Science.gov

Sample records for bee apoid history

  1. The oldest fossil bee: Apoid history, evolutionary stasis, and antiquity of social behavior

    PubMed Central

    Michener, Charles D.; Grimaldi, David A.

    1988-01-01

    Trigona prisca, a stingless honey bee (Apidae; Meliponinae), is reported from Cretaceous New Jersey amber (96-74 million years before present). This is about twice the age of the oldest previously known fossil bee, although Trigona is one of the most derived bee genera. T. prisca is closely similar to modern neotropical species. Most of bee evolution probably occurred during the ≈50 million years between the beginning of the Cretaceous when flowering plants (on which bees depend) appeared and the time of T. prisca. Since then, in this phyletic line of Meliponinae, there has been almost no morphological evolution. Since the fossil is a worker, social organization had arisen by its time. Images PMID:16593976

  2. The bee tree of life: a supermatrix approach to apoid phylogeny and biogeography

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Bees are the primary pollinators of angiosperms throughout the world. There are more than 16,000 described species, with broad variation in life history traits such as nesting habitat, diet, and social behavior. Despite their importance as pollinators, the evolution of bee biodiversity is understudied: relationships among the seven families of bees remain controversial, and no empirical global-level reconstruction of historical biogeography has been attempted. Morphological studies have generally suggested that the phylogeny of bees is rooted near the family Colletidae, whereas many molecular studies have suggested a root node near (or within) Melittidae. Previous molecular studies have focused on a relatively small sample of taxa (~150 species) and genes (seven at most). Public databases contain an enormous amount of DNA sequence data that has not been comprehensively analysed in the context of bee evolution. Results We downloaded, aligned, concatenated, and analysed all available protein-coding nuclear gene DNA sequence data in GenBank as of October, 2011. Our matrix consists of 20 genes, with over 17,000 aligned nucleotide sites, for over 1,300 bee and apoid wasp species, representing over two-thirds of bee genera. Whereas the matrix is large in terms of number of genes and taxa, there is a significant amount of missing data: only ~15% of the matrix is populated with data. The placement of the root as well as relationships between Andrenidae and other bee families remain ambiguous, as several alternative maximum-likelihood estimates fall within the statistically credible set. However, we recover strong bootstrap support for relationships among many families and for their monophyly. Ancestral geographic range reconstruction suggests a likely origin of bees in the southern hemisphere, with Melittidae ancestrally located within Africa, and Halictidae, Colletidae, and Apidae within the New World. Conclusions Our study affirms the monophyly of each bee

  3. Evolutionary history of nematodes associated with sweat bees.

    PubMed

    McFrederick, Quinn S; Taylor, Douglas R

    2013-03-01

    Organisms that live in close association with other organisms make up a large part of the world's diversity. One driver of this diversity is the evolution of host-species specificity, which can occur via reproductive isolation following a host-switch or, given the correct circumstances, via cospeciation. In this study, we explored the diversity and evolutionary history of Acrostichus nematodes that are associated with halictid bees in North America. First, we conducted surveys of bees in Virginia, and found six halictid species that host Acrostichus. To test the hypothesis of cospeciation, we constructed phylogenetic hypotheses of Acrostichus based on three genes. We found Acrostichus puri and Acrostichus halicti to be species complexes comprising cryptic, host-specific species. Although several nodes in the host and symbiont phylogenies were congruent and tests for cospeciation were significant, the host's biogeography, the apparent patchiness of the association across the host's phylogeny, and the amount of evolution in the nematode sequence suggested a mixture of cospeciation, host switching, and extinction events instead of strict cospeciation. Cospeciation can explain the relationships between Ac. puri and its augochlorine hosts, but colonization of Halictus hosts is more likely than cospeciation. The nematodes are vertically transmitted, but sexual transmission is also likely. Both of these transmission modes may explain host-species specificity and congruent bee and nematode phylogenies. Additionally, all halictid hosts come from eusocial or socially polymorphic lineages, suggesting that sociality may be a factor in the suitability of hosts for Acrostichus.

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

    PubMed

    Sammataro, D; Gerson, U; Needham, G

    2000-01-01

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

  5. Phylogenomic Insights into the Evolution of Stinging Wasps and the Origins of Ants and Bees.

    PubMed

    Branstetter, Michael G; Danforth, Bryan N; Pitts, James P; Faircloth, Brant C; Ward, Philip S; Buffington, Matthew L; Gates, Michael W; Kula, Robert R; Brady, Seán G

    2017-04-03

    The stinging wasps (Hymenoptera: Aculeata) are an extremely diverse lineage of hymenopteran insects, encompassing over 70,000 described species and a diversity of life history traits, including ectoparasitism, cleptoparasitism, predation, pollen feeding (bees [Anthophila] and Masarinae), and eusociality (social vespid wasps, ants, and some bees) [1]. The most well-studied lineages of Aculeata are the ants, which are ecologically dominant in most terrestrial ecosystems [2], and the bees, the most important lineage of angiosperm-pollinating insects [3]. Establishing the phylogenetic affinities of ants and bees helps us understand and reconstruct patterns of social evolution as well as fully appreciate the biological implications of the switch from carnivory to pollen feeding (pollenivory). Despite recent advancements in aculeate phylogeny [4-11], considerable uncertainty remains regarding higher-level relationships within Aculeata, including the phylogenetic affinities of ants and bees [5-7]. We used ultraconserved element (UCE) phylogenomics [7, 12] to resolve relationships among stinging-wasp families, gathering sequence data from >800 UCE loci and 187 samples, including 30 out of 31 aculeate families. We analyzed the 187-taxon dataset using multiple analytical approaches, and we evaluated several alternative taxon sets. We also tested alternative hypotheses for the phylogenetic positions of ants and bees. Our results present a highly supported phylogeny of the stinging wasps. Most importantly, we find unequivocal evidence that ants are the sister group to bees+apoid wasps (Apoidea) and that bees are nested within a paraphyletic Crabronidae. We also demonstrate that taxon choice can fundamentally impact tree topology and clade support in phylogenomic inference.

  6. Profiling crop pollinators: life history traits predict habitat use and crop visitation by Mediterranean wild bees.

    PubMed

    Pisanty, Gideon; Mandelik, Yael

    2015-04-01

    Wild pollinators, bees in particular, may greatly contribute to crop pollination and provide a safety net against declines in commercial pollinators. However, the identity, life history traits, and environmental sensitivities of main crop pollinator species.have received limited attention. These are crucial for predicting pollination services of different communities and for developing management practices that enhance crop pollinators. We sampled wild bees in three crop systems (almond, confection sunflower, and seed watermelon) in a mosaic Israeli Mediterranean landscape. Bees were sampled in field/orchard edges and interiors, and in seminatural scrub surrounding the fields/orchards. We also analyzed land cover at 50-2500 m radii around fields/orchards. We used this data to distinguish crop from non-crop pollinators based on a set of life history traits (nesting, lecty, sociality, body size) linked to habitat preference and crop visitation. Bee abundance and species richness decreased from the surrounding seminatural habitat to the field/orchard interior, especially across the seminatural habitat-field edge ecotone. Thus, although rich bee communities were found near fields, only small fractions crossed the ecotone and visited crop flowers in substantial numbers. The bee assemblage in agricultural fields/orchards and on crop flowers was dominated by ground-nesting bees of the tribe Halictini, which tend to nest within fields. Bees' habitat preferences were determined mainly by nesting guild, whereas crop visitation was determined mainly by sociality. Lecty and body size also affected both measures. The percentage of surrounding seminatural habitat at 250-2500 m radii had a positive effect on wild bee diversity in field edges, for all bee guilds, while at 50-100 m radii, only aboveground nesters were positively affected. In sum, we found that crop and non-crop pollinators are distinguished by behavioral and morphological traits. Hence, analysis of life-history

  7. 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.

  8. The Complex Demographic History and Evolutionary Origin of the Western Honey Bee, Apis Mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Neil D.; Ramírez, Santiago R.

    2017-01-01

    The western honey bee, Apis mellifera, provides critical pollination services to agricultural crops worldwide. However, despite substantial interest and prior investigation, the early evolution and subsequent diversification of this important pollinator remain uncertain. The primary hypotheses place the origin of A. mellifera in either Asia or Africa, with subsequent radiations proceeding from one of these regions. Here, we use two publicly available whole-genome data sets plus newly sequenced genomes and apply multiple population genetic analysis methods to investigate the patterns of ancestry and admixture in native honey bee populations from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The combination of these data sets is critical to the analyses, as each contributes samples from geographic locations lacking in the other, thereby producing the most complete set of honey bee populations available to date. We find evidence supporting an origin of A. mellifera in the Middle East or North Eastern Africa, with the A and Y lineages representing the earliest branching lineages. This finding has similarities with multiple contradictory hypotheses and represents a disentangling of genetic relationships, geographic proximity, and secondary contact to produce a more accurate picture of the origins of A. mellifera. We also investigate how previous studies came to their various conclusions based on incomplete sampling of populations, and illustrate the importance of complete sampling in understanding evolutionary processes. These results provide fundamental knowledge about genetic diversity within Old World honey bee populations and offer insight into the complex history of an important pollinator. PMID:28164223

  9. Photic niche invasions: phylogenetic history of the dim-light foraging augochlorine bees (Halictidae)

    PubMed Central

    Tierney, Simon M.; Sanjur, Oris; Grajales, Grethel G.; Santos, Leandro M.; Bermingham, Eldredge; Wcislo, William T.

    2012-01-01

    Most bees rely on flowering plants and hence are diurnal foragers. From this ancestral state, dim-light foraging in bees requires significant adaptations to a new photic environment. We used DNA sequences to evaluate the phylogenetic history of the most diverse clade of Apoidea that is adapted to dim-light environments (Augochlorini: Megalopta, Megaloptidia and Megommation). The most speciose lineage, Megalopta, is distal to the remaining dim-light genera, and its closest diurnal relative (Xenochlora) is recovered as a lineage that has secondarily reverted to diurnal foraging. Tests for adaptive protein evolution indicate that long-wavelength opsin shows strong evidence of stabilizing selection, with no more than five codons (2%) under positive selection, depending on analytical procedure. In the branch leading to Megalopta, the amino acid of the single positively selected codon is conserved among ancestral Halictidae examined, and is homologous to codons known to influence molecular structure at the chromophore-binding pocket. Theoretically, such mutations can shift photopigment λmax sensitivity and enable visual transduction in alternate photic environments. Results are discussed in light of the available evidence on photopigment structure, morphological specialization and biogeographic distributions over geological time. PMID:21795273

  10. Photic niche invasions: phylogenetic history of the dim-light foraging augochlorine bees (Halictidae).

    PubMed

    Tierney, Simon M; Sanjur, Oris; Grajales, Grethel G; Santos, Leandro M; Bermingham, Eldredge; Wcislo, William T

    2012-02-22

    Most bees rely on flowering plants and hence are diurnal foragers. From this ancestral state, dim-light foraging in bees requires significant adaptations to a new photic environment. We used DNA sequences to evaluate the phylogenetic history of the most diverse clade of Apoidea that is adapted to dim-light environments (Augochlorini: Megalopta, Megaloptidia and Megommation). The most speciose lineage, Megalopta, is distal to the remaining dim-light genera, and its closest diurnal relative (Xenochlora) is recovered as a lineage that has secondarily reverted to diurnal foraging. Tests for adaptive protein evolution indicate that long-wavelength opsin shows strong evidence of stabilizing selection, with no more than five codons (2%) under positive selection, depending on analytical procedure. In the branch leading to Megalopta, the amino acid of the single positively selected codon is conserved among ancestral Halictidae examined, and is homologous to codons known to influence molecular structure at the chromophore-binding pocket. Theoretically, such mutations can shift photopigment λ(max) sensitivity and enable visual transduction in alternate photic environments. Results are discussed in light of the available evidence on photopigment structure, morphological specialization and biogeographic distributions over geological time.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Evolutionary history of the honey bee Apis mellifera inferred from mitochondrial DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Garnery, L; Cornuet, J M; Solignac, M

    1992-10-01

    Variability of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. has been investigated by restriction and sequence analyses on a sample of 68 colonies from ten different subspecies. The 19 mtDNA types detected are clustered in three major phylogenetic lineages. These clades correspond well to three groups of populations with distinct geographical distributions: branch A for African subspecies (intermissa, monticola, scutellata, andansonii and capensis), branch C for North Mediterranean subspecies (caucasica, carnica and ligustica) and branch M for the West European populations (mellifera subspecies). These results partially confirm previous hypotheses based on morphometrical and allozymic studies, the main difference concerning North African populations, now assigned to branch A instead of branch M. The pattern of spatial structuring suggests the Middle East as the centre of dispersion of the species, in accordance with the geographic areas of the other species of the same genus. Based on a conservative 2% divergence rate per Myr, the separation of the three branches has been dated at about 1 Myr BP.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Similar but not the same: insights into the evolutionary history of paralogous sex-determining genes of the dwarf honey bee Apis florea

    PubMed Central

    Biewer, M; Lechner, S; Hasselmann, M

    2016-01-01

    Studying the fate of duplicated genes provides informative insight into the evolutionary plasticity of biological pathways to which they belong. In the paralogous sex-determining genes complementary sex determiner (csd) and feminizer (fem) of honey bee species (genus Apis), only heterozygous csd initiates female development. Here, the full-length coding sequences of the genes csd and fem of the phylogenetically basal dwarf honey bee Apis florea are characterized. Compared with other Apis species, remarkable evolutionary changes in the formation and localization of a protein-interacting (coiled-coil) motif and in the amino acids coding for the csd characteristic hypervariable region (HVR) are observed. Furthermore, functionally different csd alleles were isolated as genomic fragments from a random population sample. In the predicted potential specifying domain (PSD), a high ratio of πN/πS=1.6 indicated positive selection, whereas signs of balancing selection, commonly found in other Apis species, are missing. Low nucleotide diversity on synonymous and genome-wide, non-coding sites as well as site frequency analyses indicated a strong impact of genetic drift in A. florea, likely linked to its biology. Along the evolutionary trajectory of ~30 million years of csd evolution, episodic diversifying selection seems to have acted differently among distinct Apis branches. Consistently low amino-acid differences within the PSD among pairs of functional heterozygous csd alleles indicate that the HVR is the most important region for determining allele specificity. We propose that in the early history of the lineage-specific fem duplication giving rise to csd in Apis, A. florea csd stands as a remarkable example for the plasticity of initial sex-determining signals. PMID:26153222

  17. Bee poison

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002847.htm Bee poison To use the sharing features on this page, ... of insect, if possible Time of the sting Poison Control Your local poison center can be reached ...

  18. The Bee Disease Diagnostic Service - 100 Years and Growing at the USDA Bee Research laboratory, Beltsville, MD

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article discusses the history of honey bee research in the Washington, D.C. area including the 100 year old bee disease diagnostic service available for beekeepers and apiary inspectors. This service provides the Bee Research Laboratory with first-hand knowledge of the problems facing the beek...

  19. Bumble bees of the western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants. Thirty species of bumble bees are native to the western United States and this publication is a guide to the natural history and identification of these species. We present phenology graphs, host-plant associations, detailed ...

  20. Bee Stings & Their Consequences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rupp, Robert M.

    1991-01-01

    Relevant information concerning bee stings is provided. Possible reactions to a bee sting and their symptoms, components of bee venom, diagnosis of hypersensitivity, and bee sting prevention and treatment are topics of discussion. The possibility of bee stings occurring during field trips and the required precautions are discussed. (KR)

  1. Evolutionary History of the Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Peters, Ralph S; Krogmann, Lars; Mayer, Christoph; Donath, Alexander; Gunkel, Simon; Meusemann, Karen; Kozlov, Alexey; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Petersen, Malte; Lanfear, Robert; Diez, Patricia A; Heraty, John; Kjer, Karl M; Klopfstein, Seraina; Meier, Rudolf; Polidori, Carlo; Schmitt, Thomas; Liu, Shanlin; Zhou, Xin; Wappler, Torsten; Rust, Jes; Misof, Bernhard; Niehuis, Oliver

    2017-04-03

    Hymenoptera (sawflies, wasps, ants, and bees) are one of four mega-diverse insect orders, comprising more than 153,000 described and possibly up to one million undescribed extant species [1, 2]. As parasitoids, predators, and pollinators, Hymenoptera play a fundamental role in virtually all terrestrial ecosystems and are of substantial economic importance [1, 3]. To understand the diversification and key evolutionary transitions of Hymenoptera, most notably from phytophagy to parasitoidism and predation (and vice versa) and from solitary to eusocial life, we inferred the phylogeny and divergence times of all major lineages of Hymenoptera by analyzing 3,256 protein-coding genes in 173 insect species. Our analyses suggest that extant Hymenoptera started to diversify around 281 million years ago (mya). The primarily ectophytophagous sawflies are found to be monophyletic. The species-rich lineages of parasitoid wasps constitute a monophyletic group as well. The little-known, species-poor Trigonaloidea are identified as the sister group of the stinging wasps (Aculeata). Finally, we located the evolutionary root of bees within the apoid wasp family "Crabronidae." Our results reveal that the extant sawfly diversity is largely the result of a previously unrecognized major radiation of phytophagous Hymenoptera that did not lead to wood-dwelling and parasitoidism. They also confirm that all primarily parasitoid wasps are descendants of a single endophytic parasitoid ancestor that lived around 247 mya. Our findings provide the basis for a natural classification of Hymenoptera and allow for future comparative analyses of Hymenoptera, including their genomes, morphology, venoms, and parasitoid and eusocial life styles.

  2. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Modeling Honey Bee Populations

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Effects of suburbanization on forest bee communities.

    PubMed

    Carper, Adrian L; Adler, Lynn S; Warren, Paige S; Irwin, Rebecca E

    2014-04-01

    Urbanization is a dominant form of land-use change driving species distributions, abundances, and diversity. Previous research has documented the negative impacts of urbanization on the abundance and diversity of many groups of organisms. However, some organisms, such as bees, may benefit from moderate levels of development, depending on how development alters the availability of foraging and nesting resources. To determine how one type of low-intensity human development, suburbanization, affects bee abundance and diversity and the mechanisms involved, we surveyed bees across suburban and natural forests in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. We sampled for bees using a combination of bee bowls and hand-netting from March through July of 2008 and 2009. We found higher bee abundance in suburban than natural forests, and although observed species richness was greater in suburban than natural forests, there were no significant differences in rarefied richness or evenness estimates in either year. In addition, the effects of suburbanization were similar across bee species of varying ecological and life-history characteristics. At the local scale, bee abundance and species richness were both positively related to the abundance and richness of flowering species within forests, while the proportion of surrounding developed open areas, such as yards and roadsides, was a strong positive predictor of both bee abundance and richness at the landscape scale. These results suggest that open habitats and the availability of floral resources in suburban sites can support abundant and diverse bee communities and underscore the potential for native bee conservation in urban habitats.

  5. Neighbourhood Society: Nesting Dynamics, Usurpations and Social Behaviour in Solitary Bees

    PubMed Central

    Černá, Kateřina; Zemenová, Monika; Macháčková, Lenka; Kolínová, Zdislava; Straka, Jakub

    2013-01-01

    Intraspecific cleptoparasitism represents a facultative strategy advantageous for reducing time and energy costs. However, only a few studies about nesting dynamics have described intraspecific cleptoparasitic behaviour in obligate solitary bees. We focused on nesting dynamics with the characterisation of nest owner replacements and frequency of true usurpation in four aggregating species belonging to different phylogenetic lineages – Andrena vaga (Andrenidae), Anthophora plumipes (Apidae), Colletes cunicularius (Colletidae), and Osmia rufa (Megachilidae). Our study, based on the regular observation of individually marked females, shows that nest owner replacement affects 10–45% of nests across all of the studied species and years. However, 39–90% of these nests had been abandoned before owner change and thus true nest usurpations represent only a part of observed nest replacement cases. Females tend to abandon their nests regularly and found new ones when they live long enough, which is in accordance with risk-spreading strategy. We suggest that the original facultative strategy of observed solitary bees during nest founding is not cleptoparasitism per se but rather reuse of any pre-existing nest (similar to “entering” strategy in apoid wasps). This is supported by gradual increase of nests founded by “entering” during the season with an increase in the number of available nests. Although the frequent reuse of conspecific nests results in frequent contact between solitary females, and rarely, in the short-term coexistence of two females in one nest, we detected unexpectedly low level of conflict in these neighbourhood societies. We suggest that nesting dynamics with regular nest switching and reusing reduces long-term and costly intraspecific aggression, a key factor for the origin and evolution of sociality. PMID:24066074

  6. Bee-Wild about Pollinators!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Bonnie; Kil, Jenny; Evans, Elaine; Koomen, Michele Hollingsworth

    2014-01-01

    With their sunny stripes and fuzzy bodies, bees are beloved--but unfortunately, they are in trouble. Bee decline, of both wild bees as well as managed bees like honey bees, has been in the news for the last several years. Habitat loss, diseases, pests, and pesticides have made it difficult for bees to survive in many parts of our world (Walsh…

  7. Gentle Africanized bees on an oceanic island.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Marchand, Bert; Oskay, Devrim; Giray, Tugrul

    2012-11-01

    Oceanic islands have reduced resources and natural enemies and potentially affect life history traits of arriving organisms. Among the most spectacular invasions in the Western hemisphere is that of the Africanized honeybee. We hypothesized that in the oceanic island Puerto Rico, Africanized bees will exhibit differences from the mainland population such as for defensiveness and other linked traits. We evaluated the extent of Africanization through three typical Africanized traits: wing size, defensive behavior, and resistance to Varroa destructor mites. All sampled colonies were Africanized by maternal descent, with over 65% presence of European alleles at the S-3 nuclear locus. In two assays evaluating defense, Puerto Rican bees showed low defensiveness similar to European bees. In morphology and resistance to mites, Africanized bees from Puerto Rico are similar to other Africanized bees. In behavioral assays on mechanisms of resistance to Varroa, we directly observed that Puerto Rican Africanized bees groomed-off and bit the mites as been observed in other studies. In no other location, Africanized bees have reduced defensiveness while retaining typical traits such as wing size and mite resistance. This mosaic of traits that has resulted during the invasion of an oceanic island has implications for behavior, evolution, and agriculture.

  8. Gentle Africanized bees on an oceanic island

    PubMed Central

    Rivera-Marchand, Bert; Oskay, Devrim; Giray, Tugrul

    2012-01-01

    Oceanic islands have reduced resources and natural enemies and potentially affect life history traits of arriving organisms. Among the most spectacular invasions in the Western hemisphere is that of the Africanized honeybee. We hypothesized that in the oceanic island Puerto Rico, Africanized bees will exhibit differences from the mainland population such as for defensiveness and other linked traits. We evaluated the extent of Africanization through three typical Africanized traits: wing size, defensive behavior, and resistance to Varroa destructor mites. All sampled colonies were Africanized by maternal descent, with over 65% presence of European alleles at the S-3 nuclear locus. In two assays evaluating defense, Puerto Rican bees showed low defensiveness similar to European bees. In morphology and resistance to mites, Africanized bees from Puerto Rico are similar to other Africanized bees. In behavioral assays on mechanisms of resistance to Varroa, we directly observed that Puerto Rican Africanized bees groomed-off and bit the mites as been observed in other studies. In no other location, Africanized bees have reduced defensiveness while retaining typical traits such as wing size and mite resistance. This mosaic of traits that has resulted during the invasion of an oceanic island has implications for behavior, evolution, and agriculture. PMID:23144660

  9. Blackawton bees

    PubMed Central

    Blackawton, P. S.; Airzee, S.; Allen, A.; Baker, S.; Berrow, A.; Blair, C.; Churchill, M.; Coles, J.; Cumming, R. F.-J.; Fraquelli, L.; Hackford, C.; Hinton Mellor, A.; Hutchcroft, M.; Ireland, B.; Jewsbury, D.; Littlejohns, A.; Littlejohns, G. M.; Lotto, M.; McKeown, J.; O'Toole, A.; Richards, H.; Robbins-Davey, L.; Roblyn, S.; Rodwell-Lynn, H.; Schenck, D.; Springer, J.; Wishy, A.; Rodwell-Lynn, T.; Strudwick, D.; Lotto, R. B.

    2011-01-01

    Background Real science has the potential to not only amaze, but also transform the way one thinks of the world and oneself. This is because the process of science is little different from the deeply resonant, natural processes of play. Play enables humans (and other mammals) to discover (and create) relationships and patterns. When one adds rules to play, a game is created. This is science: the process of playing with rules that enables one to reveal previously unseen patterns of relationships that extend our collective understanding of nature and human nature. When thought of in this way, science education becomes a more enlightened and intuitive process of asking questions and devising games to address those questions. But, because the outcome of all game-playing is unpredictable, supporting this ‘messyness’, which is the engine of science, is critical to good science education (and indeed creative education generally). Indeed, we have learned that doing ‘real’ science in public spaces can stimulate tremendous interest in children and adults in understanding the processes by which we make sense of the world. The present study (on the vision of bumble-bees) goes even further, since it was not only performed outside my laboratory (in a Norman church in the southwest of England), but the ‘games’ were themselves devised in collaboration with 25 8- to 10-year-old children. They asked the questions, hypothesized the answers, designed the games (in other words, the experiments) to test these hypotheses and analysed the data. They also drew the figures (in coloured pencil) and wrote the paper. Their headteacher (Dave Strudwick) and I devised the educational programme (we call ‘i,scientist’), and I trained the bees and transcribed the childrens' words into text (which was done with smaller groups of children at the school's local village pub). So what follows is a novel study (scientifically and conceptually) in ‘kids speak’ without references to past

  10. Microbial Communities of Three Sympatric Australian Stingless Bee Species

    PubMed Central

    Leonhardt, Sara D.; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus spec.), revealing – among other taxa – host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus) that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini) of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4–5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association. PMID:25148082

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  12. One World: Service Bees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomason, Rhonda

    2009-01-01

    Bees are a vital part of the ecology. People of conscience are a vital part of society. In Nina Frenkel's "One World" poster, the bee is also a metaphor for the role of the individual in a diverse society. This article presents a lesson that uses Frenkel's poster to help early-grades students connect these ideas and explore both the importance of…

  13. Does bee pollen cause to eosinophilic gastroenteropathy?

    PubMed Central

    Güç, Belgin Usta; Asilsoy, Suna; Canan, Oğuz; Kayaselçuk, Fazilet

    2015-01-01

    Bee pollen is given to children by mothers in order to strengthen their immune systems. There are no studies related with the side effects of bee polen in the literature. In this article, the literature was reviewed by presenting a case of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy related with bee polen. A 5-year old child was admitted due to abdominal pain. Edema was detected on the eyelids and pretibial region. In laboratory investigations, pathology was not detected in terms of hepatic and renal causes that would explain the protein loss of the patient diagnosed with hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia. Urticaria was detected during the follow-up visit. When the history of the patient was deepened, it was learned that bee pollen was given to the patient every day. The total eosinophil count was found to be 1 800/mm3. Allergic gastroenteropathy was considered because of hypereosinophilia and severe abdominal pain and endoscopy was performed. Biopsy revealed abundant eosinophils in the whole gastric mucosa. A diagnosis of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy was made. Bee polen was discontinued. Abdominal pain and edema disappeared in five days. Four weeks later, the levels of serum albumin and total eosinophil returned to normal. PMID:26568697

  14. Does bee pollen cause to eosinophilic gastroenteropathy?

    PubMed

    Güç, Belgin Usta; Asilsoy, Suna; Canan, Oğuz; Kayaselçuk, Fazilet

    2015-09-01

    Bee pollen is given to children by mothers in order to strengthen their immune systems. There are no studies related with the side effects of bee polen in the literature. In this article, the literature was reviewed by presenting a case of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy related with bee polen. A 5-year old child was admitted due to abdominal pain. Edema was detected on the eyelids and pretibial region. In laboratory investigations, pathology was not detected in terms of hepatic and renal causes that would explain the protein loss of the patient diagnosed with hypoproteinemia and hypoalbuminemia. Urticaria was detected during the follow-up visit. When the history of the patient was deepened, it was learned that bee pollen was given to the patient every day. The total eosinophil count was found to be 1 800/mm(3). Allergic gastroenteropathy was considered because of hypereosinophilia and severe abdominal pain and endoscopy was performed. Biopsy revealed abundant eosinophils in the whole gastric mucosa. A diagnosis of allergic eosinophilic gastropathy was made. Bee polen was discontinued. Abdominal pain and edema disappeared in five days. Four weeks later, the levels of serum albumin and total eosinophil returned to normal.

  15. A Buzzing Bee.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, Edward P.; Barnes, Eb

    1996-01-01

    Presents an activity enabling students of grades four to nine to construct a "Buzzing Bee" model using simple materials. Provides students with the opportunity to explore the concepts of sound and the Doppler effect. (MKR)

  16. Report Bee Kills

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA uses incident report data to help inform our pesticide regulatory decisions. Information from these reports helps us identify patterns of bee kills associated with the use of specific pesticides or active ingredients. Here's how to report incidents.

  17. Magnetic effect on dancing bees

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindauer, M.; Martin, H.

    1972-01-01

    Bee sensitivity to the earth's magnetic field is studied. Data cover sensitivity range and the use of magnetoreception for orientation purposes. Experimental results indicate bee orientation is aided by gravity fields when the magnetic field is compensated.

  18. Stakeholder Conference on Bee Health

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    USDA and EPA released a comprehensive scientific report on honey bee health in May 2013. The report points to multiple factors playing a role in honey bee colony declines, including parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure.

  19. Bee Line BR-1 Racer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1926-01-01

    Bee Line BR-1 Racer: The Bee Line BR-1 was a racing aircraft used to compete in the 1922 Pulitzer Air Race. The aircraft and its sister ship, the Bee Line BR-2, came to Langley and the NACA in 1926. The BR-1 is shown in the NACA hangar at Langley Field in early 1926.

  20. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Wing Shape of Four New Bee Fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) Provides Insights to Bee Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S.; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.). We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini), and one digger bee (Anthophorini)], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France. PMID

  2. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) provides insights to bee evolution.

    PubMed

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.). We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini), and one digger bee (Anthophorini)], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France.

  3. [Bee, wax and honey].

    PubMed

    de Laguérenne, Claude

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Evans, Jay D; Schwarz, Ryan S

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

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

  7. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-10-01

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

  8. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Floral and nesting resources, habitat structure, and fire influence bee distribution across an open-forest gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, R.; Jean, R.P.; Frohnapple, K.J.; Glowacki, G.A.; Scott, P.E.; Pavlovic, N.B.

    2010-01-01

    Given bees' central effect on vegetation communities, it is important to understand how and why bee distributions vary across ecological gradients. We examined how plant community composition, plant diversity, nesting suitability, canopy cover, land use, and fire history affected bee distribution across an open-forest gradient in northwest Indiana, USA, a gradient similar to the historic Midwest United States landscape mosaic. When considered with the other predictors, plant community composition was not a significant predictor of bee community composition. Bee abundance was negatively related to canopy cover and positively to recent fire frequency, bee richness was positively related to plant richness and abundance of potential nesting resources, and bee community composition was significantly related to plant richness, soil characteristics potentially related to nesting suitability, and canopy cover. Thus, bee abundance was predicted by a different set of environmental characteristics than was bee species richness, and bee community composition was predicted, in large part, by a combination of the significant predictors of bee abundance and richness. Differences in bee community composition along the woody vegetation gradient were correlated with relative abundance of oligolectic, or diet specialist, bees. Because oligoleges were rarer than diet generalists and were associated with open habitats, their populations may be especially affected by degradation of open habitats. More habitat-specialist bees were documented for open and forest/scrub habitats than for savanna/woodland habitats, consistent with bees responding to habitats of intermediate woody vegetation density, such as savannas, as ecotones rather than as distinct habitat types. Similarity of bee community composition, similarity of bee abundance, and similarity of bee richness between sites were not significantly related to proximity of sites to each other. Nestedness analysis indicated that species

  10. The plight of the bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spivak, Marla; Mader, Eric; Vaughan, Mace; Euliss, Ned H.

    2011-01-01

    Some environmental issues polarize people, producing weary political stalemates of indecision and inaction. Others, however, grab hold of our most primeval instincts, causing us to reach deeply into our memories of childhood, and our first direct experiences with nature: the bumble bee nest we poked at with a stick; the man at the county fair with the bee beard. Those memories expand backward in time to our barefoot ancestors who climbed trees and robbed honey. They help define the human experience and provide context to our own place in the world.And so the plight of the bees strikes a common chord. For a brief moment simple matters of politics, economics, and nationality seem irrelevant. Colony collapse disorder, the name for the syndrome causing honey bees (Apis mellifera) to suddenly and mysteriously disappear from their hives - thousands of individual worker bees literally flying off to die - captured public consciousness when it was first named in 2007 (1). Since then, the story of vanishing honey bees has become ubiquitous in popular consciousness - driving everything from ice cream marketing campaigns to plots for The Simpsons. The untold story is that these hive losses are simply a capstone to more than a half-century of more prosaic day-to-day losses that beekeepers already faced from parasites, diseases, poor nutrition, and pesticide poisoning (2). The larger story still is that while honey bees are charismatic and important to agriculture, other important bees are also suffering, and in some cases their fates are far worse (3). These other bees are a subset of the roughly 4000 species of wild bumble bees (Bombus), leafcutter bees (Megachile), and others that are native to North America. While the honey bee was originally imported from Europe by colonists in the early 17th century, it is these native bees that have evolved with our local ecosystems, and, along with honey bees, are valuable crop pollinators. People want to know why bees are dying and how

  11. The effect of photobleaching on bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) setae color and its implications for studying aging and behavior

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies of foraging ecology and plant-pollinator interactions benefit from a number of bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) characteristics including morphometric measurements, natural history and age. Historically, bee age has been estimated using measurements of wing wear and integument color change. Wing w...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. Safety with Wasps and Bees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hackett, Erla

    This guide is designed to provide elementary school teachers with safe learning activities concerning bees and wasps. The following topics are included: (1) the importance of a positive teacher attitude towards bees and wasps; (2) special problems posed by paper wasps; (3) what to do when a child is bothered by a wasp; (4) what to do if a wasp…

  14. Native bees and plant pollination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsberg, H.S.

    2004-01-01

    Bees are important pollinators, but evidence suggests that numbers of some species are declining. Decreases have been documented in the honey bee, Apis mellifera (which was introduced to North America), but there are no monitoring programs for the vast majority of native species, so we cannot be sure about the extent of this problem. Recent efforts to develop standardized protocols for bee sampling will help us collect the data needed to assess trends in bee populations. Unfortunately, diversity of bee life cycles and phenologies, and the large number of rare species, make it difficult to assess trends in bee faunas. Changes in bee populations can affect plant reproduction, which can influence plant population density and cover, thus potentially modifying horizontal and vertical structure of a community, microclimate near the ground, patterns of nitrogen deposition, etc. These potential effects of changes in pollination patterns have not been assessed in natural communities. Effects of management actions on bees and other pollinators should be considered in conservation planning.

  15. Genetic toolkits for bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Beekeepers, inspectors, and researchers have a shared interest in checking bees and hives for clues related to bee health and disease. These checks take many forms, from lifting fall supers prior to feeding decisions to carrying out sticky board or jar tests for estimating varroa populations. Most d...

  16. Honey Bees: Sweetness and Mites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  18. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  19. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  20. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  1. 7 CFR 322.29 - Dead bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Dead bees. 322.29 Section 322.29 Agriculture..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE BEES, BEEKEEPING BYPRODUCTS, AND BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT Importation and Transit of Restricted Articles § 322.29 Dead bees. (a) Dead bees imported into or transiting the United States must...

  2. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Genersch, Elke

    2010-06-01

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

  4. [Bee mite: Varroa jacobsoni qudemans].

    PubMed

    Ozer, N; Boşgelmez, A

    1983-07-01

    Varroatosis caused by varroa jacobsoni on honeybee, Apis mellifera L., is currently one of the worlds major bee keeping problems. The mite parasites the adult honey bee, as well as its developmental stages, by sucking the insects's haemolymph. Up to date, many chemicals were used against this mite but still there is no chemical which has 100% effect and at the same time bees and their brood demonstrate a good tolerance. The investigations on biology and therapy on Varroa are still going on in many countries.

  5. Size and Sex-Dependent Shrinkage of Dutch Bees during One-and-a-Half Centuries of Land-Use Change.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Mikail O; Freitas, Breno M; Scheper, Jeroen; Kleijn, David

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and global warming are important factors driving bee decline, but it is largely unknown whether these drivers have resulted in changes in the life-history traits of bees. Recent studies have shown a stronger population decline of large- than small-bodied bee species, suggesting there may have been selective pressure on large, but not on small species to become smaller. Here we test this hypothesis by analyzing trends in bee body size of 18 Dutch species over a 147-year period using specimens from entomological collections. Large-bodied female bees shrank significantly faster than small-bodied female bees (6.5% and 0.5% respectively between 1900 and 2010). Changes in temperature during the flight period of bees did not influence the size-dependent shrinkage of female bees. Male bees did not shrink significantly over the same time period. Our results could imply that under conditions of declining habitat quantity and quality it is advantageous for individuals to be smaller. The size and sex-dependent responses of bees point towards an evolutionary response but genetic studies are required to confirm this. The declining body size of the large bee species that currently dominate flower visitation of both wild plants and insect-pollinated crops may have negative consequences for pollination service delivery.

  6. Size and Sex-Dependent Shrinkage of Dutch Bees during One-and-a-Half Centuries of Land-Use Change

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Mikail O.; Freitas, Breno M.; Scheper, Jeroen; Kleijn, David

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and global warming are important factors driving bee decline, but it is largely unknown whether these drivers have resulted in changes in the life-history traits of bees. Recent studies have shown a stronger population decline of large- than small-bodied bee species, suggesting there may have been selective pressure on large, but not on small species to become smaller. Here we test this hypothesis by analyzing trends in bee body size of 18 Dutch species over a 147-year period using specimens from entomological collections. Large-bodied female bees shrank significantly faster than small-bodied female bees (6.5% and 0.5% respectively between 1900 and 2010). Changes in temperature during the flight period of bees did not influence the size-dependent shrinkage of female bees. Male bees did not shrink significantly over the same time period. Our results could imply that under conditions of declining habitat quantity and quality it is advantageous for individuals to be smaller. The size and sex-dependent responses of bees point towards an evolutionary response but genetic studies are required to confirm this. The declining body size of the large bee species that currently dominate flower visitation of both wild plants and insect-pollinated crops may have negative consequences for pollination service delivery. PMID:26863608

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

    PubMed

    Daly, Z; Melhim, A; Weersink, A

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Hey! A Bee Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... bees build nests out of wax in old trees and manmade hives (like the ones that beekeepers ... they build papery nests shaped like footballs in trees and shrubs. Yellowjackets have yellow and black stripes ...

  11. Polarimetric applications to identify bee honey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  12. Chemical Ecology of Stingless Bees.

    PubMed

    Leonhardt, Sara Diana

    2017-04-06

    Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae: Meliponini) represent a highly diverse group of social bees confined to the world's tropics and subtropics. They show a striking diversity of structural and behavioral adaptations and are important pollinators of tropical plants. Despite their diversity and functional importance, their ecology, and especially chemical ecology, has received relatively little attention, particularly compared to their relative the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Here, I review various aspects of the chemical ecology of stingless bees, from communication over resource allocation to defense. I list examples in which functions of specific compounds (or compound groups) have been demonstrated by behavioral experiments, and show that many aspects (e.g., queen-worker interactions, host-parasite interactions, neuronal processing etc.) remain little studied. This review further reveals that the vast majority of studies on the chemical ecology of stingless bees have been conducted in the New World, whereas studies on Old World stingless bees are still comparatively rare. Given the diversity of species, behaviors and, apparently, chemical compounds used, I suggest that stingless bees provide an ideal subject for studying how functional context and the need for species specificity may interact to shape pheromone diversification in social insects.

  13. Deaths from bee stings: a report of three cases from Pretoria, South Africa.

    PubMed

    du Toit-Prinsloo, Lorraine; Morris, Neil Kennith; Meyer, Pieter; Saayman, Gert

    2016-03-01

    In South Africa bee stings are most commonly caused by either Apis mellifera capensis or A. mellifera scutellata, indigenous species which are notoriously aggressive when compared to European honey bees. According to Statistics South Africa, 109 deaths were documented for the period 2001-2011 as having been caused by hornets, wasps, and bees (ICD10-X26). This appears to be a small number but, as was reported in Australia, these statistics might be inaccurate due to either over- or underreporting of cases. We report 3 cases of fatalities due to bee stings, including one with postmortem features of diffuse intravascular coagulopathy. A brief overview of the venom of the honey bee, reactions following a bee sting and possible mechanisms of death are presented. Confirming the diagnosis in these cases may be very problematic for the forensic pathologist, as in many cases minimal history is available and both external and internal examination could fail to reveal any specific signs of bee sting or other obvious morphologic abnormalities. Thus, there is a need for reliable confirmatory or supportive diagnostic tests.

  14. The conservation and restoration of wild bees.

    PubMed

    Winfree, Rachael

    2010-05-01

    Bees pollinate most of the world's wild plant species and provide economically valuable pollination services to crops; yet knowledge of bee conservation biology lags far behind other taxa such as vertebrates and plants. There are few long-term data on bee populations, which makes their conservation status difficult to assess. The best-studied groups are the genus Bombus (the bumble bees), and bees in the EU generally; both of these are clearly declining. However, it is not known to what extent these groups represent the approximately 20,000 species of bees globally. As is the case for insects in general, bees are underrepresented in conservation planning and protection efforts. For example, only two bee species are on the global IUCN Red List, and no bee is listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, even though many bee species are known to be in steep decline or possibly extinct. At present, bee restoration occurs mainly in agricultural contexts, funded by government programs such as agri-environment schemes (EU) and the Farm Bill (USA). This is a promising approach given that many bee species can use human-disturbed habitats, and bees provide valuable pollination services to crops. However, agricultural restorations only benefit species that persist in agricultural landscapes, and they are more expensive than preserving natural habitat elsewhere. Furthermore, such restorations benefit bees in only about half of studied cases. More research is greatly needed in many areas of bee conservation, including basic population biology, bee restoration in nonagricultural contexts, and the identification of disturbance-sensitive bee species.

  15. National protocol framework for the inventory and monitoring of bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Droege, Sam; Engler, Joseph D.; Sellers, Elizabeth A.; Lee O'Brien,

    2016-01-01

    describes the history and need for the protocol framework and summarizes the basic elements of objectives, sampling design, field methods, training, data management, analysis, and reporting. The SOPs provide more detail and specific instructions for implementing the protocol framework. A central database, for managing all the resulting data is under development. We welcome use of this protocol framework by our partners, as appropriate for their bee inventory and monitoring objectives.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Entomology: A Bee Farming a Fungus.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Aanen, Duur K

    2015-11-16

    Farming is done not only by humans, but also by some ant, beetle and termite species. With the discovery of a stingless bee farming a fungus that provides benefits to its larvae, bees can be added to this list.

  18. Pollution monitoring using bees: a new service provided by honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Thomas, J.M.; Simpson, J.C.; Bishop, M.

    1983-10-01

    The objectives are to provide a tool for assessing pollutant distributions and the effects of pollutants on living systems. The potential of bees as pollution monitors was studied by examining bees exposed to toxic metals near a smelter in Montana and bees in the area surrounding a hazardous waste disposal site near Puget Sound, Washington. Levels of toxic metals in the bees and brood survival were examined. It was concluded bees were, indeed, suitable indicators of pollution levels. (ACR)

  19. Hologenome theory and the honey bee pathosphere

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. A Review of Bee Virology Progress

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees play a vital role in global food production and sustainable ecological systems. However, honey bee colony losses at the rate of 20%-30% per year in recent years have been devastating to the agricultural industry and ecosystem that rely on honey bees for pollination. Among biotic and abiot...

  1. Do Honey Bees Increase Sunflower See Yields?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Preventing bee mortality with RNA interference

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present a real world example of the successful use of an RNAi product for disease control. RNAi increased bee health in the presence of the bee viral pathogen, IAPV. The importance of honey bees to the world economy far surpasses their contribution in terms of honey production; they are responsib...

  3. Antioxidant Activity of Sonoran Desert Bee Pollen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bee products have been consumed by mankind since antiquity and their health benefits are becoming more apparent. Bee pollen (pollen collected by honey bees) was collected in the high intensity ultraviolet (UV) Sonoran desert and was analyzed by the anti-2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) assay and...

  4. Flowers and Wild Megachilid Bees Share Microbes.

    PubMed

    McFrederick, Quinn S; Thomas, Jason M; Neff, John L; Vuong, Hoang Q; Russell, Kaleigh A; Hale, Amanda R; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2017-01-01

    Transmission pathways have fundamental influence on microbial symbiont persistence and evolution. For example, the core gut microbiome of honey bees is transmitted socially and via hive surfaces, but some non-core bacteria associated with honey bees are also found on flowers, and these bacteria may therefore be transmitted indirectly between bees via flowers. Here, we test whether multiple flower and wild megachilid bee species share microbes, which would suggest that flowers may act as hubs of microbial transmission. We sampled the microbiomes of flowers (either bagged to exclude bees or open to allow bee visitation), adults, and larvae of seven megachilid bee species and their pollen provisions. We found a Lactobacillus operational taxonomic unit (OTU) in all samples but in the highest relative and absolute abundances in adult and larval bee guts and pollen provisions. The presence of the same bacterial types in open and bagged flowers, pollen provisions, and bees supports the hypothesis that flowers act as hubs of transmission of these bacteria between bees. The presence of bee-associated bacteria in flowers that have not been visited by bees suggests that these bacteria may also be transmitted to flowers via plant surfaces, the air, or minute insect vectors such as thrips. Phylogenetic analyses of nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the Lactobacillus OTU dominating in flower- and megachilid-associated microbiomes is monophyletic, and we propose the name Lactobacillus micheneri sp. nov. for this bacterium.

  5. Bee health and international trade.

    PubMed

    Shimanuki, H; Knox, D A

    1997-04-01

    The international trade in bee products is a complex issue as a result of the diverse uses of these products. This is especially true with regard to honey. In most cases, honey is imported for human consumption: the high purchase and shipping costs preclude the use of honey as feed for bees. For these reasons, the risk of transmitting disease through honey is minimal. However, this risk should not be ignored, especially in those countries where American foulbrood is not known to occur. The importation of pollen for bee feed poses a definite risk, especially since there are no acceptable procedures for determining whether pollen is free from pathogens, insects and mites. Routine drying of pollen would reduce the survival of mites and insects, but would not have any impact on bacterial spores. Phytosanitary certificates should be required for the importation of honey and pollen when destined for bee feed. The declaration on the phytosanitary certificate should include country of origin, and should state whether the following bee diseases and parasitic mites are present: American foulbrood disease, European foulbrood disease, chalkbrood disease, Varroa jacobsoni and Tropilaelaps clareae.

  6. Swimming of the Honey Bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roh, Chris; Gharib, Morteza

    2016-11-01

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

  7. Identifying bacterial predictors of honey bee health.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  8. Bee venom hypersensitivity and its management: patients perception of venom desensitisation.

    PubMed

    Lui, C L; Heddle, R J; Kupa, A; Coates, T; Roberts-Thomson, P J

    1995-12-01

    The objectives of the study were to review bee venom immunotherapy from the patient's perspective: in particular its benefits and its problems, and to investigate any genetic tendency for bee venom hypersensitivity. A self administered, 9 item questionnaire was sent to 219 patients who had undergone either inpatient or outpatient bee venom immunotherapy at Flinders Medical Center. The clinic records of these patients were also reviewed. The controls for the genetic study were sought from patients, staff and students at Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre. One hundred and forty-six questionnaires (some incomplete and anonymous) were received. The female to male ratio was 1:2.5. The age at the time of the initial anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting ranged between 2 to 59 years, with 67% of patients being less then 20 years old. Forty percent of patients underwent venom immunotherapy for a period less than 2 years with only 11% maintaining therapy for the recommended period of 5 years or more. Thirty three percent of patients stopped their therapy on their own accord. Bee stings occurring during bee venom immunotherapy (n = 56) were generally well tolerated except in 8 subjects, 7 of whom had not reached the maintenance dose. The reduction in systemic reactions to subsequent bee stings was significantly better in the study group receiving bee venom than in an historic control group treated with whole bee extract (p = 0.03). Fear of bee stings and restricted life styles were improved during or after venom immunotherapy. The frequency of a positive family history of systemic reactions to bee stings in the patient cohort was 31%, whereas in controls it was 15% (p = 0.013). Bee venom immunotherapy has dual benefits: patients are protected from subsequent sting anaphylaxis and there is reduced psychological morbidity. However, to be effective, venom immunotherapy requires a prolonged period of carefully supervised treatment and each venom injection can cause

  9. The plight of the bees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spivak, M.; Mader, E.; Vaughan, M.; Euliss, N.H.

    2011-01-01

    The loss of biodiversity is a trend that is garnering much concern. As organisms have evolved mutualistic and synergistic relationships, the loss of one or a few species can have a much wider environmental impact. Since much pollination is facilitated by bees, the reported colony collapse disorder has many worried of widespread agricultural fallout and thus deleterious impact on human foodstocks. In this Feature, Spivak et al. review what is known of the present state of bee populations and provide information on how to mitigate and reverse the trend. ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. From silkworms to bees: Diseases of beneficial insects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diseases of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) and managed bees, including the honey bee (Apis mellifera), bumbles bees (Bombus spp.), the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), and mason bees (Osmia spp.) are reviewed, with diagnostic descriptions and a summary of control methods for production...

  12. Henoch Schonlein purpura associated with bee sting: case report.

    PubMed

    Gálvez-Olortegui, José; Álvarez-Vargas, Mayita; Durand-Vergara, Juan; Díaz-Lozano, Marisol; Gálvez-Olortegui, Tomas; Armas-Ramírez, Indira; Hilario-Vargas, Julio

    2015-10-30

    Henoch Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a common childhood vasculitis, characterized by a non-thrombocytopenic palpable purpura and systemic features. It can be triggered by conditions like infections and insect bites. We present the case of a six-year-old girl with palpable maculopapular lesions on the lower limbs, itching, mild pain, swelling of feet, limitation of limb mobility, and a history of bee sting. Thigh skin biopsy was performed, with a report of leucocytoclastic vasculitis, and was diagnosed as HSP. She was prescribed bed rest, and was given oral hydration. The patient outcome was favorable and was discharged after five days. This is the fifth report of a HSP case associated with a bee sting with an uncomplicated course, which is in contrast to previous case reports.

  13. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Ants, Wasps, and Bees (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stinging wasps, bees, and ants are a problem for farm workers, particularly at harvest when these insects are attracted to ripe fruits. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA, together with personnel at Oral Roberts University compiled available information o...

  15. The Citizen Bee Guide to American Studies. Second Edition. [Student Book and Coordinator's and Teacher's Guide].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monk, Linda R., Ed.

    The Citizen Bee is a national competition for high school students sponsored by the Close Up Foundation. The main guide is a survey of U.S. history, culture, government, economics, and geography addressed to students and designed to prepare them for that competition. The guide is divided into 13 chapters: (1) "The Revolutionary Spirit,"…

  16. Microsatellite loci for the fungus, Ascosphaera apis, cause of honey bee chalkbrood disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The fungus Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota:Ascosphaeriaceae) is a worldwide fungal pathogen of honey bees. To provide tools for understanding the dispersal history of this pathogen, strain differences in virulence, and host-pathogen interactions, we developed and tested microsatellite loci for this sp...

  17. Decline and conservation of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Goulson, D; Lye, G C; Darvill, B

    2008-01-01

    Declines in bumble bee species in the past 60 years are well documented in Europe, where they are driven primarily by habitat loss and declines in floral abundance and diversity resulting from agricultural intensification. Impacts of habitat degradation and fragmentation are likely to be compounded by the social nature of bumble bees and their largely monogamous breeding system, which renders their effective population size low. Hence, populations are susceptible to stochastic extinction events and inbreeding. In North America, catastrophic declines of some bumble bee species since the 1990s are probably attributable to the accidental introduction of a nonnative parasite from Europe, a result of global trade in domesticated bumble bee colonies used for pollination of greenhouse crops. Given the importance of bumble bees as pollinators of crops and wildflowers, steps must be taken to prevent further declines. Suggested measures include tight regulation of commercial bumble bee use and targeted use of environmentally comparable schemes to enhance floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  20. Ambient Air Temperature Does Not Predict whether Small or Large Workers Forage in Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens)

    PubMed Central

    Couvillon, Margaret J.; Fitzpatrick, Ginny; Dornhaus, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Bumble bees are important pollinators of crops and other plants. However, many aspects of their basic biology remain relatively unexplored. For example, one important and unusual natural history feature in bumble bees is the massive size variation seen between workers of the same nest. This size polymorphism may be an adaptation for division of labor, colony economics, or be nonadaptive. It was also suggested that perhaps this variation allows for niche specialization in workers foraging at different temperatures: larger bees might be better suited to forage at cooler temperatures and smaller bees might be better suited to forage at warmer temperatures. This we tested here using a large, enclosed growth chamber, where we were able to regulate the ambient temperature. We found no significant effect of ambient or nest temperature on the average size of bees flying to and foraging from a suspended feeder. Instead, bees of all sizes successfully flew and foraged between 16°C and 36°C. Thus, large bees foraged even at very hot temperatures, which we thought might cause overheating. Size variation therefore could not be explained in terms of niche specialization for foragers at different temperatures. PMID:26005222

  1. Honey Bee Hemocyte Profiling by Flow Cytometry

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Bee sting of the cornea.

    PubMed

    Singh, G

    1984-04-01

    Irreversible heterochromia-iridis, internal ophthalmoplegia, and punctate subcapsular lenticular opacities developed in a 9-year-old girl after she received a bee sting in her right cornea. These complications persisted even after an 11-month follow-up period. To the author's knowledge, this presentation is the first of its nature. The pathogenesis of these changes is discussed and the literature is reviewed.

  3. Live bee acupuncture (Bong-Chim) dermatitis: dermatitis due to live bee acupuncture therapy in Korea.

    PubMed

    Park, Joon Soo; Lee, Min Jung; Chung, Ki Hun; Ko, Dong Kyun; Chung, Hyun

    2013-12-01

    Live bee acupuncture (Bong-Chim) dermatitis is an iatrogenic disease induced by so-called live bee acupuncture therapy, which applies the honeybee (Apis cerana) stinger directly into the lesion to treat various diseases in Korea. We present two cases of live bee acupuncture dermatitis and review previously published articles about this disease. We classify this entity into three stages: acute, subacute, and chronic. The acute stage is an inflammatory reaction, such as anaphylaxis or urticaria. In the chronic stage, a foreign body granuloma may develop from the remaining stingers, similar to that of a bee sting reaction. However, in the subacute stage, unlike bee stings, we see the characteristic histological "flame" figures resulting from eosinophilic stimulation induced by excessive bee venom exposure. We consider this stage to be different from the adverse skin reaction of accidental bee sting.

  4. Migrating Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata) Congregate Annually at Stopover Site in Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Willard S.

    2012-01-01

    Giant honey bees (Apis dorsata) of southern Asia are vital honey producers and pollinators of cultivated crops and wild plants. They are known to migrate seasonally up to 200 km. It has been assumed their migrations occur stepwise, with stops for rest and foraging, but bivouacking bees have rarely been seen by scientists. Here I report discovery of a site in northern Thailand where bivouacs appeared in large congregations during the wet seasons of 2009 and 2010. The bivouac congregation stopover site is a small mango orchard along the Pai River. Bivouacs rested in branches of mango and other tree species in the immediate vicinity. Departures were preceded by dances indicating approximate direction and apparently, distance of flights. Such consistent stopover sites likely occur throughout southern Asia and may support critical, vulnerable stages in the life history of giant honey bees that must be conserved for populations of the species to survive. PMID:23028715

  5. Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Barron, Andrew B

    2013-11-19

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

  6. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Biological effects of ultraviolet irradiation on bees

    SciTech Connect

    Es`kov, E.K.

    1995-09-01

    The influence of natural solar and artificial ultraviolet irradiation on developing bees was studied. Lethal exposures to irradiation at different stages of development were determined. The influence of irradiation on the variability of the morphometric features of bees was revealed. 5 refs., 1 fig.

  8. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.

    PubMed

    Kessler, Sébastien C; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Radcliffe, Amy; Stout, Jane C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-05-07

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  9. The problem of disease when domesticating bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When disease strikes a hive of bees, it can devastate the colony and spread to the entire beekeeping operation. All bees are susceptible to diseases, and when they are domesticated, their population densities increase to suit human needs, making them more susceptible. Most attempts at disease contro...

  10. Climate change: bees and orchids lose touch.

    PubMed

    Willmer, Pat

    2014-12-01

    Spring temperature increases could differentially affect flowering times and pollinator flight periods, leading to asynchrony and reduced pollination. A specialist orchid-bee study combining herbarium, museum and field data shows that bee flight dates are advancing faster than orchid flowering, which could lead to significant future uncoupling.

  11. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kessler, Sébastien C.; Tiedeken, Erin Jo; Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-05-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

  12. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. The Plight of the Honey Bee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hockridge, Emma

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. The Bees among Us: Modelling Occupancy of Solitary Bees

    PubMed Central

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    Occupancy modelling has received increasing attention as a tool for differentiating between true absence and non-detection in biodiversity data. This is thought to be particularly useful when a species of interest is spread out over a large area and sampling is constrained. We used occupancy modelling to estimate the probability of three phylogenetically independent pairs of native—introduced species [Megachile campanulae (Robertson)—Megachile rotundata (Fab.), Megachile pugnata Say—Megachile centuncularis (L.), Osmia pumila Cresson—Osmia caerulescens (L.)] (Apoidea: Megachilidae) being present when repeated sampling did not always find them. Our study occurred along a gradient of urbanization and used nest boxes (bee hotels) set up over three consecutive years. Occupancy modelling discovered different patterns to those obtained by species detection and abundance-based data alone. For example, it predicted that the species that was ranked 4th in terms of detection actually had the greatest occupancy among all six species. The native M. pugnata had decreased occupancy with increasing building footprint and a similar but not significant pattern was found for the native O. pumila. Two introduced bees (M. rotundata and M. centuncularis), and one native (M. campanulae) had modelled occupancy values that increased with increasing urbanization. Occupancy probability differed among urban green space types for three of six bee species, with values for two native species (M. campanulae and O. pumila) being highest in home gardens and that for the exotic O. caerulescens being highest in community gardens. The combination of occupancy modelling with analysis of habitat variables as an augmentation to detection and abundance-based sampling is suggested to be the best way to ensure that urban habitat management results in the desired outcomes. PMID:27911954

  17. The Bees among Us: Modelling Occupancy of Solitary Bees.

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    Occupancy modelling has received increasing attention as a tool for differentiating between true absence and non-detection in biodiversity data. This is thought to be particularly useful when a species of interest is spread out over a large area and sampling is constrained. We used occupancy modelling to estimate the probability of three phylogenetically independent pairs of native-introduced species [Megachile campanulae (Robertson)-Megachile rotundata (Fab.), Megachile pugnata Say-Megachile centuncularis (L.), Osmia pumila Cresson-Osmia caerulescens (L.)] (Apoidea: Megachilidae) being present when repeated sampling did not always find them. Our study occurred along a gradient of urbanization and used nest boxes (bee hotels) set up over three consecutive years. Occupancy modelling discovered different patterns to those obtained by species detection and abundance-based data alone. For example, it predicted that the species that was ranked 4th in terms of detection actually had the greatest occupancy among all six species. The native M. pugnata had decreased occupancy with increasing building footprint and a similar but not significant pattern was found for the native O. pumila. Two introduced bees (M. rotundata and M. centuncularis), and one native (M. campanulae) had modelled occupancy values that increased with increasing urbanization. Occupancy probability differed among urban green space types for three of six bee species, with values for two native species (M. campanulae and O. pumila) being highest in home gardens and that for the exotic O. caerulescens being highest in community gardens. The combination of occupancy modelling with analysis of habitat variables as an augmentation to detection and abundance-based sampling is suggested to be the best way to ensure that urban habitat management results in the desired outcomes.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Assessing grooming behavior of Russian honey bees toward Varroa destructor.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The grooming behavior of Russian bees was compared to Italian bees. Overall, Russian bees had significantly lower numbers of mites than the Italian bees with a mean of 1,937 ± 366 and 5,088 ± 733 mites, respectively. This low mite population in the Russian colonies was probably due to the increased ...

  20. Allee effects and colony collapse disorder in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Hot spots in the bee hive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bujok, Brigitte; Kleinhenz, Marco; Fuchs, Stefan; Tautz, Jürgen

    2002-06-01

    Honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera) maintain temperatures of 35-36°C in their brood nest because the brood needs high and constant temperature conditions for optimal development. We show that incubation of the brood at the level of individual honeybees is done by worker bees performing a particular and not yet specified behaviour: such bees raise the brood temperature by pressing their warm thoraces firmly onto caps under which the pupae develop. The bees stay motionless in a characteristic posture and have significantly higher thoracic temperatures than bees not assuming this posture in the brood area. The surface of the brood caps against which warm bees had pressed their thorax were up to 3.2°C warmer than the surrounding area, confirming that effective thermal transfer had taken place.

  3. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees.

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  4. Hygienic behaviour in Brazilian stingless bees.

    PubMed

    Al Toufailia, Hasan; Alves, Denise A; Bento, José M S; Marchini, Luis C; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2016-11-15

    Social insects have many defence mechanisms against pests and pathogens. One of these is hygienic behaviour, which has been studied in detail in the honey bee, Apis mellifera Hygienic honey bee workers remove dead and diseased larvae and pupae from sealed brood cells, thereby reducing disease transfer within the colony. Stingless bees, Meliponini, also rear broods in sealed cells. We investigated hygienic behaviour in three species of Brazilian stingless bees (Melipona scutellaris, Scaptotrigona depilis, Tetragonisca angustula) in response to freeze-killed brood. All three species had high mean levels of freeze-killed brood removal after 48 h ∼99% in M. scutellaris, 80% in S. depilis and 62% in T. angustula (N=8 colonies per species; three trials per colony). These levels are greater than in unselected honey bee populations, ∼46%. In S. depilis there was also considerable intercolony variation, ranging from 27% to 100% removal after 2 days. Interestingly, in the S. depilis colony with the slowest removal of freeze-killed brood, 15% of the adult bees emerging from their cells had shrivelled wings indicating a disease or disorder, which is as yet unidentified. Although the gross symptoms resembled the effects of deformed wing virus in the honey bee, this virus was not detected in the samples. When brood comb from the diseased colony was introduced to the other S. depilis colonies, there was a significant negative correlation between freeze-killed brood removal and the emergence of deformed worker bees (P=0.001), and a positive correlation with the cleaning out of brood cells (P=0.0008). This shows that the more hygienic colonies were detecting and removing unhealthy brood prior to adult emergence. Our results indicate that hygienic behaviour may play an important role in colony health in stingless bees. The low levels of disease normally seen in stingless bees may be because they have effective mechanisms of disease management, not because they lack diseases.

  5. Hygienic behaviour in Brazilian stingless bees

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Denise A.; Bento, José M. S.; Marchini, Luis C.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Social insects have many defence mechanisms against pests and pathogens. One of these is hygienic behaviour, which has been studied in detail in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Hygienic honey bee workers remove dead and diseased larvae and pupae from sealed brood cells, thereby reducing disease transfer within the colony. Stingless bees, Meliponini, also rear broods in sealed cells. We investigated hygienic behaviour in three species of Brazilian stingless bees (Melipona scutellaris, Scaptotrigona depilis, Tetragonisca angustula) in response to freeze-killed brood. All three species had high mean levels of freeze-killed brood removal after 48 h ∼99% in M. scutellaris, 80% in S. depilis and 62% in T. angustula (N=8 colonies per species; three trials per colony). These levels are greater than in unselected honey bee populations, ∼46%. In S. depilis there was also considerable intercolony variation, ranging from 27% to 100% removal after 2 days. Interestingly, in the S. depilis colony with the slowest removal of freeze-killed brood, 15% of the adult bees emerging from their cells had shrivelled wings indicating a disease or disorder, which is as yet unidentified. Although the gross symptoms resembled the effects of deformed wing virus in the honey bee, this virus was not detected in the samples. When brood comb from the diseased colony was introduced to the other S. depilis colonies, there was a significant negative correlation between freeze-killed brood removal and the emergence of deformed worker bees (P=0.001), and a positive correlation with the cleaning out of brood cells (P=0.0008). This shows that the more hygienic colonies were detecting and removing unhealthy brood prior to adult emergence. Our results indicate that hygienic behaviour may play an important role in colony health in stingless bees. The low levels of disease normally seen in stingless bees may be because they have effective mechanisms of disease management, not because they lack

  6. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Genetic stock identification of Russian honey bees.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Sex ratios in bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, A. F. G.

    1997-01-01

    The median proportion of investment in females among 11 populations of seven bumble bee (Bombus) species was 0.32 (range 0.07 to 0.64). By contrast, two species of workerless social parasites in the related genus Psithyrus had female-biased sex allocation, the reasons for which remain unclear. Male-biased sex allocation in Bombus contradicts the predictions of Trivers and Hare's sex ratio model for the social Hymenoptera, which are that the population sex investment ratio should be 0.5 (1:1) under queen control and 0.75 (3:1 females:males) under worker control (assuming single, once-mated, outbred queens and non-reproductive workers). Male bias in Bombus does not appear to be either an artefact, or purely the result of symbiotic sex ratio distorters. According to modifications of the Trivers–Hare model, the level of worker male-production in Bombus is insufficient to account for observed levels of male bias. There is also no evidence that male bias arises from either local resource competition (related females compete for resources) or local mate enhancement (related males cooperate in securing mates). Bulmer presented models predicting sexual selection for protandry (males are produced before females) in annual social Hymenoptera and, as a consequence (given some parameter values), male-biased sex allocation. Bumble bees fit the assumptions of Bulmer's models and are protandrous. These models therefore represent the best current explanation for the bees' male-biased sex investment ratios. This conclusion suggests that the relative timing of the production of the sexes strongly influences sex allocation in the social Hymenoptera.

  10. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Simcock, Kerry L.; Derveau, Sophie; Mitchell, Jessica; Softley, Samantha; Stout, Jane C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies1-3. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants4. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure4,5. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly-used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO) in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX, and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees’ mouthparts nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a significant hazard to foraging bees. PMID:25901684

  11. 466 Bee venom Immunotherapy with Standardized Extract, Two Case Comunication and Clinical Progress

    PubMed Central

    Cardona, Aristoteles Alvarez; Nieto, Leticia Hernandez; Melendez, Alvaro Pedroza

    2012-01-01

    Background Bee venom immunotherapy is a safe and effective treatment, indicated in patients with previous history of severe systemic reactions to bee venom, demonstrating succesful desensitization in more than 90% of cases with standardized extract. Currently in Mexico there is no standardized extract commercially available for treatment, despite of having high activity of beekeeping and occupational exposure with at least 17,478 registered stings per year and an annually honey production of nearly 70 tons. Methods We present the clinical progress of 2 patients with history of severe systemic reactions to bee venom and occupational exposure, both with demonstrated sensitization by specific IgE and who underwent specific immunotherapy with standardized extract (Alk-US) reaching a maintenance weekly dose of 100 mcg (PLA2) for the last 4 years. Results Both patients sufered of accidental stings after reached the maintenance dose presenting mild local reactions to stings. Both patients had very different clinical course presenting a wide variety of adverse reactions during desensitization protocol; from mild local to generalized reactions all generally well tolerated allowed to reach the maintenance dose with succesful desensitization proved by accidental exposure without severe systemic reactions. Conclusions Bee venom specific immunotherapy with standardized extract is a well tolerated and efective treatment preventing the development of life threathening reactions in sensitized patients. It is important to promote the use and availability of standardized extract in developing countries with poor safety measures and high occupational exposure.

  12. Pollinators in peril? A multipark approach to evaluating bee communities in habitats vulnerable to effects from climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rykken, Jessica; Rodman, Ann; Droege, Sam; Grundel, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    In 2010, collaborators from the National Park Service (Ann Rodman, Yellowstone National Park), USGS (Sam Droege and Ralph Grundel), and Harvard University (Jessica Rykken) were awarded funding from the NPS Climate Change Response Program to launch just such an investigation in almost 50 units of the National Park System (fig. 1). The main objectives of this multiyear project were to: Compare bee communities in three “vulnerable” habitats (high elevation, inland arid, coastal) and paired “common” habitats, representative of the landscape matrix, in order to determine whether vulnerable habitats have a distinctive bee fauna that may be at higher risk under climate change scenarios. Inform natural resource managers at each park about the bee fauna at their paired sites, including the presence of rare and endemic species, and make suggestions for active management strategies to promote native bee habitat if warranted. Increase awareness among park natural resource staffs, interpreters, and visitors of native bee diversity and natural history, the essential role of bees in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and potential threats from climate change to pollinator-dependent ecosystems.

  13. Taste perception in honey bees.

    PubMed

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela

    2011-10-01

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

  14. Genetic component in learning ability in bees.

    PubMed

    Kerr, W E; Moura Duarte, F A; Oliveira, R S

    1975-10-01

    Twenty-five bees, five from each of five hives, were trained to collect food at a table. When the bee reached the table, time was recorded for 12 visits. Then a blue and yellow pan was substituted for the original metal pan, and time and correct responses were recorded for 30 trips (discrimination phase). Finally, food was taken from the pan and extinction was recorded as incorrect responses for 20 visits. Variance analysis was carried out, and genetic variance was undetected for discrimination, but was detected for extinction. It is concluded that learning is very important for bees, so that any impairment in such ability affects colony survival.

  15. Bee Pollen: Chemical Composition and Therapeutic Application

    PubMed Central

    Komosinska-Vassev, Katarzyna; Olczyk, Pawel; Kaźmierczak, Justyna; Olczyk, Krystyna

    2015-01-01

    Bee pollen is a valuable apitherapeutic product greatly appreciated by the natural medicine because of its potential medical and nutritional applications. It demonstrates a series of actions such as antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anticancer immunostimulating, and local analgesic. Its radical scavenging potential has also been reported. Beneficial properties of bee pollen and the validity for their therapeutic use in various pathological condition have been discussed in this study and with the currently known mechanisms, by which bee pollen modulates burn wound healing process. PMID:25861358

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-07

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

  17. Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees.

    PubMed

    Rundlöf, Maj; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Fries, Ingemar; Hederström, Veronica; Herbertsson, Lina; Jonsson, Ove; Klatt, Björn K; Pedersen, Thorsten R; Yourstone, Johanna; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-05-07

    Understanding the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees is vital because of reported declines in bee diversity and distribution and the crucial role bees have as pollinators in ecosystems and agriculture. Neonicotinoids are suspected to pose an unacceptable risk to bees, partly because of their systemic uptake in plants, and the European Union has therefore introduced a moratorium on three neonicotinoids as seed coatings in flowering crops that attract bees. The moratorium has been criticized for being based on weak evidence, particularly because effects have mostly been measured on bees that have been artificially fed neonicotinoids. Thus, the key question is how neonicotinoids influence bees, and wild bees in particular, in real-world agricultural landscapes. Here we show that a commonly used insecticide seed coating in a flowering crop can have serious consequences for wild bees. In a study with replicated and matched landscapes, we found that seed coating with Elado, an insecticide containing a combination of the neonicotinoid clothianidin and the non-systemic pyrethroid β-cyfluthrin, applied to oilseed rape seeds, reduced wild bee density, solitary bee nesting, and bumblebee colony growth and reproduction under field conditions. Hence, such insecticidal use can pose a substantial risk to wild bees in agricultural landscapes, and the contribution of pesticides to the global decline of wild bees may have been underestimated. The lack of a significant response in honeybee colonies suggests that reported pesticide effects on honeybees cannot always be extrapolated to wild bees.

  18. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

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

  19. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Management of bee-sting anaphylaxis.

    PubMed

    Gupta, S; O'Donnell, J; Kupa, A; Heddle, R; Skowronski, G; Roberts-Thomson, P

    A retrospective case analysis of 101 adverse reactions to bee-stings and a prospective questionnaire analysis of the proposed management by local medical practitioners and resident hospital staff members of three hypothetical bee-sting reactions has revealed that understanding of the use of adrenaline in patients with reactions to bee envenomation is confused with regard to the indications for its use, dosage and route; that corticosteroid agents are used or are recommended too frequently, sometimes as the sole therapeutic agent; and that there is a lack of awareness of the need for volume replacement in hypotensive shocked patients. These conclusions highlight the urgent need for a greater understanding of the optimal forms of management for patients with acute anaphylactic reactions to bee envenomation.

  1. Field-level sublethal effects of approved bee hive chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L).

    PubMed

    Berry, Jennifer A; Hood, W Michael; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Delaplane, Keith S

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals.

  2. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Aronstein, K A; Murray, K D

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Analysis of microsatellites derived from bee Ests.

    PubMed

    Li, Bin; Xia, Qing-You; Lu, Cheng; Zhou, Ze-Yang

    2004-10-01

    To accelerate the molecular analysis of genetics,evolution and behavior, etc. in the honey bee (Apis), the frequency and density of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) have been analyzed from the bee EST (expressed sequence tag) database comprising 15 869 sequences amounting to 7.9 Mb. Results showed that the frequency of SSRs was 1/0.52 kb in bee ESTs, and hexanucleotide repeats (45.0%) motifs appeared to be the most abundant type in bee,the dinucleotide, mononucleotide, trinucleotide, tetranucleotide and pentanucleotide repeats are 17.9%, 14.1%, 11.6%, 9.2% and 2.2%, respectively. Meanwhile, the A-rich repeats are predominant in each type of SSRs, such as A, AT, AG, AC, AAT, AAG, AAC, AAAT, AAAG, AAAAG, AAAAT, AATAT, AAAAAG and AAAAAT repeats, whereas G-rich repeats are rare in the coding regions. The further analysis suggests that, apart from minor deviations, there is no significant difference in the distribution and density of microsatellites in the redundant and non-redundant set of bee ESTs. Furthermore, the availability of microsatellite markers can be expected to enhance the power and resolution of genome analysis in bee.

  4. Cage-Fighting Bees: Can Aggressive Competition Increase Pollination Efficacy for an Oligolectic Native Bee?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pollination efficacy of the oligolectic bee Ptilothrix bombiformis was measured as the number of pollen grains delivered to virgin Hibiscus stigmas. Such specialized bee foragers are often assumed to be highly efficient pollinators. Intriguingly, however, we discovered females fight over host blooms...

  5. Bumble bee fauna of Palouse Prairie: survey of native bee pollinators in a fragmented ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees are dominant pollinators in the northern hemisphere, providing important pollination services for commercial crops and innumerable wild plants. Nationwide declines in several bumble bee species and habitat loss in multiple ecosystems have raised concern about conservation of this import...

  6. Imidacloprid alters foraging and decreases bee avoidance of predators.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Concern is growing over the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which can impair honey bee cognition. We provide the first demonstration that sublethal concentrations of imidacloprid can harm honey bee decision-making about danger by significantly increasing the probability of a bee visiting a dangerous food source. Apis cerana is a native bee that is an important pollinator of agricultural crops and native plants in Asia. When foraging on nectar containing 40 µg/L (34 ppb) imidacloprid, honey bees (Apis cerana) showed no aversion to a feeder with a hornet predator, and 1.8 fold more bees chose the dangerous feeder as compared to control bees. Control bees exhibited significant predator avoidance. We also give the first evidence that foraging by A. cerana workers can be inhibited by sublethal concentrations of the pesticide, imidacloprid, which is widely used in Asia. Compared to bees collecting uncontaminated nectar, 23% fewer foragers returned to collect the nectar with 40 µg/L imidacloprid. Bees that did return respectively collected 46% and 63% less nectar containing 20 µg/L and 40 µg/L imidacloprid. These results suggest that the effects of neonicotinoids on honey bee decision-making and other advanced cognitive functions should be explored. Moreover, research should extend beyond the classic model, the European honey bee (A. mellifera), to other important bee species.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Bernauer, Olivia M.; Gaines-Day, Hannah R.; Steffan, Shawn A.

    2015-01-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems. PMID:26463198

  12. Colonies of Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) Produce Fewer Workers, Less Bee Biomass, and Have Smaller Mother Queens Following Fungicide Exposure.

    PubMed

    Bernauer, Olivia M; Gaines-Day, Hannah R; Steffan, Shawn A

    2015-06-01

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possible culprit contributing to bee declines. Even fungicides, generally considered safe for bees, have been shown to disrupt honey bee development and impair bumble bee behavior. Little is known, however, how fungicides may affect bumble bee colony growth. We conducted a controlled cage study to determine the effects of fungicide exposure on colonies of a native bumble bee species (Bombus impatiens). Colonies of B. impatiens were exposed to flowers treated with field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil over the course of one month. Colony success was assessed by the number and biomass of larvae, pupae, and adult bumble bees. Bumble bee colonies exposed to fungicide produced fewer workers, lower total bee biomass, and had lighter mother queens than control colonies. Our results suggest that fungicides negatively affect the colony success of a native bumble bee species and that the use of fungicides during bloom has the potential to severely impact the success of native bumble bee populations foraging in agroecosystems.

  13. 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.

  14. The formulation makes the honey bee poison.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  15. Pollution monitoring of Puget Sound with honey bees

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-02-08

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

  16. Aging- and task-related resilience decline is linked to food responsiveness in highly social honey bees.

    PubMed

    Speth, Martin T; Kreibich, Claus D; Amdam, Gro V; Münch, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    Conventional invertebrate models of aging have provided striking examples for the influence of food- and nutrient-sensing on lifespan and stress resilience. On the other hand, studies in highly social insects, such as honey bees, have revealed how social context can shape very plastic life-history traits, for example flexible aging dynamics in the helper caste (workers). It is, however, not understood how food perception and stress resilience are connected in honey bee workers with different social task behaviors and aging dynamics. To explore this linkage, we tested if starvation resilience, which normally declines with age, depends on food responsiveness in honey bees. We studied two typically non-senesced groups of worker bees with different social task behaviors: mature nurses (caregivers) and mature foragers (food collectors). In addition, we included a group of old foragers for which functional senescence is well-established. Bees were individually scored for their food perception by measuring the gustatory response to different sucrose concentrations. Subsequently, individuals were tested for survival under starvation stress. We found that starvation stress resilience, but not gustatory responsiveness differed between workers with different social task behaviors (mature nurses vs. mature foragers). In addition starvation stress resilience differed between foragers with different aging progressions (mature foragers vs. old foragers). Control experiments confirmed that differences in starvation resilience between mature nurses and mature foragers were robust against changing experimental conditions, such as water provision and activity. For all worker groups we established that individuals with low gustatory responsiveness were more resilient to starvation stress. Finally, for the group of rapidly aging foragers we found that low food responsiveness was linked to a delayed age-related decline in starvation resilience. Our study highlights associations between

  17. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  18. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  19. Creating and Evaluating Artificial Domiciles for Bumble Bees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Golick, Douglas A.; Ellis, Marion D.; Beecham, Brady

    2006-01-01

    Bumble bees are valuable pollinators of native and cultivated flora. Despite our knowledge of bumble bee nest site selection, most efforts to attract bumble bees to artificial domiciles have been met with limited success. Creating and evaluating artificial domiciles provides students an opportunity to investigate a real problem. In this lesson,…

  20. The native bee fauna of the Palouse Prairie (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    While the range and general composition of North American bee fauna have been mostly described based on random collections, bee communities associated with specific habitats are largely uncharacterized. This report describes the community of native bees currently found in remnant fragments of the P...

  1. Multiyear survey targeting disease incidence in US honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  3. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

  4. 29 CFR 780.123 - Raising of bees.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Raising of bees. 780.123 Section 780.123 Labor Regulations... Raising of Livestock, Bees, Fur-Bearing Animals, Or Poultry § 780.123 Raising of bees. The term “raising of * * * bees” refers to all of those activities customarily performed in connection with...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. First molecular detection of co-infection of honey bee viruses in asymptomatic Bombus atratus in South America.

    PubMed

    Reynaldi, F J; Sguazza, G H; Albicoro, F J; Pecoraro, M R; Galosi, C M

    2013-11-01

    Pollination is critical for food production and has the particularity of linking natural ecosystems with agricultural production systems. Recently, losses of bumblebee species have been reported worldwide. In this study, samples from a commercial exploitation of bumblebees of Argentina with a recent history of deaths were studied using a multiplex PCR for the detection of the honey bee viruses most frequently detected in South America. All samples analysed were positive for co-infections with Deformed wing virus, Black queen cell virus and Sacbrood virus. This is the first report of infection of Bombus atratus with honey bee viruses. A better understanding of viral infections in bumblebees and of the epidemiology of viruses could be of great importance as bumblebees can serve as possible viral reservoirs, resulting in pathogen spillover towards honey bees and native bumblebees.

  7. Stingless Bees as Alternative Pollinators of Canola.

    PubMed

    Witter, Sidia; Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Lisboa, Bruno B; Tirelli, Flavia P; Sattler, Aroni; Both Hilgert-Moreira, Suzane; Blochtein, Betina

    2015-06-01

    Alternative pollinators can ensure pollination services if the availability of the managed or most common pollinator is compromised. In this study, the behavior and pollination efficiency of Apis mellifera L. and two species of stingless bees, Plebeia emerina Friese and Tetragonisca fiebrigi Schwarz, were evaluated and compared in flowers of Brassica napus L. 'Hyola 61'. A. mellifera was an efficient pollinator when collecting nectar because it effectively touched the reproductive organs of the flower. In contrast, stingless bees were efficient pollinators only when collecting pollen. The number of pollen grains deposited on the stigma after a single visit by worker bees of the three species was greater than the number of grains resulting from pollination without the bee visits. On average, the three species deposited enough pollen grains to fertilize all of the flower ovules. A. mellifera and P. emerina had similar pollination efficiency because no significant differences were observed in the characteristics of the siliques produced. Although T. fiebrigi is also an effective pollinator, the seed mass produced by their pollination was lower. Native bees promoted similar rates of fruit set compared with A. mellifera. Thus, P. emerina has potential to be used for pollination in canola crops.

  8. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Global information sampling in the honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Brian R.

    2008-06-01

    Central to the question of task allocation in social insects is how workers acquire information. Patrolling is a curious behavior in which bees meander over the face of the comb inspecting cells. Several authors have suggested it allows bees to collect global information, but this has never been formally evaluated. This study explores this hypothesis by answering three questions. First, do bees gather information in a consistent manner as they patrol? Second, do they move far enough to get a sense of task demand in distant areas of the nest? And third, is patrolling a commonly performed task? Focal animal observations were used to address the first two predictions, while a scan sampling study was used to address the third. The results were affirmative for each question. While patrolling, workers collected information by performing periodic clusters of cell inspections. Patrolling bees not only traveled far enough to frequently change work zone; they often visited every part of the nest. Finally, the majority of the bees in the middle-age caste were shown to move throughout the nest over the course of a few hours in a manner suggestive of patrolling. Global information collection is contrary to much current theory, which assumes that workers respond to local information only. This study thus highlights the nonmutually exclusive nature of various information collection regimes in social insects.

  11. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-23

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

  12. Mapping sleeping bees within their nest: spatial and temporal analysis of worker honey bee sleep.

    PubMed

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns.

  13. Mapping Sleeping Bees within Their Nest: Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Worker Honey Bee Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Barrett Anthony; Stiegler, Martin; Klein, Arno; Tautz, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Patterns of behavior within societies have long been visualized and interpreted using maps. Mapping the occurrence of sleep across individuals within a society could offer clues as to functional aspects of sleep. In spite of this, a detailed spatial analysis of sleep has never been conducted on an invertebrate society. We introduce the concept of mapping sleep across an insect society, and provide an empirical example, mapping sleep patterns within colonies of European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). Honey bees face variables such as temperature and position of resources within their colony's nest that may impact their sleep. We mapped sleep behavior and temperature of worker bees and produced maps of their nest's comb contents as the colony grew and contents changed. By following marked bees, we discovered that individuals slept in many locations, but bees of different worker castes slept in different areas of the nest relative to position of the brood and surrounding temperature. Older worker bees generally slept outside cells, closer to the perimeter of the nest, in colder regions, and away from uncapped brood. Younger worker bees generally slept inside cells and closer to the center of the nest, and spent more time asleep than awake when surrounded by uncapped brood. The average surface temperature of sleeping foragers was lower than the surface temperature of their surroundings, offering a possible indicator of sleep for this caste. We propose mechanisms that could generate caste-dependent sleep patterns and discuss functional significance of these patterns. PMID:25029445

  14. Native and Non-Native Supergeneralist Bee Species Have Different Effects on Plant-Bee Networks

    PubMed Central

    Giannini, Tereza C.; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Acosta, Andre L.; Silva, Juliana S.; Maia, Kate P.; Saraiva, Antonio M.; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Kleinert, Astrid M. P.

    2015-01-01

    Supergeneralists, defined as species that interact with multiple groups of species in ecological networks, can act as important connectors of otherwise disconnected species subsets. In Brazil, there are two supergeneralist bees: the honeybee Apis mellifera, a non-native species, and Trigona spinipes, a native stingless bee. We compared the role of both species and the effect of geographic and local factors on networks by addressing three questions: 1) Do both species have similar abundance and interaction patterns (degree and strength) in plant-bee networks? 2) Are both species equally influential to the network structure (nestedness, connectance, and plant and bee niche overlap)? 3) How are these species affected by geographic (altitude, temperature, precipitation) and local (natural vs. disturbed habitat) factors? We analyzed 21 plant-bee weighted interaction networks, encompassing most of the main biomes in Brazil. We found no significant difference between both species in abundance, in the number of plant species with which each bee species interacts (degree), and in the sum of their dependencies (strength). Structural equation models revealed the effect of A. mellifera and T. spinipes, respectively, on the interaction network pattern (nestedness) and in the similarity in bee’s interactive partners (bee niche overlap). It is most likely that the recent invasion of A. mellifera resulted in its rapid settlement inside the core of species that retain the largest number of interactions, resulting in a strong influence on nestedness. However, the long-term interaction between native T. spinipes and other bees most likely has a more direct effect on their interactive behavior. Moreover, temperature negatively affected A. mellifera bees, whereas disturbed habitats positively affected T. spinipes. Conversely, precipitation showed no effect. Being positively (T. spinipes) or indifferently (A. mellifera) affected by disturbed habitats makes these species prone to

  15. The challenge of accurately documenting bee species richness in agroecosystems: bee diversity in eastern apple orchards.

    PubMed

    Russo, Laura; Park, Mia; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan

    2015-09-01

    Bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops, and bee diversity has been shown to be closely associated with pollination, a valuable ecosystem service. Higher functional diversity and species richness of bees have been shown to lead to higher crop yield. Bees simultaneously represent a mega-diverse taxon that is extremely challenging to sample thoroughly and an important group to understand because of pollination services. We sampled bees visiting apple blossoms in 28 orchards over 6 years. We used species rarefaction analyses to test for the completeness of sampling and the relationship between species richness and sampling effort, orchard size, and percent agriculture in the surrounding landscape. We performed more than 190 h of sampling, collecting 11,219 specimens representing 104 species. Despite the sampling intensity, we captured <75% of expected species richness at more than half of the sites. For most of these, the variation in bee community composition between years was greater than among sites. Species richness was influenced by percent agriculture, orchard size, and sampling effort, but we found no factors explaining the difference between observed and expected species richness. Competition between honeybees and wild bees did not appear to be a factor, as we found no correlation between honeybee and wild bee abundance. Our study shows that the pollinator fauna of agroecosystems can be diverse and challenging to thoroughly sample. We demonstrate that there is high temporal variation in community composition and that sites vary widely in the sampling effort required to fully describe their diversity. In order to maximize pollination services provided by wild bee species, we must first accurately estimate species richness. For researchers interested in providing this estimate, we recommend multiyear studies and rarefaction analyses to quantify the gap between observed and expected species richness.

  16. Collective thermoregulation in bee clusters.

    PubMed

    Ocko, Samuel A; Mahadevan, L

    2014-02-06

    Swarming is an essential part of honeybee behaviour, wherein thousands of bees cling onto each other to form a dense cluster that may be exposed to the environment for several days. This cluster has the ability to maintain its core temperature actively without a central controller. We suggest that the swarm cluster is akin to an active porous structure whose functional requirement is to adjust to outside conditions by varying its porosity to control its core temperature. Using a continuum model that takes the form of a set of advection-diffusion equations for heat transfer in a mobile porous medium, we show that the equalization of an effective 'behavioural pressure', which propagates information about the ambient temperature through variations in density, leads to effective thermoregulation. Our model extends and generalizes previous models by focusing the question of mechanism on the form and role of the behavioural pressure, and allows us to explain the vertical asymmetry of the cluster (as a consequence of buoyancy-driven flows), the ability of the cluster to overpack at low ambient temperatures without breaking up at high ambient temperatures, and the relative insensitivity to large variations in the ambient temperature. Our theory also makes testable hypotheses for the response of the cluster to external temperature inhomogeneities and suggests strategies for biomimetic thermoregulation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Chronic sublethal stress causes bee colony failure.

    PubMed

    Bryden, John; Gill, Richard J; Mitton, Robert A A; Raine, Nigel E; Jansen, Vincent A A

    2013-12-01

    Current bee population declines and colony failures are well documented yet poorly understood and no single factor has been identified as a leading cause. The evidence is equivocal and puzzling: for instance, many pathogens and parasites can be found in both failing and surviving colonies and field pesticide exposure is typically sublethal. Here, we investigate how these results can be due to sublethal stress impairing colony function. We mathematically modelled stress on individual bees which impairs colony function and found how positive density dependence can cause multiple dynamic outcomes: some colonies fail while others thrive. We then exposed bumblebee colonies to sublethal levels of a neonicotinoid pesticide. The dynamics of colony failure, which we observed, were most accurately described by our model. We argue that our model can explain the enigmatic aspects of bee colony failures, highlighting an important role for sublethal stress in colony declines.

  19. Why do Varroa mites prefer nurse bees?

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Xianbing; Huang, Zachary Y.; Zeng, Zhijiang

    2016-01-01

    The Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is an acarine ecto-parasite on Apis mellifera. It is the worst pest of Apis mellifera, yet its reproductive biology on the host is not well understood. In particular, the significance of the phoretic stage, when mites feed on adult bees for a few days, is not clear. In addition, it is not clear whether the preference of mites for nurses observed in the laboratory also happens inside real colonies. We show that Varroa mites prefer nurses over both newly emerged bees and forgers in a colony setting. We then determined the mechanism behind this preference. We show that this preference maximizes Varroa fitness, although due to the fact that each mite must find a second host (a pupa) to reproduce, the fitness benefit to the mites is not immediate but delayed. Our results suggest that the Varroa mite is a highly adapted parasite for honey bees. PMID:27302644

  20. Chronic sublethal stress causes bee colony failure

    PubMed Central

    Bryden, John; Gill, Richard J; Mitton, Robert A A; Raine, Nigel E; Jansen, Vincent A A; Hodgson, David

    2013-01-01

    Current bee population declines and colony failures are well documented yet poorly understood and no single factor has been identified as a leading cause. The evidence is equivocal and puzzling: for instance, many pathogens and parasites can be found in both failing and surviving colonies and field pesticide exposure is typically sublethal. Here, we investigate how these results can be due to sublethal stress impairing colony function. We mathematically modelled stress on individual bees which impairs colony function and found how positive density dependence can cause multiple dynamic outcomes: some colonies fail while others thrive. We then exposed bumblebee colonies to sublethal levels of a neonicotinoid pesticide. The dynamics of colony failure, which we observed, were most accurately described by our model. We argue that our model can explain the enigmatic aspects of bee colony failures, highlighting an important role for sublethal stress in colony declines. PMID:24112478

  1. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Predictive Markers of Honey Bee Colony Collapse

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Genomics of the honey bee microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Nancy A.

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Test of the invasive pathogen hypothesis of bumble bee decline in North America

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Sydney A.; Lim, Haw Chuan; Lozier, Jeffrey D.; Duennes, Michelle A.; Thorp, Robbin

    2016-01-01

    Emergent fungal diseases are critical factors in global biodiversity declines. The fungal pathogen Nosema bombi was recently found to be widespread in declining species of North American bumble bees (Bombus), with circumstantial evidence suggesting an exotic introduction from Europe. This interpretation has been hampered by a lack of knowledge of global genetic variation, geographic origin, and changing prevalence patterns of N. bombi in declining North American populations. Thus, the temporal and spatial emergence of N. bombi and its potential role in bumble bee decline remain speculative. We analyze Nosema prevalence and genetic variation in the United States and Europe from 1980, before an alleged introduction in the early 1990s, to 2011, extracting Nosema DNA from Bombus natural history collection specimens from across this time period. Nosema bombi prevalence increased significantly from low detectable frequency in the 1980s to significantly higher frequency in the mid- to late-1990s, corresponding to a period of reported massive infectious outbreak of N. bombi in commercial bumble bee rearing stocks in North America. Despite the increased frequency, we find no conclusive evidence of an exotic N. bombi origin based on genetic analysis of global Nosema populations; the widespread Nosema strain found currently in declining United States bumble bees was present in the United States before commercial colony trade. Notably, the US N. bombi is not detectably different from that found predominantly throughout Western Europe, with both regions characterized by low genetic diversity compared with high levels of diversity found in Asia, where commercial bee breeding activities are low or nonexistent. PMID:27044096

  5. Test of the invasive pathogen hypothesis of bumble bee decline in North America.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lim, Haw Chuan; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Duennes, Michelle A; Thorp, Robbin

    2016-04-19

    Emergent fungal diseases are critical factors in global biodiversity declines. The fungal pathogenNosema bombiwas recently found to be widespread in declining species of North American bumble bees (Bombus), with circumstantial evidence suggesting an exotic introduction from Europe. This interpretation has been hampered by a lack of knowledge of global genetic variation, geographic origin, and changing prevalence patterns ofN. bombiin declining North American populations. Thus, the temporal and spatial emergence ofN. bombiand its potential role in bumble bee decline remain speculative. We analyzeNosemaprevalence and genetic variation in the United States and Europe from 1980, before an alleged introduction in the early 1990s, to 2011, extractingNosemaDNA fromBombusnatural history collection specimens from across this time period.Nosema bombiprevalence increased significantly from low detectable frequency in the 1980s to significantly higher frequency in the mid- to late-1990s, corresponding to a period of reported massive infectious outbreak ofN. bombiin commercial bumble bee rearing stocks in North America. Despite the increased frequency, we find no conclusive evidence of an exoticN. bombiorigin based on genetic analysis of globalNosemapopulations; the widespreadNosemastrain found currently in declining United States bumble bees was present in the United States before commercial colony trade. Notably, the USN. bombiis not detectably different from that found predominantly throughout Western Europe, with both regions characterized by low genetic diversity compared with high levels of diversity found in Asia, where commercial bee breeding activities are low or nonexistent.

  6. Impact of electric fields on honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bindokas, V.P.

    1985-01-01

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

  7. Pathogen Webs in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-19

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

  11. Solitary invasive orchid bee outperforms co-occurring native bees to promote fruit set of an invasive Solanum.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Pemberton, Robert W

    2009-03-01

    Our understanding of the effects of introduced invasive pollinators on plants has been exclusively drawn from studies on introduced social bees. One might expect, however, that the impacts of introduced solitary bees, with much lower population densities and fewer foragers, would be small. Yet little is known about the potential effects of naturalized solitary bees on the environment. We took advantage of the recent naturalization of an orchid bee, Euglossa viridissima, in southern Florida to study the effects of this solitary bee on reproduction of Solanum torvum, an invasive shrub. Flowers of S. torvum require specialized buzz pollination. Through timed floral visitor watches and two pollination treatments (control and pollen supplementation) at three forest edge and three open area sites, we found that the fruit set of S. torvum was pollen limited at the open sites where the native bees dominate, but was not pollen limited at the forest sites where the invasive orchid bees dominate. The orchid bee's pollination efficiency was nearly double that of the native halictid bees, and was also slightly higher than that of the native carpenter bee. Experiments using small and large mesh cages (to deny or allow E. viridissima access, respectively) at one forest site indicated that when the orchid bee was excluded, the flowers set one-quarter as many fruit as when the bee was allowed access. The orchid bee was the most important pollinator of the weed at the forest sites, which could pose additional challenges to the management of this weed in the fragmented, endangered tropical hardwood forests in the region. This specialized invasive mutualism may promote populations of both the orchid bee and this noxious weed. Invasive solitary bees, particularly species that are specialized pollinators, appear to have more importance than has previously been recognized.

  12. Disentangling urban habitat and matrix effects on wild bee species

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In face of a dramatic decline of wild bee species in many rural landscapes, potential conservation functions of urban areas gain importance. Yet effects of urbanization on pollinators, and in particular on wild bees, remain ambiguous and not comprehensively understood. This is especially true for amenity grassland and extensively managed wastelands within large-scale residential housing areas. Using Berlin as a study region, we aimed to investigate (a) if these greenspaces are accepted by wild bee assemblages as foraging habitats; (b) how assemblage structure of bees and individual bee species are affected by different habitat (e.g., management, flower density) and urban matrix variables (e.g., isolation, urbanization); and (c) to what extent grassland restoration can promote bees in urban environments. In summer 2012, we collected 62 bee species belonging to more than 20% of the taxa known for Berlin. Urbanization significantly affected species composition of bees; 18 species were affiliated to different levels of urbanization. Most bee species were not affected by any of the environmental variables tested, and urbanization had a negative effect only for one bee species. Further, we determined that restoration of diverse grasslands positively affected bee species richnesss in urban environments. We conclude that differently structured and managed greenspaces in large-scale housing areas can provide additional foraging habitats and refuges for pollinators. This supports approaches towards a biodiversity friendly management within urban regions and may be of particular importance given that anthropogenic pressure is increasing in many rural landscapes. PMID:27917318

  13. 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.

  14. Can poisons stimulate bees? Appreciating the potential of hormesis in bee-pesticide research.

    PubMed

    Cutler, G Christopher; Rix, Rachel R

    2015-10-01

    Hormesis, a biphasic dose response whereby exposure to low doses of a stressor can stimulate biological processes, has been reported in many organisms, including pest insects when they are exposed to low doses of a pesticide. However, awareness of the hormesis phenomenon seems to be limited among bee researchers, in spite of the increased emphasis of late on pollinator toxicology and risk assessment. In this commentary, we show that there are several examples in the literature of substances that are toxic to bees at high doses but stimulatory at low doses. Appreciation of the hormetic dose response by bee researchers will improve our fundamental understanding of how bees respond to low doses of chemical stressors, and may be useful in pollinator risk assessment.

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

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

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

  16. Chem I Supplement: Bee Sting: The Chemistry of an Insect Venom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Rod; Peck, Larry

    1980-01-01

    Considers various aspects of bee stings including the physical mechanism of the venom apparatus in the bee, categorization of physiological responses of nonprotected individuals to bee sting, chemical composition of bee venom and the mechanisms of venom action, and areas of interest in the synthesis of bee venom. (CS)

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Way-finding in displaced clock-shifted bees proves bees use a cognitive map.

    PubMed

    Cheeseman, James F; Millar, Craig D; Greggers, Uwe; Lehmann, Konstantin; Pawley, Matthew D M; Gallistel, Charles R; Warman, Guy R; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-06-17

    Mammals navigate by means of a metric cognitive map. Insects, most notably bees and ants, are also impressive navigators. The question whether they, too, have a metric cognitive map is important to cognitive science and neuroscience. Experimentally captured and displaced bees often depart from the release site in the compass direction they were bent on before their capture, even though this no longer heads them toward their goal. When they discover their error, however, the bees set off more or less directly toward their goal. This ability to orient toward a goal from an arbitrary point in the familiar environment is evidence that they have an integrated metric map of the experienced environment. We report a test of an alternative hypothesis, which is that all the bees have in memory is a collection of snapshots that enable them to recognize different landmarks and, associated with each such snapshot, a sun-compass-referenced home vector derived from dead reckoning done before and after previous visits to the landmark. We show that a large shift in the sun-compass rapidly induced by general anesthesia does not alter the accuracy or speed of the homeward-oriented flight made after the bees discover the error in their initial postrelease flight. This result rules out the sun-referenced home-vector hypothesis, further strengthening the now extensive evidence for a metric cognitive map in bees.

  20. Possible complication of bee stings and a review of the cardiac effects of bee stings.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Prabha Nini; Kumar, B Krishna; Velappan, Praveen; Sudheer, M D

    2016-11-01

    We report the case of a patient who, ∼3 weeks after multiple bee stings, developed a prolonged heart block, syncope and cardiac arrest. This required a temporary pacemaker to be implanted, which was later replaced with a permanent pacemaker. An ECG taken following surgery for a fractured humerus 6 years earlier was reportedly normal. The patient had been a rubber tapper who walked ∼1.5 km/day, but after the bee attack he was no longer able to walk or get up from the bed without experiencing syncope. We presume that the bee venom caused these signs, as well as the resulting heart block, which persisted long after the bee sting had subsided. Since his coronary angiogram was normal we believe he had a Kounis type involvement of the cardiovascular system, namely profound coronary spasm that caused complete heart block that did not recover. Another probable reason for the complete heart block could have been that the bees had consumed the pollen of a rhododendron flower, causing 'grayanotoxin' poisoning and severe heart block. The other effects of bee sting are discussed briefly.

  1. Bees' subtle colour preferences: how bees respond to small changes in pigment concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Rohde, Katja; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-07-01

    Variability in flower colour of animal-pollinated plants is common and caused, inter alia, by inter-individual differences in pigment concentrations. If and how pollinators, especially bees, respond to these small differences in pigment concentration is not known, but it is likely that flower colour variability impacts the choice behaviour of all flower visitors that exhibit innate and learned colour preferences. In behavioural experiments, we simulated varying pigment concentrations and studied its impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Individual bees were trained to artificial flowers having a specific concentration of a pigment, i.e. Acridine Orange or Aniline Blue, and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours including the training colour, one colour of lower and one colour of higher pigment concentration. For each pigment, two set-ups were provided, covering the range of low to middle and the range of middle to high pigment concentrations. Despite the small bee-subjective perceptual contrasts between the tested stimuli and regardless of training towards medium concentrations, bees preferred neither the training stimuli nor the stimuli offering the highest pigment concentration but more often chose those stimuli offering the highest spectral purity and the highest chromatic contrast against the background. Overall, this study suggests that bees choose an intermediate pigment concentration due to its optimal conspicuousness. It is concluded that the spontaneous preferences of bees for flower colours of high spectral purity might exert selective pressure on the evolution of floral colours and of flower pigmentation.

  2. Pesticides and reduced-risk insecticides, native bees and pantropical stingless bees: pitfalls and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Wagner F; Smagghe, Guy; Guedes, Raul Narciso C

    2015-08-01

    Although invertebrates generally have a low public profile, the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., is a flagship species whose popularity likely derives from the products it provides and its perceived ecological services. Therefore, the raging debate regarding honey bee decline has surpassed the realm of beekeepers, academia, industry and regulatory agencies and now also encompasses non-governmental agencies, media, fiction writers and the general public. The early interest and concern about honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) soon shifted to the bigger issue of pollinator decline, with a focus on the potential involvement of pesticides in such a phenomenon. Pesticides were previously recognised as the potential culprits of the reported declines, particularly the neonicotinoid insecticides owing to their widespread and peculiar use in agriculture. However, the evidence for the potential pivotal role of these neonicotinoids in honey bee decline remains a matter of debate, with an increased recognition of the multifactorial nature of the problem and the lack of a direct association between the noted decline and neonicotinoid use. The focus on the decline of honey bee populations subsequently spread to other species, and bumblebees became another matter of concern, particularly in Europe and the United States. Other bee species, ones that are particularly important in other regions of the world, remain the object of little concern (unjustifiably so). Furthermore, the continuous focus on neonicotinoids is also in need of revision, as the current evidence suggests that a broad spectrum of compounds deserve attention. Here we address both shortcomings.

  3. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Genetic Stock Identification of Russian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Odor compound detection in male euglossine bees.

    PubMed

    Schiestl, F P; Roubik, D W

    2003-01-01

    Male euglossine bees collect fragrances from various sources, which they store and use for as yet unknown purposes. They are attracted, often specifically, to single odor compounds and blends thereof. We used gas chromatography with electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) and electroantennography (EAG) to investigate the response to 8 odor compounds by males of two euglossine species, Euglossa cybelia Moure and Eulaema polychroma (Mocsàry). In E. cybelia, we recorded EAD reactions in response to 1,8-cineole, methyl benzoate, benzyl actetate, methyl salicylate, eugenol, and methyl cinnamate. E. polychroma responded to the same compounds in EAG experiments, while (1s)(-)alpha-pinene and beta-pinene failed to trigger EAD or EAG responses in the bees. Blends of two compounds triggered larger responses than single compounds in EAG experiments with E. polychroma, however, when alpha-pinene was added, reactions decreased. In the light of existing data on the bees' behavior towards these odor compounds, our work indicates that both peripheral and central nervous processes influence the attraction of euglossine bees to odors.

  6. Phylogenetic analysis of honey bee behavioral evolution.

    PubMed

    Raffiudin, Rika; Crozier, Ross H

    2007-05-01

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

  7. Tragedy of the commons in Melipona bees.

    PubMed Central

    Wenseleers, Tom; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2004-01-01

    In human society selfish use of common resources can lead to disaster, a situation known as the 'tragedy of the commons' (TOC). Although a TOC is usually prevented by coercion, theory predicts that close kinship ties can also favour reduced exploitation. We test this prediction using data on a TOC occurring in Melipona bee societies. PMID:15504003

  8. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  11. Imaging Live Bee Brains using Minimally-Invasive Diagnostic Radioentomology

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Mark K; Tong, Jenna; Soleimani, Manucher; Bell, Duncan; Schäfer, Marc O

    2012-01-01

    The sensitivity of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymeonoptera: Apidae), brain volume and density to behavior (plasticity) makes it a great model for exploring the interactions between experience, behavior, and brain structure. Plasticity in the adult bee brain has been demonstrated in previous experiments. This experiment was conducted to identify the potentials and limitations of MicroCT (micro computed tomograpy) scanning “live” bees as a more comprehensive, non-invasive method for brain morphology and physiology. Bench-top and synchrotron MicroCT were used to scan live bees. For improved tissue differentiation, bees were fed and injected with radiographic contrast. Images of optic lobes, ocelli, antennal lobes, and mushroom bodies were visualized in 2D and 3D rendering modes. Scanning of live bees (for the first time) enabled minimally-invasive imaging of physiological processes such as passage of contrast from gut to haemolymph, and preliminary brain perfusion studies. The use of microCT scanning for studying insects (collectively termed ‘diagnostic radioentomology’, or DR) is increasing. Our results indicate that it is feasible to observe plasticity of the honey bee brain in vivo using diagnostic radioentomology, and that progressive, real-time observations of these changes can be followed in individual live bees. Limitations of live bee scanning, such as movement errors and poor tissue differentiation, were identified; however, there is great potential for in-vivo, non-invasive diagnostic radioentomology imaging of the honey bee for brain morphology and physiology. PMID:23421752

  12. Bilabiate Flowers: The Ultimate Response to Bees?

    PubMed Central

    Westerkamp, Christian; Claßen-Bockhoff, Regine

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims Bilabiate flowers have evolved in many lineages of the angiosperms, thus representing a convincing example of parallel evolution. Similar to keel blossoms, they have obviously evolved in order to protect pollen against pollen-collecting bees. Although many examples are known, a comprehensive survey on floral diversity and functional constraints of bilabiate flowers is lacking. Here, the concept is widened and described as a general pattern. Methods The present paper is a conceptional review including personal observations of the authors. To form a survey on the diversity of bilabiate blossoms, a search was made for examples across the angiosperms and these were combined with personal observations collected during the last 25 years, coupled with knowledge from the literature. New functional terms are introduced that are independent of morphological and taxonomic associations. Key Results Bilabiate constructions occur in at least 38 angiosperm families. They are characterized by dorsiventral organization and dorsal pollen transfer. They are most often realised on the level of a single flower, but may also be present in an inflorescence or as part of a so-called ‘walk-around flower’. Interestingly, in functional terms all nototribic blossoms represent bilabiate constructions. The great majority of specialized bee-flowers can thus be included under bilabiate and keel blossoms. The syndrome introduced here, however, also paves the way for the inclusion of larger animals such as birds and bats. The most important evolutionary trends appear to be in the saving of pollen and the precision of its transfer. With special reference to the Lamiales, selected examples of bilabiate flowers are presented and their functional significance is discussed. Conclusions Bilabiate blossoms protect their pollen against pollen-collecting bees and at the same time render their pollination more precisely. The huge diversity of realised forms indicate the high selection

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. The Bee Microbiome: Impact on Bee Health and Model for Evolution and Ecology of Host-Microbe Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R. Scott; Dainat, Jacques; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health. PMID:27118586

  15. The bee microbiome: Impact on bee health and model for evolution and ecology of host-microbe interactions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K.; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E.; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, Robert S.; Dainat, Jacques; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Doublet, Vincent; Emery, Olivier; Evans, Jay D.; Farinelli, Laurent; Flenniken, Michelle L.; Granberg, Fredrik; Grasis, Juris A.; Gauthier, Laurent; Hayer, Juliette; Koch, Hauke; Kocher, Sarah; Martinson, Vincent G.; Moran, Nancy; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Newton, Irene; Paxton, Robert J.; Powell, Eli; Sadd, Ben M.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Song, Se Jin; Schwarz, Ryan S.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Dainat, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    As pollinators, bees are cornerstones for terrestrial ecosystem stability and key components in agricultural productivity. All animals, including bees, are associated with a diverse community of microbes, commonly referred to as the microbiome. The bee microbiome is likely to be a crucial factor affecting host health. However, with the exception of a few pathogens, the impacts of most members of the bee microbiome on host health are poorly understood. Further, the evolutionary and ecological forces that shape and change the microbiome are unclear. Here, we discuss recent progress in our understanding of the bee microbiome, and we present challenges associated with its investigation. We conclude that global coordination of research efforts is needed to fully understand the complex and highly dynamic nature of the interplay between the bee microbiome, its host, and the environment. High-throughput sequencing technologies are ideal for exploring complex biological systems, including host-microbe interactions. To maximize their value and to improve assessment of the factors affecting bee health, sequence data should be archived, curated, and analyzed in ways that promote the synthesis of different studies. To this end, the BeeBiome consortium aims to develop an online database which would provide reference sequences, archive metadata, and host analytical resources. The goal would be to support applied and fundamental research on bees and their associated microbes and to provide a collaborative framework for sharing primary data from different research programs, thus furthering our understanding of the bee microbiome and its impact on pollinator health.

  16. Magnetic Sensing through the Abdomen of the Honey bee

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. A Game Demonstrating Aspects of Bumblebee Natural History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Westgarth-Smith, Angus R.

    2004-01-01

    The Bumblebee Game is an exciting outdoor game, which demonstrates aspects of bumblebee natural history including food chains, food webs and competition for food, predation by crab spiders, parasitism by "Conopidae" ("Diptera") and brood parasitism by cuckoo bees. It has been played successfully with groups of 10-25 people. Although most suitable…

  19. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

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

  20. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

    Use of honey and other bee products in human treatments traced back thousands of years and healing properties are included in many religious texts including the Veda, Bible and Quran. Apitherapy is the use of honey bee products for medical purposes, this include bee venom, raw honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and beeswax. Whereas bee venom therapy is the use of live bee stings (or injectable venom) to treat various diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, sciatica, low back pain, and tennis elbow to name a few. It refers to any use of venom to assist the body in healing itself. Bee venom contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including various enzymes, peptides and amines. Sulfur is believed to be the main element in inducing the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands and in protecting the body from infections. Contact with bee venom produces a complex cascade of reactions in the human body. The bee venom is safe for human treatments, the median lethal dose (LD50) for an adult human is 2.8 mg of venom per kg of body weight, i.e. a person weighing 60 kg has a 50% chance of surviving injections totaling 168 mg of bee venom. Assuming each bee injects all its venom and no stings are quickly removed at a maximum of 0.3 mg venom per sting, 560 stings could well be lethal for such a person. For a child weighing 10 kg, as little as 93.33 stings could be fatal. However, most human deaths result from one or few bee stings due to allergic reactions, heart failure or suffocation from swelling around the neck or the mouth. As compare with other human diseases, accidents and other unusual cases, the bee venom is very safe for human treatments.

  1. Comparative toxicity of pesticides and environmental contaminants in bees: Are honey bees a useful proxy for wild bee species?

    PubMed

    Heard, Matthew S; Baas, Jan; Dorne, Jean-Lou; Lahive, Elma; Robinson, Alexander G; Rortais, Agnes; Spurgeon, David J; Svendsen, Claus; Hesketh, Helen

    2017-02-01

    Threats to wild and managed insect pollinators in Europe are cause for both ecological and socio-economic concern. Multiple anthropogenic pressures may be exacerbating pollinator declines. One key pressure is exposure to chemicals including pesticides and other contaminants. Historically the honey bee (Apis mellifera spp.) has been used as an 'indicator' species for 'standard' ecotoxicological testing but it has been suggested that it is not always a good proxy for other types of eusocial and solitary bees because of species differences in autecology and sensitivity to various stressors. We developed a common toxicity test system to conduct acute and chronic exposures of up to 240h of similar doses of seven chemicals, targeting different metabolic pathways, on three bee species (Apis mellifera spp., Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis). We compared the relative sensitivity between species in terms of potency between the chemicals and the influence of exposure time on toxicity. While there were significant interspecific differences that varied through time, overall the magnitude of these differences (in terms of treatment effect ratios) was generally comparable (<2 fold) although there were some large divergences from this pattern. Our results suggest that A. mellifera spp. could be used as a proxy for other bee species provided a reasonable assessment factor is used to cover interspecific variation. Perhaps more importantly our results show significant and large time dependency of toxicity across all three tested species that greatly exceeds species differences (>25 fold within test). These are rarely considered in standard regulatory testing but may have severe environmental consequences, especially when coupled with the likelihood of differential species exposures in the wild. These insights indicate that further work is required to understand how differences in toxicokinetics vary between species and mixtures of chemicals.

  2. Miocene honey bees from the Randeck Maar of southwestern Germany (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    Kotthoff, Ulrich; Wappler, Torsten; Engel, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The Miocene Randeck Maar (southwestern Germany) is one of the only sites with abundant material of fossil honey bees. The fauna has been the focus of much scrutiny by early authors who recognized multiple species or subspecies within the fauna. The history of work on the Randeck Maar is briefly reviewed and these fossils placed into context with other Tertiary and living species of the genus Apis Linnaeus (Apinae: Apini). Previously unrecorded specimens from Randeck Maar were compared with earlier series in an attempt to evaluate the observed variation. A morphometric analysis of forewing venation angles across representative Recent and Tertiary species of Apis as well as various non-Apini controls was undertaken to evaluate the distribution of variation in fossil honey bees. The resulting dendrogram shows considerable variation concerning the wing venation of Miocene Apini, but intergradation of other morphological characters reveals no clear pattern of separate species. This suggests that a single, highly variable species was present in Europe during the Miocene. The pattern also supports the notion that the multiple species and subspecies proposed by earlier authors for the Randeck Maar honey bee fauna are not valid, and all are accordingly recognized as Apis armbrusteri Zeuner. PMID:21594072

  3. The importance of pollen chemistry in evolutionary host shifts of bees.

    PubMed

    Vanderplanck, Maryse; Vereecken, Nicolas J; Grumiau, Laurent; Esposito, Fabiana; Lognay, Georges; Wattiez, Ruddy; Michez, Denis

    2017-02-20

    Although bee-plant associations are generally maintained through speciation processes, host shifts have occurred during evolution. Understanding shifts between both phylogenetically and morphologically unrelated plants (i.e., host-saltation) is especially important since they could have been key processes in the origin and radiation of bees. Probably far from being a random process, such host-saltation might be driven by hidden constraints associated with plant traits. We selected two clades of oligolectic bees (i.e., Colletes succinctus group and Melitta leporina group) foraging on co-flowering but unrelated host-plants to test this hypothesis. We analyzed floral scent, floral color and chemical composition of pollen from host and non-host plants of these two clades. We did not find evidence for host-plant evolution in the Melitta leporina group driven by one of the assayed floral traits. On the contrary, hosts of the C. succinctus group display similar primary nutritive content of pollen (i.e., amino acids and sterols) but not similar floral scent or color, suggesting that shared pollen chemistry probably mediates saltation in this clade. Our study revealed that constraints shaping floral associations are diverse and clearly depend on species life-history traits, but evidence suggests that pollen chemistry may act as a major floral filter and guide evolutionary host-shifts.

  4. Dispersal capacity and diet breadth modify the response of wild bees to habitat loss.

    PubMed

    Bommarco, Riccardo; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Meyer, Birgit; Potts, Simon G; Pöyry, Juha; Roberts, Stuart P M; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Ockinger, Erik

    2010-07-07

    Habitat loss poses a major threat to biodiversity, and species-specific extinction risks are inextricably linked to life-history characteristics. This relationship is still poorly documented for many functionally important taxa, and at larger continental scales. With data from five replicated field studies from three countries, we examined how species richness of wild bees varies with habitat patch size. We hypothesized that the form of this relationship is affected by body size, degree of host plant specialization and sociality. Across all species, we found a positive species-area slope (z = 0.19), and species traits modified this relationship. Large-bodied generalists had a lower z value than small generalists. Contrary to predictions, small specialists had similar or slightly lower z value compared with large specialists, and small generalists also tended to be more strongly affected by habitat loss as compared with small specialists. Social bees were negatively affected by habitat loss (z = 0.11) irrespective of body size. We conclude that habitat loss leads to clear shifts in the species composition of wild bee communities.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. The importance of pollen chemistry in evolutionary host shifts of bees

    PubMed Central

    Vanderplanck, Maryse; Vereecken, Nicolas J.; Grumiau, Laurent; Esposito, Fabiana; Lognay, Georges; Wattiez, Ruddy; Michez, Denis

    2017-01-01

    Although bee-plant associations are generally maintained through speciation processes, host shifts have occurred during evolution. Understanding shifts between both phylogenetically and morphologically unrelated plants (i.e., host-saltation) is especially important since they could have been key processes in the origin and radiation of bees. Probably far from being a random process, such host-saltation might be driven by hidden constraints associated with plant traits. We selected two clades of oligolectic bees (i.e., Colletes succinctus group and Melitta leporina group) foraging on co-flowering but unrelated host-plants to test this hypothesis. We analyzed floral scent, floral color and chemical composition of pollen from host and non-host plants of these two clades. We did not find evidence for host-plant evolution in the Melitta leporina group driven by one of the assayed floral traits. On the contrary, hosts of the C. succinctus group display similar primary nutritive content of pollen (i.e., amino acids and sterols) but not similar floral scent or color, suggesting that shared pollen chemistry probably mediates saltation in this clade. Our study revealed that constraints shaping floral associations are diverse and clearly depend on species life-history traits, but evidence suggests that pollen chemistry may act as a major floral filter and guide evolutionary host-shifts. PMID:28216663

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-15

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

  8. Caste-specific differences in hindgut microbial communities of honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Kapheim, Karen M; Rao, Vikyath D; 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.

  9. Activity-dependent gene expression in honey bee mushroom bodies in response to orientation flight

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, Claudia C.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY The natural history of adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera) provides an opportunity to study the molecular basis of learning in an ecological context. Foragers must learn to navigate between the hive and floral locations that may be up to miles away. Young pre-foragers prepare for this task by performing orientation flights near the hive, during which they begin to learn navigational cues such as the appearance of the hive, the position of landmarks, and the movement of the sun. Despite well-described spatial learning and navigation behavior, there is currently limited information on the neural basis of insect spatial learning. We found that Egr, an insect homolog of Egr-1, is rapidly and transiently upregulated in the mushroom bodies in response to orientation. This result is the first example of an Egr-1 homolog acting as a learning-related immediate-early gene in an insect and also demonstrates that honey bee orientation uses a molecular mechanism that is known to be involved in many other forms of learning. This transcriptional response occurred both in naïve bees and in foragers induced to re-orient. Further experiments suggest that visual environmental novelty, rather than exercise or memorization of specific visual cues, acts as the stimulus for Egr upregulation. Our results implicate the mushroom bodies in spatial learning and emphasize the deep conservation of Egr-related pathways in experience-dependent plasticity. PMID:23678099

  10. 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

  11. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity.

  12. The Potential Influence of Bumble Bee Visitation on Foraging Behaviors and Assemblages of Honey Bees on Squash Flowers in Highland Agricultural Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zhenghua; Pan, Dongdong; Teichroew, Jonathan; An, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Bee species interactions can benefit plant pollination through synergistic effects and complementary effects, or can be of detriment to plant pollination through competition effects by reducing visitation by effective pollinators. Since specific bee interactions influence the foraging performance of bees on flowers, they also act as drivers to regulate the assemblage of flower visitors. We selected squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) and its pollinators as a model system to study the foraging response of honey bees to the occurrence of bumble bees at two types of sites surrounded by a high amount of natural habitats (≥ 58% of land cover) and a low amount of natural habitats (≤ 12% of land cover) in a highland agricultural ecosystem in China. At the individual level, we measured the elapsed time from the departure of prior pollinator(s) to the arrival of another pollinator, the selection of honey bees for flowers occupied by bumble bees, and the length of time used by honey bees to explore floral resources at the two types of sites. At the community level, we explored the effect of bumble bee visitation on the distribution patterns of honey bees on squash flowers. Conclusively, bumble bee visitation caused an increase in elapsed time before flowers were visited again by a honey bee, a behavioral avoidance by a newly-arriving honey bee to select flowers occupied by bumble bees, and a shortened length of time the honey bee takes to examine and collect floral resources. The number of overall bumble bees on squash flowers was the most important factor explaining the difference in the distribution patterns of honey bees at the community level. Furthermore, decline in the number of overall bumble bees on the squash flowers resulted in an increase in the number of overall honey bees. Therefore, our study suggests that bee interactions provide an opportunity to enhance the resilience of ecosystem pollination services against the decline in pollinator diversity. PMID:26765140

  13. Bees of the Azores: an annotated checklist (Apidae, Hymenoptera)

    PubMed Central

    Weissmann, Julie A.; Picanço, Ana; Borges, Paulo A.V.; Schaefer, Hanno

    2017-01-01

    Abstract We report 18 species of wild bees plus the domesticated honeybee from the Azores, which adds nine species to earlier lists. One species, Hylaeus azorae, seems to be a single island endemic, and three species are possibly native (Colletes eous, Halictus villosulus, and Hylaeus pictipes). All the remaining bee species are most likely accidental introductions that arrived after human colonization of the archipelago in the 15th century. Bee diversity in the Azores is similar to bee diversity of Madeira and Cape Verde but nearly ten times lower than it is in the Canary Islands. PMID:28138299

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  15. Factors limiting the species richness of bees in Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Patiny, S; Michez, D; Kuhlmann, M; Pauly, A; Barbier, Y

    2009-08-01

    There is a severe shortage of knowledge of bee biogeography. Some former studies have highlighted a link between bee diversity and xeric ecosystems, but we know practically nothing of the macro-ecological factors driving bee diversity. The present study aims to analyse the main macro-ecological factors driving bee species-richness in the Saharan region. Our dataset includes 25,000+ records for localities in Africa, between 37 degrees and 10 degrees N. Maps and GIS were used to get a first overview of the distribution of the studied taxa. Partial least squares analysis (PLS) was used to study the impact of a set of ecological factors on the bee species richness (SR). The mapping highlighted the clustering of the highest bee SR values in some parts of the Saharan area (e.g. Maghreb, western Africa). In Central Sahara, there is an obvious topological coincidence of the high SR, the local mountain chains and the inland waters. The PLS helped to quantify the relationships between bee SR and a set of eco-climatic variables. It also highlighted a residual variance not explained by the considered descriptors. Our results recover the tight link between bee SR and xeric ecosystems. They also suggest that, within these ecosystems, bee SR is driven by an optimum of the energy-water balance (on which adjustment is allowed by the above gradients).

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  17. Do bees like Van Gogh's Sunflowers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chittka, Lars; Walker, Julian

    2006-06-01

    Flower colours have evolved over 100 million years to address the colour vision of their bee pollinators. In a much more rapid process, cultural (and horticultural) evolution has produced images of flowers that stimulate aesthetic responses in human observers. The colour vision and analysis of visual patterns differ in several respects between humans and bees. Here, a behavioural ecologist and an installation artist present bumblebees with reproductions of paintings highly appreciated in Western society, such as Van Gogh's Sunflowers. We use this unconventional approach in the hope to raise awareness for between-species differences in visual perception, and to provoke thinking about the implications of biology in human aesthetics and the relationship between object representation and its biological connotations.

  18. Thi Qar Bee Farm Thi Qar, Iraq

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-01

    vegetation and fields where bees once gathered pollen and beekeepers face hardships from droughts and lack of financial assistance. 1... Beekeeping in the Fertile Crescent dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. However, beekeeping was virtually unknown in southern Iraq. In 2005, a small group of...engineers and farmers in Thi Qar province formed the Iraqi Beekeeping Association of Thi Qar and started to disseminate the culture of beekeeping

  19. Extrapolation of acute toxicity across bee species.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen

    2016-10-01

    In applying cross-species extrapolation safety factors from honeybees to other bee species, some basic principles of toxicity have not been included, for example, the importance of body mass in determining a toxic dose. The present study re-analyzed published toxicity data, taking into account the reported mass of the individuals in the identified species. The analysis demonstrated a shift to the left in the distribution of sensitivity of honeybees relative to 20 other bee species when body size is taken into account, with the 95(th) percentile for contact and oral toxicity reducing from 10.7 (based on μg/individual bee) to 5.0 (based on μg/g bodyweight). Such an approach results in the real drivers of species differences in sensitivity-such as variability in absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion in and target-receptor binding-being more realistically reflected in the revised safety factor. Body mass can also be used to underpin the other parameter of first-tier risk assessment, that is, exposure. However, the key exposure factors that cannot be predicted from bodyweight are the effects of ecology and behavior of the different species on exposure to a treated crop. Further data are required to understand the biology of species associated with agricultural crops and the potential consequences of effects on individuals at the levels of the colony or bee populations. This information will allow the development of appropriate higher-tier refinement of risk assessments and testing strategies rather than extensive additional toxicity testing at Tier 1. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2016;12:622-626. © 2015 SETAC.

  20. A review of ecosystem service benefits from wild bees across social contexts.

    PubMed

    Matias, Denise Margaret S; Leventon, Julia; Rau, Anna-Lena; Borgemeister, Christian; von Wehrden, Henrik

    2016-11-22

    In order to understand the role of wild bees in both social and ecological systems, we conducted a quantitative and qualitative review of publications dealing with wild bees and the benefits they provide in social contexts. We classified publications according to several attributes such as services and benefits derived from wild bees, types of bee-human interactions, recipients of direct benefits, social contexts where wild bees are found, and sources of changes to the bee-human system. We found that most of the services and benefits from wild bees are related to food, medicine, and pollination. We also found that wild bees directly provide benefits to communities to a greater extent than individuals. In the social contexts where they are found, wild bees occupy a central role. Several drivers of change affect bee-human systems, ranging from environmental to political drivers. These are the areas where we recommend making interventions for conserving the bee-human system.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-30

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

  3. Can We Disrupt the Sensing of Honey Bees by the Bee Parasite Varroa destructor?

    PubMed Central

    Eliash, Nurit; Singh, Nitin Kumar; Kamer, Yosef; Pinnelli, Govardhana Reddy; Plettner, Erika; Soroker, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Background The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa – honey bee interaction by targeting the mite's olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(2′-hydroxyethyl) cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite's preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated. Principal findings We found that in the presence of some compounds, the response of the Varroa chemosensory organ to honey bee headspace volatiles significantly decreased. This effect was dose dependent and, for some of the compounds, long lasting (>1 min). Furthermore, disruption of the Varroa volatile detection was accompanied by a reversal of the mite's preference from a nurse to a forager bee. Long-term inhibition of the electrophysiological responses of mites to the tested compounds was a good predictor for an alteration in the mite's host preference. Conclusions These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa - honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control. PMID:25226388

  4. The Status of Honey Bee Health in Italy: Results from the Nationwide Bee Monitoring Network.

    PubMed

    Porrini, Claudio; Mutinelli, Franco; Bortolotti, Laura; Granato, Anna; Laurenson, Lynn; Roberts, Katherine; Gallina, Albino; Silvester, Nicholas; Medrzycki, Piotr; Renzi, Teresa; Sgolastra, Fabio; Lodesani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a nation-wide monitoring network was established in 2009 in response to significant honey bee colony mortality reported during 2008. The network comprised of approximately 100 apiaries located across Italy. Colonies were sampled four times per year, in order to assess the health status and to collect samples for pathogen, chemical and pollen analyses. The prevalence of Nosema ceranae ranged, on average, from 47-69% in 2009 and from 30-60% in 2010, with strong seasonal variation. Virus prevalence was higher in 2010 than in 2009. The most widespread viruses were BQCV, DWV and SBV. The most frequent pesticides in all hive contents were organophosphates and pyrethroids such as coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate. Beeswax was the most frequently contaminated hive product, with 40% of samples positive and 13% having multiple residues, while 27% of bee-bread and 12% of honey bee samples were contaminated. Colony losses in 2009/10 were on average 19%, with no major differences between regions of Italy. In 2009, the presence of DWV in autumn was positively correlated with colony losses. Similarly, hive mortality was higher in BQCV infected colonies in the first and second visits of the year. In 2010, colony losses were significantly related to the presence of pesticides in honey bees during the second sampling period. Honey bee exposure to poisons in spring could have a negative impact at the colony level, contributing to increase colony mortality during the beekeeping season. In both 2009 and 2010, colony mortality rates were positively related to the percentage of agricultural land surrounding apiaries, supporting the importance of land use for honey bee health.

  5. The Status of Honey Bee Health in Italy: Results from the Nationwide Bee Monitoring Network

    PubMed Central

    Bortolotti, Laura; Granato, Anna; Laurenson, Lynn; Roberts, Katherine; Gallina, Albino; Silvester, Nicholas; Medrzycki, Piotr; Renzi, Teresa; Sgolastra, Fabio; Lodesani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    In Italy a nation-wide monitoring network was established in 2009 in response to significant honey bee colony mortality reported during 2008. The network comprised of approximately 100 apiaries located across Italy. Colonies were sampled four times per year, in order to assess the health status and to collect samples for pathogen, chemical and pollen analyses. The prevalence of Nosema ceranae ranged, on average, from 47–69% in 2009 and from 30–60% in 2010, with strong seasonal variation. Virus prevalence was higher in 2010 than in 2009. The most widespread viruses were BQCV, DWV and SBV. The most frequent pesticides in all hive contents were organophosphates and pyrethroids such as coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate. Beeswax was the most frequently contaminated hive product, with 40% of samples positive and 13% having multiple residues, while 27% of bee-bread and 12% of honey bee samples were contaminated. Colony losses in 2009/10 were on average 19%, with no major differences between regions of Italy. In 2009, the presence of DWV in autumn was positively correlated with colony losses. Similarly, hive mortality was higher in BQCV infected colonies in the first and second visits of the year. In 2010, colony losses were significantly related to the presence of pesticides in honey bees during the second sampling period. Honey bee exposure to poisons in spring could have a negative impact at the colony level, contributing to increase colony mortality during the beekeeping season. In both 2009 and 2010, colony mortality rates were positively related to the percentage of agricultural land surrounding apiaries, supporting the importance of land use for honey bee health. PMID:27182604

  6. Desensitization of patients with bee sting allergy using pure bee venom.

    PubMed

    Abkiewicz, C; Lomnitzer, R; Rabson, A R

    1979-02-24

    Forty patients who had previously experienced severe systemic reactions after a bee sting were desensitized using pure bee venom. A modified 'Rush' regimen was employed whereby patients received two injections a week and reached maximal desensitization in 5 weeks. Eleven patients have subsequently been stung again and have developed no generalized reaction. Although this form of desensitization is considered to be highly effective in protecting sensitive patients, both generalized and local side-effects were frequent. Maintenance desensitizing injections are required every month for an indefinite period. It is concluded that desensitization with pure been venom should be undertaken only in highly selected sensitive patients, and should be performed under strict control.

  7. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A; Garratt, Michael P D; Howlett, Brad G; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A; Mayfield, Margaret M; Arthur, Anthony D; Andersson, Georg K S; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Chacoff, Natacha P; Entling, Martin H; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R; Gross, Caroline L; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q; Lindström, Sandra A M; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E; Pereira, Natália de O; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G; Stanley, Dara A; Stout, Jane C; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H; Viana, Blandina F; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-05

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25-50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines.

  9. Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination

    PubMed Central

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Garratt, Michael P. D.; Howlett, Brad G.; Winfree, Rachael; Cunningham, Saul A.; Mayfield, Margaret M.; Arthur, Anthony D.; Andersson, Georg K. S.; Bommarco, Riccardo; Brittain, Claire; Carvalheiro, Luísa G.; Chacoff, Natacha P.; Entling, Martin H.; Foully, Benjamin; Freitas, Breno M.; Gemmill-Herren, Barbara; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Griffin, Sean R.; Gross, Caroline L.; Herbertsson, Lina; Herzog, Felix; Hipólito, Juliana; Jaggar, Sue; Jauker, Frank; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleijn, David; Krishnan, Smitha; Lemos, Camila Q.; Lindström, Sandra A. M.; Mandelik, Yael; Monteiro, Victor M.; Nelson, Warrick; Nilsson, Lovisa; Pattemore, David E.; de O. Pereira, Natália; Pisanty, Gideon; Potts, Simon G.; Reemer, Menno; Rundlöf, Maj; Sheffield, Cory S.; Scheper, Jeroen; Schüepp, Christof; Smith, Henrik G.; Stanley, Dara A.; Stout, Jane C.; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Taki, Hisatomo; Vergara, Carlos H.; Viana, Blandina F.; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2016-01-01

    Wild and managed bees are well documented as effective pollinators of global crops of economic importance. However, the contributions by pollinators other than bees have been little explored despite their potential to contribute to crop production and stability in the face of environmental change. Non-bee pollinators include flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats, among others. Here we focus on non-bee insects and synthesize 39 field studies from five continents that directly measured the crop pollination services provided by non-bees, honey bees, and other bees to compare the relative contributions of these taxa. Non-bees performed 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although non-bees were less effective pollinators than bees per flower visit, they made more visits; thus these two factors compensated for each other, resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees. In the subset of studies that measured fruit set, fruit set increased with non-bee insect visits independently of bee visitation rates, indicating that non-bee insects provide a unique benefit that is not provided by bees. We also show that non-bee insects are not as reliant as bees on the presence of remnant natural or seminatural habitat in the surrounding landscape. These results strongly suggest that non-bee insect pollinators play a significant role in global crop production and respond differently than bees to landscape structure, probably making their crop pollination services more robust to changes in land use. Non-bee insects provide a valuable service and provide potential insurance against bee population declines. PMID:26621730

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Bees associate colour cues with differences in pollen rewards.

    PubMed

    Nicholls, Elizabeth; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel

    2014-08-01

    In contrast to the wealth of knowledge concerning sucrose-rewarded learning, the question of whether bees learn when they collect pollen from flowers has been little addressed. The nutritional value of pollen varies considerably between species, and it may be that bees learn the features of flowers that produce pollen best suited to the dietary requirements of their larvae. It is still unknown, however, whether a non-ingestive reward pathway for pollen learning exists, and how foraging bees sense differences between pollen types. Here we adopt a novel experimental approach testing the learning ability of bees with pollen rewards. Bumblebees were reared under controlled laboratory conditions. To establish which pollen rewards are distinguishable, individual bees were given the choice of collecting two types of pollen, diluted to varying degrees with indigestible α-cellulose. Bees preferentially collected a particular pollen type, but this was not always the most concentrated sample. Preferences were influenced by the degree of similarity between samples and also by the period of exposure, with bees more readily collecting samples of lower pollen concentration after five trials. When trained differentially, bees were able to associate an initially less-preferred contextual colour with the more concentrated sample, whilst their pollen preferences did not change. Successful learning of contextual cues seems to maintain pollen foraging preferences over repeated exposures, suggesting that fast learning of floral cues may preclude continuous sampling and evaluation of alternative reward sources, leading to constancy in pollen foraging.

  12. Residual Time to 25 Bee Mortality (RT25) Data

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Values in this table were compiled from data for the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Toxicity of Residues on Foliage study: a lab test designed to determine the length of time over which field weathered foliar residues remain toxic to honey bees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-25

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

  14. Behavioural evidence of colour vision in free flying stingless bees.

    PubMed

    Spaethe, J; Streinzer, M; Eckert, J; May, S; Dyer, A G

    2014-06-01

    Colour vision was first demonstrated with behavioural experiments in honeybees 100 years ago. Since that time a wealth of quality physiological data has shown a highly conserved set of trichromatic colour receptors in most bee species. Despite the subsequent wealth of behavioural research on honeybees and bumblebees, there currently is a relative dearth of data on stingless bees, which are the largest tribe of the eusocial bees comprising of more than 600 species. In our first experiment we tested Trigona cf. fuscipennis, a stingless bee species from Costa Rica in a field setting using the von Frisch method and show functional colour vision. In a second experiment with these bees, we use a simultaneous colour discrimination test designed for honeybees to enable a comparative analysis of relative colour discrimination. In a third experiment, we test in laboratory conditions Tetragonula carbonaria, an Australian stingless bee species using a similar simultaneous colour discrimination test. Both stingless bee species show relatively poorer colour discrimination compared to honeybees and bumblebees; and we discuss the value of being able to use these behavioural methods to efficiently extend our current knowledge of colour vision and discrimination in different bee species.

  15. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Microbial Control of Invasive Arthropod Pests of Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees are critical to world agriculture by providing crop pollination service, but are also important to European-American cultures, where the industriousness and social behavior of this insect has historically been used in politics and religion. Unfortunately, the sustainability of this bee is...

  17. Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Bee Hunt! Ecojustice in Practice for Earth's Buzzing Biodiversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mueller, Michael P.; Pickering, John

    2010-01-01

    The Bee Hunt! project and curriculum are designed with cultural and environmental sensitivity in mind. In this project, K-12 students develop their awareness and understanding of science and investigate North American pollinator declines. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are integrally connected to the pollination of the world's crops for…

  19. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee.

    PubMed

    Brutscher, Laura M; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Do fungicide applications affect bee fidelity to cranberries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungicides are commonly sprayed during bloom. Rented honey bees are often observed flying off the marsh. Is there possibly a cause-and-effect relationship here? That is, are fungicide applications driving bees off-site? We addressed this question in 2014, and have some preliminary data to present....

  3. Creativity and Mobile Language Learning Using LingoBee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Sobah Abbas; Procter-Legg, Emma; Cacchione, Annamaria

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, the authors explore the ideas of mobility and creativity through the use of LingoBee, a mobile app for situated language learning. LingoBee is based on ideas from crowd-sourcing and social networking to support language learners. Learners are able to create their own content and share it with other learners through a repository. The…

  4. This Specialty Line of Clothing Really Is the "Bee's Knees"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hollingsworth, Jan Carter

    2009-01-01

    This article features "Bee's Knees," a specialty line of clothing. While not the typical product one would think of when considering mobility equipment, this line of clothing certainly does aid in helping those with disabilities access their world more safely and comfortably. "Bee's Knees" offers pint-sized pants made of kid-friendly, durable…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. Pulsed mass recruitment by a stingless bee, Trigona hyalinata.

    PubMed Central

    Nieh, James C; Contrera, Felipe A L; Nogueira-Neto, Paulo

    2003-01-01

    Research on bee communication has focused on the ability of the highly social bees, stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) and honeybees (Apidae, Apini), to communicate food location to nest-mates. Honeybees can communicate food location through the famous waggle dance. Stingless bees are closely related to honeybees and communicate food location through a variety of different mechanisms, many of which are poorly understood. We show that a stingless bee, Trigona hyalinata, uses a pulsed mass-recruitment system that is highly focused in time and space. Foragers produced an ephemeral, polarized, odour trail consisting of mandibular gland secretions. Surprisingly, the odour trail extended only a short distance away from the food source, instead of providing a complete trail between the nest and the food source (as has been described for other stingless bees). This abbreviated trail may represent an intermediate strategy between full-trail marking, found in some stingless bees, and odour marking of the food alone, found in stingless bees and honeybees. PMID:14561284

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Nutrition, immunity and viral infections in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. The proboscis extension reflex not elicited in Magachilid bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) will reflexively extend their proboscis in response to antennal stimulation with sucrose solution. For decades, the proboscis extension reflex (PER) of honey bees has been used as a tool to further the understanding of their cognitive processes, such as learning and m...

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-30

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

  12. Bees use three-dimensional information to improve target detection.

    PubMed

    Kapustjansky, Alexander; Chittka, Lars; Spaethe, Johannes

    2010-02-01

    Bumblebee detection of a flat circular disc (two-dimensional (2D) presentation) and a disc which was presented 10 cm in front of a structured background (and thus provided three-dimensional (3D) cues) was compared. A dual choice test using a Y-maze apparatus was conducted to estimate the minimum visual angle at which the bees were able to detect the disc. At large visual angles of 15, 10 and 5 degrees bees' performance between the 2D and the 3D presentation did not differ. However, when the disc subtended 3 degrees at the bee's eye, the bees performed significantly better when 3D information was available. Overall, bees were able to detect a target subtending a 40% smaller visual angle when it was presented in front of the structured background compared to a 2D presentation. This suggests that previous reports on the limits of target detection in bees using flat stimuli might have underestimated the bees' ability to locate small flowers under natural conditions. Bees use motion parallax, i.e. the apparent relative motion of a stationary object against a background, for perceiving the third dimension. Our data suggest that bumblebees can integrate information from at least two types of feature detectors, motion and area, to improve single target detection.

  13. Bee threat elicits alarm call in African elephants.

    PubMed

    King, Lucy E; Soltis, Joseph; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Savage, Anne; Vollrath, Fritz

    2010-04-26

    Unlike the smaller and more vulnerable mammals, African elephants have relatively few predators that threaten their survival. The sound of disturbed African honeybees Apis meliffera scutellata causes African elephants Loxodonta africana to retreat and produce warning vocalizations that lead other elephants to join the flight. In our first experiment, audio playbacks of bee sounds induced elephants to retreat and elicited more head-shaking and dusting, reactive behaviors that may prevent bee stings, compared to white noise control playbacks. Most importantly, elephants produced distinctive "rumble" vocalizations in response to bee sounds. These rumbles exhibited an upward shift in the second formant location, which implies active vocal tract modulation, compared to rumbles made in response to white noise playbacks. In a second experiment, audio playbacks of these rumbles produced in response to bees elicited increased headshaking, and further and faster retreat behavior in other elephants, compared to control rumble playbacks with lower second formant frequencies. These responses to the bee rumble stimuli occurred in the absence of any bees or bee sounds. This suggests that these elephant rumbles may function as referential signals, in which a formant frequency shift alerts nearby elephants about an external threat, in this case, the threat of bees.

  14. 75 FR 76405 - Winter Bee, Inc., Provisional Acceptance of a Settlement Agreement and Order

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-08

    ... COMMISSION Winter Bee, Inc., Provisional Acceptance of a Settlement Agreement and Order AGENCY: Consumer... Agreement with Winter Bee, Inc., containing a civil penalty of $200,000.00, to be suspended except for $40.... Settlement Agreement 1. In accordance with 16 CFR 1118.20, Winter Bee, Inc. (``Winter Bee'') and the...

  15. 'Bee hotels' as tools for native pollinator conservation: a premature verdict?

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    Society is increasingly concerned with declining wild bee populations. Although most bees nest in the ground, considerable effort has centered on installing 'bee hotels'--also known as nest boxes or trap nests--which artificially aggregate nest sites of above ground nesting bees. Campaigns to 'save the bees' often promote these devices despite the absence of data indicating they have a positive effect. From a survey of almost 600 bee hotels set up over a period of three years in Toronto, Canada, introduced bees nested at 32.9% of sites and represented 24.6% of more than 27,000 total bees and wasps recorded (47.1% of all bees recorded). Native bees were parasitized more than introduced bees and females of introduced bee species provisioned nests with significantly more female larva each year. Native wasps were significantly more abundant than both native and introduced bees and occupied almost 3/4 of all bee hotels each year; further, introduced wasps were the only group to significantly increase in relative abundance year over year. More research is needed to elucidate the potential pitfalls and benefits of using bee hotels in the conservation and population dynamics of wild native bees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  17. 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)...

  18. Anthidium vigintiduopunctatum Friese (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): The elusive "dwarf bee" of the Galapagos Archipelago

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The endemic large carpenter bee, Xylocopa darwini Cockerell, was the only known bee pollinator to the Galapagos Archipelago but as early as 1964 locals also spoke of the "dwarf bee of Floreana". We report the presence of the wool carder bee, Anthidium vigintiduopunctatum Friese, on the island of Fl...

  19. The bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Maltese Islands.

    PubMed

    Balzan, Mario V; Rasmont, Pierre; Kuhlmann, Michael; Dathe, Holger; Pauly, Alain; Patiny, Sébastien; Terzo, Michael; Michez, Denis

    2016-09-09

    This study presents the first checklist of the bees of the Maltese Islands and includes notes on the distribution of each species. A total of 95 species belonging to five bee families are recorded: Andrenidae (17 species), Apidae (34 species), Colletidae (6 species), Halictidae (15 species) and Megachilidae (23 species). Lasioglossum callizonium (Pérez, 1896) is recorded for the first time from the Maltese Islands. Records of three previously reported species are listed as dubious. The bee fauna of the Maltese Archipelago is dominated by widespread West-Palaearctic species, and most of the species recorded are also found in the Western Mediterranean Basin. Bees that have been recorded from Malta are also known from Southern Europe. The study provides a biogeographical analysis of the Maltese bee fauna, and discusses the conservation of this group and their important role in the delivery of ecosystem services in the Maltese Islands.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-18

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

  1. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Charles F; Acosta, André L; Dorneles, Andressa L; Dos Santos, Patrick D S; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-08-17

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies.

  2. Queens become workers: pesticides alter caste differentiation in bees

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Charles F.; Acosta, André L.; Dorneles, Andressa L.; dos Santos, Patrick D. S.; Blochtein, Betina

    2016-01-01

    Bees are important for the world biodiversity and economy because they provide key pollination services in forests and crops. However, pesticide use in crops has adversely affected (decreased) queen production because of increased mortality among larvae. Here, we demonstrated that in vitro-reared queens of a neotropical social bee species (Plebeia droryana) also showed high larval mortality after exposure to an organophosphate pesticide (chlorpyrifos) via larval food. Moreover, most of the surviving larvae that were destined to develop into queens became workers more likely because they ate less food than expected without pesticide skewing thus caste differentiation in this bee species. This adverse effect has not been previously reported for any other social insects, such as honeybees or bumblebees. Queens are essential for breeding and colony growth. Therefore, if our data are applicable to other pantropical social bee species across the globe, it is likely that these bees are at a serious risk of failure to form new colonies. PMID:27530246

  3. Bioinspired engineering of exploration systems for NASA and DoD: from bees to BEES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thakoor, S.; Zornetzer, S.; Hine, B.; Chahl, J.; Werblin, F.; Srinivasan, M. V.; Young, L.

    2003-01-01

    The intent of Bio-inspired Engineering of Exploration Systems (BEES) is to distill the principles found in successful, nature-tested mechanisms of specific crucial functions that are hard to accomplish by conventional methods, but accomplished rather deftly in nature by biological organisms.

  4. Molecular characterisation and phylogenetic analysis of Chronic bee paralysis virus, a honey bee virus.

    PubMed

    Olivier, Violaine; Blanchard, Philippe; Chaouch, Soraya; Lallemand, Perrine; Schurr, Frank; Celle, Olivier; Dubois, Eric; Tordo, Noël; Thiéry, Richard; Houlgatte, Rémi; Ribière, Magali

    2008-03-01

    The complete sequences of the two major RNAs of Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) have been determined. RNA 1 (3674nt long) and RNA 2 (2305nt long) are positive single-stranded RNAs that are capped but not polyadenylated. The 3' ends of both RNAs are unreactive to polymerisation or ligation even in denaturing conditions, a feature already observed in alphanodavirus RNAs. The three previously described smaller RNAs [Overton, H.A., Buck, K.W., Bailey, L., et al., 1982. Relationships between the RNA components of Chronic bee-paralysis virus and those of chronic bee-paralysis virus associate. J. Gen. Virol. 63, 171-179], were not detected in this study, supporting the hypothesis that they would correspond to the three RNAs of the Chronic bee paralysis satellite virus (CBPSV). RNA 1 and RNA 2 encoded three and four overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), respectively. The amino acid sequences deduced from the ORF 3 on RNA 1 shared the conserved motifs of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) sequence and presented similarities with members of the Nodaviridae and Tombusviridae families. However, no similarities were found between the other CBPV deduced amino acid sequences and sequences in the NCBI databases, suggesting that CBPV is the prototype of a new family of positive single-stranded RNA viruses.

  5. Starving honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae signal pheromonally to worker bees

    PubMed Central

    He, Xu Jiang; Zhang, Xue Chuan; Jiang, Wu Jun; Barron, Andrew B.; Zhang, Jian Hui; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2016-01-01

    Cooperative brood care is diagnostic of animal societies. This is particularly true for the advanced social insects, and the honey bee is the best understood of the insect societies. A brood pheromone signaling the presence of larvae in a bee colony has been characterised and well studied, but here we explored whether honey bee larvae actively signal their food needs pheromonally to workers. We show that starving honey bee larvae signal to workers via increased production of the volatile pheromone E-β-ocimene. Analysis of volatile pheromones produced by food-deprived and fed larvae with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that starving larvae produced more E-β-ocimene. Behavioural analyses showed that adding E-β-ocimene to empty cells increased the number of worker visits to those cells, and similarly adding E-β-ocimene to larvae increased worker visitation rate to the larvae. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis identified 3 genes in the E-β-ocimene biosynthetic pathway that were upregulated in larvae following 30 minutes of starvation, and these genes also upregulated in 2-day old larvae compared to 4-day old larvae (2-day old larvae produce the most E-β-ocimene). This identifies a pheromonal mechanism by which brood can beg for food from workers to influence the allocation of resources within the colony. PMID:26924295

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-10

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

  7. Orchard Pollination in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Honey Bees or Native Bees?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unlike most National Parks in the United States, Capitol Reef National Park in central Utah includes an agricultural component. The Park surrounds 22 rosaceous fruit orchards started over a century ago by Mormon pioneers. During bloom, hives of the alien honey bee are imported to pollinate the flow...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J; Henderson, Colin B; Seccomb, Robert A; Welch, Phillip M; Debnam, Scott E; Firth, David R

    2015-10-30

    This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%-80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

  10. Chalkbrood transmission in the alfalfa leafcutting bee: the impact of disinfecting bee cocoons in loose cell management systems.

    PubMed

    James, R R

    2011-08-01

    Understanding pathogen transmission could illuminate new methods for disease prevention. A case in point is chalkbrood in the alfalfa leafcutting bee [Megachile rotundata (F.)]. Propagation of this solitary bee is severely hampered by chalkbrood, a larval disease caused by Ascosphaera aggregata (Ascomycota). Alfalfa leafcutting bees nest in existing cavities in wood or hollow reeds and overwinter as larvae. In the early summer, emerging adults frequently must chew through dead, diseased siblings that block their exit, becoming contaminated with chalkbrood spores in the process. When alfalfa leafcutting bees are used as a commercial pollinator, the cocoons are removed from nesting boards to reduce chalkbrood transmission, but the disease is still common. To determine if these removed cocoons (called loose cells) are an important source of disease transmission, they were disinfected with a fungicide before bees were incubated, and released in the field. Chalkbrood prevalence among the progeny of the treated bees was reduced up to 50% in one field trial, but not significantly when tested in an on-farm trial. Thus, substantial disease transmission still occurred when the loose cells were disinfected, and even when clean nesting materials were used. In conclusion, pathogen transmission must still be occurring from another source that has yet to be identified. Another possible source of transmission could arise from bees that emerge midsummer in populations with a high percent of multivoltinism, but dirty nesting boards and feral bees also may be minor sources of transmission.

  11. Molecular genetic analysis of Varroa destructor mites in brood, fallen injured mites and worker bee longevity in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two important traits that contribute to honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony survival are resistance to Varroa destructor and longevity of worker bees. We investigated the relationship between a panel of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and three phenotypic measurements of colonies: a) perc...

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. Native bees, microbes, and fungicides: Investigations of the mechanism(s) by which fungicides compromise bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because disease can be devastating to crops, growers often spray fungicides as preventative measures. Unfortunately, many sprays are applied to in-bloom crops, which expose bees to fungicide residues. Generally considered “bee-safe,” fungicides are applied globally on flowering crops. However, there...

  14. Chalkbrood Transmission in the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee: The Impact of Disinfecting Bee Cocoons in Loose Cell Management Systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A good understanding of pathogen transmission in a host population should illuminate methods for disease prevention and control. A case in point for this is the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), a solitary bee which is used extensively for pollination of alfalfa grown for seed. Propaga...

  15. Colonies of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) produce fewer workers, less bee biomass, and have smaller mother queens following fungicide exposure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bees provide vital pollination services to the majority of flowering plants in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, both native and managed bee populations are experiencing serious declines, threatening the persistence of these plants and crops. Agricultural chemicals are one possib...

  16. Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J.; Henderson, Colin B.; Seccomb, Robert A.; Welch, Phillip M.; Debnam, Scott E.; Firth, David R.

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%–80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management. PMID:26529030

  17. The role of varroa mites in infections of Kashmir bee virus (KBV) and deformed wing virus (DWV) in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Shen, Miaoqing; Yang, Xiaolong; Cox-Foster, Diana; Cui, Liwang

    2005-11-10

    To determine the roles of varroa mites in activating or vectoring viral infections, we performed quantitative comparison of viral infections between bees with and without mites by dot blot analysis and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Under natural and artificial mite infestations, bee pupae contained significantly higher levels of Kashmir bee virus (KBV) and deformed wing virus (DWV) RNAs and KBV structural proteins than mite-free pupae. Moreover, in mite-infested bee pupae, DWV had amplified to extremely high titers with viral genomic RNA being clearly visible after separation of total bee RNA in agarose gels. Linear regression analysis has shown a positive correlation between the number of mites introduced and the levels of viral RNAs. The detection of viral RNAs in the nymph and adult mites underline the possible role of varroa in virus transmission. However, most groups of virus-free adult mites (9/12) were associated with bee pupae heavily infected by viruses, suggesting that the elevated viral titers in mite-infested pupae more likely resulted from activated viral replication. Based on these observations and our concurrent research demonstrating suppressed immune responses in bees infested with mites, we propose that parasitization by varroa suppresses the immunity of honey bees, leading to activation of persistent, latent viral infection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Urban gardens promote bee foraging over natural habitats and plantations.

    PubMed

    Kaluza, Benjamin F; Wallace, Helen; Heard, Tim A; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Leonhardt, Sara D

    2016-03-01

    Increasing human land use for agriculture and housing leads to the loss of natural habitat and to widespread declines in wild bees. Bee foraging dynamics and fitness depend on the availability of resources in the surrounding landscape, but how precisely landscape related resource differences affect bee foraging patterns remains unclear. To investigate how landscape and its interaction with season and weather drive foraging and resource intake in social bees, we experimentally compared foraging activity, the allocation of foragers to different resources (pollen, nectar, and resin) and overall resource intake in the Australian stingless bee Tetragonula carbonaria (Apidae, Meliponini). Bee colonies were monitored in different seasons over two years. We compared foraging patterns and resource intake between the bees' natural habitat (forests) and two landscapes differently altered by humans (suburban gardens and agricultural macadamia plantations). We found foraging activity as well as pollen and nectar forager numbers to be highest in suburban gardens, intermediate in forests and low in plantations. Foraging patterns further differed between seasons, but seasonal variations strongly differed between landscapes. Sugar and pollen intake was low in plantations, but contrary with our predictions, it was even higher in gardens than in forests. In contrast, resin intake was similar across landscapes. Consequently, differences in resource availability between natural and altered landscapes strongly affect foraging patterns and thus resource intake in social bees. While agricultural monocultures largely reduce foraging success, suburban gardens can increase resource intake well above rates found in natural habitats of bees, indicating that human activities can both decrease and increase the availability of resources in a landscape and thus reduce or enhance bee fitness.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  1. Intellectual History, Social History, Cultural History...and Our History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nord, David Paul

    1990-01-01

    Defines and explores the links among intellectual, social, and cultural history. Warns that an adequate foundation must be laid in the economic and institutional social history of mass media before communication historians jump into cultural history. (SR)

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  3. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-29

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

  4. Intelligent Control for the BEES Flyer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishnakumar, K.; Gundy-Burlet, Karen; Aftosmis, Mike; Nemec, Marian; Limes, Greg; Berry, Misty; Logan, Michael

    2004-01-01

    This paper describes the effort to provide a preliminary capability analysis and a neural network based adaptive flight control system for the JPL-led BEES aircraft project. The BEES flyer was envisioned to be a small, autonomous platform with sensing and control systems mimicking those of biological systems for the purpose of scientific exploration on the surface of Mars. The platform is physically tightly constrained by the necessity of efficient packing within rockets for the trip to Mars. Given the physical constraints, the system is not an ideal configuration for aerodynamics or stability and control. The objectives of this effort are to evaluate the aerodynamics characteristics of the existing design, to make recommendaaons as to potential improvements and to provide a control system that stabilizes the existing aircraft for nominal flight and damaged conditions. Towards this several questions are raised and analyses are presented to arrive at answers to some of the questions raised. CART3D, a high-fidelity inviscid analysis package for conceptual and preliminary aerodynamic design, was used to compute a parametric set of solutions over the expected flight domain. Stability and control derivatives were extracted from the database and integrated with the neural flight control system. The Integrated Vehicle Modeling Environment (IVME) was also used for estimating aircraft geometric, inertial, and aerodynamic characteristics. A generic neural flight control system is used to provide adaptive control without the requirement for extensive gain scheduling or explicit system identification. The neural flight control system uses reference models to specify desired handling qualities in the roll, pitch, and yaw axes, and incorporates both pre-trained and on-line learning neural networks in the inverse model portion of the controller. Results are presented for the BEES aircraft in the subsonic regime for terrestrial and Martian environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. [Total amitraz residues in bee honeys].

    PubMed

    Hemmerling, C; Augustyniak, B; Risto, C

    1991-01-01

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

  7. Climate, physiological tolerance and sex-biased dispersal shape genetic structure of Neotropical orchid bees.

    PubMed

    López-Uribe, Margarita M; Zamudio, Kelly R; Cardoso, Carolina F; Danforth, Bryan N

    2014-04-01

    Understanding the impact of past climatic events on the demographic history of extant species is critical for predicting species' responses to future climate change. Palaeoclimatic instability is a major mechanism of lineage diversification in taxa with low dispersal and small geographical ranges in tropical ecosystems. However, the impact of these climatic events remains questionable for the diversification of species with high levels of gene flow and large geographical distributions. In this study, we investigate the impact of Pleistocene climate change on three Neotropical orchid bee species (Eulaema bombiformis, E. meriana and E. cingulata) with transcontinental distributions and different physiological tolerances. We first generated ecological niche models to identify species-specific climatically stable areas during Pleistocene climatic oscillations. Using a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers, we inferred calibrated phylogenies and estimated historical demographic parameters to reconstruct the phylogeographical history of each species. Our results indicate species with narrower physiological tolerance experienced less suitable habitat during glaciations and currently exhibit strong population structure in the mitochondrial genome. However, nuclear markers with low and high mutation rates show lack of association with geography. These results combined with lower migration rate estimates from the mitochondrial than the nuclear genome suggest male-biased dispersal. We conclude that despite large effective population sizes and capacity for long-distance dispersal, climatic instability is an important mechanism of maternal lineage diversification in orchid bees. Thus, these Neotropical pollinators are susceptible to disruption of genetic connectivity in the event of large-scale climatic changes.

  8. Bee Hotels’ as Tools for Native Pollinator Conservation: A Premature Verdict?

    PubMed Central

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    Society is increasingly concerned with declining wild bee populations. Although most bees nest in the ground, considerable effort has centered on installing ‘bee hotels’—also known as nest boxes or trap nests—which artificially aggregate nest sites of above ground nesting bees. Campaigns to ‘save the bees’ often promote these devices despite the absence of data indicating they have a positive effect. From a survey of almost 600 bee hotels set up over a period of three years in Toronto, Canada, introduced bees nested at 32.9% of sites and represented 24.6% of more than 27,000 total bees and wasps recorded (47.1% of all bees recorded). Native bees were parasitized more than introduced bees and females of introduced bee species provisioned nests with significantly more female larva each year. Native wasps were significantly more abundant than both native and introduced bees and occupied almost 3/4 of all bee hotels each year; further, introduced wasps were the only group to significantly increase in relative abundance year over year. More research is needed to elucidate the potential pitfalls and benefits of using bee hotels in the conservation and population dynamics of wild native bees. PMID:25785609

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-07-01

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

  10. Are bee diseases linked to pesticides? - A brief review.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Goulson, Dave; Pennacchio, Francesco; Nazzi, Francesco; Goka, Koichi; Desneux, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    The negative impacts of pesticides, in particular insecticides, on bees and other pollinators have never been disputed. Insecticides can directly kill these vital insects, whereas herbicides reduce the diversity of their food resources, thus indirectly affecting their survival and reproduction. At sub-lethal level (bees, impairing their performance and ultimately impacting on the viability of the colonies. In addition, widespread systemic insecticides appear to have introduced indirect side effects on both honey bees and wild bumblebees, by deeply affecting their health. Immune suppression of the natural defences by neonicotinoid and phenyl-pyrazole (fipronil) insecticides opens the way to parasite infections and viral diseases, fostering their spread among individuals and among bee colonies at higher rates than under conditions of no exposure to such insecticides. This causal link between diseases and/or parasites in bees and neonicotinoids and other pesticides has eluded researchers for years because both factors are concurrent: while the former are the immediate cause of colony collapses and bee declines, the latter are a key factor contributing to the increasing negative impact of parasitic infections observed in bees in recent decades.

  11. Absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae in stingless bees

    PubMed Central

    Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Piot, Niels; Meeus, Ivan; Blochtein, Betina; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Bee pollination is an indispensable component of global food production and plays a crucial role in sustainable agriculture. The worldwide decline of bee populations, including wild pollinators, poses a threat to this system. However, most studies to date are situated in temperate regions where Apini and Bombini are very abundant pollinators. Tropical and subtropical regions where stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are generally very common, are often overlooked. These bees also face pressure due to deforestation and agricultural intensification as well as the growing use and spread of exotic pollinators as Apis mellifera and Bombus species. The loss or decline of this important bee tribe would have a large impact on their provided ecosystem services, in both wild and agricultural landscapes. The importance of pollinator diseases, which can contribute to decline, has not been investigated so far in this bee tribe. Here we report on the first large pathogen screening of Meliponini species in southern Brazil. Remarkably we observed that there was an absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae, and a very low occurrence of Apicystis bombi. Our data on disease prevalence in both understudied areas and species, can greatly improve our knowledge on the distribution of pathogens among bee species. PMID:27586080

  12. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Francis, Roy M.; Nielsen, Steen L.; Kryger, Per

    2013-01-01

    Varroa mites and viruses are the currently the high-profile suspects in collapsing bee colonies. Therefore, seasonal variation in varroa load and viruses (Acute-Kashmir-Israeli complex (AKI) and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)) were monitored in a year-long study. We investigated the viral titres in honey bees and varroa mites from 23 colonies (15 apiaries) under three treatment conditions: Organic acids (11 colonies), pyrethroid (9 colonies) and untreated (3 colonies). Approximately 200 bees were sampled every month from April 2011 to October 2011, and April 2012. The 200 bees were split to 10 subsamples of 20 bees and analysed separately, which allows us to determine the prevalence of virus-infected bees. The treatment efficacy was often low for both treatments. In colonies where varroa treatment reduced the mite load, colonies overwintered successfully, allowing the mites and viruses to be carried over with the bees into the next season. In general, AKI and DWV titres did not show any notable response to the treatment and steadily increased over the season from April to October. In the untreated control group, titres increased most dramatically. Viral copies were correlated to number of varroa mites. Most colonies that collapsed over the winter had significantly higher AKI and DWV titres in October compared to survivors. Only treated colonies survived the winter. We discuss our results in relation to the varroa-virus model developed by Stephen Martin. PMID:23526946

  13. Absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae in stingless bees.

    PubMed

    Nunes-Silva, Patrícia; Piot, Niels; Meeus, Ivan; Blochtein, Betina; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-09-02

    Bee pollination is an indispensable component of global food production and plays a crucial role in sustainable agriculture. The worldwide decline of bee populations, including wild pollinators, poses a threat to this system. However, most studies to date are situated in temperate regions where Apini and Bombini are very abundant pollinators. Tropical and subtropical regions where stingless bees (Apidae: Meliponini) are generally very common, are often overlooked. These bees also face pressure due to deforestation and agricultural intensification as well as the growing use and spread of exotic pollinators as Apis mellifera and Bombus species. The loss or decline of this important bee tribe would have a large impact on their provided ecosystem services, in both wild and agricultural landscapes. The importance of pollinator diseases, which can contribute to decline, has not been investigated so far in this bee tribe. Here we report on the first large pathogen screening of Meliponini species in southern Brazil. Remarkably we observed that there was an absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae, and a very low occurrence of Apicystis bombi. Our data on disease prevalence in both understudied areas and species, can greatly improve our knowledge on the distribution of pathogens among bee species.

  14. Pesticide residues and bees--a risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco; Goka, Koichi

    2014-01-01

    Bees are essential pollinators of many plants in natural ecosystems and agricultural crops alike. In recent years the decline and disappearance of bee species in the wild and the collapse of honey bee colonies have concerned ecologists and apiculturalists, who search for causes and solutions to this problem. Whilst biological factors such as viral diseases, mite and parasite infections are undoubtedly involved, it is also evident that pesticides applied to agricultural crops have a negative impact on bees. Most risk assessments have focused on direct acute exposure of bees to agrochemicals from spray drift. However, the large number of pesticide residues found in pollen and honey demand a thorough evaluation of all residual compounds so as to identify those of highest risk to bees. Using data from recent residue surveys and toxicity of pesticides to honey and bumble bees, a comprehensive evaluation of risks under current exposure conditions is presented here. Standard risk assessments are complemented with new approaches that take into account time-cumulative effects over time, especially with dietary exposures. Whilst overall risks appear to be low, our analysis indicates that residues of pyrethroid and neonicotinoid insecticides pose the highest risk by contact exposure of bees with contaminated pollen. However, the synergism of ergosterol inhibiting fungicides with those two classes of insecticides results in much higher risks in spite of the low prevalence of their combined residues. Risks by ingestion of contaminated pollen and honey are of some concern for systemic insecticides, particularly imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, chlorpyrifos and the mixtures of cyhalothrin and ergosterol inhibiting fungicides. More attention should be paid to specific residue mixtures that may result in synergistic toxicity to bees.

  15. Parallel inputs to memory in bee colour vision.

    PubMed

    Horridge, Adrian

    2016-03-01

    In the 19(th) century, it was found that attraction of bees to light was controlled by light intensity irrespective of colour, and a few critical entomologists inferred that vision of bees foraging on flowers was unlike human colour vision. Therefore, quite justly, Professor Carl von Hess concluded in his book on the Comparative Physiology of Vision (1912) that bees do not distinguish colours in the way that humans enjoy. Immediately, Karl von Frisch, an assistant in the Zoology Department of the same University of Münich, set to work to show that indeed bees have colour vision like humans, thereby initiating a new research tradition, and setting off a decade of controversy that ended only at the death of Hess in 1923. Until 1939, several researchers continued the tradition of trying to untangle the mechanism of bee vision by repeatedly testing trained bees, but made little progress, partly because von Frisch and his legacy dominated the scene. The theory of trichromatic colour vision further developed after three types of receptors sensitive to green, blue, and ultraviolet (UV), were demonstrated in 1964 in the bee. Then, until the end of the century, all data was interpreted in terms of trichromatic colour space. Anomalies were nothing new, but eventually after 1996 they led to the discovery that bees have a previously unknown type of colour vision based on a monochromatic measure and distribution of blue and measures of modulation in green and blue receptor pathways. Meanwhile, in the 20(th) century, search for a suitable rationalization, and explorations of sterile culs-de-sac had filled the literature of bee colour vision, but were based on the wrong theory.

  16. Bumble Bees (Bombus spp) along a Gradient of Increasing Urbanization

    PubMed Central

    Ahrné, Karin; Bengtsson, Jan; Elmqvist, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Background Bumble bees and other wild bees are important pollinators of wild flowers and several cultivated crop plants, and have declined in diversity and abundance during the last decades. The main cause of the decline is believed to be habitat destruction and fragmentation associated with urbanization and agricultural intensification. Urbanization is a process that involves dramatic and persistent changes of the landscape, increasing the amount of built-up areas while decreasing the amount of green areas. However, urban green areas can also provide suitable alternative habitats for wild bees. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied bumble bees in allotment gardens, i.e. intensively managed flower rich green areas, along a gradient of urbanization from the inner city of Stockholm towards more rural (periurban) areas. Keeping habitat quality similar along the urbanization gradient allowed us to separate the effect of landscape change (e.g. proportion impervious surface) from variation in habitat quality. Bumble bee diversity (after rarefaction to 25 individuals) decreased with increasing urbanization, from around eight species on sites in more rural areas to between five and six species in urban allotment gardens. Bumble bee abundance and species composition were most affected by qualities related to the management of the allotment areas, such as local flower abundance. The variability in bumble bee visits between allotment gardens was higher in an urban than in a periurban context, particularly among small and long-tongued bumble bee species. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that allotment gardens and other urban green areas can serve as important alternatives to natural habitats for many bumble bee species, but that the surrounding urban landscape influences how many species that will be present. The higher variability in abundance of certain species in the most urban areas may indicate a weaker reliability of the ecosystem service pollination in

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Pesticide Residues and Bees – A Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco; Goka, Koichi

    2014-01-01

    Bees are essential pollinators of many plants in natural ecosystems and agricultural crops alike. In recent years the decline and disappearance of bee species in the wild and the collapse of honey bee colonies have concerned ecologists and apiculturalists, who search for causes and solutions to this problem. Whilst biological factors such as viral diseases, mite and parasite infections are undoubtedly involved, it is also evident that pesticides applied to agricultural crops have a negative impact on bees. Most risk assessments have focused on direct acute exposure of bees to agrochemicals from spray drift. However, the large number of pesticide residues found in pollen and honey demand a thorough evaluation of all residual compounds so as to identify those of highest risk to bees. Using data from recent residue surveys and toxicity of pesticides to honey and bumble bees, a comprehensive evaluation of risks under current exposure conditions is presented here. Standard risk assessments are complemented with new approaches that take into account time-cumulative effects over time, especially with dietary exposures. Whilst overall risks appear to be low, our analysis indicates that residues of pyrethroid and neonicotinoid insecticides pose the highest risk by contact exposure of bees with contaminated pollen. However, the synergism of ergosterol inhibiting fungicides with those two classes of insecticides results in much higher risks in spite of the low prevalence of their combined residues. Risks by ingestion of contaminated pollen and honey are of some concern for systemic insecticides, particularly imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, chlorpyrifos and the mixtures of cyhalothrin and ergosterol inhibiting fungicides. More attention should be paid to specific residue mixtures that may result in synergistic toxicity to bees. PMID:24718419

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sabara, Holly A; Winston, Mark L

    2003-06-01

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

  1. Wireless ZigBee home automation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craciunescu, Razvan; Halunga, Simona; Fratu, Octavian

    2015-02-01

    The home automation system concept existed for many years but in the last decade, due to the rapid development of sensors and wireless technologies, a large number of various such "intelligent homes" have been developed. The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate the flexibility, reliability and affordability of home automation projects, based on a simple and affordable implementation. A wireless sensing and control system have been developed and tested, having a number of basic functionalities such as switching on/off the light according to ambient lighting and turning on/off the central heating. The system has been built around low power microcontrollers and ZigBee modems for wireless communication, using a set of Vishay 640 thermistor sensors for temperature measurements and Vishay LDR07 photo-resistor for humidity measurements. A trigger is activated when the temperature or light measurements are above/below a given threshold and a command is transmitted to the central unit through the ZigBee radio module. All the data processing is performed by a low power microcontroller both at the sensing device and at the control unit.

  2. Macroevolution of perfume signalling in orchid bees.

    PubMed

    Weber, Marjorie G; Mitko, Lukasz; Eltz, Thomas; Ramírez, Santiago R

    2016-11-01

    Theory predicts that both stabilising selection and diversifying selection jointly contribute to the evolution of sexual signalling traits by (1) maintaining the integrity of communication signals within species and (2) promoting the diversification of traits among lineages. However, for many important signalling traits, little is known about whether these dynamics translate into predictable macroevolutionary signatures. Here, we test for macroevolutionary patterns consistent with sexual signalling theory in the perfume signals of neotropical orchid bees, a group well studied for their chemical sexual communication. Our results revealed both high species-specificity and elevated rates of evolution in perfume signals compared to nonsignalling traits. Perfume complexity was correlated with the number of congeners in a species' range, suggesting that perfume evolution may be tied to the remarkably high number of orchid bee species coexisting together in some neotropical communities. Finally, sister-pair comparisons were consistent with both rapid divergence at speciation and character displacement upon secondary contact. Together, our results provide new insight into the macroevolution of sexual signalling in insects.

  3. A Mathematical Model for the Bee Hive of Apis Mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonioni, Alberto; Bellom, Fabio Enrici; Montabone, Andrea; Venturino, Ezio

    2010-09-01

    In this work we introduce and discuss a model for the bee hive, in which only adult bees and drones are modeled. The role that the latter have in the system is interesting, their population can retrieve even if they are totally absent from the bee hive. The feasibility and stability of the equilibria is studied numerically. A simplified version of the model shows the importance of the drones' role, in spite of the fact that it allows only a trivial equilibrium. For this simplified system, no Hopf bifurcations are shown to arise.

  4. ZigBee device management system using web gateway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yongsoon; Kim, Seonghoon; Park, Hong-Seong

    2007-12-01

    ZigBee technology that is observed to radio network of low electric power with latest WPAN's IEEE 802.15.4 technologies is evaluated as best technology for sensor network and digital home network construction. These fields require using application for monitoring, managing, controlling and organizing these nodes. However, these programs have a weakness that is hard to construct flexible system with Internet. This paper will use web server linked with gateway to manage sensor network that is consisted of ZigBee node and design system that manages ZigBee device with relative fast responsibility using AJAX web technology.

  5. Flower diversity and bee reproduction in an arid ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez, Diego P.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Diverse flower communities are more stable in floral resource production along the flowering season, but the question about how the diversity and stability of resources affect pollinator reproduction remains open. High plant diversity could favor short foraging trips, which in turn would enhance bee fitness. In addition to plant diversity, greater temporal stability of floral resources in diverse communities could favor pollinator fitness because such communities are likely to occupy the phenological space more broadly, increasing floral availability for pollinators throughout the season. In addition, this potential effect of flower diversity on bee reproduction could be stronger for generalist pollinators because they can use a broader floral spectrum. Based on above arguments we predicted that pollinator reproduction would be positively correlated to flower diversity, and to temporal stability in flower production, and that this relationship would be stronger for the most generalized pollinator species. Materials and Methods: Using structural equation models, we evaluated the effect of these variables and other ecological factors on three estimates of bee reproduction (average number of brood cells per nest per site, total number of brood cells per site, and total number of nests per site), and whether such effects were modulated by bee generalization on floral resources. Results: Contrary to our expectations, flower diversity had no effect on bee reproduction, stability in flower production had a weakly negative effect on one of the bee reproductive variables, and the strength of the fitness-diversity relationship was unrelated to bee generalization. In contrast, elevation had a negative effect on bee reproduction, despite the narrow elevation range encompassed by our sites. Discussion: Flower diversity did not affect the reproduction of the solitary bees studied here. This result could stem from the context dependence of the diversity

  6. Do "White" and "Green" Look the Same to a Bee?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorobyev, M.; Hempel de Ibarra, N.; Brandt, R.; Giurfa, M.

    The hexagon model of color vision predicts that white flowers which reflect ultraviolet light resemble green foliage to a bee's eye, whereas, according to other models of the bee color vision, UV-reflecting white is discriminable from foliage green. The hexagon model is widely used in ecologically and evolutionary oriented literature, and the predicted similarity between white and green has been recently presented as a well established fact (Waser and Chittka 1998). We show that bees detect UV-reflecting white objects presented on a green background, a finding that is in disagreement with the predictions of the hexagon model.

  7. The corbiculate bees arose from New World oil-collecting bees: implications for the origin of pollen baskets.

    PubMed

    Martins, Aline C; Melo, Gabriel A R; Renner, Susanne S

    2014-11-01

    The economically most important group of bees is the "corbiculates", or pollen basket bees, some 890 species of honeybees (Apis), bumblebees (Bombus), stingless bees (Meliponini), and orchid bees (Euglossini). Molecular studies have indicated that the corbiculates are closest to the New World genera Centris, with 230 species, and Epicharis, with 35, albeit without resolving the precise relationships. Instead of concave baskets, these bees have hairy hind legs on which they transport pollen mixed with floral oil, collected with setae on the anterior and middle legs. We sampled two-thirds of all Epicharis, a third of all Centris, and representatives of the four lineages of corbiculates for four nuclear gene regions, obtaining a well-supported phylogeny that has the corbiculate bees nested inside the Centris/Epicharis clade. Fossil-calibrated molecular clocks, combined with a biogeographic reconstruction incorporating insights from the fossil record, indicate that the corbiculate clade arose in the New World and diverged from Centris 84 (72-95)mya. The ancestral state preceding corbiculae thus was a hairy hind leg, perhaps adapted for oil transport as in Epicharis and Centris bees. Its replacement by glabrous, concave baskets represents a key innovation, allowing efficient transport of plant resins and large pollen/nectar loads and freeing the corbiculate clade from dependence on oil-offering flowers. The transformation could have involved a novel function of Ubx, the gene known to change hairy into smooth pollen baskets in Apis and Bombus.

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

    PubMed

    Stindl, Reinhard; Stindl, Wolfgang

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Fructophilic Lactobacillus kunkeei and Lactobacillus brevis isolated from fresh flowers, bees and bee-hives.

    PubMed

    Neveling, Deon P; Endo, Akihito; Dicks, Leon M T

    2012-11-01

    Two-hundred-and-thirty-six isolates were collected from fresh flowers, bees and bee-hives. Of these, 20 isolates preferred D-fructose as carbon source, produced lactic acid and acetic acid but trace amounts of ethanol and were classified as fructophilic. Poor growth was recorded when strains were incubated anaerobically in the presence of D-glucose as sole carbon source. Good growth was, however, recorded when D-glucose was metabolized in the presence of external electron acceptors such as fructose, pyruvate and oxygen. Nineteen of the strains were classified as Lactobacillus kunkeei and one as Lactobacillus brevis based on phenotypic characteristics, 16S rRNA sequences, recA sequences and DNA homology. This is the first description of a fructophilic strain of L. brevis.

  11. Pesticide use within a pollinator-dependent crop has negative effects on the abundance and species richness of sweat bees, Lasioglossum spp., and on bumble bee colony growth.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pesticides are implicated in current bee declines. Wild bees that nest or forage within agroecosystems may be exposed to numerous pesticides applied throughout their life cycles, with potential additive or synergistic effects. In pollinator-dependent crops, pesticides may reduce bee populations, cre...

  12. Policy Mitigating Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Pesticide risk management must be based on sound science, consistent with the laws under which pesticides are regulated in the United States. EPA has been working aggressively to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide exposures.

  13. GENERAL OVERVIEW, LOOKING NORTH FROM BEE HIVE COKE OVEN SITE. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    GENERAL OVERVIEW, LOOKING NORTH FROM BEE HIVE COKE OVEN SITE. - Pratt Coal & Coke Company, Pratt Mines, Tailings Pile, Bounded by First Street, Avenue G, Third Place, Birmingham Southern Railroad, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  14. EXTERIOR VIEW, BEE HIVE COKE OVEN DOOR. Pratt Coal ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    EXTERIOR VIEW, BEE HIVE COKE OVEN DOOR. - Pratt Coal & Coke Company, Pratt Mines, Coke Ovens & Railroad, Bounded by First Street, Avenue G, Third Place, Birmingham Southern Railroad, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

  15. Acute kidney injury after massive attack of Africanised bees

    PubMed Central

    Bridi, Ramaiane A; Balbi, Andre Luis; Neves, Precil M; Ponce, Daniela

    2014-01-01

    Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a well-documented complication of massive attack by Africanised bees and can be observed 48–72 h after the accident. We report a case of Africanised bees attack followed by severe and lethal AKI. A 56-year-old man was admitted to emergency department after a massive attack of Africanised bees (>1000 bee stings). He was unconscious, presenting with hypotension and tachycardia. Mechanical ventilation, volume expansion and care for anaphylaxis were instituted. The patient was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) and after 48 h he developed rhabdomyolysis, oliguria, increased creatinine levels, hyperkalaemia and refractory acidosis. A diagnosis of AKI secondary to rhabdomyolysis and shock was made. The patient was treated with a prolonged course of haemodialysis. However, he progressed to refractory shock and died 5 days after admission. PMID:24618864

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

    PubMed

    Chmielewski, W

    1991-01-01

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

  17. Simultaneous detection of bee viruses by multiplex PCR.

    PubMed

    Sguazza, Guillermo Hernán; Reynaldi, Francisco José; Galosi, Cecilia Mónica; Pecoraro, Marcelo Ricardo

    2013-12-01

    Honey bee mortality is a serious problem that beekeepers in Argentina have had to face during the last 3 years. It is known that the consequence of the complex interactions between environmental and beekeeping parameters added to the effect of different disease agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasitic mites may result in a sudden collapse of the colony. In addition, multiple viral infections are detected frequently concomitantly in bee colonies. The aim of this study was to establish a multiplex polymerase chain reaction method for rapid and simultaneous detection of the most prevalent bee viruses. This multiplex PCR assay will provide specific, rapid and reliable results and allow for the cost effective detection of a particular virus as well as multiple virus infections in a single reaction tube. This method could be a helpful tool in the surveillance of the most frequently found bee viruses and to study the dynamics and the interactions of the virus populations within colonies.

  18. Bacillus DNA in fossil bees: an ancient symbiosis?

    PubMed Central

    Cano, R J; Borucki, M K; Higby-Schweitzer, M; Poinar, H N; Poinar, G O; Pollard, K J

    1994-01-01

    We report here the isolation of DNA from abdominal tissue of four extinct stingless bees (Proplebeia dominicana) in Dominican amber, PCR amplification of a 546-bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene from Bacillus spp., and their corresponding nucleotide sequences. These sequences were used in basic local alignment search tool searches of nonredundant nucleic acid data bases, and the highest scores were obtained with 16S rRNA sequences from Bacillus spp. Phylogenetic inference analysis by the maximum-likelihood method revealed close phylogenetic relationships of the four presumed ancient Bacillus sequences with Bacillus pumilus, B. firmus, B. subtilis, and B. circulans. These four extant Bacillus spp. are commonly isolated from abdominal tissue of stingless bees. The close phylogenetic association of the extracted DNA sequences with these bee colonizers suggests that a similar bee-Bacillus association existed in the extinct species P. dominicana. PMID:8031102

  19. Artificial Bee Colony Optimization for Short-Term Hydrothermal Scheduling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basu, M.

    2014-12-01

    Artificial bee colony optimization is applied to determine the optimal hourly schedule of power generation in a hydrothermal system. Artificial bee colony optimization is a swarm-based algorithm inspired by the food foraging behavior of honey bees. The algorithm is tested on a multi-reservoir cascaded hydroelectric system having prohibited operating zones and thermal units with valve point loading. The ramp-rate limits of thermal generators are taken into consideration. The transmission losses are also accounted for through the use of loss coefficients. The algorithm is tested on two hydrothermal multi-reservoir cascaded hydroelectric test systems. The results of the proposed approach are compared with those of differential evolution, evolutionary programming and particle swarm optimization. From numerical results, it is found that the proposed artificial bee colony optimization based approach is able to provide better solution.

  20. Differentially expressed regulatory genes in honey bee caste development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepperle, C.; Hartfelder, K.

    2001-03-01

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

  1. Brain Infarction: Rare Neurological Presentation of African Bee Stings

    PubMed Central

    Alvis- Miranda, Hernando Raphael; Duarte-Valdivieso, Nancy Carolina; Alcala-Cerra, Gabriel; Moscote-Salazar, Luis Rafael

    2014-01-01

    Bee stings are commonly encountered worldwide. Various manifestations after bee sting have been described including local reactions which are common, systemic responses such as anaphylaxis, diffuse intravascular coagulation and hemolysis. We report a case of a 74-year-old man who developed neurologic deficit 5 hours after bee stings, which was confirmed to be left frontal infarction on brain CT-scan. The case does not follow the reported  pattern  of hypovolemic or anaphylactic shock, hemolysis and/or  rhabdomyolysis, despite the potentially lethal amount of venom injected. Diverse mechanisms have been proposed to give an explanation to all the clinical manifestation of both toxic and allergic reactions secondary to bee stings. Currently, the most accepted one state that victims can develop severe syndrome characterized by the release of a large amount of cytokines. PMID:27162866

  2. Why Bees Are So Vulnerable to Environmental Stressors.

    PubMed

    Klein, Simon; Cabirol, Amélie; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Barron, Andrew B; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2017-04-01

    Bee populations are declining in the industrialized world, raising concerns for the sustainable pollination of crops. Pesticides, pollutants, parasites, diseases, and malnutrition have all been linked to this problem. We consider here neurobiological, ecological, and evolutionary reasons why bees are particularly vulnerable to these environmental stressors. Central-place foraging on flowers demands advanced capacities of learning, memory, and navigation. However, even at low intensity levels, many stressors damage the bee brain, disrupting key cognitive functions needed for effective foraging, with dramatic consequences for brood development and colony survival. We discuss how understanding the relationships between the actions of stressors on the nervous system, individual cognitive impairments, and colony decline can inform constructive interventions to sustain bee populations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Sympatric speciation: perfume preferences of orchid bee lineages.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Duncan E

    2008-12-09

    Female attraction to an environmentally derived mating signal released by male orchid bees may be tightly linked to shared olfactory preferences of both sexes. A change in perfume preference may have led to divergence of two morphologically distinct lineages.

  5. Transcriptome analysis of the honey bee fungal pathogen, Ascosphaera apis: implications for host pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background We present a comprehensive transcriptome analysis of the fungus Ascosphaera apis, an economically important pathogen of the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) that causes chalkbrood disease. Our goals were to further annotate the A. apis reference genome and to identify genes that are candidates for being differentially expressed during host infection versus axenic culture. Results We compared A. apis transcriptome sequence from mycelia grown on liquid or solid media with that dissected from host-infected tissue. 454 pyrosequencing provided 252 Mb of filtered sequence reads from both culture types that were assembled into 10,087 contigs. Transcript contigs, protein sequences from multiple fungal species, and ab initio gene predictions were included as evidence sources in the Maker gene prediction pipeline, resulting in 6,992 consensus gene models. A phylogeny based on 12 of these protein-coding loci further supported the taxonomic placement of Ascosphaera as sister to the core Onygenales. Several common protein domains were less abundant in A. apis compared with related ascomycete genomes, particularly cytochrome p450 and protein kinase domains. A novel gene family was identified that has expanded in some ascomycete lineages, but not others. We manually annotated genes with homologs in other fungal genomes that have known relevance to fungal virulence and life history. Functional categories of interest included genes involved in mating-type specification, intracellular signal transduction, and stress response. Computational and manual annotations have been made publicly available on the Bee Pests and Pathogens website. Conclusions This comprehensive transcriptome analysis substantially enhances our understanding of the A. apis genome and its expression during infection of honey bee larvae. It also provides resources for future molecular studies of chalkbrood disease and ultimately improved disease management. PMID:22747707

  6. QTL Mapping of Sex Determination Loci Supports an Ancient Pathway in Ants and Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Miyakawa, Misato O; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2015-11-01

    Sex determination mechanisms play a central role in life-history characteristics, affecting mating systems, sex ratios, inbreeding tolerance, etc. Downstream components of sex determination pathways are highly conserved, but upstream components evolve rapidly. Evolutionary dynamics of sex determination remain poorly understood, particularly because mechanisms appear so diverse. Here we investigate the origins and evolution of complementary sex determination (CSD) in ants and bees. The honey bee has a well-characterized CSD locus, containing tandemly arranged homologs of the transformer gene [complementary sex determiner (csd) and feminizer (fem)]. Such tandem paralogs appear frequently in aculeate hymenopteran genomes. However, only comparative genomic, but not functional, data support a broader role for csd/fem in sex determination, and whether species other than the honey bee use this pathway remains controversial. Here we used a backcross to test whether csd/fem acts as a CSD locus in an ant (Vollenhovia emeryi). After sequencing and assembling the genome, we computed a linkage map, and conducted a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of diploid male production using 68 diploid males and 171 workers. We found two QTLs on separate linkage groups (CsdQTL1 and CsdQTL2) that jointly explained 98.0% of the phenotypic variance. CsdQTL1 included two tandem transformer homologs. These data support the prediction that the same CSD mechanism has indeed been conserved for over 100 million years. CsdQTL2 had no similarity to CsdQTL1 and included a 236-kb region with no obvious CSD gene candidates, making it impossible to conclusively characterize it using our data. The sequence of this locus was conserved in at least one other ant genome that diverged >75 million years ago. By applying QTL analysis to ants for the first time, we support the hypothesis that elements of hymenopteran CSD are ancient, but also show that more remains to be learned about the diversity of CSD

  7. Changing Bee and Hoverfly Pollinator Assemblages along an Urban-Rural Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Bates, Adam J.; Sadler, Jon P.; Fairbrass, Alison J.; Falk, Steven J.; Hale, James D.; Matthews, Tom J.

    2011-01-01

    Background The potential for reduced pollination ecosystem service due to global declines of bees and other pollinators is cause for considerable concern. Habitat degradation, destruction and fragmentation due to agricultural intensification have historically been the main causes of this pollinator decline. However, despite increasing and accelerating levels of global urbanization, very little research has investigated the effects of urbanization on pollinator assemblages. We assessed changes in the diversity, abundance and species composition of bee and hoverfly pollinator assemblages in urban, suburban, and rural sites across a UK city. Methodology/Principal Findings Bees and hoverflies were trapped and netted at 24 sites of similar habitat character (churchyards and cemeteries) that varied in position along a gradient of urbanization. Local habitat quality (altitude, shelter from wind, diversity and abundance of flowers), and the broader-scale degree of urbanization (e.g. percentage of built landscape and gardens within 100 m, 250 m, 500 m, 1 km, and 2.5 km of the site) were assessed for each study site. The diversity and abundance of pollinators were both significantly negatively associated with higher levels of urbanization. Assemblage composition changed along the urbanization gradient with some species positively associated with urban and suburban land-use, but more species negatively so. Pollinator assemblages were positively affected by good site habitat quality, in particular the availability of flowering plants. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that urban areas can support diverse pollinator assemblages, but that this capacity is strongly affected by local habitat quality. Nonetheless, in both urban and suburban areas of the city the assemblages had fewer individuals and lower diversity than similar rural habitats. The unique development histories of different urban areas, and the difficulty of assessing mobile pollinator assemblages in just

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

    PubMed

    Gong, Youhui; Diao, Qingyun

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Molecular detection of Spiroplasma apis and Spiroplasma melliferum in bees.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; Vercruysse, Vicky; Smagghe, Guy

    2012-01-01

    Spiroplasma apis and Spiroplasma melliferum are known as honey bee pathogens and are detected by unspecific methodologies like culturing or dark field microscopy. We developed a multiplex PCR being able to differentiate between both species and detect the genus Spiroplasma. This PCR can directly be used on culture samples or on DNA extracted bees. By PCR on cultured samples we were able to identify S. apis in Bombus pratorum and S. melliferum in Bombus pascuorum.

  14. Virulence of mixed fungal infections in honey bee brood

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Polarization lidar measurements of honey bees in flight for locating land mines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, Joseph A.; Seldomridge, Nathan L.; Dunkle, Dustin L.; Nugent, Paul W.; Spangler, Lee H.; Bromenshenk, Jerry J.; Henderson, Colin B.; Churnside, James H.; Wilson, James J.

    2005-07-01

    A scanning polarized lidar was used to detect flying honey bees trained to locate buried land mines through odor detection. A lidar map of bee density shows good correlation with maps of chemical plume strength and bee density determined by visual and video counts. The co-polarized lidar backscatter signal was found to be more effective than the crosspolarized signal for detecting honey bees in flight. Laboratory measurements show that the depolarization ratio of scattered light is near zero for bee wings and up to 30% for bee bodies.

  16. 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.

  17. Motivation and vector navigation in honey bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyer, Fred; Gill, Micah; Sharbowski, Jennifer

    2002-03-01

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

  18. Implantable bioimpedance monitor using ZigBee.

    PubMed

    Bogónez-Franco, P; Bragós, R; Bayés-Genis, A; Rosell-Ferrer, J

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, a novel implantable bioimpedance monitor using a free ZigBee protocol for the transmission of the measured data is described. The application field is the tissue and organ monitoring through electrical impedance spectroscopy in the 100 Hz - 200 kHz range. The specific application is the study of the viability and evolution of engineered tissue in cardiac regeneration. Additionally to the telemetric feature, the measured data are stored in a memory for backup purposes and can be downloaded at any time after an RF link break. In the debugging prototype, the system autonomy exceeds 1 month when a 14 frequencies impedance spectrum is acquired every 5 minutes. In the current implementation, the effective range of the RF link is reduced and needs for a range extender placed near the animal. Current work deals with improving this range.

  19. ZigBee-based remote patient monitoring.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Lopez, Helena; Afonso, José Augusto; Correia, José Higino; Simões, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes a developed continuous patient monitoring system based on the ZigBee protocol. The system was tested in the hospital environment using six sensor devices in two different modes. For electrocardiogram transmission and in the absence of hidden-nodes, the system achieved a mean delivery ratio of 100% and 98.56%, respectively for star and 2-hop tree network topologies. When sensor devices were arranged in a way that three of them were unable to hear the transmissions made by the other three, the mean delivery ratio dropped to 83.96%. However, when sensor devices were reprogrammed to transmit only heart rate values, the mean delivery ratio increased to 99.90%, despite the presence of hidden-nodes.

  20. Colour-dependent target detection by bees.

    PubMed

    Niggebrügge, C; Hempel de Ibarra, N

    2003-12-01

    The distance over which an object is detected by bees depends on the subtended visual angle and on spectral cues. At large angular subtenses detection is mediated only by chromatic cues. Achromatic targets, however, are also detectable. We investigated how chromatic and achromatic cues interact in detecting large-size targets. Coloured targets were used, with varied chromatic contrast that either did or did not present L-receptor contrast. Better detection correlated with higher chromatic contrast. Adding L-receptor contrast did not affect detection. It did allow the detection of achromatic targets, but at a lower level than most coloured ones, which indicates that the input from the achromatic system is negligible due to low sensitivity.

  1. Advances and limitations of visual conditioning protocols in harnessed bees.

    PubMed

    Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; Mota, Theo

    2016-12-18

    Bees are excellent invertebrate models for studying visual learning and memory mechanisms, because of their sophisticated visual system and impressive cognitive capacities associated with a relatively simple brain. Visual learning in free-flying bees has been traditionally studied using an operant conditioning paradigm. This well-established protocol, however, can hardly be combined with invasive procedures for studying the neurobiological basis of visual learning. Different efforts have been made to develop protocols in which harnessed honey bees could associate visual cues with reinforcement, though learning performances remain poorer than those obtained with free-flying animals. Especially in the last decade, the intention of improving visual learning performances of harnessed bees led many authors to adopt distinct visual conditioning protocols, altering parameters like harnessing method, nature and duration of visual stimulation, number of trials, inter-trial intervals, among others. As a result, the literature provides data hardly comparable and sometimes contradictory. In the present review, we provide an extensive analysis of the literature available on visual conditioning of harnessed bees, with special emphasis on the comparison of diverse conditioning parameters adopted by different authors. Together with this comparative overview, we discuss how these diverse conditioning parameters could modulate visual learning performances of harnessed bees.

  2. Wasp hawking induces endothermic heat production in guard bees.

    PubMed

    Tan, K; Li, H; Yang, M X; Hepburn, H R; Radloff, S E

    2010-01-01

    When vespine wasps, Vespa velutina Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), hawk (capture) bees at their nest entrances alerted and poised guards of Apis cerana cerana F. and Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola (Hymenoptera: Apidae) have average thoracic temperatures slightly above 24° C. Many additional worker bees of A. cerana, but not A. mellifera, are recruited to augment the guard bee cohort and begin wing-shimmering and body-rocking, and the average thoracic temperature rises to 29.8 ± 1.6° C. If the wasps persist hawking, about 30 guard bees of A. cerana that have raised their thoracic temperatures to 31.4 ± 0.9° C strike out at a wasp and form a ball around it. Within about three minutes the core temperature of the heat-balling A. cerana guard bees reaches about 46° C, which is above the lethal limit of the wasps, which are therefore killed. Although guard bees of A. mellifera do not exhibit the serial behavioural and physiological changes of A. cerana, they may also heat-ball hawking wasps. Here, the differences in the sequence of changes in the behaviour and temperature during "resting" and "heat-balling" by A. cerana and A. mellifera are reported.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Bee products prevent agrichemical-induced oxidative damage in fish.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Daiane; Rocha, Helio Carlos; Kreutz, Luiz Carlos; Loro, Vania Lucia; Marqueze, Alessandra; Koakoski, Gessi; da Rosa, João Gabriel Santos; Gusso, Darlan; Oliveira, Thiago Acosta; de Abreu, Murilo Sander; Barcellos, Leonardo José Gil

    2013-01-01

    In southern South America and other parts of the world, aquaculture is an activity that complements agriculture. Small amounts of agrichemicals can reach aquaculture ponds, which results in numerous problems caused by oxidative stress in non-target organisms. Substances that can prevent or reverse agrichemical-induced oxidative damage may be used to combat these effects. This study includes four experiments. In each experiment, 96 mixed-sex, 6-month-old Rhamdia quelen (118±15 g) were distributed into eight experimental groups: a control group that was not exposed to contaminated water, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products plus tebuconazole (TEB; Folicur 200 CE™) and a group that was exposed to 0.88 mg L(-1) of TEB alone (corresponding to 16.6% of the 96-h LC50). We show that waterborne bee products, including royal jelly (RJ), honey (H), bee pollen (BP) and propolis (P), reversed the oxidative damage caused by exposure to TEB. These effects were likely caused by the high polyphenol contents of these bee-derived compounds. The most likely mechanism of action for the protective effects of bee products against tissue oxidation and the resultant damage is that the enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) are increased.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

  7. Bee Products Prevent Agrichemical-Induced Oxidative Damage in Fish

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Daiane; Rocha, Helio Carlos; Kreutz, Luiz Carlos; Loro, Vania Lucia; Marqueze, Alessandra; Koakoski, Gessi; Santos da Rosa, João Gabriel; Gusso, Darlan; Oliveira, Thiago Acosta; de Abreu, Murilo Sander; Barcellos, Leonardo José Gil

    2013-01-01

    In southern South America and other parts of the world, aquaculture is an activity that complements agriculture. Small amounts of agrichemicals can reach aquaculture ponds, which results in numerous problems caused by oxidative stress in non-target organisms. Substances that can prevent or reverse agrichemical-induced oxidative damage may be used to combat these effects. This study includes four experiments. In each experiment, 96 mixed-sex, 6-month-old Rhamdia quelen (118±15 g) were distributed into eight experimental groups: a control group that was not exposed to contaminated water, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products, three groups that were exposed to various concentrations of bee products plus tebuconazole (TEB; Folicur 200 CE™) and a group that was exposed to 0.88 mg L−1 of TEB alone (corresponding to 16.6% of the 96-h LC50). We show that waterborne bee products, including royal jelly (RJ), honey (H), bee pollen (BP) and propolis (P), reversed the oxidative damage caused by exposure to TEB. These effects were likely caused by the high polyphenol contents of these bee-derived compounds. The most likely mechanism of action for the protective effects of bee products against tissue oxidation and the resultant damage is that the enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) are increased. PMID:24098336

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

    PubMed

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Bee sting anaphylaxis in an urban population of South Australia.

    PubMed

    Roberts-Thomson, P J; Harvey, P; Sperber, S; Kupa, A; Heddle, R J

    1985-12-01

    The clinical manifestations and circumstances of bee sting anaphylaxis have been studied retrospectively in 98 subjects. Most reactions occurred in children but the most severe reactions were seen in adult males, of whom 7 lost consciousness and 2 required cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Most stings causing anaphylaxis occurred on the unprotected feet whilst the subject was on lawn in the afternoons in December, January and February when the maximum daily temperature was between 20 and 30 degrees C. This is the temperature range when bees are particularly active in gathering pollen. However, a significantly greater frequency of anaphylactic reactions occurred at higher temperatures when bees are less active, suggesting that high environmental temperature may predispose the individual to greater exposure to bees or possibly to anaphylactic reactions per se. The presence of atopy did not appear to predispose subjects to bee venom hypersensitivity. Considerable anxiety and lifestyle alteration were identified in some subjects. The alleviation of this anxiety is considered an appropriate indication for bee venom immunotherapy.

  10. Community History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Helen M.

    1997-01-01

    Recounts the experience of researching community history in Ivanhoe, Virginia, between 1987 and 1990. The Ivanhoe History Project involved community members in collecting photographs, memorabilia, and oral histories of their town. Subsequent published volumes won the W. D. Weatherford Award and inspired a quilt exhibit and a theatrical production.…

  11. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Floral abundance, richness, and spatial distribution drive urban garden bee communities.

    PubMed

    Plascencia, M; Philpott, S M

    2017-03-01

    In urban landscapes, gardens provide refuges for bee diversity, but conservation potential may depend on local and landscape features. Foraging and population persistence of bee species, as well as overall pollinator community structure, may be supported by the abundance, richness, and spatial distribution of floral resources. Floral resources strongly differ in urban gardens. Using hand netting and pan traps to survey bees, we examined whether abundance, richness, and spatial distribution of floral resources, as well as ground cover and garden landscape surroundings influence bee abundance, species richness, and diversity on the central coast of California. Differences in floral abundance and spatial distribution, as well as urban cover in the landscape, predicted different bee community variables. Abundance of all bees and of honeybees (Apis mellifera) was lower in sites with more urban land cover surrounding the gardens. Honeybee abundance was higher in sites with patchy floral resources, whereas bee species richness and bee diversity was higher in sites with more clustered floral resources. Surprisingly, bee species richness and bee diversity was lower in sites with very high floral abundance, possibly due to interactions with honeybees. Other studies have documented the importance of floral abundance and landscape surroundings for bees in urban gardens, but this study is the first to document that the spatial arrangement of flowers strongly predicts bee abundance and richness. Based on these findings, it is likely that garden managers may promote bee conservation by managing for floral connectivity and abundance within these ubiquitous urban habitats.

  13. ZigBee-based Wireless Neuro-Stimulator for Improving Stroke Recovery.

    PubMed

    Kim, Gookhwa; Yun, Hyojeong; Ryu, Munho; Shin, Yongil; Kim, Hyoungihl; Yang, Yoonseok

    2010-12-01

    Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and the second-leading cause of death in Korea. It is also the third-leading cause of death in the United States, leading to a serious demand for new interventions to improve the quality of life in stroke survivors. To this end, direct cortical stimulation using an epidural electrode has been reported with promising results in animal and human studies, showing the potential for enhancing the recovery in chronic stroke patients. For optimal results, doctors must be able to modify the stimulation pattern as frequently as needed over a period of time for a given patient. However, severe aftereffects caused by stroke limit patients' activities, making regular doctor visits for treatment difficult. This study aims to develop a prototype of a telemedicine system to enhance stroke recovery by using a ZigBeebased wireless neuro-stimulator. The ZigBee is a stable platform for many low-power wireless applications. To allow stroke patients to remotely obtain neuro-stimulation treatments from their doctors, we connected the ZigBee to the internet. The system also allows doctors to personalize treatment based on the history of the stimulation parameters. The system developed here can also be beneficial as a common platform for a wide range of brain diseases and clinical care for which electric stimulation is used.

  14. Cuticular Hydrocarbons as Potential Close Range Recognition Cues in Orchid Bees.

    PubMed

    Pokorny, Tamara; Ramírez, Santiago R; Weber, Marjorie Gail; Eltz, Thomas

    2015-12-01

    Male Neotropical orchid bees collect volatile chemicals from their environment and compose species-specific volatile signals, which are subsequently exposed during courtship display. These perfumes are hypothesized to serve as attractants and may play a role in female mate choice. Here, we investigated the potential of cuticular hydrocarbons as additional recognition cues. The cuticular hydrocarbons of males of 35 species belonging to four of the five extant euglossine bee genera consisted of aliphatic hydrocarbons ranging in chain lengths between 21 and 37 C-atoms in distinct compositions, especially between sympatric species of similar coloring and size, for all but one case. Cleptoparasitic Exaerete spp. had divergent profiles, with major compounds predominantly constituted by longer hydrocarbon chains (>30 C-atoms), which may represent an adaptation to the parasitic life history ("chemical insignificance"). Phylogenetic comparative analyses imply that the chemical profiles exhibited by Exaerete spp. are evolutionarily divergent from the rest of the group. Female hydrocarbon profiles were not identical to male profiles in the investigated species, with either partial or complete separation between sexes in multivariate analyses. Sexually dimorphic hydrocarbon profiles are assumed to be the basis for sex recognition in a number of insects, and thus may supplement the acquired perfume phenotypes in chemical information transfer. Overall, cuticular hydrocarbons meet the requirements to function as intraspecific and intersexual close range recognition signals; behavioral experiments are needed to determine their potential involvement in mate recognition.

  15. Genetic Architecture of a Hormonal Response to Gene Knockdown in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Rueppell, Olav; Huang, Zachary Y.; Wang, Ying; Fondrk, M. Kim; Page, Robert E.; Amdam, Gro V.

    2015-01-01

    Variation in endocrine signaling is proposed to underlie the evolution and regulation of social life histories, but the genetic architecture of endocrine signaling is still poorly understood. An excellent example of a hormonally influenced set of social traits is found in the honey bee (Apis mellifera): a dynamic and mutually suppressive relationship between juvenile hormone (JH) and the yolk precursor protein vitellogenin (Vg) regulates behavioral maturation and foraging of workers. Several other traits cosegregate with these behavioral phenotypes, comprising the pollen hoarding syndrome (PHS) one of the best-described animal behavioral syndromes. Genotype differences in responsiveness of JH to Vg are a potential mechanistic basis for the PHS. Here, we reduced Vg expression via RNA interference in progeny from a backcross between 2 selected lines of honey bees that differ in JH responsiveness to Vg reduction and measured JH response and ovary size, which represents another key aspect of the PHS. Genetic mapping based on restriction site-associated DNA tag sequencing identified suggestive quantitative trait loci (QTL) for ovary size and JH responsiveness. We confirmed genetic effects on both traits near many QTL that had been identified previously for their effect on various PHS traits. Thus, our results support a role for endocrine control of complex traits at a genetic level. Furthermore, this first example of a genetic map of a hormonal response to gene knockdown in a social insect helps to refine the genetic understanding of complex behaviors and the physiology that may underlie behavioral control in general. PMID:25596612

  16. The geometric framework for nutrition reveals interactions between protein and carbohydrate during larval growth in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Helm, Bryan R; Slater, Garett; Rajamohan, Arun; Yocum, George D; Greenlee, Kendra J; Bowsher, Julia H

    2017-04-10

    In holometabolous insects, larval nutrition affects adult body size, a life history trait with a profound influence on performance and fitness. Individual nutritional components of larval diets are often complex and may interact with one another, necessitating the use of a geometric framework for elucidating nutritional effects. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, nurse bees provision food to developing larvae, directly moderating growth rates and caste development. However, the eusocial nature of honey bees makes nutritional studies challenging, because diet components cannot be systematically manipulated in the hive. Using in vitro rearing, we investigated the roles and interactions between carbohydrate and protein content on larval survival, growth, and development in A. mellifera We applied a geometric framework to determine how these two nutritional components interact across nine artificial diets. Honey bees successfully completed larval development under a wide range of protein and carbohydrate contents, with the medium protein (∼5%) diet having the highest survival. Protein and carbohydrate both had significant and non-linear effects on growth rate, with the highest growth rates observed on a medium-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Diet composition did not have a statistically significant effect on development time. These results confirm previous findings that protein and carbohydrate content affect the growth of A. mellifera larvae. However, this study identified an interaction between carbohydrate and protein content that indicates a low-protein, high-carb diet has a negative effect on larval growth and survival. These results imply that worker recruitment in the hive would decline under low protein conditions, even when nectar abundance or honey stores are sufficient.

  17. EPA-registered Pesticide Products Approved for Use Against Varroa Mites in Bee Hives

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Varroa mites are parasites that feed on developing bees, leading to brood mortality and reduced lifespan of worker bees and transmit numerous honeybee viruses. Find pesticides that are approved for use against Varroa mites.

  18. Bee communities along a prairie restoration chronosequence: similar abundance and diversity, distinct composition.

    PubMed

    Tonietto, Rebecca K; Ascher, John S; Larkin, Daniel J

    2017-04-01

    Recognition of the importance of bee conservation has grown in response to declines of managed honey bees and some wild bee species. Habitat loss has been implicated as a leading cause of declines, suggesting that ecological restoration is likely to play an increasing role in bee conservation efforts. In the midwestern United States, restoration of tallgrass prairie has traditionally targeted plant community objectives without explicit consideration for bees. However, restoration of prairie vegetation is likely to provide ancillary benefits to bees through increased foraging and nesting resources. We investigated community assembly of bees across a chronosequence of restored eastern tallgrass prairies and compared patterns to those in control and reference habitats (old fields and prairie remnants, respectively). We collected bees for 3 yr and measured diversity and abundance of in-bloom flowering plants, vegetation structure, ground cover, and surrounding land use as predictors of bee abundance and bee taxonomic and functional diversity. We found that site-level variables, but not site type or restoration age, were significant predictors of bee abundance (bloom diversity, P = 0.004; bare ground cover, P = 0.02) and bee diversity (bloom diversity, P = 0.01). There were significant correlations between overall composition of bee and blooming plant communities (Mantel test, P = 0.002), and both plant and bee assemblages in restorations were intermediate between those of old fields and remnant prairies. Restorations exhibited high bee beta diversity, i.e., restored sites' bee assemblages were taxonomically and functionally differentiated from each other. This pattern was strong in younger restorations (<20 yr old), but absent from older restorations (>20 yr), suggesting restored prairie bee communities become more similar to one another and more similar to remnant prairie bee communities over time with the arrival of more species and functional groups of

  19. Longevity of microwave-treated (2. 45 GHz continuous wave) honey bees in observation hives

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-12-15

    Adult honey bees were exposed for 30 min to 2.45 GHz of continuous wave microwave radiation at power densities ranging from 3 to 50 mW/cm/sup 2/. After exposure, bees were returned to glass-walled observation hives, and their longevity was compared with that of control bees. No significant differences were found between microwave- and sham-treated bees at any of the power densities tested.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Diversity and human perceptions of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) in Southeast Asian megacities.

    PubMed

    Sing, Kong-Wah; Wang, Wen-Zhi; Wan, Tao; Lee, Ping-Shin; Li, Zong-Xu; Chen, Xing; Wang, Yun-Yu; Wilson, John-James

    2016-10-01

    Urbanization requires the conversion of natural land cover to cover with human-constructed elements and is considered a major threat to biodiversity. Bee populations, globally, are under threat; however, the effect of rapid urban expansion in Southeast Asia on bee diversity has not been investigated. Given the pressing issues of bee conservation and urbanization in Southeast Asia, coupled with complex factors surrounding human-bee coexistence, we investigated bee diversity and human perceptions of bees in four megacities. We sampled bees and conducted questionnaires at three different site types in each megacity: a botanical garden, central business district, and peripheral suburban areas. Overall, the mean species richness and abundance of bees were significantly higher in peripheral suburban areas than central business districts; however, there were no significant differences in the mean species richness and abundance between botanical gardens and peripheral suburban areas or botanical gardens and central business districts. Urban residents were unlikely to have seen bees but agreed that bees have a right to exist in their natural environment. Residents who did notice and interact with bees, even though being stung, were more likely to have positive opinions towards the presence of bees in cities.

  2. Conversion of high and low pollen protein diets into protein in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Basualdo, M; Barragán, S; Vanagas, L; García, C; Solana, H; Rodríguez, E; Bedascarrasbure, E

    2013-08-01

    Adequate protein levels are necessary to maintain strong honey bee [Apis mellifera (L.)] colonies. The aim of this study was to quantify how pollens with different crude protein contents influence protein stores within individual honey bees. Caged bees were fed one of three diets, consisting of high-protein-content pollen, low-protein-content pollen, or protein-free diet as control; measurements were made based on protein content in hemolymph and fat body, fat body weight, and body weight. Vitellogenin in hemolymph was also measured. Bees fed with high crude protein diet had significantly higher levels of protein in hemolymph and fat bodies. Caged bees did not increase pollen consumption to compensate for the lower protein in the diet, and ingesting approximately 4 mg of protein per bee could achieve levels of 20 microg/microl protein in hemolymph. Worker bees fed with low crude protein diet took more time in reaching similar protein content of the bees that were fed with high crude protein diet. The data showed that fat bodies and body weight were not efficient methods of measuring the protein status of bees. The determination of total protein or vitellogenin concentration in the hemolymph from 13-d-old bees and protein concentration of fat bodies from 9-d-old bees could be good indicators of nutritional status of honey bees.

  3. Sampling bee communities using pan traps: alternative methods increase sample size

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Monitoring of the status of bee populations and inventories of bee faunas require systematic sampling. Efficiency and ease of implementation has encouraged the use of pan traps to sample bees. Efforts to find an optimal standardized sampling method for pan traps have focused on pan trap color. Th...

  4. 75 FR 12560 - Certificate of Alternative Compliance for the Offshore Supply Vessel BUMBLE BEE

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-16

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard Certificate of Alternative Compliance for the Offshore Supply Vessel BUMBLE BEE AGENCY... Compliance was issued for the offshore supply vessel BUMBLE BEE as required by 33 U.S.C. 1605(c) and 33 CFR... of Federal Regulations, Parts 81 and 89, has been issued for the offshore supply vessel BUMBLE BEE,...

  5. Adult pollen diet essential for egg maturation by a solitary osmia bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reproduction is a nutritionally costly activity for many insects, as their eggs are rich in lipids and proteins. Non-social bees lay especially large eggs. Adult female bees visit flowers to collect pollen and nectar, or sometimes oils, to feed their progeny. For adult bees, benefits of pollen feedi...

  6. Landscaping pebbles attract nesting by the native ground-nesting bee Halictus rubicundus (Hymenoptera: Halictidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most species of bees nest underground. Recent interest in pollinator-friendly gardens and landscaping focuses on planting suitable flowering species for bees, but we know little about providing for the ground-nesting needs of bees other than leaving them bare dirt surfaces. In this study, a surfac...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Emergence success and sex ratio of commercial alfalfa leafcutting bees from the United States and Canada.

    PubMed

    Pitts-Singer, Theresa L; James, Rosalind R

    2005-12-01

    Samples of overwintering alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), cells were sent to the laboratory as loose cells or in nesting boards from bee managers in the United States and in Canada. X-radiographs of cells were used for determining cell contents. Cells containing live prepupae were incubated, and the sex of emerging adults was recorded daily. Cells from which no adult emerged were dissected to determine the developmental stage of dead bees and sex of dead pupae or adults. Bee cells incubated in commercial settings and placed in alfalfa fields by the same bee managers described above also were evaluated to determine adult emergence success. The proportion of live bees in wood nesting boards from the United States was much lower than the live proportion in polystyrene nesting boards from Canada and loose cells overwintered in the United States. For laboratory-incubated loose cells, survival and sex ratios of bees from Canadian sources were statistically higher than those of U.S. bees, but the onset and duration of emergence times were similar. Fewer bees survived in the commercial setting than in the laboratory. Prepupal mortality was significantly higher than pupal or adult mortality, but there was no significant difference between the sexes in the likelihood of survival during incubation. This study supports the commonly held belief that alfalfa leafcutting bees raised in Canada and then sold to the United States represent a more viable source of bees than most bees produced in the United States.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-15

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Critical PO2 of developing Megachile rotundata, the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leaf-cutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee. Juvenile bees develop inside brood cells constructed out of leaf pieces. During development inside the brood cell, pre-pupae may experience hypoxic conditions from both the cavity nesting behavior and brood cell ...

  13. Fungicide Tests on Adult Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees Megachile rotundata (F.) (Hymenoptera:Megachilidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood is a fungal disease of bee larvae caused by Ascosphaera aggregata. It causes significant mortality in the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), a bee that is used extensively for alfalfa seed pollination in the U.S. Using laboratory bioassays, we previously demonstrated that fung...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. Bee diversity effects on pollination depend on functional complementarity and niche shifts.

    PubMed

    Fründ, Jochen; Dormann, Carsten F; Holzschuh, Andrea; Tscharntke, Teja

    2013-09-01

    Biodiversity is important for many ecosystem processes. Global declines in pollinator diversity and abundance have been recognized, raising concerns about a pollination crisis of crops and wild plants. However, experimental evidence for effects of pollinator species diversity on plant reproduction is extremely scarce. We established communities with 1-5 bee species to test how seed production of a plant community is determined by bee diversity. Higher bee diversity resulted in higher seed production, but the strongest difference was observed for one compared to more than one bee species. Functional complementarity among bee species had a far higher explanatory power than bee diversity, suggesting that additional bee species only benefit pollination when they increase coverage of functional niches. In our experiment, complementarity was driven by differences in flower and temperature preferences. Interspecific interactions among bee species contributed to realized functional complementarity, as bees reduced interspecific overlap by shifting to alternative flowers in the presence of other species. This increased the number of plant species visited by a bee community and demonstrates a new mechanism for a biodiversity-function relationship ("interactive complementarity"). In conclusion, our results highlight both the importance of bee functional diversity for the reproduction of plant communities and the need to identify complementarity traits for accurately predicting pollination services by different bee communities.

  16. Low temperature stress during pupal development and its effects on adult performance in alfalfa leafcutting bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Megachile rotundata, commonly known as the alfalfa leafcutting bee, is a key alternative pollinator. Farmers store pupal M. rotundata over the winter inside a 6°C incubator and then place the pupal bees into incubators at 29°C to initiate adult development. Their goal is to time adult bee emergenc...

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-05-31

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

  18. Oxalic acid: a prospective tool for reducing Varroa mite populations in package bees.

    PubMed

    Aliano, Nicholas P; Ellis, Marion D

    2009-08-01

    Numerous studies have investigated using oxalic acid (OA) to control Varroa mites in honey bee colonies. In contrast, techniques for treating package bees with OA have not been investigated. The goal of this study was to develop a protocol for using OA to reduce mite infestation in package bees. We made 97 mini packages of Varroa-infested adult bees. Each package contained 1,613 +/- 18 bees and 92 +/- 3 mites, and represented an experimental unit. We prepared a 2.8% solution of OA by mixing 35 g OA with 1 l of sugar water (sugar:water = 1:1; w:w). Eight treatments were assigned to the packages based on previous laboratory bioassays that characterized the acute contact toxicity of OA to mites and bees. We administered the treatments by spraying the OA solution directly on the bees through the mesh screen cage using a pressurized air brush and quantified mite and bee mortality over a 10-day period. Our results support applying an optimum volume of 3.0 ml of a 2.8% OA solution per 1,000 bees to packages for effective mite control with minimal adult bee mortality. The outcome of our research provides beekeepers and package bee shippers guidance for using OA to reduce mite populations in package bees.

  19. Ascosphaera subglobosa, a new species from North America associated with the solitary bee Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascosphaera is a widespread ascomycetous genus of mostly obligate associates of bees. These fungi have diversified to exploit seemingly every possible substrate available in their bee-associated habitat, occurring as pathogens of the bees, or as saprotrophs on honey, cocoons, nesting materials, poll...

  20. A novel bee swarm optimization algorithm for numerical function optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari, Reza; Mohammadi, Alireza; Ziarati, Koorush

    2010-10-01

    The optimization algorithms which are inspired from intelligent behavior of honey bees are among the most recently introduced population based techniques. In this paper, a novel algorithm called bee swarm optimization, or BSO, and its two extensions for improving its performance are presented. The BSO is a population based optimization technique which is inspired from foraging behavior of honey bees. The proposed approach provides different patterns which are used by the bees to adjust their flying trajectories. As the first extension, the BSO algorithm introduces different approaches such as repulsion factor and penalizing fitness (RP) to mitigate the stagnation problem. Second, to maintain efficiently the balance between exploration and exploitation, time-varying weights (TVW) are introduced into the BSO algorithm. The proposed algorithm (BSO) and its two extensions (BSO-RP and BSO-RPTVW) are compared with existing algorithms which are based on intelligent behavior of honey bees, on a set of well known numerical test functions. The experimental results show that the BSO algorithms are effective and robust; produce excellent results, and outperform other algorithms investigated in this consideration.

  1. Comparison of bee products based on assays of antioxidant capacities

    PubMed Central

    Nakajima, Yoshimi; Tsuruma, Kazuhiro; Shimazawa, Masamitsu; Mishima, Satoshi; Hara, Hideaki

    2009-01-01

    Background Bee products (including propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen) are popular, traditional health foods. We compared antioxidant effects among water and ethanol extracts of Brazilian green propolis (WEP or EEP), its main constituents, water-soluble royal jelly (RJ), and an ethanol extract of bee pollen. Methods The hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-, superoxide anion (O2·-)-, and hydroxyl radical (HO·)- scavenging capacities of bee products were measured using antioxidant capacity assays that employed the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-sensitive probe 5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester (CM-H2DCFDA) or aminophenyl fluorescein (APF). Results The rank order of antioxidant potencies was as follows: WEP > EEP > pollen, but neither RJ nor 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) had any effects. Concerning the main constituents of WEP, the rank order of antioxidant effects was: caffeic acid > artepillin C > drupanin, but neither baccharin nor coumaric acid had any effects. The scavenging effects of caffeic acid were as powerful as those of trolox, but stronger than those of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) or vitamin C. Conclusion On the basis of the present assays, propolis is the most powerful antioxidant of all the bee product examined, and its effect may be partly due to the various caffeic acids it contains. Pollen, too, exhibited strong antioxidant effects. PMID:19243635

  2. Altitudinal variation in bumble bee (Bombus) critical thermal limits.

    PubMed

    Oyen, K Jeannet; Giri, Susma; Dillon, Michael E

    2016-07-01

    Organism critical thermal limits are often tightly linked to current geographic distribution and can therefore help predict future range shifts driven by changing environmental temperatures. Thermal tolerance of diverse organisms often varies predictably with latitude, with upper thermal limits changing little and lower thermal limits decreasing with latitude. Despite similarly steep gradients in environmental temperatures across altitude, few studies have investigated altitudinal variation in critical thermal limits. We estimated critical thermal minimum (CTmin), critical thermal maximum (CTmax) and recovery temperature (Trec) by tracking righting response of three bumble bee species during thermal ramps: Bombus huntii collected from 2180m asl, and Bombus bifarius and Bombus sylvicola collected from 3290m asl in Wyoming, USA. Overall, larger bees could tolerate more extreme temperatures, likely due to a thermal inertia driven lag between core body temperatures and air temperatures. Despite their smaller size, high altitude bumble bees tolerated colder air temperatures: they had ~1°C lower CTmin and recovered from cold exposure at ~3-4°C lower air temperatures. Conversely, low altitude bees tolerated ~5°C hotter air temperatures. These altitudinal differences in thermal tolerance parallel differences in average daily minimum (1.2°C) and maximum (7.5°C) temperatures between these sites. These results provide one of the few measurements of organism thermal tolerance across altitude and the first evidence for geographical differences in tolerance of temperature extremes in heterothermic bumble bees.

  3. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Søvik, Eirik; Myerscough, Mary R; Barron, Andrew B

    2015-03-17

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience.

  4. Floral Nectar Guide Patterns Discourage Nectar Robbing by Bumble Bees

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Anne S.; Brent, Joshua; Papaj, Daniel R.; Dornhaus, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Floral displays are under selection to both attract pollinators and deter antagonists. Here we show that a common floral trait, a nectar guide pattern, alters the behavior of bees that can act opportunistically as both pollinators and as antagonists. Generally, bees access nectar via the floral limb, transporting pollen through contact with the plant’s reproductive structures; however bees sometimes extract nectar from a hole in the side of the flower that they or other floral visitors create. This behavior is called “nectar robbing” because bees may acquire the nectar without transporting pollen. We asked whether the presence of a symmetric floral nectar guide pattern on artificial flowers affected bumble bees’ (Bombus impatiens) propensity to rob or access nectar “legitimately.” We discovered that nectar guides made legitimate visits more efficient for bees than robbing, and increased the relative frequency of legitimate visits, compared to flowers lacking nectar guides. This study is the first to show that beyond speeding nectar discovery, a nectar guide pattern can influence bees’ flower handling in a way that could benefit the plant. PMID:23418475

  5. Brain composition and olfactory learning in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Gronenberg, Wulfila; Couvillon, Margaret J.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  7. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Clint J.; Myerscough, Mary R.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2015-01-01

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience. PMID:25675508

  8. Bees use three-dimensional information to improve target detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kapustjansky, Alexander; Chittka, Lars; Spaethe, Johannes

    2010-02-01

    Bumblebee detection of a flat circular disc (two-dimensional (2D) presentation) and a disc which was presented 10 cm in front of a structured background (and thus provided three-dimensional (3D) cues) was compared. A dual choice test using a Y-maze apparatus was conducted to estimate the minimum visual angle at which the bees were able to detect the disc. At large visual angles of 15, 10 and 5° bees’ performance between the 2D and the 3D presentation did not differ. However, when the disc subtended 3° at the bee’s eye, the bees performed significantly better when 3D information was available. Overall, bees were able to detect a target subtending a 40% smaller visual angle when it was presented in front of the structured background compared to a 2D presentation. This suggests that previous reports on the limits of target detection in bees using flat stimuli might have underestimated the bees’ ability to locate small flowers under natural conditions. Bees use motion parallax, i.e. the apparent relative motion of a stationary object against a background, for perceiving the third dimension. Our data suggest that bumblebees can integrate information from at least two types of feature detectors, motion and area, to improve single target detection.

  9. Nectar for the taking: the popularization of scientific bee culture in England, 1609-1809.

    PubMed

    Ebert, Adam

    2011-01-01

    This essay expands and refines academic knowledge of English beekeeping during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Scientific beekeeping focused on improvement, which, in turn, depended on the dissemination of ideas and practices. This analysis, therefore, encompasses the mentalities and tactics of popularizers. The article also identifies two neglected concepts in the popularization campaign. First, popularizers saw scientific beekeeping as a way to end the tradition of killing the bees in order to safely harvest. Second, they sought to promote a rural industry for the economic welfare of the nation. The case study of Exeter's Western Apiarian Society reveals precisely how popularization functioned in reality. The result is a more thorough history of scientific beekeeping and how the rhetoric of improvement related to the culture of practice.

  10. Review of the biological properties and toxicity of bee propolis (propolis).

    PubMed

    Burdock, G A

    1998-04-01

    Propolis is a multifunctional material used by bees in the construction and maintenance of their hives. Use of propolis by humans has a long history, predated only by the discovery of honey. Use of products containing propolis have resulted in extensive dermal contact and it is now increasingly being used a dietary supplement. Unlike many 'natural' remedies, there is a substantive database on the biological activity and toxicity of propolis indicating it may have many antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and antitumour properties, among other attributes. Although reports of allergic reactions are not uncommon, propolis is relatively non-toxic, with a no-effect level (NOEL) in a 90-mouse study of 1400 mg/kg body weight/day.

  11. Canadian History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    School Libraries in Canada, 2003

    2003-01-01

    Includes 22 articles that address Canadian history and the importance of having students honor Canada's past by providing articles relating to the areas of History and Social Studies covering: historical fiction as instructional material; Canadian scientists; agricultural fairs; the Historical Foundation; social science books on Canada; student…

  12. Antifungal Activity of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom against Clinically Isolated Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Seung-Bae

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the antifungal effect of bee venom (BV) and sweet bee venom (SBV) against Candida albicans (C. albicans) clinical isolates. Methods: In this study, BV and SBV were examined for antifungal activities against the Korean Collection for Type Cultures (KCTC) strain and 10 clinical isolates of C. albicans. The disk diffusion method was used to measure the antifungal activity and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays were performed by using a broth microdilution method. Also, a killing curve assay was conducted to investigate the kinetics of the anti- fungal action. Results: BV and SBV showed antifungal activity against 10 clinical isolates of C. albicans that were cultured from blood and the vagina by using disk diffusion method. The MIC values obtained for clinical isolates by using the broth microdilution method varied from 62.5 μg/ mL to 125 μg/mL for BV and from 15.63 μg/mL to 62.5 μg/mL for SBV. In the killing-curve assay, SBV behaved as amphotericin B, which was used as positive control, did. The antifungal efficacy of SBV was much higher than that of BV. Conclusion: BV and SBV showed antifungal activity against C. albicans clinical strains that were isolated from blood and the vagina. Especially, SBV might be a candidate for a new antifungal agent against C. albicans clinical isolates. PMID:27280049

  13. Native bees buffer the negative impact of climate warming on honey bee pollination of watermelon crops.

    PubMed

    Rader, Romina; Reilly, James; Bartomeus, Ignasi; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-10-01

    If climate change affects pollinator-dependent crop production, this will have important implications for global food security because insect pollinators contribute to production for 75% of the leading global food crops. We investigate whether climate warming could result in indirect impacts upon crop pollination services via an overlooked mechanism, namely temperature-induced shifts in the diurnal activity patterns of pollinators. Using a large data set on bee pollination of watermelon crops, we predict how pollination services might change under various climate change scenarios. Our results show that under the most extreme IPCC scenario (A1F1), pollination services by managed honey bees are expected to decline by 14.5%, whereas pollination services provided by most native, wild taxa are predicted to increase, resulting in an estimated aggregate change in pollination services of +4.5% by 2099. We demonstrate the importance of native biodiversity in buffering the impacts of climate change, because crop pollination services would decline more steeply without the native, wild pollinators. More generally, our study provides an important example of how biodiversity can stabilize ecosystem services against environmental change.

  14. Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-08-01

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

  15. Numerical Cognition in Bees and Other Insects

    PubMed Central

    Pahl, Mario; Si, Aung; Zhang, Shaowu

    2013-01-01

    The ability to perceive the number of objects has been known to exist in vertebrates for a few decades, but recent behavioral investigations have demonstrated that several invertebrate species can also be placed on the continuum of numerical abilities shared with birds, mammals, and reptiles. In this review article, we present the main experimental studies that have examined the ability of insects to use numerical information. These studies have made use of a wide range of methodologies, and for this reason it is striking that a common finding is the inability of the tested animals to discriminate numerical quantities greater than four. Furthermore, the finding that bees can not only transfer learnt numerical discrimination to novel objects, but also to novel numerosities, is strongly suggestive of a true, albeit limited, ability to count. Later in the review, we evaluate the available evidence to narrow down the possible mechanisms that the animals might be using to solve the number-based experimental tasks presented to them. We conclude by suggesting avenues of further research that take into account variables such as the animals’ age and experience, as well as complementary cognitive systems such as attention and the time sense. PMID:23616774

  16. The genetic components of extended life expectancy in chilled, post-diapause quiescent Alfalfa Leafcutting Bees, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, a solitary bee native to Eurasia, is the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee and has become the primary pollinator for alfalfa seed production. These bees, when commercially managed, are overwintered as diapausing prepupae under static ther...

  17. Landscape and Local Correlates of Bee Abundance and Species Richness in Urban Gardens.

    PubMed

    Quistberg, Robyn D; Bichier, Peter; Philpott, Stacy M

    2016-03-31

    Urban gardens may preserve biodiversity as urban population densities increase, but this strongly depends on the characteristics of the gardens and the landscapes in which they are embedded. We investigated whether local and landscape characteristics are important correlates of bee (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) abundance and species richness in urban community gardens. We worked in 19 gardens in the California central coast and sampled bees with aerial nets and pan traps. We measured local characteristics (i.e., vegetation and ground cover) and used the USGS National Land Cover Database to classify the landscape surrounding our garden study sites at 2 km scales. We classified bees according to nesting type (i.e., cavity, ground) and body size and determined which local and landscape characteristics correlate with bee community characteristics. We found 55 bee species. One landscape and several local factors correlated with differences in bee abundance and richness for all bees, cavity-nesting bees, ground-nesting bees, and different sized bees. Generally, bees were more abundant and species rich in bigger gardens, in gardens with higher floral abundance, less mulch cover, more bare ground, and with more grass. Medium bees were less abundant in sites surrounded by more medium intensity developed land within 2 km. The fact that local factors were generally more important drivers of bee abundance and richness indicates a potential for gardeners to promote bee conservation by altering local management practices. In particular, increasing floral abundance, decreasing use of mulch, and providing bare ground may promote bees in urban gardens.

  18. 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.

  19. In situ hybridization assays for localization of the chronic bee paralysis virus in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) brain.

    PubMed

    Olivier, Violaine; Massou, Isabelle; Celle, Olivier; Blanchard, Philippe; Schurr, Frank; Ribière, Magali; Gauthier, Monique

    2008-11-01

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is a common single-stranded RNA virus which may cause significant losses in honey bee colonies. As this virus seems to exhibit neurotropism, an in situ hybridization based method was developed to localize the genomic and antigenomic CBPV RNAs in infected honey bee brains. Double-stranded cDNA probes as well as genomic and antigenomic-specific single-stranded cDNA probes were prepared, using the polymerase chain reaction in presence of labelled d-UTP with non-radioactive digoxigenin. Both genomic and antigenomic RNAs were detected the brain of honey bee infected naturally or artificially. Hybridization signals were obtained in some somata and neuropile regions of the brain. In particular, high signals were observed at the level of the mushroom bodies and central complex, regions that are known to be engaged in higher neuronal functions and in the optic and antennal lobes that are sensorial neuropiles. Thus, the presence of virus at these levels may explain the nervous symptoms observed in infected bees. The in situ hybridization procedure proved to be a useful tool to localize specifically CBPV and may be helpful for understanding the observed symptoms.

  20. Review of the anticancer activities of bee products

    PubMed Central

    Premratanachai, Pongsathon; Chanchao, Chanpen

    2014-01-01

    Bee products have long been used in traditional medicine. The raw materials, crude extracts and purified active compounds from them have been found to exhibit interesting bioactivities, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. In addition, they have been widely used in the treatment of many immune-related diseases, as well as in recent times in the treatment of tumors. Bee product peptides induce apoptotic cell death in vitro in several transformed (cancer) human cell lines, including those derived from renal, lung, liver, prostate, bladder and lymphoid cancers. These bioactive natural products may, therefore, prove to be useful as part of a novel targeted therapy for some types of cancer, such as prostate and breast cancer. This review summarizes the current knowledge regarding the in vivo and in vitro potential of selective bee products against tumor cells. PMID:25182716

  1. Cuticular Hydrocarbons of Orchid Bees Males: Interspecific and Chemotaxonomy Variation

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Aline Borba; do Nascimento, Fábio Santos

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have investigated the composition of compounds that cover the cuticle in social insects, but few studies have focused on solitary bees. Cuticular hydrocarbons may provide a tool for chemotaxonomy, and perhaps they can be used as a complement to morphology and genetic characters in phylogenetic studies. Orchid bees (Tribe Euglossini) are a highly diverse group of Neotropical bees with more than 200 species. Here, the cuticular hydrocarbons of 17 species were identified and statistical analysis revealed 108 compounds, which allowed for the taxonomic classification according to the genera. The most significant compounds discriminating the four genera were (Z)-9-pentacosene, (Z,Z)-pentatriacontene-3, (Z)-9-tricosene, and (Z)-9-heptacosene. The analyses demonstrated the potential use of CHCs to identify different species. PMID:26713612

  2. Cuticular Hydrocarbons of Orchid Bees Males: Interspecific and Chemotaxonomy Variation.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Aline Borba; do Nascimento, Fábio Santos

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have investigated the composition of compounds that cover the cuticle in social insects, but few studies have focused on solitary bees. Cuticular hydrocarbons may provide a tool for chemotaxonomy, and perhaps they can be used as a complement to morphology and genetic characters in phylogenetic studies. Orchid bees (Tribe Euglossini) are a highly diverse group of Neotropical bees with more than 200 species. Here, the cuticular hydrocarbons of 17 species were identified and statistical analysis revealed 108 compounds, which allowed for the taxonomic classification according to the genera. The most significant compounds discriminating the four genera were (Z)-9-pentacosene, (Z,Z)-pentatriacontene-3, (Z)-9-tricosene, and (Z)-9-heptacosene. The analyses demonstrated the potential use of CHCs to identify different species.

  3. Propolis: A Wonder Bees Product and Its Pharmacological Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Wagh, Vijay D.

    2013-01-01

    Propolis is a natural resinous mixture produced by honey bees from substances collected from parts of plants, buds, and exudates. Due to its waxy nature and mechanical properties, bees use propolis in the construction and repair of their hives for sealing openings and cracks and smoothing out the internal walls and as a protective barrier against external invaders like snakes, lizards, and so forth, or against weathering threats like wind and rain. Bees gather propolis from different plants, in the temperate climate zone mainly from poplar. Current antimicrobial applications of propolis include formulations for cold syndrome (upper respiratory tract infections, common cold, and flu-like infections), wound healing, treatment of burns, acne, herpes simplex and genitalis, and neurodermatitis. Worldwide propolis has a tremendous popularity, but in India the studies over propolis have just started, not extensively reported except few regions of India like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujrat, and Madhya Pradesh. PMID:24382957

  4. The alternative Pharaoh approach: stingless bees mummify beetle parasites alive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greco, Mark K.; Hoffmann, Dorothee; Dollin, Anne; Duncan, Michael; Spooner-Hart, Robert; Neumann, Peter

    2010-03-01

    Workers from social insect colonies use different defence strategies to combat invaders. Nevertheless, some parasitic species are able to bypass colony defences. In particular, some beetle nest invaders cannot be killed or removed by workers of social bees, thus creating the need for alternative social defence strategies to ensure colony survival. Here we show, using diagnostic radioentomology, that stingless bee workers ( Trigona carbonaria) immediately mummify invading adult small hive beetles ( Aethina tumida) alive by coating them with a mixture of resin, wax and mud, thereby preventing severe damage to the colony. In sharp contrast to the responses of honeybee and bumblebee colonies, the rapid live mummification strategy of T. carbonaria effectively prevents beetle advancements and removes their ability to reproduce. The convergent evolution of mummification in stingless bees and encapsulation in honeybees is another striking example of co-evolution between insect societies and their parasites.

  5. Neotropical Africanized honey bees have African mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

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

    1989-05-18

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

  6. Predatory behavior in a necrophagous bee Trigona hypogea (Hymenoptera; Apidae, Meliponini)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateus, Sidnei; Noll, Fernando B.

    Although most bees feed on nectar and pollen, several exceptions have been reported. The strangest of all is the habit found in some neotropical stingless bees, which have completely replaced pollen-eating by eating animal protein from corpses. For more than 20 years, it was believed that carrion was the only protein source for these bees. We report that these bees feed not only off dead animals, but on the living brood of social wasps and possibly other similar sources. Using well developed prey location and foraging behaviors, necrophagous bees discover recently abandoned wasps' nests and, within a few hours, prey upon all immatures found there.

  7. Monophyly and extensive extinction of advanced eusocial bees: insights from an unexpected Eocene diversity.

    PubMed

    Engel, M S

    2001-02-13

    Advanced eusociality sometimes is given credit for the ecological success of termites, ants, some wasps, and some bees. Comprehensive study of bees fossilized in Baltic amber has revealed an unsuspected middle Eocene (ca. 45 million years ago) diversity of eusocial bee lineages. Advanced eusociality arose once in the bees with significant post-Eocene losses in diversity, leaving today only two advanced eusocial tribes comprising less than 2% of the total bee diversity, a trend analogous to that of hominid evolution. This pattern of changing diversity contradicts notions concerning the role of eusociality for evolutionary success in insects.

  8. Food consumption and food exchange of caged honey bees using a radioactive labelled sugar solution

    PubMed Central

    Libor, Anika; Kupelwieser, Vera; Crailsheim, Karl

    2017-01-01

    We measured the distribution of sugar solution within groups of caged honey bees (Apis mellifera) under standard in vitro laboratory conditions using 14C polyethylene glycol as a radioactive marker to analyze ingestion by individual bees after group feeding. We studied the impact of different experimental setups by varying the number of bees, age of bees, origin of bees, duration of experiment, the amount of available diet, and the influence of the neurotoxic pesticide imidacloprid in the diet on the feeding and food sharing behavior (trophallaxis). Sugar solution was non-uniformly distributed in bees in 36 out of 135 cages. As a measure of the extent to which the sugar diet was equally distributed between caged bees, we calculated the (inner 80%) intake ratio by dividing the intake of the 90th percentile bee by the intake of the 10th percentile bee. This intake ratio ranged from 1.3 to 94.8 in 133 individual cages, further supporting a non-uniform distribution of food among caged bees. We can expect a cage with 10 or 30 bees containing one bee that ingests, on average, the 8.8-fold of the bee in the same cage ingesting the smallest quantity of food. Inner 80% intake ratios were lower in experiments with a permanent or chronic offering of labelled sugar solution compared to temporary or acute feedings. After pooling the data of replicates to achieve a higher statistical power we compared different experimental setups. We found that uniform food distribution is best approached with 10 newly emerged bees per cage, which originate from a brood comb from a single colony. We also investigated the trophallaxis between caged honey bees which originally consumed the diet and newly added bees. Color marked bees were starved and added to the cages in a ratio of 10:5 or 20:20 after the initial set of bees consumed all the labelled sugar solution. The distribution of the labelled sugar solution by trophallaxis within 48 hours to added bees was 25% (10:5) or 45% (20:20) of the

  9. 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.

  10. Food consumption and food exchange of caged honey bees using a radioactive labelled sugar solution.

    PubMed

    Brodschneider, Robert; Libor, Anika; Kupelwieser, Vera; Crailsheim, Karl

    2017-01-01

    We measured the distribution of sugar solution within groups of caged honey bees (Apis mellifera) under standard in vitro laboratory conditions using 14C polyethylene glycol as a radioactive marker to analyze ingestion by individual bees after group feeding. We studied the impact of different experimental setups by varying the number of bees, age of bees, origin of bees, duration of experiment, the amount of available diet, and the influence of the neurotoxic pesticide imidacloprid in the diet on the feeding and food sharing behavior (trophallaxis). Sugar solution was non-uniformly distributed in bees in 36 out of 135 cages. As a measure of the extent to which the sugar diet was equally distributed between caged bees, we calculated the (inner 80%) intake ratio by dividing the intake of the 90th percentile bee by the intake of the 10th percentile bee. This intake ratio ranged from 1.3 to 94.8 in 133 individual cages, further supporting a non-uniform distribution of food among caged bees. We can expect a cage with 10 or 30 bees containing one bee that ingests, on average, the 8.8-fold of the bee in the same cage ingesting the smallest quantity of food. Inner 80% intake ratios were lower in experiments with a permanent or chronic offering of labelled sugar solution compared to temporary or acute feedings. After pooling the data of replicates to achieve a higher statistical power we compared different experimental setups. We found that uniform food distribution is best approached with 10 newly emerged bees per cage, which originate from a brood comb from a single colony. We also investigated the trophallaxis between caged honey bees which originally consumed the diet and newly added bees. Color marked bees were starved and added to the cages in a ratio of 10:5 or 20:20 after the initial set of bees consumed all the labelled sugar solution. The distribution of the labelled sugar solution by trophallaxis within 48 hours to added bees was 25% (10:5) or 45% (20:20) of the

  11. Predator-prey coevolution: Australian native bees avoid their spider predators.

    PubMed

    Heiling, A M; Herberstein, M E

    2004-05-07

    Australian crab spiders Thomisus spectabilis manipulate visual flower signals to lure introduced Apis mellifera. We gave Australian native bees, Austroplebia australis, the choice between two white daisies, Chrysanthemum frutescens, one of them occupied by a crab spider. The colour contrast between flowers and spiders affected the behaviour of native bees. Native bees approached spider-occupied flowers more frequently. However, native bees avoided flowers occupied by spiders and landed on vacant flowers more frequently. In contrast to honeybees that did not coevolve with T. spectabilis, Australian native bees show an anti-predatory response to avoid flowers occupied by this predator.

  12. Survey of six bee viruses using RT-PCR in Northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sanpa, Sirikarn; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2009-02-01

    Six honey bee viruses were surveyed using RT-PCR in Northern Thailand where about 80% of Thai apiaries are located. Tested samples were found to be positive for deformed wing virus (DWV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV), sacbrood virus (SBV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV). In the collected samples, neither chronic bee paralysis virus nor black queen cell virus nucleic acids could be detected. It was found that DWV was the most widespread and ABPV was the second most prevalent. Kashmir bee virus was found only in the Lampang province where high infestation of Varroa destructor mite occurred. Tropilaelaps, European foulbrood, and Chalkbrood diseases were found in some apiaries.

  13. Learning in the Africanized honey bee: Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Abramson, C I; Aquino, I S; Silva, M C; Price, J M

    1997-09-01

    Several series of experiments are reported that investigate learning in the Africanized honey bee. In the first series, classical conditioning of proboscis extension was studied by confining bees to small metal tubes where they received pairings of an odor with a 3-s feeding of sucrose. After a number of odor-sucrose pairings, the bees began to extend their proboscis to the odor. Controls include Unpaired, Discrimination, and Pseudoconditioning Groups. This technique was used to look at conditioning to a light CS, and to the odors of beeswax, geraniol, citral, and hexanal. The results indicate that acquisition was best when sucrose was paired with the odor of beeswax. Conditioning to the remaining odors was roughly similar, but acquisition did not occur using a light. In a second series of experiments, odors were no longer followed by sucrose feedings and the conditioned response slowly disappeared. With the exception of geraniol as a CS, this extinction effect did not occur if the animals continued to be fed on an unpaired schedule. In a third series of experiments, conditioned inhibition was demonstrated when geraniol was used as conditioned stimuli, but no effect was found when the odors of hexanal, citral and wax were used. In a fourth series of experiments, unrestrained bees flew back and forth from the laboratory to the hive, where they were taught to distinguish targets based on color and odor. With this technique, color and odor discrimination in the Africanized bees was demonstrated. In addition, it was found that more intruder bees visited the experimental station when the stimuli used were olfactory rather than visual.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. DNA barcoding to identify leaf preference of leafcutting bees

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Leafcutting bees (Megachile: Megachilidae) cut leaves from various trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses to partition and encase brood cells in hollow plant stems, decaying logs or in the ground. The identification of preferred plant species via morphological characters of the leaf fragments is challenging and direct observation of bees cutting leaves from certain plant species are difficult. As such, data are poor on leaf preference of leafcutting bees. In this study, I use DNA barcoding of the rcbL and ITS2 regions to identify and compare leaf preference of three Megachile bee species widespread in Toronto, Canada. Nests were opened and one leaf piece from one cell per nest of the native M. pugnata Say (N=45 leaf pieces), and the introduced M. rotundata Fabricius (N=64) and M. centuncularis (L.) (N=65) were analysed. From 174 individual DNA sequences, 54 plant species were identified. Preference by M. rotundata was most diverse (36 leaf species, H′=3.08, phylogenetic diversity (pd)=2.97), followed by M. centuncularis (23 species, H′=2.38, pd=1.51) then M. pugnata (18 species, H′=1.87, pd=1.22). Cluster analysis revealed significant overlap in leaf choice of M. rotundata and M. centuncularis. There was no significant preference for native leaves, and only M. centuncularis showed preference for leaves of woody plants over perennials. Interestingly, antimicrobial properties were present in all but six plants collected; all these were exotic plants and none were collected by the native bee, M. pugnata. These missing details in interpreting what bees need offers valuable information for conservation by accounting for necessary (and potentially limiting) nesting materials. PMID:27069650

  16. Acaricide, Fungicide and Drug Interactions in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Reed M.; Dahlgren, Lizette; Siegfried, Blair D.; Ellis, Marion D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Chemical analysis shows that honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive products contain many pesticides derived from various sources. The most abundant pesticides are acaricides applied by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor. Beekeepers also apply antimicrobial drugs to control bacterial and microsporidial diseases. Fungicides may enter the hive when applied to nearby flowering crops. Acaricides, antimicrobial drugs and fungicides are not highly toxic to bees alone, but in combination there is potential for heightened toxicity due to interactive effects. Methodology/Principal Findings Laboratory bioassays based on mortality rates in adult worker bees demonstrated interactive effects among acaricides, as well as between acaricides and antimicrobial drugs and between acaricides and fungicides. Toxicity of the acaricide tau-fluvalinate increased in combination with other acaricides and most other compounds tested (15 of 17) while amitraz toxicity was mostly unchanged (1 of 15). The sterol biosynthesis inhibiting (SBI) fungicide prochloraz elevated the toxicity of the acaricides tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos and fenpyroximate, likely through inhibition of detoxicative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase activity. Four other SBI fungicides increased the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate in a dose-dependent manner, although possible evidence of P450 induction was observed at the lowest fungicide doses. Non-transitive interactions between some acaricides were observed. Sublethal amitraz pre-treatment increased the toxicity of the three P450-detoxified acaricides, but amitraz toxicity was not changed by sublethal treatment with the same three acaricides. A two-fold change in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate was observed between years, suggesting a possible change in the genetic composition of the bees tested. Conclusions/Significance Interactions with acaricides in honey bees are similar to drug interactions in other animals in that P450-mediated detoxication appears to play an

  17. Unusual foreign body in the larynx: a bee.

    PubMed

    İlhan, Ethem; Yaman, Handan; Dost, Burhan; Köse, Gökçe Akman; Yaman, Hüseyin

    2015-01-01

    Foreign body lodgement in the larynx is a rare situation. Our review of the literature revealed no living foreign body in larynx except for laryngeal leeches and anisakiasis. In this article, we report a patient with unusual laryngeal foreign body lodgement: a bee which presented with sudden odynophagia and stinging sensation in throat. The bee was detected on the laryngeal mucosa in indirect laryngoscopic examination and removed immediately under general anesthesia in apneic period. In this case report, we describe the importance of detailed anamnesis and laryngeal examination even if the patient has no severe symptoms.

  18. Pseudo-subarachnoid hemorrhage and death after a bee sting.

    PubMed

    Yasar Tekelioglu, Umit; Demirhan, Abdullah; Akkaya, Akcan; Gurel, Kamil; Ocak, Tarik; Duran, Arif; Kocoglu, Hasan

    2013-02-01

    We report a case of a 33-year-old woman who developed severe brain edema and pseudo-subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) at 36-hour follow-up after successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation for anaphylactic shock as a result of a bee sting. The patient died on the sixth day of the follow-up due to multiple organ failure and brain herniation. Our case suggests that the SAH-like findings on computed tomography scanning were not a new complication ("real" SAH) arising from the bee sting; rather, it was a pseudo-SAH related to prolonged cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

  19. Working-class royalty: bees beat the caste system.

    PubMed

    Wenseleers, Tom; Ratnieks, Francis L W; de F Ribeiro, Marcia; de A Alves, Denise; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera-Lucia

    2005-06-22

    The struggle among social classes or castes is well known in humans. Here, we show that caste inequality similarly affects societies of ants, bees and wasps, where castes are morphologically distinct and workers have greatly reduced reproductive potential compared with queens. In social insects, an individual normally has no control over its own fate, whether queen or worker, as this is socially determined during rearing. Here, for the first time, we quantify a strategy for overcoming social control. In the stingless bee Schwarziana quadripunctata, some individuals reared in worker cells avoid a worker fate by developing into fully functional dwarf queens.

  20. Identification of Aspergillus nomius in Bees Visiting Brazil Nut Flowers

    PubMed Central

    Massi, Fernanda Pelisson; Penha, Rafael Elias Silva; Cavalcante, Marcelo Casimiro; Viaro, Helena Paula; da Silva, Josué José; de Souza Ferranti, Larissa; Fungaro, Maria Helena Pelegrinelli

    2015-01-01

    We designed a primer pair (BtubNomF/BtubNomR) specifically for amplifying Aspergillus nomius DNA. In vitro assays confirmed BtubNomF/BtubNomR specificity, corroborating its usefulness in detecting and identifying A. nomius. We then investigated the occurrence of A. nomius in floral visitors of Bertholletia excelsa trees by means of PCR, and A. nomius was detected in the following bees: Xylocopa frontalis, Bombus transversalis, Centris denudans, C. ferruginea, and Epicharis flava. The presence of A. nomius in bees visiting Brazil nuts opens up new avenues for obtaining novel insights into the process whereby Brazil nuts are contaminated by aflatoxin-producing fungi. PMID:26063353

  1. Identification of Aspergillus nomius in Bees Visiting Brazil Nut Flowers.

    PubMed

    Massi, Fernanda Pelisson; Penha, Rafael Elias Silva; Cavalcante, Marcelo Casimiro; Viaro, Helena Paula; da Silva, Josué José; de Souza Ferranti, Larissa; Fungaro, Maria Helena Pelegrinelli

    2015-01-01

    We designed a primer pair (BtubNomF/BtubNomR) specifically for amplifying Aspergillus nomius DNA. In vitro assays confirmed BtubNomF/BtubNomR specificity, corroborating its usefulness in detecting and identifying A. nomius. We then investigated the occurrence of A. nomius in floral visitors of Bertholletia excelsa trees by means of PCR, and A. nomius was detected in the following bees: Xylocopa frontalis, Bombus transversalis, Centris denudans, C. ferruginea, and Epicharis flava. The presence of A. nomius in bees visiting Brazil nuts opens up new avenues for obtaining novel insights into the process whereby Brazil nuts are contaminated by aflatoxin-producing fungi.

  2. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema.

    PubMed

    Pettis, Jeffery S; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

  3. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grozinger, Christina M; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Family History

    MedlinePlus

    Your family history includes health information about you and your close relatives. Families have many factors in common, including their genes, ... as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Having a family member with a disease raises your risk, but ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Flower Volatiles, Crop Varieties and Bee Responses

    PubMed Central

    Klatt, Björn K.; Burmeister, Carina; Westphal, Catrin; Tscharntke, Teja; von Fragstein, Maximillian

    2013-01-01

    Pollination contributes to an estimated one third of global food production, through both the improvement of the yield and the quality of crops. Volatile compounds emitted by crop flowers mediate plant-pollinator interactions, but differences between crop varieties are still little explored. We investigated whether the visitation of crop flowers is determined by variety-specific flower volatiles using strawberry varieties (Fragaria x ananassa Duchesne) and how this affects the pollination services of the wild bee Osmia bicornis L. Flower volatile compounds of three strawberry varieties were measured via headspace collection. Gas chromatography showed that the three strawberry varieties produced the same volatile compounds but with quantitative differences of the total amount of volatiles and between distinct compounds. Electroantennographic recordings showed that inexperienced females of Osmia bicornis had higher antennal responses to all volatile compounds than to controls of air and paraffin oil, however responses differed between compounds. The variety Sonata was found to emit a total higher level of volatiles and also higher levels of most of the compounds that evoked antennal responses compared with the other varieties Honeoye and Darselect. Sonata also received more flower visits from Osmia bicornis females under field conditions, compared with Honeoye. Our results suggest that differences in the emission of flower volatile compounds among strawberry varieties mediate their attractiveness to females of Osmia bicornis. Since quality and quantity of marketable fruits depend on optimal pollination, a better understanding of the role of flower volatiles in crop production is required and should be considered more closely in crop-variety breeding. PMID:23977347

  15. A meta-analysis comparing the sensitivity of bees to pesticides.

    PubMed

    Arena, Maria; Sgolastra, Fabio

    2014-04-01

    The honey bee Apis mellifera, the test species used in the current environmental risk assessment procedure, is generally considered as extremely sensitive to pesticides when compared to other bee species, although a quantitative approach for comparing the difference in sensitivity among bees has not yet been reported. A systematic review of the relevant literature on the topic followed by a meta-analysis has been performed. Both the contact and oral acute LD50 and the chronic LC50 reported in laboratory studies for as many substances as possible have been extracted from the papers in order to compare the sensitivity to pesticides of honey bees and other bee species (Apiformes). The sensitivity ratio R between the endpoint for the species a (A. mellifera) and the species s (bees other than A. mellifera) was calculated for a total of 150 case studies including 19 bee species. A ratio higher than 1 indicated that the species s was more sensitive to pesticides than honey bees. The meta-analysis showed a high variability of sensitivity among bee species (R from 0.001 to 2085.7), however, in approximately 95 % of the cases the sensitivity ratio was below 10. The effect of pesticides in domestic and wild bees is dependent on the intrinsic sensitivity of single bee species as well as their specific life cycle, nesting activity and foraging behaviour. Current data indicates a need for more comparative information between honey bees and non-Apis bees as well as separate pesticide risk assessment procedures for non-Apis bees.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mensah, Sylvanus; Veldtman, Ruan; Seifert, Thomas

    2017-03-15

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

  18. Effects of the beehive type and queen-bee descent on the development of the bee-diseases at apiaries.

    PubMed

    Tucak, Zvonimir

    2003-06-01

    An increased occurrence of disease at various members of the honeybee brood (queen-bee, workers, and drones) settled in the beehive, become evident recently. It is already known that various factors, primary ecological, determine disease development. The aim of the study was to discover which diseases at apiaries corresponds to similar ecological conditions at different beehive types. Effects of the following factors were studied: beehive type and building material, type and descent of the queen-bee, variable of the environmental conditions. All honeybee broods, belonging to the European Apis mellifera carnica rase, used identical honeyfull plants pastures.

  19. A new bee species that excavates sandstone nests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many wonder why animals act in seemingly injurious ways. Understanding the behavior of pollinators such as bees is especially important because of the necessary ecosystem service they provide. The new species Anthophora pueblo, discovered excavating sandstone nests, provides a model system for addre...

  20. The Birds and the Bees...and the Bats.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foote, MaryAnn

    1990-01-01

    Pollination vectors of a variety of types are described including beetles, bees, flies, moths, birds, bats, and the wind. Some of the adaptations of plants designed to help facilitate pollination are discussed. Strategies for incorporating this information into a lesson plan are suggested. (CW)

  1. A Brazilian social bee must cultivate fungus to survive.

    PubMed

    Menezes, Cristiano; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Marsaioli, Anita Jocelyne; Zampieri, Davila; Fontoura, Isabela Cardoso; Luchessi, Augusto Ducati; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera Lucia

    2015-11-02

    The nests of social insects provide suitable microenvironments for many microorganisms as they offer stable environmental conditions and a rich source of food [1-4]. Microorganisms in turn may provide several benefits to their hosts, such as nutrients and protection against pathogens [1, 4-6]. Several examples of symbiosis between social insects and microorganisms have been found in ants and termites. These symbioses have driven the evolution of complex behaviors and nest structures associated with the culturing of the symbiotic microorganisms [5, 7, 8]. However, while much is known about these relationships in many species of ants and termites, symbiotic relationships between microorganisms and social bees have been poorly explored [3, 4, 9, 10]. Here, we report the first case of an obligatory relationship between the Brazilian stingless bee Scaptotrigona depilis and a fungus of the genus Monascus (Ascomycotina). Fungal mycelia growing on the provisioned food inside the brood cell are eaten by the larva. Larvae reared in vitro on sterilized larval food supplemented with fungal mycelia had a much higher survival rate (76%) compared to larvae reared under identical conditions but without fungal mycelia (8% survival). The fungus was found to originate from the material from which the brood cells are made. Since the bees recycle and transport this material between nests, fungus would be transferred to newly built cells and also to newly founded nests. This is the first report of a fungus cultivation mutualism in a social bee.

  2. EXTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, AT FORMER TCIUS STEEL COMPANY BEE ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    EXTERIOR VIEW, LOOKING WEST, AT FORMER TCI-US STEEL COMPANY BEE HIVE OVEN RUINS WITH FORESTED OVERGROWTH. - Pratt Coal & Coke Company, Pratt Mines, Coke Ovens & Railroad, Bounded by First Street, Avenue G, Third Place, Birmingham Southern Railroad, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Bee pollination improves crop quality, shelf life and commercial value.

    PubMed

    Klatt, Björn K; Holzschuh, Andrea; Westphal, Catrin; Clough, Yann; Smit, Inga; Pawelzik, Elke; Tscharntke, Teja

    2014-01-22

    Pollination improves the yield of most crop species and contributes to one-third of global crop production, but comprehensive benefits including crop quality are still unknown. Hence, pollination is underestimated by international policies, which is particularly alarming in times of agricultural intensification and diminishing pollination services. In this study, exclusion experiments with strawberries showed bee pollination to improve fruit quality, quantity and market value compared with wind and self-pollination. Bee-pollinated fruits were heavier, had less malformations and reached higher commercial grades. They had increased redness and reduced sugar-acid-ratios and were firmer, thus improving the commercially important shelf life. Longer shelf life reduced fruit loss by at least 11%. This is accounting for 0.32 billion US$ of the 1.44 billion US$ provided by bee pollination to the total value of 2.90 billion US$ made with strawberry selling in the European Union 2009. The fruit quality and yield effects are driven by the pollination-mediated production of hormonal growth regulators, which occur in several pollination-dependent crops. Thus, our comprehensive findings should be transferable to a wide range of crops and demonstrate bee pollination to be a hitherto underestimated but vital and economically important determinant of fruit quality.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Williams, D L

    2000-07-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Detect Nosema parasite in time to save bee colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nosema is an intracellular pathogenic fungus that causes infection in adult honey bees. In contrast with N. apis, nosemosis produced by N. ceranae is not readily detectable and often goes unnoticed for long periods of time. Here we describe production of a new genomic antibody (Ab) developed against...

  9. Honey Bee Health: The Potential Role of Microbes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbes, are a diverse group of unicellular organisms that include bacteria, fungi, archaea, protists, and sometimes viruses. Bees carry a diverse assemblage of microbes (mostly bacteria and fungi). Very few are pathogenic; most microbes are likely commensal or even beneficial to the colony. Mic...

  10. Transcription analysis of overwintering dormancy in the Blue Orchard Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The solitary bee Osmia lignaria is an emerging pollinator of growing economic importance. They are unique in that they become dormant two times at different developmental stages in response to very different environmental conditions. Larva develop during the spring and early summer inside of indiv...

  11. Saprophytic fungus collection by Africanized bees in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Modro, Anna F H; Silva, Izabel C; Message, Dejair; Luz, Cynthia F P

    2009-01-01

    Cladosporium sp. collection by bees (Apis mellifera L.) was observed in Brazil at an apiary located in Minas Gerais, during November 10-23, 2005, characterized by high air relative humidity and low availability of food resources (pollen and nectar).The nutritional composition of the fungi pellets presented high protein value, ethereal extract and organic matter.

  12. Monogamy in large bee societies: a stingless paradox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Pioker-Hara, Fabiana C.; dos Santos, Charles F.; Santiago, Leandro R.; Alves, Denise A.; de M. P. Kleinert, Astrid; Francoy, Tiago M.; Arias, Maria C.; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L.

    2014-03-01

    High genetic diversity is important for the functioning of large insect societies. Across the social Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), species with the largest colonies tend to have a high colony-level genetic diversity resulting from multiple queens (polygyny) or queens that mate with multiple males (polyandry). Here we studied the genetic structure of Trigona spinipes, a stingless bee species with colonies an order of magnitude larger than those of polyandrous honeybees. Genotypes of adult workers and pupae from 43 nests distributed across three Brazilian biomes showed that T. spinipes colonies are usually headed by one singly mated queen. Apart from revealing a notable exception from the general incidence of high genetic diversity in large insect societies, our results reinforce previous findings suggesting the absence of polyandry in stingless bees and provide evidence against the sperm limitation hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry. Stingless bee species with large colonies, such as T. spinipes, thus seem promising study models to unravel alternative mechanisms to increase genetic diversity within colonies or understand the adaptive value of low genetic diversity in large insect societies.

  13. Pollen collection and honey bee forager distribution in cantaloupe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Peers, Pressure, and Performance at the National Spelling Bee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates how individuals' performances of a cognitive task in a high-pressure competition are affected by their peers' performances. To do so, I use novel data from the National Spelling Bee, in which students attempt to spell words correctly in a tournament setting. Across OLS and instrumental variables approaches, I…

  16. Bee pollen as a bioindicator of environmental pesticide contamination.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Renata Cabrera; Queiroz, Sonia Claudia do Nascimento; da Luz, Cynthia Fernandes Pinto; Porto, Rafael Silveira; Rath, Susanne

    2016-11-01

    Honeybees and bee products are potential bioindicators of the presence of contaminants in the environment, enabling monitoring of large areas due to the long distances travelled by bees. This work evaluates the use of bee pollen as a bioindicator of environmental contamination by pesticides. A GC-MS/MS analytical method for multiresidue determination of 26 different pesticides in pollen was developed and validated in accordance with the recommendations of the European Union SANCO guide. Environmental monitoring was conducted using the analysis of 145 pollen samples collected from ten beehives in the experimental apiary of Embrapa in Jaguariúna (São Paulo State, Brazil). Bioallethrin and pendimethalin were identified in four and eighteen samples, respectively, at concentrations below the LOQ of the method (25 ng g(-1)). Passive sampling with polyurethane foam discs was used as a control, and no pesticides were found. The detection of pesticide residues in seven samples (33%) from commercial apiaries in Ribeirão Preto (São Paulo State) confirmed the efficiency of the analytical method and the need for environmental monitoring for the presence of pesticide residues. The results demonstrated the potential of bee pollen as a bioindicator of environmental contamination by pesticides.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen; Aronstein, Katherine; Huang, Zachary

    2015-01-01

    Nosema ceranae infection is ubiquitous in western honey bees, Apis mellifera, in the United States and the pathogen has apparently replaced Nosema apis in colonies nationwide. Displacement of N. apis suggests that N. ceranae has competitive advantages but N. ceranae was significantly less infective and less virulent than N. apis in commercially available lineages of honey bees in studies conducted in Illinois and Texas. At 5 days post eclosion, the most susceptible age of adult bees tested, the mean ID50 for N. apis was 359 spores compared to 3217 N. ceranae spores, a nearly 9-fold difference. Infectivity of N. ceranae was also lower than N. apis for 24-h and 14-day worker bees. N. ceranae was less infective than reported in studies using European strains of honey bees, while N. apis infectivity, tested in the same cohort of honey bees, corresponded to results reported globally from 1972 to 2010. Mortality of worker bees was similar for both pathogens at a dosage of 50 spores and was not different from the uninfected controls, but was significantly higher for N. apis than N. ceranae at dosages ⩾500 spores. Our results provide comparisons for evaluating research using different ages of bees and pathogen dosages and clarify some controversies. In addition, comparisons among studies suggest that the mixed lineages of US honey bees may be less susceptible to N. ceranae infections than are European bees or that the US isolates of the pathogen are less infective and less virulent than European isolates.

  20. The sound and the fury--bees hiss when expecting danger.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees are important model systems for the investigation of learning and memory and for a better understanding of the neuronal basics of brain function. Honey bees also possess a rich repertoire of tones and sounds, from queen piping and quacking to worker hissing and buzzing. In this study, we tested whether the worker bees' sounds can be used as a measure of learning. We therefore conditioned honey bees aversively to odours in a walking arena and recorded both their sound production and their movement. Bees were presented with two odours, one of which was paired with an electric shock. Initially, the bees did not produce any sound upon odour presentation, but responded to the electric shock with a strong hissing response. After learning, many bees hissed at the presentation of the learned odour, while fewer bees hissed upon presentation of another odour. We also found that hissing and movement away from the conditioned odour are independent behaviours that can co-occur but do not necessarily do so. Our data suggest that hissing can be used as a readout for learning after olfactory conditioning, but that there are large individual differences between bees concerning their hissing reaction. The basis for this variability and the possible ecological relevance of the bees' hissing remain to be investigated.

  1. Annual dynamics of wild bee densities: attractiveness and productivity effects of oilseed rape.

    PubMed

    Riedinger, Verena; Mitesser, Oliver; Hovestadt, Thomas; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Holzschuh, Andrea

    2015-05-01

    Mass-flowering crops may affect long-term population dynamics, but effects on pollinators have never been studied across several years. We monitored wild bees in oilseed rape fields in 16 landscapes in Germany in two consecutive years. Effects on bee densities of landscape oilseed rape cover in the years of monitoring and in the previous years were evaluated with landscape data from three consecutive years. We fit empirical data to a mechanistic model to provide estimates for oilseed rape attractiveness and its effect on bee productivity in comparison to the rest of the landscape, and we evaluated consequences for pollinator densities in consecutive years. Our results show that high oilseed rape cover in the previous year enhances current densities of wild bees (except for bumble bees). Moreover, we show a strong attractiveness of and dilution on (i.e., decreasing bee densities with increasing landscape oilseed rape cover) oilseed rape for bees during flowering in the current year, modifying the effect of the previous year's oilseed rape cover in the case of wild bees (excluding Bombus). As long as other factors such as nesting sites or natural enemies do not limit bee reproduction, our findings suggest long-term positive effects of mass-flowering crops on bee populations, at least for non-Bombus generalists, which possibly help to maintain crop pollination services even when crop area increases. Similar effects are conceivable for other organisms providing ecosystem services in annual crops and should be considered in future studies.

  2. Bee products prevent VEGF-induced angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator of pathogenic angiogenesis in diseases such as cancer and diabetic retinopathy. Bee products [royal jelly (RJ), bee pollen, and Chinese red propolis] from the honeybee, Apis mellifera, have been used as traditional health foods for centuries. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-angiogenic effects of bee products using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Methods In an in vitro tube formation assay, HUVECs and fibroblast cells were incubated for 14 days with VEGF and various concentrations of bee products [RJ, ethanol extract of bee pollen, ethanol extract of Chinese red propolis and its constituent, caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE)]. To clarify the mechanism of in vitro angiogenesis, HUVEC proliferation and migration were induced by VEGF with or without various concentrations of RJ, bee pollen, Chinese red propolis, and CAPE. Results RJ, bee pollen, Chinese red propolis, and CAPE significantly suppressed VEGF-induced in vitro tube formation in the descending order: CAPE > Chinese red propolis >> bee pollen > RJ. RJ and Chinese red propolis suppressed both VEGF-induced HUVEC proliferation and migration. In contrast, bee pollen and CAPE suppressed only the proliferation. Conclusion Among the bee products, Chinese red propolis and CAPE in particular showed strong suppressive effects against VEGF-induced angiogenesis. These findings indicate that Chinese red propolis and CAPE may have potential as preventive and therapeutic agents against angiogenesis-related human diseases. PMID:19917137

  3. Historical perspective and human consequences of Africanized bee stings in the Americas.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, R S; Almeida, R A M B; Barraviera, S R C S; Barraviera, B

    2012-01-01

    In 1956, Africanized bees began to spread in the American continent from southern Brazil, where original African bees mated with European bees. A few years later, in 1990, these Africanized bees reached the United States and were found in Texas. Currently, these hybrid bees are found in several North American states and will probably reach the Canadian border in the future. Although the presence of Africanized bees had produced positive effects on Brazilian economy, including improvement in crop pollination and in honey production, turning Brazil into a major exporter, the negative impacts-such as swarming, aggressive behavior, and the ability to mass attack-resulted in serious and fatal envenomation with humans and animals. Victims of bee attacks usually develop a severe envenomation syndrome characterized by the release of a large amount of cytokines [interleukins (IL) IL-1, IL-6, IL-8], and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Subsequently, such cytokines produce an acute inflammatory response that triggers adverse effects on skeletal muscles; bone marrow; hepatic and renal functions; and cardiovascular, central nervous, and immune systems. Finally, the aim of the present review is to study historical characteristics and current status of Africanized bees' spread, the composition of their venom, the impact of the bees on the Brazilian economy and ecology, and clinical aspects of their stings including immune response, and to suggest a protocol for bee sting management since there is no safe and effective antivenom available.

  4. Bee Species Diversity Enhances Productivity and Stability in a Perennial Crop

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Shelley R.; Tarpy, David R.; Burrack, Hannah J.

    2014-01-01

    Wild bees provide important pollination services to agroecoystems, but the mechanisms which underlie their contribution to ecosystem functioning—and, therefore, their importance in maintaining and enhancing these services—remain unclear. We evaluated several mechanisms through which wild bees contribute to crop productivity, the stability of pollinator visitation, and the efficiency of individual pollinators in a highly bee-pollination dependent plant, highbush blueberry. We surveyed the bee community (through transect sampling and pan trapping) and measured pollination of both open- and singly-visited flowers. We found that the abundance of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, and wild-bee richness were equally important in describing resulting open pollination. Wild-bee richness was a better predictor of pollination than wild-bee abundance. We also found evidence suggesting pollinator visitation (and subsequent pollination) are stabilized through the differential response of bee taxa to weather (i.e., response diversity). Variation in the individual visit efficiency of A. mellifera and the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa, a wild specialist, was not associated with changes in the pollinator community. Our findings add to a growing literature that diverse pollinator communities provide more stable and productive ecosystem services. PMID:24817218

  5. Effect of age, behaviour and social environment on honey bee brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Maleszka, Joanna; Barron, Andrew B; Helliwell, Paul G; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2009-08-01

    We examined the effects of behaviour, age and social environment on mushroom body volume in adult bees. The mushroom bodies are regions of the central brain important for sensory integration and learning. Their volume was influenced by behaviour throughout life: always larger in forager bees than age-matched nurse bees, even in old bees up to 93 days of age as adults. Mushroom body development was influenced by the social environment in the first 8 days of adult life, with different environments having markedly different effects on mushroom body size. Compared to hive-reared bees, isolation slowed mushroom body growth, but bees reared in isolation confined with a single dead bee showed a dramatic increase in mushroom body volume comparable to that seen in active foragers. Despite their precocious mushroom body development, these bees did not show improved performance in an olfactory learning test. Since simple environmental manipulations can both accelerate and delay mushroom body growth in young bees, and since mushroom body volume is sensitive to behaviour throughout life, the honey bee has great potential as a model for exploring the interactions between environment, behaviour and brain structure.

  6. Bee Venom Phospholipase A2: Yesterday’s Enemy Becomes Today’s Friend

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Gihyun; Bae, Hyunsu

    2016-01-01

    Bee venom therapy has been used to treat immune-related diseases such as arthritis for a long time. Recently, it has revealed that group III secretory phospholipase A2 from bee venom (bee venom group III sPLA2) has in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory effects. A growing number of reports have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2. Notably, new experimental data have shown protective immune responses of bee venom group III sPLA2 against a wide range of diseases including asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and drug-induced organ inflammation. It is critical to evaluate the beneficial and adverse effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 because this enzyme is known to be the major allergen of bee venom that can cause anaphylactic shock. For many decades, efforts have been made to avoid its adverse effects. At high concentrations, exposure to bee venom group III sPLA2 can result in damage to cellular membranes and necrotic cell death. In this review, we summarized the current knowledge about the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 on several immunological diseases and described the detailed mechanisms of bee venom group III sPLA2 in regulating various immune responses and physiopathological changes. PMID:26907347

  7. Repeated evolution of soldier sub-castes suggests parasitism drives social complexity in stingless bees.

    PubMed

    Grüter, Christoph; Segers, Francisca H I D; Menezes, Cristiano; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Falcón, Tiago; von Zuben, Lucas; Bitondi, Márcia M G; Nascimento, Fabio S; Almeida, Eduardo A B

    2017-12-01

    The differentiation of workers into morphological castes represents an important evolutionary innovation that is thought to improve division of labor in insect societies. Given the potential benefits of task-related worker differentiation, it is puzzling that physical worker castes, such as soldiers, are extremely rare in social bees and absent in wasps. Following the recent discovery of soldiers in a stingless bee, we studied the occurrence of worker differentiation in 28 stingless bee species from Brazil and found that several species have specialized soldiers for colony defence. Our results reveal that worker differentiation evolved repeatedly during the last ~ 25 million years and coincided with the emergence of parasitic robber bees, a major threat to many stingless bee species. Furthermore, our data suggest that these robbers are a driving force behind the evolution of worker differentiation as targets of robber bees are four times more likely to have nest guards of increased size than non-targets. These findings reveal unexpected diversity in the social organization of stingless bees.Although common in ants and termites, worker differentiation into physical castes is rare in social bees and unknown in wasps. Here, Grüter and colleagues find a guard caste in ten species of stingless bees and show that the evolution of the guard caste is associated with parasitization by robber bees.

  8. Nectar robbery by bees Xylocopa virginica and Apis mellifera contributes to the pollination of rabbiteye blueberry.

    PubMed

    Sampson, Blair J; Danka, Robert G; Stringer, Stephen J

    2004-06-01

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., probe for nectar from robbery slits previously made by male carpenter bees, Xylocopa virginica (L.), at the flowers of rabbiteye blueberry, Vaccinium ashei Reade. This relationship between primary nectar robbers (carpenter bees) and secondary nectar thieves (honey bees) is poorly understood but seemingly unfavorable for V. ashei pollination. We designed two studies to measure the impact of nectar robbers on V. ashei pollination. First, counting the amount of pollen on stigmas (stigmatic pollen loading) showed that nectar robbers delivered fewer blueberry tetrads per stigma after single floral visits than did our benchmark pollinator, the southeastern blueberry bee, Habropoda laboriosa (F.), a recognized effective pollinator of blueberries. Increasing numbers of floral visits by carpenter bee and honey bee robbers yielded larger stigmatic loads. As few as three robbery visits were equivalent to one legitimate visit by a pollen-collecting H. laboriosa female. More than three robbery visits per flower slightly depressed stigmatic pollen loads. In our second study, a survey of 10 commercial blueberry farms demonstrated that corolla slitting by carpenter bees (i.e., robbery) has no appreciable affect on overall V. ashei fruit set. Our observations demonstrate male carpenter bees are benign or even potentially beneficial floral visitors of V ashei. Their robbery of blueberry flowers in the southeast may attract more honey bee pollinators to the crop.

  9. Negative effects of pesticides on wild bee communities can be buffered by landscape context.

    PubMed

    Park, Mia G; Blitzer, E J; Gibbs, Jason; Losey, John E; Danforth, Bryan N

    2015-06-22

    Wild bee communities provide underappreciated but critical agricultural pollination services. Given predicted global shortages in pollination services, managing agroecosystems to support thriving wild bee communities is, therefore, central to ensuring sustainable food production. Benefits of natural (including semi-natural) habitat for wild bee abundance and diversity on farms are well documented. By contrast, few studies have examined toxicity of pesticides on wild bees, let alone effects of farm-level pesticide exposure on entire bee communities. Whether beneficial natural areas could mediate effects of harmful pesticides on wild bees is also unknown. Here, we assess the effect of conventional pesticide use on the wild bee community visiting apple (Malus domestica) within a gradient of percentage natural area in the landscape. Wild bee community abundance and species richness decreased linearly with increasing pesticide use in orchards one year after application; however, pesticide effects on wild bees were buffered by increasing proportion of natural habitat in the surrounding landscape. A significant contribution of fungicides to observed pesticide effects suggests deleterious properties of a class of pesticides that was, until recently, considered benign to bees. Our results demonstrate extended benefits of natural areas for wild pollinators and highlight the importance of considering the landscape context when weighing up the costs of pest management on crop pollination services.

  10. Preparation and characterization of bee venom-loaded PLGA particles for sustained release.

    PubMed

    Park, Min-Ho; Jun, Hye-Suk; Jeon, Jong-Woon; Park, Jin-Kyu; Lee, Bong-Joo; Suh, Guk-Hyun; Park, Jeong-Sook; Cho, Cheong-Weon

    2016-12-14

    Bee venom-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) particles were prepared by double emulsion-solvent evaporation, and characterized for a sustained-release system. Factors such as the type of organic solvent, the amount of bee venom and PLGA, the type of PLGA, the type of polyvinyl alcohol, and the emulsification method were considered. Physicochemical properties, including the encapsulation efficiency, drug loading, particle size, zeta-potential and surface morphology were examined by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The size of the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles was 500 nm (measured using sonication). Zeta-potentials of the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles were negative owing to the PLGA. FT-IR results demonstrated that the bee venom was completely encapsulated in the PLGA particles, indicated by the disappearance of the amine and amide peaks. In addition, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis indicated that the bee venom in the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles was intact. In vitro release of the bee venom from the bee venom-loaded PLGA particles showed a sustained-release profile over 1 month. Bee venom-loaded PLGA particles can help improve patients' quality of life by reducing the number of injections required.

  11. Landscape spatial configuration is a key driver of wild bee demographics.

    PubMed

    Neokosmidis, Lazaros; Tscheulin, Thomas; Devalez, Jelle; Petanidou, Theodora

    2016-08-11

    The majority of studies investigating the effects of landscape composition and configuration on bee populations have been conducted in regions of intensive agricultural production, ignoring regions which are dominated by seminatural habitats, such as the islands of the Aegean Archipelago. In addition, research so far has focused on the landscape impacts on bees sampled in cropped fields while the landscape effects on bees inhabiting seminatural habitats are understudied. Here, we investigate the impact of the landscape on wild bee assemblages in 66 phryganic (low scrubland) communities on 8 Aegean islands. We computed landscape metrics (total area and total perimeter-area ratio) in 4 concentric circles (250, 500, 750, and 1000 m) around the center of each bee sampling site including 3 habitat groups (namely phrygana, cultivated land, and natural forests). We further measured the local flower cover in 25 quadrats distributed randomly at the center of each sampling site. We found that the landscape scale is more important than the local scale in shaping abundance and species richness of bees. Furthermore, habitat configuration was more important than the total area of habitats, probably because it affects bees' movement across the landscape. Phrygana and natural forests had a positive effect on bee demographics, while cultivated land had a negative effect. This demonstrates that phryganic specialists drive bee assemblages in these seminatural landscapes. This finding, together with the shown importance of landscape scale, should be considered for the management of wild bees with special emphasis placed on the spatial configuration of seminatural habitats.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Interspecific sensitivity of bees towards dimethoate and implications for environmental risk assessment

    PubMed Central

    Uhl, Philipp; Franke, Lea A.; Rehberg, Christina; Wollmann, Claudia; Stahlschmidt, Peter; Jeker, Lukas; Brühl, Carsten A.

    2016-01-01

    Wild and domesticated bee species are exposed to a variety of pesticides which may drive pollinator decline. Due to wild bee sensitivity data shortage, it is unclear if the honey bee Apis mellifera is a suitable surrogate species in the current EU risk assessment scheme. Furthermore, the underlying causes for sensitivity differences in bees are not established. We assessed the acute toxicity (median lethal dose, LD50) of dimethoate towards multiple bee species, generated a species sensitivity distribution and derived a hazardous dose (HD5). Furthermore, we performed a regression analysis with body weight and dimethoate toxicity. HD5 lower 95% confidence limit was equal to honey bee mean LD50 when applying a safety factor of 10. Body weight proved to be a predictor of interspecific bee sensitivity but did not explain the pattern completely. Using acute toxicity values from honey bees and a safety factor of 10 seems to cover the interspecific sensitivity range of bees in the case of dimethoate. Acute endpoints of proposed additional test species, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris and the red mason bee Osmia bicornis, do not improve the risk assessment for the entire group. However, this might not apply to other insecticides such as neonicotinoids. PMID:27686060

  16. Bee Abundance and Nutritional Status in Relation to Grassland Management Practices in an Agricultural Landscape.

    PubMed

    Smith, Griffin W; Debinski, Diane M; Scavo, Nicole A; Lange, Corey J; Delaney, John T; Moranz, Raymond A; Miller, James R; Engle, David M; Toth, Amy L

    2016-04-01

    Grasslands provide important resources for pollinators in agricultural landscapes. Managing grasslands with fire and grazing has the potential to benefit plant and pollinator communities, though there is uncertainty about the ideal approach. We examined the relationships among burning and grazing regimes, plant communities, and Bombus species and Apis mellifera L. abundance and nutritional indicators at the Grand River Grasslands in southern Iowa and northern Missouri. Treatment regimes included burn-only, grazed-and-burned, and patch-burn graze (pastures subdivided into three temporally distinct fire patches with free access by cattle). The premise of the experimental design was that patch-burn grazing would increase habitat heterogeneity, thereby providing more diverse and abundant floral resources for pollinators. We predicted that both bee abundance and individual bee nutritional indicators (bee size and lipid content) would be positively correlated with floral resource abundance. There were no significant differences among treatments with respect to bee abundance. However, some of the specific characteristics of the plant community showed significant relationships with bee response variables. Pastures with greater abundance of floral resources had greater bee abundance but lower bee nutritional indicators. Bee nutritional variables were positively correlated with vegetation height, but, in some cases, negatively correlated with stocking rate. These results suggest grassland site characteristics such as floral resource abundance and stocking rate are of potential importance to bee pollinators and suggest avenues for further research to untangle the complex interactions between grassland management, plant responses, and bee health.

  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.

  18. Interspecific sensitivity of bees towards dimethoate and implications for environmental risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Uhl, Philipp; Franke, Lea A; Rehberg, Christina; Wollmann, Claudia; Stahlschmidt, Peter; Jeker, Lukas; Brühl, Carsten A

    2016-09-30

    Wild and domesticated bee species are exposed to a variety of pesticides which may drive pollinator decline. Due to wild bee sensitivity data shortage, it is unclear if the honey bee Apis mellifera is a suitable surrogate species in the current EU risk assessment scheme. Furthermore, the underlying causes for sensitivity differences in bees are not established. We assessed the acute toxicity (median lethal dose, LD50) of dimethoate towards multiple bee species, generated a species sensitivity distribution and derived a hazardous dose (HD5). Furthermore, we performed a regression analysis with body weight and dimethoate toxicity. HD5 lower 95% confidence limit was equal to honey bee mean LD50 when applying a safety factor of 10. Body weight proved to be a predictor of interspecific bee sensitivity but did not explain the pattern completely. Using acute toxicity values from honey bees and a safety factor of 10 seems to cover the interspecific sensitivity range of bees in the case of dimethoate. Acute endpoints of proposed additional test species, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris and the red mason bee Osmia bicornis, do not improve the risk assessment for the entire group. However, this might not apply to other insecticides such as neonicotinoids.

  19. Allergenicity of Artemisia contained in bee pollen is proportional to its mass.

    PubMed

    Nonotte-Varly, C

    2015-11-01

    Bee product mugwort is identified as being at the origin of allergic accidents but the biological potency of Artemisia contained in bee pollen is not well known. In this experiment, Artemisia mass was identified in bee pollen mass and after having calculated the proportion of Artemisia using the bee pollen melissopalynology spectrum. Skin reactivity to Artemisia was assessed by measuring wheal diameters (W) from skin prick tests using three serial dilutions of bee pollen on 11 allergic patients to Artemisia, in order to calculate the relationship between Artemisia mass (Massartemisia) in bee pollen and skin reactivity. The dose-response power regression curve (Wartemisia)=3.328 (Massartemisia)0.297 (R2=0.9947) and the linear function Log10 (Wartemisia)=0.297 (Log10 (Massartemisia)+0.520 (R=0.9974)) were established using a bee pollen sample with 0.246 mg of Artemisia pollen per mg. Mugwort allergens seem to be little or not altered by bee secretions and bee pollen retains its allergenic capacity. To our knowledge this is the first time it has been shown that skin reactivity of patients allergic to mugwort is proportional to the absolute mugwort mass contained in the bee pollen.

  20. Negative effects of pesticides on wild bee communities can be buffered by landscape context

    PubMed Central

    Park, Mia G.; Blitzer, E. J.; Gibbs, Jason; Losey, John E.; Danforth, Bryan N.

    2015-01-01

    Wild bee communities provide underappreciated but critical agricultural pollination services. Given predicted global shortages in pollination services, managing agroecosystems to support thriving wild bee communities is, therefore, central to ensuring sustainable food production. Benefits of natural (including semi-natural) habitat for wild bee abundance and diversity on farms are well documented. By contrast, few studies have examined toxicity of pesticides on wild bees, let alone effects of farm-level pesticide exposure on entire bee communities. Whether beneficial natural areas could mediate effects of harmful pesticides on wild bees is also unknown. Here, we assess the effect of conventional pesticide use on the wild bee community visiting apple (Malus domestica) within a gradient of percentage natural area in the landscape. Wild bee community abundance and species richness decreased linearly with increasing pesticide use in orchards one year after application; however, pesticide effects on wild bees were buffered by increasing proportion of natural habitat in the surrounding landscape. A significant contribution of fungicides to observed pesticide effects suggests deleterious properties of a class of pesticides that was, until recently, considered benign to bees. Our results demonstrate extended benefits of natural areas for wild pollinators and highlight the importance of considering the landscape context when weighing up the costs of pest management on crop pollination services. PMID:26041355