is a secreted honeybee toxin or an endotoxin acting in the central nervous system. Rather we hypothesize that OCLP1 is a conserved antimicrobial or phenoloxidase inhibitor peptide. PMID:24721445

  3. Amelα8 subunit knockdown in the mushroom body vertical lobes impairs olfactory retrieval in the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Louis, Thierry; Musso, Pierre-Yves; de Oliveira, Sabrina Barbosa; Garreau, Lucile; Giurfa, Martin; Raymond, Valérie; Gauthier, Monique

    2012-11-01

    We studied the involvement of the α8 subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in olfactory learning and memory in Apis mellifera. We have previously shown, by injecting different nicotinic antagonists into the bee brain, that pharmacologically different subtypes of nAChRs are important for honeybee memory -α-bungarotoxin-sensitive receptors are necessary for memory consolidation and mecamylamine-sensitive receptors are involved in retrieval processes. Here, we took advantage of the honeybee genome sequencing and the development of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) tool to focus on the role of the α8 subunit, which has been shown to be expressed in brain areas important for olfactory learning, such as the antennal lobes and mushroom bodies. We first demonstrated the efficacy of the siRNA tool by showing a decrease of the α8 protein level at 6 h after brain injection of α8 siRNA. We then tested the general role of this subunit in olfactory conditioning, using brain systemic or localized siRNA injections in the antennal lobes or the calyces and vertical lobes of the mushroom bodies. These injections were performed at either 6 h before the learning acquisition or 6 h before the memory test. The most prominent result was that 6-h pre-test injection of siRNA in the mushroom body vertical lobes impaired memory retrieval at 24 and 48 h post-training. This indicated the importance of cholinergic extrinsic neurons and nAChRs containing the α8 subunit for this process.

  4. Africanization of a feral honey bee (Apis mellifera) population in South Texas: does a decade make a difference?

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Giresi, Melissa; Pinto, Maria Alice; Baum, Kristen A; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, John Spencer

    2016-04-01

    The arrival to the United States of the Africanized honey bee, a hybrid between European subspecies and the African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, is a remarkable model for the study of biological invasions. This immigration has created an opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of honey bee subspecies from African and European lineages in a feral population in South Texas. An 11-year survey of this population (1991-2001) showed that mitochondrial haplotype frequencies changed drastically over time from a resident population of eastern and western European maternal ancestry, to a population dominated by the African haplotype. A subsequent study of the nuclear genome showed that the Africanization process included bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honey bees, giving rise to a new panmictic mixture of A. m. scutellata- and European-derived genes. In this study, we examined gene flow patterns in the same population 23 years after the first hybridization event occurred. We found 28 active colonies inhabiting 92 tree cavities surveyed in a 5.14 km(2) area, resulting in a colony density of 5.4 colonies/km(2). Of these 28 colonies, 25 were of A. m. scutellata maternal ancestry, and three were of western European maternal ancestry. No colonies of eastern European maternal ancestry were detected, although they were present in the earlier samples. Nuclear DNA revealed little change in the introgression of A. m. scutellata-derived genes into the population compared to previous surveys. Our results suggest this feral population remains an admixed swarm with continued low levels of European ancestry and a greater presence of African-derived mitochondrial genetic composition. PMID:27069571

  5. Global identification of transcription start sites in the genome of Apis mellifera using 5'LongSAGE.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huajun; Sun, Liangxian; Peng, Wenjun; Shen, Yan; Wang, Yuezhu; Xu, Baohua; Gu, Wenyi; Chen, Shuting; Huang, Zhouying; Wang, Shengyue

    2011-11-15

    The precise identification of the transcription start sites (TSSs) of genes in the honeybee genome will be helpful for inferring start codons and for determining promoter elements. The 5'SAGE approach provides a powerful tool for identifying TSSs in the sequenced genome. The main purpose of this study is to identify the actual TSSs of expressed genes as well as the usage of different TSSs in the Apis mellifera genome. We performed a 5'LongSAGE (5'LS) analysis for the adult drone head, and the TSSs of the expressed genes were determined by mapping the 5'LS tag sequences to the honeybee genome. A total of 8,280 unique 19 bp 5'LS tag sequences were identified that corresponded to 3,655 predicted genes. Out of these tags, 4,998 tags (60.4%) were mapped to a region from -1,000 bp to +100 bp of the start codon of 2,301 reference coding sequences. Notably, we observed that 28-47% of the 3,655 honeybee genes initiated transcription from alternative TSSs. The TSS consensus pattern of the honeybee genes, DT(rich) PyPu(G(rich))(T/A)(T(rich))(3), was obtained by aligning the sequences flanking the 5'LS-TSSs. We also identified three new genes in the regions downstream of 5'LS tags and validated 21 TSSs using RT-PCR amplification. Additionally, 17 genes identified by the 5'LS tags were associated with the Gene Ontology term "behavior." Mapping of the 5'LS tags on the genome not only provided direct evidence of expression for in silico predicted genes but also allowed for the identification of previously unrecognized, novel exons and alternative TSSs.

  6. Effect of stacked insecticidal Cry proteins from maize pollen on nurse bees (Apis mellifera carnica) and their gut bacteria.

    PubMed

    Hendriksma, Harmen P; Küting, Meike; Härtel, Stephan; Näther, Astrid; Dohrmann, Anja B; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2013-01-01

    Honey bee pollination is a key ecosystem service to nature and agriculture. However, biosafety research on genetically modified crops rarely considers effects on nurse bees from intact colonies, even though they receive and primarily process the largest amount of pollen. The objective of this study was to analyze the response of nurse bees and their gut bacteria to pollen from Bt maize expressing three different insecticidal Cry proteins (Cry1A.105, Cry2Ab2, and Cry3Bb1). Naturally Cry proteins are produced by bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). Colonies of Apis mellifera carnica were kept during anthesis in flight cages on field plots with the Bt maize, two different conventionally bred maize varieties, and without cages, 1-km outside of the experimental maize field to allow ad libitum foraging to mixed pollen sources. During their 10-days life span, the consumption of Bt maize pollen had no effect on their survival rate, body weight and rates of pollen digestion compared to the conventional maize varieties. As indicated by ELISA-quantification of Cry1A.105 and Cry3Bb1, more than 98% of the recombinant proteins were degraded. Bacterial population sizes in the gut were not affected by the genetic modification. Bt-maize, conventional varieties and mixed pollen sources selected for significantly different bacterial communities which were, however, composed of the same dominant members, including Proteobacteria in the midgut and Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp. in the hindgut. Surprisingly, Cry proteins from natural sources, most likely B. thuringiensis, were detected in bees with no exposure to Bt maize. The natural occurrence of Cry proteins and the lack of detectable effects on nurse bees and their gut bacteria give no indication for harmful effects of this Bt maize on nurse honey bees. PMID:23533634

  7. 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.

  8. Mitosis and cell death in the optic lobes of workers, queens and drones of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Landim, Carminda da Cruz

    2010-09-01

    Colonies of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, consist of males and two female castes: workers and queens. The castes and males from A. mellifera have a distinct morphology, physiology and behaviour that correlate with their roles in the society and are characterized by some brain polymorphisms. Compound eyes are one of the characteristics that differ among the castes and sexes. A. mellifera is a holometabolous insect; therefore, the development of adult organs during metamorphosis, which will produce these differences, requires the precise coordination of three main programmed cellular processes: proliferation, differentiation and death. These processes take place simultaneously during pupation. Our purpose was to investigate cell division and death in the optic lobes (OL) of workers, queens and males during pupation to identify how the differences in the compound eyes in adults of these classes are achieved. The results showed that OL differentiation follows a similar pattern in the three classes of individuals studied, without structural differences in their development. The main non-structural differences involve cell division, mortality rates and timing. The results suggest a modelling of the brain during differentiation, which contributes to the specific functions of each individual class.

  9. Characterization of Two Species of Trypanosomatidae from the Honey Bee Apis mellifera: Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, and Lotmaria passim n. gen., n. sp.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Ryan S; Bauchan, Gary R; Murphy, Charles A; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Graaf, Dirk C; Evans, Jay D

    2015-01-01

    Trypanosomatids are increasingly recognized as prevalent in European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and by default are attributed to one recognized species, Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967. We provide reference genetic and ultrastructural data for type isolates of C. mellificae (ATCC 30254 and 30862) in comparison with two recent isolates from A. mellifera (BRL and SF). Phylogenetics unambiguously identify strains BRL/SF as a novel taxonomic unit distinct from C. mellificae strains 30254/30862 and assign all four strains as lineages of a novel clade within the subfamily Leishmaniinae. In vivo analyses show strains BRL/SF preferably colonize the hindgut, lining the lumen as adherent spheroids in a manner identical to previous descriptions from C. mellificae. Microscopy images show motile forms of C. mellificae are distinct from strains BRL/SF. We propose the binomial Lotmaria passim n. gen., n. sp. for this previously undescribed taxon. Analyses of new and previously accessioned genetic data show C. mellificae is still extant in bee populations, however, L. passim n. gen., n. sp. is currently the predominant trypanosomatid in A. mellifera globally. Our findings require that previous reports of C. mellificae be reconsidered and that subsequent trypanosomatid species designations from Hymenoptera provide genetic support.

  10. Similar Comparative Low and High Doses of Deltamethrin and Acetamiprid Differently Impair the Retrieval of the Proboscis Extension Reflex in the Forager Honey Bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Thany, Steeve H; Bourdin, Céline M; Graton, Jérôme; Laurent, Adèle D; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Lebreton, Jacques; Questel, Jean-Yves le

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, the effects of low (10 ng/bee) and high (100 ng/bee) doses of acetamiprid and deltamethrin insecticides on multi-trial learning and retrieval were evaluated in the honey bee Apis mellifera. After oral application, acetamiprid and deltamethrin at the concentrations used were not able to impair learning sessions. When the retention tests were performed 1 h, 6 h, and 24 h after learning, we found a significant difference between bees after learning sessions when drugs were applied 24 h before learning. Deltamethrin-treated bees were found to be more sensitive at 10 ng/bee and 100 ng/bee doses compared to acetamiprid-treated bees, only with amounts of 100 ng/bee and at 6 h and 24 h delays. When insecticides were applied during learning sessions, none of the tested insecticides was able to impair learning performance at 10 ng/bee or 100 ng/bee but retention performance was altered 24 h after learning sessions. Acetamiprid was the only one to impair retrieval at 10 ng/bee, whereas at 100 ng/bee an impairment of retrieval was found with both insecticides. The present results therefore suggest that acetamiprid and deltamethrin are able to impair retrieval performance in the honey bee Apis mellifera. PMID:26466901

  11. Similar Comparative Low and High Doses of Deltamethrin and Acetamiprid Differently Impair the Retrieval of the Proboscis Extension Reflex in the Forager Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Thany, Steeve H.; Bourdin, Céline M.; Graton, Jérôme; Laurent, Adèle D.; Mathé-Allainmat, Monique; Lebreton, Jacques; Le Questel, Jean-Yves

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, the effects of low (10 ng/bee) and high (100 ng/bee) doses of acetamiprid and deltamethrin insecticides on multi-trial learning and retrieval were evaluated in the honey bee Apis mellifera. After oral application, acetamiprid and deltamethrin at the concentrations used were not able to impair learning sessions. When the retention tests were performed 1 h, 6 h, and 24 h after learning, we found a significant difference between bees after learning sessions when drugs were applied 24 h before learning. Deltamethrin-treated bees were found to be more sensitive at 10 ng/bee and 100 ng/bee doses compared to acetamiprid-treated bees, only with amounts of 100 ng/bee and at 6 h and 24 h delays. When insecticides were applied during learning sessions, none of the tested insecticides was able to impair learning performance at 10 ng/bee or 100 ng/bee but retention performance was altered 24 h after learning sessions. Acetamiprid was the only one to impair retrieval at 10 ng/bee, whereas at 100 ng/bee an impairment of retrieval was found with both insecticides. The present results therefore suggest that acetamiprid and deltamethrin are able to impair retrieval performance in the honey bee Apis mellifera. PMID:26466901

  12. Genetic and ultrastructure characterization of a known and a new species of trypanosomatidae from the honey bee Apis mellifera: Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967 and Leptomonas passim sp. n.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trypanosomes are increasingly recognized as prevalent in European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies and by default are attributed to one formally recognized species, Crithidia mellificae Langridge and McGhee, 1967. We have undertaken a taxonomic evaluation of the two reference isolates of C. melli...

  13. Population-genomic variation within RNA viruses of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, inferred from deep sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Deep sequencing of viruses isolated from infected hosts is an efficient way to measure population-genetic variation and can reveal patterns of dispersal and natural selection. In this study, we mined existing Illumina sequence reads to investigate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within two RNA viruses of the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera), deformed wing virus (DWV) and Israel acute paralysis virus (IAPV). All viral RNA was extracted from North American samples of honey bees or, in one case, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Results Coverage depth was generally lower for IAPV than DWV, and marked gaps in coverage occurred in several narrow regions (< 50 bp) of IAPV. These coverage gaps occurred across sequencing runs and were virtually unchanged when reads were re-mapped with greater permissiveness (up to 8% divergence), suggesting a recurrent sequencing artifact rather than strain divergence. Consensus sequences of DWV for each sample showed little phylogenetic divergence, low nucleotide diversity, and strongly negative values of Fu and Li’s D statistic, suggesting a recent population bottleneck and/or purifying selection. The Kakugo strain of DWV fell outside of all other DWV sequences at 100% bootstrap support. IAPV consensus sequences supported the existence of multiple clades as had been previously reported, and Fu and Li’s D was closer to neutral expectation overall, although a sliding-window analysis identified a significantly positive D within the protease region, suggesting selection maintains diversity in that region. Within-sample mean diversity was comparable between the two viruses on average, although for both viruses there was substantial variation among samples in mean diversity at third codon positions and in the number of high-diversity sites. FST values were bimodal for DWV, likely reflecting neutral divergence in two low-diversity populations, whereas IAPV had several sites that were strong outliers with very low

  14. The effects of the general anaesthetic isoflurane on the honey bee (Apis mellifera) circadian clock.

    PubMed

    Ludin, Nicola M; Cheeseman, James F; Merry, Alan F; Millar, Craig D; Warman, Guy R

    2016-01-01

    General anaesthesia administered during the day has previously been shown to phase shift the honey bee clock. We describe a phase response curve for honey bees (n=105) to six hour isoflurane anaesthesia. The honey bee isoflurane PRC is "weak" with a delay portion (maximum shift of -1.88 hours, circadian time 0 - 3) but no advance zone. The isoflurane-induced shifts observed here are in direct opposition to those of light. Furthermore, concurrent administration of light and isoflurane abolishes the shifts that occur with isoflurane alone. Light may thus provide a means of reducing isoflurane-induced phase shifts.

  15. Metabolic signaling between photoreceptors and glial cells in the retina of the drone (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Brazitikos, P D; Tsacopoulos, M

    1991-12-13

    Experimental evidence showing metabolic interaction and signaling between photoreceptors-neurons and glial cells of the honeybee drone retina is presented. In this tissue [3H]2-deoxyglucose ([3H]2DG) in the dark and during repetitive light stimulation is phosphorylated to [3H]2-deoxyglucose-6P ([3H]2DG-6P) almost exclusively in the glial cells. Hence, stimulus-induced changes in the rate of formation of [3H]2DG-6P occurs predominantly in the glial cells. Repetitive stimulation of the photoreceptors with light flashes induced about a 47% rise in the rate of formation of [3H]2DG-6P in the glial cells and this effect is probably due to the activation of hexokinase. The potent inhibitor of glycolysis iodoacetic acid (IAA), inhibited this phosphorylation by about 75%. Probably this was largely due to an about 70% decrease of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Exposure of the retina to IAA suppressed the transient rise in oxygen consumption (delta QO2) in the photoreceptors and subsequently the light-induced receptor potential. This indicates that the supply of a glycolytic substrate by glial cells to the photoreceptors is greatly reduced by IAA. Anoxia, by rapidly suppressing QO2, abolished the receptor potential of the photoreceptors and caused a rapid drop of about 50% in the ATP content of the retina. At the same time the formation of [3H]2DG-6P was inhibited by about 30%. This indicates that respiring photoreceptors send a metabolic signal to glial cells which is suppressed by anoxia. PMID:1815828

  16. Metabolic signaling between photoreceptors and glial cells in the retina of the drone (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Brazitikos, P D; Tsacopoulos, M

    1991-12-13

    Experimental evidence showing metabolic interaction and signaling between photoreceptors-neurons and glial cells of the honeybee drone retina is presented. In this tissue [3H]2-deoxyglucose ([3H]2DG) in the dark and during repetitive light stimulation is phosphorylated to [3H]2-deoxyglucose-6P ([3H]2DG-6P) almost exclusively in the glial cells. Hence, stimulus-induced changes in the rate of formation of [3H]2DG-6P occurs predominantly in the glial cells. Repetitive stimulation of the photoreceptors with light flashes induced about a 47% rise in the rate of formation of [3H]2DG-6P in the glial cells and this effect is probably due to the activation of hexokinase. The potent inhibitor of glycolysis iodoacetic acid (IAA), inhibited this phosphorylation by about 75%. Probably this was largely due to an about 70% decrease of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Exposure of the retina to IAA suppressed the transient rise in oxygen consumption (delta QO2) in the photoreceptors and subsequently the light-induced receptor potential. This indicates that the supply of a glycolytic substrate by glial cells to the photoreceptors is greatly reduced by IAA. Anoxia, by rapidly suppressing QO2, abolished the receptor potential of the photoreceptors and caused a rapid drop of about 50% in the ATP content of the retina. At the same time the formation of [3H]2DG-6P was inhibited by about 30%. This indicates that respiring photoreceptors send a metabolic signal to glial cells which is suppressed by anoxia.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-04-01

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

  18. Effect of Iranian Honey bee (Apis mellifera) Venom on Blood Glucose and Insulin in Diabetic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Mousavi, Seyyedeh Mahbubeh; Imani, Sohrab; Haghighi, Saeid; Mousavi, Seyyedeh Elaheh; Karimi, Akbar

    2012-01-01

    Background: Diabetes is an important disease. This disease is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from perturbation in insulin secretion, insulin action or both. Honey bee venom contains a wide range of polypeptide agents. The principle components of bee venom are mellitin and phospholipase A2. These components increase insulin secretion from the β-cells of pancreas. This study was conducted to show the hypoglycemic effect of honey bee venom on alloxan induced diabetic male rats. Methods: Eighteen adult male rats weighting 200±20 g were placed into 3 randomly groups: control, alloxan monohydrate-induced diabetic rat and treated group that received honey bee venom daily before their nutrition for four months. Forty eight hours after the last injection, blood was collected from their heart, serum was dissented and blood glucose, insulin, triglyceride and total cholesterol were determined. Results: Glucose serum, triglyceride and total cholesterol level in treated group in comparison with diabetic group was significantly decreased (P< 0.01). On the other hand, using bee venom causes increase in insulin serum in comparison with diabetic group (P< 0.05). Conclusion: Honeybee venom (apitoxin) can be used as therapeutic option to lower blood glucose and lipids in diabetic rats. PMID:23378971

  19. Exposure scheme separates effects of electric shock and electric field for honey bees, Apis mellifera L

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-01-01

    Mechanisms to explain disturbance of honey bee colonies under a 765-kV, 60-Hz transmission line (electric (E) field = 7 kV/m) fall into two categories: direct bee perception of enhanced in-hive E fields, and perception of shock from induced currents. The same adverse biological effects previously observed in honey bee colonies exposed under a 765-kV transmission line can be reproduced by exposing worker bees to shock or E field within elongated hive entranceways (= tunnels). Exposure to intense E field caused disturbance only if bees were in contact with a conductive substrate. E-field and shock exposure can be separated and precisely defined within tunnels, eliminating dosimetric vagaries that occur when entire hives are exposed to E field.

  20. Pheromone-modulated behavioral suites influence colony growth in the honey bee (Apis mellifera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pankiw, Tanya; Roman, Roman; Sagili, Ramesh R.; Zhu-Salzman, Keyan

    2004-12-01

    The success of a species depends on its ability to assess its environment and to decide accordingly which behaviors are most appropriate. Many animal species, from bacteria to mammals, are able to communicate using interspecies chemicals called pheromones. In addition to exerting physiological effects on individuals, for social species, pheromones communicate group social structure. Communication of social structure is important to social insects for the allocation of its working members into coordinated suites of behaviors. We tested effects of long-term treatment with brood pheromone on suites of honey bee brood rearing and foraging behaviors. Pheromone-treated colonies reared significantly greater brood areas and more adults than controls, while amounts of stored pollen and honey remained statistically similar. Brood pheromone increased the number of pollen foragers and the pollen load weights they returned. It appeared that the pheromone-induced increase in pollen intake was directly canalized into more brood rearing. A two-way pheromone priming effect was observed, such that some workers from the same age cohorts showed an increased and extended capacity to rear larvae, while others were recruited at significantly younger ages into pollen-specific foraging. Brood pheromone affected suites of nursing and foraging behaviors allocating worker and pollen resources associated with an important fitness trait, colony growth.

  1. The activity of carbohydrate-degrading enzymes in the development of brood and newly emerged workers and drones of the Carniolan honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica.

    PubMed

    Żółtowska, Krystyna; Lipiński, Zbigniew; Łopieńska-Biernat, Elżbieta; Farjan, Marek; Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata

    2012-01-01

    The activity of glycogen Phosphorylase and carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes α-amylase, glucoamylase, trehalase, and sucrase was studied in the development of the Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica Pollman (Hymenoptera: Apidae), from newly hatched larva to freshly emerged imago of worker and drone. Phosphorolytic degradation of glycogen was significantly stronger than hydrolytic degradation in all developmental stages. Developmental profiles of hydrolase activity were similar in both sexes of brood; high activity was found in unsealed larvae, the lowest in prepupae followed by an increase in enzymatic activity. Especially intensive increases in activity occurred in the last stage of pupae and newly emerged imago. Besides α-amylase, the activities of other enzymes were higher in drone than in worker broods. Among drones, activity of glucoamylase was particularly high, ranging from around three times higher in the youngest larvae to 13 times higher in the oldest pupae. This confirms earlier suggestions about higher rates of metabolism in drone broods than in worker broods.

  2. Pollen analysis of honey and pollen collected by Apis mellifera linnaeus, 1758 (Hymenoptera, Apidae), in a mixed environment of Eucalyptus plantation and native cerrado in Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Simeão, C M G; Silveira, F A; Sampaio, I B M; Bastos, E M A F

    2015-11-01

    Eucalyptus plantations are frequently used for the establishment of bee yards. This study was carried on at Fazenda Brejão, northwestern region of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This farm is covered both with native Cerrado vegetation (Brazilian savanna) and eucalyptus plantations. This paper reports on the botanic origin of pollen pellets and honey collected from honeybee (Apis mellifera) hives along a thirteen-month period (January 2004 to January 2005). The most frequent pollen types found in the pollen pellets during the rainy season were Trema micrantha (Ulmaceae), Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae), an unidentified Poaceae, unidentified Asteraceae-2, Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae) and Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae); during the dry season the most frequent pollen types were Acosmium dasycarpum (Fabaceae), Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae) and Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae). Pollen grains of Baccharis sp. (Asteraceae), Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae), Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae), Mimosa nuda (Fabaceae), Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae) and Trema micrantha (Ulmaceae) were present in the honey samples throughout the study period.

  3. Deformed wing virus in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Atlantic Canada and the first description of an overtly-infected emerging queen.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Rogers, Richard E L; Kalkstein, Abby L; Taylor, Benjamin A; Shutler, Dave; Ostiguy, Nancy

    2009-04-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) in western honey bees (Apis mellifera) often remains asymptomatic in workers and drones, and symptoms have never been described from queens. However, intense infections linked to parasitism by the mite Varroa destructor can cause worker wing deformity and death within 67 h of emergence. Ten workers (eight with deformed wings and two with normal wings) and three drones (two with deformed wings and one with normal wings) from two colonies infected with V. destructor from Nova Scotia, Canada, and two newly-emerged queens (one with deformed wings and one with normal wings) from two colonies infected with V. destructor from Prince Edward Island, Canada, were genetically analyzed for DWV. We detected DWV in all workers and drones, regardless of wing morphology, but only in the deformed-winged queen. This is the first report of DWV from Atlantic Canada and the first detection of a symptomatic queen with DWV from anywhere.

  4. Relationship of the neutral sterols and ecdysteroids of the parasitic mite, Varroa jacobsoni to those of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Hartfelder, K; Feldlaufer, M F.

    1997-06-01

    The neutral sterols of the parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni were compared with Apis mellifera carnica drone pupae. Analysis by GLC-mass spectrometry indicated mite sterols were reflective of the sterol composition of the drones; 24-methylenecholesterol was the major sterol in both species, with lesser amounts of sitosterol and isofucosterol. Cholesterol accounted for less than 1% of the total sterols. Ecdysteroid analyses indicated drones contained primarily makisterone A. In addition to makisterone A, mites contained ecdysone and 20-hydroxyecdysone, which accounted for over 66% of the ecdysteroid detected. These results indicate that while V. jacobsoni are apparently unable to convert dietary sterols to cholesterol, they are able to produce significant amount of C(27) ecdysteroids in a low cholesterol environment.

  5. Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights.

    PubMed

    Heidinger, Ina Monika Margret; Meixner, Marina Doris; Berg, Stefan; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-07-01

    We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica) at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen's age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens.

  6. Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights.

    PubMed

    Heidinger, Ina Monika Margret; Meixner, Marina Doris; Berg, Stefan; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica) at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen's age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens. PMID:26462822

  7. Origin and function of the major royal jelly proteins of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) as members of the yellow gene family.

    PubMed

    Buttstedt, Anja; Moritz, Robin F A; Erler, Silvio

    2014-05-01

    In the honeybee, Apis mellifera, the queen larvae are fed with a diet exclusively composed of royal jelly (RJ), a secretion of the hypopharyngeal gland of young worker bees that nurse the brood. Up to 15% of RJ is composed of proteins, the nine most abundant of which have been termed major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs). Although it is widely accepted that RJ somehow determines the fate of a female larva and in spite of considerable research efforts, there are surprisingly few studies that address the biochemical characterisation and functions of these MRJPs. Here we review the research on MRJPs not only in honeybees but in hymenopteran insects in general and provide metadata analyses on genome organisation of mrjp genes, corroborating previous reports that MRJPs have important functions for insect development and not just a nutritional value for developing honeybee larvae.

  8. Observation of the Mating Behavior of Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queens Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): Factors Influencing the Duration and Frequency of Nuptial Flights

    PubMed Central

    Heidinger, Ina Monika Margret; Meixner, Marina Doris; Berg, Stefan; Büchler, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    We used radio-frequency identification (RFID) to record the duration and frequency of nuptial flights of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera carnica) at two mainland mating apiaries. We investigated the effect of a number of factors on flight duration and frequency: mating apiary, number of drone colonies, queen’s age and temperature. We found significant differences between the two locations concerning the number of flights on the first three days. We also observed an effect of the ambient temperature, with queens flying less often but longer at high temperatures compared to lower temperatures. Increasing the number of drone colonies from 33 to 80 colonies had no effect on the duration or on the frequency of nuptial flights. Since our results agree well with the results of previous studies, we suggest RFID as an appropriate tool to investigate the mating behavior of honey bee queens. PMID:26462822

  9. Long-term storage of Ascosphaera aggregata and Ascosphaera apis, pathogens of the leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) and the honey bee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Jensen, A B; James, R R; Eilenberg, J

    2009-06-01

    Survival rates of Ascosphaera aggregata and Ascosphaera apis over the course of a year were tested using different storage treatments. For spores, the storage methods tested were freeze-drying and ultra-low temperatures, and for hyphae, freeze-drying, agar slants, and two methods of ultra-low temperatures. Spores of A. aggregata and A. apis stored well at -80 degrees C and after freeze-drying. A. aggregata hyphae did not store well under any of the methods tested while A. apis hyphae survived well using cryopreservation. Spores produced from cryopreserved A. apis hyphae were infective. Long-term storage of these two important fungal bee diseases is thus possible. PMID:19332075

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takayuki; Kubo, Takeo

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The invasive Korea and Japan types of Varroa destructor, ectoparasitic mites of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera), are two partly isolated clones

    PubMed Central

    Solignac, Michel; Cornuet, Jean-Marie; Vautrin, Dominique; Le Conte, Yves; Anderson, Denis; Evans, Jay; Cros-Arteil, Sandrine; Navajas, Maria

    2005-01-01

    Varroa destructor, now a major pest of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, switched from its original host, the Eastern honeybee, A. cerana, ca. 50 years ago. So far, only two out of several known mitochondrial haplotypes of V. destructor have been found to be capable of reproducing on A. mellifera (Korea and Japan). These haplotypes are associated in almost complete cytonuclear disequilibrium to diagnostic alleles at 11 microsatellite loci. By contrast, microsatellite polymorphism within each type is virtually absent, because of a severe bottleneck at the time of host change. Accordingly, 12 mitochondrial sequences of 5185 nucleotides displayed 0.40% of nucleotide divergence between haplotypes and no intra haplotype variation. Hence, each type has a quasi-clonal structure. The nascent intratype variability is subsequent to the clone formation 50 years ago: in both types the variant alleles differ from the most common by one (in 10 cases), two (five cases) or three (one case) repeated motifs. In addition to individuals of the two ‘pure’ types, five F1 hybrids and 19 recombinant individuals (Japan alleles introgressed into the Korea genetic background) were detected. The existence of F1 and recombinant individuals in admixed populations requires that double infestations of honeybee cells occur in a high proportion but the persistence of pure types suggests a post-zygotic isolation between the two clones. PMID:15734696

  15. Effects of the organic acids produced by a lactic acid bacterium in Apis mellifera colony development, Nosema ceranae control and fumagillin efficiency.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Matías; Negri, Pedro; Plischuk, Santiago; Szawarski, Nicolás; De Piano, Fiorella; De Feudis, Leonardo; Eguaras, Martín; Audisio, Carina

    2013-12-27

    The European honey bee Apis mellifera is known to be affected by many parasites and pathogens that have great impact over the insect development. Among parasites affecting bee health, Nosema ceranae is one of the main biotic factors affecting colony populations. As honey bee populations decline, interest in pathogenic and mutualistic relationships between bees and microorganisms has increased. The main goal of the current study was to assess the effect of the oral administration of the metabolites produced by Lactobacillus johnsonii CRL1647 (mainly organic acids) supplemented in syrup, on: (I) N. ceranae sporulation dynamics before and after fumagillin application, and (II) performance of A. mellifera colonies. Different experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of these bacterial metabolites on bees: in vitro administration revealed no toxic effects against bees. Colonies fed with the lactic acids incremented their beehive population and also the amount of fat bodies per bee. Finally, the organic acids reduced the intensity of the pathogen after the second application of treatment as well as enhanced the fumagillin efficiency. This study provides important information for the development of new control substances against nosemosis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  17. Effects of the organic acids produced by a lactic acid bacterium in Apis mellifera colony development, Nosema ceranae control and fumagillin efficiency.

    PubMed

    Maggi, Matías; Negri, Pedro; Plischuk, Santiago; Szawarski, Nicolás; De Piano, Fiorella; De Feudis, Leonardo; Eguaras, Martín; Audisio, Carina

    2013-12-27

    The European honey bee Apis mellifera is known to be affected by many parasites and pathogens that have great impact over the insect development. Among parasites affecting bee health, Nosema ceranae is one of the main biotic factors affecting colony populations. As honey bee populations decline, interest in pathogenic and mutualistic relationships between bees and microorganisms has increased. The main goal of the current study was to assess the effect of the oral administration of the metabolites produced by Lactobacillus johnsonii CRL1647 (mainly organic acids) supplemented in syrup, on: (I) N. ceranae sporulation dynamics before and after fumagillin application, and (II) performance of A. mellifera colonies. Different experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of these bacterial metabolites on bees: in vitro administration revealed no toxic effects against bees. Colonies fed with the lactic acids incremented their beehive population and also the amount of fat bodies per bee. Finally, the organic acids reduced the intensity of the pathogen after the second application of treatment as well as enhanced the fumagillin efficiency. This study provides important information for the development of new control substances against nosemosis. PMID:23978352

  18. Morphological, molecular, and phylogenetic characterization of Nosema cerana, a microsporidian parasite isolated from the European honey bee, Apis mellifera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian parasite originally described from Apis cerana, has been found to infect Apis melllifera and is highly pathogenic to its new host. In the present study, data on N. ceranae ultrastructure, host tissue tropism, secondary structures of ribosomal RNA, and phylogenetic ...

  19. Spore Loads May Not be Used Alone as a Direct Indicator of the Severity of Nosema ceranae Infection in Honey Bees Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera:Apidae).

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Lin, Zhe-Guang; Huang, Shao-Kang; Sohr, Alex; Wu, Lyman; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-12-01

    Nosema ceranae Fries et al., 1996, a microsporidian parasite recently transferred from Asian honey bees Apis cerana F., 1793, to European honey bees Apis mellifera L., 1758, has been suspected as one of the major culprits of the worldwide honey bee colony losses. Spore load is a commonly used criterion to describe the intensity of Nosema infection. In this study, by providing Nosema-infected bees with sterilized pollen, we confirmed that pollen feeding increased the spore loads of honey bees by several times either in the presence or absence of a queen. By changing the amount of pollen consumed by bees in cages, we showed that spore loads increased with an increase in pollen consumption. Nosema infections decrease honey bee longevity and transcription of vitellogenin, either with or without pollen feeding. However, the reduction of pollen consumption had a greater impact on honey bee longevity and vitellogenin level than the increase of spore counts caused by pollen feeding. These results indicate that spore loads may not be used alone as a direct indicator of the severity of N. ceranae infection in honey bees.

  20. Species-specific diagnostics of Apis mellifera trypanosomatids: A nine-year survey (2007-2015) for trypanosomatids and microsporidians in Serbian honey bees.

    PubMed

    Stevanovic, Jevrosima; Schwarz, Ryan S; Vejnovic, Branislav; Evans, Jay D; Irwin, Rebecca E; Glavinic, Uros; Stanimirovic, Zoran

    2016-09-01

    In this study, honey bees collected in Serbia over 9 consecutive years (2007-2015) were retrospectively surveyed to determine the prevalence of eukaryotic gut parasites by molecular screening of archival DNA samples. We developed species-specific primers for PCR to detect the two known honey bee trypanosomatid species, Crithidia mellificae and the recently described Lotmaria passim. These primers were validated for target specificity under single and mixed-species conditions as well as against the bumblebee trypanosomatid Crithidia bombi. Infections by Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) were also determined using PCR. Samples from 162 colonies (18 from each year) originating from 57 different localities were surveyed. L. passim was detected in every year with an overall frequency of 62.3% and annual frequencies ranging from 38.9% to 83.3%. This provides the earliest confirmed record to date for L. passim and the first report of this species in Serbia. N. ceranae was ubiquitous, occurring in every year and at 95.7% overall frequency, ranging annually from 83.3% to 100%. The majority of colonies (60.5%) were co-infected with L. passim and N. ceranae, but colony infections by each species were statistically independent of one another over the nine years. Although C. mellificae and N. apis have both been reported recently at low frequency in Europe, neither of these species was detected in Serbia. These results support the hypothesis that L. passim has predominated over C. mellificae in A. mellifera during the past decade.

  1. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations

    PubMed Central

    Mortensen, Ashley N.; Ellis, James D.

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African−matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas. PMID:27518068

  2. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African-matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas.

  3. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African-matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas. PMID:27518068

  4. Metal contaminant accumulation in the hive: Consequences for whole-colony health and brood production in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Hladun, Kristen R; Di, Ning; Liu, Tong-Xian; Trumble, John T

    2016-02-01

    Metal pollution has been increasing rapidly over the past century, and at the same time, the human population has continued to rise and produce contaminants that may negatively impact pollinators. Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) forage over large areas and can collect contaminants from the environment. The primary objective of the present study was to determine whether the metal contaminants cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se) can have a detrimental effect on whole-colony health in the managed pollinator A. mellifera. The authors isolated small nucleus colonies under large cages and fed them an exclusive diet of sugar syrup and pollen patty spiked with Cd, Cu, Pb, and Se or a control (no additional metal). Treatment levels were based on concentrations in honey and pollen from contaminated hives around the world. They measured whole-colony health including wax, honey, and brood production; colony weight; brood survival; and metal accumulation in various life stages. Colonies treated with Cd or Cu contained more dead pupae within capped cells compared with control, and Se-treated colonies had lower total worker weights compared to control. Lead had a minimal effect on colony performance, although many members of the hive accumulated significant quantities of the metal. By examining the honey bee as a social organism through whole-colony assessments of toxicity, the authors found that the distribution of toxicants throughout the colony varied from metal to metal, some caste members were more susceptible to certain metals, and the colony's ability to grow over time may have been reduced in the presence of Se. Apiaries residing near metal-contaminated areas may be at risk and can suffer changes in colony dynamics and survival. PMID:26448590

  5. Quantification of toxins in a Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton cultivar and its potential effects on the honey bee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Han, Peng; Niu, Chang-Ying; Lei, Chao-Liang; Cui, Jin-Jie; Desneux, Nicolas

    2010-11-01

    Transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI cotton (CCRI41) is increasingly planted throughout China. However, negative effects of this cultivar on the honey bee Apis mellifera L., the most important pollinator for cultivated ecosystem, remained poorly investigated. The objective of our study was to evaluate the potential side effects of transgenic Cry1Ac + CpTI pollen from cotton on young adult honey bees A. mellifera L. Two points emphasized the significance of our study: (1) A higher expression level of insecticidal protein Cry1Ac in pollen tissues was detected (when compared with previous reports). In particular, Cry1Ac protein was detected at 300 ± 4.52 ng g(-1) [part per billion (ppb)] in pollen collected in July, (2) Effects on chronic mortality and feeding behaviour in honey bees were evaluated using a no-choice dietary feeding protocol with treated pollen, which guarantee the highest exposure level to bees potentially occurring in natural conditions (worst case scenario). Tests were also conducted using imidacloprid-treated pollen at a concentration of 48 ppb as positive control for sublethal effect on feeding behaviour. Our results suggested that Cry1Ac + CpTI pollen carried no lethal risk for honey bees. However, during a 7-day oral exposure to the various treatments (transgenic, imidacloprid-treated and control), honey bee feeding behaviour was disturbed and bees consumed significantly less CCRI41 cotton pollen than in the control group in which bees were exposed to conventional cotton pollen. It may indicate an antifeedant effect of CCRI41 pollen on honey bees and thus bees may be at risk because of large areas are planted with transgenic Bt cotton in China. This is the first report suggesting a potential sublethal effect of CCRI41 cotton pollen on honey bees. The implications of the results are discussed in terms of risk assessment for bees as well as for directions of future work involving risk assessment of CCRI41 cotton. PMID:20700762

  6. Metal contaminant accumulation in the hive: Consequences for whole-colony health and brood production in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Hladun, Kristen R; Di, Ning; Liu, Tong-Xian; Trumble, John T

    2016-02-01

    Metal pollution has been increasing rapidly over the past century, and at the same time, the human population has continued to rise and produce contaminants that may negatively impact pollinators. Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) forage over large areas and can collect contaminants from the environment. The primary objective of the present study was to determine whether the metal contaminants cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se) can have a detrimental effect on whole-colony health in the managed pollinator A. mellifera. The authors isolated small nucleus colonies under large cages and fed them an exclusive diet of sugar syrup and pollen patty spiked with Cd, Cu, Pb, and Se or a control (no additional metal). Treatment levels were based on concentrations in honey and pollen from contaminated hives around the world. They measured whole-colony health including wax, honey, and brood production; colony weight; brood survival; and metal accumulation in various life stages. Colonies treated with Cd or Cu contained more dead pupae within capped cells compared with control, and Se-treated colonies had lower total worker weights compared to control. Lead had a minimal effect on colony performance, although many members of the hive accumulated significant quantities of the metal. By examining the honey bee as a social organism through whole-colony assessments of toxicity, the authors found that the distribution of toxicants throughout the colony varied from metal to metal, some caste members were more susceptible to certain metals, and the colony's ability to grow over time may have been reduced in the presence of Se. Apiaries residing near metal-contaminated areas may be at risk and can suffer changes in colony dynamics and survival.

  7. Species-specific diagnostics of Apis mellifera trypanosomatids: A nine-year survey (2007-2015) for trypanosomatids and microsporidians in Serbian honey bees.

    PubMed

    Stevanovic, Jevrosima; Schwarz, Ryan S; Vejnovic, Branislav; Evans, Jay D; Irwin, Rebecca E; Glavinic, Uros; Stanimirovic, Zoran

    2016-09-01

    In this study, honey bees collected in Serbia over 9 consecutive years (2007-2015) were retrospectively surveyed to determine the prevalence of eukaryotic gut parasites by molecular screening of archival DNA samples. We developed species-specific primers for PCR to detect the two known honey bee trypanosomatid species, Crithidia mellificae and the recently described Lotmaria passim. These primers were validated for target specificity under single and mixed-species conditions as well as against the bumblebee trypanosomatid Crithidia bombi. Infections by Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) were also determined using PCR. Samples from 162 colonies (18 from each year) originating from 57 different localities were surveyed. L. passim was detected in every year with an overall frequency of 62.3% and annual frequencies ranging from 38.9% to 83.3%. This provides the earliest confirmed record to date for L. passim and the first report of this species in Serbia. N. ceranae was ubiquitous, occurring in every year and at 95.7% overall frequency, ranging annually from 83.3% to 100%. The majority of colonies (60.5%) were co-infected with L. passim and N. ceranae, but colony infections by each species were statistically independent of one another over the nine years. Although C. mellificae and N. apis have both been reported recently at low frequency in Europe, neither of these species was detected in Serbia. These results support the hypothesis that L. passim has predominated over C. mellificae in A. mellifera during the past decade. PMID:27392956

  8. Indoor winter fumigation of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies infested with Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) with formic acid is a potential control alternative in northern climates.

    PubMed

    Underwood, Robyn M; Currie, Robert W

    2004-04-01

    Formic acid treatment for the control of the ectoparasitic varroa mite, Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, infesting honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies is usually carried out as an in-hive outdoor treatment. This study examined the use of formic acid on wintered colonies kept indoors at 5 degrees C from 24 November 1999 to 24 March 2000. Colonies were placed in small treatment rooms that were not treated (control) or fumigated at three different concentrations of formic acid: low (mean 11.9 +/- 1.2 ppm), medium (mean 25.8 +/- 1.4 ppm), or high (mean 41.2 +/- 3.3 ppm), for 48 h on 22-24 January 2000. Queen bee, worker bee, and varroa mite mortality were monitored throughout the winter, and tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi (Rennie), prevalence and mean abundance of nosema, Nosema apis Zander, spores were assessed. This study revealed that formic acid fumigation of indoor-wintered honey bees is feasible and effective. The highest concentration significantly reduced the mean abundance of varroa mites and nosema spores without increasing bee mortality. Tracheal mite prevalence did not change significantly at any concentration, although we did not measure mortality directly. The highest concentration treatment killed 33.3% of queens compared with 4.8% loss in the control. Repeated fumigation periods at high concentrations or extended fumigation at low concentrations may increase the efficacy of this treatment method and should be tested in future studies. An understanding of the cause of queen loss and methods to prevent it must be developed for this method to be generally accepted.

  9. Bee-hawking by the wasp, Vespa velutina, on the honeybees Apis cerana and A. mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, K.; Radloff, S. E.; Li, J. J.; Hepburn, H. R.; Yang, M. X.; Zhang, L. J.; Neumann, P.

    2007-06-01

    The vespine wasps, Vespa velutina, specialise in hawking honeybee foragers returning to their nests. We studied their behaviour in China using native Apis cerana and introduced A. mellifera colonies. When the wasps are hawking, A. cerana recruits threefold more guard bees to stave off predation than A. mellifera. The former also utilises wing shimmering as a visual pattern disruption mechanism, which is not shown by A. mellifera. A. cerana foragers halve the time of normal flight needed to dart into the nest entrance, while A. mellifera actually slows down in sashaying flight manoeuvres. V. velutina preferentially hawks A. mellifera foragers when both A. mellifera and A. cerana occur in the same apiary. The pace of wasp-hawking was highest in mid-summer but the frequency of hawking wasps was three times higher at A. mellifera colonies than at the A. cerana colonies. The wasps were taking A. mellifera foragers at a frequency eightfold greater than A. cerana foragers. The final hawking success rates of the wasps were about three times higher for A. mellifera foragers than for A. cerana. The relative success of native A. cerana over European A. mellifera in thwarting predation by the wasp V. velutina is interpreted as the result of co-evolution between the Asian wasp and honeybee, respectively.

  10. Virus present in the reproductive tract of asymptomatic drones of honey bee (Apis mellifera l.), and possible infection of queen during mating.

    PubMed

    Da Cruz-Landim, Carminda; Roat, Thaisa C; Fernadez, Fernanda C

    2012-07-01

    Virus particles and viral inclusions were detected by transmission electron microscopy examination of sections of the seminal vesicles and mucus gland of asymptomatic young drones from colonies of Apis mellifera lightly infested by Varroa mite. In the mucus gland the infection was found in the muscular sheath and epithelium, while in the seminal vesicle in cells of the outer serosa. Isolated viral particles were also observed in the hemolymph occupying the intercellular spaces of the muscular sheath fibers. In the muscle the virus appeared as polygonal crystalloid inclusions, while in the epithelium mainly inside cytoplasmic vesicles. The infected cells apparently are not damaged. The virus particles are present in the hemolymph and forming more mature structures, as crystalloids, in the muscle. This suggests that the virus is liberated in the body fluid and infects the tissues penetrating the cells through endocytosis. The presence of virus in mucus gland epithelial vesicles raise the possibility of its transference to the gland secretion and therefore, to the semen.

  11. Natural Larval Diet Differently Influences the Pattern of Developmental Changes in DNA 5-Methylcytosine Levels in Apis mellifera Queens as Compared with Workers and Drones.

    PubMed

    Strachecka, A; Olszewski, K; Bajda, M; Demetraki-Paleolog, J

    2015-08-01

    The principal mechanism of gene activation/silencing is DNA 5-methylcytosine methylation. This study was aimed at determining global DNA methylation levels in larvae, prepupae, pupae, and 1-day-old adults of Apis mellifera queens, workers and drones. The Imprint Methylated DNA Quantification Kit MDQ1 was used. Percentages of DNA 5-methylcytosine were low and relatively similar in the larvae of all the castes until 4th day of larval development (3-5%). However, they were higher in the drone and worker larvae than in the queen larvae. Generally, the developmental patterns of changes in the DNA methylation levels were different in the queens in comparison with the drones and workers. While methylation increased in the queens, it decreased in the drones and workers. Methylated DNA methylcytosine percentages and weights in the queen prepupae (15%, 9.18 ng) and pupae (21%, 10.74 ng) were, respectively, three and four times higher than in the worker/drone brood of the same age (2.5-4%, 0.03-0.07 ng). Only in the queens, after a substantial increase, did DNA methylation decrease almost twice between the pupal stage and queen emergence (from 21% and 10.74 ng to 12% and 6.78 ng). This finding seems very interesting, particularly for experimental gerontology.

  12. Temporal and morphological differences in post-embryonic differentiation of the mushroom bodies in the brain of workers, queens, and drones of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera, Apidae).

    PubMed

    Roat, Thaisa Cristina; da Cruz Landim, Carminda

    2008-12-01

    The mushroom bodies are structures present in the insect brain described as centers for the neural basis of learning, memory, and other higher functions. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are insects with a sophisticated system of spatial orientation and possess well-developed learning and memory capabilities, which are associated with neural and brain structures. Thus, the present study aimed to compare the mushroom bodies during post-embryonic development and in newly emerged males, workers, and queens using light and transmission electron microscopy to examine how differential morphological characteristics are established during development. Measurements of structures were also taken in several post-embryonic developmental phases in order to evaluate size differences during the process and in the adult organs. The results show that workers, queens, and males exhibit temporal and size differences during the post-embryonic development of mushroom bodies, probably as adaptations to differences in behavior complexity. The mushroom bodies of workers are precociously formed and are larger than those of queens and drones. Thus, workers have the largest mushroom bodies resulting from differential development during metamorphosis.

  13. In situ localization of heat-shock and histone proteins in honey-bee (Apis mellifera l.) larvae infected with Paenibacillus larvae.

    PubMed

    Gregorc, A; Bowen, I D

    1999-01-01

    The immunohistochemical localization of the heat shock proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp90) and histone protein in healthy and Paenibacillus larvae infected honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) larvae has been studied. Hsp70 was found in the nuclei and the cytoplasm of infected midgut, salivary gland cells and haemocytes, but not in uninfected larvae. Hsp90 was localized in both infected and uninfected cells. Exposed histone proteins were localized in the nuclei of dying uninfected cells undergoing programmed cell death. The distribution of histone protein in uninfected cells of midgut, salivary gland, and other tissues was nuclear and indicative of normal programmed cell death at levels between 1 and 5%. After applying histone protein antibodies to P. larvae infected honeybee larvae, the DAB based reaction product was located in the nuclei or immediate surroundings of all larval cells. The Hsp70, Hsp90 and histone protein distribution patterns are discussed in relation to the morphological, cytochemical and immunocytochemical characteristics of programmed cell death and pathological necrosis. Results produced by methyl green-pyronin staining confirm an elevation of RNA levels in normal programmed cell death and a reduced staining for RNA in necrotic infected cells. PMID:10562442

  14. Temporal variation in the genetic structure of a drone congregation area: an insight into the population dynamics of wild African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Jaffé, R; Dietemann, V; Crewe, R M; Moritz, R F A

    2009-04-01

    The mating system of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been regarded as one of the most panmictic in the animal kingdom, with thousands of males aggregating in drone congregation areas (DCAs) that virgin queens visit to mate with tens of partners. Although males from many colonies gather at such congregations, the temporal changes in the colonies contributing drones remain unknown. Yet, changes in the DCAs' genetic structure will ultimately determine population gene flow and effective population size. By repeatedly sampling drones from an African DCA over a period of 3 years, we studied the temporal changes in the genetic structure of a wild honeybee population. Using three sets of tightly linked microsatellite markers, we were able to reconstruct individual queen genotypes with a high accuracy, follow them through time and estimate their rate of replacement. The number of queens contributing drones to the DCA varied from 12 to 72 and was correlated with temperature and rainfall. We found that more than 80% of these queens were replaced by mostly unrelated ones in successive eight months sampling intervals, which resulted in a clear temporal genetic differentiation of the DCA. Our results suggest that the frequent long-range migration of colonies without nest-site fidelity is the main driver of this high queen turnover. DCAs of African honeybees should thus be regarded as extremely dynamic systems which together with migration boost the effective population size and maintain a high genetic diversity in the population.

  15. Laboratory bioassays on the impact of cadmium, copper and lead on the development and survival of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) larvae and foragers.

    PubMed

    Di, Ning; Hladun, Kristen R; Zhang, Kai; Liu, Tong-Xian; Trumble, John T

    2016-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have been widely distributed around the world to serve as pollinators for agriculture. They can encounter metal pollutants through various routes of exposure, including foraging on contaminated plant resources. Chronic and acute toxicity tests were conducted on larvae using artificial diets and on foragers using solutions of 50% sucrose, which contained cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb). We found that mortality increased in both larvae and foragers in a dose-dependent manner. Control larvae had higher relative growth indices (RGI) from day 6 to day 10 compared to all metal treatments, demonstrating substantial negative effects of metals on development. Copper was the least toxic to larvae with an LC50 of 6.97 mg L(-1). For foragers, Pb had the highest LC50, which was 345 mg L(-1). Foragers and larvae accumulated substantial quantities of all metals, and subsequent sucrose consumption decreased after dosing. Overall, honeybee larvae and foragers suffered detrimental effects when they were exposed to ecologically-relevant concentrations of Cd, Cu and Pb. PMID:27011322

  16. Temporal variation in the genetic structure of a drone congregation area: an insight into the population dynamics of wild African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Jaffé, R; Dietemann, V; Crewe, R M; Moritz, R F A

    2009-04-01

    The mating system of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been regarded as one of the most panmictic in the animal kingdom, with thousands of males aggregating in drone congregation areas (DCAs) that virgin queens visit to mate with tens of partners. Although males from many colonies gather at such congregations, the temporal changes in the colonies contributing drones remain unknown. Yet, changes in the DCAs' genetic structure will ultimately determine population gene flow and effective population size. By repeatedly sampling drones from an African DCA over a period of 3 years, we studied the temporal changes in the genetic structure of a wild honeybee population. Using three sets of tightly linked microsatellite markers, we were able to reconstruct individual queen genotypes with a high accuracy, follow them through time and estimate their rate of replacement. The number of queens contributing drones to the DCA varied from 12 to 72 and was correlated with temperature and rainfall. We found that more than 80% of these queens were replaced by mostly unrelated ones in successive eight months sampling intervals, which resulted in a clear temporal genetic differentiation of the DCA. Our results suggest that the frequent long-range migration of colonies without nest-site fidelity is the main driver of this high queen turnover. DCAs of African honeybees should thus be regarded as extremely dynamic systems which together with migration boost the effective population size and maintain a high genetic diversity in the population. PMID:19368651

  17. 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.

  18. Evaluation of pesticide toxicity at their field recommended doses to honeybees, Apis cerana and A. mellifera through laboratory, semi-field and field studies.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Johnson; Sah, Khushboo; Jain, S K; Bhatt, J C; Sushil, S N

    2015-01-01

    A series of experiments were carried out to determine the acute toxicity of pesticides in the laboratory, toxicity through spray on flowering plants of mustard (Tier II evaluation) and field on both Apis cerana and A. mellifera bees. The overall mortality of honey bees through topical (direct contact) were found significantly higher than that of indirect filter paper