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Sample records for bee bombus terrestris

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Lateralization in the Invertebrate Brain: Left-Right Asymmetry of Olfaction in Bumble Bee, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Anfora, Gianfranco; Rigosi, Elisa; Frasnelli, Elisa; Ruga, Vincenza; Trona, Federica; Vallortigara, Giorgio

    2011-01-01

    Brain and behavioural lateralization at the population level has been recently hypothesized to have evolved under social selective pressures as a strategy to optimize coordination among asymmetrical individuals. Evidence for this hypothesis have been collected in Hymenoptera: eusocial honey bees showed olfactory lateralization at the population level, whereas solitary mason bees only showed individual-level olfactory lateralization. Here we investigated lateralization of odour detection and learning in the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris L., an annual eusocial species of Hymenoptera. By training bumble bees on the proboscis extension reflex paradigm with only one antenna in use, we provided the very first evidence of asymmetrical performance favouring the right antenna in responding to learned odours in this species. Electroantennographic responses did not reveal significant antennal asymmetries in odour detection, whereas morphological counting of olfactory sensilla showed a predominance in the number of olfactory sensilla trichodea type A in the right antenna. The occurrence of a population level asymmetry in olfactory learning of bumble bee provides new information on the relationship between social behaviour and the evolution of population-level asymmetries in animals. PMID:21556150

  3. Effects of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, on reproduction in worker bumble bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Lenthall, Kate M; Barratt, Andrew T; Cresswell, James E

    2012-10-01

    Bumble bees are important pollinators whose populations have declined over recent years, raising widespread concern. One conspicuous threat to bumble bees is their unintended exposure to trace residues of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides, such as imidacloprid, which are ingested when bees forage on the nectar and pollen of treated crops. However, the demographic consequences for bumble bees of exposure to dietary neonicotinoids have yet to be fully established. To determine whether environmentally realistic levels of imidacloprid are capable of making a demographic impact on bumble bees, we exposed queenless microcolonies of worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris, to a range of dosages of dietary imidacloprid between zero and 125 μg L(-1) and examined the effects on ovary development and fecundity. Microcolonies showed a dose-dependent decline in fecundity, with environmentally realistic dosages in the range of 1 μg L(-1) capable of reducing brood production by one third. In contrast, ovary development was unimpaired by dietary imidacloprid except at the highest dosage. Imidacloprid reduced feeding on both syrup and pollen but, after controlling statistically for dosage, microcolonies that consumed more syrup and pollen produced more brood. We therefore speculate that the detrimental effects of imidacloprid on fecundity emerge principally from nutrient limitation imposed by the failure of individuals to feed. Our findings raise concern about the impact of neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. However, we recognize that to fully evaluate impacts on wild colonies it will be necessary to establish the effect of dietary neonicotinoids on the fecundity of bumble bee queens.

  4. Methylation and worker reproduction in the bumble-bee (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Amarasinghe, Harindra E.; Clayton, Crisenthiya I.; Mallon, Eamonn B.

    2014-01-01

    Insects are at the dawn of an epigenetics era. Numerous social insect species have been found to possess a functioning methylation system, previously not thought to exist in insects. Methylation, an epigenetic tag, may be vital for the sociality and division of labour for which social insects are renowned. In the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris, we found methylation differences between the genomes of queenless reproductive workers and queenless non-reproductive workers. In a follow up experiment, queenless workers whose genomes had experimentally altered methylation were more aggressive and more likely to develop ovaries compared with control queenless workers. This shows methylation is important in this highly plastic reproductive division of labour. Methylation is an epigenetic tag for genomic imprinting (GI). It is intriguing that the main theory to explain the evolution of GI predicts that GI should be important in this worker reproduction behaviour. PMID:24523266

  5. Methylation and worker reproduction in the bumble-bee (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Amarasinghe, Harindra E; Clayton, Crisenthiya I; Mallon, Eamonn B

    2014-04-01

    Insects are at the dawn of an epigenetics era. Numerous social insect species have been found to possess a functioning methylation system, previously not thought to exist in insects. Methylation, an epigenetic tag, may be vital for the sociality and division of labour for which social insects are renowned. In the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris, we found methylation differences between the genomes of queenless reproductive workers and queenless non-reproductive workers. In a follow up experiment, queenless workers whose genomes had experimentally altered methylation were more aggressive and more likely to develop ovaries compared with control queenless workers. This shows methylation is important in this highly plastic reproductive division of labour. Methylation is an epigenetic tag for genomic imprinting (GI). It is intriguing that the main theory to explain the evolution of GI predicts that GI should be important in this worker reproduction behaviour.

  6. Changes in learning and foraging behaviour within developing bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) colonies.

    PubMed

    Evans, Lisa J; Raine, Nigel E

    2014-01-01

    Organisation in eusocial insect colonies emerges from the decisions and actions of its individual members. In turn, these decisions and actions are influenced by the individual's behaviour (or temperament). Although there is variation in the behaviour of individuals within a colony, we know surprisingly little about how (or indeed if) the types of behaviour present in a colony change over time. Here, for the first time, we assessed potential changes in the behavioural type of foragers during colony development. Using an ecologically relevant foraging task, we measured the decision speed and learning ability of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) at different stages of colony development. We determined whether individuals that forage early in the colony life cycle (the queen and early emerging workers) behaved differently from workers that emerge and forage at the end of colony development. Whilst we found no overall change in the foraging behaviour of workers with colony development, there were strong differences in foraging behaviour between queens and their workers. Queens appeared to forage more cautiously than their workers and were also quicker to learn. These behaviours could allow queens to maximise their nectar collecting efficiency whilst avoiding predation. Because the foundress queen is crucial to the survival and success of a bumble bee colony, more efficient foraging behaviour in queens may have strong adaptive value.

  7. Changes in Learning and Foraging Behaviour within Developing Bumble Bee (Bombus terrestris) Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Lisa J.; Raine, Nigel E.

    2014-01-01

    Organisation in eusocial insect colonies emerges from the decisions and actions of its individual members. In turn, these decisions and actions are influenced by the individual's behaviour (or temperament). Although there is variation in the behaviour of individuals within a colony, we know surprisingly little about how (or indeed if) the types of behaviour present in a colony change over time. Here, for the first time, we assessed potential changes in the behavioural type of foragers during colony development. Using an ecologically relevant foraging task, we measured the decision speed and learning ability of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) at different stages of colony development. We determined whether individuals that forage early in the colony life cycle (the queen and early emerging workers) behaved differently from workers that emerge and forage at the end of colony development. Whilst we found no overall change in the foraging behaviour of workers with colony development, there were strong differences in foraging behaviour between queens and their workers. Queens appeared to forage more cautiously than their workers and were also quicker to learn. These behaviours could allow queens to maximise their nectar collecting efficiency whilst avoiding predation. Because the foundress queen is crucial to the survival and success of a bumble bee colony, more efficient foraging behaviour in queens may have strong adaptive value. PMID:24599144

  8. Effects of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam at field-realistic levels on microcolonies of Bombus terrestris worker bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Cotterell, Katie C; O'Shea-Wheller, Thomas A; Cresswell, James E

    2014-02-01

    Neonicotinoid pesticides are currently implicated in the decline of wild bee populations. Bumble bees, Bombus spp., are important wild pollinators that are detrimentally affected by ingestion of neonicotinoid residues. To date, imidacloprid has been the major focus of study into the effects of neonicotinoids on bumble bee health, but wild populations are increasingly exposed to alternative neonicotinoids such as thiamethoxam. To investigate whether environmentally realistic levels of thiamethoxam affect bumble bee performance over a realistic exposure period, we exposed queenless microcolonies of Bombus terrestris L. workers to a wide range of dosages up to 98 μgkg(-1) in dietary syrup for 17 days. Results showed that bumble bee workers survived fewer days when presented with syrup dosed at 98 μg thiamethoxamkg(-1), while production of brood (eggs and larvae) and consumption of syrup and pollen in microcolonies were significantly reduced by thiamethoxam only at the two highest concentrations (39, 98 μgkg(-1)). In contrast, we found no detectable effect of thiamethoxam at levels typically found in the nectars of treated crops (between 1 and 11 μgkg(-1)). By comparison with published data, we demonstrate that during an exposure to field-realistic concentrations lasting approximately two weeks, brood production in worker bumble bees is more sensitive to imidacloprid than thiamethoxam. We speculate that differential sensitivity arises because imidacloprid produces a stronger repression of feeding in bumble bees than thiamethoxam, which imposes a greater nutrient limitation on production of brood.

  9. Sperm influences female hibernation success, survival and fitness in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2005-02-01

    We present evidence that in the absence of the transfer of male gland compounds in the ejaculate as well as of behavioural male traits, such as mate guarding or harming of females, sperm itself affects female life-history traits such as hibernation success, female longevity and female fitness. Using the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris, we artificially inseminated queens (females) with sperm from one or several males and show that sire groups (groups of brother males) vary in their effects on queen hibernation survival, longevity and fitness. In addition, multiply inseminated queens always had a lower performance as compared to singly inseminated queens. Apart from these main effects, sire groups (in situations of multiple insemination) affected queen longevity and fitness not independently of each other, i.e. certain sire group combinations were more harmful to queens than others. So far, the cause(s) of these effects remain(s) elusive. Harmful male traits as detected here are not necessarily expected to evolve in social insects because males depend on females for a successful completion of a colony cycle and thus have strong convergent interests with their mates.

  10. Sperm influences female hibernation success, survival and fitness in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Baer, Boris; Schmid-Hempel, Paul

    2005-01-01

    We present evidence that in the absence of the transfer of male gland compounds in the ejaculate as well as of behavioural male traits, such as mate guarding or harming of females, sperm itself affects female life-history traits such as hibernation success, female longevity and female fitness. Using the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris, we artificially inseminated queens (females) with sperm from one or several males and show that sire groups (groups of brother males) vary in their effects on queen hibernation survival, longevity and fitness. In addition, multiply inseminated queens always had a lower performance as compared to singly inseminated queens. Apart from these main effects, sire groups (in situations of multiple insemination) affected queen longevity and fitness not independently of each other, i.e. certain sire group combinations were more harmful to queens than others. So far, the cause(s) of these effects remain(s) elusive. Harmful male traits as detected here are not necessarily expected to evolve in social insects because males depend on females for a successful completion of a colony cycle and thus have strong convergent interests with their mates. PMID:15705558

  11. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Dutka, Alexandrea; McNulty, Alison; Williamson, Sally M

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm(2) soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment.

  12. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Dutka, Alexandrea; McNulty, Alison

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm2 soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment. PMID:26618084

  13. A new threat to bees? Entomopathogenic nematodes used in biological pest control cause rapid mortality in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Dutka, Alexandrea; McNulty, Alison; Williamson, Sally M

    2015-01-01

    There is currently a great deal of concern about population declines in pollinating insects. Many potential threats have been identified which may adversely affect the behaviour and health of both honey bees and bumble bees: these include pesticide exposure, and parasites and pathogens. Whether biological pest control agents adversely affect bees has been much less well studied: it is generally assumed that biological agents are safer for wildlife than chemical pesticides. The aim of this study was to test whether entomopathogenic nematodes sold as biological pest control products could potentially have adverse effects on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. One product was a broad spectrum pest control agent containing both Heterorhabditis sp. and Steinernema sp., the other product was specifically for weevil control and contained only Steinernema kraussei. Both nematode products caused ≥80% mortality within the 96 h test period when bees were exposed to soil containing entomopathogenic nematodes at the recommended field concentration of 50 nematodes per cm(2) soil. Of particular concern is the fact that nematodes from the broad spectrum product could proliferate in the carcasses of dead bees, and therefore potentially infect a whole bee colony or spread to the wider environment. PMID:26618084

  14. DNA modifications and genome rearrangements during the development and sex differentiation of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Bigot, Y; Jegot, G; Casteret, S; Aupinel, P; Tasei, J-N

    2011-04-01

    Bombus terrestris is a bumble bee that, like most hymenopteran species, exhibits ploidy-specific sex determination controlled by a single sex gene. Depending on their ploidy and the queen pheromone repression, the imagoes differentiate into three castes: males, workers and queens. Here, we focus on the differences of genome organization that occur during development and sex differentiation. We found that cytosine methylation is a significant epigenetic factor with profiles that can be correlated with both processes. We also showed that two kinds of genomic rearrangement occur. The first consists of important DNA amplifications that have sequence profiles that differ in the different developmental instars and sexes. In the second kind, DNA losses also occur, at least involving the mosaic transposable element B. terrestris mosaic repeat 1 (BTMR1).

  15. A Novel Behavioral Assay to Investigate Gustatory Responses of Individual, Freely-moving Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Ma, Carolyn; Kessler, Sébastien; Simpson, Alexander; Wright, Geraldine

    2016-01-01

    Generalist pollinators like the buff-tailed bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, encounter both nutrients and toxins in the floral nectar they collect from flowering plants. Only a few studies have described the gustatory responses of bees toward toxins in food, and these experiments have mainly used the proboscis extension response on restrained honey bees. Here, a new behavioral assay is presented for measuring the feeding responses of freely-moving, individual worker bumble bees to nutrients and toxins. This assay measures the amount of solution ingested by each bumble bee and identifies how tastants in food influence the microstructure of the feeding behavior. The solutions are presented in a microcapillary tube to individual bumble bees that have been previously starved for 2-4 hr. The behavior is captured on digital video. The fine structure of the feeding behavior is analyzed by continuously scoring the position of the proboscis (mouthparts) from video recordings using event logging software. The position of the proboscis is defined by three different behavioral categories: (1) proboscis is extended and in contact with the solution, (2) proboscis is extended but not in contact with the solution and (3) proboscis is stowed under the head. Furthermore the speed of the proboscis retracting away from the solution is also estimated. In the present assay the volume of solution consumed, the number of feeding bouts, the duration of the feeding bouts and the speed of the proboscis retraction after the first contact is used to evaluate the phagostimulatory or the deterrent activity of the compounds tested. This new taste assay will allow researchers to measure how compounds found in nectar influence the feeding behavior of bees and will also be useful to pollination biologists, toxicologists and neuroethologists studying the bumble bee's taste system. PMID:27500630

  16. A Novel Behavioral Assay to Investigate Gustatory Responses of Individual, Freely-moving Bumble Bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Ma, Carolyn; Kessler, Sébastien; Simpson, Alexander; Wright, Geraldine

    2016-07-21

    Generalist pollinators like the buff-tailed bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, encounter both nutrients and toxins in the floral nectar they collect from flowering plants. Only a few studies have described the gustatory responses of bees toward toxins in food, and these experiments have mainly used the proboscis extension response on restrained honey bees. Here, a new behavioral assay is presented for measuring the feeding responses of freely-moving, individual worker bumble bees to nutrients and toxins. This assay measures the amount of solution ingested by each bumble bee and identifies how tastants in food influence the microstructure of the feeding behavior. The solutions are presented in a microcapillary tube to individual bumble bees that have been previously starved for 2-4 hr. The behavior is captured on digital video. The fine structure of the feeding behavior is analyzed by continuously scoring the position of the proboscis (mouthparts) from video recordings using event logging software. The position of the proboscis is defined by three different behavioral categories: (1) proboscis is extended and in contact with the solution, (2) proboscis is extended but not in contact with the solution and (3) proboscis is stowed under the head. Furthermore the speed of the proboscis retracting away from the solution is also estimated. In the present assay the volume of solution consumed, the number of feeding bouts, the duration of the feeding bouts and the speed of the proboscis retraction after the first contact is used to evaluate the phagostimulatory or the deterrent activity of the compounds tested. This new taste assay will allow researchers to measure how compounds found in nectar influence the feeding behavior of bees and will also be useful to pollination biologists, toxicologists and neuroethologists studying the bumble bee's taste system.

  17. Repression and recuperation of brood production in Bombus terrestris bumble bees exposed to a pulse of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid.

    PubMed

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E

    2013-01-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days 'on dose' followed by 14 days 'off dose') to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae) produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers). During the initial 'on dose' period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg(-1) dietary imidacloprid. During the following 'off dose' period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg(-1). Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop.

  18. Repression and Recuperation of Brood Production in Bombus terrestris Bumble Bees Exposed to a Pulse of the Neonicotinoid Pesticide Imidacloprid

    PubMed Central

    Laycock, Ian; Cresswell, James E.

    2013-01-01

    Currently, there is concern about declining bee populations and some blame the residues of neonicotinoid pesticides in the nectar and pollen of treated crops. Bumble bees are important wild pollinators that are widely exposed to dietary neonicotinoids by foraging in agricultural environments. In the laboratory, we tested the effect of a pulsed exposure (14 days ‘on dose’ followed by 14 days ‘off dose’) to a common neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on the amount of brood (number of eggs and larvae) produced by Bombus terrestris L. bumble bees in small, standardised experimental colonies (a queen and four adult workers). During the initial ‘on dose’ period we observed a dose-dependent repression of brood production in colonies, with productivity decreasing as dosage increased up to 98 µg kg−1 dietary imidacloprid. During the following ‘off dose’ period, colonies showed a dose-dependent recuperation such that total brood production during the 28-day pulsed exposure was not correlated with imidacloprid up to 98 µg kg−1. Our findings raise further concern about the threat to wild bumble bees from neonicotinoids, but they also indicate some resilience to a pulsed exposure, such as that arising from the transient bloom of a treated mass-flowering crop. PMID:24224015

  19. Reproductive workers show queenlike gene expression in an intermediately eusocial insect, the buff-tailed bumble bee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Mark C; Hammond, Robert L; Mallon, Eamonn B

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees represent a taxon with an intermediate level of eusociality within Hymenoptera. The clear division of reproduction between a single founding queen and the largely sterile workers is characteristic for highly eusocial species, whereas the morphological similarity between the bumble bee queen and the workers is typical for more primitively eusocial hymenopterans. Also, unlike other highly eusocial hymenopterans, division of labour among worker subcastes is plastic and not predetermined by morphology or age. We conducted a differential expression analysis based on RNA-seq data from 11 combinations of developmental stage and caste to investigate how a single genome can produce the distinct castes of queens, workers and males in the buff-tailed bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Based on expression patterns, we found males to be the most distinct of all adult castes (2411 transcripts differentially expressed compared to nonreproductive workers). However, only relatively few transcripts were differentially expressed between males and workers during development (larvae: 71 and pupae: 162). This indicates the need for more distinct expression patterns to control behaviour and physiology in adults compared to those required to create different morphologies. Among female castes, reproductive workers and their nonreproductive sisters displayed differential expression in over ten times more transcripts compared to the differential expression found between reproductive workers and their mother queen. This suggests a strong shift towards a more queenlike behaviour and physiology when a worker becomes fertile. This contrasts with eusocial species where reproductive workers are more similar to nonreproductive workers than the queen.

  20. Effect of oral infection with Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; de Miranda, Joachim R; de Graaf, Dirk C; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2014-09-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) together with Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) constitute a complex of closely related dicistroviruses. They are infamous for their high mortality after injection in honeybees. These viruses have also been reported in non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators such as bumblebees, which got infected with IAPV when placed in the same greenhouse with IAPV infected honeybee hives. Here we orally infected Bombus terrestris workers with different doses of either IAPV or KBV viral particles. The success of the infection was established by analysis of the bumblebees after the impact studies: 50days after infection. Doses of 0.5×10(7) and 1×10(7) virus particles per bee were infectious over this period, for IAPV and KBV respectively, while a dose of 0.5×10(6) IAPV particles per bee was not infectious. The impact of virus infection was studied in micro-colonies consisting of 5 bumblebees, one of which becomes a pseudo-queen which proceeds to lay unfertilized (drone) eggs. The impact parameters studied were: the establishment of a laying pseudo-queen, the timing of egg-laying, the number of drones produced, the weight of these drones and worker mortality. In this setup KBV infection resulted in a significant slower colony startup and offspring production, while only the latter can be reported for IAPV. Neither virus increased worker mortality, at the oral doses used. We recommend further studies on how these viruses transmit between different pollinator species. It is also vital to understand how viral prevalence can affect wild bee populations because disturbance of the natural host-virus association may deteriorate the already critically endangered status of many bumblebee species.

  1. Effect of oral infection with Kashmir bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus on bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) reproductive success.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; de Miranda, Joachim R; de Graaf, Dirk C; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2014-09-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) together with Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Kashmir bee virus (KBV) constitute a complex of closely related dicistroviruses. They are infamous for their high mortality after injection in honeybees. These viruses have also been reported in non-Apis hymenopteran pollinators such as bumblebees, which got infected with IAPV when placed in the same greenhouse with IAPV infected honeybee hives. Here we orally infected Bombus terrestris workers with different doses of either IAPV or KBV viral particles. The success of the infection was established by analysis of the bumblebees after the impact studies: 50days after infection. Doses of 0.5×10(7) and 1×10(7) virus particles per bee were infectious over this period, for IAPV and KBV respectively, while a dose of 0.5×10(6) IAPV particles per bee was not infectious. The impact of virus infection was studied in micro-colonies consisting of 5 bumblebees, one of which becomes a pseudo-queen which proceeds to lay unfertilized (drone) eggs. The impact parameters studied were: the establishment of a laying pseudo-queen, the timing of egg-laying, the number of drones produced, the weight of these drones and worker mortality. In this setup KBV infection resulted in a significant slower colony startup and offspring production, while only the latter can be reported for IAPV. Neither virus increased worker mortality, at the oral doses used. We recommend further studies on how these viruses transmit between different pollinator species. It is also vital to understand how viral prevalence can affect wild bee populations because disturbance of the natural host-virus association may deteriorate the already critically endangered status of many bumblebee species. PMID:25004171

  2. Specific recognition of reproductive parasite workers by nest-entrance guards in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The impact of social parasites on their hosts’ fitness is a strong selective pressure that can lead to the evolution of adapted defence strategies. Guarding the nest to prevent the intrusion of parasites is a widespread response of host species. If absolute rejection of strangers provides the best protection against parasites, more fine-tuned strategies can prove more adaptive. Guarding is indeed costly and not all strangers constitute a real threat. That is particularly true for worker reproductive parasitism in social insects since only a fraction of non-nestmate visitors, the fertile ones, can readily engage in parasitic reproduction. Guards should thus be more restrictive towards fertile than sterile non-nestmate workers. We here tested this hypothesis by examining the reaction of nest-entrance guards towards nestmate and non-nestmate workers with varying fertility levels in the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. Because social recognition in social insects mainly relies on cuticular lipids (CLs), chemical analysis was also conducted to examine whether workers’ CLs could convey the relevant information upon which guards could base their decision. We thus aimed to determine whether an adapted defensive strategy to worker reproductive parasitism has evolved in B. terrestris colonies. Results Chemical analysis revealed that the cuticular chemical profiles of workers encode information about both their colony membership and their current fertility, therefore providing potential recognition cues for a suitable adjustment of the guards’ defensive decisions. We found that guards were similarly tolerant towards sterile non-nestmate workers than towards nestmate workers. However, as predicted, guards responded more aggressively towards fertile non-nestmates. Conclusion Our results show that B. terrestris guards discriminate non-nestmates that differ in their reproductive potential and respond more strongly to the individuals that are a greatest threat for

  3. Effects of Fastac 50 EC on bumble bee Bombus terrestris L. respiration: DGE disappearance does not lead to increasing water loss.

    PubMed

    Muljar, Riin; Karise, Reet; Viik, Eneli; Kuusik, Aare; Williams, Ingrid; Metspalu, Luule; Hiiesaar, Külli; Must, Anne; Luik, Anne; Mänd, Marika

    2012-11-01

    Sublethal effects of pesticides in insects can be observed through physiological changes, which are commonly estimated by metabolic rate and respiratory patterns, more precisely by the patterns of discontinuous gas-exchange (DGE) cycles. The aim of the present research was to study the effect of some low concentrations of Fastac 50 EC on the cycles of CO(2) release and respiratory water loss rates (WLR) in bumble bee Bombus terrestris L. foragers. Bumble bees were dipped into 0.004% and 0.002% Fastac 50 EC solution. Flow-through respirometry was used to record the respiration and WLR 3h before and after the treatment. The respirometry was combined with infrared actography to enable simultaneous recording of abdominal movements. Our results show that Fastac 50 EC has an after-effect on bumble bee respiratory rhythms and muscle activity but does not affect WLR. Treatment with 0.004% Fastac 50 EC solution resulted in disappearance of the respiration cycles; also the lifespan of treated bumble bees was significantly shorter. Treatment with 0.002% Fastac 50 EC solution had no significant effect on respiration patterns or longevity. We found no evidence for the DGE cycles functioning as a water saving mechanism.

  4. Profile of the mosaic element BTMR1 in the genome of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Casteret, S; Moiré, N; Aupinel, P; Tasei, J-N; Bigot, Y

    2011-04-01

    Co-evolution involving a mariner transposon, Botmar1 and the other repeats contained in the Bombus terrestris genome was investigated. We found that the 5'-region of Botmar1 forms one of the components of a mosaic element, known as B. terrestris mosaic repeat 1 (BTMR1), which is also composed of inner segments originating from two different retrotransposons and a pseudogene corresponding to an RNA methyltransferase cDNA. The fact that BTMR1 is interspersed within chromosomes and the differences in its abundance in different species indicate that it is very probably a mobile element. Nevertheless, the absences of direct or inverted repeats at its ends and of target site duplication indicate that its mobility is not ensured by a cardinal transposable element, but putatively by a Crypton-like element.

  5. Precocene-I inhibits juvenile hormone biosynthesis, ovarian activation, aggression and alters sterility signal production in bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) workers.

    PubMed

    Amsalem, E; Teal, P; Grozinger, C M; Hefetz, A

    2014-09-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) is an important regulator of development and physiology in insects. While in many insect species, including bumble bees, JH functions as gonadotropin in adults, in some highly eusocial insects its role has shifted to regulate social behavior including division of labor, dominance and aggression. Studying JH functions across social insect species is important for understanding the evolution of sociality; however, these studies have been limited because of the inability to reduce JH levels without surgically removing its glandular source, the corpora allata. Precocene is known to inhibit JH biosynthesis in several non-social insects, but has been poorly studied in social insects. Here, we tested whether precocene-I can effectively reduce JH levels in Bombus terrestris workers, and examined its effects on their physiology and behavior. Precocene-I treatment of three-worker groups decreased JH titer and ovarian activation, irrespective of the bees' dominance rank within the group, and was remedied by JH replacement therapy. Precocene-I also decreased aggressiveness and increased ester-sterility signal production; these changes were rank-dependent, and affected mainly the most reproductive and the least aggressive workers, respectively, and could not be remedied by JH replacement therapy. These results clearly confirm the role of JH as a gonadotropin and mediator of aggression in B. terrestris, and indicate that JH effects are associated with worker dominance rank. The ability to chemically reduce JH titer provides us with a non-intrusive method to probe the evolutionary changes associated with JH and the hormonal mechanisms that are associated with reproduction and behavior in social insects.

  6. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg(-1) of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg(-1) and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg(-1). PMID:26912998

  7. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg−1 of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg−1 and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg−1. PMID:26912998

  8. Spatial Vision in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Chakravarthi, Aravin; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie; Kelber, Almut

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris is one of the most commonly used insect models to investigate visually guided behavior and spatial vision in particular. Two fundamental measures of spatial vision are spatial resolution and contrast sensitivity. In this study, we report the threshold of spatial resolution in B. terrestris and characterize the contrast sensitivity function of the bumblebee visual system for a dual choice discrimination task. We trained bumblebees in a Y-maze experimental set-up to associate a vertical sinusoidal grating with a sucrose reward, and a horizontal grating with absence of a reward. Using a logistic psychometric function, we estimated a resolution threshold of 0.21 cycles deg(-1) of visual angle. This resolution is in the same range but slightly lower than that found in honeybees (Apis mellifera and A. cerana) and another bumblebee species (B. impatiens). We also found that the contrast sensitivity of B. terrestris was 1.57 for the spatial frequency 0.090 cycles deg(-1) and 1.26 for 0.18 cycles deg(-1).

  9. Bee pathogens found in Bombus atratus from Colombia: A case study.

    PubMed

    Gamboa, Viviana; Ravoet, Jorgen; Brunain, Marleen; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan; Figueroa, Judith; Riaño, Diego; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-07-01

    Bombus atratus bumblebees from Colombia that were caught in the wild and from breeding programs were screened for a broad set of bee pathogens. We discovered for the first time Lake Sinai Virus and confirmed the infection by other common viruses. The prevalence of Apicystis bombi, Crithidia bombi and Nosema ceranae was remarkably high. According to other studies the former two could have been co-introduced in South America with exotic bumble bees as Bombus terrestris or Bombus ruderatus. Given the fact that none of these species occur in Colombia, our data puts a new light on the spread of these pathogens over the South American continent.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:27264888

  12. The final moments of landing in bumblebees, Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Reber, Therese; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie

    2016-04-01

    In comparison to other insects, like honeybees, bumblebees are very effective pollinators. Even though landing is a crucial part of pollination, little is known about how bumblebees orchestrate the final, critical moments of landing. Here, we use high-speed recordings to capture the fine details of the landing behaviour of free-flying bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), while landing on a flat platform with different orientations. We find that the bees have a fairly constant body and head orientation at the moment of leg extension, irrespective of platform tilt. At the same moment in time, the distance to the platform is held constant at around 8 mm (with the exception of low platform tilts). The orientation of the antennae and the first appendage that touches the platform vary between platform orientations, while the duration of the hover phase does not. Overall, the final moments of landing in bumblebees and their close relatives, the honeybees, are similar. However, the distance to the platform at the moment of leg extension and the duration of the hover phase are different in bumblebees and honeybees, suggesting that they are primarily adapted to land on surfaces with different orientations. PMID:26868924

  13. The final moments of landing in bumblebees, Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Reber, Therese; Baird, Emily; Dacke, Marie

    2016-04-01

    In comparison to other insects, like honeybees, bumblebees are very effective pollinators. Even though landing is a crucial part of pollination, little is known about how bumblebees orchestrate the final, critical moments of landing. Here, we use high-speed recordings to capture the fine details of the landing behaviour of free-flying bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), while landing on a flat platform with different orientations. We find that the bees have a fairly constant body and head orientation at the moment of leg extension, irrespective of platform tilt. At the same moment in time, the distance to the platform is held constant at around 8 mm (with the exception of low platform tilts). The orientation of the antennae and the first appendage that touches the platform vary between platform orientations, while the duration of the hover phase does not. Overall, the final moments of landing in bumblebees and their close relatives, the honeybees, are similar. However, the distance to the platform at the moment of leg extension and the duration of the hover phase are different in bumblebees and honeybees, suggesting that they are primarily adapted to land on surfaces with different orientations.

  14. Gonadotropic and physiological functions of juvenile hormone in Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) workers.

    PubMed

    Shpigler, Hagai; Amsalem, Etya; Huang, Zachary Y; Cohen, Mira; Siegel, Adam J; Hefetz, Abraham; Bloch, Guy

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of advanced sociality in bees is associated with apparent modifications in juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. By contrast to most insects in which JH is a gonadotropin regulating female fertility, in the highly eusocial honey bee (Apis mellifera) JH has lost its gonadotrophic function in adult females, and instead regulates age-related division of labor among worker bees. In order to shed light on the evolution of JH signaling in bees we performed allatectomy and replacement therapies to manipulate JH levels in workers of the "primitively eusocial" bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Allatectomized worker bees showed remarkable reduction in ovarian development, egg laying, Vitellogenin and Krüppel homolog 1 fat body transcript levels, hemolymph Vitellogenin protein abundance, wax secretion, and egg-cell construction. These effects were reverted, at least partially, by treating allatectomized bees with JH-III, the natural JH of bees. Allatectomy also affected the amount of ester component in Dufour's gland secretion, which is thought to convey a social signal relating to worker fertility. These findings provide a strong support for the hypothesis that in contrast to honey bees, JH is a gonadotropin in bumblebees and lend credence to the hypothesis that the evolution of advanced eusociality in honey bees was associated with major modifications in JH signaling.

  15. Gonadotropic and Physiological Functions of Juvenile Hormone in Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) Workers

    PubMed Central

    Shpigler, Hagai; Amsalem, Etya; Huang, Zachary Y.; Cohen, Mira; Siegel, Adam J.; Hefetz, Abraham; Bloch, Guy

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of advanced sociality in bees is associated with apparent modifications in juvenile hormone (JH) signaling. By contrast to most insects in which JH is a gonadotropin regulating female fertility, in the highly eusocial honey bee (Apis mellifera) JH has lost its gonadotrophic function in adult females, and instead regulates age-related division of labor among worker bees. In order to shed light on the evolution of JH signaling in bees we performed allatectomy and replacement therapies to manipulate JH levels in workers of the "primitively eusocial" bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Allatectomized worker bees showed remarkable reduction in ovarian development, egg laying, Vitellogenin and Krüppel homolog 1 fat body transcript levels, hemolymph Vitellogenin protein abundance, wax secretion, and egg-cell construction. These effects were reverted, at least partially, by treating allatectomized bees with JH-III, the natural JH of bees. Allatectomy also affected the amount of ester component in Dufour's gland secretion, which is thought to convey a social signal relating to worker fertility. These findings provide a strong support for the hypothesis that in contrast to honey bees, JH is a gonadotropin in bumblebees and lend credence to the hypothesis that the evolution of advanced eusociality in honey bees was associated with major modifications in JH signaling. PMID:24959888

  16. Precocene-I inhibits juvenile hormone biosynthesis, ovarian activation, aggression and alters sterility signal production in bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) workers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Juvenile hormone (JH) is an important regulator of development and physiology in insects. While in many insect species, including bumble bees, JH function as gonadotropin in adults, in some highly eusocial insects its role has shifted to regulate social behavior including division of labor, dominanc...

  17. Allele specific expression in worker reproduction genes in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Amarasinghe, Harindra E; Toghill, Bradley J; Nathanael, Despina; Mallon, Eamonn B

    2015-01-01

    Methylation has previously been associated with allele specific expression in ants. Recently, we found methylation is important in worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Here we searched for allele specific expression in twelve genes associated with worker reproduction in bees. We found allele specific expression in Ecdysone 20 monooxygenase and IMP-L2-like. Although we were unable to confirm a genetic or epigenetic cause for this allele specific expression, the expression patterns of the two genes match those predicted for imprinted genes.

  18. Patterns of range-wide genetic variation in six North American bumble bee (Apidae: Bombus) species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The increasing evidence for population declines in bumble bee (Bombus) species worldwide has accelerated research efforts to explain losses in these important native pollinators. In North America, a number of once widespread Bombus species have suffered serious reductions in range and abundance, alt...

  19. Foraging errors play a role in resource exploration by bumble bees (Bombus terrrestris).

    PubMed

    Evans, Lisa J; Raine, Nigel E

    2014-06-01

    If the cognitive performance of animals reflects their particular ecological requirements, how can we explain appreciable variation in learning ability amongst closely related individuals (e.g. foraging workers within a bumble bee colony)? One possibility is that apparent 'errors' in a learning task actually represent an alternative foraging strategy. In this study we investigate the potential relationship between foraging 'errors' and foraging success among bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) workers. Individual foragers were trained to choose yellow, rewarded flowers and ignore blue, unrewarded flowers. We recorded the number of errors (visits to unrewarded flowers) each bee made during training, then tested them to determine how quickly they discovered a more profitable food source (either familiar blue flowers, or novel green flowers). We found that error prone bees discovered the novel food source significantly faster than accurate bees. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the time taken to discover the novel, more profitable, food source is positively correlated with foraging success. These results suggest that foraging errors are part of an 'exploration' foraging strategy, which could be advantageous in changeable foraging environments. This could explain the observed variation in learning performance amongst foragers within social insect colonies.

  20. USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper describes USBombus, a large dataset that represents the outcomes of one of the largest standardized surveys of bee pollinators (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) globally. The motivation to collect live bumble bees across the US was to examine the decline and conservation status of Bombus affi...

  1. Detoxification and stress response genes expressed in a western North American bumble bee, Bombus huntii (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Hunt bumble bee (Bombus huntii Greene, Hymenoptera: Apidae) is a holometabolous, social insect important as a pollinator in natural and agricultural ecosystems in western North America. Bumble bees spend a significant amount of time foraging on a wide variety of flowering plants, and this activity exposes them to both plant toxins and pesticides, posing a threat to individual and colony survival. Little is known about what detoxification pathways are active in bumble bees, how the expression of detoxification genes changes across life stages, or how the number of detoxification genes expressed in B. huntii compares to other insects. Results We found B. huntii expressed at least 584 genes associated with detoxification and stress responses. The expression levels of some of these genes, such as those encoding the cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) and glycosidases, vary among different life stages to a greater extent than do other genes. We also found that the number of P450s, GSTs and esterase genes expressed by B. huntii is similar to the number of these genes found in the genomes of other bees, namely Bombus terrestris, Bombus impatiens, Apis mellifera and Megachile rotundata, but many fewer than are found in the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Conclusions Bombus huntii has transcripts for a large number of detoxification and stress related proteins, including oxidation and reduction enzymes, conjugation enzymes, hydrolytic enzymes, ABC transporters, cadherins, and heat shock proteins. The diversity of genes expressed within some detoxification pathways varies among the life stages and castes, and we typically identified more genes in the adult females than in larvae, pupae, or adult males, for most pathways. Meanwhile, we found the numbers of detoxification and stress genes expressed by B. huntii to be more similar to other bees than to the fruit fly. The low number of detoxification genes, first noted in the honey bee, appears to be

  2. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J.; Bollan, Karen A.; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T.; Connolly, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.—Moffat, C., Pacheco, J. G., Sharp, S., Samson, A. J., Bollan, K. A., Huang, J., Buckland, S. T., Connolly, C. N. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). PMID:25634958

  3. Differential expression pattern of Vago in bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), induced by virulent and avirulent virus infections

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Jinzhi; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-01-01

    Viruses are one of the main drivers of the decline of domesticated and wild bees but the mechanisms of antiviral immunity in pollinators are poorly understood. Recent work has suggested that next to the small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway other immune-related pathways play a role in the defense of the bee hosts against viral infection. In addition, Vago plays a role in the cross-talk between the innate immune pathways in Culex mosquito cells. Here we describe the Vago orthologue in bumblebees of Bombus terrestris, and investigated its role upon the infection of two different bee viruses, the virulent Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) and the avirulent slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV). Our results showed that BtVago was downregulated upon the infection of IAPV that killed all bumblebees, but not with SBPV where the workers survived the virus infection. Thus, for the first time, Vago/Vago-like expression appears to be associated with the virulence of virus and may act as a modulator of antiviral immunity. PMID:27680717

  4. Patterns of range-wide genetic variation in six North American bumble bee (Apidae: Bombus) species.

    PubMed

    Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Stewart, Isaac J; Cameron, Sydney A

    2011-12-01

    The increasing evidence for population declines in bumble bee (Bombus) species worldwide has accelerated research efforts to explain losses in these important pollinators. In North America, a number of once widespread Bombus species have suffered serious reductions in range and abundance, although other species remain healthy. To examine whether declining and stable species exhibit different levels of genetic diversity or population fragmentation, we used microsatellite markers to genotype populations sampled across the geographic distributions of two declining (Bombus occidentalis and Bombus pensylvanicus) and four stable (Bombus bifarius; Bombus vosnesenskii; Bombus impatiens and Bombus bimaculatus) Bombus species. Populations of declining species generally have reduced levels of genetic diversity throughout their range compared to codistributed stable species. Genetic diversity can be affected by overall range size and degree of isolation of local populations, potentially confounding comparisons among species in some cases. We find no evidence for consistent differences in gene flow among stable and declining species, with all species exhibiting weak genetic differentiation over large distances (e.g. >1000 km). Populations on islands and at high elevations experience relatively strong genetic drift, suggesting that some conditions lead to genetic isolation in otherwise weakly differentiated species. B. occidentalis and B. bifarius exhibit stronger genetic differentiation than the other species, indicating greater phylogeographic structure consistent with their broader geographic distributions across topographically complex regions of western North America. Screening genetic diversity in North American Bombus should prove useful for identifying species that warrant monitoring, and developing management strategies that promote high levels of gene flow will be a key component in efforts to maintain healthy populations.

  5. Mechanosensory hairs in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) detect weak electric fields

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Gregory P.; Clarke, Dominic; Morley, Erica L.; Robert, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) use information from surrounding electric fields to make foraging decisions. Electroreception in air, a nonconductive medium, is a recently discovered sensory capacity of insects, yet the sensory mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we investigate two putative electric field sensors: antennae and mechanosensory hairs. Examining their mechanical and neural response, we show that electric fields cause deflections in both antennae and hairs. Hairs respond with a greater median velocity, displacement, and angular displacement than antennae. Extracellular recordings from the antennae do not show any electrophysiological correlates to these mechanical deflections. In contrast, hair deflections in response to an electric field elicited neural activity. Mechanical deflections of both hairs and antennae increase with the electric charge carried by the bumblebee. From this evidence, we conclude that sensory hairs are a site of electroreception in the bumblebee. PMID:27247399

  6. Mechanosensory hairs in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) detect weak electric fields.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Gregory P; Clarke, Dominic; Morley, Erica L; Robert, Daniel

    2016-06-28

    Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) use information from surrounding electric fields to make foraging decisions. Electroreception in air, a nonconductive medium, is a recently discovered sensory capacity of insects, yet the sensory mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we investigate two putative electric field sensors: antennae and mechanosensory hairs. Examining their mechanical and neural response, we show that electric fields cause deflections in both antennae and hairs. Hairs respond with a greater median velocity, displacement, and angular displacement than antennae. Extracellular recordings from the antennae do not show any electrophysiological correlates to these mechanical deflections. In contrast, hair deflections in response to an electric field elicited neural activity. Mechanical deflections of both hairs and antennae increase with the electric charge carried by the bumblebee. From this evidence, we conclude that sensory hairs are a site of electroreception in the bumblebee.

  7. Landscape heterogeneity predicts gene flow in a widespread polymorphic bumble bee, Bombus bifarius (Hymentoptera: Apidae).

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bombus bifarius is a widespread bumble bee that occurs in montane regions of western North America. This species has several major color polymorphisms, and shows evidence of genetic structuring among regional populations. We test whether this structure is evidence for discrete gene flow barriers tha...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  10. 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

  11. Analysis of pollen and nectar of Arbutus unedo as a food source for Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Rasmont, Pierre; Regali, Ariane; Ings, Thomas C; Lognay, Georges; Baudart, Evelyne; Marlier, Michel; Delcarte, Emile; Viville, Pascal; Marot, Cécile; Falmagne, Pol; Verhaeghe, Jean-Claude; Chittka, Lars

    2005-06-01

    The mineral, total amino acid, and sterol compositions of pollen collected by Apis mellifera L. were compared with the pollen of a plant consumed by Bombus terrestris (L.): Arbutus unedo L. This plant provides the predominant food resource for the main autumn generation of B. terrestris in southern France. Honey bees also forage on this plant, although only for nectar. The mineral composition of 30 pollen samples collected by honey bees is close to the presently known requirements of A. mellifera, except for Cu and Mn, which are substantially lower. The total amino acid mean composition of a set of 54 pollen samples fits the basic requirements of honey bees except for valine, isoleucine, and methionine, which are present in lower concentrations in all the samples. For pollen of A. unedo, the amino acid balance is not very different from that of the survey. The main sterolic component in pollen of A. unedo, beta-sitosterol, is known to have antifeedant effects on A. mellifera. Honey bees cannot dealkylate C29 sterols like beta-sitosterol or delta5-avenasterol to obtain C27 cholesterol and ecdysteroids. Because these phytosterols as well as cholesterol are nearly absent from pollen of A. unedo, the metabolic capabilities of Apis seem unadapted to this plant. On the contrary, pollen of A. unedo is freely consumed by B. terrestris, which develops huge autumn populations solely on this food. These data indicate that the sterolic metabolisms of B. terrestris and A. mellifera differ, allowing separation in foraging activity. PMID:16022289

  12. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk.

    PubMed

    Woodhead, Andrea L; Sutherland, Tara D; Church, Jeffrey S

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine), poly(alanine-glycine), phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73%) while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results. PMID:27447623

  13. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk

    PubMed Central

    Woodhead, Andrea L.; Sutherland, Tara D.; Church, Jeffrey S.

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine), poly(alanine-glycine), phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73%) while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results. PMID:27447623

  14. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk.

    PubMed

    Woodhead, Andrea L; Sutherland, Tara D; Church, Jeffrey S

    2016-07-20

    Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine), poly(alanine-glycine), phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73%) while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results.

  15. Variation in gut microbial communities and its association with pathogen infection in wild bumble bees (Bombus).

    PubMed

    Cariveau, Daniel P; Elijah Powell, J; Koch, Hauke; Winfree, Rachael; Moran, Nancy A

    2014-12-01

    Bacterial gut symbiont communities are critical for the health of many insect species. However, little is known about how microbial communities vary among host species or how they respond to anthropogenic disturbances. Bacterial communities that differ in richness or composition may vary in their ability to provide nutrients or defenses. We used deep sequencing to investigate gut microbiota of three species in the genus Bombus (bumble bees). Bombus are among the most economically and ecologically important non-managed pollinators. Some species have experienced dramatic declines, probably due to pathogens and land-use change. We examined variation within and across bee species and between semi-natural and conventional agricultural habitats. We categorized as 'core bacteria' any operational taxonomic units (OTUs) with closest hits to sequences previously found exclusively or primarily in the guts of honey bees and bumble bees (genera Apis and Bombus). Microbial community composition differed among bee species. Richness, defined as number of bacterial OTUs, was highest for B. bimaculatus and B. impatiens. For B. bimaculatus, this was due to high richness of non-core bacteria. We found little effect of habitat on microbial communities. Richness of non-core bacteria was negatively associated with bacterial abundance in individual bees, possibly due to deeper sampling of non-core bacteria in bees with low populations of core bacteria. Infection by the gut parasite Crithidia was negatively associated with abundance of the core bacterium Gilliamella and positively associated with richness of non-core bacteria. Our results indicate that Bombus species have distinctive gut communities, and community-level variation is associated with pathogen infection.

  16. Fertility signals in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sramkova, A.; Schulz, C.; Twele, R.; Francke, W.; Ayasse, M.

    2008-06-01

    In eusocial Hymenoptera, queen control over workers is probably inseparable from the mechanism of queen recognition. In primitively eusocial bumblebees ( Bombus), worker reproduction is controlled not only by the presence or absence of a dominant queen but also by other dominant workers. Furthermore, it was shown that the queen dominance is maintained by pheromonal cues. We investigated whether there is a similar odor signal released by egg-laying queens and workers that may have a function as a fertility signal. We collected cuticular surface extracts from nest-searching and breeding Bombus terrestris queens and workers that were characterized by their ovarian stages. In chemical analyses, we identified 61 compounds consisting of aldehydes, alkanes, alkenes, and fatty acid esters. Nest-searching queens and all groups of breeding females differed significantly in their odor bouquets. Furthermore, workers before the competition point (time point of colony development where workers start to develop ovaries and lay eggs) differed largely from queens and all other groups of workers. Breeding queens showed a unique bouquet of chemical compounds and certain queen-specific compounds, and the differences toward workers decrease with an increasing development of the workers’ ovaries, hinting the presence of a reliable fertility signal. Among the worker groups, the smallest differences were found after the competition point. Egg-laying females contained higher total amounts of chemical compounds and of relative proportions of wax-type esters and aldehydes than nest-searching queens and workers before the competition point. Therefore, these compounds may have a function as a fertility signal present in queens and workers.

  17. A scientific note on Bombus (Psithyrus) insularis invasions of bumble bee nests and honey bee hives in the western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (genus Bombus) are critical pollinators of flowering plants, yet some species are obligate social parasites that do little pollinating and reduce the fitness of the colonies they invade. In 2012 we observed an outbreak of the parasitic Bombus insularis in the Cache Valley of Northern Ut...

  18. Rearing and foraging affects bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Lindsay K; Oliver, Anna E; Cuthbertson, Leah; Walkington, Sarah E; Gweon, Hyun S; Heard, Matthew S; van der Gast, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important as pollinators of crop and wild plants, especially in temperate systems. Species, such as the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), are reared commercially to pollinate high-value crops. Their highly specific gut microbiota, characterized by low diversity, may affect nutrition and immunity and are likely to be important for fitness and colony health. However, little is known about how environmental factors affect bacterial community structure. We analysed the gut microbiota from three groups of worker bumblebees (B. terrestris) from distinct colonies that varied in rearing and foraging characteristics: commercially reared with restricted foraging (RR); commercially reared with outside foraging (RF); and wild-caught workers (W). Contrary to previous studies, which indicate that bacterial communities are highly conserved across workers, we found that RF individuals had an intermediate community structure compared with RR and W types. Further, this was shaped by differences in the abundances of common operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and the diversity of rare OTUs present, which we propose results from an increase in the variety of carbohydrates obtained through foraging. PMID:25994560

  19. Rearing and foraging affects bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Lindsay K; Oliver, Anna E; Cuthbertson, Leah; Walkington, Sarah E; Gweon, Hyun S; Heard, Matthew S; van der Gast, Christopher J

    2015-08-01

    Bumblebees are ecologically and economically important as pollinators of crop and wild plants, especially in temperate systems. Species, such as the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), are reared commercially to pollinate high-value crops. Their highly specific gut microbiota, characterized by low diversity, may affect nutrition and immunity and are likely to be important for fitness and colony health. However, little is known about how environmental factors affect bacterial community structure. We analysed the gut microbiota from three groups of worker bumblebees (B. terrestris) from distinct colonies that varied in rearing and foraging characteristics: commercially reared with restricted foraging (RR); commercially reared with outside foraging (RF); and wild-caught workers (W). Contrary to previous studies, which indicate that bacterial communities are highly conserved across workers, we found that RF individuals had an intermediate community structure compared with RR and W types. Further, this was shaped by differences in the abundances of common operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and the diversity of rare OTUs present, which we propose results from an increase in the variety of carbohydrates obtained through foraging.

  20. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) use social information as an indicator of safety in dangerous environments

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Erika H.; Chittka, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Avoiding predation is one of the most important challenges that an animal faces. Several anti-predation behaviours can be employed, yet simply using the presence of conspecifics can be a good signal of safety in an environment with potential predation hazards. Here, we show, for the first time, that past experience of predation causes bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) to aggregate with conspecifics, facilitating the identification of safe foraging patches. Bees were trained to differentiate between flowers that harboured predators and flowers that were predator free. When test subjects were subsequently presented solely with the previously predator-infested flower species, there was a significant preference to only land on flowers occupied by other feeding conspecifics. Yet, when safe flowers were made available to subjects previously entrained to discriminate safe from predator-occupied flowers, subjects ignored other bees and the social information potentially provided by them, demonstrating that attraction towards conspecifics is confined to dangerous situations. Our findings demonstrate a previously unknown social interaction in pollinators which may have important implications for plant–pollinator interactions. PMID:24789891

  1. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) use social information as an indicator of safety in dangerous environments.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Erika H; Chittka, Lars

    2014-06-22

    Avoiding predation is one of the most important challenges that an animal faces. Several anti-predation behaviours can be employed, yet simply using the presence of conspecifics can be a good signal of safety in an environment with potential predation hazards. Here, we show, for the first time, that past experience of predation causes bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) to aggregate with conspecifics, facilitating the identification of safe foraging patches. Bees were trained to differentiate between flowers that harboured predators and flowers that were predator free. When test subjects were subsequently presented solely with the previously predator-infested flower species, there was a significant preference to only land on flowers occupied by other feeding conspecifics. Yet, when safe flowers were made available to subjects previously entrained to discriminate safe from predator-occupied flowers, subjects ignored other bees and the social information potentially provided by them, demonstrating that attraction towards conspecifics is confined to dangerous situations. Our findings demonstrate a previously unknown social interaction in pollinators which may have important implications for plant-pollinator interactions.

  2. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In this study, we have examined the influence of chemical cues from the nest wax on the onset of worker reproduction. Chemical analyses of wax extracts have revealed that the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development. These changes in wax scent mirror worker abundance and the presence of fertile workers. In bioassays with queen-right worker groups, wax affects the dominance behaviour and ovarian development of workers. When exposed to wax from a colony in competition phase, workers start to compete for reproduction. We suggest that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony. PMID:26909189

  3. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In this study, we have examined the influence of chemical cues from the nest wax on the onset of worker reproduction. Chemical analyses of wax extracts have revealed that the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development. These changes in wax scent mirror worker abundance and the presence of fertile workers. In bioassays with queen-right worker groups, wax affects the dominance behaviour and ovarian development of workers. When exposed to wax from a colony in competition phase, workers start to compete for reproduction. We suggest that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony. PMID:26909189

  4. Nest wax triggers worker reproduction in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Rottler-Hoermann, Ann-Marie; Schulz, Stefan; Ayasse, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Social insects are well known for their high level of cooperation. Workers of the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris are able to produce male offspring in the presence of a queen. Nonetheless, they only compete for reproduction, in the so-called competition phase, when the workforce is large enough to support the rearing of reproductives. So far, little is known about the proximate mechanisms underlying the shift between altruism and selfish behaviour in bumblebee workers. In this study, we have examined the influence of chemical cues from the nest wax on the onset of worker reproduction. Chemical analyses of wax extracts have revealed that the patterns and amounts of cuticular lipids change considerably during colony development. These changes in wax scent mirror worker abundance and the presence of fertile workers. In bioassays with queen-right worker groups, wax affects the dominance behaviour and ovarian development of workers. When exposed to wax from a colony in competition phase, workers start to compete for reproduction. We suggest that wax scent enables workers to time their reproduction by providing essential information concerning the social condition of the colony.

  5. The effects of single and mixed infections of Apicystis bombi and deformed wing virus in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Graystock, Peter; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy; Goulson, Dave; Hughes, William O H

    2016-03-01

    Many pollinators are currently suffering from declines, diminishing their gene pool and increasing their vulnerability to parasites. Recently, an increasing diversity of parasites has been recorded in bumblebees, yet for many, knowledge of their virulence and hence the risk their presence poses, is lacking. The deformed wing virus (DWV), known to be ubiquitous in honey bees, has now been detected in bumblebees. In addition, the neogregarine Apicystis bombi has been discovered to be more prevalent than previously thought. Here, we assess for the first time the lethal and sublethal effects of these parasites during single and mixed infections of worker bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Fifteen days after experimental exposure, 22% of bees exposed to A. bombi, 50% of bees exposed to DWV and 86% of bees exposed to both parasites had died. Bumblebees that had ingested A. bombi had increased sucrose sensitivity (SS) and a lower lipid:body size ratio than control bees. While dual infected bumblebees showed no increase in SS. Overall, we find that A. bombi exhibits both lethal and sublethal effects. DWV causes lethal effect and may reduce the sub lethal effects imposed by A. bombi. The results show that both parasites have significant, negative effects on bumblebee health, making them potentially of conservation concern.

  6. Leg tendon glands in male bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): structure, secretion chemistry, and possible functions.

    PubMed

    Jarau, Stefan; Záček, Petr; Sobotník, Jan; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Hadravová, Romana; Coppée, Audrey; Vašíčková, Soňa; Jiroš, Pavel; Valterová, Irena

    2012-12-01

    Among the large number of exocrine glands described in bees, the tarsal glands were thought to be the source of footprint scent marks. However, recent studies showed that the compounds used for marking by stingless bees are secreted by leg tendon instead of tarsal glands. Here, we report on the structure of leg tendon glands in males of Bombus terrestris, together with a description of the chemical composition of their secretions and respective changes of both during the males' lives. The ultrastructure of leg tendon glands shows that the secretory cells are located in three independent regions, separated from each other by unmodified epidermal cells: in the femur, tibia, and basitarsus. Due to the common site of secretion release, the organ is considered a single secretory gland. The secretion of the leg tendon glands of B. terrestris males differs in its composition from those of workers and queens, in particular by (1) having larger proportions of compounds with longer chain lengths, which we identified as wax esters; and (2) by the lack of certain hydrocarbons (especially long chain dienes). Other differences consist in the distribution of double bond positions in the unsaturated hydrocarbons that are predominantly located at position 9 in males but distributed at seven to nine different positions in the female castes. Double bond positions may change chemical and physical properties of a molecule, which can be recognized by the insects and, thus, may serve to convey specific information. The function of male-specific compounds identified from their tendon glands remains elusive, but several possibilities are discussed.

  7. Leg tendon glands in male bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris): structure, secretion chemistry, and possible functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarau, Stefan; Žáček, Petr; Šobotník, Jan; Vrkoslav, Vladimír; Hadravová, Romana; Coppée, Audrey; Vašíčková, Soňa; Jiroš, Pavel; Valterová, Irena

    2012-12-01

    Among the large number of exocrine glands described in bees, the tarsal glands were thought to be the source of footprint scent marks. However, recent studies showed that the compounds used for marking by stingless bees are secreted by leg tendon instead of tarsal glands. Here, we report on the structure of leg tendon glands in males of Bombus terrestris, together with a description of the chemical composition of their secretions and respective changes of both during the males' lives. The ultrastructure of leg tendon glands shows that the secretory cells are located in three independent regions, separated from each other by unmodified epidermal cells: in the femur, tibia, and basitarsus. Due to the common site of secretion release, the organ is considered a single secretory gland. The secretion of the leg tendon glands of B. terrestris males differs in its composition from those of workers and queens, in particular by (1) having larger proportions of compounds with longer chain lengths, which we identified as wax esters; and (2) by the lack of certain hydrocarbons (especially long chain dienes). Other differences consist in the distribution of double bond positions in the unsaturated hydrocarbons that are predominantly located at position 9 in males but distributed at seven to nine different positions in the female castes. Double bond positions may change chemical and physical properties of a molecule, which can be recognized by the insects and, thus, may serve to convey specific information. The function of male-specific compounds identified from their tendon glands remains elusive, but several possibilities are discussed.

  8. Interspecific mating of the introduced bumblebee Bombus terrestris and the native Japanese bumblebee Bombus hypocrita sapporoensis results in inviable hybrids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanbe, Yuya; Okada, Ikuko; Yoneda, Masahiro; Goka, Koichi; Tsuchida, Koji

    2008-10-01

    The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is not only an effective pollinator, but also a potential invasive alien species outside its native range. Recently, nearly 30% of queens of the Japanese native species Bombus hypocrita sapporoensis and B. hypocrita hypocrita were estimated to copulate with B. terrestris males in the field, suggesting that indigenous bumblebees could be genetically deteriorated through hybrid production with the introduced species. In this study, we evaluated hybrid production between the introduced B. terrestris and the indigenous B. hypocrita sapporoensis under laboratory conditions. The hatching rate of eggs derived from interspecific matings was 0% and 8.6% depending on the direction of the cross, which was significantly lower than that from intraspecific matings of B. terrestris (76.9%) and B. hypocrita sapporoensis (78.9%). Genetic studies using microsatellite markers revealed that both haploid and diploid individuals were present in the egg stage, whereas all hatched larvae were haploid. In addition, histological studies revealed that eggs derived from interspecific matings terminated development 2 days after oviposition. These results strongly suggested that eggs derived from interspecific matings are inviable due to post-mating isolation mechanisms. Mass release of exotic pollinators could cause serious population declines of native bumblebee species.

  9. Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus spp.) of Interior Alaska: Species Composition, Distribution, Seasonal Biology, and Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Pampell, Rehanon; Pantoja, Alberto; Holloway, Patricia; Knight, Charles; Ranft, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Despite the ecological and agricultural significance of bumble bees in Alaska, very little is known and published about this important group at the regional level. The objectives of this study were to provide baseline data on species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites of the genus Bombus at three major agricultural locations within Alaska: Fairbanks, Delta Junction, and Palmer, to lay the groundwork for future research on bumble bee pollination in Alaska. New information A total of 8,250 bumble bees representing 18 species was collected from agricultural settings near Delta Junction, Fairbanks, and Palmer, Alaska in 2009 and 2010. Of the 8,250 specimens, 51% were queens, 32.7% were workers, and 16.2% were males. The species composition and relative abundances varied among sites and years. Delta Junction had the highest relative abundance of bumble bees, representing 51.6% of the specimens collected; the other two locations, Fairbanks and Palmer represented 26.5% and 21.8% of the overall catch respectively. The species collected were: Bombus bohemicus Seidl 1837 (= B. ashtoni (Cresson 1864)), B. balteatus Dahlbom 1832, B. bifarius Cresson 1878, B. centralis Cresson 1864, B. cryptarum (Fabricius 1775) (=B. moderatus Cresson 1863), B. distinguendus Morawitz 1869, B. flavidus Eversmann 1852 (=B. fernaldae Franklin 1911), B. flavifrons Cresson 1863, B. frigidus Smith 1854, B. insularis (Smith 1861), B. jonellus (Kirby 1802), B. melanopygus Nylander 1848, B. mixtus Cresson 1878, B. neoboreus Sladen 1919, B. occidentalis Greene 1858, B. perplexus Cresson 1863, B. rufocinctus Cresson 1863, and B. sylvicola Kirby 1837. Overall, the most common bumble bees near agricultural lands were B. centralis, B. frigidus, B. jonellus, B. melanopygus, B. mixtus, and B. occidentalis. Species' relative population densities and local diversity were highly variable from year to year. Bombus occidentalis, believed to be in decline in the Pacific

  10. 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

  11. Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Moffat, Christopher; Pacheco, Joao Goncalves; Sharp, Sheila; Samson, Andrew J; Bollan, Karen A; Huang, Jeffrey; Buckland, Stephen T; Connolly, Christopher N

    2015-05-01

    The global decline in the abundance and diversity of insect pollinators could result from habitat loss, disease, and pesticide exposure. The contribution of the neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g., clothianidin and imidacloprid) to this decline is controversial, and key to understanding their risk is whether the astonishingly low levels found in the nectar and pollen of plants is sufficient to deliver neuroactive levels to their site of action: the bee brain. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax) fed field levels [10 nM, 2.1 ppb (w/w)] of neonicotinoid accumulate between 4 and 10 nM in their brains within 3 days. Acute (minutes) exposure of cultured neurons to 10 nM clothianidin, but not imidacloprid, causes a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-dependent rapid mitochondrial depolarization. However, a chronic (2 days) exposure to 1 nM imidacloprid leads to a receptor-dependent increased sensitivity to a normally innocuous level of acetylcholine, which now also causes rapid mitochondrial depolarization in neurons. Finally, colonies exposed to this level of imidacloprid show deficits in colony growth and nest condition compared with untreated colonies. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the poor navigation and foraging observed in neonicotinoid treated bumblebee colonies.

  12. Pollen foraging: learning a complex motor skill by bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raine, Nigel E.; Chittka, Lars

    2007-06-01

    To investigate how bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) learn the complex motor skills involved in pollen foraging, we observed naïve workers foraging on arrays of nectarless poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas) in a greenhouse. Foraging skills were quantified by measuring the pollen load collected during each foraging bout and relating this to the number of flowers visited and bout duration on two consecutive days. The pollen standing crop (PSC) in each flower decreased drastically from 0530 to 0900 hours. Therefore, we related foraging performance to the changing levels of pollen available (per flower) and found that collection rate increased over the course of four consecutive foraging bouts (comprising between 277 and 354 individual flower visits), suggesting that learning to forage for pollen represents a substantial time investment for individual foragers. The pollen collection rate and size of pollen loads collected at the start of day 2 were markedly lower than at the end of day 1, suggesting that components of pollen foraging behaviour could be subject to imperfect overnight retention. Our results suggest that learning the necessary motor skills to collect pollen effectively from morphologically simple flowers takes three times as many visits as learning how to handle the most morphologically complex flowers to extract nectar, potentially explaining why bees are more specialised in their choice of pollen flowers.

  13. The Adaptive Significance of Sensory Bias in a Foraging Context: Floral Colour Preferences in the Bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Raine, Nigel E.; Chittka, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Innate sensory biases could play an important role in helping naïve animals to find food. As inexperienced bees are known to have strong innate colour biases we investigated whether bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) colonies with stronger biases for the most rewarding flower colour (violet) foraged more successfully in their local flora. To test the adaptive significance of variation in innate colour bias, we compared the performance of colour-naïve bees, from nine bumblebee colonies raised from local wild-caught queens, in a laboratory colour bias paradigm using violet (bee UV-blue) and blue (bee blue) artificial flowers. The foraging performance of the same colonies was assessed under field conditions. Colonies with a stronger innate bias for violet over blue flowers in the laboratory harvested more nectar per unit time under field conditions. In fact, the colony with the strongest bias for violet (over blue) brought in 41% more nectar than the colony with the least strong bias. As violet flowers in the local area produce more nectar than blue flowers (the next most rewarding flower colour), these data are consistent with the hypothesis that local variation in flower traits could drive selection for innate colour biases. PMID:17579727

  14. Survey of bumble bee (Bombus) pathogens and parasites in Illinois and selected areas of northern California and southern Oregon.

    PubMed

    Kissinger, Christina N; Cameron, Sydney A; Thorp, Robbin W; White, Brendan; Solter, Leellen F

    2011-07-01

    Pathogens have been implicated as potential factors in the recent decline of some North American bumble bee (Bombus) species, but little information has been reported about the natural enemy complex of bumble bees in the United States. We targeted bumble bee populations in a state-wide survey in Illinois and several sites in California and Oregon where declines have been reported to determine presence and prevalence of natural enemies. Based on our observations, most parasites and pathogens appear to be widespread generalists among bumble bee species, but susceptibility to some natural enemies appeared to vary. PMID:21545804

  15. Nutrient balancing of the adult worker bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) depends on the dietary source of essential amino acids.

    PubMed

    Stabler, Daniel; Paoli, Pier P; Nicolson, Susan W; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-03-01

    Animals carefully regulate the amount of protein that they consume. The quantity of individual essential amino acids (EAAs) obtained from dietary protein depends on the protein source, but how the proportion of EAAs in the diet affects nutrient balancing has rarely been studied. Recent research using the Geometric Framework for Nutrition has revealed that forager honeybees who receive much of their dietary EAAs from floral nectar and not from solid protein have relatively low requirements for dietary EAAs. Here, we examined the nutritional requirements for protein and carbohydrates of foragers of the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. By using protein (sodium caseinate) or an equimolar mixture of the 10 EAAs, we found that the intake target (nutritional optimum) of adult workers depended on the source and proportion of dietary EAAs. When bees consumed caseinate-containing diets in a range of ratios between 1:250 and 1:25 (protein to carbohydrate), they achieved an intake target (IT) of 1:149 (w/w). In contrast to those fed protein, bees fed the EAA diets had an IT more biased towards carbohydrates (1:560 w/w) but also had a greater risk of death than those fed caseinate. We also tested how the dietary source of EAAs affected free AAs in bee haemolymph. Bees fed diets near their IT had similar haemolymph AA profiles, whereas bees fed diets high in caseinate had elevated levels of leucine, threonine, valine and alanine in the haemolymph. We found that like honeybees, bumblebee workers prioritize carbohydrate intake and have a relatively low requirement for protein. The dietary source of EAAs influenced both the ratio of protein/EAA to carbohydrate and the overall amount of carbohydrate eaten. Our data support the idea that EAAs and carbohydrates in haemolymph are important determinants of nutritional state in insects. PMID:25617453

  16. Nutrient balancing of the adult worker bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) depends on the dietary source of essential amino acids.

    PubMed

    Stabler, Daniel; Paoli, Pier P; Nicolson, Susan W; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-03-01

    Animals carefully regulate the amount of protein that they consume. The quantity of individual essential amino acids (EAAs) obtained from dietary protein depends on the protein source, but how the proportion of EAAs in the diet affects nutrient balancing has rarely been studied. Recent research using the Geometric Framework for Nutrition has revealed that forager honeybees who receive much of their dietary EAAs from floral nectar and not from solid protein have relatively low requirements for dietary EAAs. Here, we examined the nutritional requirements for protein and carbohydrates of foragers of the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. By using protein (sodium caseinate) or an equimolar mixture of the 10 EAAs, we found that the intake target (nutritional optimum) of adult workers depended on the source and proportion of dietary EAAs. When bees consumed caseinate-containing diets in a range of ratios between 1:250 and 1:25 (protein to carbohydrate), they achieved an intake target (IT) of 1:149 (w/w). In contrast to those fed protein, bees fed the EAA diets had an IT more biased towards carbohydrates (1:560 w/w) but also had a greater risk of death than those fed caseinate. We also tested how the dietary source of EAAs affected free AAs in bee haemolymph. Bees fed diets near their IT had similar haemolymph AA profiles, whereas bees fed diets high in caseinate had elevated levels of leucine, threonine, valine and alanine in the haemolymph. We found that like honeybees, bumblebee workers prioritize carbohydrate intake and have a relatively low requirement for protein. The dietary source of EAAs influenced both the ratio of protein/EAA to carbohydrate and the overall amount of carbohydrate eaten. Our data support the idea that EAAs and carbohydrates in haemolymph are important determinants of nutritional state in insects.

  17. Nutrient balancing of the adult worker bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) depends on the dietary source of essential amino acids

    PubMed Central

    Stabler, Daniel; Paoli, Pier P.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Animals carefully regulate the amount of protein that they consume. The quantity of individual essential amino acids (EAAs) obtained from dietary protein depends on the protein source, but how the proportion of EAAs in the diet affects nutrient balancing has rarely been studied. Recent research using the Geometric Framework for Nutrition has revealed that forager honeybees who receive much of their dietary EAAs from floral nectar and not from solid protein have relatively low requirements for dietary EAAs. Here, we examined the nutritional requirements for protein and carbohydrates of foragers of the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. By using protein (sodium caseinate) or an equimolar mixture of the 10 EAAs, we found that the intake target (nutritional optimum) of adult workers depended on the source and proportion of dietary EAAs. When bees consumed caseinate-containing diets in a range of ratios between 1:250 and 1:25 (protein to carbohydrate), they achieved an intake target (IT) of 1:149 (w/w). In contrast to those fed protein, bees fed the EAA diets had an IT more biased towards carbohydrates (1:560 w/w) but also had a greater risk of death than those fed caseinate. We also tested how the dietary source of EAAs affected free AAs in bee haemolymph. Bees fed diets near their IT had similar haemolymph AA profiles, whereas bees fed diets high in caseinate had elevated levels of leucine, threonine, valine and alanine in the haemolymph. We found that like honeybees, bumblebee workers prioritize carbohydrate intake and have a relatively low requirement for protein. The dietary source of EAAs influenced both the ratio of protein/EAA to carbohydrate and the overall amount of carbohydrate eaten. Our data support the idea that EAAs and carbohydrates in haemolymph are important determinants of nutritional state in insects. PMID:25617453

  18. Observational Conditioning in Flower Choice Copying by Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris): Influence of Observer Distance and Demonstrator Movement

    PubMed Central

    Avarguès-Weber, Aurore; Chittka, Lars

    2014-01-01

    Background Bumblebees use information provided inadvertently by conspecifics when deciding between different flower foraging options. Such social learning might be explained by relatively simple associative learning mechanism: the bee may learn to associate conspecifics with nectar or pollen reward through previous experience of foraging jointly. However, in some studies, observers were guided by choices of ‘demonstrators’ viewed through a screen, so no reward was given to the observers at the time of seeing other bees’ flowers choice and no demonstrator bee was present at the moment of decision. This behaviour, referred to observational conditioning, implies an additional associative step as the positive value of conspecific is transferred to the associated flower. Here we explore the role of demonstrator movement, and the distance between observers and demonstrators that is required for observation conditioning to take place. Methodology/Principal Findings We identify the conditions under which observational conditioning occurs in the widespread European species Bombus terrestris. The presence of artificial demonstrator bees leads to a significant change in individual colour preference toward the indicated colour if demonstrators were moving and observation distance was limited (15 cm), suggesting that observational conditioning could only influence relatively short-range foraging decisions. In addition, the movement of demonstrators is a crucial factor for observational conditioning, either due to the more life-like appearance of moving artificial bees or an enhanced detectability of moving demonstrators, and an increased efficiency at directing attention to the indicated flower colour. Conclusion Bumblebees possess the capacity to learn the quality of a flower by distal observation of other foragers’ choices. This confirms that social learning in bees involves more advanced processes than simple associative learning, and indicates that observational

  19. The effect of caste and reproductive state on the chemistry of the cephalic labial glands secretion of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Kiefer, Julia; Schulz, Stefan; Hefetz, Abraham

    2014-08-01

    The cephalic labial glands are well developed in many bee species. In bumble bee males, they cover most of the head volume, and their secretion is used in marking reproductive territories and attracting virgin queens. In females, however, they are poorly studied. Here, we present chemical analyses of their secretion in queens and workers of Bombus terrestris under various social conditions. The secretion revealed a context-dependent composition with sterile females possessing large amounts of fatty acid dodecyl esters, ranging from dodecyl hexanoate to dodecyl oleate, compared to small amounts in fertile females. Significant reduction in the dodecyl esters also was found in queens at the competition phase, where worker reproduction, aggression, and gyne differentiation occur. The exclusive production of esters by sterile individuals also is typical of Dufour's gland secretion in this species, albeit in this case these are octyl rather than dodecyl esters, and the differences between sterile and fertile individuals are qualitative rather than quantitative. We propose that the labial gland esters provide yet another signal of reproductive inactivity. In virgin queens, it may signal that egg laying is deferred to the next season, while in workers it reinforces the message "I am sterile and out of the reproductive competition". Whether the reduction in dodecyl esters in fertile queens as a function of colony social development is involved in regulating gyne production and the onset of the competition phase is yet to be deciphered.

  20. Reliability of the entomovector technology using Prestop-Mix and Bombus terrestris L. as a fungal disease biocontrol method in open field

    PubMed Central

    Karise, Reet; Dreyersdorff, Gerit; Jahani, Mona; Veromann, Eve; Runno-Paurson, Eve; Kaart, Tanel; Smagghe, Guy; Mänd, Marika

    2016-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. is a major plant pathogen, and a new approach is needed for its control in strawberry to minimise the increasing use of synthetic fungicides. The biofungicide Prestop-Mix, which contains Gliocladium catenulatum, is effective against Botrytis infections; however, the need for frequent applications increases the costs for farmers. Here, we demonstrate that bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L., effectively disseminate the preparation onto flowers in open field conditions. Over the course of three years, we found a highly significant decrease in the rate of Botrytis infection. Pathogen control was achieved with relatively low numbers of G. catenulatum spores per flower, even using flowers that are not highly attractive to bumble bees. An even distribution of spores was detected up to 100 m from the hives, either due to primary inoculation by bumble bees or secondary distribution by other flower visitors such as honey bees and solitary bees. We showed that the application of a biocontrol agent by bumble bees is reliable for the use of environmentally friendly pest control strategies in northern climatic conditions. This low cost technology is especially relevant for organic farming. This study provides valuable information for introducing this method into practice in open strawberry fields. PMID:27530075

  1. Reliability of the entomovector technology using Prestop-Mix and Bombus terrestris L. as a fungal disease biocontrol method in open field.

    PubMed

    Karise, Reet; Dreyersdorff, Gerit; Jahani, Mona; Veromann, Eve; Runno-Paurson, Eve; Kaart, Tanel; Smagghe, Guy; Mänd, Marika

    2016-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. is a major plant pathogen, and a new approach is needed for its control in strawberry to minimise the increasing use of synthetic fungicides. The biofungicide Prestop-Mix, which contains Gliocladium catenulatum, is effective against Botrytis infections; however, the need for frequent applications increases the costs for farmers. Here, we demonstrate that bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L., effectively disseminate the preparation onto flowers in open field conditions. Over the course of three years, we found a highly significant decrease in the rate of Botrytis infection. Pathogen control was achieved with relatively low numbers of G. catenulatum spores per flower, even using flowers that are not highly attractive to bumble bees. An even distribution of spores was detected up to 100 m from the hives, either due to primary inoculation by bumble bees or secondary distribution by other flower visitors such as honey bees and solitary bees. We showed that the application of a biocontrol agent by bumble bees is reliable for the use of environmentally friendly pest control strategies in northern climatic conditions. This low cost technology is especially relevant for organic farming. This study provides valuable information for introducing this method into practice in open strawberry fields. PMID:27530075

  2. Reliability of the entomovector technology using Prestop-Mix and Bombus terrestris L. as a fungal disease biocontrol method in open field.

    PubMed

    Karise, Reet; Dreyersdorff, Gerit; Jahani, Mona; Veromann, Eve; Runno-Paurson, Eve; Kaart, Tanel; Smagghe, Guy; Mänd, Marika

    2016-08-17

    Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. is a major plant pathogen, and a new approach is needed for its control in strawberry to minimise the increasing use of synthetic fungicides. The biofungicide Prestop-Mix, which contains Gliocladium catenulatum, is effective against Botrytis infections; however, the need for frequent applications increases the costs for farmers. Here, we demonstrate that bumble bees, Bombus terrestris L., effectively disseminate the preparation onto flowers in open field conditions. Over the course of three years, we found a highly significant decrease in the rate of Botrytis infection. Pathogen control was achieved with relatively low numbers of G. catenulatum spores per flower, even using flowers that are not highly attractive to bumble bees. An even distribution of spores was detected up to 100 m from the hives, either due to primary inoculation by bumble bees or secondary distribution by other flower visitors such as honey bees and solitary bees. We showed that the application of a biocontrol agent by bumble bees is reliable for the use of environmentally friendly pest control strategies in northern climatic conditions. This low cost technology is especially relevant for organic farming. This study provides valuable information for introducing this method into practice in open strawberry fields.

  3. Macronutrient ratios in pollen shape bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) foraging strategies and floral preferences.

    PubMed

    Vaudo, Anthony D; Patch, Harland M; Mortensen, David A; Tooker, John F; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-07-12

    To fuel their activities and rear their offspring, foraging bees must obtain a sufficient quality and quantity of nutritional resources from a diverse plant community. Pollen is the primary source of proteins and lipids for bees, and the concentrations of these nutrients in pollen can vary widely among host-plant species. Therefore we hypothesized that foraging decisions of bumble bees are driven by both the protein and lipid content of pollen. By successively reducing environmental and floral cues, we analyzed pollen-foraging preferences of Bombus impatiens in (i) host-plant species, (ii) pollen isolated from these host-plant species, and (iii) nutritionally modified single-source pollen diets encompassing a range of protein and lipid concentrations. In our semifield experiments, B impatiens foragers exponentially increased their foraging rates of pollen from plant species with high protein:lipid (P:L) ratios; the most preferred plant species had the highest ratio (∼4.6:1). These preferences were confirmed in cage studies where, in pairwise comparisons in the absence of other floral cues, B impatiens workers still preferred pollen with higher P:L ratios. Finally, when presented with nutritionally modified pollen, workers were most attracted to pollen with P:L ratios of 5:1 and 10:1, but increasing the protein or lipid concentration (while leaving ratios intact) reduced attraction. Thus, macronutritional ratios appear to be a primary factor driving bee pollen-foraging behavior and may explain observed patterns of host-plant visitation across the landscape. The nutritional quality of pollen resources should be taken into consideration when designing conservation habitats supporting bee populations.

  4. Macronutrient ratios in pollen shape bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) foraging strategies and floral preferences.

    PubMed

    Vaudo, Anthony D; Patch, Harland M; Mortensen, David A; Tooker, John F; Grozinger, Christina M

    2016-07-12

    To fuel their activities and rear their offspring, foraging bees must obtain a sufficient quality and quantity of nutritional resources from a diverse plant community. Pollen is the primary source of proteins and lipids for bees, and the concentrations of these nutrients in pollen can vary widely among host-plant species. Therefore we hypothesized that foraging decisions of bumble bees are driven by both the protein and lipid content of pollen. By successively reducing environmental and floral cues, we analyzed pollen-foraging preferences of Bombus impatiens in (i) host-plant species, (ii) pollen isolated from these host-plant species, and (iii) nutritionally modified single-source pollen diets encompassing a range of protein and lipid concentrations. In our semifield experiments, B impatiens foragers exponentially increased their foraging rates of pollen from plant species with high protein:lipid (P:L) ratios; the most preferred plant species had the highest ratio (∼4.6:1). These preferences were confirmed in cage studies where, in pairwise comparisons in the absence of other floral cues, B impatiens workers still preferred pollen with higher P:L ratios. Finally, when presented with nutritionally modified pollen, workers were most attracted to pollen with P:L ratios of 5:1 and 10:1, but increasing the protein or lipid concentration (while leaving ratios intact) reduced attraction. Thus, macronutritional ratios appear to be a primary factor driving bee pollen-foraging behavior and may explain observed patterns of host-plant visitation across the landscape. The nutritional quality of pollen resources should be taken into consideration when designing conservation habitats supporting bee populations. PMID:27357683

  5. Initial recommendations for higher-tier risk assessment protocols for bumble bees, Bombus spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Ana R; Almanza, Maria Teresa; Cutler, G Christopher; Fischer, David L; Hinarejos, Silvia; Lewis, Gavin; Nigro, Daniel; Olmstead, Allen; Overmyer, Jay; Potter, Daniel A; Raine, Nigel E; Stanley-Stahr, Cory; Thompson, Helen; van der Steen, Jozef

    2016-04-01

    Global declines of bumble bees and other pollinator populations are of concern because of their critical role for crop production and maintenance of wild plant biodiversity. Although the consensus among scientists is that the interaction of many factors, including habitat loss, forage scarcity, diseases, parasites, and pesticides, potentially plays a role in causing these declines, pesticides have received considerable attention and scrutiny. In response, regulatory agencies have introduced more stringent pollinator testing requirements for registration and reregistration of pesticides, to ensure that the risks to pollinators are minimized. In this context, guidelines for testing bumble bees (Bombus spp.) in regulatory studies are not yet available, and a pressing need exists to develop suitable protocols for routine higher-tier studies with these non-Apis sp., social bees. To meet this need, Bayer CropScience LP, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC US, and Valent USA. Corporation organized a workshop bringing together a group of global experts on bumble bee behavior, ecology, and ecotoxicology to discuss and develop draft protocols for both semi-field (Tier II) and field (Tier III) studies. The workshop was held May 8-9, 2014, at the Bayer Bee Care Center, North Carolina, USA. The participants represented academic, consulting, and industry scientists from Europe, Canada, the United States, and Brazil. The workshop identified a clear protection goal and generated proposals for basic experimental designs, relevant measurements, and endpoints for both semifield (tunnel) and field tests. These initial recommendations are intended to form the basis of discussions to help advance the development of appropriate protocol guidelines.

  6. Higher order visual input to the mushroom bodies in the bee, Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Paulk, Angelique C.; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2008-01-01

    To produce appropriate behaviors based on biologically relevant associations, sensory pathways conveying different modalities are integrated by higher-order central brain structures, such as insect mushroom bodies. To address this function of sensory integration, we characterized the structure and response of optic lobe neurons projecting to the calyces of the mushroom bodies in bees. Bees are well known for their visual learning and memory capabilities and their brains possess major direct visual input from the optic lobes to the mushroom bodies. To functionally characterize these visual inputs to the mushroom bodies, we recorded intracellularly from neurons in bumblebees (Apidae: Bombus impatiens) and a single neuron in a honeybee (Apidae: Apis mellifera) while presenting color and motion stimuli. All of the mushroom body input neurons were color sensitive while a subset was motion sensitive. Additionally, most of the mushroom body input neurons would respond to the first, but not to subsequent, presentations of repeated stimuli. In general, the medulla or lobula neurons projecting to the calyx signaled specific chromatic, temporal, and motion features of the visual world to the mushroom bodies, which included sensory information required for the biologically relevant associations bees form during foraging tasks. PMID:18635397

  7. Reproductive disturbance of Japanese bumblebees by the introduced European bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondo, Natsuko Ito; Yamanaka, Daisei; Kanbe, Yuya; Kunitake, Yoko Kawate; Yoneda, Masahiro; Tsuchida, Koji; Goka, Koichi

    2009-04-01

    The European bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, is an invasive eusocial species whose distribution is expanding greatly beyond its native range because numerous colonies are imported to or locally produced in non-native countries for pollination of agricultural crops. Closely related species exist in Japan where the unrestricted import and use of B. terrestris has resulted in the establishment of wild colonies. Laboratory studies previously showed that B. terrestris and Japanese native species can copulate and produce fertilized eggs. Although these eggs do not hatch, the interspecific mating can cause a serious reproductive disturbance to native bumblebees. In this study, we determined the frequencies of interspecies mating between B. terrestris males and native bumblebee queens in the wild on the islands of Hokkaido and Honshu by analyzing the DNA sequences of spermatozoa stored in spermathecae of native queens. We found that 20.2% of B. hypocrita hypocrita queens and 30.2% of B. hypocrita sapporoensis queens had spermatozoa of B. terrestris males in their spermathecae. Given that a Bombus queen generally mates only once in her life, such high frequencies of interspecific mating with B. terrestris pose serious threats to the populations of native bumblebees in Japan.

  8. Israeli acute paralysis virus associated paralysis symptoms, viral tissue distribution and Dicer-2 induction in bumblebee workers (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Wang, Haidong; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-08-01

    Although it is known that Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) can cause bee mortality, the symptoms of paralysis and the distribution of the virus in different body tissues and their potential to respond with an increase of the siRNA antiviral immune system have not been studied. In this project we worked with Bombus terrestris, which is one of the most numerous bumblebee species in Europe and an important pollinator for wild flowers and many crops in agriculture. Besides the classic symptoms of paralysis and trembling prior to death, we report a new IAPV-related symptom, crippled/immobilized forelegs. Reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR showed that IAPV accumulates in different body tissues (midgut, fat body, brain and ovary). The highest levels of IAPV were observed in the fat body. With fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) we detected IAPV in the Kenyon cells of mushroom bodies and neuropils from both antennal and optic lobes of the brain in IAPV-infected workers. Finally, we observed an induction of Dicer-2, a core gene of the RNAi antiviral immune response, in the IAPV-infected tissues of B. terrestris workers. According to our results, tissue tropism and the induction strength of Dicer-2 could not be correlated with virus-related paralysis symptoms.

  9. Israeli acute paralysis virus associated paralysis symptoms, viral tissue distribution and Dicer-2 induction in bumblebee workers (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Wang, Haidong; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-08-01

    Although it is known that Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) can cause bee mortality, the symptoms of paralysis and the distribution of the virus in different body tissues and their potential to respond with an increase of the siRNA antiviral immune system have not been studied. In this project we worked with Bombus terrestris, which is one of the most numerous bumblebee species in Europe and an important pollinator for wild flowers and many crops in agriculture. Besides the classic symptoms of paralysis and trembling prior to death, we report a new IAPV-related symptom, crippled/immobilized forelegs. Reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR showed that IAPV accumulates in different body tissues (midgut, fat body, brain and ovary). The highest levels of IAPV were observed in the fat body. With fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) we detected IAPV in the Kenyon cells of mushroom bodies and neuropils from both antennal and optic lobes of the brain in IAPV-infected workers. Finally, we observed an induction of Dicer-2, a core gene of the RNAi antiviral immune response, in the IAPV-infected tissues of B. terrestris workers. According to our results, tissue tropism and the induction strength of Dicer-2 could not be correlated with virus-related paralysis symptoms. PMID:27230225

  10. PCR reveals high prevalence of non/low sporulating Nosema bombi (microsporidia) infections in bumble bees (Bombus) in Northern Arizona.

    PubMed

    Blaker, Elizabeth A; Strange, James P; James, Rosalind R; Monroy, Fernando P; Cobb, Neil S

    2014-11-01

    About 20% of bumble bee species are in decline in North America, and the microsporidian pathogen, Nosema bombi, has been correlated with these declines. We conducted a comprehensive survey of N. bombi infections in the bumble bee communities throughout the flight season along an elevation gradient in Northern Arizona. Focusing on two species, Bombus (Pyrobombus) huntii and Bombus (Pyrobombus) centralis, we used a combination of PCR and microscopy to distinguish between sporulating and non/low, sporulating N. bombi infections. Surprisingly high levels of PCR-positive infections with no detectable spore loads were found in B. huntii (31-63%) and B. centralis (56.5-66.5%), while the prevalence of sporulating infections was low (3.0-11.8% and 0-12.9% respectively). We determined the prevalence of sporulating N. bombi infection in six other co-occurring, but rarer, bumble bee species (0-62.5%,), but did not test them using PCR. The prevalence of sporulating N. bombi infections in B. (Bombias) nevadensis was significantly higher than in either B. huntii or B. centralis (29%). The declining bumble bee, Bombus sensu strico occidentalis, had the highest prevalence of sporulating N. bombi infections (62.5%), but we purposely captured very few B. occidentalis because of its declining status. PCR was a more sensitive measure of N. bombi prevalence and revealed that wild bumble bees have a much higher prevalence of N. bombi than has previously been recognized. Microscopy and PCR together provide complementary, not redundant, information that deepens our understanding of the dynamic interactions between N. bombi and their bumble bee hosts.

  11. Ultrastructure of the excretory organs of Bombus morio (Hymenoptera: Bombini): bee without rectal pads.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Wagner Gonzaga; Fialho, Maria do Carmo Queiroz; Azevedo, Dihego Oliveira; Zanuncio, José Cola; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2014-02-01

    Bumblebees need to keep bodily homeostasis and for that have an efficient system of excretion formed by the Malpighian tubules, ileum, and rectum. We analyzed the excretory organs of Bombus morio, a bee without rectal pads. In addition, we analyzed the rectal epithelium of Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides which has rectal pads. The Malpighian tubules exhibited two cell types and the ileum four types. However, comparative analysis of the rectum showed that only cells of the anterior region of the rectal epithelium of B. morio are structurally distinct. We suggest that cells of the Malpighian tubules of B. morio have an excretory feature and that cells of ileum have different functions, such as ion absorption and water, organic compound, and protein secretion. In addition, only the anterior region of the rectum of B. morio showed characteristic absorption. We suggest that Malpighian tubules participate in the excretion of solutes and that the ileum and rectal epithelium are responsible for homeostasis of water and solutes, compensating for the absence of rectal papillae. These results contribute to our understanding of the morphophysiology of the excretory organs of bees without rectal pads.

  12. Tubulinosema pampeana sp. n. (Microsporidia, Tubulinosematidae), a pathogen of the South American bumble bee Bombus atratus.

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Sanscrainte, Neil D; Becnel, James J; Estep, Alden S; Lange, Carlos E

    2015-03-01

    An undescribed microsporidium was detected and isolated from the South American bumble bee Bombus atratus collected in the Pampas region of Argentina. Infection intensity in workers averaged 8.2 × 10(7)spores/bee. The main site of infection was adipose tissue where hypertrophy of adipocytes resulted in cyst-like body formation. Mature spores were ovoid and monomorphic. They measured 4.00 μm × 2.37 μm (fresh) or 3.98 μm × 1.88 μm (fixed). All stages were diplokariotic and developed in direct contact with host cytoplasm. Isofilar polar filament was arranged in 16 coils in one or, posteriorly, two layers. Coiling angle was variable, between perpendicular and almost parallel to major spore axis. Late meronts and sporogonial stages were surrounded by vesicles of approximately 60 nm in diameter. Based on both new and already designed primers, a 1827 bp (SSUrRNA, ITS, LSUrRNA) sequence was obtained. Data analyses suggest that this microsporidium is a new species of the genus Tubulinosema. The name Tubulinosema pampeana sp. n. is proposed.

  13. DNA Amplification from Pin Mounted Bumble Bees (Bombus) in a Museum Collection: Effects of Fragment Size and Specimen Age on Successful PCR

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historic data in the form of pinned specimens in entomological collections offer the potential to determine trends in genetic diversity of bumble bees (Bombus). We screened eight microsatellite loci for amplification success in pinned bumble bee specimens from the U.S. National Pollinating Insects C...

  14. USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Lozier, Jeffrey; Strange, James P.; Ikerd, Harold; Griswold, Terry; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen; Stewart, Isaac; Cameron, Sydney A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombus) are pollinators of wild and economically important flowering plants. However, at least four bumble bee species have declined significantly in population abundance and geographic range relative to historic estimates, and one species is possibly extinct. While a wealth of historic data is now available for many of the North American species found to be in decline in online databases, systematic survey data of stable species is still not publically available. The availability of contemporary survey data is critically important for the future monitoring of wild bumble bee populations. Without such data, the ability to ascertain the conservation status of bumble bees in the United States will remain challenging. New information This paper describes USBombus, a large database that represents the outcomes of one of the largest standardized surveys of bumble bee pollinators (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) globally. The motivation to collect live bumble bees across the United States was to examine the decline and conservation status of Bombus affinis, B. occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, and B. terricola. Prior to our national survey of bumble bees in the United States from 2007 to 2010, there have only been regional accounts of bumble bee abundance and richness. In addition to surveying declining bumble bees, we also collected and documented a diversity of co-occuring bumble bees. However we have not yet completely reported their distribution and diversity onto a public online platform. Now, for the first time, we report the geographic distribution of bumble bees reported to be in decline (Cameron et al. 2011), as well as bumble bees that appeared to be stable on a large geographic scale in the United States (not in decline). In this database we report a total of 17,930 adult occurrence records across 397 locations and 39 species of Bombus detected in our national survey. We summarize their abundance and

  15. Analysis of reference gene stability after Israeli acute paralysis virus infection in bumblebees Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Niu, Jinzhi; Cappelle, Kaat; de Miranda, Joachim R; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan

    2014-01-01

    To date, there are no validated internal reference genes for the normalization of RT-qPCR data from virus infection experiments with pollinating insects. In this study we evaluated the stability of five candidate internal reference genes: elongation factor-1-alpha (ELF1α), peptidylprolyl isomerase A (PPIA), 60S ribosomal protein L23 (RPL23), TATA-binding protein (TBP) and polyubiquitin (UBI), in relation to Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) infection of Bombus terrestris. We investigated the stability of these genes: in whole bodies and individual body parts, as well as in whole bodies collected at different time intervals after infection with IAPV. Our data identified PPIA as the single, most-optimal internal reference gene and the combination of PPAI-RPL23-UBI as a fully-sufficient multiple internal reference genes set for IAPV infection experiments in B. terrestris.

  16. 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. PMID:24789396

  17. Are queen Bombus terrestris giant workers or are workers dwarf queens? Solving the 'chicken and egg' problem in a bumblebee species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cnaani, Jonathan; Hefetz, Abraham

    2001-01-01

    In the social bee, Bombus terrestris, the two castes differ in size and physiology, but not in any other morphological and anatomical aspects. The size differences between the castes are the result of longer instar duration in prospective queen larvae. It appears that queen larvae are programmed to have a higher molting weight at the end of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th instars. Calculation of the growth ratio, the ratio between the logarithm of molting weight at two successive instars, revealed that queen larvae have a linear growth ratio over the entire larval development as predicted by Dyar's rule. In the worker larvae, in contrast, linearity of the growth ratio breaks after the second instar, resulting in larval molting at lower weights than expected by Dyar's rule. We therefore suggest that workers' development is abnormally shortened, either by parental manipulation or by adopting a different growth plan in response to the queen's signal.

  18. Potential increase in mating frequency of queens in feral colonies of Bombus terrestris introduced into Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Maki N.; Saito, Fuki; Tsuchida, Koji; Goka, Koichi

    2012-10-01

    With the exception of several species, bumblebees are monandrous. We examined mating frequency in feral colonies of the introduced bumblebee Bombus terrestris in Japan . Using microsatellite markers, genotyping of sperm DNA stored in the spermatheca of nine queens detected multiple insemination paternities in one queen; the others were singly mated. The average effective paternity frequency estimated from the genotypes of queens and workers was 1.23; that estimated from the workers' genotype alone was 2.12. These values were greater than those of laboratory-reared colonies in the native ranges of B. terrestris. The genotypes of one or two workers did not match those of their queens or showed paternities different from those of their nestmates; this may have arisen from either queen takeover or drifting of workers. These alien workers were responsible for the heterogeneous genotype distribution within each B. terrestris colony, resulting in higher estimates of paternity frequency than of insemination frequency. The high mating frequency of introduced B. terrestris may have occurred by artificial selection through mass breeding for commercialization. Moreover, polyandrous queens may be selectively advantageous, because reproduction by such queens is less likely to be disturbed by interspecific mating than that by monandrous queens.

  19. Characterization of Neutral Lipase BT-1 Isolated from the Labial Gland of Bombus terrestris Males

    PubMed Central

    Brabcová, Jana; Prchalová, Darina; Demianová, Zuzana; Bučánková, Alena; Vogel, Heiko; Valterová, Irena; Pichová, Iva; Zarevúcka, Marie

    2013-01-01

    Background In addition to their general role in the hydrolysis of storage lipids, bumblebee lipases can participate in the biosynthesis of fatty acids that serve as precursors of pheromones used for sexual communication. Results We studied the temporal dynamics of lipolytic activity in crude extracts from the cephalic part of Bombus terrestris labial glands. Extracts from 3-day-old males displayed the highest lipolytic activity. The highest lipase gene expression level was observed in freshly emerged bumblebees, and both gene expression and lipase activity were lower in bumblebees older than 3 days. Lipase was purified from labial glands, further characterized and named as BT-1. The B. terrestris orthologue shares 88% sequence identity with B. impatiens lipase HA. The molecular weight of B. terrestris lipase BT-1 was approximately 30 kDa, the pH optimum was 8.3, and the temperature optimum was 50°C. Lipase BT-1 showed a notable preference for C8-C10 p-nitrophenyl esters, with the highest activity toward p-nitrophenyl caprylate (C8). The Michaelis constant (Km) and maximum reaction rate (Vmax) for p-nitrophenyl laurate hydrolysis were Km = 0.0011 mM and Vmax = 0.15 U/mg. Conclusion This is the first report describing neutral lipase from the labial gland of B. terrestris. Our findings help increase understanding of its possible function in the labial gland. PMID:24260337

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Using Diagnostic Radioentomology for Non-Invasive Observations of Colonies of the Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Greco, Mark K.; Sadd, Ben M.

    2012-01-01

    Bumblebees have been the focus of a broad range of scientific research due to their behavior, social life, and a number of other intriguing traits. Current methods for examining their nest structure, such as natal cells and contents of storage cells, are destructive in nature because the cells need to be opened for physical inspections. This research describes how the internal structures of the artificial nests of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris L. (Hymentoptera: Apidae) were non-invasively viewed and assessed by using diagnostic radioentomology. For the first time, B. terrestris nest structures, and their contents such as larvae, pupae and eggs, were non-invaseively viewed and assessed. This technique will enable future experiments to take morphological measurements of egg, larval, and pupal development over time. Moreover, combining these measurements with measures of food-storage will provide a good assessment of colony health. The method will also allow tracking of individually marked adults, to monitor their behaviour and help gain a better understanding of the processes involved in the global declines of B. terrestris, which will in turn promote better management of these valuable pollinators. PMID:23421622

  4. Nest Initiation in Three North American Species of Bumble Bees (Bombus): Effects of Gyne Number and Worker Helpers on Colony Size and Establishment Success

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three species of bumble bees, Bombus appositus, B. bifarius, and B. centralis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were evaluated for nest initiation success under three sets of initial conditions. In the spring, queens of each species were caught in the wild and introduced to nest boxes in one of three ways. Qu...

  5. Insect vision models under scrutiny: what bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris terrestris L.) can still tell us

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Telles, Francismeire Jane; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A.

    2015-02-01

    Three contending models address the ability of bees to detect and discriminate colours: the colour opponent coding (COC) model, the colour hexagon (CH) model and the receptor noise-limited (RN) model, but few studies attempt to determine which model fits experimental data best. To assess whether the models provide an accurate description of bumblebee colour space, we trained bees to discriminate four colour pairs. The perceptual distance between the colours of each pair was similar according to the CH model but varied widely according to the COC and RN models. The time that bees required to select a flower and the proportion of correct choices differed between groups: decision times decreased as achromatic contrast increased, and the proportion of correct choices increased with achromatic contrast and perceptual distance, as predicted by the COC and RN models. These results suggest that both chromatic and achromatic contrasts affected the discriminability of colour pairs. Since flower colour affects the foraging choices of bees and foraging choices affect the reproductive success of plants, a better understanding of which model is more accurate under each circumstance is required to predict bee behaviour and the ecological implications of flower choice and colour.

  6. Insect vision models under scrutiny: what bumblebees (Bombus terrestris terrestris L.) can still tell us.

    PubMed

    Telles, Francismeire Jane; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A

    2015-02-01

    Three contending models address the ability of bees to detect and discriminate colours: the colour opponent coding (COC) model, the colour hexagon (CH) model and the receptor noise-limited (RN) model, but few studies attempt to determine which model fits experimental data best. To assess whether the models provide an accurate description of bumblebee colour space, we trained bees to discriminate four colour pairs. The perceptual distance between the colours of each pair was similar according to the CH model but varied widely according to the COC and RN models. The time that bees required to select a flower and the proportion of correct choices differed between groups: decision times decreased as achromatic contrast increased, and the proportion of correct choices increased with achromatic contrast and perceptual distance, as predicted by the COC and RN models. These results suggest that both chromatic and achromatic contrasts affected the discriminability of colour pairs. Since flower colour affects the foraging choices of bees and foraging choices affect the reproductive success of plants, a better understanding of which model is more accurate under each circumstance is required to predict bee behaviour and the ecological implications of flower choice and colour.

  7. Factors influencing Nosema bombi infections in natural populations of Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Huth-Schwarz, Anett; Settele, Josef; Moritz, Robin F A; Kraus, F Bernhard

    2012-05-01

    Bumblebees are of profound ecological importance because of the pollination services they provide in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Any decline of these pollinators is therefore of great concern for ecosystem functioning. Increased parasite pressures have been discussed as a major factor for the loss of pollinators. One of the main parasites of bumblebees is Nosema bombi, an intracellular microsporidian parasite with considerable impact on the vitality of the host. Here we study the effect of host colony density and host genetic variability on N. bombi infections in natural populations of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. We sampled males and workers from six B. terrestris populations located in an agricultural landscape in Middle Sweden to determine the prevalence and degree of N. bombi infections. All individuals were genotyped with five microsatellite markers to infer the colony densities in the sampled populations and the genetic variability of the host population. We confirmed that genetic variability and sex significantly correlate with the degree of infection with N. bombi. Males and workers with lower genetic variability had significantly higher infection levels than average. Also colony density had a significant impact on the degree of infection, with high density populations having higher infected individuals.

  8. In vivo study of Dicer-2-mediated immune response of the small interfering RNA pathway upon systemic infections of virulent and avirulent viruses in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Niu, Jinzhi; Smagghe, Guy; De Coninck, Dieter I M; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Meeus, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies suggest a potent role of the small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway in the control of bee viruses and its usefulness to tackle these viral diseases. However, the involvement of the siRNA pathway in the defense against different bee viruses is still poorly understood. Therefore, in this report, we comprehensively analyzed the response of the siRNA pathway in bumblebees of Bombus terrestris to systemic infections of the virulent Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) and the avirulent slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV). Our results showed that IAPV and SBPV infections induced the expression of Dicer-2. IAPV infections also triggered the production of predominantly 22 nt-long virus-derived siRNAs (vsiRNAs). Intriguingly, these 22 nt-long vsiRNAs showed a high proportion of antigenomic IAPV sequences. Conversely, these predominantly 22 nt-long vsiRNAs of SBPV were not detected in SBPV infected bees. Furthermore, an "RNAi-of-RNAi" experiment on Dicer-2 did not result in altered genome copy numbers of IAPV (n = 17-18) and also not of SBPV (n = 11-12). Based on these results, we can speculate about the importance of the siRNA pathway in bumblebees for the antiviral response. During infection of IAPV, this pathway is probably recruited but it might be insufficient to control viral infection in our experimental setup. The host can control SBPV infection, but aside from the induction of Dicer-2 expression, no further evidence of the antiviral activity of the siRNA pathway was observed. This report may also enhance the current understanding of the siRNA pathway in the innate immunity of non-model insects upon different viral infections.

  9. In vivo study of Dicer-2-mediated immune response of the small interfering RNA pathway upon systemic infections of virulent and avirulent viruses in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Niu, Jinzhi; Smagghe, Guy; De Coninck, Dieter I M; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Meeus, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Recent studies suggest a potent role of the small interfering RNA (siRNA) pathway in the control of bee viruses and its usefulness to tackle these viral diseases. However, the involvement of the siRNA pathway in the defense against different bee viruses is still poorly understood. Therefore, in this report, we comprehensively analyzed the response of the siRNA pathway in bumblebees of Bombus terrestris to systemic infections of the virulent Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) and the avirulent slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV). Our results showed that IAPV and SBPV infections induced the expression of Dicer-2. IAPV infections also triggered the production of predominantly 22 nt-long virus-derived siRNAs (vsiRNAs). Intriguingly, these 22 nt-long vsiRNAs showed a high proportion of antigenomic IAPV sequences. Conversely, these predominantly 22 nt-long vsiRNAs of SBPV were not detected in SBPV infected bees. Furthermore, an "RNAi-of-RNAi" experiment on Dicer-2 did not result in altered genome copy numbers of IAPV (n = 17-18) and also not of SBPV (n = 11-12). Based on these results, we can speculate about the importance of the siRNA pathway in bumblebees for the antiviral response. During infection of IAPV, this pathway is probably recruited but it might be insufficient to control viral infection in our experimental setup. The host can control SBPV infection, but aside from the induction of Dicer-2 expression, no further evidence of the antiviral activity of the siRNA pathway was observed. This report may also enhance the current understanding of the siRNA pathway in the innate immunity of non-model insects upon different viral infections. PMID:26711439

  10. Molecular heterochrony and the evolution of sociality in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris)

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, S. Hollis; Bloch, Guy M.; Band, Mark R.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2014-01-01

    Sibling care is a hallmark of social insects, but its evolution remains challenging to explain at the molecular level. The hypothesis that sibling care evolved from ancestral maternal care in primitively eusocial insects has been elaborated to involve heterochronic changes in gene expression. This elaboration leads to the prediction that workers in these species will show patterns of gene expression more similar to foundress queens, who express maternal care behaviour, than to established queens engaged solely in reproductive behaviour. We tested this idea in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) using a microarray platform with approximately 4500 genes. Unlike the wasp Polistes metricus, in which support for the above prediction has been obtained, we found that patterns of brain gene expression in foundress and queen bumblebees were more similar to each other than to workers. Comparisons of differentially expressed genes derived from this study and gene lists from microarray studies in Polistes and the honeybee Apis mellifera yielded a shared set of genes involved in the regulation of related social behaviours across independent eusocial lineages. Together, these results suggest that multiple independent evolutions of eusociality in the insects might have involved different evolutionary routes, but nevertheless involved some similarities at the molecular level. PMID:24552837

  11. Protein-poor diet reduces host-specific immune gene expression in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Brunner, Franziska S; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Barribeau, Seth M

    2014-07-01

    Parasites infect hosts non-randomly as genotypes of hosts vary in susceptibility to the same genotypes of parasites, but this specificity may be modulated by environmental factors such as nutrition. Nutrition plays an important role for any physiological investment. As immune responses are costly, resource limitation should negatively affect immunity through trade-offs with other physiological requirements. Consequently, nutritional limitation should diminish immune capacity in general, but does it also dampen differences among hosts? We investigated the effect of short-term pollen deprivation on the immune responses of our model host Bombus terrestris when infected with the highly prevalent natural parasite Crithidia bombi. Bumblebees deprived of pollen, their protein source, show reduced immune responses to infection. They failed to upregulate a number of genes, including antimicrobial peptides, in response to infection. In particular, they also showed less specific immune expression patterns across individuals and colonies. These findings provide evidence for how immune responses on the individual-level vary with important elements of the environment and illustrate how nutrition can functionally alter not only general resistance, but also alter the pattern of specific host-parasite interactions. PMID:24850921

  12. Protein-poor diet reduces host-specific immune gene expression in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Brunner, Franziska S; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Barribeau, Seth M

    2014-07-01

    Parasites infect hosts non-randomly as genotypes of hosts vary in susceptibility to the same genotypes of parasites, but this specificity may be modulated by environmental factors such as nutrition. Nutrition plays an important role for any physiological investment. As immune responses are costly, resource limitation should negatively affect immunity through trade-offs with other physiological requirements. Consequently, nutritional limitation should diminish immune capacity in general, but does it also dampen differences among hosts? We investigated the effect of short-term pollen deprivation on the immune responses of our model host Bombus terrestris when infected with the highly prevalent natural parasite Crithidia bombi. Bumblebees deprived of pollen, their protein source, show reduced immune responses to infection. They failed to upregulate a number of genes, including antimicrobial peptides, in response to infection. In particular, they also showed less specific immune expression patterns across individuals and colonies. These findings provide evidence for how immune responses on the individual-level vary with important elements of the environment and illustrate how nutrition can functionally alter not only general resistance, but also alter the pattern of specific host-parasite interactions.

  13. Protein-poor diet reduces host-specific immune gene expression in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Brunner, Franziska S.; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Barribeau, Seth M.

    2014-01-01

    Parasites infect hosts non-randomly as genotypes of hosts vary in susceptibility to the same genotypes of parasites, but this specificity may be modulated by environmental factors such as nutrition. Nutrition plays an important role for any physiological investment. As immune responses are costly, resource limitation should negatively affect immunity through trade-offs with other physiological requirements. Consequently, nutritional limitation should diminish immune capacity in general, but does it also dampen differences among hosts? We investigated the effect of short-term pollen deprivation on the immune responses of our model host Bombus terrestris when infected with the highly prevalent natural parasite Crithidia bombi. Bumblebees deprived of pollen, their protein source, show reduced immune responses to infection. They failed to upregulate a number of genes, including antimicrobial peptides, in response to infection. In particular, they also showed less specific immune expression patterns across individuals and colonies. These findings provide evidence for how immune responses on the individual-level vary with important elements of the environment and illustrate how nutrition can functionally alter not only general resistance, but also alter the pattern of specific host–parasite interactions. PMID:24850921

  14. Molecular heterochrony and the evolution of sociality in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Woodard, S Hollis; Bloch, Guy M; Band, Mark R; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-04-01

    Sibling care is a hallmark of social insects, but its evolution remains challenging to explain at the molecular level. The hypothesis that sibling care evolved from ancestral maternal care in primitively eusocial insects has been elaborated to involve heterochronic changes in gene expression. This elaboration leads to the prediction that workers in these species will show patterns of gene expression more similar to foundress queens, who express maternal care behaviour, than to established queens engaged solely in reproductive behaviour. We tested this idea in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) using a microarray platform with approximately 4500 genes. Unlike the wasp Polistes metricus, in which support for the above prediction has been obtained, we found that patterns of brain gene expression in foundress and queen bumblebees were more similar to each other than to workers. Comparisons of differentially expressed genes derived from this study and gene lists from microarray studies in Polistes and the honeybee Apis mellifera yielded a shared set of genes involved in the regulation of related social behaviours across independent eusocial lineages. Together, these results suggest that multiple independent evolutions of eusociality in the insects might have involved different evolutionary routes, but nevertheless involved some similarities at the molecular level.

  15. Hazards and uptake of chitin synthesis inhibitors in bumblebees Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Mommaerts, Veerle; Sterk, Guido; Smagghe, Guy

    2006-08-01

    This research project examined the potential hazards of a major class of insect growth regulators (IGRs) to survival, reproduction and larval growth in bumblebees Bombus terrestris L. Eight chitin synthesis inhibitors (CSIs) were tested: buprofezin, cyromazine, diflubenzuron, flucycloxuron, flufenoxuron, lufenuron, novaluron and teflubenzuron. These different IGRs, which are important in the control of pest insects in greenhouses, were applied via three different routes of exposure under laboratory conditions: dermal contact, and orally via the drinking of sugar/water and via pollen. The compounds were tested at their respective maximum field recommended concentrations (MFRC) and also in dose-response assays to calculate LC(50) values. In general, none of the CSIs showed acute worker toxicity. However, there was a dramatic reduction in brood production, especially after oral treatment with pollen and sugar/water. Conspicuously, egg fertility was reduced in all treatments with diflubenzuron and teflubenzuron. In addition to egg mortality, the worker bumblebees removed larvae from the treated nest, and in most cases these individuals were dead first-second instars. Under a binocular microscope, such larvae showed an abnormally formed cuticle leading to mechanical weakness and death. In another series of experiments using (14)C-diflubenzuron and (14)C-flufenoxuron, cuticular penetration in workers was studied for a better understanding of the differences in toxicity. With (14)C-diflubenzuron, transovarial transport and accumulation in the deposited eggs supported the strong reproductive effects. Overall, the present results suggest that CSIs should be applied with caution in combination with bumblebees. The compatibility of each compound to be used in combination with B. terrestris is discussed in relation to calculated LC(50) values, routes of uptake and effects. PMID:16786494

  16. Lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin on the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Wagner Faria; De Meyer, Laurens; Guedes, Raul Narciso C; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Azadirachtin is a biorational insecticide commonly reported as selective to a range of beneficial insects. Nonetheless, only few studies have been carried out with pollinators, usually emphasizing the honeybee Apis mellifera and neglecting other important pollinator species such as the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Here, lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin were studied on B. terrestris via oral exposure in the laboratory to bring out the potential risks of the compound to this important pollinator. The compound was tested at different concentrations above and below the maximum concentration that is used in the field (32 mg L(-1)). As most important results, azadirachtin repelled bumblebee workers in a concentration-dependent manner. The median repellence concentration (RC50) was estimated as 504 mg L(-1). Microcolonies chronically exposed to azadirachtin via treated sugar water during 11 weeks in the laboratory exhibited a high mortality ranging from 32 to 100 % with a range of concentrations between 3.2 and 320 mg L(-1). Moreover, no reproduction was scored when concentrations were higher than 3.2 mg L(-1). At 3.2 mg L(-1), azadirachtin significantly inhibited the egg-laying and, consequently, the production of drones during 6 weeks. Ovarian length decreased with the increase of the azadirachtin concentration. When azadirachtin was tested under an experimental setup in the laboratory where bumblebees need to forage for food, the sublethal effects were stronger as the numbers of drones were reduced already with a concentration of 0.64 mg L(-1). Besides, a negative correlation was found between the body mass of male offspring and azadirachtin concentration. In conclusion, our results as performed in the laboratory demonstrated that azadirachtin can affect B. terrestris with a range of sublethal effects. Taking into account that sublethal effects are as important as lethal effects for the development and survival of the colonies of B. terrestris

  17. Lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin on the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Wagner Faria; De Meyer, Laurens; Guedes, Raul Narciso C; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Azadirachtin is a biorational insecticide commonly reported as selective to a range of beneficial insects. Nonetheless, only few studies have been carried out with pollinators, usually emphasizing the honeybee Apis mellifera and neglecting other important pollinator species such as the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Here, lethal and sublethal effects of azadirachtin were studied on B. terrestris via oral exposure in the laboratory to bring out the potential risks of the compound to this important pollinator. The compound was tested at different concentrations above and below the maximum concentration that is used in the field (32 mg L(-1)). As most important results, azadirachtin repelled bumblebee workers in a concentration-dependent manner. The median repellence concentration (RC50) was estimated as 504 mg L(-1). Microcolonies chronically exposed to azadirachtin via treated sugar water during 11 weeks in the laboratory exhibited a high mortality ranging from 32 to 100 % with a range of concentrations between 3.2 and 320 mg L(-1). Moreover, no reproduction was scored when concentrations were higher than 3.2 mg L(-1). At 3.2 mg L(-1), azadirachtin significantly inhibited the egg-laying and, consequently, the production of drones during 6 weeks. Ovarian length decreased with the increase of the azadirachtin concentration. When azadirachtin was tested under an experimental setup in the laboratory where bumblebees need to forage for food, the sublethal effects were stronger as the numbers of drones were reduced already with a concentration of 0.64 mg L(-1). Besides, a negative correlation was found between the body mass of male offspring and azadirachtin concentration. In conclusion, our results as performed in the laboratory demonstrated that azadirachtin can affect B. terrestris with a range of sublethal effects. Taking into account that sublethal effects are as important as lethal effects for the development and survival of the colonies of B. terrestris

  18. Lactobacillus bombi sp. nov., from the digestive tract of laboratory-reared bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Killer, J; Votavová, A; Valterová, I; Vlková, E; Rada, V; Hroncová, Z

    2014-08-01

    Three bacterial strains belonging to the genus Lactobacillus were isolated from the digestive tracts of laboratory-reared bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris) using MRS agar under anaerobic conditions. The isolates were identified according to 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as undescribed members of the genus Lactobacillus, with the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (96.9 %) to the uncharacterized bacterial strain Lactobacillus sp. Mboho2r2 isolated from the stomach of a European honeybee (Apis mellifera). Lactobacillus tucceti was found to be the closest related species with a validly published name, with 92.9 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to the type strain. However, phylogenetic analyses based on different markers revealed that this species is phylogenetically very distant from the novel strains. The DNA G+C content of the proposed type strain BTLCH M1/2(T) is 37.8 mol%. The fatty acids C(19 : 1)ω6c and/or C(19 : 0) cyclo ω10c/19ω6, C(18 : 1)ω9c and C(16 : 0) were predominant in all strains. Diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, a phospholipid, seven glycolipids and two phosphoglycolipids were detected in the novel strains. Growth was observed at 47 °C. The peptidoglycan type A4α L-Lys-D-Asp was determined for strain BTLCH M1/2(T). Genotypic characteristics and phylogenetic analyses based on the phylogenetic markers hsp60, pheS, rpoA and tuf as well as phenotypic characteristics and the results of chemotaxonomic analyses confirmed that the new isolates belong to a novel species of the genus Lactobacillus, for which the name Lactobacillus bombi sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is BTLCH M1/2(T) ( = DSM 26517(T) = CCM 8440(T)). PMID:24824637

  19. Lactobacillus bombi sp. nov., from the digestive tract of laboratory-reared bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Killer, J; Votavová, A; Valterová, I; Vlková, E; Rada, V; Hroncová, Z

    2014-08-01

    Three bacterial strains belonging to the genus Lactobacillus were isolated from the digestive tracts of laboratory-reared bumblebee queens (Bombus terrestris) using MRS agar under anaerobic conditions. The isolates were identified according to 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis as undescribed members of the genus Lactobacillus, with the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (96.9 %) to the uncharacterized bacterial strain Lactobacillus sp. Mboho2r2 isolated from the stomach of a European honeybee (Apis mellifera). Lactobacillus tucceti was found to be the closest related species with a validly published name, with 92.9 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to the type strain. However, phylogenetic analyses based on different markers revealed that this species is phylogenetically very distant from the novel strains. The DNA G+C content of the proposed type strain BTLCH M1/2(T) is 37.8 mol%. The fatty acids C(19 : 1)ω6c and/or C(19 : 0) cyclo ω10c/19ω6, C(18 : 1)ω9c and C(16 : 0) were predominant in all strains. Diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, a phospholipid, seven glycolipids and two phosphoglycolipids were detected in the novel strains. Growth was observed at 47 °C. The peptidoglycan type A4α L-Lys-D-Asp was determined for strain BTLCH M1/2(T). Genotypic characteristics and phylogenetic analyses based on the phylogenetic markers hsp60, pheS, rpoA and tuf as well as phenotypic characteristics and the results of chemotaxonomic analyses confirmed that the new isolates belong to a novel species of the genus Lactobacillus, for which the name Lactobacillus bombi sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is BTLCH M1/2(T) ( = DSM 26517(T) = CCM 8440(T)).

  20. 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...

  1. No effect of juvenile hormone on task performance in a bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) supports an evolutionary link between endocrine signaling and social complexity.

    PubMed

    Shpigler, Hagai Y; Siegel, Adam J; Huang, Zachary Y; Bloch, Guy

    2016-09-01

    A hallmark of insect societies is a division of labor among workers specializing in different tasks. In bumblebees the division of labor is related to body size; relatively small workers are more likely to stay inside the nest and tend ("nurse") brood, whereas their larger sisters are more likely to forage. Despite their ecological and economic importance, very little is known about the endocrine regulation of division of labor in bumblebees. We studied the influence of juvenile hormone (JH) on task performance in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. We first used a radioimmunoassay to measure circulating JH titers in workers specializing in nursing and foraging activities. Next, we developed new protocols for manipulating JH titers by combining a size-adjusted topical treatment with the allatotoxin Precocene-I and replacement therapy with JH-III. Finally, we used this protocol to test the influence of JH on task performance. JH levels were either similar for nurses and foragers (three colonies), or higher in nurses (two colonies). Nurses had better developed ovaries and JH levels were typically positively correlated with ovarian state. Manipulation of JH titers influenced ovarian development and wax secretion, consistent with earlier allatectomy studies. These manipulations however, did not affect nursing or foraging activity, or the likelihood to specialize in nursing or foraging activity. These findings contrast with honeybees in which JH influences age-related division of labor but not adult female fertility. Thus, the evolution of complex societies in bees was associated with modifications in the way JH influences social behavior.

  2. Unraveling the venom proteome of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) by integrating a combinatorial peptide ligand library approach with FT-ICR MS.

    PubMed

    Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Smagghe, Guy; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-08-01

    Within the Apidae, the largest family of bees with over 5600 described species, the honeybee is the sole species with a well studied venom proteome. So far, only little research has focused on bumblebee venom. Recently, the genome sequence of the European large earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) became available and this allowed the first in-depth proteomic analysis of its venom composition. We identified 57 compounds, with 52 of them never described in bumblebee venom. Remarkably, 72% of the detected compounds were found to have a honeybee venom homolog, which reflects the similar defensive function of both venoms and the high degree of homology between both genomes. However, both venoms contain a selection of species-specific toxins, revealing distinct damaging effects that may have evolved in response to species-specific attackers. Further, this study extends the list of potential venom allergens. The availability of both the honeybee and bumblebee venom proteome may help to develop a strategy that solves the current issue of false double sensitivity in allergy diagnosis, which is caused by cross-reactivity between both venoms. A correct diagnosis is important as it is recommended to perform an immunotherapy with venom of the culprit species.

  3. Dumb and Lazy? A Comparison of Color Learning and Memory Retrieval in Drones and Workers of the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, by Means of PER Conditioning.

    PubMed

    Lichtenstein, Leonie; Sommerlandt, Frank M J; Spaethe, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 years ago, Karl von Frisch showed that honeybee workers learn and discriminate colors. Since then, many studies confirmed the color learning capabilities of females from various hymenopteran species. Yet, little is known about visual learning and memory in males despite the fact that in most bee species males must take care of their own needs and must find rewarding flowers to obtain food. Here we used the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm to study the color learning capacities of workers and drones of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Light stimuli were paired with sucrose reward delivered to the insects' antennae and inducing a reflexive extension of the proboscis. We evaluated color learning (i.e. conditioned PER to color stimuli) in absolute and differential conditioning protocols and mid-term memory retention was measured two hours after conditioning. Different monochromatic light stimuli in combination with neutral density filters were used to ensure that the bumblebees could only use chromatic and not achromatic (e.g. brightness) information. Furthermore, we tested if bees were able to transfer the learned information from the PER conditioning to a novel discrimination task in a Y-maze. Both workers and drones were capable of learning and discriminating between monochromatic light stimuli and retrieved the learned stimulus after two hours. Drones performed as well as workers during conditioning and in the memory test, but failed in the transfer test in contrast to workers. Our data clearly show that bumblebees can learn to associate a color stimulus with a sugar reward in PER conditioning and that both workers and drones reach similar acquisition and mid-term retention performances. Additionally, we provide evidence that only workers transfer the learned information from a Pavlovian to an operant situation.

  4. Dumb and Lazy? A Comparison of Color Learning and Memory Retrieval in Drones and Workers of the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, by Means of PER Conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Lichtenstein, Leonie; Sommerlandt, Frank M. J.; Spaethe, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 years ago, Karl von Frisch showed that honeybee workers learn and discriminate colors. Since then, many studies confirmed the color learning capabilities of females from various hymenopteran species. Yet, little is known about visual learning and memory in males despite the fact that in most bee species males must take care of their own needs and must find rewarding flowers to obtain food. Here we used the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm to study the color learning capacities of workers and drones of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Light stimuli were paired with sucrose reward delivered to the insects’ antennae and inducing a reflexive extension of the proboscis. We evaluated color learning (i.e. conditioned PER to color stimuli) in absolute and differential conditioning protocols and mid-term memory retention was measured two hours after conditioning. Different monochromatic light stimuli in combination with neutral density filters were used to ensure that the bumblebees could only use chromatic and not achromatic (e.g. brightness) information. Furthermore, we tested if bees were able to transfer the learned information from the PER conditioning to a novel discrimination task in a Y-maze. Both workers and drones were capable of learning and discriminating between monochromatic light stimuli and retrieved the learned stimulus after two hours. Drones performed as well as workers during conditioning and in the memory test, but failed in the transfer test in contrast to workers. Our data clearly show that bumblebees can learn to associate a color stimulus with a sugar reward in PER conditioning and that both workers and drones reach similar acquisition and mid-term retention performances. Additionally, we provide evidence that only workers transfer the learned information from a Pavlovian to an operant situation. PMID:26230643

  5. Dumb and Lazy? A Comparison of Color Learning and Memory Retrieval in Drones and Workers of the Buff-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, by Means of PER Conditioning.

    PubMed

    Lichtenstein, Leonie; Sommerlandt, Frank M J; Spaethe, Johannes

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 years ago, Karl von Frisch showed that honeybee workers learn and discriminate colors. Since then, many studies confirmed the color learning capabilities of females from various hymenopteran species. Yet, little is known about visual learning and memory in males despite the fact that in most bee species males must take care of their own needs and must find rewarding flowers to obtain food. Here we used the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm to study the color learning capacities of workers and drones of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris. Light stimuli were paired with sucrose reward delivered to the insects' antennae and inducing a reflexive extension of the proboscis. We evaluated color learning (i.e. conditioned PER to color stimuli) in absolute and differential conditioning protocols and mid-term memory retention was measured two hours after conditioning. Different monochromatic light stimuli in combination with neutral density filters were used to ensure that the bumblebees could only use chromatic and not achromatic (e.g. brightness) information. Furthermore, we tested if bees were able to transfer the learned information from the PER conditioning to a novel discrimination task in a Y-maze. Both workers and drones were capable of learning and discriminating between monochromatic light stimuli and retrieved the learned stimulus after two hours. Drones performed as well as workers during conditioning and in the memory test, but failed in the transfer test in contrast to workers. Our data clearly show that bumblebees can learn to associate a color stimulus with a sugar reward in PER conditioning and that both workers and drones reach similar acquisition and mid-term retention performances. Additionally, we provide evidence that only workers transfer the learned information from a Pavlovian to an operant situation. PMID:26230643

  6. Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus spp.) of interior Alaska: Species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite the ecological and agricultural significance of bumble bees in Alaska, very little is known and published about this important group at the regional level. The objectives of this study were to provide baseline data on species composition, distribution, seasonal biology, and parasites of the ...

  7. No effect of juvenile hormone on task performance in a bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) supports an evolutionary link between endocrine signaling and social complexity.

    PubMed

    Shpigler, Hagai Y; Siegel, Adam J; Huang, Zachary Y; Bloch, Guy

    2016-09-01

    A hallmark of insect societies is a division of labor among workers specializing in different tasks. In bumblebees the division of labor is related to body size; relatively small workers are more likely to stay inside the nest and tend ("nurse") brood, whereas their larger sisters are more likely to forage. Despite their ecological and economic importance, very little is known about the endocrine regulation of division of labor in bumblebees. We studied the influence of juvenile hormone (JH) on task performance in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. We first used a radioimmunoassay to measure circulating JH titers in workers specializing in nursing and foraging activities. Next, we developed new protocols for manipulating JH titers by combining a size-adjusted topical treatment with the allatotoxin Precocene-I and replacement therapy with JH-III. Finally, we used this protocol to test the influence of JH on task performance. JH levels were either similar for nurses and foragers (three colonies), or higher in nurses (two colonies). Nurses had better developed ovaries and JH levels were typically positively correlated with ovarian state. Manipulation of JH titers influenced ovarian development and wax secretion, consistent with earlier allatectomy studies. These manipulations however, did not affect nursing or foraging activity, or the likelihood to specialize in nursing or foraging activity. These findings contrast with honeybees in which JH influences age-related division of labor but not adult female fertility. Thus, the evolution of complex societies in bees was associated with modifications in the way JH influences social behavior. PMID:27503109

  8. Validation of a method using queenless Bombus terrestris micro-colonies for testing the nutritive value of commercial pollen mixes by comparison with queenright colonies.

    PubMed

    Tasei, Jean-Noël; Aupinel, Pierrick

    2008-12-01

    The nutritive value of pollen blends purchased by bumble bee producers from beekeepers is a key factor of successful mass rearing. We have already devised a method for quality ranking of pollen diets. It was a 1-mo bioassay using queenless micro-colonies of three callow workers (Bombus terrestris L.; Apidae: Bombinae). In the current study, we tested three pollen diets through the micro-colony method and compared the results to the development of queenright colonies supplied with the same diets. The three diets were "A," a spring blend with a protein rate of 15.7% and a dominance of Corylus avellana L.(46%) and Buxus sempervivens L. (35%); "B," a summer assemblage with alower crude protein content (14.4%), with a dominance of Helianthus annuus L. (37%), Zea mays L. (35%), and Poaceae (21%); and "C," a 50/50 mixture by weight of A and B, with a crude protein content of 15.8%. In micro-colonies, the more sensitive parameter for diet ranking was the mean weight of a larva, whereas in queenright colonies, the discrimination between treatments was enabled by considering the body size of new queens (weight and length of the radial cell) and the slope of the sigmoidal curve of the pollen consumption at the inflection point reflecting brood growth. Both testing methods assigned the lower rank to diet B compared with diet A. Despite the closeness of the three diets in terms of nitrogen content, we concluded that micro-colonies were a good estimate of colony development when nutritive value of pollen was tested. PMID:19133450

  9. Quantitative Trait Loci for Light Sensitivity, Body Weight, Body Size, and Morphological Eye Parameters in the Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Maebe, Kevin; Meeus, Ivan; De Riek, Jan; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Bumblebees such as Bombus terrestris are essential pollinators in natural and managed ecosystems. In addition, this species is intensively used in agriculture for its pollination services, for instance in tomato and pepper greenhouses. Here we performed a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis on B. terrestris using 136 microsatellite DNA markers to identify genes linked with 20 traits including light sensitivity, body size and mass, and eye and hind leg measures. By composite interval mapping (IM), we found 83 and 34 suggestive QTLs for 19 of the 20 traits at the linkage group wide significance levels of p = 0.05 and 0.01, respectively. Furthermore, we also found five significant QTLs at the genome wide significant level of p = 0.05. Individual QTLs accounted for 7.5-53.3% of the phenotypic variation. For 15 traits, at least one QTL was confirmed with multiple QTL model mapping. Multivariate principal components analysis confirmed 11 univariate suggestive QTLs but revealed three suggestive QTLs not identified by the individual traits. We also identified several candidate genes linked with light sensitivity, in particular the Phosrestin-1-like gene is a primary candidate for its phototransduction function. In conclusion, we believe that the suggestive and significant QTLs, and markers identified here, can be of use in marker-assisted breeding to improve selection towards light sensitive bumblebees, and thus also the pollination service of bumblebees.

  10. The Effect of Oral Administration of dsRNA on Viral Replication and Mortality in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Piot, Niels; Snoeck, Simon; Vanlede, Maarten; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan

    2015-01-01

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), a single-stranded RNA virus, has a worldwide distribution and affects honeybees as well as other important pollinators. IAPV infection in honeybees has been successfully repressed by exploiting the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway of the insect’s innate immune response with virus-specific double stranded RNA (dsRNA). Here we investigated the effect of IAPV infection in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its tissue tropism. B. terrestris is a common pollinator of wild flowers in Europe and is used for biological pollination in agriculture. Infection experiments demonstrated a similar pathology and tissue tropism in bumblebees as reported for honeybees. The effect of oral administration of virus-specific dsRNA was examined and resulted in an effective silencing of the virus, irrespective of the length. Interestingly, we observed that non-specific dsRNA was also efficient against IAPV. However further study is needed to clarify the precise mechanism behind this effect. Finally we believe that our data are indicative of the possibility to use dsRNA for a broad range viral protection in bumblebees. PMID:26110584

  11. The Effect of Oral Administration of dsRNA on Viral Replication and Mortality in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Piot, Niels; Snoeck, Simon; Vanlede, Maarten; Smagghe, Guy; Meeus, Ivan

    2015-06-18

    Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV), a single-stranded RNA virus, has a worldwide distribution and affects honeybees as well as other important pollinators. IAPV infection in honeybees has been successfully repressed by exploiting the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway of the insect's innate immune response with virus-specific double stranded RNA (dsRNA). Here we investigated the effect of IAPV infection in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris and its tissue tropism. B. terrestris is a common pollinator of wild flowers in Europe and is used for biological pollination in agriculture. Infection experiments demonstrated a similar pathology and tissue tropism in bumblebees as reported for honeybees. The effect of oral administration of virus-specific dsRNA was examined and resulted in an effective silencing of the virus, irrespective of the length. Interestingly, we observed that non-specific dsRNA was also efficient against IAPV. However further study is needed to clarify the precise mechanism behind this effect. Finally we believe that our data are indicative of the possibility to use dsRNA for a broad range viral protection in bumblebees.

  12. Quantitative Trait Loci for Light Sensitivity, Body Weight, Body Size, and Morphological Eye Parameters in the Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Maebe, Kevin; Meeus, Ivan; De Riek, Jan; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    Bumblebees such as Bombus terrestris are essential pollinators in natural and managed ecosystems. In addition, this species is intensively used in agriculture for its pollination services, for instance in tomato and pepper greenhouses. Here we performed a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis on B. terrestris using 136 microsatellite DNA markers to identify genes linked with 20 traits including light sensitivity, body size and mass, and eye and hind leg measures. By composite interval mapping (IM), we found 83 and 34 suggestive QTLs for 19 of the 20 traits at the linkage group wide significance levels of p = 0.05 and 0.01, respectively. Furthermore, we also found five significant QTLs at the genome wide significant level of p = 0.05. Individual QTLs accounted for 7.5-53.3% of the phenotypic variation. For 15 traits, at least one QTL was confirmed with multiple QTL model mapping. Multivariate principal components analysis confirmed 11 univariate suggestive QTLs but revealed three suggestive QTLs not identified by the individual traits. We also identified several candidate genes linked with light sensitivity, in particular the Phosrestin-1-like gene is a primary candidate for its phototransduction function. In conclusion, we believe that the suggestive and significant QTLs, and markers identified here, can be of use in marker-assisted breeding to improve selection towards light sensitive bumblebees, and thus also the pollination service of bumblebees. PMID:25928544

  13. Assessment of gustatory responses to different sugars in harnessed and free-moving bumblebee workers (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Mommaerts, Veerle; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2013-06-01

    For bumblebee colony survival, sugar responses are crucial as nectar is the main carbohydrate source and flower choice is likely determined by sugar composition. This study used a bioassay both with harnessed and with free-moving workers of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris to study the gustatory response to the 3 major plant sugars by both groups. In harnessed workers of B. terrestris, a concentration of 5.5% of fructose and glucose was required to induce the proboscis extension reflex in 50% of the workers, whereas for sucrose, a much higher concentration of 40% was needed. In contrast, free-moving workers given a choice between 30% glucose, 30% sucrose, 30% fructose, and water showed a strong preference for sucrose (66% of individuals) compared with 18% for glucose and 16% for fructose; water was never chosen. Familiarization with 30% fructose provoked a significant increase in preference toward fructose, indicating plasticity. In addition, by amputation of the tarsi, it was found that tarsi plays a role in the sugar response with especially the foreleg tarsi being involved in the response to fructose. Our results demonstrated that sugar response is different in free-moving versus harnessed bumblebee workers and that tarsi plays a role in sugar perception.

  14. Does the queen win it all? Queen-worker conflict over male production in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Alaux, Cédric; Savarit, Fabrice; Jaisson, Pierre; Hefetz, Abraham

    2004-08-01

    Social insects provide a useful model for studying the evolutionary balance between cooperation and conflict linked to genetic structure. We investigated the outcome of this conflict in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, whose annual colony life cycle is characterized by overt competition over male production. We established artificial colonies composed of a queen and unrelated workers by daily exchange of callow workers between colony pairs of distinct genetic make-up. Using microsatellite analysis, this procedure allowed an exact calculation of the proportion of worker-derived males. The development and social behavior of these artificial colonies were similar to those of normal colonies. Despite a high worker reproduction attempt (63.8% of workers had developed ovaries and 38.4% were egg-layers), we found that on average 95% of the males produced during the competition phase (CPh) were queen-derived. However, in four colonies, queen death resulted in a considerable amount of worker-derived male production. The different putative ultimate causes of this efficient control by the queen are discussed, and we suggest a possible scenario of an evolutionary arms race that may occur between these two female castes.

  15. Does the queen win it all? Queen-worker conflict over male production in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaux, Cédric; Savarit, Fabrice; Jaisson, Pierre; Hefetz, Abraham

    Social insects provide a useful model for studying the evolutionary balance between cooperation and conflict linked to genetic structure. We investigated the outcome of this conflict in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, whose annual colony life cycle is characterized by overt competition over male production. We established artificial colonies composed of a queen and unrelated workers by daily exchange of callow workers between colony pairs of distinct genetic make-up. Using microsatellite analysis, this procedure allowed an exact calculation of the proportion of worker-derived males. The development and social behavior of these artificial colonies were similar to those of normal colonies. Despite a high worker reproduction attempt (63.8% of workers had developed ovaries and 38.4% were egg-layers), we found that on average 95% of the males produced during the competition phase (CPh) were queen-derived. However, in four colonies, queen death resulted in a considerable amount of worker-derived male production. The different putative ultimate causes of this efficient control by the queen are discussed, and we suggest a possible scenario of an evolutionary arms race that may occur between these two female castes.

  16. Population genetic structure of Bombus terrestris in Europe: Isolation and genetic differentiation of Irish and British populations.

    PubMed

    Moreira, António S; Horgan, Finbarr G; Murray, Tomás E; Kakouli-Duarte, Thomais

    2015-07-01

    The genetic structure of the earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris L.) was examined across 22 wild populations and two commercially reared populations using eight microsatellite loci and two mitochondrial genes. Our study included wild bumblebee samples from six populations in Ireland, one from the Isle of Man, four from Britain and 11 from mainland Europe. A further sample was acquired from New Zealand. Observed levels of genetic variability and heterozygosity were low in Ireland and the Isle of Man, but relatively high in continental Europe and among commercial populations. Estimates of Fst revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations. Bayesian cluster analysis indicated that Irish populations were highly differentiated from British and continental populations, the latter two showing higher levels of admixture. The data suggest that the Irish Sea and prevailing south westerly winds act as a considerable geographical barrier to gene flow between populations in Ireland and Britain; however, some immigration from the Isle of Man to Ireland was detected. The results are discussed in the context of the recent commercialization of bumblebees for the European horticultural industry.

  17. Visual targeting of components of floral colour patterns in flower-naïve bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris; Apidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunau, Klaus; Fieselmann, Gabriele; Heuschen, Britta; van de Loo, Antje

    2006-07-01

    Floral colour patterns are contrasting colour patches on flowers, a part of the signalling apparatus that was considered to display shape and colour signals used by flower-visitors to detect flowers and locate the site of floral reward. Here, we show that flower-naïve bumblebees ( Bombus terrestris) spontaneously direct their approach towards the outside margin of artificial flowers, which provides contrast between these dummy flowers and the background. If no floral guides are present, the bumblebees continue to approach the margin and finally touch the marginal area of the dummy flower with the tips of their antennae. Whilst approaching dummy flowers that also have a central floral guide, the bumblebees change their direction of flight: Initially, they approach the margin, later they switch to approaching the colour guide, and finally they precisely touch the floral guide with their antennae. Variation of the shape of equally sized dummy flowers did not alter the bumblebees’ preferential orientation towards the guide. Using reciprocal combinations of guide colour and surrounding colour, we showed that the approach from a distance towards the corolla and the antennal contact with the guide are elicited by the same colour parameter: spectral purity. As a consequence, the dummy flowers eliciting the greatest frequency of antennal reactions at the guide are those that combine a floral guide of high spectral purity with a corolla of less spectral purity. Our results support the hypothesis that floral guides direct bumblebees’ approaches to the site of first contact with the flower, which is achieved by the tips of the antennae.

  18. Characterisation of Acetyl-CoA Thiolase: The First Enzyme in the Biosynthesis of Terpenic Sex Pheromone Components in the Labial Gland of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Brabcová, Jana; Demianová, Zuzana; Kindl, Jiří; Pichová, Iva; Valterová, Irena; Zarevúcka, Marie

    2015-05-01

    Buff-tailed bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, use a male sex pheromone for premating communication. Its main component is a sesquiterpene, 2,3-dihydrofarnesol. This paper reports the isolation of a thiolase (acetyl-CoA thiolase, AACT_BT), the first enzyme involved in the biosynthetic pathway leading to formation of isoprenoids in the B. terrestris male sex pheromone. Characterisation of AACT_BT might contribute to a better understanding of pheromonogenesis in the labial gland of B. terrestris males. The protein was purified to apparent homogeneity by column chromatography with subsequent stepwise treatment. AACT_BT showed optimum acetyltransferase activity at pH 7.1 and was strongly inhibited by iodoacetamide. The enzyme migrated as a band with an apparent mass of 42.9 kDa on SDS-PAGE. MS analysis of an AACT_BT tryptic digest revealed high homology to representatives of the thiolase family. AACT_BT has 96 % amino acid sequence identity with the previously reported Bombus impatiens thiolase.

  19. Detoxification and stress response genes expressed in a western North American bumble bee, Bombus huntii (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees are generalist floral visitors, meaning they pollinate a wide variety of plants. Their pollination activities expose them to both plant toxins and pesticides, yet little is known about what detoxification pathways are active in bumble bees, how the expression of detoxification genes chan...

  20. The Effect of Group Size on the Interplay between Dominance and Reproduction in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Amsalem, Etya; Hefetz, Abraham

    2011-01-01

    Social insects provide good model systems for testing trade-offs in decision-making because of their marked reproductive skew and the dilemma workers face when to reproduce. Attaining reproductive skew requires energy investment in aggression or fertility signaling, creating a trade-off between reproduction and dominance. This may be density-dependent because the cost of achieving dominance may be higher in larger groups. We investigated the effect of group-size in B. terrestris queenless workers on two major reproduction-dominance correlates: between-worker aggression, and pheromone production, aiming at mimicking decision-making during the transition of worker behavior from cooperation and sterility to aggressive reproductive competition in whole colonies. Despite the competition, reproductive division of labor in colonies can be maintained even during this phase through the production of a sterility signal by sterile workers that has an appeasement effect on dominant nestmates. Worker-worker aggression, ovary activation, and production of sterility-appeasement signals may therefore constitute components of a trade-off affecting worker reproduction decisions. By constructing queenless groups of different size and measuring how this affected the parameters above, we found that in all groups aggression was not evenly distributed with the α-worker performing most of the aggressive acts. Moreover, aggression by the α-worker increased proportionally with group-size. However, while in small groups the α-worker monopolized reproduction, in larger groups several workers shared reproduction, creating two worker groups: reproductives and helpers. It appears that despite the increase of aggression, this was evidently not sufficient for the α-worker to monopolize reproduction. If we compare the α-worker to the queen in full-sized colonies it can be hypothesized that worker reproduction in B. terrestris colonies starts due to a gradual increase in the worker population

  1. 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

  2. 16S rRNA Amplicon Sequencing Demonstrates that Indoor-Reared Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Harbor a Core Subset of Bacteria Normally Associated with the Wild Host

    PubMed Central

    Meeus, Ivan; Parmentier, Laurian; Billiet, Annelies; Maebe, Kevin; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Wäckers, Felix; Vandamme, Peter; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    A MiSeq multiplexed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of the gut microbiota of wild and indoor-reared Bombus terrestris (bumblebees) confirmed the presence of a core set of bacteria, which consisted of Neisseriaceae (Snodgrassella), Orbaceae (Gilliamella), Lactobacillaceae (Lactobacillus), and Bifidobacteriaceae (Bifidobacterium). In wild B. terrestris we detected several non-core bacteria having a more variable prevalence. Although Enterobacteriaceae are unreported by non next-generation sequencing studies, it can become a dominant gut resident. Furthermore the presence of some non-core lactobacilli were associated with the relative abundance of bifidobacteria. This association was not observed in indoor-reared bumblebees lacking the non-core bacteria, but having a more standardized microbiota compared to their wild counterparts. The impact of the bottleneck microbiota of indoor-reared bumblebees when they are used in the field for pollination purpose is discussed. PMID:25923917

  3. 16S rRNA Amplicon Sequencing Demonstrates that Indoor-Reared Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) Harbor a Core Subset of Bacteria Normally Associated with the Wild Host.

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; Parmentier, Laurian; Billiet, Annelies; Maebe, Kevin; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Wäckers, Felix; Vandamme, Peter; Smagghe, Guy

    2015-01-01

    A MiSeq multiplexed 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing of the gut microbiota of wild and indoor-reared Bombus terrestris (bumblebees) confirmed the presence of a core set of bacteria, which consisted of Neisseriaceae (Snodgrassella), Orbaceae (Gilliamella), Lactobacillaceae (Lactobacillus), and Bifidobacteriaceae (Bifidobacterium). In wild B. terrestris we detected several non-core bacteria having a more variable prevalence. Although Enterobacteriaceae are unreported by non next-generation sequencing studies, it can become a dominant gut resident. Furthermore the presence of some non-core lactobacilli were associated with the relative abundance of bifidobacteria. This association was not observed in indoor-reared bumblebees lacking the non-core bacteria, but having a more standardized microbiota compared to their wild counterparts. The impact of the bottleneck microbiota of indoor-reared bumblebees when they are used in the field for pollination purpose is discussed.

  4. A scientific note on the comparison of airborne volatiles produced by commercial bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) and honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Small hive beetles have been documented as being able to successfully invade commercial bumble bee colonies and find the hives through odors produced by the colonies. We tested the hypothesis that volatiles emanating from Bumble bee and Honeybee colonies were similar by collecting volatiles from wo...

  5. Bombus huntii, Bombus impatiens and Bombus vosnesenskii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) pollinate greenhouse-grown tomatoes in western North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are the primary pollinators of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and can significantly increase fruit weight compared to tomatoes that receive no supplemental pollination. Due to mounting concerns over the transportation of bumble bees outside of their native ranges, several specie...

  6. 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.

  7. Kodamaea ohmeri (Ascomycota: Saccharomycotina) presence in commercial Bombus impatiens Cresson and feral Bombus pensylvanicus DeGeer (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, eight commercial and three feral bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson and Bombus pensylvanicus DeGeer respectively, Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies were tested for the presence of Kodamaea ohmeri (Ascomycota: Saccharomycotina), a yeast known to attract small hive beetles (SHB) (Aethina ...

  8. Bumblebee calligraphy: the design and control of flight motifs in the learning and return flights of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Philippides, Andrew; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Riabinina, Olena; Collett, Thomas S

    2013-03-15

    Many wasps and bees learn the position of their nest relative to nearby visual features during elaborate 'learning' flights that they perform on leaving the nest. Return flights to the nest are thought to be patterned so that insects can reach their nest by matching their current view to views of their surroundings stored during learning flights. To understand how ground-nesting bumblebees might implement such a matching process, we have video-recorded the bees' learning and return flights and analysed the similarities and differences between the principal motifs of their flights. Loops that take bees away from and bring them back towards the nest are common during learning flights and less so in return flights. Zigzags are more prominent on return flights. Both motifs tend to be nest based. Bees often both fly towards and face the nest in the middle of loops and at the turns of zigzags. Before and after flight direction and body orientation are aligned, the two diverge from each other so that the nest is held within the bees' fronto-lateral visual field while flight direction relative to the nest can fluctuate more widely. These and other parallels between loops and zigzags suggest that they are stable variations of an underlying pattern, which enable bees to store and reacquire similar nest-focused views during learning and return flights.

  9. Bumblebee calligraphy: the design and control of flight motifs in the learning and return flights of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Philippides, Andrew; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel; Riabinina, Olena; Collett, Thomas S

    2013-03-15

    Many wasps and bees learn the position of their nest relative to nearby visual features during elaborate 'learning' flights that they perform on leaving the nest. Return flights to the nest are thought to be patterned so that insects can reach their nest by matching their current view to views of their surroundings stored during learning flights. To understand how ground-nesting bumblebees might implement such a matching process, we have video-recorded the bees' learning and return flights and analysed the similarities and differences between the principal motifs of their flights. Loops that take bees away from and bring them back towards the nest are common during learning flights and less so in return flights. Zigzags are more prominent on return flights. Both motifs tend to be nest based. Bees often both fly towards and face the nest in the middle of loops and at the turns of zigzags. Before and after flight direction and body orientation are aligned, the two diverge from each other so that the nest is held within the bees' fronto-lateral visual field while flight direction relative to the nest can fluctuate more widely. These and other parallels between loops and zigzags suggest that they are stable variations of an underlying pattern, which enable bees to store and reacquire similar nest-focused views during learning and return flights. PMID:23447668

  10. Bombus huntii, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus vosnesenskii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pollinate Greenhouse-Grown Tomatoes in Western North America.

    PubMed

    Strange, James P

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are the primary pollinators of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and can significantly increase fruit weight compared with tomatoes that receive no supplemental pollination. More than a million colonies are sold worldwide annually to meet pollination needs. Due to mounting concerns over the transportation of bumble bees outside of their native ranges, several species native to western North American are currently being investigated as potential commercial pollinators. Here, two western, Bombus huntii Greene and Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, and one eastern species, Bombus impatiens Cresson, are compared for their efficacy as pollinators of greenhouse-grown tomatoes. In two experiments, colonies were placed in greenhouses and compared with control plants that received no supplemental pollination. In the first experiment, seed set was significantly increased with B. huntii pollination in one variety of cherry tomatoes. In the second experiment comparing all three bumble bee species, fruit weight was an average of 25.2 g heavier per fruit pollinated by bees versus the control, and the number of days to harvest was 2.9 d shorter for bee-pollinated fruit. In some rounds of pollination, differences were found among bumble bee species, but these were inconsistent across replicates and not statistically significant overall. Additionally, fruit weight was shown to be highly correlated to fruit diameter and seed set in all tests and, thus, is shown to be a reliable metric for assessing pollination in future studies. These results suggest that commercialization of western bumble bees is a viable alternative to the current practices of moving of nonnative bees into western North America to pollinate tomatoes. PMID:26470206

  11. Bombus huntii, Bombus impatiens, and Bombus vosnesenskii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Pollinate Greenhouse-Grown Tomatoes in Western North America.

    PubMed

    Strange, James P

    2015-06-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are the primary pollinators of tomatoes grown in greenhouses and can significantly increase fruit weight compared with tomatoes that receive no supplemental pollination. More than a million colonies are sold worldwide annually to meet pollination needs. Due to mounting concerns over the transportation of bumble bees outside of their native ranges, several species native to western North American are currently being investigated as potential commercial pollinators. Here, two western, Bombus huntii Greene and Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, and one eastern species, Bombus impatiens Cresson, are compared for their efficacy as pollinators of greenhouse-grown tomatoes. In two experiments, colonies were placed in greenhouses and compared with control plants that received no supplemental pollination. In the first experiment, seed set was significantly increased with B. huntii pollination in one variety of cherry tomatoes. In the second experiment comparing all three bumble bee species, fruit weight was an average of 25.2 g heavier per fruit pollinated by bees versus the control, and the number of days to harvest was 2.9 d shorter for bee-pollinated fruit. In some rounds of pollination, differences were found among bumble bee species, but these were inconsistent across replicates and not statistically significant overall. Additionally, fruit weight was shown to be highly correlated to fruit diameter and seed set in all tests and, thus, is shown to be a reliable metric for assessing pollination in future studies. These results suggest that commercialization of western bumble bees is a viable alternative to the current practices of moving of nonnative bees into western North America to pollinate tomatoes.

  12. Polyphenism in social insects: insights from a transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression in the life stages of the key pollinator, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Understanding polyphenism, the ability of a single genome to express multiple morphologically and behaviourally distinct phenotypes, is an important goal for evolutionary and developmental biology. Polyphenism has been key to the evolution of the Hymenoptera, and particularly the social Hymenoptera where the genome of a single species regulates distinct larval stages, sexual dimorphism and physical castes within the female sex. Transcriptomic analyses of social Hymenoptera will therefore provide unique insights into how changes in gene expression underlie such complexity. Here we describe gene expression in individual specimens of the pre-adult stages, sexes and castes of the key pollinator, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Results cDNA was prepared from mRNA from five life cycle stages (one larva, one pupa, one male, one gyne and two workers) and a total of 1,610,742 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated using Roche 454 technology, substantially increasing the sequence data available for this important species. Overlapping ESTs were assembled into 36,354 B. terrestris putative transcripts, and functionally annotated. A preliminary assessment of differences in gene expression across non-replicated specimens from the pre-adult stages, castes and sexes was performed using R-STAT analysis. Individual samples from the life cycle stages of the bumblebee differed in the expression of a wide array of genes, including genes involved in amino acid storage, metabolism, immunity and olfaction. Conclusions Detailed analyses of immune and olfaction gene expression across phenotypes demonstrated how transcriptomic analyses can inform our understanding of processes central to the biology of B. terrestris and the social Hymenoptera in general. For example, examination of immunity-related genes identified high conservation of important immunity pathway components across individual specimens from the life cycle stages while olfactory-related genes

  13. 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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. PCR reveals high prevalence of non-sporulating Nosema bombi(Microsporidia) infections in bumble bees (Bombus)in northern Arizona

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    About 20% of bumble bee species are in decline in North America, and the microsporidian pathogen, Nosema bombi, may be a factor in these declines. We performed a comprehensive survey of N. bombi infections in the bumble bee communities throughout the flight season along an elevation gradient in Nort...

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Historical changes in northeastern US bee pollinators related to shared ecological traits

    PubMed Central

    Bartomeus, Ignasi; Ascher, John S.; Gibbs, Jason; Danforth, Bryan N.; Wagner, David L.; Hedtke, Shannon M.; Winfree, Rachael

    2013-01-01

    Pollinators such as bees are essential to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. However, despite concerns about a global pollinator crisis, long-term data on the status of bee species are limited. We present a long-term study of relative rates of change for an entire regional bee fauna in the northeastern United States, based on >30,000 museum records representing 438 species. Over a 140-y period, aggregate native species richness weakly decreased, but richness declines were significant only for the genus Bombus. Of 187 native species analyzed individually, only three declined steeply, all of these in the genus Bombus. However, there were large shifts in community composition, as indicated by 56% of species showing significant changes in relative abundance over time. Traits associated with a declining relative abundance include small dietary and phenological breadth and large body size. In addition, species with lower latitudinal range boundaries are increasing in relative abundance, a finding that may represent a response to climate change. We show that despite marked increases in human population density and large changes in anthropogenic land use, aggregate native species richness declines were modest outside of the genus Bombus. At the same time, we find that certain ecological traits are associated with declines in relative abundance. These results should help target conservation efforts focused on maintaining native bee abundance and diversity and therefore the important ecosystems services that they provide. PMID:23487768

  19. 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

  20. Varroa destructor Macula-like virus, Lake Sinai virus and other new RNA viruses in wild bumblebee hosts (Bombus pascuorum, Bombus lapidarius and Bombus pratorum).

    PubMed

    Parmentier, Laurian; Smagghe, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C; Meeus, Ivan

    2016-02-01

    Pollinators such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are in decline worldwide which poses a threat not only for ecosystem biodiversity but also to human crop production services. One main cause of pollinator decline may be the infection and transmission of diseases including RNA viruses. Recently, new viruses have been discovered in honeybees, but information on the presence of these in wild bumblebees is largely not available. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of new RNA viruses in Bombus species, and can report for the first time Varroa destructor Macula-like virus (VdMLV) and Lake Sinai virus (LSV) infection in multiple wild bumblebee hosts of Bombus pascuorum, Bombus lapidarius and Bombus pratorum. We sampled in 4 locations in Flanders, Belgium. Besides, we confirmed Slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) in wild bumblebees, but no positive samples were obtained for Big Sioux river virus (BSRV). Secondly, we screened for the influence of apiaries on the prevalence of these viruses. Our results indicated a location effect for the prevalence of VdMLV in Bombus species, with a higher prevalence in the proximity of honeybee apiaries mainly observed in one location. For LSV, the prevalence was not different in the proximity or at a 1.5 km-distance of apiaries, but we reported a different isolate with similarities to LSV-2 and "LSV-clade A" as described by Ravoet et al. (2015), which was detected both in Apis mellifera and Bombus species. In general, our results indicate the existence of a disease pool of new viruses that seems to be associated to a broad range of Apoidae hosts, including multiple Bombus species.

  1. The status of Bombus occidentalis and B. moderatus in Alaska with special focus on Nosema bombi incidence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Technical Abstract: Four North American bumble bee species in the subgenus Bombus sensu stricto, including Bombus occidentalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae), are experiencing dramatic declines in population abundance, range and genetic diversity. The prevailing hypothesis concerning their decline is the ‘s...

  2. Bee

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bee, Claire Preston, is a book written generally for the layperson, but may be of interest to those working in entomology. This review seeks to help entomologists who may have interest in the subject to decide whether or not to invest time into reading the book. The review is generally positive an...

  3. The impact of host starvation on parasite development and population dynamics in an intestinal trypanosome parasite of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Logan, A; Ruiz-González, M X; Brown, M J F

    2005-06-01

    Host nutrition plays an important role in determining the development and success of parasitic infections. While studies of vertebrate hosts are accumulating, little is known about how host nutrition affects parasites of invertebrate hosts. Crithidia bombi is a gut trypanosome parasite of the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris and here we use it as a model system to determine the impact of host nutrition on the population dynamics and development of micro-parasites in invertebrates. Pollen-starved bees supported significantly smaller populations of the parasite. In pollen-fed bees the parasite showed a temporal pattern in development, with promastigote transmission stages appearing at the start of the infection and gradually being replaced by choanomastigote and amastigote forms. In pollen-starved bees this developmental process was disrupted, and there was no pattern in the appearance of these three forms. We discuss the implications of these results for parasite transmission, and speculate about the mechanisms behind these changes.

  4. Bees use honest floral signals as indicators of reward when visiting flowers.

    PubMed

    Knauer, A C; Schiestl, F P

    2015-02-01

    Pollinators visit flowers for rewards and should therefore have a preference for floral signals that indicate reward status, so called 'honest signals'. We investigated honest signalling in Brassica rapa L. and its relevance for the attraction of a generalised pollinator, the bumble bee Bombus terrestris (L.). We found a positive association between reward amount (nectar sugar and pollen) and the floral scent compound phenylacetaldehyde. Bumble bees developed a preference for phenylacetaldehyde over other scent compounds after foraging on B. rapa. When foraging on artificial flowers scented with synthetic volatiles, bumble bees developed a preference for those specific compounds that honestly indicated reward status. These results show that the honesty of floral signals can play a key role in their attractiveness to pollinators. In plants, a genetic constraint, resource limitation in reward and signal production, and sanctions against cheaters may contribute to the evolution and maintenance of honest signalling.

  5. Bees do not use nearest-neighbour rules for optimization of multi-location routes.

    PubMed

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Le Comber, Steven C; Raine, Nigel E

    2012-02-23

    Animals collecting patchily distributed resources are faced with complex multi-location routing problems. Rather than comparing all possible routes, they often find reasonably short solutions by simply moving to the nearest unvisited resources when foraging. Here, we report the travel optimization performance of bumble-bees (Bombus terrestris) foraging in a flight cage containing six artificial flowers arranged such that movements between nearest-neighbour locations would lead to a long suboptimal route. After extensive training (80 foraging bouts and at least 640 flower visits), bees reduced their flight distances and prioritized shortest possible routes, while almost never following nearest-neighbour solutions. We discuss possible strategies used during the establishment of stable multi-location routes (or traplines), and how these could allow bees and other animals to solve complex routing problems through experience, without necessarily requiring a sophisticated cognitive representation of space.

  6. Bees use honest floral signals as indicators of reward when visiting flowers.

    PubMed

    Knauer, A C; Schiestl, F P

    2015-02-01

    Pollinators visit flowers for rewards and should therefore have a preference for floral signals that indicate reward status, so called 'honest signals'. We investigated honest signalling in Brassica rapa L. and its relevance for the attraction of a generalised pollinator, the bumble bee Bombus terrestris (L.). We found a positive association between reward amount (nectar sugar and pollen) and the floral scent compound phenylacetaldehyde. Bumble bees developed a preference for phenylacetaldehyde over other scent compounds after foraging on B. rapa. When foraging on artificial flowers scented with synthetic volatiles, bumble bees developed a preference for those specific compounds that honestly indicated reward status. These results show that the honesty of floral signals can play a key role in their attractiveness to pollinators. In plants, a genetic constraint, resource limitation in reward and signal production, and sanctions against cheaters may contribute to the evolution and maintenance of honest signalling. PMID:25491788

  7. Serial reversal learning in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Strang, Caroline G; Sherry, David F

    2014-05-01

    Bumblebees are capable of rapidly learning discriminations, but flexibility in bumblebee learning is less well understood. We tested bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) on a serial reversal learning task. A serial reversal task requires learning of an initial discrimination between two differentially rewarded stimuli, followed by multiple reversals of the reward contingency between stimuli. A reduction in errors with repeated reversals in a serial reversal task is an indicator of behavioural flexibility. Bees were housed in a large indoor environment and tested during foraging flights. Testing free-flying bees allowed for large numbers of trials and reversals. All bees were trained to perform a simultaneous discrimination between two colours for a nectar reward, followed by nine reversals of this discrimination. Results showed that bumblebees reduced errors and improved their performance across successive reversals. A reduction in perseverative errors was the major cause of the improvement in performance. Bees showed a slight increase in error rate in their final trials, perhaps as a consequence of increasing proactive interference, but proactive interference may also have contributed to the overall improvement in performance across reversals. Bumblebees are thus capable of behavioural flexibility comparable to that of other animals and may use proactive interference as a mechanism of behavioural flexibility in varying environments.

  8. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

    Thomson, Diane M

    2016-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Diversity and phylotype consistency of bacteria in the guts of three bee species (Apoidea) at an oilseed rape field.

    PubMed

    Mohr, Kathrin I; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2006-02-01

    The gut of insects may harbour one of the largest reservoirs of a yet unexplored microbial diversity. To understand how specific insects select for their own bacterial communities, the structural diversity and variability of bacteria found in the gut of different bee species was analysed. For three successive years, adults and larvae of Apis mellifera ssp. carnica (honey bee), and Bombus terrestris (bumble bee), as well as larvae of Osmia bicornis (red mason bee) were collected at a flowering oilseed rape field. Total DNA was extracted from gut material and the bacterial diversity was analysed, independent of cultivation, by genetic profiling with single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified partial 16S rRNA genes. The SSCP profiles were specific for all bee species and for larvae and adults. Qualitative and quantitative differences were found in the bacterial community structure of larvae and adults of A. mellifera, but differences in B. terrestris were mainly quantitative. Sequencing of the PCR products revealed a dominance of Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes in all bee species. Single-strand conformation polymorphism profiles suggested a higher abundance and diversity of lactobacilli in adults of A. mellifera than in larvae. Further phylogenetic analyses indicated common bacterial phylotypes for all three bee species, e.g. those related to Simonsiella, Serratia, and Lactobacillus. Clades related to Delftia acidovorans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Lactobacillus intestinalis only contained sequences from larvae. Several of the bee-specific clusters also contained identical or highly similar sequences from bacteria detected in other A. mellifera subspecies from South Africa, suggesting the existence of cosmopolitan gut bacteria in bees.

  12. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  13. Patterns of widespread decline in North America bumble bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining abundance and range shifts of bumble bee (Bombus) species have been observed in Europe and Asia. However, the status of North America’s bumble bee species has been largely unstudied. Recent reports based on local or regional observations suggest that parallel declines are taking place in N...

  14. Comparative toxicity and hazards of pesticides to Apis and non-Apis bees. A chemometrical study.

    PubMed

    Devillers, J; Decourtye, A; Budzinskid, H; Pham-Delègue, M H; Cluzeau, S; Maurin, G

    2003-01-01

    The adverse effects of 158 pesticides to the Honey bee (Apis mellifera), the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) and the alkali bee (Nomia melanderi) were compared by means of various linear and non-linear multivariate analyses. A comparison exercise including the bumble bee (Bombus spp.) was also performed from a more restricted set of 32 pesticides. While no difference of sensitivity was found between A. mellifera and Bombus spp., M. rotundata appeared the most susceptible to pesticides followed by N. melanderi. PMID:14758982

  15. Geographic profiling applied to testing models of bumble-bee foraging

    PubMed Central

    Raine, Nigel E.; Rossmo, D. Kim; Le Comber, Steven C.

    2008-01-01

    Geographic profiling (GP) was originally developed as a statistical tool to help police forces prioritize lists of suspects in investigations of serial crimes. GP uses the location of related crime sites to make inferences about where the offender is most likely to live, and has been extremely successful in criminology. Here, we show how GP is applicable to experimental studies of animal foraging, using the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris. GP techniques enable us to simplify complex patterns of spatial data down to a small number of parameters (2–3) for rigorous hypothesis testing. Combining computer model simulations and experimental observation of foraging bumble-bees, we demonstrate that GP can be used to discriminate between foraging patterns resulting from (i) different hypothetical foraging algorithms and (ii) different food item (flower) densities. We also demonstrate that combining experimental and simulated data can be used to elucidate animal foraging strategies: specifically that the foraging patterns of real bumble-bees can be reliably discriminated from three out of nine hypothetical foraging algorithms. We suggest that experimental systems, like foraging bees, could be used to test and refine GP model predictions, and that GP offers a useful technique to analyse spatial animal behaviour data in both the laboratory and field. PMID:18664426

  16. Flight performance of bumble bee as a possible pollinator in space agriculture under partial gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Mitsuhata, Masahiro; Sasaki, Masami; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.

    Space agriculture is an advanced life support concept for habitation on extraterrestrial bodies based on biological and ecological function. Flowering plant species are core member of space agriculture to produce food and revitalize air and water. Selection of crop plant species is made on the basis of nutritional requirements to maintain healthy life of space crew. Species selected for space agriculture have several mode of reproduction. For some of plant species, insect pollination is effective to increase yield and quality of food. In terrestrial agriculture, bee is widely introduced to pollinate flower. For pollinator insect on Mars, working environment is different from Earth. Magnitude of gravity is 0.38G on Mars surface. In order to confirm feasibility of insect pollination for space agriculture, capability of flying pollinator insect under such exotic condition should be examined. Even bee does not possess evident gravity sensory system, gravity dominates flying performance and behavior. During flight or hovering, lifting force produced by wing beat sustains body weight, which is the product of body mass and gravitational acceleration. Flying behavior of bumble bee, Bombus ignitus, was documented under partial or micro-gravity produced by parabolic flight of jet plane. Flying behavior at absence of gravity differed from that under normal gravity. Ability of bee to fly under partial gravity was examined at the level of Mars, Moon and the less, to determine the threshold level of gravity for bee flying maneuver. Adaptation process of bee flying under different gravity level was evaluated as well by successive documentation of parabolic flight experiment.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:20536823

  19. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage.

    PubMed

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents) travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers). However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial) spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints) to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies. PMID:26982030

  20. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage

    PubMed Central

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E.

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents) travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers). However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial) spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints) to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies. PMID:26982030

  1. Monitoring Flower Visitation Networks and Interactions between Pairs of Bumble Bees in a Large Outdoor Flight Cage.

    PubMed

    Lihoreau, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E

    2016-01-01

    Pollinators, such as bees, often develop multi-location routes (traplines) to exploit subsets of flower patches within larger plant populations. How individuals establish such foraging areas in the presence of other foragers is poorly explored. Here we investigated the foraging patterns of pairs of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) released sequentially into an 880m2 outdoor flight cage containing 10 feeding stations (artificial flowers). Using motion-sensitive video cameras mounted on flowers, we mapped the flower visitation networks of both foragers, quantified their interactions and compared their foraging success over an entire day. Overall, bees that were released first (residents) travelled 37% faster and collected 77% more nectar, thereby reaching a net energy intake rate 64% higher than bees released second (newcomers). However, this prior-experience advantage decreased as newcomers became familiar with the spatial configuration of the flower array. When both bees visited the same flower simultaneously, the most frequent outcome was for the resident to evict the newcomer. On the rare occasions when newcomers evicted residents, the two bees increased their frequency of return visits to that flower. These competitive interactions led to a significant (if only partial) spatial overlap between the foraging patterns of pairs of bees. While newcomers may initially use social cues (such as olfactory footprints) to exploit flowers used by residents, either because such cues indicate higher rewards and/or safety from predation, residents may attempt to preserve their monopoly over familiar resources through exploitation and interference. We discuss how these interactions may favour spatial partitioning, thereby maximising the foraging efficiency of individuals and colonies.

  2. Conspecifics as informers and competitors: an experimental study in foraging bumble-bees.

    PubMed

    Baude, Mathilde; Danchin, Étienne; Mugabo, Marianne; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2011-09-22

    Conspecifics are usually considered competitors negatively affecting food intake rates. However, their presence can also inform about resource quality by providing inadvertent social information. Few studies have investigated whether foragers perceive conspecifics as informers or competitors. Here, we experimentally tested whether variation in the density of demonstrators ('none', 'low' and 'high'), whose location indicated flower profitability, affected decision-making of bumble-bees Bombus terrestris. Bumble-bees foraged on either 'simple' (two colours) or 'complex' (four colours) artificial floral communities. We found that conspecifics at low density may be used as sources of information in first flower choices, whereas they appeared as competitors over the whole foraging sequence. Low conspecific densities improved foragers' first-visit success rate in the simple environment, and decreased time to first landing, especially in the complex environment. High conspecific densities did not affect these behavioural parameters, but reduced flower constancy in both floral communities, which may alter the efficiency of pollinating visits. These results suggest that the balance of the costs and benefits of conspecific presence varies with foraging experience, floral community and density. Spatio-temporal scales could thus be an important determinant of social information use. This behavioural flexibility should allow bumble-bees to better exploit their environment.

  3. Conspecifics as informers and competitors: an experimental study in foraging bumble-bees.

    PubMed

    Baude, Mathilde; Danchin, Étienne; Mugabo, Marianne; Dajoz, Isabelle

    2011-09-22

    Conspecifics are usually considered competitors negatively affecting food intake rates. However, their presence can also inform about resource quality by providing inadvertent social information. Few studies have investigated whether foragers perceive conspecifics as informers or competitors. Here, we experimentally tested whether variation in the density of demonstrators ('none', 'low' and 'high'), whose location indicated flower profitability, affected decision-making of bumble-bees Bombus terrestris. Bumble-bees foraged on either 'simple' (two colours) or 'complex' (four colours) artificial floral communities. We found that conspecifics at low density may be used as sources of information in first flower choices, whereas they appeared as competitors over the whole foraging sequence. Low conspecific densities improved foragers' first-visit success rate in the simple environment, and decreased time to first landing, especially in the complex environment. High conspecific densities did not affect these behavioural parameters, but reduced flower constancy in both floral communities, which may alter the efficiency of pollinating visits. These results suggest that the balance of the costs and benefits of conspecific presence varies with foraging experience, floral community and density. Spatio-temporal scales could thus be an important determinant of social information use. This behavioural flexibility should allow bumble-bees to better exploit their environment. PMID:21288951

  4. Conservation and modification of genetic and physiological toolkits underpinning diapause in bumble bee queens.

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Galbraith, David A; Cnaani, Jonathan; Teal, Peter E A; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-11-01

    Diapause is the key adaptation allowing insects to survive unfavourable conditions and inhabit an array of environments. Physiological changes during diapause are largely conserved across species and are hypothesized to be regulated by a conserved suite of genes (a 'toolkit'). Furthermore, it is hypothesized that in social insects, this toolkit was co-opted to mediate caste differentiation between long-lived, reproductive, diapause-capable queens and short-lived, sterile workers. Using Bombus terrestris queens, we examined the physiological and transcriptomic changes associated with diapause and CO2 treatment, which causes queens to bypass diapause. We performed comparative analyses with genes previously identified to be associated with diapause in the Dipteran Sarcophaga crassipalpis and with caste differentiation in bumble bees. As in Diptera, diapause in bumble bees is associated with physiological and transcriptional changes related to nutrient storage, stress resistance and core metabolic pathways. There is a significant overlap, both at the level of transcript and gene ontology, between the genetic mechanisms mediating diapause in B. terrestris and S. crassipalpis, reaffirming the existence of a conserved insect diapause genetic toolkit. However, a substantial proportion (10%) of the differentially regulated transcripts in diapausing queens have no clear orthologs in other species, and key players regulating diapause in Diptera (juvenile hormone and vitellogenin) appear to have distinct functions in bumble bees. We also found a substantial overlap between genes related to caste determination and diapause in bumble bees. Thus, our studies demonstrate an intriguing interplay between pathways underpinning adaptation to environmental extremes and the evolution of sociality in insects.

  5. 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

  6. Cross-linking in the silks of bees, ants and hornets.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Peter M; Trueman, Holly E; Zhang, Qiang; Kojima, Katsura; Kameda, Tsunenori; Sutherland, Tara D

    2014-05-01

    Silk production is integral to the construction of nests or cocoons for many Aculeata, stinging Hymenopterans such as ants, bees and wasps. Here we report the sequences of new aculeate silk proteins and compare cross-linking among nine native silks from three bee species (Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris and Megachile rotundata), three ant species (Myrmecia forficata, Oecophylla smaragdina and Harpegnathos saltator) and three hornets (Vespa analis, Vespa simillima and Vespa mandarinia). The well studied silks of spiders and silkworms are comprised of large proteins that are cross-linked and stabilized predominantly by intra and intermolecular beta sheet structure. In contrast, the aculeate silks are comprised of relatively small proteins that contain central coiled coil domains and comparatively reduced amounts of beta sheet structure. The hornet silks, which have the most beta sheet structure and the greatest amount of amino acid sequence outside the coiled-coil domains, dissolve in concentrated LiBr solution and appear to be stabilized predominantly by beta sheet structure like the classic silks. In contrast, the ant and bee silks, which have less beta sheet and less sequence outside the coiled-coil domains, could not be dissolved in LiBr and appear to be predominantly stabilized by covalent cross-linking. The iso-peptide cross-linker, ε-(γ-glutamyl)-lysine that is produced by transglutaminase enzymes, was demonstrated to be present in all silks by mass spectrometry, but at greater levels in silks of ants and bees. The bee silks and ant cocoons, but not the Oecophylla nest silks, appeared to be further stabilized by tanning reactions. PMID:24607851

  7. Differential gene expression in queen–worker caste determination in bumble-bees

    PubMed Central

    Pereboom, Jeffrey J. M; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Hammond, Robert L; Bourke, Andrew F. G

    2005-01-01

    Investigating how differential gene expression underlies caste determination in the social Hymenoptera is central to understanding how variation in gene expression underlies adaptive phenotypic diversity. We investigated for the first time the association between differential gene expression and queen–worker caste determination in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris. Using suppression subtractive hybridization we isolated 12 genes that were differentially expressed in queen- and worker-destined larvae. We found that the sets of genes underlying caste differences in larvae and adults failed to overlap greatly. We also found that B. terrestris shares some of the genes whose differential expression is associated with caste determination in the honeybee, Apis mellifera, but their expression patterns were not identical. Instead, we found B. terrestris to exhibit a novel pattern, whereby most genes upregulated (i.e. showing relatively higher levels of expression) in queen-destined larvae early in development were upregulated in worker-destined larvae late in development. Overall, our results suggest that caste determination in B. terrestris involves a difference not so much in the identity of genes expressed by queen- and worker-destined larvae, but primarily in the relative timing of their expression. This conclusion is of potential importance in the further study of phenotypic diversification via differential gene expression. PMID:16024376

  8. Interspecific geographic distribution and variation of two bumble bee pathogens, Nosema bombi and Crithidia bombi, in United States populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several bumble bee (Bombus) species in North America have undergone range reductions and rapid declines in relative abundance. Pathogens have been suggested as causal factors, however, baseline data on pathogen distributions in a large number of bumble bee species have not been available to rigorous...

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

    PubMed

    Hatten, T D; Looney, C; Strange, J P; Bosque-Pérez, N A

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), 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 losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002-2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002-2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  10. Bumble Bee Fauna of Palouse Prairie: Survey of Native Bee Pollinators in a Fragmented Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Hatten, T. D.; Looney, C.; Strange, J. P.; Bosque-Pérez, N. A.

    2013-01-01

    Bumble bees, Bombus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae:), 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 losses in multiple ecosystems have raised concerns about conservation of this important group. In many regions, such as the Palouse Prairie, relatively little is known about bumble bee communities, despite their critical ecosystem functions. Pitfall trap surveys for ground beetles in Palouse prairie remnants conducted in 2002–2003 contained considerable by-catch of bumble bees. The effects of landscape context, remnant features, year, and season on bumble bee community composition were examined. Additionally, bees captured in 2002–2003 were compared with historic records for the region to assess changes in the presence of individual species. Ten species of bumble bee were captured, representing the majority of the species historically known from the region. Few detectable differences in bumble bee abundances were found among remnants. Community composition differed appreciably, however, based on season, landscape context, and elevation, resulting in different bee assemblages between western, low-lying remnants and eastern, higherelevation remnants. The results suggest that conservation of the still species-rich bumble bee fauna should take into account variability among prairie remnants, and further work is required to adequately explain bumble bee habitat associations on the Palouse. PMID:23902138

  11. Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumble bee species.

    PubMed

    Redhead, John W; Dreier, Stephanie; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. Their contribution to this essential ecosystem service has been threatened over recent decades by changes in land use, which have led to declines in their populations. In order to design effective conservation measures, it is important to understand the effects of variation in landscape composition and structure on the foraging activities of worker bumble bees. This is because the viability of individual colonies is likely to be affected by the trade-off between the energetic costs of foraging over greater distances and the potential gains from access to additional resources. We used field surveys, molecular genetics, and fine resolution remote sensing to estimate the locations of wild bumble bee nests and to infer foraging distances across a 20-km² agricultural landscape in southern England, UK. We investigated five species, including the rare B. ruderatus and ecologically similar but widespread B. hortorum. We compared worker foraging distances between species and examined how variation in landscape composition and structure affected foraging distances at the colony level. Mean worker foraging distances differed significantly between species. Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius, and B. ruderatus exhibited significantly greater mean foraging distances (551, 536, and 501 m, respectively) than B. hortorum and B. pascuorum (336 and 272 m, respectively). There was wide variation in worker foraging distances between colonies of the same species, which was in turn strongly influenced by the amount and spatial configuration of available foraging habitats. Shorter foraging distances were found for colonies where the local landscape had high coverage and low fragmentation of semi-natural vegetation, including managed agri-environmental field margins. The strength of relationships between different landscape variables and foraging distance varied between species, for example the strongest

  12. Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumble bee species.

    PubMed

    Redhead, John W; Dreier, Stephanie; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers. Their contribution to this essential ecosystem service has been threatened over recent decades by changes in land use, which have led to declines in their populations. In order to design effective conservation measures, it is important to understand the effects of variation in landscape composition and structure on the foraging activities of worker bumble bees. This is because the viability of individual colonies is likely to be affected by the trade-off between the energetic costs of foraging over greater distances and the potential gains from access to additional resources. We used field surveys, molecular genetics, and fine resolution remote sensing to estimate the locations of wild bumble bee nests and to infer foraging distances across a 20-km² agricultural landscape in southern England, UK. We investigated five species, including the rare B. ruderatus and ecologically similar but widespread B. hortorum. We compared worker foraging distances between species and examined how variation in landscape composition and structure affected foraging distances at the colony level. Mean worker foraging distances differed significantly between species. Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius, and B. ruderatus exhibited significantly greater mean foraging distances (551, 536, and 501 m, respectively) than B. hortorum and B. pascuorum (336 and 272 m, respectively). There was wide variation in worker foraging distances between colonies of the same species, which was in turn strongly influenced by the amount and spatial configuration of available foraging habitats. Shorter foraging distances were found for colonies where the local landscape had high coverage and low fragmentation of semi-natural vegetation, including managed agri-environmental field margins. The strength of relationships between different landscape variables and foraging distance varied between species, for example the strongest

  13. Exploring the role of juvenile hormone and vitellogenin in reproduction and social behavior in bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The genetic and physiological pathways regulating behavior in solitary species are hypothesized to have been co-opted to regulate social behavior in social species. One classic example is the interaction between vitellogenin (an egg-yolk and storage protein) and juvenile hormone, which are positively correlated in most insect species but have modified interactions in highly eusocial insects. In some of these species (including some termites, ants, and the honey bee), juvenile hormone and vitellogenin levels are negatively correlated and juvenile hormone has shifted its role from a gonadotropin to a regulator of maturation and division of labor in the primarily sterile workers. The function of vitellogenin also seems to have broadened to encompass similar roles. Thus, the functions and molecular interactions of juvenile hormone and vitellogenin are hypothesized to have undergone changes during the evolution of eusociality, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are unknown. Bumble bees offer an excellent model system for testing how the relationship between juvenile hormone and vitellogenin evolved from solitary to social species. Bumble bee colonies are primitively eusocial and comprised of a single reproductive queen and facultatively sterile workers. In Bombus terrestris, juvenile hormone retains its ancestral role as a gonadotropin and is also hypothesized to regulate aggressive behavior. However, the function of vitellogenin and its interactions with juvenile hormone have not yet been characterized. Results By characterizing vitellogenin RNA expression levels (vg) in B. terrestris we show that vg is not associated with task and only partially associated with worker age, queen presence, and caste (queen vs worker). The correlations of vg with ovarian activation were not consistent across experiments, but both vg and ovarian activation were significantly associated with levels of aggression experienced by workers. Treatment with juvenile hormone

  14. Does pathogen spillover from commercially reared bumble bees threaten wild pollinators?

    PubMed

    Otterstatter, Michael C; Thomson, James D

    2008-01-01

    The conservation of insect pollinators is drawing attention because of reported declines in bee species and the 'ecosystem services' they provide. This issue has been brought to a head by recent devastating losses of honey bees throughout North America (so called, 'Colony Collapse Disorder'); yet, we still have little understanding of the cause(s) of bee declines. Wild bumble bees (Bombus spp.) have also suffered serious declines and circumstantial evidence suggests that pathogen 'spillover' from commercially reared bumble bees, which are used extensively to pollinate greenhouse crops, is a possible cause. We constructed a spatially explicit model of pathogen spillover in bumble bees and, using laboratory experiments and the literature, estimated parameter values for the spillover of Crithidia bombi, a destructive pathogen commonly found in commercial Bombus. We also monitored wild bumble bee populations near greenhouses for evidence of pathogen spillover, and compared the fit of our model to patterns of C. bombi infection observed in the field. Our model predicts that, during the first three months of spillover, transmission from commercial hives would infect up to 20% of wild bumble bees within 2 km of the greenhouse. However, a travelling wave of disease is predicted to form suddenly, infecting up to 35-100% of wild Bombus, and spread away from the greenhouse at a rate of 2 km/wk. In the field, although we did not observe a large epizootic wave of infection, the prevalences of C. bombi near greenhouses were consistent with our model. Indeed, we found that spillover has allowed C. bombi to invade several wild bumble bee species near greenhouses. Given the available evidence, it is likely that pathogen spillover from commercial bees is contributing to the ongoing decline of wild Bombus in North America. Improved management of domestic bees, for example by reducing their parasite loads and their overlap with wild congeners, could diminish or even eliminate pathogen

  15. Contemporary human-altered landscapes and oceanic barriers reduce bumble bee gene flow.

    PubMed

    Jha, S

    2015-03-01

    Much of the world's terrestrial landscapes are being altered by humans in the form of agriculture, urbanization and pastoral systems, with major implications for biodiversity. Bumble bees are one of the most effective pollinators in both natural and cultivated landscapes, but are often the first to be extirpated in human-altered habitats. Yet, little is known about the role of natural and human-altered habitats in promoting or limiting bumble bee gene flow. In this study, I closely examine the genetic structure of the yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, across the southwestern US coast and find strong evidence that natural oceanic barriers, as well as contemporary human-altered habitats, limit bee gene flow. Heterozygosity and allelic richness were lower in island populations, while private allelic richness was higher in island populations compared to mainland populations. Genetic differentiation, measured for three indices across the 1000 km study region, was significantly greater than the null expectation (F(ST) = 0.041, F'(ST) = 0.044 and D(est) = 0.155) and correlated with geographic distance. Furthermore, genetic differentiation patterns were most strongly correlated with contemporary (2011) not past (2006, 2001) resistance maps calibrated for high dispersal limitation over oceans, impervious habitat and croplands. Despite the incorporation of dramatic elevation gradients, the analyses reveal that oceans and contemporary human land use, not mountains, are the primary dispersal barriers for B. vosnesenskii gene flow. These findings reinforce the importance of maintaining corridors of suitable habitat across the distribution range of native pollinators to promote their persistence and safeguard their ability to provide essential pollination services.

  16. Fine-scale spatial genetic structure of common and declining bumble bees across an agricultural landscape

    PubMed Central

    Dreier, Stephanie; Redhead, John W; Warren, Ian A; Bourke, Andrew F G; Heard, Matthew S; Jordan, William C; Sumner, Seirian; Wang, Jinliang; Carvell, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Land-use changes have threatened populations of many insect pollinators, including bumble bees. Patterns of dispersal and gene flow are key determinants of species' ability to respond to land-use change, but have been little investigated at a fine scale (<10 km) in bumble bees. Using microsatellite markers, we determined the fine-scale spatial genetic structure of populations of four common Bombus species (B. terrestris, B. lapidarius, B. pascuorum and B. hortorum) and one declining species (B. ruderatus) in an agricultural landscape in Southern England, UK. The study landscape contained sown flower patches representing agri-environment options for pollinators. We found that, as expected, the B. ruderatus population was characterized by relatively low heterozygosity, number of alleles and colony density. Across all species, inbreeding was absent or present but weak (FIS = 0.01–0.02). Using queen genotypes reconstructed from worker sibships and colony locations estimated from the positions of workers within these sibships, we found that significant isolation by distance was absent in B. lapidarius, B. hortorum and B. ruderatus. In B. terrestris and B. pascuorum, it was present but weak; for example, in these two species, expected relatedness of queens founding colonies 1 m apart was 0.02. These results show that bumble bee populations exhibit low levels of spatial genetic structure at fine spatial scales, most likely because of ongoing gene flow via widespread queen dispersal. In addition, the results demonstrate the potential for agri-environment scheme conservation measures to facilitate fine-scale gene flow by creating a more even distribution of suitable habitats across landscapes. PMID:24980963

  17. Effect of Number of Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Visits on Eggplant Yield.

    PubMed

    Lowenstein, David M; Minor, Emily S

    2015-06-01

    Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a crop with perfect flowers capable of self-pollination. Insect pollination enhances fruit set, but little is known about how pollination success varies by number of visits from bumble bees. To quantify the efficiency of bumble bees at pollinating eggplants, we allowed 1, 2, 6, and 12 bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) to visit eggplant flowers and compared percentage of flowers that set fruit, fruit weight, and seed set after 3 wk. We compared yield from these visit numbers to eggplant flowers that were left open for unlimited visitation. Eggplant flowers set the most fruit from open-pollination and 12 visits. Larger, seedier fruits were formed in open-pollinated flowers. However, fruit characteristics in the 12 visit treatment were similar to lower visitation frequencies. We confirm B. impatiens as an efficient eggplant pollinator and document the greatest benefit from 12 bumble bee visits and open-pollinated flowers. To maintain effective eggplant pollination, local conditions must be conducive for bumble bee colony establishment and repeated pollen foraging trips. PMID:26470277

  18. Effect of Number of Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Visits on Eggplant Yield.

    PubMed

    Lowenstein, David M; Minor, Emily S

    2015-06-01

    Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a crop with perfect flowers capable of self-pollination. Insect pollination enhances fruit set, but little is known about how pollination success varies by number of visits from bumble bees. To quantify the efficiency of bumble bees at pollinating eggplants, we allowed 1, 2, 6, and 12 bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) to visit eggplant flowers and compared percentage of flowers that set fruit, fruit weight, and seed set after 3 wk. We compared yield from these visit numbers to eggplant flowers that were left open for unlimited visitation. Eggplant flowers set the most fruit from open-pollination and 12 visits. Larger, seedier fruits were formed in open-pollinated flowers. However, fruit characteristics in the 12 visit treatment were similar to lower visitation frequencies. We confirm B. impatiens as an efficient eggplant pollinator and document the greatest benefit from 12 bumble bee visits and open-pollinated flowers. To maintain effective eggplant pollination, local conditions must be conducive for bumble bee colony establishment and repeated pollen foraging trips.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:25034728

  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. PMID:26236848

  2. 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.

  3. Comparative flight morphology in queens of invasive and native Patagonian bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Bombus).

    PubMed

    Polidori, Carlo; Nieves-Aldrey, José Luis

    2015-02-01

    Since its introduction in Chile, the European Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has progressively reduced the abundance of the native Patagonian bumblebee, Bombus dahlbomii Guérin. Because an important cause of successful invasion of a species may depend on a potentially advantageous phenotype, we studied morphologies related to flight performance (flight muscle ratio (FMR), wing loading (WL), excess power index (EPI, which integrates FMR and WL) and wing aspect ratio (AR)) in the queens of the two species. Previous empirical studies showed that greater FMR, AR and EPI, and lower WL increase flight performance. In the Patagonian Chilean fjord where the study was carried out, B. dahlbomii was 40% heavier than B. terrestris, a difference theoretically allowing the queens of the native species to take off with heavier loads, despite the fact that the two species have virtually identical FMRs. However, FMR negatively depended on body mass at the intra-specific level. The total wing area was 35% greater in B. dahlbomii, but the difference in forewing length was only of 16%. Once taken into account the effect of body size, WL, was significantly lower in B. terrestris. AR increased with body mass and did not differ between species. EPI was weakly but significantly higher in B. terrestris. Experiments formally linking such parameters with flight performance may help to explain the observed quick and wide spread of this alien species in Patagonia in the last few years.

  4. Conservation genetics, foraging distance and nest density of the scarce Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus).

    PubMed

    Charman, Thomas G; Sears, Jane; Green, Rhys E; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2010-07-01

    The conservation genetics of bees is of particular interest because many bee species are in decline, so jeopardizing the essential ecosystem service of plant pollination that they provide. In addition, as social haplodiploids, inbred bees may be vulnerable to the extra genetic load represented by the production of sterile diploid males. Using microsatellite markers, we investigated the genetic structure of populations of the Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus Morawitz) in the UK, where this species has undergone a precipitous decline. By means of a mixture of analytical methods and simulation, we also extended--and then applied--genetic methods for estimating foraging distance and nest density in wild bees. B. distinguendus populations were characterized by low expected heterozygosity and allelic richness, inbreeding coefficients not significantly different from zero, absence of detected diploid males, absence of substantial demographic bottlenecking, and population substructuring at large (c. 100+ km) but not small (10s of km) spatial scales. The minimum average effective population size at our sampling sites was low (c. 25). In coastal grassland (machair), the estimated modal foraging distance of workers was 391 m, with 95% of foraging activity occurring within 955 m of the nest, and estimated nest density was 19.3 nests km(-2). These findings show that B. distinguendus exhibits some genetic features of scarce, declining or fragmented populations. Moreover, B. distinguendus workers appear to forage over above-average distances and nests remain thinly distributed even in current strongholds. These considerations should inform future conservation actions for this and similar species.

  5. Microbial communities of three sympatric Australian stingless bee species.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Microbial communities of three sympatric Australian stingless bee species.

    PubMed

    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

  8. A conserved class of queen pheromones? Re-evaluating the evidence in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Orlova, Margarita; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-10-22

    The regulation of reproductive division of labour is a key component in the evolution of social insects. Chemical signals are important mechanisms to regulate worker reproduction, either as queen-produced pheromones that coercively inhibit worker reproduction or as queen signals that honestly advertise her fecundity. A recent study suggested that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones across three independent origins of eusociality. In bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), pentacosane (C25) was suggested to serve as a queen pheromone. Here, we repeat these studies using a different species of bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) with a more controlled experimental design. Instead of dequeened colonies, we used same-aged, three-worker queenless groups comprising either experienced or naive workers (with/without adult exposure to queen pheromone). We quantified three hydrocarbons (C23, C25 and C27) on the cuticular surfaces of females and tested their effects on the two worker types. Our results indicate differences in responses of naive and experienced workers, genetic effects on worker reproduction, and general effects of hydrocarbons and duration of egg laying on ovary resorption rates. However, we found no evidence to support the theory that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones or queen signals in Bombus impatiens. PMID:26490791

  9. A conserved class of queen pheromones? Re-evaluating the evidence in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Orlova, Margarita; Grozinger, Christina M

    2015-10-22

    The regulation of reproductive division of labour is a key component in the evolution of social insects. Chemical signals are important mechanisms to regulate worker reproduction, either as queen-produced pheromones that coercively inhibit worker reproduction or as queen signals that honestly advertise her fecundity. A recent study suggested that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones across three independent origins of eusociality. In bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), pentacosane (C25) was suggested to serve as a queen pheromone. Here, we repeat these studies using a different species of bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) with a more controlled experimental design. Instead of dequeened colonies, we used same-aged, three-worker queenless groups comprising either experienced or naive workers (with/without adult exposure to queen pheromone). We quantified three hydrocarbons (C23, C25 and C27) on the cuticular surfaces of females and tested their effects on the two worker types. Our results indicate differences in responses of naive and experienced workers, genetic effects on worker reproduction, and general effects of hydrocarbons and duration of egg laying on ovary resorption rates. However, we found no evidence to support the theory that a conserved class of hydrocarbons serve as queen pheromones or queen signals in Bombus impatiens.

  10. How images may or may not represent flowers: picture-object correspondence in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens)?

    PubMed

    Thompson, Emma L; Plowright, Catherine M S

    2014-09-01

    Studies of bee cognition frequently use two-dimensional stimuli referred to as floral patterns, and yet how bees perceive pictorial representations is not known. An investigation of bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) picture-object correspondence was undertaken according to the theory of Fagot et al. (Picture perception in animals. Psychology Press Ltd, East Sussex, pp 295-320, 2000) that pictures and objects may be confused, perceived as independent or equivalent. In three experiments, bumblebees were given discrimination training and unrewarded testing in a radial maze. In the first experiment, preferences between artificial flowers and photographs of those flowers revealed a significant learned preference for the stimulus rewarded during training: no confusion following training. In the second experiment, bees did transfer learning from artificial flowers to photographs: some commonality between an object and photograph was perceived. In the third experiment, bees spontaneously generalized a learned preference for one artificial flower to its silhouette, but only for one of two flowers used in training. No generalization was obtained to drawn images. Some transfer between image and object is exhibited, likely by low-level feature matching, but transfer is poor with degraded images, cautioning against extrapolation of picture-based responding to natural correspondents. Despite evidence that bees exhibit some transfer while retaining discrimination, it is likely that the observed response is due to generalization more akin to confusion than true equivalence. Furthermore, although 2D patterning cues (line, edge and shade) provide discriminable cues for bees between 2D stimuli, it is not here supported that such features are perceived as equivalent to the intended floral structures.

  11. Applying geographic profiling used in the field of criminology for predicting the nest locations of bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Suzuki-Ohno, Yukari; Inoue, Maki N; Ohno, Kazunori

    2010-07-21

    We tested whether geographic profiling (GP) can predict multiple nest locations of bumble bees. GP was originally developed in the field of criminology for predicting the area where an offender most likely resides on the basis of the actual crime sites and the predefined probability of crime interaction. The predefined probability of crime interaction in the GP model depends on the distance of a site from an offender's residence. We applied GP for predicting nest locations, assuming that foraging and nest sites were the crime sites and the offenders' residences, respectively. We identified the foraging and nest sites of the invasive species Bombus terrestris in 2004, 2005, and 2006. We fitted GP model coefficients to the field data of the foraging and nest sites, and used GP with the fitting coefficients. GP succeeded in predicting about 10-30% of actual nests. Sensitivity analysis showed that the predictability of the GP model mainly depended on the coefficient value of buffer zone, the distance at the mode of the foraging probability. GP will be able to predict the nest locations of bumble bees in other area by using the fitting coefficient values measured in this study. It will be possible to further improve the predictability of the GP model by considering food site preference and nest density.

  12. Impact of currently used or potentially useful insecticides for canola agroecosystems on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Megachile rotundata (Hymentoptera: Megachilidae), and Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    PubMed

    Scott-Dupree, C D; Conroy, L; Harris, C R

    2009-02-01

    Pest management practices may be contributing to a decline in wild bee populations in or near canola (Brassica napus L.) agroecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the direct contact toxicity of five technical grade insecticides--imidacloprid, clothianidin, deltamethrin, spinosad, and novaluron--currently used, or with potential for use in canola integrated pest management on bees that may forage in canola: common eastern bumble bees [Bombus impatiens (Cresson); hereafter bumble bees], alfalfa leafcutting bees [Megachile rotundata (F.)], and Osmia lignaria Cresson. Clothianidin and to a lesser extent imidacloprid were highly toxic to all three species, deltamethrin and spinosad were intermediate in toxicity, and novaluron was nontoxic. Bumble bees were generally more tolerant to the direct contact applications > O. lignaria > leafcutting bees. However, differences in relative toxicities between the three species were not consistent, e.g., whereas clothianidin was only 4.9 and 1.3x more toxic, deltamethrin was 53 and 68x more toxic to leafcutting bees than to bumble bees and O. lignaria, respectively. Laboratory assessment of direct contact toxicity, although useful, is only one measure of potential impact, and mortality under field conditions may differ greatly depending on management practices. Research conducted using only honey bees as the indicator species may not adequately reflect the risk posed by insecticides to wild bees because of their unique biology and differential susceptibility. Research programs focused on determining nontarget impact on pollinators should be expanded to include not only the honey bee but also wild bee species representative of the agricultural system under investigation. PMID:19253634

  13. The neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, affects Bombus impatiens (bumblebee) sonication behavior when consumed at doses below the LD50.

    PubMed

    Switzer, Callin M; Combes, Stacey A

    2016-08-01

    We investigated changes in sonication (or buzz-pollination) behavior of Bombus impatiens bumblebees, after consumption of the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid. We measured sonication frequency, sonication length, and flight (wing beat) frequency of marked bees collecting pollen from Solanum lycopsersicum (tomato), and then randomly assigned bees to consume 0, 0.0515, 0.515, or 5.15 ng of imidacloprid. We recorded the number of bees in each treatment group that resumed sonication behavior after consuming imidacloprid, and re-measured sonication and flight behavior for these bees. We did not find evidence that consuming 0.0515 ng imidacloprid affected the sonication length, sonication frequency, or flight frequency for bees that sonicated after consuming imidacloprid; we were unable to test changes in these variables for bees that consumed 0.515 or 5.15 ng because we did not observe enough of these bees sonicating after treatment. We performed Cox proportional hazard regression to determine whether consuming imidacloprid affected the probability of engaging in further sonication behavior on S. lycopersicum and found that bumblebees who consumed 0.515 or 5.15 ng of imidacloprid were significantly less likely to sonicate after treatment than bees who consumed no imidacloprid. At the end of the experiment, we classified bees as dead or alive; our data suggest a trend of increasing mortality with higher doses of imidacloprid. Our results show that even modest doses of imidacloprid can significantly affect the likelihood of bumblebees engaging in sonication, a behavior critical for the pollination of a variety of crops and other plants.

  14. The neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, affects Bombus impatiens (bumblebee) sonication behavior when consumed at doses below the LD50.

    PubMed

    Switzer, Callin M; Combes, Stacey A

    2016-08-01

    We investigated changes in sonication (or buzz-pollination) behavior of Bombus impatiens bumblebees, after consumption of the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid. We measured sonication frequency, sonication length, and flight (wing beat) frequency of marked bees collecting pollen from Solanum lycopsersicum (tomato), and then randomly assigned bees to consume 0, 0.0515, 0.515, or 5.15 ng of imidacloprid. We recorded the number of bees in each treatment group that resumed sonication behavior after consuming imidacloprid, and re-measured sonication and flight behavior for these bees. We did not find evidence that consuming 0.0515 ng imidacloprid affected the sonication length, sonication frequency, or flight frequency for bees that sonicated after consuming imidacloprid; we were unable to test changes in these variables for bees that consumed 0.515 or 5.15 ng because we did not observe enough of these bees sonicating after treatment. We performed Cox proportional hazard regression to determine whether consuming imidacloprid affected the probability of engaging in further sonication behavior on S. lycopersicum and found that bumblebees who consumed 0.515 or 5.15 ng of imidacloprid were significantly less likely to sonicate after treatment than bees who consumed no imidacloprid. At the end of the experiment, we classified bees as dead or alive; our data suggest a trend of increasing mortality with higher doses of imidacloprid. Our results show that even modest doses of imidacloprid can significantly affect the likelihood of bumblebees engaging in sonication, a behavior critical for the pollination of a variety of crops and other plants. PMID:27189613

  15. 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. PMID:26063353

  16. 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.

  17. Bee Pollen

    MedlinePlus

    ... bee venom, honey, or royal jelly. People take bee pollen for nutrition; as an appetite stimulant; to improve stamina and athletic performance; and for premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), hay fever (allergic ... Bee pollen is also used for gastrointestinal (GI) problems ...

  18. Exposure Effects on the Productivity of Commercial Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Quads During Bloom in Watermelon Fields.

    PubMed

    Marchese, J I; Johnson, G J; Delaney, D A

    2015-08-01

    In light of population declines of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), research has refocused attention on alternative pollinators and their potential to fulfill pollination services within economically important agricultural crops. Bumble bees are one such alternative, and within the past 20 yr, these pollinators have been reared and sold as commercial pollinators. Investigation into their use has been limited and more research is needed to improve pollinator effectiveness in field settings. Quad pollination units of the commercially reared native bumble bee species, the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson), were monitored and evaluated for productivity during peak watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura & Nakai] bloom in southern Delaware. Differing colony exposures including various shade structure designs and natural shade were compared to assess the quality of the shade in regards to bumble bee activity during watermelon bloom. Quads receiving different nest treatments were evaluated on the basis of foraging activity and colony weight gain. Results indicated that colonies within quads provided with artificial or natural shade had significantly more foraging activity, weighed more, and produced more cells than colonies in quads placed in the field with no shade. Colonies within quads provided with artificial and natural shade peaked later in terms of foraging and weight gain, suggesting that growers could extend harvest to take advantage of later markets and possible movement into fields that were planted later. PMID:26470323

  19. Exposure Effects on the Productivity of Commercial Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Quads During Bloom in Watermelon Fields.

    PubMed

    Marchese, J I; Johnson, G J; Delaney, D A

    2015-08-01

    In light of population declines of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), research has refocused attention on alternative pollinators and their potential to fulfill pollination services within economically important agricultural crops. Bumble bees are one such alternative, and within the past 20 yr, these pollinators have been reared and sold as commercial pollinators. Investigation into their use has been limited and more research is needed to improve pollinator effectiveness in field settings. Quad pollination units of the commercially reared native bumble bee species, the common eastern bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson), were monitored and evaluated for productivity during peak watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura & Nakai] bloom in southern Delaware. Differing colony exposures including various shade structure designs and natural shade were compared to assess the quality of the shade in regards to bumble bee activity during watermelon bloom. Quads receiving different nest treatments were evaluated on the basis of foraging activity and colony weight gain. Results indicated that colonies within quads provided with artificial or natural shade had significantly more foraging activity, weighed more, and produced more cells than colonies in quads placed in the field with no shade. Colonies within quads provided with artificial and natural shade peaked later in terms of foraging and weight gain, suggesting that growers could extend harvest to take advantage of later markets and possible movement into fields that were planted later.

  20. Efficiacy of bumble bee disseminated biological control agents for control of Botrytis Blossom blight of Rabbiteye Blueberry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botrytis blossom blight caused by Botrytis cinerea may cause severe crop loss in rabbiteye blueberry, necessitating applications of expensive fungicides. Commercial bumble bees, Bombus impatiens, were tested as vectors of the fungicidal biological control agents (BCAs), Prestop® Gliocladium catenula...

  1. Ultrastructure and immunofluorescence of the midgut of Bombus morio (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombini).

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Wagner Gonzaga; Fernandes, Kenner Morais; Barcellos, Marcelo Silva; Silva, Fernanda Pereira; Magalhães-Junior, Marcos Jorge; Zanuncio, José Cola; Martins, Gustavo Ferreira; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2014-06-01

    Bumblebees are widely distributed across the world and have great economic and ecological importance as pollinators in the forest as well as in agriculture. The insect midgut consists of three cell types, which play various important roles in digestion, absorption, and hormone production. The present study characterized the anterior and posterior midgut regions of the bumblebee, Bombus morio. The digestive, regenerative and endocrine cells in the midgut showed regional differences in their number, nuclear size, as well as the size of the striated border. Ultrastructurally, the digestive cells contained many mitochondria and long microvilli; however, in the anterior midgut region, these cells showed dilated basal labyrinths with a few openings for the hemocoel, whereas the labyrinths of the basal posterior region remained inverse characteristics. Thus, the characterization of the midgut of B. morio supported an ecto-endoperitrophic circulation, contributing to a better understanding of the digestive process in this bee.

  2. Evidence for Bombus occidentalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Populations in the Olympic Peninsula, the Palouse Prairie, and Forests of Northern Idaho

    PubMed Central

    Rhoades, Paul R.; Koch, Jonathan B.; Waits, Lisette P.; Strange, James P.; Eigenbrode, Sanford D.

    2016-01-01

    Since the mid-1990s, Bombus occidentalis (Green) has declined from being one of the most common to one of the rarest bumble bee species in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Although its conservation status is unresolved, a petition to list this species as endangered or threatened was recently submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To shed light on the conservation situation and inform the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision, we report on the detection and abundance of B. occidentalis following bumble bee collection between 2012 and 2014 across the Pacific Northwest. Collection occurred from the San Juan Islands and Olympic peninsula east to northern Idaho and northeastern Oregon, excluding the arid region in central Washington. B. occidentalis was observed at 23 collection sites out of a total of 234. With the exception of three sites on the Olympic peninsula, all of these were in the southeastern portion of the collection range. PMID:26856817

  3. Evidence for Bombus occidentalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Populations in the Olympic Peninsula, the Palouse Prairie, and Forests of Northern Idaho.

    PubMed

    Rhoades, Paul R; Koch, Jonathan B; Waits, Lisette P; Strange, James P; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2016-01-01

    Since the mid-1990s, Bombus occidentalis (Green) has declined from being one of the most common to one of the rarest bumble bee species in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Although its conservation status is unresolved, a petition to list this species as endangered or threatened was recently submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To shed light on the conservation situation and inform the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision, we report on the detection and abundance of B. occidentalis following bumble bee collection between 2012 and 2014 across the Pacific Northwest. Collection occurred from the San Juan Islands and Olympic peninsula east to northern Idaho and northeastern Oregon, excluding the arid region in central Washington. B. occidentalis was observed at 23 collection sites out of a total of 234. With the exception of three sites on the Olympic peninsula, all of these were in the southeastern portion of the collection range.

  4. Evidence for Bombus occidentalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Populations in the Olympic Peninsula, the Palouse Prairie, and Forests of Northern Idaho.

    PubMed

    Rhoades, Paul R; Koch, Jonathan B; Waits, Lisette P; Strange, James P; Eigenbrode, Sanford D

    2016-01-01

    Since the mid-1990s, Bombus occidentalis (Green) has declined from being one of the most common to one of the rarest bumble bee species in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Although its conservation status is unresolved, a petition to list this species as endangered or threatened was recently submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To shed light on the conservation situation and inform the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision, we report on the detection and abundance of B. occidentalis following bumble bee collection between 2012 and 2014 across the Pacific Northwest. Collection occurred from the San Juan Islands and Olympic peninsula east to northern Idaho and northeastern Oregon, excluding the arid region in central Washington. B. occidentalis was observed at 23 collection sites out of a total of 234. With the exception of three sites on the Olympic peninsula, all of these were in the southeastern portion of the collection range. PMID:26856817

  5. Environment or kin: whence do bees obtain acidophilic bacteria?

    PubMed

    McFrederick, Quinn S; Wcislo, William T; Taylor, Douglas R; Ishak, Heather D; Dowd, Scot E; Mueller, Ulrich G

    2012-04-01

    As honey bee populations decline, interest in pathogenic and mutualistic relationships between bees and microorganisms has increased. Honey bees and bumble bees appear to have a simple intestinal bacterial fauna that includes acidophilic bacteria. Here, we explore the hypothesis that sweat bees can acquire acidophilic bacteria from the environment. To quantify bacterial communities associated with two species of North American and one species of Neotropical sweat bees, we conducted 16S rDNA amplicon 454 pyrosequencing of bacteria associated with the bees, their brood cells and their nests. Lactobacillus spp. were the most abundant bacteria in many, but not all, of the samples. To determine whether bee-associated lactobacilli can also be found in the environment, we reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships of the genus Lactobacillus. Previously described groups that associate with Bombus and Apis appeared relatively specific to these genera. Close relatives of several bacteria that have been isolated from flowers, however, were isolated from bees. Additionally, all three sweat bee species associated with lactobacilli related to flower-associated lactobacilli. These data suggest that there may be at least two different means by which bees acquire putative probiotics. Some lactobacilli appear specific to corbiculate apids, possibly because they are largely maternally inherited (vertically transmitted). Other lactobacilli, however, may be regularly acquired from environmental sources such as flowers. Sweat bee-associated lactobacilli were found to be abundant in the pollen and frass inside the nests of halictids, suggesting that they could play a role in suppressing the growth of moulds and other spoilage organisms.

  6. Conservation genetics, foraging distance and nest density of the scarce Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus).

    PubMed

    Charman, Thomas G; Sears, Jane; Green, Rhys E; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2010-07-01

    The conservation genetics of bees is of particular interest because many bee species are in decline, so jeopardizing the essential ecosystem service of plant pollination that they provide. In addition, as social haplodiploids, inbred bees may be vulnerable to the extra genetic load represented by the production of sterile diploid males. Using microsatellite markers, we investigated the genetic structure of populations of the Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus Morawitz) in the UK, where this species has undergone a precipitous decline. By means of a mixture of analytical methods and simulation, we also extended--and then applied--genetic methods for estimating foraging distance and nest density in wild bees. B. distinguendus populations were characterized by low expected heterozygosity and allelic richness, inbreeding coefficients not significantly different from zero, absence of detected diploid males, absence of substantial demographic bottlenecking, and population substructuring at large (c. 100+ km) but not small (10s of km) spatial scales. The minimum average effective population size at our sampling sites was low (c. 25). In coastal grassland (machair), the estimated modal foraging distance of workers was 391 m, with 95% of foraging activity occurring within 955 m of the nest, and estimated nest density was 19.3 nests km(-2). These findings show that B. distinguendus exhibits some genetic features of scarce, declining or fragmented populations. Moreover, B. distinguendus workers appear to forage over above-average distances and nests remain thinly distributed even in current strongholds. These considerations should inform future conservation actions for this and similar species. PMID:20561194

  7. Bumble bee nest abundance, foraging distance, and host-plant reproduction: implications for management and conservation.

    PubMed

    Geib, Jennifer C; Strange, James P; Galenj, Candace

    2015-04-01

    Recent reports of global declines in pollinator species imply an urgent need to assess the abundance of native pollinators and density-dependent benefits for linked plants. In this study, we investigated (1) pollinator nest distributions and estimated colony abundances, (2) the relationship between abundances of foraging workers and the number of nests they represent, (3) pollinator foraging ranges, and (4) the relationship between pollinator abundance and plant reproduction. We examined these questions in an alpine ecosystem in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, focusing on four alpine bumble bee species (Bombus balteatus, B. flavifrons, B. bifarius, and B. sylvicola), and two host plants that differ in their degrees of pollinator specialization (Trifolium dasyphyllum and T. parryi). Using microsatellites, we found that estimated colony abundances among Bombus species ranged from ~18 to 78 colonies/0.01 km2. The long-tongued species B. balteatus was most common, especially high above treeline, but the subalpine species B. bifarius was unexpectedly abundant for this elevation range. Nests detected among sampled foragers of each species were correlated with the number of foragers caught. Foraging ranges were smaller than expected for all Bombus species, ranging from 25 to 110 m. Fruit set for the specialized plant, Trifolium parryi, was positively related to the abundance of its Bombus pollinator. In contrast, fruit set for the generalized plant, T. dasyphyllum, was related to abundance of all Bombus species. Because forager abundance was related to nest abundance of each Bombus species and was an equally effective predictor of plant fecundity, forager inventories are probably suitable for assessing the health of outcrossing plant populations. However, nest abundance, rather than forager abundance, better reflects demographic and genetic health in populations of eusocial pollinators such as bumble bees. Development of models incorporating the parameters we have measured

  8. 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

  9. Absence of Leishmaniinae and Nosematidae in stingless bees.

    PubMed

    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

  10. 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.

  11. Bumble bee colony dynamics: quantifying the importance of land use and floral resources for colony growth and queen production.

    PubMed

    Crone, Elizabeth E; Williams, Neal M

    2016-04-01

    Bumble bee (Bombus) species are ecologically and economically important pollinators, and many species are in decline. In this article, we develop a mechanistic model to analyse growth trajectories of Bombus vosnesenskii colonies in relation to floral resources and land use. Queen production increased with floral resources and was higher in semi-natural areas than on conventional farms. However, the most important parameter for queen production was the colony growth rate per flower, as opposed to the average number of available flowers. This result indicates the importance of understanding mechanisms of colony growth, in order to predict queen production and enhance bumble bee population viability. Our work highlights the importance of interpreting bumble bee conservation efforts in the context of overall population dynamics and provides a framework for doing so. PMID:26913696

  12. 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.

  13. Bee poison

    MedlinePlus

    ... stings contain a substance called venom. Africanized bee colonies are very sensitive to being disturbed. When they ... and blood vessels Severe decrease in blood pressure Collapse * Lungs: Difficulty breathing * Skin Hives * Itching Swelling and ...

  14. Distribution and diversity of Nosema bombi (Microsporidia: Nosematidae) in the natural populations of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) from West Siberia.

    PubMed

    Vavilova, Valeriya; Sormacheva, Irina; Woyciechowski, Michal; Eremeeva, Natalia; Fet, Victor; Strachecka, Aneta; Bayborodin, Sergey I; Blinov, Alexander

    2015-09-01

    Nosema bombi is an obligate intracellular parasite of bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Bombus spp.), which has significant negative effect on individual bumblebees, colony fitness, and development. Recently, several new genetic variants of N. bombi without a defined taxonomic status were identified in natural bumblebee populations from Russia, China, and several European countries, as well as N. ceranae, originally isolated from honey bees, was described in bumblebee species. Thus, it is required to investigate more Nosema variability in bumblebee populations for identifying new genetic Nosema variants. In our study, we used several methods such as total DNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, cloning, sequencing, and comparative and phylogenetic analysis to investigate a prevalence of N. bombi and its diversity in the natural populations of bumblebees across West Siberia. DNA was extracted from intestinal bumblebee tissues. Identification of the parasite was conducted, using PCR with primers specific for the ribosomal RNA gene cluster and methionine aminopeptidase 2 gene of N. bombi followed by sequencing. Seven hundred twenty-seven individual bumblebees belonging to 16 species were tested; 64 specimens revealed presence of the parasite. Prevalence of Nosema bombi infection was different in each region and varied from 4 to 20 %. No infection was found in Bombus agrorum (n = 194) and Bombus equestris (n = 132), both common bumblebees in West Siberia. Three different genetic variants of the same species, N. bombi, were identified. The first variant belonged to N. bombi (AY008373) identified by Fies et al. (J Apicult Res 40:91-96, 2001), second (N. bombi WS2) was identical to the West Siberian variant identified by Szentgyörgyi et al. (Polish Journal of Ecology 59:599-610, 2011), and the last variant, N. bombi WS3, was new. The results led us to suggest that the prevalence of the N. bombi is related to the population structure of bumblebees and

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

    PubMed

    Putra, Ramadhani Eka; Kinasih, Ida

    2014-01-01

    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is considered as one of major agricultural commodity of Indonesia farming. However, monthly production is unstable due to lack of pollination services. Common pollinator agent of tomatoes is bumblebees which is unsuitable for tropical climate of Indonesia and the possibility of alteration of local wild plant interaction with their pollinator. Indonesia is rich with wild bees and some of the species already domesticated for years with prospect as pollinating agent for tomatoes. This research aimed to assess the efficiency of local honey bee (Apis cerana L.) and stingless bee (Trigona iridipennis), as pollinator of tomato. During this research, total visitation rate and total numbers of pollinated flowers by honey bee and stingless bee were compared between them with bagged flowers as control. Total fruit production, average weight and size also measured in order to correlated pollination efficiency with quantity and quality of fruit produced. Result of this research showed that A. cerana has slightly higher rate of visitation (p>0.05) and significantly shorter handling time (p < 0.05) than T. iridipennis due to their larger colony demand and low reward provide by tomato flowers. However, honey bee pollinated tomato flowers more efficient pollinator than stingless bee (80.3 and 70.2% efficiency, respectively; p < 0.05) even though the average weight and size of tomatoes were similar (p>0.05). Based on the results, it is concluded that the use of Apis cerana and Trigona spp., for pollinating tomatoes in tropical climates could be an alternative to the use of non-native Apis mellifera and bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, more researches are needed to evaluate the cost/benefit on large-scale farming and greenhouse pollination using both bees against other bee species and pollination methods. PMID:24783783

  16. 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.

  17. High prevalence and infection levels of Nosema ceranae in bumblebees Bombus atratus and Bombus bellicosus from Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Arbulo, N; Antúnez, K; Salvarrey, S; Santos, E; Branchiccela, B; Martín-Hernández, R; Higes, M; Invernizzi, C

    2015-09-01

    Nosema ceranae is one of the most prevalent pathogens in Apis mellifera and has recently been found in multiple host species including several species of bumblebees. Prevalence and infection intensity of N. ceranae was determined in two species of native bumblebees from Uruguay. Nosema ceranae was the only microsporidia identified and mean prevalence was 72% in Bombus atratus and 63% in Bombus bellicosus, values much higher than those reported elsewhere. The presence of this pathogen in bumblebees may be threatening not only for bumblebee populations, but also to the rest of the native pollinator community and to honeybees. PMID:26248064

  18. High prevalence and infection levels of Nosema ceranae in bumblebees Bombus atratus and Bombus bellicosus from Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Arbulo, N; Antúnez, K; Salvarrey, S; Santos, E; Branchiccela, B; Martín-Hernández, R; Higes, M; Invernizzi, C

    2015-09-01

    Nosema ceranae is one of the most prevalent pathogens in Apis mellifera and has recently been found in multiple host species including several species of bumblebees. Prevalence and infection intensity of N. ceranae was determined in two species of native bumblebees from Uruguay. Nosema ceranae was the only microsporidia identified and mean prevalence was 72% in Bombus atratus and 63% in Bombus bellicosus, values much higher than those reported elsewhere. The presence of this pathogen in bumblebees may be threatening not only for bumblebee populations, but also to the rest of the native pollinator community and to honeybees.

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥ 3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  2. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing.

    PubMed

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-07-30

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥ 3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication.

  3. Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing

    PubMed Central

    Samson-Robert, Olivier; Labrie, Geneviève; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas; Fournier, Valérie

    2015-01-01

    While honey bee exposure to systemic insecticides has received much attention, impacts on wild pollinators have not been as widely studied. Neonicotinoids have been shown to increase acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in honey bees at sublethal doses. High AChE levels may therefore act as a biomarker of exposure to neonicotinoids. This two-year study focused on establishing whether bumble bees living and foraging in agricultural areas using neonicotinoid crop protection show early biochemical signs of intoxication. Bumble bee colonies (Bombus impatiens) were placed in two different agricultural cropping areas: 1) control (≥3 km from fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds) or 2) exposed (within 500 m of fields planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds), and maintained for the duration of corn sowing. As determined by Real Time qPCR, AChE mRNA expression was initially significantly higher in bumble bees from exposed sites, then decreased throughout the planting season to reach a similar endpoint to that of bumble bees from control sites. These findings suggest that exposure to neonicotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication. PMID:26223214

  4. Bee Weekend.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beidler, Peter G.

    1987-01-01

    Recounts weekend at a bee farm, an activity for a required Lehigh University freshman English composition course designed to facilitate socialization and exchange of ideas and to provide experiences for students to write about. Uses excerpts from journals of nine students. (NEC)

  5. Phenology of Bombus pennsylvanicus sonorus say (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Central Mexico.

    PubMed

    de la Hoz, Juan Di Trani

    2006-01-01

    We studied the seasonal activity of Bombus pennsylvanicus sonorus Say in subtropical conditions of the Mexican Central Plateau. Monthly during 1998, we recorded caste of active individuals (inferred form corporal size measured as wing length), presence and activity of reproductive individuals, and mating activity. Also, we recorded the flower plants used as resources. Subtropical conditions of the Mexican Central Plateau do not seem to modify phenological features of B. pennsylvanicus sonorus since the species presents annual colonies and a clearly defined period of inactivity. The size of individuals progressively increased between the first recorded activity period in middle April and the end of the colonies in November. Reproductive bees were observed since the second half of the year. The presence of males was recorded between July and November and queens and mating pairs were observed during November and December. Then mating queens were noted seeking hibernation places. Activity resumed in February of the following year. Seasonal activity seems to be more related to availability of floral resources (which, in turn, is related to rain regime), than to changes in temperature and day length. Some of the main food resources used by B. pennsylvanicus sonorus were Tithonia tubiformis, Cosmos bipinnatus, Anoda cristata, Solanum rostratum and Jacaranda mimosaefolia.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. First detection of the larval chalkbrood disease pathogen Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) in adult bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Maxfield-Taylor, Sarah A; Mujic, Alija B; Rao, Sujaya

    2015-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Ascosphaera (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) cause chalkbrood disease in larvae of bees. Here, we report the first-ever detection of the fungus in adult bumble bees that were raised in captivity for studies on colony development. Wild queens of Bombus griseocollis, B. nevadensis and B. vosnesenskii were collected and maintained for establishment of nests. Queens that died during rearing or that did not lay eggs within one month of capture were dissected, and tissues were examined microscopically for the presence of pathogens. Filamentous fungi that were detected were plated on artificial media containing broad spectrum antibiotics for isolation and identification. Based on morphological characters, the fungus was identified as Ascosphaera apis (Maasen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir, a species that has been reported earlier only from larvae of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, and the carpenter bee Xylocopa californica arizonensis. The identity of the fungus was confirmed using molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis. Ascosphaera apis was detected in queens of all three bumble bee species examined. Of 150 queens dissected, 12 (8%) contained vegetative and reproductive stages of the fungus. Both fungal stages were also detected in two workers collected from colonies with Ascosphaera-infected B. nevadensis queens. In this study, wild bees could have been infected prior to capture for rearing, or, the A. apis infection could have originated via contaminated European honey bee pollen fed to the bumble bees in captivity. Thus, the discovery of A. apis in adult bumble bees in the current study has important implications for commercial production of bumble bee colonies and highlights potential risks to native bees via pathogen spillover from infected bees and infected pollen.

  12. First Detection of the Larval Chalkbrood Disease Pathogen Ascosphaera apis (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) in Adult Bumble Bees

    PubMed Central

    Maxfield-Taylor, Sarah A.; Mujic, Alija B.; Rao, Sujaya

    2015-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Ascosphaera (Ascomycota: Eurotiomycetes: Ascosphaerales) cause chalkbrood disease in larvae of bees. Here, we report the first-ever detection of the fungus in adult bumble bees that were raised in captivity for studies on colony development. Wild queens of Bombus griseocollis, B. nevadensis and B. vosnesenskii were collected and maintained for establishment of nests. Queens that died during rearing or that did not lay eggs within one month of capture were dissected, and tissues were examined microscopically for the presence of pathogens. Filamentous fungi that were detected were plated on artificial media containing broad spectrum antibiotics for isolation and identification. Based on morphological characters, the fungus was identified as Ascosphaera apis (Maasen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir, a species that has been reported earlier only from larvae of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, and the carpenter bee Xylocopa californica arizonensis. The identity of the fungus was confirmed using molecular markers and phylogenetic analysis. Ascosphaera apis was detected in queens of all three bumble bee species examined. Of 150 queens dissected, 12 (8%) contained vegetative and reproductive stages of the fungus. Both fungal stages were also detected in two workers collected from colonies with Ascosphaera-infected B. nevadensis queens. In this study, wild bees could have been infected prior to capture for rearing, or, the A. apis infection could have originated via contaminated European honey bee pollen fed to the bumble bees in captivity. Thus, the discovery of A. apis in adult bumble bees in the current study has important implications for commercial production of bumble bee colonies and highlights potential risks to native bees via pathogen spillover from infected bees and infected pollen. PMID:25885679

  13. Systematical studies on the species of the subgenus Bombus (Thoracobombus) (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombus Latreille) in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Barkan, N P; Aytekin, A M

    2013-11-19

    The aim of this study was to analyze the 12 species which belong to the subgenus Bombus (Thoracobombus) by identifying, collating and testing the applicability of geometrics morphometrics for distinguishing the species. This was carried out on 133 females and 42 males which were collected from various localities in Turkey. After digitizing landmarks on the right fore wings, 2-dimensional Cartesian coordinates were calculated and by Procrustes analysis the coordinates were standardized and superimposed. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Canonical Variates Analysis (CVA) were performed to show the distribution of all species. Then, deformations which appeared in thin-plate splines were observed. Mean values of all the specimens were calculated and Sequential, Agglomerative, Hierarchical, and Nesting clustering method (SAHN) was performed with these data to obtain the dissimilarity trees. It can be concluded that all species were found to have consistently different wing shapes from each other. In females, the species B. armeniacus, B. mesomelas and B. pomorum which resemble each other, were also found to be similar based on their wing morphometry. Both in females and males, the subspecies B. sylvarum citrinofasciatus and B. sylvarum daghestanicus and the species B. humilis and B. laesus exposed high similarity in wing morphometry. In males, results showed that the species B. armeniacus and B. mesomelas and the species B. humilis and B. zonatus have very similar wing shape.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R Scott; 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. PMID:27118586

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

    PubMed

    Engel, Philipp; Kwong, Waldan K; McFrederick, Quinn; Anderson, Kirk E; Barribeau, Seth Michael; Chandler, James Angus; Cornman, R Scott; 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

    2016-04-26

    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.

  17. 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

  18. A survey of bees (hymenoptera: Apoidea) of the Indiana dunes and Northwest Indiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

    The Indiana Dunes, and nearby natural areas in northwest Indiana, are floristically rich Midwest U.S. locales with many habitat types. We surveyed bees along a habitat gradient ranging from grasslands to forests in these locales, collecting at least 175 bee species along this gradient plus 29 additional species in other nearby habitats. About 25% of all species were from the genus Lasioglossum and 12% of the species were associated with sandy soils. Several bumblebee (Bombus) species of conservation concern that should occur in this region were not collected during our surveys. Similarity of the northwest Indiana bee fauna to other published U.S. faunas decreased about 1.3% per 100 km distance from northwest Indiana. Thirty percent of bees netted from flowers were males. Males and females differed significantly in their frequency of occurrence on different plant species. For bees collected in bowl traps, the percentage captured in fluorescent yellow traps declined and in fluorescent blue traps increased from spring to late summer. Capture rates for different bee genera varied temporally, with about a quarter of the genera being captured most frequently in late spring and a quarter in late summer. Capture rates for most genera were higher in more open than in more closed canopy habitats. The maximum number of plant species on which a single bee species was captured plateaued at 24, on average. Forty-nine percent of bee species known to occur in Indiana were found at these northwest Indiana sites. Having this relatively high proportion of the total Indiana bee fauna is consistent with Indiana Dunes existing at a biogeographic crossroads where grassland and forest biomes meet in a landscape whose climate and soils are affected by proximity to Lake Michigan. The resulting habitat, plant, edaphic, and climatic diversity likely produces the diverse bee community documented.

  19. Photoreceptor Processing Speed and Input Resistance Changes during Light Adaptation Correlate with Spectral Class in the Bumblebee, Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Skorupski, Peter; Chittka, Lars

    2011-01-01

    Colour vision depends on comparison of signals from photoreceptors with different spectral sensitivities. However, response properties of photoreceptor cells may differ in ways other than spectral tuning. In insects, for example, broadband photoreceptors, with a major sensitivity peak in the green region of the spectrum (>500 nm), drive fast visual processes, which are largely blind to chromatic signals from more narrowly-tuned photoreceptors with peak sensitivities in the blue and UV regions of the spectrum. In addition, electrophysiological properties of the photoreceptor membrane may result in differences in response dynamics of photoreceptors of similar spectral class between species, and different spectral classes within a species. We used intracellular electrophysiological techniques to investigate response dynamics of the three spectral classes of photoreceptor underlying trichromatic colour vision in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, and we compare these with previously published data from a related species, Bombus terrestris. In both species, we found significantly faster responses in green, compared with blue- or UV-sensitive photoreceptors, although all 3 photoreceptor types are slower in B. impatiens than in B. terrestris. Integration times for light-adapted B. impatiens photoreceptors (estimated from impulse response half-width) were 11.3±1.6 ms for green photoreceptors compared with 18.6±4.4 ms and 15.6±4.4 for blue and UV, respectively. We also measured photoreceptor input resistance in dark- and light-adapted conditions. All photoreceptors showed a decrease in input resistance during light adaptation, but this decrease was considerably larger (declining to about 22% of the dark value) in green photoreceptors, compared to blue and UV (41% and 49%, respectively). Our results suggest that the conductances associated with light adaptation are largest in green photoreceptors, contributing to their greater temporal processing speed. We suggest that the

  20. Comparison of buckwheat, red clover, and purple tansy as potential surrogate plants for use in semi-field pesticide risk assessments with Bombus impatiens.

    PubMed

    Gradish, Angela E; Cutler, G Christopher; Frewin, Andrew J; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D

    2016-01-01

    Background. Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important wild and managed pollinators. There is increased interest in incorporating data on bumble bees into risk assessments for pesticides, but standardized methods for assessing hazards of pesticides in semi-field and field settings have not yet been established for bumble bees. During semi-field studies, colonies are caged with pesticide-treated flowering surrogate plants, which must be attractive to foragers to ensure colony exposure to the test compound, and must produce an ample nectar and pollen to sustain colonies during testing. However, it is not known which plant(s) are suitable for use in semi-field studies with bumble bees. Materials and Methods. We compared B. impatiens foraging activity and colony development on small plots of flowering buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum, var. common), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia) under semi-field conditions to assess their suitability as surrogate plants for pesticide risk assessment studies with bumble bees. We also compared the growth characteristics and input requirements of each plant type. Results. All three plant types generally established and grew well. Red clover and purple tansy experienced significant weed pressure and/or insect pest damage. In contrast, pest pressure was extremely low in buckwheat. Overall, B. impatiens foraging activity was significantly greater on buckwheat plots than red clover or purple tansy, but plant type had no effect on number of individuals produced per colony or colony weight. Discussion. Because of the consistently high foraging activity and successful colony development observed on buckwheat plots, combined with its favourable growth characteristics and low maintenance requirements, we recommend buckwheat as a surrogate plant for use in semi-field pesticide toxicity assessments with B. impatiens. PMID:27478712

  1. Comparison of buckwheat, red clover, and purple tansy as potential surrogate plants for use in semi-field pesticide risk assessments with Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Cutler, G. Christopher; Frewin, Andrew J.; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D.

    2016-01-01

    Background. Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important wild and managed pollinators. There is increased interest in incorporating data on bumble bees into risk assessments for pesticides, but standardized methods for assessing hazards of pesticides in semi-field and field settings have not yet been established for bumble bees. During semi-field studies, colonies are caged with pesticide-treated flowering surrogate plants, which must be attractive to foragers to ensure colony exposure to the test compound, and must produce an ample nectar and pollen to sustain colonies during testing. However, it is not known which plant(s) are suitable for use in semi-field studies with bumble bees. Materials and Methods. We compared B. impatiens foraging activity and colony development on small plots of flowering buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum, var. common), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia) under semi-field conditions to assess their suitability as surrogate plants for pesticide risk assessment studies with bumble bees. We also compared the growth characteristics and input requirements of each plant type. Results. All three plant types generally established and grew well. Red clover and purple tansy experienced significant weed pressure and/or insect pest damage. In contrast, pest pressure was extremely low in buckwheat. Overall, B. impatiens foraging activity was significantly greater on buckwheat plots than red clover or purple tansy, but plant type had no effect on number of individuals produced per colony or colony weight. Discussion. Because of the consistently high foraging activity and successful colony development observed on buckwheat plots, combined with its favourable growth characteristics and low maintenance requirements, we recommend buckwheat as a surrogate plant for use in semi-field pesticide toxicity assessments with B. impatiens. PMID:27478712

  2. Comparison of buckwheat, red clover, and purple tansy as potential surrogate plants for use in semi-field pesticide risk assessments with Bombus impatiens.

    PubMed

    Gradish, Angela E; Cutler, G Christopher; Frewin, Andrew J; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D

    2016-01-01

    Background. Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are important wild and managed pollinators. There is increased interest in incorporating data on bumble bees into risk assessments for pesticides, but standardized methods for assessing hazards of pesticides in semi-field and field settings have not yet been established for bumble bees. During semi-field studies, colonies are caged with pesticide-treated flowering surrogate plants, which must be attractive to foragers to ensure colony exposure to the test compound, and must produce an ample nectar and pollen to sustain colonies during testing. However, it is not known which plant(s) are suitable for use in semi-field studies with bumble bees. Materials and Methods. We compared B. impatiens foraging activity and colony development on small plots of flowering buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum, var. common), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia) under semi-field conditions to assess their suitability as surrogate plants for pesticide risk assessment studies with bumble bees. We also compared the growth characteristics and input requirements of each plant type. Results. All three plant types generally established and grew well. Red clover and purple tansy experienced significant weed pressure and/or insect pest damage. In contrast, pest pressure was extremely low in buckwheat. Overall, B. impatiens foraging activity was significantly greater on buckwheat plots than red clover or purple tansy, but plant type had no effect on number of individuals produced per colony or colony weight. Discussion. Because of the consistently high foraging activity and successful colony development observed on buckwheat plots, combined with its favourable growth characteristics and low maintenance requirements, we recommend buckwheat as a surrogate plant for use in semi-field pesticide toxicity assessments with B. impatiens.

  3. 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…

  4. Behavioural ecology: bees associate warmth with floral colour.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Adrian G; Whitney, Heather M; Arnold, Sarah E J; Glover, Beverley J; Chittka, Lars

    2006-08-01

    Floral colour signals are used by pollinators as predictors of nutritional rewards, such as nectar. But as insect pollinators often need to invest energy to maintain their body temperature above the ambient temperature, floral heat might also be perceived as a reward. Here we show that bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) prefer to visit warmer flowers and that they can learn to use colour to predict floral temperature before landing. In what could be a widespread floral adaptation, plants may modulate their temperature to encourage pollinators to visit.

  5. Non-Euglossine bees also function as pollinators of Sinningia species (Gesneriaceae) in southeastern brazil.

    PubMed

    SanMartin-Gajardo, I; Sazima, M

    2004-07-01

    Pollination by male and female Euglossini bees, euglossophily, was suggested for a number of neotropical Gesneriaceae species. Information on bee species other than Euglossini as pollinators of neotropical members of this family is limited, and in the tribe Sinningieae data about bee pollination are still lacking. Here, we report on floral biology and bee pollination of four Sinningia species: S. schiffneri, S. eumorpha, S. villosa, and Sinningia "canastrensis". The flower features, such as corolla size, shape, and colour, are very different among the four species, but all conform to the melittophilous syndrome. The average nectar volume and sugar amount is low in S. schiffneri, S. eumorpha, and Sinningia "canastrensis", when compared to that of S. villosa, but low nectar amounts is a general feature of Sinningia species. The main pollinators of the four species are: small Tapinotaspidini (Trigonopedia ferruginea) of S. schiffneri, large Bombini (Bombus morio) and large Centridini (Epicharis morio) of S. eumorpha, large Euglossini (Eulaema cingulata and Eufriesea surinamensis) of S. villosa, and large Euglossini (Eufriesea violascens) and Megachilini (Megachile sp.) of Sinningia "canastrensis". Out of the four species, only S. villosa is exclusively Euglossini-pollinated. The marked differences in flower features and nectar production of these Sinningia species may reflect their pollination by distinct groups of bees. These results strengthen the idea of multiple origins for the pollination systems involving bees within this genus, which is highly supported by molecular phylogenetic analyses.

  6. Non-Euglossine bees also function as pollinators of Sinningia species (Gesneriaceae) in southeastern brazil.

    PubMed

    SanMartin-Gajardo, I; Sazima, M

    2004-07-01

    Pollination by male and female Euglossini bees, euglossophily, was suggested for a number of neotropical Gesneriaceae species. Information on bee species other than Euglossini as pollinators of neotropical members of this family is limited, and in the tribe Sinningieae data about bee pollination are still lacking. Here, we report on floral biology and bee pollination of four Sinningia species: S. schiffneri, S. eumorpha, S. villosa, and Sinningia "canastrensis". The flower features, such as corolla size, shape, and colour, are very different among the four species, but all conform to the melittophilous syndrome. The average nectar volume and sugar amount is low in S. schiffneri, S. eumorpha, and Sinningia "canastrensis", when compared to that of S. villosa, but low nectar amounts is a general feature of Sinningia species. The main pollinators of the four species are: small Tapinotaspidini (Trigonopedia ferruginea) of S. schiffneri, large Bombini (Bombus morio) and large Centridini (Epicharis morio) of S. eumorpha, large Euglossini (Eulaema cingulata and Eufriesea surinamensis) of S. villosa, and large Euglossini (Eufriesea violascens) and Megachilini (Megachile sp.) of Sinningia "canastrensis". Out of the four species, only S. villosa is exclusively Euglossini-pollinated. The marked differences in flower features and nectar production of these Sinningia species may reflect their pollination by distinct groups of bees. These results strengthen the idea of multiple origins for the pollination systems involving bees within this genus, which is highly supported by molecular phylogenetic analyses. PMID:15248134

  7. Colony-level variation in pollen collection and foraging preferences among wild-caught bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Saifuddin, Mustafa; Jha, Shalene

    2014-04-01

    Given that many pollinators have exhibited dramatic declines related to habitat destruction, an improved understanding of pollinator resource collection across human-altered landscapes is essential to conservation efforts. Despite the importance of bumble bees (Bombus spp.) as global pollinators, little is known regarding how pollen collection patterns vary between individuals, colonies, and landscapes. In this study, Vosnesensky bumble bees (Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski) were collected from a range of human-altered and natural landscapes in northern California. Extensive vegetation surveys and Geographic Information System (GIS)-based habitat classifications were conducted at each site, bees were genotyped to identify colony mates, and pollen loads were examined to identify visited plants. In contrast to predictions based on strong competitive interactions, pollen load composition was significantly more similar for bees captured in a shared study region compared with bees throughout the research area but was not significantly more similar for colony mates. Preference analyses revealed that pollen loads were not composed of the most abundant plant species per study region. The majority of ranked pollen preference lists were significantly correlated for pairwise comparisons of colony mates and individuals within a study region, whereas the majority of pairwise comparisons of ranked pollen preference lists between individuals located at separate study regions were uncorrelated. Results suggest that pollen load composition and foraging preferences are similar for bees throughout a shared landscape regardless of colony membership. The importance of native plant species in pollen collection is illustrated through preference analyses, and we suggest prioritization of specific rare native plant species for enhanced bumble bee pollen collection.

  8. Assessing insecticide hazard to bumble bees foraging on flowering weeds in treated lawns.

    PubMed

    Larson, Jonathan L; Redmond, Carl T; Potter, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Maintaining bee-friendly habitats in cities and suburbs can help conserve the vital pollination services of declining bee populations. Despite label precautions not to apply them to blooming plants, neonicotinoids and other residual systemic insecticides may be applied for preventive control of lawn insect pests when spring-flowering weeds are present. Dietary exposure to neonicotinoids adversely affects bees, but the extent of hazard from field usage is controversial. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus impatiens to turf with blooming white clover that had been treated with clothianidin, a neonicotinoid, or with chlorantraniliprole, the first anthranilic diamide labeled for use on lawns. The sprays were applied at label rate and lightly irrigated. After residues had dried, colonies were confined to forage for six days, and then moved to a non-treated rural site to openly forage and develop. Colonies exposed to clothianidin-treated weedy turf had delayed weight gain and produced no new queens whereas those exposed to chlorantraniliprole-treated plots developed normally compared with controls. Neither bumble bees nor honey bees avoided foraging on treated white clover in open plots. Nectar from clover blooms directly contaminated by spray residues contained 171±44 ppb clothianidin. Notably, neither insecticide adversely impacted bee colonies confined on the treated turf after it had been mown to remove clover blooms present at the time of treatment, and new blooms had formed. Our results validate EPA label precautionary statements not to apply neonicotinoids to blooming nectar-producing plants if bees may visit the treatment area. Whatever systemic hazard through lawn weeds they may pose appears transitory, however, and direct hazard can be mitigated by adhering to label precautions, or if blooms inadvertently are contaminated, by mowing to remove them. Chlorantraniliprole usage on lawns appears non-hazardous to bumble bees.

  9. Assessing insecticide hazard to bumble bees foraging on flowering weeds in treated lawns.

    PubMed

    Larson, Jonathan L; Redmond, Carl T; Potter, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Maintaining bee-friendly habitats in cities and suburbs can help conserve the vital pollination services of declining bee populations. Despite label precautions not to apply them to blooming plants, neonicotinoids and other residual systemic insecticides may be applied for preventive control of lawn insect pests when spring-flowering weeds are present. Dietary exposure to neonicotinoids adversely affects bees, but the extent of hazard from field usage is controversial. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus impatiens to turf with blooming white clover that had been treated with clothianidin, a neonicotinoid, or with chlorantraniliprole, the first anthranilic diamide labeled for use on lawns. The sprays were applied at label rate and lightly irrigated. After residues had dried, colonies were confined to forage for six days, and then moved to a non-treated rural site to openly forage and develop. Colonies exposed to clothianidin-treated weedy turf had delayed weight gain and produced no new queens whereas those exposed to chlorantraniliprole-treated plots developed normally compared with controls. Neither bumble bees nor honey bees avoided foraging on treated white clover in open plots. Nectar from clover blooms directly contaminated by spray residues contained 171±44 ppb clothianidin. Notably, neither insecticide adversely impacted bee colonies confined on the treated turf after it had been mown to remove clover blooms present at the time of treatment, and new blooms had formed. Our results validate EPA label precautionary statements not to apply neonicotinoids to blooming nectar-producing plants if bees may visit the treatment area. Whatever systemic hazard through lawn weeds they may pose appears transitory, however, and direct hazard can be mitigated by adhering to label precautions, or if blooms inadvertently are contaminated, by mowing to remove them. Chlorantraniliprole usage on lawns appears non-hazardous to bumble bees. PMID:23776667

  10. Assessing Insecticide Hazard to Bumble Bees Foraging on Flowering Weeds in Treated Lawns

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Jonathan L.; Redmond, Carl T.; Potter, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Maintaining bee-friendly habitats in cities and suburbs can help conserve the vital pollination services of declining bee populations. Despite label precautions not to apply them to blooming plants, neonicotinoids and other residual systemic insecticides may be applied for preventive control of lawn insect pests when spring-flowering weeds are present. Dietary exposure to neonicotinoids adversely affects bees, but the extent of hazard from field usage is controversial. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus impatiens to turf with blooming white clover that had been treated with clothianidin, a neonicotinoid, or with chlorantraniliprole, the first anthranilic diamide labeled for use on lawns. The sprays were applied at label rate and lightly irrigated. After residues had dried, colonies were confined to forage for six days, and then moved to a non-treated rural site to openly forage and develop. Colonies exposed to clothianidin-treated weedy turf had delayed weight gain and produced no new queens whereas those exposed to chlorantraniliprole-treated plots developed normally compared with controls. Neither bumble bees nor honey bees avoided foraging on treated white clover in open plots. Nectar from clover blooms directly contaminated by spray residues contained 171±44 ppb clothianidin. Notably, neither insecticide adversely impacted bee colonies confined on the treated turf after it had been mown to remove clover blooms present at the time of treatment, and new blooms had formed. Our results validate EPA label precautionary statements not to apply neonicotinoids to blooming nectar-producing plants if bees may visit the treatment area. Whatever systemic hazard through lawn weeds they may pose appears transitory, however, and direct hazard can be mitigated by adhering to label precautions, or if blooms inadvertently are contaminated, by mowing to remove them. Chlorantraniliprole usage on lawns appears non-hazardous to bumble bees. PMID:23776667

  11. 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

  12. Inbreeding in Mimulus guttatus Reduces Visitation by Bumble Bee Pollinators

    PubMed Central

    Carr, David E.; Roulston, T’ai H.; Hart, Haley

    2014-01-01

    Inbreeding in plants typically reduces individual fitness but may also alter ecological interactions. This study examined the effect of inbreeding in the mixed-mating annual Mimulus guttatus on visitation by pollinators (Bombus impatiens) in greenhouse experiments. Previous studies of M. guttatus have shown that inbreeding reduced corolla size, flower number, and pollen quantity and quality. Using controlled crosses, we produced inbred and outbred families from three different M. guttatus populations. We recorded the plant genotypes that bees visited and the number of flowers probed per visit. In our first experiment, bees were 31% more likely to visit outbred plants than those selfed for one generation and 43% more likely to visit outbred plants than those selfed for two generations. Inbreeding had only a small effect on the number of flowers probed once bees arrived at a genotype. These differences were explained partially by differences in mean floral display and mean flower size, but even when these variables were controlled statistically, the effect of inbreeding remained large and significant. In a second experiment we quantified pollen viability from inbred and self plants. Bees were 37–54% more likely to visit outbred plants, depending on the population, even when controlling for floral display size. Pollen viability proved to be as important as floral display in predicting pollinator visitation in one population, but the overall explanatory power of a multiple regression model was weak. Our data suggested that bees use cues in addition to display size, flower size, and pollen reward quality in their discrimination of inbred plants. Discrimination against inbred plants could have effects on plant fitness and thereby reinforce selection for outcrossing. Inbreeding in plant populations could also reduce resource quality for pollinators, potentially resulting in negative effects on pollinator populations. PMID:25036035

  13. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Koch, Jonathan B; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F; Griswold, Terry L

    2011-01-11

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23-87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain.

  14. Urban land use limits regional bumble bee gene flow.

    PubMed

    Jha, Shalene; Kremen, C

    2013-05-01

    Potential declines in native pollinator communities and increased reliance on pollinator-dependent crops have raised concerns about native pollinator conservation and dispersal across human-altered landscapes. Bumble bees are one of the most effective native pollinators and are often the first to be extirpated in human-altered habitats, yet little is known about how bumble bees move across fine spatial scales and what landscapes promote or limit their gene flow. In this study, we examine regional genetic differentiation and fine-scale relatedness patterns of the yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, to investigate how current and historic habitat composition impact gene flow. We conducted our study across a landscape mosaic of natural, agricultural and urban/suburban habitats, and we show that B. vosnesenskii exhibits low but significant levels of differentiation across the study system (F(ST) = 0.019, D(est) = 0.049). Most importantly, we reveal significant relationships between pairwise F(ST) and resistance models created from contemporary land use maps. Specifically, B. vosnesenskii gene flow is most limited by commercial, industrial and transportation-related impervious cover. Finally, our fine-scale analysis reveals significant but declining relatedness between individuals at the 1-9 km spatial scale, most likely due to local queen dispersal. Overall, our results indicate that B. vosnesenskii exhibits considerable local dispersal and that regional gene flow is significantly limited by impervious cover associated with urbanization.

  15. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Sydney A; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Strange, James P; Koch, Jonathan B; Cordes, Nils; Solter, Leellen F; Griswold, Terry L

    2011-01-11

    Bumble bees (Bombus) are vitally important pollinators of wild plants and agricultural crops worldwide. Fragmentary observations, however, have suggested population declines in several North American species. Despite rising concern over these observations in the United States, highlighted in a recent National Academy of Sciences report, a national assessment of the geographic scope and possible causal factors of bumble bee decline is lacking. Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23-87%, some within the last 20 y. We also show that declining populations have significantly higher infection levels of the microsporidian pathogen Nosema bombi and lower genetic diversity compared with co-occurring populations of the stable (nondeclining) species. Higher pathogen prevalence and reduced genetic diversity are, thus, realistic predictors of these alarming patterns of decline in North America, although cause and effect remain uncertain. PMID:21199943

  16. The formulation makes the honey bee poison.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  17. 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'.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2015-12-01

    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

  1. Foraging Bumble Bees Weigh the Reliability of Personal and Social Information.

    PubMed

    Dunlap, Aimee S; Nielsen, Matthew E; Dornhaus, Anna; Papaj, Daniel R

    2016-05-01

    Many animals, including insects, make decisions using both personally gathered information and social information derived from the behavior of other, usually conspecific, individuals [1]. Moreover, animals adjust use of social versus personal information appropriately under a variety of experimental conditions [2-5]. An important factor in how information is used is the information's reliability, that is, how consistently the information is correlated with something of relevance in the environment [6]. The reliability of information determines which signals should be attended to during communication [6-9], which types of stimuli animals should learn about, and even whether learning should evolve [10, 11]. Here, we show that bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) account for the reliability of personally acquired information (which flower color was previously associated with reward) and social information (which flowers are chosen by other bees) in making foraging decisions; however, the two types of information are not treated equally. Bees prefer to use social information if it predicts a reward at all, but if social information becomes entirely unreliable, flower color will be used instead. This greater sensitivity to the reliability of social information, and avoidance of conspecifics in some cases, may reflect the specific ecological circumstances of bee foraging. Overall, the bees' ability to make decisions based on both personally acquired and socially derived information, and the relative reliability of both, demonstrates a new level of sophistication and flexibility in animal, particularly insect, decision-making.

  2. Foraging Bumble Bees Weigh the Reliability of Personal and Social Information.

    PubMed

    Dunlap, Aimee S; Nielsen, Matthew E; Dornhaus, Anna; Papaj, Daniel R

    2016-05-01

    Many animals, including insects, make decisions using both personally gathered information and social information derived from the behavior of other, usually conspecific, individuals [1]. Moreover, animals adjust use of social versus personal information appropriately under a variety of experimental conditions [2-5]. An important factor in how information is used is the information's reliability, that is, how consistently the information is correlated with something of relevance in the environment [6]. The reliability of information determines which signals should be attended to during communication [6-9], which types of stimuli animals should learn about, and even whether learning should evolve [10, 11]. Here, we show that bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) account for the reliability of personally acquired information (which flower color was previously associated with reward) and social information (which flowers are chosen by other bees) in making foraging decisions; however, the two types of information are not treated equally. Bees prefer to use social information if it predicts a reward at all, but if social information becomes entirely unreliable, flower color will be used instead. This greater sensitivity to the reliability of social information, and avoidance of conspecifics in some cases, may reflect the specific ecological circumstances of bee foraging. Overall, the bees' ability to make decisions based on both personally acquired and socially derived information, and the relative reliability of both, demonstrates a new level of sophistication and flexibility in animal, particularly insect, decision-making. PMID:27133871

  3. Flowers help bees cope with uncertainty: signal detection and the function of floral complexity

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Anne S.; Dornhaus, Anna; Papaj, Daniel R.

    2011-01-01

    Plants often attract pollinators with floral displays composed of visual, olfactory, tactile and gustatory stimuli. Since pollinators' responses to each of these stimuli are usually studied independently, the question of why plants produce multi-component floral displays remains relatively unexplored. Here we used signal detection theory to test the hypothesis that complex displays reduce a pollinator's uncertainty about the floral signal. Specifically, we asked whether one component of the floral display, scent, improved a bee's certainty about the value of another component, color hue. We first trained two groups of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) to discriminate between rewarding and unrewarding artificial flowers of slightly different hues in the presence vs absence of scent. In a test phase, we presented these bees with a gradient of floral hues and assessed their ability to identify the hue rewarded during training. We interpreted the extent to which bees' preferences were biased away from the unrewarding hue (‘peak shift’) as an indicator of uncertainty in color discrimination. Our data show that the presence of an olfactory signal reduces uncertainty regarding color: not only was color learning facilitated on scented flowers but also bees showed a lower amount of peak shift in the presence of scent. We explore potential mechanisms by which scent might reduce uncertainty about color, and discuss the broader significance of our results for our understanding of signal evolution. PMID:21147975

  4. 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.

  5. Problem solving by worker bumblebees Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apoidea).

    PubMed

    Mirwan, Hamida B; Kevan, Peter G

    2014-09-01

    During foraging, worker bumblebees are challenged by simple to complex tasks. Our goal was to determine whether bumblebees could successfully accomplish tasks that are more complex than those they would naturally encounter. Once the initial training to successfully manipulate a simple, artificial flower was completed, the bees were either challenged with a series of increasingly difficult tasks or with the most difficult task without the opportunity for prior learning. The first experiment demonstrated that the bees learned to slide or lift caps that prevented their access to the reinforcer sugar solution through a series of tasks with increasing complexity: moving one cap either to the right or to the left, or lifting it up. The second experiment demonstrated that the bees learned to push balls of escalating masses (diameters 1 and 1.27 cm) from the access to the hidden rewarding (sugar syrup) reservoir of artificial flowers. In both experiments, when bees with experience with only the simplest task (i.e. an artificial flower without a barrier to the reinforcer) were presented next with the most complex or difficult task, they failed. Only by proceeding through the series of increasingly difficult tasks were they able to succeed at the most difficult. We also noted idiosyncratic behaviours by individual bees in learning to succeed. Our results can be interpreted within the context of Skinnerian shaping and possibly scaffold learning.

  6. Individual lifetime pollen and nectar foraging preferences in bumble bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagbery, Jessica; Nieh, James C.

    2012-10-01

    Foraging specialization plays an important role in the ability of social insects to efficiently allocate labor. However, relatively little is known about the degree to which individual bumble bees specialize on collecting nectar or pollen, when such preferences manifest, and if individuals can alter their foraging preferences in response to changes in the colony workforce. Using Bombus impatiens, we monitored all foraging visits made by every bee in multiple colonies and showed that individual foragers exhibit consistent lifetime foraging preferences. Based upon the distribution of foraging preferences, we defined three forager types (pollen specialists, nectar specialists, and generalists). In unmanipulated colonies, 16-36 % of individuals specialized (≥90 % of visits) on nectar or pollen only. On its first day of foraging, an individual's foraging choices (nectar only, pollen only, or nectar and pollen) significantly predicted its lifetime foraging preferences. Foragers that only collected pollen on their first day of foraging made 1.61- to 1.67-fold more lifetime pollen foraging visits (as a proportion of total trips) than foragers that only collected nectar on their first foraging day. Foragers were significantly larger than bees that stayed only in the nest. We also determined the effect of removing pollen specialists at early (brood present) or later (brood absent) stages in colony life. These results suggest that generalists can alter their foraging preferences in response to the loss of a small subset of foragers. Thus, bumble bees exhibit individual lifetime foraging preferences that are established early in life, but generalists may be able to adapt to colony needs.

  7. Male bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, perform equally well as workers in a serial colour-learning task

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Stephan; Chittka, Lars

    2016-01-01

    The learning capacities of males and females may differ with sex-specific behavioural requirements. Bumblebees provide a useful model system to explore how different lifestyles are reflected in learning abilities, because their (female but sterile) workers and males engage in fundamentally different behaviour routines. Bumblebee males, like workers, embark on active flower foraging but in contrast to workers they have to trade off their feeding with mate search, potentially affecting their abilities to learn and utilize floral cues efficiently during foraging. We used a serial colour-learning task with freely flying males and workers to compare their ability to flexibly learn visual floral cues with reward in a foraging scenario that changed over time. Male bumblebees did not differ from workers in both their learning speed and their ability to overcome previously acquired associations, when these ceased to predict reward. In all foraging tasks we found a significant improvement in choice accuracy in both sexes over the course of the training. In both sexes, the characteristics of the foraging performance depended largely on the colour difference of the two presented feeder types. Large colour distances entailed fast and reliable learning of the rewarding feeders whereas choice accuracy on highly similar colours improved significantly more slowly. Conversely, switching from a learned feeder type to a novel one was fastest for similar feeder colours and slow for highly different ones. Overall, we show that behavioural sex dimorphism in bumblebees did not affect their learning abilities beyond the mating context. We discuss the possible drivers and limitations shaping the foraging abilities of males and workers and implications for pollination ecology. We also suggest stingless male bumblebees as an advantageous alternative model system for the study of pollinator cognition. PMID:26877542

  8. How floral odours are learned inside the bumblebee ( Bombus terrestris) nest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molet, Mathieu; Chittka, Lars; Raine, Nigel E.

    2009-02-01

    Recruitment in social insects often involves not only inducing nestmates to leave the nest, but also communicating crucial information about finding profitable food sources. Although bumblebees transmit chemosensory information (floral scent), the transmission mechanism is unknown as mouth-to-mouth fluid transfer (as in honeybees) does not occur. Because recruiting bumblebees release a pheromone in the nest that triggers foraging in previously inactive workers, we tested whether this pheromone helps workers learn currently rewarding floral odours, as found in food social learning in rats. We exposed colonies to artificial recruitment pheromone, paired with anise scent. The pheromone did not facilitate learning of floral scent. However, we found that releasing floral scent in the air of the colony was sufficient to trigger learning and that learning performance was improved when the chemosensory cue was provided in the nectar in honeypots; probably because it guarantees a tighter link between scent and reward, and possibly because gustatory cues are involved in addition to olfaction. Scent learning was maximal when anise-scented nectar was brought into the nest by demonstrator foragers, suggesting that previously unidentified cues provided by successful foragers play an important role in nestmates learning new floral odours.

  9. Mite species inhabiting commercial bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) nests in Polish greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Rożej, Elżbieta; Witaliński, Wojciech; Szentgyörgyi, Hajnalka; Wantuch, Marta; Moroń, Dawid; Woyciechowski, Michal

    2012-03-01

    Nests of social insects are usually inhabited by various mite species that feed on pollen, other micro-arthropods or are parasitic. Well-known negative effects of worldwide economic importance are caused by mites parasitizing honeybee colonies. Lately, attention has focused on the endoparasitic mite Locustacarus buchneri that has been found in commercial bumblebees. However, little is known of other mites associated with commercial bumblebee nests. Transportation of commercial bumblebee colonies with unwanted residents may introduce foreign mite species to new localities. In this study, we assessed the prevalence and species composition of mites associated with commercial bumblebee nests and determined if the mites are foreign species for Poland and for Europe. The study was conducted on 37 commercial bumblebee nests from two companies (Dutch and Israeli), originating from two greenhouses in southern Poland, and on 20 commercial bumblebee colonies obtained directly from suppliers. The species composition and abundance of mites inhabiting commercial bumblebee nests were determined. Seven mite species from three families were found in nests after greenhouse exploitation. The predominant mite species was Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Acaridae) that was a 100-fold more numerous than representatives of the family Laelapidae (Hypoaspis marginepilosa, H. hyatti, H. bombicolens). Representatives of Parasitidae (Parasitellus fucorum, P. crinitus, P. ignotus) were least numerous. All identified mite species are common throughout Europe, foreign species were not found. Mites were not detected in nests obtained directly from suppliers. We conclude that probably bumblebee nests are invaded by local mite species during greenhouse exploitation.

  10. Hitting an Unintended Target: Phylogeography of Bombus brasiliensis Lepeletier, 1836 and the First New Brazilian Bumblebee Species in a Century (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Santos Júnior, José Eustáquio; Santos, Fabrício R; Silveira, Fernando A

    2015-01-01

    This work tested whether or not populations of Bombus brasiliensis isolated on mountain tops of southeastern Brazil belonged to the same species as populations widespread in lowland areas in the Atlantic coast and westward along the Paraná-river valley. Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses showed that those populations were all conspecific. However, they revealed a previously unrecognized, apparently rare, and potentially endangered species in one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots of the World, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. This species is described here as Bombus bahiensis sp. n., and included in a revised key for the identification of the bumblebee species known to occur in Brazil. Phylogenetic analyses based on two mtDNA markers suggest this new species to be sister to B. brasiliensis, from which its workers and queens can be easily distinguished by the lack of a yellow hair-band on the first metasomal tergum. The results presented here are consistent with the hypothesis that B. bahiensis sp. n. may have originated from an ancestral population isolated in an evergreen-forest refuge (the so-called Bahia refuge) during cold, dry periods of the Pleistocene. This refuge is also known as an important area of endemism for several animal taxa, including other bees. Secondary contact between B. bahiensis and B. brasiliensis may be presently prevented by a strip of semi-deciduous forest in a climate zone characterized by relatively long dry seasons. Considering the relatively limited range of this new species and the current anthropic pressure on its environment, attention should be given to its conservation status.

  11. Hitting an Unintended Target: Phylogeography of Bombus brasiliensis Lepeletier, 1836 and the First New Brazilian Bumblebee Species in a Century (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    Santos Júnior, José Eustáquio; Santos, Fabrício R.; Silveira, Fernando A.

    2015-01-01

    This work tested whether or not populations of Bombus brasiliensis isolated on mountain tops of southeastern Brazil belonged to the same species as populations widespread in lowland areas in the Atlantic coast and westward along the Paraná-river valley. Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses showed that those populations were all conspecific. However, they revealed a previously unrecognized, apparently rare, and potentially endangered species in one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots of the World, the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. This species is described here as Bombus bahiensis sp. n., and included in a revised key for the identification of the bumblebee species known to occur in Brazil. Phylogenetic analyses based on two mtDNA markers suggest this new species to be sister to B. brasiliensis, from which its workers and queens can be easily distinguished by the lack of a yellow hair-band on the first metasomal tergum. The results presented here are consistent with the hypothesis that B. bahiensis sp. n. may have originated from an ancestral population isolated in an evergreen-forest refuge (the so-called Bahia refuge) during cold, dry periods of the Pleistocene. This refuge is also known as an important area of endemism for several animal taxa, including other bees. Secondary contact between B. bahiensis and B. brasiliensis may be presently prevented by a strip of semi-deciduous forest in a climate zone characterized by relatively long dry seasons. Considering the relatively limited range of this new species and the current anthropic pressure on its environment, attention should be given to its conservation status. PMID:25992624

  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. Surplus nectar available for subalpine bumble bee colony growth.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Susan E

    2009-12-01

    Mutualisms may cause coupled population expansion or decline if both partners respond to variation in the other's abundance. Many studies have shown how the abundance of animal mutualists affects plant reproduction, but less is known about how the abundance of plant mutualists affects animal reproduction. Over 2 yr, I compared reproduction of the bumble bee, Bombus appositus, across meadows that varied naturally in flower density, and I compared reproduction between fed colonies and unfed control colonies. Colony reproduction (gyne, worker, and male production) was constant across meadows that varied naturally in flower density. Forager densities per flower did not vary among meadows, and daily nectar depletion was consistently low across meadows, suggesting that bees had ample nectar in all meadows. However, colonies directly fed with supplemental nectar and pollen generally produced over twice as many gynes as control colonies. Feeding did not affect male or worker production. Although colonies may benefit from food supplementation at the nest, it is possible that they may not benefit from additional flowers because they have too few workers to collect extra resources. PMID:20021764

  14. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Honey bee toxicology.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Deep Sequencing and Ecological Characterization of Gut Microbial Communities of Diverse Bumble Bee Species

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Haw Chuan; Chu, Chia-Ching; Seufferheld, Manfredo J.; Cameron, Sydney A.

    2015-01-01

    Gut bacterial communities of bumble bees are correlated with defense against pathogens. Further understanding this host-microbe association is vitally important as bumble bees are currently experiencing global population declines, potentially due in part to emergent diseases. In this study, we used pyrosequencing and community fingerprinting (ARISA) to characterize the gut microbial communities of nine bumble species from across the Bombus phylogeny. Overall, we delimited 74 bacterial taxa (operational taxonomic units or OTUs) belonging to Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Bacilli, Actinobacteria, Flavobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria. Each bacterial community was taxonomically simple, containing an average of 1.9 common (relative abundance per sample > 5%) bacterial OTUs. The most abundant and prevalent (occurring in 92% of the samples) bacterial OTU, based on 16S rRNA sequences, closely matched that of the previously described Betaproteobacteria species Snodgrassella alvi. Bacteria that were first described in bee-related external environments dominated a number of gut bacterial communities, suggesting that they are not strictly dependent on the internal gut environment. The ARISA data showed a correlation between bacterial community structures and the geographic locations where the bees were sampled, suggesting that at least a subset of the bacterial species may be transmitted environmentally. Using light and fluorescent microscopy, we demonstrated that the gut bacteria form a biofilm on the internal epithelial surface of the ileum, corroborating results obtained from Apis mellifera. PMID:25768110

  17. Terrestrial sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Charlie Byrer

    2008-03-10

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  18. Terrestrial sequestration

    ScienceCinema

    Charlie Byrer

    2016-07-12

    Terrestrial sequestration is the enhancement of CO2 uptake by plants that grow on land and in freshwater and, importantly, the enhancement of carbon storage in soils where it may remain more permanently stored. Terrestrial sequestration provides an opportunity for low-cost CO2 emissions offsets.

  19. Inorganic nitrogen derived from foraging honey bees could have adaptive benefits for the plants they visit.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Archana; Afik, Ohad; Cabrera, Miguel L; Delaplane, Keith S; Mowrer, Jason E

    2013-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems, nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient for plant growth. Honey bees may help alleviate this limitation because their feces (frass) have high concentration of organic nitrogen that may decompose in soil and provide inorganic N to plants. However, information on soil N processes associated with bee frass is not available. The objectives of this work were to 1) estimate the amount of bee frass produced by a honey bee colony and 2) evaluate nitrogen mineralization and ammonia volatilization from bee frass when surface applied or incorporated into soil. Two cage studies were conducted to estimate the amount of frass produced by a 5000-bee colony, and three laboratory studies were carried out in which bee frass, surface-applied or incorporated into soil, was incubated at 25(o)C for 15 to 45 days. The average rate of bee frass production by a 5,000-bee colony was estimated at 2.27 to 2.69 g N month(-1). Nitrogen mineralization from bee frass during 30 days released 20% of the organic N when bee frass was surface applied and 34% when frass was incorporated into the soil. Volatilized NH3 corresponded to 1% or less of total N. The potential amount of inorganic N released to the soil by a typical colony of 20,000 bees foraging in an area similar to that of the experimental cages (3.24 m(2)) was estimated at 0.62 to 0.74 g N m(-2) month(-1) which may be significant at a community scale in terms of soil microbial activity and plant growth. Thus, the deposition of available N by foraging bees could have adaptive benefits for the plants they visit, a collateral benefit deriving from the primary activity of pollination. PMID:23923006

  20. Inorganic Nitrogen Derived from Foraging Honey Bees Could Have Adaptive Benefits for the Plants They Visit

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Archana; Afik, Ohad; Cabrera, Miguel L.; Delaplane, Keith S.; Mowrer, Jason E.

    2013-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems, nitrogen (N) is the most limiting nutrient for plant growth. Honey bees may help alleviate this limitation because their feces (frass) have high concentration of organic nitrogen that may decompose in soil and provide inorganic N to plants. However, information on soil N processes associated with bee frass is not available. The objectives of this work were to 1) estimate the amount of bee frass produced by a honey bee colony and 2) evaluate nitrogen mineralization and ammonia volatilization from bee frass when surface applied or incorporated into soil. Two cage studies were conducted to estimate the amount of frass produced by a 5000-bee colony, and three laboratory studies were carried out in which bee frass, surface-applied or incorporated into soil, was incubated at 25oC for 15 to 45 days. The average rate of bee frass production by a 5,000-bee colony was estimated at 2.27 to 2.69 g N month−1. Nitrogen mineralization from bee frass during 30 days released 20% of the organic N when bee frass was surface applied and 34% when frass was incorporated into the soil. Volatilized NH3 corresponded to 1% or less of total N. The potential amount of inorganic N released to the soil by a typical colony of 20,000 bees foraging in an area similar to that of the experimental cages (3.24 m2) was estimated at 0.62 to 0.74 g N m−2 month−1 which may be significant at a community scale in terms of soil microbial activity and plant growth. Thus, the deposition of available N by foraging bees could have adaptive benefits for the plants they visit, a collateral benefit deriving from the primary activity of pollination. PMID:23923006

  1. Variable effects of nicotine, anabasine, and their interactions on parasitized bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Thorburn, Lukas P.; Adler, Lynn S.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Palmer-Young, Evan C.

    2015-01-01

    Secondary metabolites in floral nectar have been shown to reduce parasite load in two common bumble bee species. Previous studies on the effects of nectar secondary metabolites on parasitized bees have focused on single compounds in isolation; however, in nature, bees are simultaneously exposed to multiple compounds. We tested for interactions between the effects of two alkaloids found in the nectar of Nicotiana spp. plants, nicotine and anabasine, on parasite load and mortality in bumble bees ( Bombus impatiens) infected with the intestinal parasite Crithidia bombi. Adult worker bees inoculated with C. bombi were fed nicotine and anabasine diet treatments in a factorial design, resulting in four nectar treatment combinations:  2 ppm nicotine, 5 ppm anabasine, 2ppm nicotine and 5 ppm anabasine together, or a control alkaloid-free solution. We conducted the experiment twice: first, with bees incubated under variable environmental conditions (‘Variable’; temperatures varied from 10-35°C with ambient lighting); and second, under carefully controlled environmental conditions (‘Stable’; 27°C incubator, constant darkness). In ‘Variable’, each alkaloid alone significantly decreased parasite loads, but this effect was not realized with the alkaloids in combination, suggesting an antagonistic interaction. Nicotine but not anabasine significantly increased mortality, and the two compounds had no interactive effects on mortality. In ‘Stable’, nicotine significantly increased parasite loads, the opposite of its effect in ‘Variable’. While not significant, the relationship between anabasine and parasite loads was also positive. Interactive effects between the two alkaloids on parasite load were non-significant, but the pattern of antagonistic interaction was similar to that in the variable experiment. Neither alkaloid, nor their interaction, significantly affected mortality under controlled conditions. Our results do not indicate synergy between Nicotiana

  2. Chronic exposure of imidacloprid and clothianidin reduce queen survival, foraging, and nectar storing in colonies of Bombus impatiens.

    PubMed

    Scholer, Jamison; Krischik, Vera

    2014-01-01

    In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin), 10 (14 I, 9 C), 20 (16 I, 17C), 50 (71 I, 39 C) and 100 (127 I, 76 C) ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%). These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower). At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb-100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C) ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C) ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14) ppb I and 50 (39) ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage) that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight). Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb.

  3. Chronic Exposure of Imidacloprid and Clothianidin Reduce Queen Survival, Foraging, and Nectar Storing in Colonies of Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Scholer, Jamison; Krischik, Vera

    2014-01-01

    In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin), 10 (14 I, 9 C), 20 (16 I, 17C), 50 (71 I, 39 C) and 100 (127 I, 76 C) ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%). These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower). At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb–100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C) ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C) ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14) ppb I and 50 (39) ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage) that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight). Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb. PMID:24643057

  4. Chronic exposure of imidacloprid and clothianidin reduce queen survival, foraging, and nectar storing in colonies of Bombus impatiens.

    PubMed

    Scholer, Jamison; Krischik, Vera

    2014-01-01

    In an 11-week greenhouse study, caged queenright colonies of Bombus impatiens Cresson, were fed treatments of 0 (0 ppb actual residue I, imidacloprid; C, clothianidin), 10 (14 I, 9 C), 20 (16 I, 17C), 50 (71 I, 39 C) and 100 (127 I, 76 C) ppb imidacloprid or clothianidin in sugar syrup (50%). These treatments overlapped the residue levels found in pollen and nectar of many crops and landscape plants, which have higher residue levels than seed-treated crops (less than 10 ppb, corn, canola and sunflower). At 6 weeks, queen mortality was significantly higher in 50 ppb and 100 ppb and by 11 weeks in 20 ppb-100 ppb neonicotinyl-treated colonies. The largest impact for both neonicotinyls starting at 20 (16 I, 17 C) ppb was the statistically significant reduction in queen survival (37% I, 56% C) ppb, worker movement, colony consumption, and colony weight compared to 0 ppb treatments. Bees at feeders flew back to the nest box so it appears that only a few workers were collecting syrup in the flight box and returning the syrup to the nest. The majority of the workers sat immobilized for weeks on the floor of the flight box without moving to fed at sugar syrup feeders. Neonicotinyl residues were lower in wax pots in the nest than in the sugar syrup that was provided. At 10 (14) ppb I and 50 (39) ppb C, fewer males were produced by the workers, but queens continued to invest in queen production which was similar among treatments. Feeding on imidacloprid and clothianidin can cause changes in behavior (reduced worker movement, consumption, wax pot production, and nectar storage) that result in detrimental effects on colonies (queen survival and colony weight). Wild bumblebees depending on foraging workers can be negatively impacted by chronic neonicotinyl exposure at 20 ppb. PMID:24643057

  5. The innate responses of bumble bees to flower patterns: separating the nectar guide from the nectary changes bee movements and search time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodale, Eben; Kim, Edward; Nabors, Annika; Henrichon, Sara; Nieh, James C.

    2014-06-01

    Nectar guides can enhance pollinator efficiency and plant fitness by allowing pollinators to more rapidly find and remember the location of floral nectar. We tested if a radiating nectar guide around a nectary would enhance the ability of naïve bumble bee foragers to find nectar. Most experiments that test nectar guide efficacy, specifically radiating linear guides, have used guides positioned around the center of a radially symmetric flower, where nectaries are often found. However, the flower center may be intrinsically attractive. We therefore used an off-center guide and nectary and compared "conjunct" feeders with a nectar guide surrounding the nectary to "disjunct" feeders with a nectar guide separated from the nectary. We focused on the innate response of novice bee foragers that had never previously visited such feeders. We hypothesized that a disjunct nectar guide would conflict with the visual information provided by the nectary and negatively affect foraging. Approximately, equal numbers of bumble bees ( Bombus impatiens) found nectar on both feeder types. On disjunct feeders, however, unsuccessful foragers spent significantly more time (on average 1.6-fold longer) searching for nectar than any other forager group. Successful foragers on disjunct feeders approached these feeders from random directions unlike successful foragers on conjunct feeders, which preferentially approached the combined nectary and nectar guide. Thus, the nectary and a surrounding nectar guide can be considered a combination of two signals that attract naïve foragers even when not in the floral center.

  6. 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)

  7. Queen pheromones modulate DNA methyltransferase activity in bee and ant workers.

    PubMed

    Holman, Luke; Trontti, Kalevi; Helanterä, Heikki

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is emerging as an important regulator of polyphenism in the social insects. Research has concentrated on differences in methylation between queens and workers, though we hypothesized that methylation is involved in mediating other flexible phenotypes, including pheromone-dependent changes in worker behaviour and physiology. Here, we find that exposure to queen pheromone affects the expression of two DNA methyltransferase genes in Apis mellifera honeybees and in two species of Lasius ants, but not in Bombus terrestris bumblebees. These results suggest that queen pheromones influence the worker methylome, pointing to a novel proximate mechanism for these key social signals. PMID:26814223

  8. The bumblebees of North China (Apidae, Bombus Latreille).

    PubMed

    An, Jiandong; Huang, Jiaxing; Shao, Youquan; Zhang, Shiwen; Wang, Biao; Liu, Xinyu; Wu, Jie; Williams, Paul H

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees are important pollinators for wild flowers and agricultural crops. North China is a region of varied geomorphology and vegetation, with plateaus, plains, mountains and deserts, and is part of the greatest hotspot of bumblebee diversity worldwide. We report on a field survey of the bumblebees of North China made between 2005-2012. A sample of 21,636 bumblebee specimens are assigned to 76 species. One older specimen held in London added one more species to this list. Together, these 77 species represent 10 subgenera of the genus Bombus. Seven species are recorded from North China for the first time: B. (St.) distinguendus, B. (Th.) anachoreta, B. (Th.) pseudobaicalensis, B. (Th.) exil, B. (Ps.) campestris, B. (Pr.) infirmus and B. (Ag.) validus. We provide identification keys for both males and females, photographs of the common colour patterns, and distribution maps for all species. We describe variation in local species richness and abundance, and list the food plants used by bumblebees in North China. The most abundant 10 bumblebee species are: B. (Ml.) pyrosoma, B. (Bo.) lantschouensis, B. (Bo.) patagiatus, B. (St.) melanurus, B. (Sb.) sibiricus, B. (Bo.) ignitus, B. (Th.) hedini, B. (Pr.) picipes, B. (Mg.) trifasciatus and B. (Mg.) longipes. Bumblebees are distributed widely within North China, from low elevations near the edge of the North-China plain to high elevations at the edge of the east Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (65-4011 m). The highest species richness is found in meadows of the high elevation east Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and in forests of the Qilianshan mountains in southwestern Gansu. The 337 food plant species recorded here belong to 49 families, showing that bumblebees play an important role in interconnecting agricultural and natural ecosystems in North China.  PMID:25081273

  9. The bumblebees of North China (Apidae, Bombus Latreille).

    PubMed

    An, Jiandong; Huang, Jiaxing; Shao, Youquan; Zhang, Shiwen; Wang, Biao; Liu, Xinyu; Wu, Jie; Williams, Paul H

    2014-07-08

    Bumblebees are important pollinators for wild flowers and agricultural crops. North China is a region of varied geomorphology and vegetation, with plateaus, plains, mountains and deserts, and is part of the greatest hotspot of bumblebee diversity worldwide. We report on a field survey of the bumblebees of North China made between 2005-2012. A sample of 21,636 bumblebee specimens are assigned to 76 species. One older specimen held in London added one more species to this list. Together, these 77 species represent 10 subgenera of the genus Bombus. Seven species are recorded from North China for the first time: B. (St.) distinguendus, B. (Th.) anachoreta, B. (Th.) pseudobaicalensis, B. (Th.) exil, B. (Ps.) campestris, B. (Pr.) infirmus and B. (Ag.) validus. We provide identification keys for both males and females, photographs of the common colour patterns, and distribution maps for all species. We describe variation in local species richness and abundance, and list the food plants used by bumblebees in North China. The most abundant 10 bumblebee species are: B. (Ml.) pyrosoma, B. (Bo.) lantschouensis, B. (Bo.) patagiatus, B. (St.) melanurus, B. (Sb.) sibiricus, B. (Bo.) ignitus, B. (Th.) hedini, B. (Pr.) picipes, B. (Mg.) trifasciatus and B. (Mg.) longipes. Bumblebees are distributed widely within North China, from low elevations near the edge of the North-China plain to high elevations at the edge of the east Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (65-4011 m). The highest species richness is found in meadows of the high elevation east Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and in forests of the Qilianshan mountains in southwestern Gansu. The 337 food plant species recorded here belong to 49 families, showing that bumblebees play an important role in interconnecting agricultural and natural ecosystems in North China. 

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the tree bumblebee Bombus hypnorum.

    PubMed

    Crowther, Liam P; Hein, Pierre-Louis; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. hypnorum, a recent natural colonist that has rapidly expanded its range in the UK over the past decade. Counts of B. hypnorum and six other Bombus species were made in March-June 2012 within a mixed landscape in south-eastern Norfolk, UK. The extent of different landscape elements around each transect was quantified at three scales (250 m, 500 m and 1500 m). We then identified the landscape elements that best predicted the density of B. hypnorum and other Bombus species. At the best fitting scale (250 m), B. hypnorum density was significantly positively associated with extent of both urban and woodland cover and significantly negatively associated with extent of oilseed rape cover. This combination of landscape predictors was unique to B. hypnorum. Urban and woodland cover were associated with B. hypnorum density at three and two, respectively, of the three scales studied. Relative to other Bombus species, B. hypnorum exhibited a significantly higher foraging preference for two flowering trees, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa, and significantly lower preferences for Brassica napus, Glechoma hederacea and Lamium album. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for an association of B. hypnorum with urban and woodland landscape elements. Range expansion in B. hypnorum appears to depend, on exploitation of widespread habitats underutilised by native Bombus species, suggesting B. hypnorum will readily co-exist with these species. These findings suggest that management

  13. Habitat and Forage Associations of a Naturally Colonising Insect Pollinator, the Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum

    PubMed Central

    Crowther, Liam P.; Hein, Pierre-Louis; Bourke, Andrew F. G.

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. hypnorum, a recent natural colonist that has rapidly expanded its range in the UK over the past decade. Counts of B. hypnorum and six other Bombus species were made in March-June 2012 within a mixed landscape in south-eastern Norfolk, UK. The extent of different landscape elements around each transect was quantified at three scales (250 m, 500 m and 1500 m). We then identified the landscape elements that best predicted the density of B. hypnorum and other Bombus species. At the best fitting scale (250 m), B. hypnorum density was significantly positively associated with extent of both urban and woodland cover and significantly negatively associated with extent of oilseed rape cover. This combination of landscape predictors was unique to B. hypnorum. Urban and woodland cover were associated with B. hypnorum density at three and two, respectively, of the three scales studied. Relative to other Bombus species, B. hypnorum exhibited a significantly higher foraging preference for two flowering trees, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa, and significantly lower preferences for Brassica napus, Glechoma hederacea and Lamium album. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for an association of B. hypnorum with urban and woodland landscape elements. Range expansion in B. hypnorum appears to depend, on exploitation of widespread habitats underutilised by native Bombus species, suggesting B. hypnorum will readily co-exist with these species. These findings suggest that management

  14. Habitat and forage associations of a naturally colonising insect pollinator, the tree bumblebee Bombus hypnorum.

    PubMed

    Crowther, Liam P; Hein, Pierre-Louis; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2014-01-01

    Bumblebees (Bombus species) are major pollinators of commercial crops and wildflowers but factors affecting their abundance, including causes of recent population declines, remain unclear. Investigating the ecology of species with expanding ranges provides a potentially powerful means of elucidating these factors. Such species may also bring novel pollination services to their new ranges. We therefore investigated landscape-scale habitat use and foraging preferences of the Tree Bumblebee, B. hypnorum, a recent natural colonist that has rapidly expanded its range in the UK over the past decade. Counts of B. hypnorum and six other Bombus species were made in March-June 2012 within a mixed landscape in south-eastern Norfolk, UK. The extent of different landscape elements around each transect was quantified at three scales (250 m, 500 m and 1500 m). We then identified the landscape elements that best predicted the density of B. hypnorum and other Bombus species. At the best fitting scale (250 m), B. hypnorum density was significantly positively associated with extent of both urban and woodland cover and significantly negatively associated with extent of oilseed rape cover. This combination of landscape predictors was unique to B. hypnorum. Urban and woodland cover were associated with B. hypnorum density at three and two, respectively, of the three scales studied. Relative to other Bombus species, B. hypnorum exhibited a significantly higher foraging preference for two flowering trees, Crataegus monogyna and Prunus spinosa, and significantly lower preferences for Brassica napus, Glechoma hederacea and Lamium album. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for an association of B. hypnorum with urban and woodland landscape elements. Range expansion in B. hypnorum appears to depend, on exploitation of widespread habitats underutilised by native Bombus species, suggesting B. hypnorum will readily co-exist with these species. These findings suggest that management

  15. 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. PMID:27044096

  16. 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.

  17. Genomic Features of a Bumble Bee Symbiont Reflect Its Host Environment

    PubMed Central

    Magoc, Tanja; Koch, Hauke; Salzberg, Steven L.; Moran, Nancy A.

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the genome of one gammaproteobacterial member of the gut microbiota, for which we propose the name “Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi,” that was inadvertently sequenced alongside the genome of its host, the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. This symbiont is a member of the recently described bacterial order Orbales, which has been collected from the guts of diverse insect species; however, “Ca. Schmidhempelia” has been identified exclusively with bumble bees. Metabolic reconstruction reveals that “Ca. Schmidhempelia” lacks many genes for a functioning NADH dehydrogenase I, all genes for the high-oxygen cytochrome o, and most genes in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. “Ca. Schmidhempelia” has retained NADH dehydrogenase II, the low-oxygen specific cytochrome bd, anaerobic nitrate respiration, mixed-acid fermentation pathways, and citrate fermentation, which may be important for survival in low-oxygen or anaerobic environments found in the bee hindgut. Additionally, a type 6 secretion system, a Flp pilus, and many antibiotic/multidrug transporters suggest complex interactions with its host and other gut commensals or pathogens. This genome has signatures of reduction (2.0 megabase pairs) and rearrangement, as previously observed for genomes of host-associated bacteria. A survey of wild and laboratory B. impatiens revealed that “Ca. Schmidhempelia” is present in 90% of individuals and, therefore, may provide benefits to its host. PMID:24747890

  18. Cytochrome c oxidase I primers for corbiculate bees: DNA barcode and mini-barcode.

    PubMed

    Françoso, E; Arias, M C

    2013-09-01

    Bees (Apidae), of which there are more than 19 900 species, are extremely important for ecosystem services and economic purposes, so taxon identity is a major concern. The goal of this study was to optimize the DNA barcode technique based on the Cytochrome c oxidase (COI) mitochondrial gene region. This approach has previously been shown to be useful in resolving taxonomic inconsistencies and for species identification when morphological data are poor. Specifically, we designed and tested new primers and standardized PCR conditions to amplify the barcode region for bees, focusing on the corbiculate Apids. In addition, primers were designed to amplify small COI amplicons and tested with pinned specimens. Short barcode sequences were easily obtained for some Bombus century-old museum specimens and shown to be useful as mini-barcodes. The new primers and PCR conditions established in this study proved to be successful for the amplification of the barcode region for all species tested, regardless of the conditions of tissue preservation. We saw no evidence of Wolbachia or numts amplification by these primers, and so we suggest that these new primers are of broad value for corbiculate bee identification through DNA barcode.

  19. Genomic features of a bumble bee symbiont reflect its host environment.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Vincent G; Magoc, Tanja; Koch, Hauke; Salzberg, Steven L; Moran, Nancy A

    2014-07-01

    Here, we report the genome of one gammaproteobacterial member of the gut microbiota, for which we propose the name "Candidatus Schmidhempelia bombi," that was inadvertently sequenced alongside the genome of its host, the bumble bee, Bombus impatiens. This symbiont is a member of the recently described bacterial order Orbales, which has been collected from the guts of diverse insect species; however, "Ca. Schmidhempelia" has been identified exclusively with bumble bees. Metabolic reconstruction reveals that "Ca. Schmidhempelia" lacks many genes for a functioning NADH dehydrogenase I, all genes for the high-oxygen cytochrome o, and most genes in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. "Ca. Schmidhempelia" has retained NADH dehydrogenase II, the low-oxygen specific cytochrome bd, anaerobic nitrate respiration, mixed-acid fermentation pathways, and citrate fermentation, which may be important for survival in low-oxygen or anaerobic environments found in the bee hindgut. Additionally, a type 6 secretion system, a Flp pilus, and many antibiotic/multidrug transporters suggest complex interactions with its host and other gut commensals or pathogens. This genome has signatures of reduction (2.0 megabase pairs) and rearrangement, as previously observed for genomes of host-associated bacteria. A survey of wild and laboratory B. impatiens revealed that "Ca. Schmidhempelia" is present in 90% of individuals and, therefore, may provide benefits to its host. PMID:24747890

  20. 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

  1. TERRESTRIAL ECOTOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecotoxicology is the study of how environmental pollutants affect land-dependent organisms and their environment. It requires three elements: (1) a source, (2) a receptor, and (3) an exposure pathway. This article reviews the basic principles of each of each element...

  2. Bumble-bee foragers infected by a gut parasite have an impaired ability to utilize floral information

    PubMed Central

    Gegear, Robert J; Otterstatter, Michael C; Thomson, James D

    2006-01-01

    Parasitic infection can influence a variety of behavioural mechanisms in animals, but little is known about the effects of infection on the cognitive processes underlying ecologically relevant behaviours. Here, we examined whether parasitic infection alters cognitive aspects of foraging in a social insect, the bumble-bee (Bombus impatiens). In controlled experiments, we assessed the ability of foraging bees to discriminate rewarding from non-rewarding flowers on the basis of colour and odour. We found that natural and experimental infection by a protozoan parasite (Crithidia bombi, which lives exclusively within the gut tract), impaired the ability of foragers to learn the colour of rewarding flowers. Parasitic infection can thus disrupt central nervous system pathways that mediate cognitive processes in bumble-bees and as a consequence, can reduce their ability to monitor floral resources and make economic foraging decisions. It is postulated that this infection-induced change to cognitive function in bumble-bees is the result of communication between immune and nervous systems. Parasitized animals, including invertebrates, can therefore show subtle behavioural changes that are nonetheless ecologically significant and reflect complex mechanisms. PMID:16600883

  3. Identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infection in honey bees: establishment of a medium throughput screening assay based on N. ceranae infected cultured cells.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Many flowering plants in both natural ecosytems and agriculture are dependent on insect pollination for fruit set and seed production. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees are key pollinators providing this indispensable eco- and agrosystem service. Like all other organisms, bees are attacked by numerous pathogens and parasites. Nosema apis is a honey bee pathogenic microsporidium which is widely distributed in honey bee populations without causing much harm. Its congener Nosema ceranae was originally described as pathogen of the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) but jumped host from A. cerana to A. mellifera about 20 years ago and spilled over from A. mellifera to Bombus spp. quite recently. N. ceranae is now considered a deadly emerging parasite of both Western honey bees and bumblebees. Hence, novel and sustainable treatment strategies against N. ceranae are urgently needed to protect honey and wild bees. We here present the development of an in vitro medium throughput screening assay for the identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infections. This novel assay is based on our recently developed cell culture model for N. ceranae and coupled with an RT-PCR-ELISA protocol for quantification of N. ceranae in infected cells. The assay has been adapted to the 96-well microplate format to allow automated analysis. Several substances with known (fumagillin) or presumed (surfactin) or no (paromomycin) activity against N. ceranae were tested as well as substances for which no data concerning N. ceranae inhibition existed. While fumagillin and two nitroimidazoles (metronidazole, tinidazole) totally inhibited N. ceranae proliferation, all other test substances were inactive. In summary, the assay proved suitable for substance screening and demonstrated the activity of two synthetic antibiotics against N. ceranae.

  4. Identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infection in honey bees: establishment of a medium throughput screening assay based on N. ceranae infected cultured cells.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Many flowering plants in both natural ecosytems and agriculture are dependent on insect pollination for fruit set and seed production. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees are key pollinators providing this indispensable eco- and agrosystem service. Like all other organisms, bees are attacked by numerous pathogens and parasites. Nosema apis is a honey bee pathogenic microsporidium which is widely distributed in honey bee populations without causing much harm. Its congener Nosema ceranae was originally described as pathogen of the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) but jumped host from A. cerana to A. mellifera about 20 years ago and spilled over from A. mellifera to Bombus spp. quite recently. N. ceranae is now considered a deadly emerging parasite of both Western honey bees and bumblebees. Hence, novel and sustainable treatment strategies against N. ceranae are urgently needed to protect honey and wild bees. We here present the development of an in vitro medium throughput screening assay for the identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infections. This novel assay is based on our recently developed cell culture model for N. ceranae and coupled with an RT-PCR-ELISA protocol for quantification of N. ceranae in infected cells. The assay has been adapted to the 96-well microplate format to allow automated analysis. Several substances with known (fumagillin) or presumed (surfactin) or no (paromomycin) activity against N. ceranae were tested as well as substances for which no data concerning N. ceranae inhibition existed. While fumagillin and two nitroimidazoles (metronidazole, tinidazole) totally inhibited N. ceranae proliferation, all other test substances were inactive. In summary, the assay proved suitable for substance screening and demonstrated the activity of two synthetic antibiotics against N. ceranae. PMID:25658121

  5. Identification of Candidate Agents Active against N. ceranae Infection in Honey Bees: Establishment of a Medium Throughput Screening Assay Based on N. ceranae Infected Cultured Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-01-01

    Many flowering plants in both natural ecosytems and agriculture are dependent on insect pollination for fruit set and seed production. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera) and wild bees are key pollinators providing this indispensable eco- and agrosystem service. Like all other organisms, bees are attacked by numerous pathogens and parasites. Nosema apis is a honey bee pathogenic microsporidium which is widely distributed in honey bee populations without causing much harm. Its congener Nosema ceranae was originally described as pathogen of the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) but jumped host from A. cerana to A. mellifera about 20 years ago and spilled over from A. mellifera to Bombus spp. quite recently. N. ceranae is now considered a deadly emerging parasite of both Western honey bees and bumblebees. Hence, novel and sustainable treatment strategies against N. ceranae are urgently needed to protect honey and wild bees. We here present the development of an in vitro medium throughput screening assay for the identification of candidate agents active against N. ceranae infections. This novel assay is based on our recently developed cell culture model for N. ceranae and coupled with an RT-PCR-ELISA protocol for quantification of N. ceranae in infected cells. The assay has been adapted to the 96-well microplate format to allow automated analysis. Several substances with known (fumagillin) or presumed (surfactin) or no (paromomycin) activity against N. ceranae were tested as well as substances for which no data concerning N. ceranae inhibition existed. While fumagillin and two nitroimidazoles (metronidazole, tinidazole) totally inhibited N. ceranae proliferation, all other test substances were inactive. In summary, the assay proved suitable for substance screening and demonstrated the activity of two synthetic antibiotics against N. ceranae. PMID:25658121

  6. Flight control and landing precision in the nocturnal bee Megalopta is robust to large changes in light intensity

    PubMed Central

    Baird, Emily; Fernandez, Diana C.; Wcislo, William T.; Warrant, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Like their diurnal relatives, Megalopta genalis use visual information to control flight. Unlike their diurnal relatives, however, they do this at extremely low light intensities. Although Megalopta has developed optical specializations to increase visual sensitivity, theoretical studies suggest that this enhanced sensitivity does not enable them to capture enough light to use visual information to reliably control flight in the rainforest at night. It has been proposed that Megalopta gain extra sensitivity by summing visual information over time. While enhancing the reliability of vision, this strategy would decrease the accuracy with which they can detect image motion—a crucial cue for flight control. Here, we test this temporal summation hypothesis by investigating how Megalopta's flight control and landing precision is affected by light intensity and compare our findings with the results of similar experiments performed on the diurnal bumblebee Bombus terrestris, to explore the extent to which Megalopta's adaptations to dim light affect their precision. We find that, unlike Bombus, light intensity does not affect flight and landing precision in Megalopta. Overall, we find little evidence that Megalopta uses a temporal summation strategy in dim light, while we find strong support for the use of this strategy in Bombus. PMID:26578977

  7. Flight control and landing precision in the nocturnal bee Megalopta is robust to large changes in light intensity.

    PubMed

    Baird, Emily; Fernandez, Diana C; Wcislo, William T; Warrant, Eric J

    2015-01-01

    Like their diurnal relatives, Megalopta genalis use visual information to control flight. Unlike their diurnal relatives, however, they do this at extremely low light intensities. Although Megalopta has developed optical specializations to increase visual sensitivity, theoretical studies suggest that this enhanced sensitivity does not enable them to capture enough light to use visual information to reliably control flight in the rainforest at night. It has been proposed that Megalopta gain extra sensitivity by summing visual information over time. While enhancing the reliability of vision, this strategy would decrease the accuracy with which they can detect image motion-a crucial cue for flight control. Here, we test this temporal summation hypothesis by investigating how Megalopta's flight control and landing precision is affected by light intensity and compare our findings with the results of similar experiments performed on the diurnal bumblebee Bombus terrestris, to explore the extent to which Megalopta's adaptations to dim light affect their precision. We find that, unlike Bombus, light intensity does not affect flight and landing precision in Megalopta. Overall, we find little evidence that Megalopta uses a temporal summation strategy in dim light, while we find strong support for the use of this strategy in Bombus. PMID:26578977

  8. Bee a Reader.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Holly, Ed.; Marmolejo, Jill, Ed.

    This publication is a tutor's guide to teaching basic literacy using The Fresno Bee, a California newspaper, as the primary "textbook." The course is aimed at English-speaking adults and is designed to teach reading in an interesting and entertaining way that promotes self-motivated study, both in the classroom and at home. The guide is divided…

  9. [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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hudewenz, Anika; Klein, Alexandra-Maria

    2015-11-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Special Issue: Honey Bee Viruses.

    PubMed

    Gisder, Sebastian; Genersch, Elke

    2015-10-01

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

  17. Determination of Flower Constancy in Bombus atratus Franklin and Bombus bellicosus Smith (Hymenoptera: Apidae) through Palynological Analysis of Nectar and Corbicular Pollen Loads.

    PubMed

    Rossi, N; Santos, E; Salvarrey, S; Arbulo, N; Invernizzi, C

    2015-12-01

    The flower constancy (the visit to a single plant species during a foraging trip) in pollinator insects is a theme widely discussed in behavioral ecology and has an important implication in the evolution of angiosperms. This behavior was studied in the bumblebees Bombus atratus Franklin and Bombus bellicosus Smith through palynological analysis of the nectar and pollen loads of individuals captured while foraging in a restricted area. In both species, there were more individuals with constant flights than with non-constant ones, although in the nectar loads of B. atratus there were no significant differences between individuals with each flight types. It was verified that the nectar loads of the individuals that made either constant or non-constant flights did not differ in the number of pollen grains they contained. Considering this measurement as an estimate for flight duration, the results would indicate that the probability of changing between plant species during nectar collection is independent of the foraging trip duration. In both species, most individuals who collected nectar and/or pollen from more than one plant species visited just two plant species. In these cases, the pollen of one plant species was predominant. In the bumblebees in which it was possible to analyze nectar and pollen loads, the botanical origin of both resources was the same or they shared the principal species (with the exception of two individuals), showing that bumblebees do not often use a botanical source in an exclusive way to collect nectar and another to collect pollen.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Succession influences wild bees in a temperate forest landscape: the value of early successional stages in naturally regenerated and planted forests.

    PubMed

    Taki, Hisatomo; Okochi, Isamu; Okabe, Kimiko; Inoue, Takenari; Goto, Hideaki; Matsumura, Takeshi; Makino, Shun'ichi

    2013-01-01

    In many temperate terrestrial forest ecosystems, both natural human disturbances drive the reestablishment of forests. Succession in plant communities, in addition to reforestation following the creation of open sites through harvesting or natural disturbances, can affect forest faunal assemblages. Wild bees perform an important ecosystem function in human-altered and natural or seminatural ecosystems, as they are essential pollinators for both crops and wild flowering plants. To maintain high abundance and species richness for pollination services, it is important to conserve and create seminatural and natural land cover with optimal successional stages for wild bees. We examined the effects of forest succession on wild bees. In particular, we evaluated the importance of early successional stages for bees, which has been suspected but not previously demonstrated. A range of successional stages, between 1 and 178 years old, were examined in naturally regenerated and planted forests. In total 4465 wild bee individuals, representing 113 species, were captured. Results for total bees, solitary bees, and cleptoparasitic bees in both naturally regenerated and planted conifer forests indicated a higher abundance and species richness in the early successional stages. However, higher abundance and species richness of social bees in naturally regenerated forest were observed as the successional stages progressed, whereas the abundance of social bees in conifer planted forest showed a concave-shaped relationship when plotted. The results suggest that early successional stages of both naturally regenerated and conifer planted forest maintain a high abundance and species richness of solitary bees and their cleptoparasitic bees, although social bees respond differently in the early successional stages. This may imply that, in some cases, active forest stand management policies, such as the clear-cutting of planted forests for timber production, would create early successional

  1. Testing Dose-Dependent Effects of the Nectar Alkaloid Anabasine on Trypanosome Parasite Loads in Adult Bumble Bees

    PubMed Central

    Anthony, Winston E.; Palmer-Young, Evan C.; Leonard, Anne S.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Adler, Lynn S.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of consuming biologically active compounds is often dose-dependent, where small quantities can be medicinal while larger doses are toxic. The consumption of plant secondary compounds can be toxic to herbivores in large doses, but can also improve survival in parasitized herbivores. In addition, recent studies have found that consuming nectar secondary compounds may decrease parasite loads in pollinators. However, the effect of compound dose on bee survival and parasite loads has not been assessed. To determine how secondary compound consumption affects survival and pathogen load in Bombus impatiens, we manipulated the presence of a common gut parasite, Crithidia bombi, and dietary concentration of anabasine, a nectar alkaloid produced by Nicotiana spp. using four concentrations naturally observed in floral nectar. We hypothesized that increased consumption of secondary compounds at concentrations found in nature would decrease survival of uninfected bees, but improve survival and ameliorate parasite loads in infected bees. We found medicinal effects of anabasine in infected bees; the high-anabasine diet decreased parasite loads and increased the probability of clearing the infection entirely. However, survival time was not affected by any level of anabasine concentration, or by interactive effects of anabasine concentration and infection. Crithidia infection reduced survival time by more than two days, but this effect was not significant. Our results support a medicinal role for anabasine at the highest concentration; moreover, we found no evidence for a survival-related cost of anabasine consumption across the concentration range found in nectar. Our results suggest that consuming anabasine at the higher levels of the natural range could reduce or clear pathogen loads without incurring costs for healthy bees. PMID:26545106

  2. Testing Dose-Dependent Effects of the Nectar Alkaloid Anabasine on Trypanosome Parasite Loads in Adult Bumble Bees.

    PubMed

    Anthony, Winston E; Palmer-Young, Evan C; Leonard, Anne S; Irwin, Rebecca E; Adler, Lynn S

    2015-01-01

    The impact of consuming biologically active compounds is often dose-dependent, where small quantities can be medicinal while larger doses are toxic. The consumption of plant secondary compounds can be toxic to herbivores in large doses, but can also improve survival in parasitized herbivores. In addition, recent studies have found that consuming nectar secondary compounds may decrease parasite loads in pollinators. However, the effect of compound dose on bee survival and parasite loads has not been assessed. To determine how secondary compound consumption affects survival and pathogen load in Bombus impatiens, we manipulated the presence of a common gut parasite, Crithidia bombi, and dietary concentration of anabasine, a nectar alkaloid produced by Nicotiana spp. using four concentrations naturally observed in floral nectar. We hypothesized that increased consumption of secondary compounds at concentrations found in nature would decrease survival of uninfected bees, but improve survival and ameliorate parasite loads in infected bees. We found medicinal effects of anabasine in infected bees; the high-anabasine diet decreased parasite loads and increased the probability of clearing the infection entirely. However, survival time was not affected by any level of anabasine concentration, or by interactive effects of anabasine concentration and infection. Crithidia infection reduced survival time by more than two days, but this effect was not significant. Our results support a medicinal role for anabasine at the highest concentration; moreover, we found no evidence for a survival-related cost of anabasine consumption across the concentration range found in nectar. Our results suggest that consuming anabasine at the higher levels of the natural range could reduce or clear pathogen loads without incurring costs for healthy bees.

  3. Diversity in bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) and social wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Polistinae) community in "campos rupestres", Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Silva-Pereira, Vivane; Santos, Gilberto M M

    2006-01-01

    Hymenoptera such as bees and social wasps are regular floral visitors in "campos rupestres" vegetation. A community of bees and social wasps was studied during floral visitation in an area of "campos rupestres", at Chapada Diamantina, BA, Brazil, from September 2001 to April 2002. The community was described in relation to diversity, evenness, and dominance rank, considering the individuals abundance (H' = 2.14/ J' = 0.55) and biomass (H' = 2.34/ J' = 0.60). Thirty nine bee (588 individuals/ 15.742 g) and 11 social wasp species (52 individuals/ 2.156 g) were collected, being the first report of social wasps for the Brazilian "campos rupestres". The main species regarding number of individuals were Trigona spinipes (Fabricius), Apis mellifera L., Frieseomelitta francoi (Moure), and Bombus brevivillus Franklin. About 48% of the species were represented by a single individual. There was an inversion in the dominance rank when the species biomass was considered. B. brevivillus, A. mellifera, T spinipes, and other species represented by 15 individuals or less, such as the social wasps Synoeca cyanea (Olivier), Polistes canadensis (L.) and Myschocyttarus drewseni (Saussure), and the bees Eufriesea nigrohirta (Friese), Xylocopa grisescens Lepeletier and Megachile (Pseudocentron) sp.l were the predominant species. The use of biomass in diversity analysis permitted to detect differences in the relative contribution of species in hierarchy dominance. The comparison between bee faunas from different areas indicates a large similarity of the sampled fauna in Palmeiras (Bahia State) with neighboring ecosystems, although with low values of similarity. PMID:17348126

  4. Habitat assessment ability of bumble-bees implies frequency-dependent selection on floral rewards and display size

    PubMed Central

    Biernaskie, Jay M; Gegear, Robert J

    2007-01-01

    Foraging pollinators could visit hundreds of flowers in succession on mass-flowering plants, yet they often visit only a small number—potentially saving the plant from much self-pollination among its own flowers (geitonogamy). This study tests the hypothesis that bumble-bee (Bombus impatiens) residence on a particular plant depends on an assessment of that plant's reward value relative to the overall quality experienced in the habitat. In a controlled environment, naive bees were given experience in a particular habitat (all plants having equal nectar quality or number of rewarding flowers), and we tested whether they learn about and adaptively exploit a new habitat type. Bees' residence on a plant (number of flowers probed per visit) was eventually invariant to a doubling of absolute nectar quality and increased only slightly with a doubling of absolute flower number in the habitat. These results help to explain why pollinators are quick to leave highly rewarding plants and suggest that the fitness of rewarding plant traits will often be frequency dependent. One implication is that geitonogamy may be a less significant constraint on the evolution of rewarding traits than generally supposed. PMID:17711839

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. Hey! A Bee Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

    ... from flowers. Then they turn the nectar into honey for food. Wasps are closely related to bees, but instead of only feeding on pollen and honey, wasps eat animal food, other insects, or spiders. They are not fuzzy like bees, but seem kind of smooth and shiny, and ...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-02-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Stroke after multiple bee sting.

    PubMed

    Rajendiran, C; Puvanalingam, A; Thangam, D; Ragunanthanan, S; Ramesh, D; Venkatesan, S; Sundar, C

    2012-02-01

    Bee stings are commonly encountered worldwide. Various manifestations after bee sting have been described. Local reactions are common. Unusually, manifestations like vomiting, diarrhea, dyspnea, generalized edema, acute renal failure, hypotension and collapse may occur. Rarely vasculitis, serum sickness, neuritis and encephalitis have been described which generally develop days to weeks after a sting. We report a case of a 25-year-old male who developed left sided monoparesis and transient visual loss following multiple bee stings. Unlike the previous case reports, in our case there has been involvement of both the anterior circulation and posterior circulation territory to the brain. We report this case due to it's rarity. PMID:22715562

  17. Extracting the Behaviorally Relevant Stimulus: Unique Neural Representation of Farnesol, a Component of the Recruitment Pheromone of Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Strube-Bloss, Martin F.; Brown, Austin; Spaethe, Johannes; Schmitt, Thomas; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    To trigger innate behavior, sensory neural networks are pre-tuned to extract biologically relevant stimuli. Many male-female or insect-plant interactions depend on this phenomenon. Especially communication among individuals within social groups depends on innate behaviors. One example is the efficient recruitment of nest mates by successful bumblebee foragers. Returning foragers release a recruitment pheromone in the nest while they perform a ‘dance’ behavior to activate unemployed nest mates. A major component of this pheromone is the sesquiterpenoid farnesol. How farnesol is processed and perceived by the olfactory system, has not yet been identified. It is much likely that processing farnesol involves an innate mechanism for the extraction of relevant information to trigger a fast and reliable behavioral response. To test this hypothesis, we used population response analyses of 100 antennal lobe (AL) neurons recorded in alive bumblebee workers under repeated stimulation with four behaviorally different, but chemically related odorants (geraniol, citronellol, citronellal and farnesol). The analysis identified a unique neural representation of the recruitment pheromone component compared to the other odorants that are predominantly emitted by flowers. The farnesol induced population activity in the AL allowed a reliable separation of farnesol from all other chemically related odor stimuli we tested. We conclude that the farnesol induced population activity may reflect a predetermined representation within the AL-neural network allowing efficient and fast extraction of a behaviorally relevant stimulus. Furthermore, the results show that population response analyses of multiple single AL-units may provide a powerful tool to identify distinct representations of behaviorally relevant odors. PMID:26340263

  18. Extracting the Behaviorally Relevant Stimulus: Unique Neural Representation of Farnesol, a Component of the Recruitment Pheromone of Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Strube-Bloss, Martin F; Brown, Austin; Spaethe, Johannes; Schmitt, Thomas; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    To trigger innate behavior, sensory neural networks are pre-tuned to extract biologically relevant stimuli. Many male-female or insect-plant interactions depend on this phenomenon. Especially communication among individuals within social groups depends on innate behaviors. One example is the efficient recruitment of nest mates by successful bumblebee foragers. Returning foragers release a recruitment pheromone in the nest while they perform a 'dance' behavior to activate unemployed nest mates. A major component of this pheromone is the sesquiterpenoid farnesol. How farnesol is processed and perceived by the olfactory system, has not yet been identified. It is much likely that processing farnesol involves an innate mechanism for the extraction of relevant information to trigger a fast and reliable behavioral response. To test this hypothesis, we used population response analyses of 100 antennal lobe (AL) neurons recorded in alive bumblebee workers under repeated stimulation with four behaviorally different, but chemically related odorants (geraniol, citronellol, citronellal and farnesol). The analysis identified a unique neural representation of the recruitment pheromone component compared to the other odorants that are predominantly emitted by flowers. The farnesol induced population activity in the AL allowed a reliable separation of farnesol from all other chemically related odor stimuli we tested. We conclude that the farnesol induced population activity may reflect a predetermined representation within the AL-neural network allowing efficient and fast extraction of a behaviorally relevant stimulus. Furthermore, the results show that population response analyses of multiple single AL-units may provide a powerful tool to identify distinct representations of behaviorally relevant odors.

  19. A simple model for pollen-parent fecundity distributions in bee-pollinated forage legume polycrosses.

    PubMed

    Riday, Heathcliffe; Smith, Mark A; Peel, Michael D

    2015-09-01

    A simple Weibull distribution based empirical model that predicts pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone has been developed in outbred forage legume species for incorporation into quantitative genetic theory. Random mating or panmixis is a fundamental assumption in quantitative genetic theory. Random mating is sometimes thought to occur in actual fact, although a large body of empirical work shows that this is often not the case in nature. Models have been developed to explain many non-random mating phenomena. This paper measured pollen-parent fecundity distributions among outbred perennial forage legume species [autotetraploid alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), autohexaploid kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.), and diploid red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)] in ten polycrosses ranging in size (N) from 9 to 94 pollinated with bee pollinators [Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens Cr.) and leafcutter bees (Megachile rotundata F.)]. A Weibull distribution best fit the observed pollen-parent fecundity distributions. After standardizing data among the 10 polycrosses, a single Weibull distribution-based model was obtained with an R (2) of 0.978. The model is able to predict pollen-parent fecundity distributions based on polycross size alone. The model predicts that the effective polycross size will be approximately 9 % smaller than under random mating (i.e., N e/N ~ 0.91). The model is simple and can easily be incorporated into other models or simulations requiring a pollen-parent fecundity distribution. Further work is needed to determine how widely applicable the model is. PMID:26105686

  20. 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.

  1. Seasonal cycles, phylogenetic assembly, and functional diversity of orchid bee communities

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Santiago R; Hernández, Carlos; Link, Andres; López-Uribe, Margarita M

    2015-01-01

    Neotropical rainforests sustain some of the most diverse terrestrial communities on Earth. Euglossine (or orchid) bees are a diverse lineage of insect pollinators distributed throughout the American tropics, where they provide pollination services to a staggering diversity of flowering plant taxa. Elucidating the seasonal patterns of phylogenetic assembly and functional trait diversity of bee communities can shed new light into the mechanisms that govern the assembly of bee pollinator communities and the potential effects of declining bee populations. Male euglossine bees collect, store, and accumulate odoriferous compounds (perfumes) to subsequently use during courtship display. Thus, synthetic chemical baits can be used to attract and monitor euglossine bee populations. We conducted monthly censuses of orchid bees in three sites in the Magdalena valley of Colombia – a region where Central and South American biotas converge – to investigate the structure, diversity, and assembly of euglossine bee communities through time in relation to seasonal climatic cycles. In particular, we tested the hypothesis that phylogenetic community structure and functional trait diversity changed in response to seasonal rainfall fluctuations. All communities exhibited strong to moderate phylogenetic clustering throughout the year, with few pronounced bursts of phylogenetic overdispersion that coincided with the transition from wet-to-dry seasons. Despite the heterogeneous distribution of functional traits (e.g., body size, body mass, and proboscis length) and the observed seasonal fluctuations in phylogenetic diversity, we found that functional trait diversity, evenness, and divergence remained constant during all seasons in all communities. However, similar to the pattern observed with phylogenetic diversity, functional trait richness fluctuated markedly with rainfall in all sites. These results emphasize the importance of considering seasonal fluctuations in community assembly

  2. Seasonal cycles, phylogenetic assembly, and functional diversity of orchid bee communities.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Santiago R; Hernández, Carlos; Link, Andres; López-Uribe, Margarita M

    2015-05-01

    Neotropical rainforests sustain some of the most diverse terrestrial communities on Earth. Euglossine (or orchid) bees are a diverse lineage of insect pollinators distributed throughout the American tropics, where they provide pollination services to a staggering diversity of flowering plant taxa. Elucidating the seasonal patterns of phylogenetic assembly and functional trait diversity of bee communities can shed new light into the mechanisms that govern the assembly of bee pollinator communities and the potential effects of declining bee populations. Male euglossine bees collect, store, and accumulate odoriferous compounds (perfumes) to subsequently use during courtship display. Thus, synthetic chemical baits can be used to attract and monitor euglossine bee populations. We conducted monthly censuses of orchid bees in three sites in the Magdalena valley of Colombia - a region where Central and South American biotas converge - to investigate the structure, diversity, and assembly of euglossine bee communities through time in relation to seasonal climatic cycles. In particular, we tested the hypothesis that phylogenetic community structure and functional trait diversity changed in response to seasonal rainfall fluctuations. All communities exhibited strong to moderate phylogenetic clustering throughout the year, with few pronounced bursts of phylogenetic overdispersion that coincided with the transition from wet-to-dry seasons. Despite the heterogeneous distribution of functional traits (e.g., body size, body mass, and proboscis length) and the observed seasonal fluctuations in phylogenetic diversity, we found that functional trait diversity, evenness, and divergence remained constant during all seasons in all communities. However, similar to the pattern observed with phylogenetic diversity, functional trait richness fluctuated markedly with rainfall in all sites. These results emphasize the importance of considering seasonal fluctuations in community assembly and

  3. 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

  4. Cocaine Tolerance in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Sleep deprivation in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Stefan; Herrmann, Eva; Kaiser, Walter

    2004-06-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-06

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

  9. 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)

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Revisiting comparisons of genetic diversity in stable and declining species: assessing genome-wide polymorphism in North American bumble bees using RAD sequencing.

    PubMed

    Lozier, J D

    2014-02-01

    Genetic variation is of key importance for a species' evolutionary potential, and its estimation is a major component of conservation studies. New DNA sequencing technologies have enabled the analysis of large portions of the genome in nonmodel species, promising highly accurate estimates of such population genetic parameters. Restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) is used to analyse thousands of variants in the bumble bee species Bombus impatiens, which is common, and Bombus pensylvanicus, which is in decline. Previous microsatellite-based analyses have shown that gene diversity is lower in the declining B. pensylvanicus than in B. impatiens. RADseq nucleotide diversities appear much more similar in the two species. Both species exhibit allele frequencies consistent with historical population expansions. Differences in diversity observed at microsatellites thus do not appear to have arisen from long-term differences in population size and are either recent in origin or may result from mutational processes. Additional research is needed to explain these discrepancies and to investigate the best ways to integrate next-generation sequencing data and more traditional molecular markers in studies of genetic diversity. PMID:24351120

  14. Visual choice behavior by bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) confirms unsupervised neural network's predictions.

    PubMed

    Orbán, Levente L; Plowright, Catherine M S; Chartier, Sylvain; Thompson, Emma; Xu, Vicki

    2015-08-01

    The behavioral experiment herein tests the computational load hypothesis generated by an unsupervised neural network to examine bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) behavior at 2 visual properties: spatial frequency and symmetry. Untrained "flower-naïve" bumblebees were hypothesized to prefer symmetry only when the spatial frequency of artificial flowers is high and therefore places great information-processing demands on the bumblebees' visual system. Bumblebee choice behavior was recorded using high-definition motion-sensitive camcorders. The results support the computational model's prediction: 1-axis symmetry influenced bumblebees' preference behavior at low and high spatial frequency patterns. Additionally, increasing the level of symmetry from 1 axis to 4 axes amplified preference toward the symmetric patterns of both low and high spatial frequency patterns. The results are discussed in the context of the artificial neural network model and other hypotheses generated from the behavioral literature.

  15. Ambient air concentration of sulfur dioxide affects flight activity in bees

    SciTech Connect

    Ginevan, M.E.; Lane, D.D.; Greenberg, L.

    1980-10-01

    Three long-term (16 to 29 days) low-level (0.14 to 0.28 ppM) sulfur dioxide fumigations showed that exposure tothis gas has deleterious effects on male sweat bees (Lasioglossum zephrum). Although effects on mortality were equivocal, flight activity was definitely reduced. Because flight is necessary for successful mating behavior, the results suggest that sulfur dioxide air pollution could adversely affect this and doubtless other terrestrial insects.

  16. Sleep deprivation in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Stefan; Herrmann, Eva; Kaiser, Walter

    2004-06-01

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

  17. Structural studies of bee melittin

    SciTech Connect

    Eisenberg, D.; Terwilliger, T.C.; Tsui, F.

    1980-10-01

    The question of how proteins refold in passing from an aqueous phase to an amphipathic environment such as a membrane is beig addressed by a structural study of bee melittin. Melittin is the toxic, main protein of bee venom, and has been shown by others to integrate into natural and synthetic membranes and to lyse a variety of cells. This function is presumably related to its unusual sequence. Except for charges at the N-terminus and at lysine 7, the first 20 residues are largely apolar. In contrast, the last six residues contain four charges and two polar residues.

  18. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Preservation of honey bee semen.

    PubMed

    TABER, S; BLUM, M S

    1960-06-10

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

  1. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. Preservation of honey bee semen.

    PubMed

    TABER, S; BLUM, M S

    1960-06-10

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

  5. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Filtering across Spatial Scales: Phylogeny, Biogeography and Community Structure in Bumble Bees

    PubMed Central

    Harmon-Threatt, Alexandra N.; Ackerly, David D.

    2013-01-01

    Despite the expansion of phylogenetic community analysis to understand community assembly, few studies have used these methods on mobile organisms and it has been suggested the local scales that are typically considered may be too small to represent the community as perceived by organisms with high mobility. Mobility is believed to allow species to mediate competitive interactions quickly and thus highly mobile species may appear randomly assembled in local communities. At larger scales, however, biogeographical processes could cause communities to be either phylogenetically clustered or even. Using phylogenetic community analysis we examined patterns of relatedness and trait similarity in communities of bumble bees (Bombus) across spatial scales comparing: local communities to regional pools, regional communities to continental pools and the continental community to a global species pool. Species composition and data on tongue lengths, a key foraging trait, were used to test patterns of relatedness and trait similarity across scales. Although expected to exhibit limiting similarity, local communities were clustered both phenotypically and phylogenetically. Larger spatial scales were also found to have more phylogenetic clustering but less trait clustering. While patterns of relatedness in mobile species have previously been suggested to exhibit less structure in local communities and to be less clustered than immobile species, we suggest that mobility may actually allow communities to have more similar species that can simply limit direct competition through mobility. PMID:23544141

  7. Rising atmospheric CO2 is reducing the protein concentration of a floral pollen source essential for North American bees.

    PubMed

    Ziska, Lewis H; Pettis, Jeffery S; Edwards, Joan; Hancock, Jillian E; Tomecek, Martha B; Clark, Andrew; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Loladze, Irakli; Polley, H Wayne

    2016-04-13

    At present, there is substantive evidence that the nutritional content of agriculturally important food crops will decrease in response to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, Ca However, whether Ca-induced declines in nutritional quality are also occurring for pollinator food sources is unknown. Flowering late in the season, goldenrod (Solidago spp.) pollen is a widely available autumnal food source commonly acknowledged by apiarists to be essential to native bee (e.g. Bombus spp.) and honeybee (Apis mellifera) health and winter survival. Using floral collections obtained from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, we quantified Ca-induced temporal changes in pollen protein concentration of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), the most wide spread Solidago taxon, from hundreds of samples collected throughout the USA and southern Canada over the period 1842-2014 (i.e. a Ca from approx. 280 to 398 ppm). In addition, we conducted a 2 year in situtrial of S. Canadensis populations grown along a continuous Ca gradient from approximately 280 to 500 ppm. The historical data indicated a strong significant correlation between recent increases in Ca and reductions in pollen protein concentration (r(2)= 0.81). Experimental data confirmed this decrease in pollen protein concentration, and indicated that it would be ongoing as Ca continues to rise in the near term, i.e. to 500 ppm (r(2)= 0.88). While additional data are needed to quantify the subsequent effects of reduced protein concentration for Canada goldenrod on bee health and population stability, these results are the first to indicate that increasing Ca can reduce protein content of a floral pollen source widely used by North American bees.

  8. Rising atmospheric CO2 is reducing the protein concentration of a floral pollen source essential for North American bees.

    PubMed

    Ziska, Lewis H; Pettis, Jeffery S; Edwards, Joan; Hancock, Jillian E; Tomecek, Martha B; Clark, Andrew; Dukes, Jeffrey S; Loladze, Irakli; Polley, H Wayne

    2016-04-13

    At present, there is substantive evidence that the nutritional content of agriculturally important food crops will decrease in response to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, Ca However, whether Ca-induced declines in nutritional quality are also occurring for pollinator food sources is unknown. Flowering late in the season, goldenrod (Solidago spp.) pollen is a widely available autumnal food source commonly acknowledged by apiarists to be essential to native bee (e.g. Bombus spp.) and honeybee (Apis mellifera) health and winter survival. Using floral collections obtained from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, we quantified Ca-induced temporal changes in pollen protein concentration of Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), the most wide spread Solidago taxon, from hundreds of samples collected throughout the USA and southern Canada over the period 1842-2014 (i.e. a Ca from approx. 280 to 398 ppm). In addition, we conducted a 2 year in situtrial of S. Canadensis populations grown along a continuous Ca gradient from approximately 280 to 500 ppm. The historical data indicated a strong significant correlation between recent increases in Ca and reductions in pollen protein concentration (r(2)= 0.81). Experimental data confirmed this decrease in pollen protein concentration, and indicated that it would be ongoing as Ca continues to rise in the near term, i.e. to 500 ppm (r(2)= 0.88). While additional data are needed to quantify the subsequent effects of reduced protein concentration for Canada goldenrod on bee health and population stability, these results are the first to indicate that increasing Ca can reduce protein content of a floral pollen source widely used by North American bees. PMID:27075256

  9. Conditional discrimination and response chains by worker bumblebees (Bombus impatiens Cresson, Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Mirwan, Hamida B; Kevan, Peter G

    2015-09-01

    We trained worker bumblebees to discriminate arrays of artificial nectaries (one, two, and three microcentrifuge tubes inserted into artificial flowers) from which they could forage in association with their location in a three-compartmental maze. Additionally, we challenged bees to learn to accomplish three different tasks in a fixed sequence during foraging. To enter the main three-compartmented foraging arena, they had first to slide open doors in an entry box to be able to proceed to an artificial flower patch in the main arena where they had to lift covers to the artificial nectaries from which they then fed. Then, the bees had to return to the entrance way to their hive, but to actually enter, were challenged to rotate a vertically oriented disc to expose the entry hole. The bees were adept at associating the array of nectaries with their position in the compartmental maze (one nectary in compartment one, two in two, and three in three), taking about six trials to arrive at almost error-free foraging. Over all it took the bees three days of shaping to become more or less error free at the multi-step suite of sequential task performances. Thus, they had learned where they were in the chain sequence, which array and in which compartment was rewarding, how to get to the rewarding array in the appropriate compartment, and finally how to return as directly as possible to their hive entrance, open the entrance, and re-enter the hive. Our experiments were not designed to determine the specific nature of the cues the bees used, but our results strongly suggest that the tested bees developed a sense of subgoals that needed to be achieved by recognizing the array of elements in a pattern and possibly chain learning in order to achieve the ultimate goal of successfully foraging and returning to their colony. Our results also indicate that the bees had organized their learning by a hierarchy as evidenced by their proceeding to completion of the ultimate goal without

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

    PubMed

    Roubik, D W

    1978-09-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Terrestrial Planets: Comparative Planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    Papers were presented at the 47th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting on the Comparative planetology of Terrestrial Planets. Subject matter explored concerning terrestrial planets includes: interrelationships among planets; plaentary evolution; planetary structure; planetary composition; planetary Atmospheres; noble gases in meteorites; and planetary magnetic fields.

  14. TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM SIMULATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Terrestrial Habitats Project at the Western Ecology Division (Corvallis, OR) is developing tools and databases to meet the needs of Program Office clients for assessing risks to wildlife and terrestrial ecosystems. Because habitat is a dynamic condition in real-world environm...

  15. 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

  16. [Wasp and bee venom allergy].

    PubMed

    Knulst, A C; de Maat-Bleeker, F; Bruijnzeel-Koomen, C A

    1998-04-18

    To diagnose insect venom allergy a good patient history is important. Allergological tests (skin test, specific IgE titre) confirm the diagnosis. Patients are advised on preventive measures (e.g. with respect to clothing and use of perfume). They are also instructed on medical treatment (antihistaminics, epinephrine) in case they are stung again. In patients having had a serious systemic reaction immunotherapy should be considered. Immunotherapy leads to complete protection in more than 98% of patients with wasp (yellow jacket) venom allergy and in 75-80% of patients with bee venom allergy. Serious adverse reactions to immunotherapy are rare. Immunotherapy lasts at least 3 to 5 years. After cessation of immunotherapy the frequency of systemic reactions to the sting of a wasp or bee is in the range of 5-15%. There are insufficient data on the long-term effect of immunotherapy.

  17. Expression profile of the sex determination gene doublesex in a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Matsuo, Koshiro; Kubo, Ryohei; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Ono, Masato

    2016-04-01

    Gynandromorphy that has both male and female features is known in many insect orders, including Hymenoptera. In most cases, however, only external morphology and behavioral aspects have been studied. We found a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus, that showed almost bilateral distribution of external sexual traits, with male characters observed on the left side and female characters on the right side. This individual never exhibited sexual behavior toward new queens. The dissection of the head part showed that it had bilaterally dimorphic labial glands, only the left of which was well developed and synthesized male-specific pheromone components. In contrast, the gynandromorph possessed an ovipositor and a pair of ovaries in the abdominal part, suggesting that it had a uniformly female reproductive system. Furthermore, we characterized several internal organs of the gynandromorph by a molecular biological approach. The expression analyses of a sex determination gene, doublesex, in the brain, the fat bodies, the hindgut, and the ovaries of the gynandromorph revealed a male-type expression pattern exclusively in the left brain hemisphere and consistent female-type expression in other tissues. These findings clearly indicate the sexual discordance between external traits and internal organs in the gynandromorph. The results of genetic analyses using microsatellite markers suggested that this individual consisted of both genetically male- and female-type tissues.

  18. Social interactions and their connection to aggression and ovarian development in orphaned worker bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Sibbald, E D; Plowright, C M S

    2014-03-01

    This study examines the social dynamics of reproductive conflict. Orphaned worker bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) with comparatively high or low levels of social activity were paired to determine whether aggression and reproduction could be traced to earlier social interactions. The workers were paired according to their levels of social activity (a socially active+another socially active worker, socially active+socially inactive, and two socially inactive workers). The presence or absence of brood was also manipulated. The absence of brood increased both aggression and ovarian development, suggesting that aggression and reproduction are associated or that there is a third variable that affects both. Socially active pairs were significantly more aggressive: here, social activity can be taken as an early indicator of aggression. No such effect, however, was obtained on ovarian development as the socially active pairs did not differ on their degree of ovarian development compared to the others. Within the socially active+socially inactive pairs, the socially active worker did not have more developed ovaries and was not more aggressive than her socially inactive partner. Results highlight that environmental conditions (the absence of brood) can predict ovarian development and although social activity can be observed prior to aggression, differences in aggression do not translate into differences in ovarian development under these conditions.

  19. A bumblebee (Bombus ignitus) venom serine protease inhibitor that acts as a microbial serine protease inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Wan, Hu; Kim, Bo Yeon; Lee, Kwang Sik; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Lee, Kyung Yong; Jin, Byung Rae

    2014-01-01

    Serine protease inhibitors from bumblebee venom have been shown to block plasmin activity. In this study, we identified the protein BiVSPI from the venom of Bombus ignitus to be a serine protease inhibitor and an antimicrobial factor. BiVSPI is a 55-amino acid mature peptide with ten conserved cysteine residues and a P1 methionine residue. BiVSPI is expressed in the venom gland and also found in the venom as an 8-kDa peptide. Recombinant BiVSPI that was expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells exhibited inhibitory activity against chymotrypsin but not trypsin. BiVSPI also inhibited microbial serine proteases, such as subtilisin A (Ki=6.57nM) and proteinase K (Ki=7.11nM). In addition, BiVSPI was shown to bind directly to Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Beauveria bassiana but not to Escherichia coli. Consistent with these results, BiVSPI exhibited antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria and fungi. These findings provide evidence for a novel serine protease inhibitor in bumblebee venom that has antimicrobial functions.

  20. Expression profile of the sex determination gene doublesex in a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus.

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Matsuo, Koshiro; Kubo, Ryohei; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Ono, Masato

    2016-04-01

    Gynandromorphy that has both male and female features is known in many insect orders, including Hymenoptera. In most cases, however, only external morphology and behavioral aspects have been studied. We found a gynandromorph of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus, that showed almost bilateral distribution of external sexual traits, with male characters observed on the left side and female characters on the right side. This individual never exhibited sexual behavior toward new queens. The dissection of the head part showed that it had bilaterally dimorphic labial glands, only the left of which was well developed and synthesized male-specific pheromone components. In contrast, the gynandromorph possessed an ovipositor and a pair of ovaries in the abdominal part, suggesting that it had a uniformly female reproductive system. Furthermore, we characterized several internal organs of the gynandromorph by a molecular biological approach. The expression analyses of a sex determination gene, doublesex, in the brain, the fat bodies, the hindgut, and the ovaries of the gynandromorph revealed a male-type expression pattern exclusively in the left brain hemisphere and consistent female-type expression in other tissues. These findings clearly indicate the sexual discordance between external traits and internal organs in the gynandromorph. The results of genetic analyses using microsatellite markers suggested that this individual consisted of both genetically male- and female-type tissues.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurements, 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    The following major topics are discussed; (1) Terrestrial solar irradiance; (2) Solar simulation and reference cell calibration; and (3) Cell and array measurement procedures. Numerous related subtopics are also discussed within each major topic area.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. Salt preferences of honey bee water foragers.

    PubMed

    Lau, Pierre W; Nieh, James C

    2016-03-01

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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…

  10. Bees diversified in the age of eudicots.

    PubMed

    Cardinal, Sophie; Danforth, Bryan N

    2013-03-22

    Reliable estimates on the ages of the major bee clades are needed to further understand the evolutionary history of bees and their close association with flowering plants. Divergence times have been estimated for a few groups of bees, but no study has yet provided estimates for all major bee lineages. To date the origin of bees and their major clades, we first perform a phylogenetic analysis of bees including representatives from every extant family, subfamily and almost all tribes, using sequence data from seven genes. We then use this phylogeny to place 14 time calibration points based on information from the fossil record for an uncorrelated relaxed clock divergence time analysis taking into account uncertainties in phylogenetic relationships and the fossil record. We explore the effect of placing a hard upper age bound near the root of the tree and the effect of different topologies on our divergence time estimates. We estimate that crown bees originated approximately 123 Ma (million years ago) (113-132 Ma), concurrently with the origin or diversification of the eudicots, a group comprising 75 per cent of angiosperm species. All of the major bee clades are estimated to have originated during the Middle to Late Cretaceous, which is when angiosperms became the dominant group of land plants.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Bees diversified in the age of eudicots

    PubMed Central

    Cardinal, Sophie; Danforth, Bryan N.

    2013-01-01

    Reliable estimates on the ages of the major bee clades are needed to further understand the evolutionary history of bees and their close association with flowering plants. Divergence times have been estimated for a few groups of bees, but no study has yet provided estimates for all major bee lineages. To date the origin of bees and their major clades, we first perform a phylogenetic analysis of bees including representatives from every extant family, subfamily and almost all tribes, using sequence data from seven genes. We then use this phylogeny to place 14 time calibration points based on information from the fossil record for an uncorrelated relaxed clock divergence time analysis taking into account uncertainties in phylogenetic relationships and the fossil record. We explore the effect of placing a hard upper age bound near the root of the tree and the effect of different topologies on our divergence time estimates. We estimate that crown bees originated approximately 123 Ma (million years ago) (113–132 Ma), concurrently with the origin or diversification of the eudicots, a group comprising 75 per cent of angiosperm species. All of the major bee clades are estimated to have originated during the Middle to Late Cretaceous, which is when angiosperms became the dominant group of land plants. PMID:23363629

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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...

  17. Stingless bees (Meliponini): senses and behavior.

    PubMed

    Hrncir, Michael; Jarau, Stefan; Barth, Friedrich G

    2016-10-01

    Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) are by far the largest group of eusocial bees on Earth. Due to the diversity of evolutionary responses to specific ecological challenges, the Meliponini are well suited for comparative studies of the various adaptations to the environment found in highly eusocial bees. Of particular interest are the physiological mechanisms underlying the sophisticated cooperative and collective actions of entire colonies, which form the basis of the ecological success of the different bee species under the particular conditions prevailing in their respective environment. The present Special Issue of the Journal of Comparative Physiology A provides a sample of the exciting diversity of sensorial and behavioral adaptations in stingless bees, particularly concerning (1) the sensory bases for foraging, (2) chemical communication, and (3) the behavioral ecology of foraging. PMID:27518819

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Stingless bees (Meliponini): senses and behavior.

    PubMed

    Hrncir, Michael; Jarau, Stefan; Barth, Friedrich G

    2016-10-01

    Stingless bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Meliponini) are by far the largest group of eusocial bees on Earth. Due to the diversity of evolutionary responses to specific ecological challenges, the Meliponini are well suited for comparative studies of the various adaptations to the environment found in highly eusocial bees. Of particular interest are the physiological mechanisms underlying the sophisticated cooperative and collective actions of entire colonies, which form the basis of the ecological success of the different bee species under the particular conditions prevailing in their respective environment. The present Special Issue of the Journal of Comparative Physiology A provides a sample of the exciting diversity of sensorial and behavioral adaptations in stingless bees, particularly concerning (1) the sensory bases for foraging, (2) chemical communication, and (3) the behavioral ecology of foraging.

  1. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Development of biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotics in the honey bee Apis mellifera: application to the systemic insecticide thiamethoxam.

    PubMed

    Badiou-Bénéteau, Alexandra; Carvalho, Stephan M; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Carvalho, Geraldo A; Buleté, Audrey; Giroud, Barbara; Belzunces, Luc P

    2012-08-01

    This study describes the development of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterases (CaE1, CaE2, CaE3), glutathion-S-transferase (GST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and catalase (CAT) as enzyme biomarkers of exposure to xenobiotics such as thiamethoxam in the honey bee Apis mellifera. Extraction efficiency, stability under freezing and biological variability were studied. The extraction procedure achieved good recovery rates in one extraction step and ranged from 65 percent (AChE) to 97.3 percent (GST). Most of the enzymes were stable at -20°C, except ALP that displayed a slight but progressive decrease in its activity. Modifications of enzyme activities were considered after exposure to thiamethoxam at the lethal dose 50 percent (LD(50), 51.16 ng bee(-1)) and two sublethal doses, LD(50)/10 (5.12 ng bee(-1)) and LD(50)/20 (2.56 ng bee(-1)). The biomarker responses revealed that, even at the lowest dose used, exposure to thiamethoxam elicited sublethal effects and modified the activity of CaEs, GST, CAT and ALP. Different patterns of biomarker responses were observed: no response for AChE, an increase for GST and CAT, and differential effects for CaEs isoforms with a decrease in CaE1 and CaE3 and an increase in CaE2. ALP and CaE3 displayed contrasting variations but only at 2.56 ng bee(-1). We consider that this profile of biomarker variation could represent a useful fingerprint to characterise exposure to thiamethoxam in the honey bee A. mellifera. This battery of honey bee biomarkers might be a promising option to biomonitor the health of aerial and terrestrial ecosystems and to generate valuable information on the modes of action of pesticides. PMID:22683234

  5. Brood care by male bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Cameron, S A

    1985-10-01

    Male Bombus griseocollis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) share in the brood care of nestmates by incubating pupae (usually during the first few days after they emerge as adults). Male posture during incubation of a pupa is identical to that observed for females. Pupae incubated by males were 4 degrees C-6 degrees C above the temperature of unincubated pupae. Although this increase was not as great as that caused by workers or queens, it was an important factor in warming pupae. Incubating males may benefit nestmates incidentally without lowering their own individual fitness.

  6. 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

  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. Soldiers in a Stingless Bee.

    PubMed

    Hammel, Benedikt; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Menezes, Cristiano; Nascimento, Fabio S; Engels, Wolf; Grüter, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    The differentiation of workers into morphological subcastes (e.g., soldiers) represents an important evolutionary transition and is thought to improve division of labor in social insects. Soldiers occur in many ant and termite species, where they make up a small proportion of the workforce. A common assumption of worker caste evolution is that soldiers are behavioral specialists. Here, we report the first test of the "rare specialist" hypothesis in a eusocial bee. Colonies of the stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula are defended by a small group of morphologically differentiated soldiers. Contrary to the rare specialist hypothesis, we found that soldiers worked more (+34%-41%) and performed a greater variety of tasks (+23%-34%) than other workers, particularly early in life. Our results suggest a "rare elite" function of soldiers in T. angustula, that is, that they perform a disproportionately large amount of the work. Division of labor was based on a combination of temporal and physical castes, but soldiers transitioned faster from one task to the next. We discuss why the rare specialist assumption might not hold in species with a moderate degree of worker differentiation.

  9. Soldiers in a Stingless Bee.

    PubMed

    Hammel, Benedikt; Vollet-Neto, Ayrton; Menezes, Cristiano; Nascimento, Fabio S; Engels, Wolf; Grüter, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    The differentiation of workers into morphological subcastes (e.g., soldiers) represents an important evolutionary transition and is thought to improve division of labor in social insects. Soldiers occur in many ant and termite species, where they make up a small proportion of the workforce. A common assumption of worker caste evolution is that soldiers are behavioral specialists. Here, we report the first test of the "rare specialist" hypothesis in a eusocial bee. Colonies of the stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula are defended by a small group of morphologically differentiated soldiers. Contrary to the rare specialist hypothesis, we found that soldiers worked more (+34%-41%) and performed a greater variety of tasks (+23%-34%) than other workers, particularly early in life. Our results suggest a "rare elite" function of soldiers in T. angustula, that is, that they perform a disproportionately large amount of the work. Division of labor was based on a combination of temporal and physical castes, but soldiers transitioned faster from one task to the next. We discuss why the rare specialist assumption might not hold in species with a moderate degree of worker differentiation. PMID:27277408

  10. A sting in the spit: widespread cross-infection of multiple RNA viruses across wild and managed bees.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Dino P; Fürst, Matthias A; Caspar, Jesicca; Theodorou, Panagiotis; Brown, Mark J F; Paxton, Robert J

    2015-05-01

    Declining populations of bee pollinators are a cause of concern, with major repercussions for biodiversity loss and food security. RNA viruses associated with honeybees represent a potential threat to other insect pollinators, but the extent of this threat is poorly understood. This study aims to attain a detailed understanding of the current and ongoing risk of emerging infectious disease (EID) transmission between managed and wild pollinator species across a wide range of RNA viruses. Within a structured large-scale national survey across 26 independent sites, we quantify the prevalence and pathogen loads of multiple RNA viruses in co-occurring managed honeybee (Apis mellifera) and wild bumblebee (Bombus spp.) populations. We then construct models that compare virus prevalence between wild and managed pollinators. Multiple RNA viruses associated with honeybees are widespread in sympatric wild bumblebee populations. Virus prevalence in honeybees is a significant predictor of virus prevalence in bumblebees, but we remain cautious in speculating over the principle direction of pathogen transmission. We demonstrate species-specific differences in prevalence, indicating significant variation in disease susceptibility or tolerance. Pathogen loads within individual bumblebees may be high and in the case of at least one RNA virus, prevalence is higher in wild bumblebees than in managed honeybee populations. Our findings indicate widespread transmission of RNA viruses between managed and wild bee pollinators, pointing to an interconnected network of potential disease pressures within and among pollinator species. In the context of the biodiversity crisis, our study emphasizes the importance of targeting a wide range of pathogens and defining host associations when considering potential drivers of population decline.

  11. A sting in the spit: widespread cross-infection of multiple RNA viruses across wild and managed bees.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Dino P; Fürst, Matthias A; Caspar, Jesicca; Theodorou, Panagiotis; Brown, Mark J F; Paxton, Robert J

    2015-05-01

    Declining populations of bee pollinators are a cause of concern, with major repercussions for biodiversity loss and food security. RNA viruses associated with honeybees represent a potential threat to other insect pollinators, but the extent of this threat is poorly understood. This study aims to attain a detailed understanding of the current and ongoing risk of emerging infectious disease (EID) transmission between managed and wild pollinator species across a wide range of RNA viruses. Within a structured large-scale national survey across 26 independent sites, we quantify the prevalence and pathogen loads of multiple RNA viruses in co-occurring managed honeybee (Apis mellifera) and wild bumblebee (Bombus spp.) populations. We then construct models that compare virus prevalence between wild and managed pollinators. Multiple RNA viruses associated with honeybees are widespread in sympatric wild bumblebee populations. Virus prevalence in honeybees is a significant predictor of virus prevalence in bumblebees, but we remain cautious in speculating over the principle direction of pathogen transmission. We demonstrate species-specific differences in prevalence, indicating significant variation in disease susceptibility or tolerance. Pathogen loads within individual bumblebees may be high and in the case of at least one RNA virus, prevalence is higher in wild bumblebees than in managed honeybee populations. Our findings indicate widespread transmission of RNA viruses between managed and wild bee pollinators, pointing to an interconnected network of potential disease pressures within and among pollinator species. In the context of the biodiversity crisis, our study emphasizes the importance of targeting a wide range of pathogens and defining host associations when considering potential drivers of population decline. PMID:25646973

  12. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harms, Jan

    2015-12-01

    Different forms of fluctuations of the terrestrial gravity field are observed by gravity experiments. For example, atmospheric pressure fluctuations generate a gravity-noise foreground in measurements with super-conducting gravimeters. Gravity changes caused by high-magnitude earthquakes have been detected with the satellite gravity experiment GRACE, and we expect high-frequency terrestrial gravity fluctuations produced by ambient seismic fields to limit the sensitivity of ground-based gravitational-wave (GW) detectors. Accordingly, terrestrial gravity fluctuations are considered noise and signal depending on the experiment. Here, we will focus on ground-based gravimetry. This field is rapidly progressing through the development of GW detectors. The technology is pushed to its current limits in the advanced generation of the LIGO and Virgo detectors, targeting gravity strain sensitivities better than 10‑23 Hz‑1/2 above a few tens of a Hz. Alternative designs for GW detectors evolving from traditional gravity gradiometers such as torsion bars, atom interferometers, and superconducting gradiometers are currently being developed to extend the detection band to frequencies below 1 Hz. The goal of this article is to provide the analytical framework to describe terrestrial gravity perturbations in these experiments. Models of terrestrial gravity perturbations related to seismic fields, atmospheric disturbances, and vibrating, rotating or moving objects, are derived and analyzed. The models are then used to evaluate passive and active gravity noise mitigation strategies in GW detectors, or alternatively, to describe their potential use in geophysics. The article reviews the current state of the field, and also presents new analyses especially with respect to the impact of seismic scattering on gravity perturbations, active gravity noise cancellation, and time-domain models of gravity perturbations from atmospheric and seismic point sources. Our understanding of

  13. African bees to control African elephants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  17. Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees.

    PubMed

    Litman, Jessica R; Danforth, Bryan N; Eardley, Connal D; Praz, Christophe J

    2011-12-01

    Stark contrasts in clade species diversity are reported across the tree of life and are especially conspicuous when observed in closely related lineages. The explanation for such disparity has often been attributed to the evolution of key innovations that facilitate colonization of new ecological niches. The factors underlying diversification in bees remain poorly explored. Bees are thought to have originated from apoid wasps during the Mid-Cretaceous, a period that coincides with the appearance of angiosperm eudicot pollen grains in the fossil record. The reliance of bees on angiosperm pollen and their fundamental role as angiosperm pollinators have contributed to the idea that both groups may have undergone simultaneous radiations. We demonstrate that one key innovation--the inclusion of foreign material in nest construction--underlies both a massive range expansion and a significant increase in the rate of diversification within the second largest bee family, Megachilidae. Basal clades within the family are restricted to deserts and exhibit plesiomorphic features rarely observed among modern bees, but prevalent among apoid wasps. Our results suggest that early bees inherited a suite of behavioural traits that acted as powerful evolutionary constraints. While the transition to pollen as a larval food source opened an enormous ecological niche for the early bees, the exploitation of this niche and the subsequent diversification of bees only became possible after bees had evolved adaptations to overcome these constraints.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees.

    PubMed

    Litman, Jessica R; Danforth, Bryan N; Eardley, Connal D; Praz, Christophe J

    2011-12-01

    Stark contrasts in clade species diversity are reported across the tree of life and are especially conspicuous when observed in closely related lineages. The explanation for such disparity has often been attributed to the evolution of key innovations that facilitate colonization of new ecological niches. The factors underlying diversification in bees remain poorly explored. Bees are thought to have originated from apoid wasps during the Mid-Cretaceous, a period that coincides with the appearance of angiosperm eudicot pollen grains in the fossil record. The reliance of bees on angiosperm pollen and their fundamental role as angiosperm pollinators have contributed to the idea that both groups may have undergone simultaneous radiations. We demonstrate that one key innovation--the inclusion of foreign material in nest construction--underlies both a massive range expansion and a significant increase in the rate of diversification within the second largest bee family, Megachilidae. Basal clades within the family are restricted to deserts and exhibit plesiomorphic features rarely observed among modern bees, but prevalent among apoid wasps. Our results suggest that early bees inherited a suite of behavioural traits that acted as powerful evolutionary constraints. While the transition to pollen as a larval food source opened an enormous ecological niche for the early bees, the exploitation of this niche and the subsequent diversification of bees only became possible after bees had evolved adaptations to overcome these constraints. PMID:21490010

  20. The effects of plant density and nectar reward on bee visitation to the endangered orchid Spiranthes romanzoffiana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, Karl J.; Stout, Jane C.

    2008-09-01

    Density can affect attraction of pollinators, with rare plants receiving fewer pollinating visits compared with more common co-flowering species. However, if a locally rare species is very attractive in terms of the rewards it offers pollinators, it may be preferentially visited. Spiranthes romanzoffiana is a nectar rewarding, geographically rare, endangered orchid species which forms small populations in Ireland, co-flowering with more common, florally rewarding species. We examined visitation rates to S. romanzoffiana and two nectar rewarding co-flowering species ( Mentha aquatica and Prunella vulgaris) in the west of Ireland. These three plant species were visited by three bee species ( Bombus pascuorum, B. hortorum and Apis mellifera). B. pascuorum was the most common visitor, while A. mellifera was least common. Our results suggest that individual S. romanzoffiana inflorescences compete intraspecifically for visitation from pollinators at high densities. The relationship between visitation to S. romanzoffiana and total floral density appeared to be positive, suggesting interspecific facilitation of pollinator visitation at high densities. Nectar standing crop varied through the season, among species and between open and bagged flowers. Nectar standing crop was not correlated with visitation in S. romanzoffiana. Despite relatively high visitation, S. romanzoffiana produced no mature fruit during this flowering season. The lack of fruit maturation in this species may be a major factor causing its rarity in Europe.

  1. The effect of feeder location on pollen collection by bumble bees in a tomato greenhouse in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Orbán, Levente L; Plowright, C M S; Plowright, R C

    2012-02-01

    The foraging behavior of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) was examined as a function of feeder location containing sugar solution in a commercial tomato greenhouse in Manotick, Ontario, Canada. The feeders were located within the nest-box (fed-close) or placed 1.5 m away (fed-far) and the placement of the two types of colonies was counterbalanced over time. No effect of feeder location was found in colony activity levels or in pollen load size. A foraging trade-off between sugar solution and pollen collection, however, was found: the proportion of foraging trips in which pollen was brought back was significantly reduced for fed-far colonies, which contrasts with our laboratory study in which the opposite effect was found. We interpret our findings as possibly reflecting a limitation in pollen supply in the greenhouse: an already possibly strained ability to find and bring back pollen to the colony was accentuated by increasing the task demands of collecting sugar solution.

  2. 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

    2015-05-01

    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.

  3. 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

    2015-05-01

    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. PMID:25901681

  4. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  5. Terrestrial planet formation.

    PubMed

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  6. Terrestrial planet formation

    PubMed Central

    Righter, K.; O’Brien, D. P.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (∼106 y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few × 106 y), and finally embryos to planets (107–108 y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids. PMID:21709256

  7. The terrestrial silica pump.

    PubMed

    Carey, Joanna C; Fulweiler, Robinson W

    2012-01-01

    Silicon (Si) cycling controls atmospheric CO(2) concentrations and thus, the global climate, through three well-recognized means: chemical weathering of mineral silicates, occlusion of carbon (C) to soil phytoliths, and the oceanic biological Si pump. In the latter, oceanic diatoms directly sequester 25.8 Gton C yr(-1), accounting for 43% of the total oceanic net primary production (NPP). However, another important link between C and Si cycling remains largely ignored, specifically the role of Si in terrestrial NPP. Here we show that 55% of terrestrial NPP (33 Gton C yr(-1)) is due to active Si-accumulating vegetation, on par with the amount of C sequestered annually via marine diatoms. Our results suggest that similar to oceanic diatoms, the biological Si cycle of land plants also controls atmospheric CO(2) levels. In addition, we provide the first estimates of Si fixed in terrestrial vegetation by major global biome type, highlighting the ecosystems of most dynamic Si fixation. Projected global land use change will convert forests to agricultural lands, increasing the fixation of Si by land plants, and the magnitude of the terrestrial Si pump.

  8. Terrestrial photovoltaic measurement procedures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Procedures for obtaining cell and array current-voltage measurements both outdoors in natural sunlight and indoors in simulated sunlight are presented. A description of the necessary apparatus and equipment is given for the calibration and use of reference solar cells. Some comments relating to concentration cell measurements, and a revised terrestrial solar spectrum for use in theoretical calculations, are included.

  9. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Ecotoxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees.

    PubMed

    Decourtye, Axel; Devillers, James

    2010-01-01

    This chapter reviews the available data on the toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides to bees that are the prominent and the most economically important group of pollinators worldwide. Classical and new methods developed to take into account the characteristics and different types of effects of the neonicotinoid insecticides to bees are described. The available toxicity results are critically analyzed. Thus, the nitro-substituted compounds (clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and its metabolites, thiamethoxam, nitenpyram) appear the most toxic to bees. The cyano-substituted neonicotinoids seem to exhibit a much lower toxicity (acetamiprid and thiacloprid). The chapter ends with suggestions for additional studies aiming at better assess the hazard of this important insecticide family to bees.

  12. 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

  13. Mass envenomations by honey bees and wasps.

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  14. Octopamine influences honey bee foraging preference

    PubMed Central

    Giray, Tugrul; Galindo, Alberto; Oskay, Devrim

    2010-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Field-Level Sublethal Effects of Approved Bee Hive Chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L)

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals. PMID:24204638

  17. Control of self-motion in dynamic fluids: fish do it differently from bees.

    PubMed

    Scholtyssek, Christine; Dacke, Marie; Kröger, Ronald; Baird, Emily

    2014-05-01

    To detect and avoid collisions, animals need to perceive and control the distance and the speed with which they are moving relative to obstacles. This is especially challenging for swimming and flying animals that must control movement in a dynamic fluid without reference from physical contact to the ground. Flying animals primarily rely on optic flow to control flight speed and distance to obstacles. Here, we investigate whether swimming animals use similar strategies for self-motion control to flying animals by directly comparing the trajectories of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) moving through the same experimental tunnel. While moving through the tunnel, black and white patterns produced (i) strong horizontal optic flow cues on both walls, (ii) weak horizontal optic flow cues on both walls and (iii) strong optic flow cues on one wall and weak optic flow cues on the other. We find that the mean speed of zebrafish does not depend on the amount of optic flow perceived from the walls. We further show that zebrafish, unlike bumblebees, move closer to the wall that provides the strongest visual feedback. This unexpected preference for strong optic flow cues may reflect an adaptation for self-motion control in water or in environments where visibility is limited.

  18. Control of self-motion in dynamic fluids: fish do it differently from bees.

    PubMed

    Scholtyssek, Christine; Dacke, Marie; Kröger, Ronald; Baird, Emily

    2014-05-01

    To detect and avoid collisions, animals need to perceive and control the distance and the speed with which they are moving relative to obstacles. This is especially challenging for swimming and flying animals that must control movement in a dynamic fluid without reference from physical contact to the ground. Flying animals primarily rely on optic flow to control flight speed and distance to obstacles. Here, we investigate whether swimming animals use similar strategies for self-motion control to flying animals by directly comparing the trajectories of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) moving through the same experimental tunnel. While moving through the tunnel, black and white patterns produced (i) strong horizontal optic flow cues on both walls, (ii) weak horizontal optic flow cues on both walls and (iii) strong optic flow cues on one wall and weak optic flow cues on the other. We find that the mean speed of zebrafish does not depend on the amount of optic flow perceived from the walls. We further show that zebrafish, unlike bumblebees, move closer to the wall that provides the strongest visual feedback. This unexpected preference for strong optic flow cues may reflect an adaptation for self-motion control in water or in environments where visibility is limited. PMID:24872463

  19. Control of self-motion in dynamic fluids: fish do it differently from bees

    PubMed Central

    Scholtyssek, Christine; Dacke, Marie; Kröger, Ronald; Baird, Emily

    2014-01-01

    To detect and avoid collisions, animals need to perceive and control the distance and the speed with which they are moving relative to obstacles. This is especially challenging for swimming and flying animals that must control movement in a dynamic fluid without reference from physical contact to the ground. Flying animals primarily rely on optic flow to control flight speed and distance to obstacles. Here, we investigate whether swimming animals use similar strategies for self-motion control to flying animals by directly comparing the trajectories of zebrafish (Danio rerio) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) moving through the same experimental tunnel. While moving through the tunnel, black and white patterns produced (i) strong horizontal optic flow cues on both walls, (ii) weak horizontal optic flow cues on both walls and (iii) strong optic flow cues on one wall and weak optic flow cues on the other. We find that the mean speed of zebrafish does not depend on the amount of optic flow perceived from the walls. We further show that zebrafish, unlike bumblebees, move closer to the wall that provides the strongest visual feedback. This unexpected preference for strong optic flow cues may reflect an adaptation for self-motion control in water or in environments where visibility is limited. PMID:24872463

  20. 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. PMID:17803456

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Imidacloprid Alters Foraging and Decreases Bee Avoidance of Predators

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25025334

  4. Volcanic ash - Terrestrial versus extraterrestrial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Okeefe, J. A.

    1976-01-01

    A principal difference between terrestrial and extraterrestrial lavas may consist in the greater ability of terrestrial lavas to form thin films (like those of soap bubbles) and hence foams. It would follow that, in place of the pumice and spiny shards found in terrestrial volcanic ash, an extraterrestrial ash should contain minute spherules. This hypothesis may help to explain lunar microspherules.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Michael L

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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,…

  13. 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...

  14. The Thinker versus a Quilting Bee: Contrasting Images.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J.

    1999-01-01

    Offers the image of the quilting bee as a contrasting representation of critical thinking (or constructive thinking), comparing the two images, discussing a quilting bee representation of knowledge construction in terms of the tools used by quilters (knowers), and summarizing the transformation of critical thinking theory that a quilting bee image…

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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. PMID:26568697

  18. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:26470207

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Marina; Gustav, David

    2010-01-01

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

  9. BeeDoctor, a Versatile MLPA-Based Diagnostic Tool for Screening Bee Viruses

    PubMed Central

    De Smet, Lina; Ravoet, Jorgen; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Wenseleers, Tom; Mueller, Matthias Y.; Moritz, Robin F. A.; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2012-01-01

    The long-term decline of managed honeybee hives in the world has drawn significant attention to the scientific community and bee-keeping industry. A high pathogen load is believed to play a crucial role in this phenomenon, with the bee viruses being key players. Most of the currently characterized honeybee viruses (around twenty) are positive stranded RNA viruses. Techniques based on RNA signatures are widely used to determine the viral load in honeybee colonies. High throughput screening for viral loads necessitates the development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction approach in which different viruses can be targeted simultaneously. A new multiparameter assay, called “BeeDoctor”, was developed based on multiplex-ligation probe dependent amplification (MLPA) technology. This assay detects 10 honeybee viruses in one reaction. “BeeDoctor” is also able to screen selectively for either the positive strand of the targeted RNA bee viruses or the negative strand, which is indicative for active viral replication. Due to its sensitivity and specificity, the MLPA assay is a useful tool for rapid diagnosis, pathogen characterization, and epidemiology of viruses in honeybee populations. “BeeDoctor” was used for screening 363 samples from apiaries located throughout Flanders; the northern half of Belgium. Using the “BeeDoctor”, virus infections were detected in almost eighty percent of the colonies, with deformed wing virus by far the most frequently detected virus and multiple virus infections were found in 26 percent of the colonies. PMID:23144717

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26380684

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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