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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

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

    2011-04-27

    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.

  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. Social regulation of maternal traits in nest-founding bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) queens

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY During the nest-founding phase of the bumble bee colony cycle, queens undergo striking changes in maternal care behavior. Early in the founding phase, prior to the emergence of workers in the nest, queens are reproductive and also provision and feed their offspring. However, later in the founding phase, queens reduce their feeding of larvae and become specialized on reproduction. This transition is synchronized with the emergence of workers in the colony, who assume the task of feeding their siblings. Using a social manipulation experiment with the bumble bee Bombus terrestris, we tested the hypothesis that workers regulate the transition from feeding brood to specialization on reproduction in nest-founding bumble bee queens. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that early-stage nest-founding queens with workers prematurely added to their nests reduce their brood-feeding behavior and increase egg laying, and likewise, late-stage nest-founding queens increase their brood-feeding behavior and decrease egg-laying when workers are removed from their nests. Further, brood-feeding and egg-laying behaviors were negatively correlated. We used Agilent microarrays designed from B. terrestris brain expressed sequenced tags (ESTs) to explore a second hypothesis, that workers alter brain gene expression in nest-founding queens. We found evidence that brain gene expression in nest-founding queens is altered by the presence of workers, with the effect being much stronger in late-stage founding queens. This study provides new insights into how the transition from feeding brood to specialization on reproduction in queen bumble bees is regulated during the nest initiation phase of the colony cycle. PMID:23966589

  5. Kin-selected conflict in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, A. F.; Ratnieks, F. L.

    2001-01-01

    Kin selection theory predicts conflict in social Hymenoptera between the queen and workers over male parentage because each party is more closely related to its own male offspring. Some aspects of the reproductive biology of the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris support kin selection theory but others arguably do not. We present a novel hypothesis for how conflict over male parentage should unfold in B. terrestris colonies. We propose that workers delay laying eggs until they possess information showing that egg laying suits their kin-selected interests. In colonies where queens start to lay haploid eggs early, we hypothesize that this occurs when workers detect the presence of queen-produced male brood in the brood's larval stage. In colonies where queens start to lay haploid eggs late, we hypothesize that it occurs when workers detect a signal from the queen to female larvae to commence development as queens. Our hypothesis accounts for previously unexplained aspects of the timing of reproductive events in B. terrestris, provides ultimate explanations for the results of a recent study of mechanisms underlying queen-worker conflict and helps explain this species' characteristic bimodal (split) sex ratios. Therefore, kin selection theory potentially provides a good explanation for reproductive patterns in B. terrestris. PMID:11270430

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Reproductive competition in the bumble-bee Bombus terrestris: do workers advertise sterility?

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Twele, Robert; Francke, Wittko; Hefetz, Abraham

    2009-04-07

    Reproductive competition in social insects is generally mediated through specific fertility pheromones. By analysing Dufour's gland secretion in queens and workers of Bombus terrestris under varying social conditions, we demonstrate here that the volatile constituents of the secretion exhibit a context-dependent composition. The secretion of egg-laying queens is composed of a series of aliphatic hydrocarbons (alkanes and alkenes), while that of sterile workers contains in addition octyl esters, dominated by octyl hexadecanoate and octyl oleate. These esters disappear in workers with developed ovaries, whether queenright (QR) or queenless (QL), rendering their secretion queen-like. This constitutes an unusual case in which the sterile caste, rather than the fertile one, possesses extra components. Individually isolated (socially deprived) workers developed ovaries successfully, but failed to oviposit, and still possessed the octyl esters. Thus, whereas social interactions are not needed in order to develop ovaries, they appear essential for oviposition and compositional changes in Dufour's gland secretion (ester disappearance). The apparent link between high ester levels and an inability to lay eggs lends credence to the hypothesis that these esters signal functional sterility. We hypothesize that by producing a sterility-specific secretion, workers signal that 'I am out of the competition', and therefore are not attacked, either by the queen or by the reproductive workers. This enables proper colony function and brood care, in particular sexual brood, even under the chaotic conditions of the competition phase.

  14. Condition-dependent virulence of slow bee paralysis virus in Bombus terrestris: are the impacts of honeybee viruses in wild pollinators underestimated?

    PubMed

    Manley, Robyn; Boots, Mike; Wilfert, Lena

    2017-03-30

    Slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV)-previously considered an obligate honeybee disease-is now known to be prevalent in bumblebee species. SBPV is highly virulent in honeybees in association with Varroa mites, but has been considered relatively benign otherwise. However, condition-dependent pathogens can appear asymptomatic under good, resource abundant conditions, and negative impacts on host fitness may only become apparent when under stressful or resource-limited conditions. We tested whether SBPV expresses condition-dependent virulence in its bumblebee host, Bombus terrestris, by orally inoculating bees with SBPV and recording longevity under satiated and starvation conditions. SBPV infection resulted in significant virulence under starvation conditions, with infected bees 1.6 times more likely to die at any given time point (a median of 2.3 h earlier than uninfected bees), whereas there was no effect under satiated conditions. This demonstrates clear condition-dependent virulence for SBPV in B. terrestris. Infections that appear asymptomatic in non-stressful laboratory assays may nevertheless have significant impacts under natural conditions in the wild. For multi-host pathogens such as SBPV, the use of sentinel host species in laboratory assays may further lead to the underestimation of pathogen impacts on other species in nature. In this case the impact of 'honeybee viruses' on wild pollinators may be underestimated, with detrimental effects on conservation and food security. Our results highlight the importance of multiple assays and multiple host species when testing for virulence, in order for laboratory studies to accurately inform conservation policy and mitigate disease impacts in wild pollinators.

  15. Large-scale monitoring of effects of clothianidin-dressed OSR seeds on pollinating insects in Northern Germany: effects on large earth bumble bees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Sterk, Guido; Peters, Britta; Gao, Zhenglei; Zumkier, Ulrich

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Elado(®)-dressed winter oilseed rape (OSR, 10 g clothianidin & 2 g beta-cyfluthrin/kg seed) on the development, reproduction and behaviour of large earth bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) as part of a large-scale monitoring field study in Northern Germany, where OSR is usually cultivated at 25-33 % of the arable land. Both reference and test sites comprised 65 km(2) in which no other crops attractive to pollinating insects were present. Six study locations were selected per site and 10 bumble bee hives were placed at each location. At each site, three locations were directly adjacent to OSR fields and three locations were situated 400 m distant from the nearest OSR field. The development of colonies was monitored from the beginning of OSR flowering in April until June 2014. Pollen from returning foragers was analysed for its composition. An average of 44 % of OSR pollen was found in pollen loads of bumble bees indicating that OSR was a major resource for the colonies. At the end of OSR flowering, hives were transferred to a nature reserve until the end of the study. Colony development in terms of hive weight and the number of workers showed a typical course with no statistically significant differences between the sites. Reproductive output was comparatively high and not negatively affected by the exposure to treated OSR. In summary, Elado(®)-dressed OSR did not cause any detrimental effects on the development or reproduction of bumble bee colonies.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The safety of thiamethoxam to pollinating bumble bees (Bombus terrestris L.) when applied to tomato plants through drip irrigation.

    PubMed

    Alarcón, A L; Cánovas, M; Senn, R; Correia, R

    2005-01-01

    Thiamethoxam, mainly sold under the trademark of Actara, is a neonicotinoid widely used in covered vegetables for the control of aphids and whiteflies. In these crops, and particularly in covered tomatoes, bumble-bees are used for cross-pollination as an alternative to labour intensive manual techniques. In this study, made on tomatoes grown in separated greenhouse plots in Murcia, Southern Spain, thiamethoxam was applied through drip irrigation at a rate of 200 g ai/ha, and as a split application of the same rate, to evaluate the effects on pollinating bumble bees compared to a foliar application of a toxic standard. The results showed that the toxic foliar standard had a clear effect on the pollination of tomato flowers, declining to zero pollination two weeks after application, whereas both the single and split drip irrigation applications of Actara had no effect on pollination when compared to the control plots. The count of dead adults and larvae did not show any differences between the treatments, whereas the measurement of sugar water consumption was shown to correlate well with pollination. The consumption of sugar water declined in the toxic standard plots by 69% with respect to the control, whilst the decline in lower dose drip irrigation application was only 3%. In regard to hive weight, and number of adults and brood after destructive sampling; there were no statistical differences between the treatments but a negative effect of the foliar treatment was observed. Based on these results we can conclude that a split application of Actara applied in drip irrigation to the soil/substrate has no effect on the bumble-bees used in tomatoes for pollination.

  19. 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.

  20. Bumblebees, humble pollinators or assiduous invaders? A population comparison of foraging performance in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Ings, Thomas C; Schikora, Juliette; Chittka, Lars

    2005-07-01

    Worldwide trade in non-native bumblebees remains largely unrestricted despite well-documented cases where introductions of non-native bees have gone dramatically wrong. Within Europe, indiscriminate importation of non-native populations of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) for the pollination of glasshouse crops continues on a massive scale. However, no risk assessment has been conducted for these introductions, perhaps because B. terrestris is considered a native species, so shipping populations from one region to another has been implicitly assumed to present no risk. This view is clearly unjustified because Bombus terrestris populations differ significantly in their genetic makeup as demonstrated by strong differences in coat colour and behavioural traits. Therefore, for the first time we compare an important competitive trait, namely foraging performance, between commercially available B. terrestris populations in contrasting environments. We test whether commercially reared populations differ in their nectar foraging performance and whether this is influenced by both their source environment and the one they are introduced into. We do this by means of a reciprocal transplant experiment. Strong, consistent inter-population differences in performance occurred irrespective of test location: Canary Island bees (B. t. canariensis) were superior to Sardinian bees (B. t. sassaricus), which were generally superior to mainland European bees (B. t. terrestris). These inter-population differences in performance were largely explained by inter-population variation in forager size, with larger bees being superior foragers. However, even when body size was accounted for, "native" bees were not superior to transplanted non-native bees in all but one case. We conclude that non-native populations, especially those with large foragers, can be highly competitive foragers. This could lead to their establishment and displacement of native bees. Therefore, we recommend that

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Niu, Jinzhi; Meeus, Ivan; Smagghe, Guy

    2016-09-29

    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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. 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. 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.

  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. Daily changes in ultraviolet light levels can synchronize the circadian clock of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Chittka, Lars; Stelzer, Ralph J; Stanewsky, Ralf

    2013-05-01

    Endogenous circadian clocks are synchronized to the 24-h day by external zeitgebers such as daily light and temperature cycles. Bumblebee foragers show diurnal rhythms under daily light:dark cycles and short-period free-running circadian rhythms in constant light conditions in the laboratory. In contrast, during the continuous light conditions of the arctic summer, they show robust 24-h rhythms in their foraging patterns, meaning that some external zeitgeber must entrain their circadian clocks in the presence of constant light. Although the sun stays above the horizon for weeks during the arctic summer, the light quality, especially in the ultraviolet (UV) range, exhibits pronounced daily changes. Since the photoreceptors and photopigments that synchronize the circadian system of bees are not known, we tested if the circadian clocks of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) can be entrained by daily cycles in UV light levels. Bumblebee colonies were set up in the laboratory and exposed to 12 h:12 h UV + :UV- cycles in otherwise continuous lighting conditions by placing UV filters on their foraging arenas for 12 h each day. The activity patterns of individual bees were recorded using fully automatic radiofrequency identification (RFID). We found that colonies manipulated in such a way showed synchronized 24-h rhythms, whereas simultaneously tested control colonies with no variation in UV light levels showed free-running rhythms instead. The results of our study show that bumblebee circadian rhythms can indeed be synchronized by daily cycles in ambient light spectral composition.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Lethal and sub-lethal effects of spinosad on bumble bees (Bombus impatiens Cresson).

    PubMed

    Morandin, Lora A; Winston, Mark L; Franklin, Michelle T; Abbott, Virginia A

    2005-07-01

    Recent developments of new families of pesticides and growing awareness of the importance of wild pollinators for crop pollination have stimulated interest in potential effects of novel pesticides on wild bees. Yet pesticide toxicity studies on wild bees remain rare, and few studies have included long-term monitoring of bumble bee colonies or testing of foraging ability after pesticide exposure. Larval bees feeding on exogenous pollen and exposed to pesticides during development may result in lethal or sub-lethal effects during the adult stage. We tested the effects of a naturally derived biopesticide, spinosad, on bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) colony health, including adult mortality, brood development, weights of emerging bees and foraging efficiency of adults that underwent larval development during exposure to spinosad. We monitored colonies from an early stage, over a 10-week period, and fed spinosad to colonies in pollen at four levels: control, 0.2, 0.8 and 8.0 mg kg(-1), during weeks 2 through 5 of the experiment. At concentrations that bees would likely encounter in pollen in the wild (0.2-0.8 mg kg(-1)) we detected minimal negative effects to bumble bee colonies. Brood and adult mortality was high at 8.0 mg kg(-1) spinosad, about twice the level that bees would be exposed to in a 'worst case' field scenario, resulting in colony death two to four weeks after initial pesticide exposure. At more realistic concentrations there were potentially important sub-lethal effects. Adult worker bees exposed to spinosad during larval development at 0.8 mg kg(-1) were slower foragers on artificial complex flower arrays than bees from low or no spinosad treated colonies. Inclusion of similar sub-lethal assays to detect effects of pesticides on pollinators would aid in development of environmentally responsible pest management strategies.

  5. Colony contact contributes to the diversity of gut bacteria in bumblebees (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Billiet, Annelies; Meeus, Ivan; Van Nieuwerburgh, Filip; Deforce, Dieter; Wäckers, Felix; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-04-01

    Social bees, like honeybees and bumblebees, have a close contact with nest mates of different developmental stages and generations. This could enhance bacterial transfer between nest mates and offers opportunities for direct transfer of symbionts from one generation to the next, resulting in a stable host specific gut microbiota. Gut symbionts of honeybees and bumblebees have been suggested to contribute in digestion and protection against parasites and pathogens. Here we studied the impact of contact with the bumblebee colony on the colonization potential of the bacterial families (i.e., Neisseriaceae, Orbaceae, Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae) occurring in the gut of adult bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Bacterial profiles of the gut microbiota of B. terrestris were determined based on the hypervariable V4 region of the 16S rRNA using paired-end Illumina sequencing. In our experiments, we created different groups in which we gradually reduced the contact with nest mates and hive material. We made 3 observations: (i) reducing the contact between the colony and the bumblebee during adult life resulted in a significant drop in the relative abundance of Lactobacillus bombicola and Lactobacillus bombi; (ii) Bifidobacteriaceae required contact with nest mates to colonize the gut of B. terrestris and a significant lower bacterial diversity was observed in bumblebees that were completely excluded from colony contact during the adult life; (iii) Snodgrassella and Gilliamella were able to colonize the gut of the adult bumblebee without any direct contact with nest mates in the adult life stage. These results indicate the impact of the colony life on the diversity of the characteristic bumblebee gut bacteria.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Hazards of imidacloprid seed coating to Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) when applied to sunflower.

    PubMed

    Tasei, J N; Ripault, G; Rivault, E

    2001-06-01

    Seed coating treatments of sunflower by the systemic insecticide imidacloprid was suspected of affecting honey bees and bumblebees. The hypothesis raised was whether imidacloprid could migrate into nectar and pollen, then modify flower attractiveness, homing behavior, and colony development. Our greenhouse and field experiments with Bombus terrestris L. were aimed at the following: the behavior of workers foraging on treated and control plants blooming in a greenhouse, the homing rate of colonies placed for 9 d in a treated field compared with colonies in a control field, and the development of these 20 colonies under laboratory conditions when removed from the fields. In the greenhouse, workers visited blooming heads of treated and control plants at the same rate and the mean duration of their visits was similar. In field colonies, analysis of pollen in hairs and pellets of workers showed that in both fields 98% of nectar foragers visited exclusively sunflowers, whereas only 25% of pollen gatherers collected sunflower pollen. After 9 d, in the control and treated field, 23 and 33% of the marked foragers, respectively, did not return to hives. In both fields, workers significantly drifted from the center to the sides of colony rows. During the 26-d period under field and laboratory conditions, the population increase rate of the 20 colonies was 3.3 and 3.0 workers/d in hives of the control and treated field, respectively. This difference was not significant. New queens were produced in eight colonies in either field. The mean number of new queens per hive was 17 and 24 in the control and treated field, respectively. Their mating rate was the same. It was concluded that applying imidacloprid at the registered dose, as a seed coating of sunflowers cultivated in greenhouse or in field, did not significantly affect the foraging and homing behavior of B. terestris and its colony development.

  9. Contact networks and transmission of an intestinal pathogen in bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) colonies.

    PubMed

    Otterstatter, Michael C; Thomson, James D

    2007-11-01

    In socially living animals, individuals interact through complex networks of contact that may influence the spread of disease. Whereas traditional epidemiological models typically assume no social structure, network theory suggests that an individual's location in the network determines its risk of infection. Empirical, especially experimental, studies of disease spread on networks are lacking, however, largely due to a shortage of amenable study systems. We used automated video-tracking to quantify networks of physical contact among individuals within colonies of the social bumble bee Bombus impatiens. We explored the effects of network structure on pathogen transmission in naturally and artificially infected hives. We show for the first time that contact network structure determines the spread of a contagious pathogen (Crithidia bombi) in social insect colonies. Differences in rates of infection among colonies resulted largely from differences in network density among hives. Within colonies, a bee's rate of contact with infected nestmates emerged as the only significant predictor of infection risk. The activity of bees, in terms of their movement rates and division of labour (e.g., brood care, nest care, foraging), did not influence risk of infection. Our results suggest that contact networks may have an important influence on the transmission of pathogens in social insects and, possibly, other social animals.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Bee Community of Commercial Potato Fields in Michigan and Bombus impatiens Visitation to Neonicotinoid-Treated Potato Plants.

    PubMed

    Buchanan, Amanda L; Gibbs, Jason; Komondy, Lidia; Szendrei, Zsofia

    2017-03-09

    We conducted a bee survey in neonicotinoid-treated commercial potato fields using bowl and vane traps in the 2016 growing season. Traps were placed outside the fields, at the field edges, and 10 and 30 m into the fields. We collected 756 bees representing 58 species, with Lasioglossum spp. comprising 73% of all captured bees. We found seven Bombus spp., of which B. impatiens was the only known visitor of potato flowers in our region. The majority of the bees (68%) were collected at the field edges and in the field margins. Blue vane traps caught almost four-times as many bees and collected 30% more species compared to bowl traps. Bee communities did not differ across trap locations but they were different among trap types. We tested B. impatiens visitation to neonicotinoid treated and untreated potato flowers in field enclosures. The amount of time bees spent at flowers and the duration of visits were not significantly different between the two treatments. Our results demonstrate that a diverse assemblage of bees is associated with an agroecosystem dominated by potatoes despite the apparent lack of pollinator resources provided by the crop. We found no difference in B. impatiens foraging behavior on neonicotinoid-treated compared to untreated plants.

  18. Bee Community of Commercial Potato Fields in Michigan and Bombus impatiens Visitation to Neonicotinoid-Treated Potato Plants

    PubMed Central

    Buchanan, Amanda L.; Gibbs, Jason; Komondy, Lidia; Szendrei, Zsofia

    2017-01-01

    We conducted a bee survey in neonicotinoid-treated commercial potato fields using bowl and vane traps in the 2016 growing season. Traps were placed outside the fields, at the field edges, and 10 and 30 m into the fields. We collected 756 bees representing 58 species, with Lasioglossum spp. comprising 73% of all captured bees. We found seven Bombus spp., of which B. impatiens was the only known visitor of potato flowers in our region. The majority of the bees (68%) were collected at the field edges and in the field margins. Blue vane traps caught almost four-times as many bees and collected 30% more species compared to bowl traps. Bee communities did not differ across trap locations but they were different among trap types. We tested B. impatiens visitation to neonicotinoid treated and untreated potato flowers in field enclosures. The amount of time bees spent at flowers and the duration of visits were not significantly different between the two treatments. Our results demonstrate that a diverse assemblage of bees is associated with an agroecosystem dominated by potatoes despite the apparent lack of pollinator resources provided by the crop. We found no difference in B. impatiens foraging behavior on neonicotinoid-treated compared to untreated plants. PMID:28282931

  19. 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.

  20. High Elevation Refugia for Bombus terricola (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Conservation and Wild Bees of the White Mountain National Forest.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Erika M; Rehan, Sandra M

    2017-01-01

    Many wild bee species are in global decline, yet much is still unknown about their diversity and contemporary distributions. National parks and forests offer unique areas of refuge important for the conservation of rare and declining species populations. Here we present the results of the first biodiversity survey of the bee fauna in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). More than a thousand specimens were collected from pan and sweep samples representing 137 species. Three species were recorded for the first time in New England and an additional seven species were documented for the first time in the state of New Hampshire. Four introduced species were also observed in the specimens collected. A checklist of the species found in the WMNF, as well as those found previously in Strafford County, NH, is included with new state records and introduced species noted as well as a map of collecting locations. Of particular interest was the relatively high abundance of Bombus terricola Kirby 1837 found in many of the higher elevation collection sites and the single specimen documented of Bombus fervidus (Fabricius 1798). Both of these bumble bee species are known to have declining populations in the northeast and are categorized as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List.

  1. High Elevation Refugia for Bombus terricola (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Conservation and Wild Bees of the White Mountain National Forest

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Erika M.; Rehan, Sandra M.

    2017-01-01

    Many wild bee species are in global decline, yet much is still unknown about their diversity and contemporary distributions. National parks and forests offer unique areas of refuge important for the conservation of rare and declining species populations. Here we present the results of the first biodiversity survey of the bee fauna in the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF). More than a thousand specimens were collected from pan and sweep samples representing 137 species. Three species were recorded for the first time in New England and an additional seven species were documented for the first time in the state of New Hampshire. Four introduced species were also observed in the specimens collected. A checklist of the species found in the WMNF, as well as those found previously in Strafford County, NH, is included with new state records and introduced species noted as well as a map of collecting locations. Of particular interest was the relatively high abundance of Bombus terricola Kirby 1837 found in many of the higher elevation collection sites and the single specimen documented of Bombus fervidus (Fabricius 1798). Both of these bumble bee species are known to have declining populations in the northeast and are categorized as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. PMID:28130453

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Dynamics of immune system gene expression upon bacterial challenge and wounding in a social insect (Bombus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Erler, Silvio; Popp, Mario; Lattorff, H Michael G

    2011-03-29

    The innate immune system which helps individuals to combat pathogens comprises a set of genes representing four immune system pathways (Toll, Imd, JNK and JAK/STAT). There is a lack of immune genes in social insects (e.g. honeybees) when compared to Diptera. Potentially, this might be compensated by an advanced system of social immunity (synergistic action of several individuals). The bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, is a primitively eusocial species with an annual life cycle and colonies headed by a single queen. We used this key pollinator to study the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in response to wounding and bacterial challenge.Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) (abaecin, defensin 1, hymenoptaecin) were strongly up-regulated by wounding and bacterial challenge, the latter showing a higher impact on the gene expression level. Sterile wounding down-regulated TEP A, an effector gene of the JAK/STAT pathway, and bacterial infection influenced genes of the Imd (relish) and JNK pathway (basket). Relish was up-regulated within the first hour after bacterial challenge, but decreased strongly afterwards. AMP expression following wounding and bacterial challenge correlates with the expression pattern of relish whereas correlated expression with dorsal was absent. Although expression of AMPs was high, continuous bacterial growth was observed throughout the experiment.Here we demonstrate for the first time the temporal dynamics of immune system gene expression in a social insect. Wounding and bacterial challenge affected the innate immune system significantly. Induction of AMP expression due to wounding might comprise a pre-adaptation to accompanying bacterial infections. Compared with solitary species this social insect exhibits reduced immune system efficiency, as bacterial growth could not be inhibited. A negative feedback loop regulating the Imd-pathway is suggested. AMPs, the end product of the Imd-pathway, inhibited the up-regulation of the transcription

  6. Comparison of the efficiency of the bumble bees Bombus impatiens and Bombus ephippiatus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as pollinators of tomato in greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Torres-Ruiz, Alfonso; Jones, Robert W

    2012-12-01

    Experiments were conducted in a commercial tomato, Solanum lycopersicum L. (Solanaceae) greenhouse to compare the relative foraging effort and efficiency of two bumble bee species: Bombus impatiens Cresson, a species from northeastern North America, commercially reared and used for pollination in Mexico; and B. ephippiatus Say, a native species of Mexico and central America. B. ephippiatus was as efficient in pollination of tomatoes as B. impatiens, as indicated by all variables of fruit quality: fruit weight, number of seed per fruit, and maximum fruit diameter. The two species had similar levels of hourly and daily foraging activity. They had the same response to temperature fluctuation. Pollination rates by both species were similar and close to 100% throughout the sample period. However, B. impatiens showed greater foraging activity during the first half of the 27-d sample period, whereas B. ephipiatus had greater relative activity during the last half. This study establish that B. ephippiatus is as efficient as B. impatiens as a pollinator of tomatoes in greenhouses and thus a candidate as a managed pollinator. However, standard reliable methods for mass rearing of B. ephippiatus are not yet available. Such methods are necessary to ensure healthy colonies and optimum pollination for producers and will reduce the pressure for the unregulated collection of queens in the field and the subsequent reduction of populations of this species.

  7. 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.

  8. Age- and task-dependent foraging gene expression in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Tobback, Julie; Mommaerts, Veerle; Vandersmissen, Hans Peter; Smagghe, Guy; Huybrechts, Roger

    2011-01-01

    In eusocial insects, the division of labor within a colony, based on either age or size, is correlated with a differential foraging (for) gene expression and PKG activity. This article presents in the first part a study on the for gene, encoding a cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Cloning of the open reading frame allowed phylogenetic tracing, which showed conservation of PKGs among social insects. Our results confirm the proposed role for PKGs in division of labor. Btfor gene expression is significantly higher in the larger foragers compared with the smaller sized nurses. More importantly, we discovered an age-related decrease in Btfor expression in both nursing and foraging bumblebees. We therefore speculate that the presence of BtFOR is required for correct adaptation to new external stimuli and rapid learning for foraging. In a second series of experiments, worker bumblebees of B. terrestris were treated with two insecticides imidacloprid and kinoprene, which have shown to cause impaired foraging behavior. Compared with controls, only the latter treatment resulted in a decreased Btfor expression, which concurs with a stimulation of ovarian growth and a shift in labor toward nest-related tasks. The data are discussed in relation to Btfor expression in the complex physiological event of foraging and side-effects by pesticides.

  9. Isolation and properties of flight muscle mitochondria of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (L.).

    PubMed

    Syromyatnikov, M Yu; Lopatin, A V; Starkov, A A; Popov, V N

    2013-08-01

    This report describes the isolation procedure and properties of tightly coupled flight muscle mitochondria of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (L.). The highest respiratory control index was observed upon oxidation of pyruvate, whereas the highest respiration rates were registered upon oxidation of a combination of the following substrates: pyruvate + malate, pyruvate + proline, or pyruvate + glutamate. The respiration rates upon oxidation of malate, glutamate, glutamate + malate, or succinate were very low. At variance with flight muscle mitochondria of a number of other insects reported earlier, B. terrestris mitochondria did not show high rates of respiration supported by oxidation of proline. The maximal respiration rates were observed upon oxidation of α-glycerophosphate. Bumblebee mitochondria are capable of maintaining high membrane potential in the absence of added respiratory substrates, which was completely dissipated by the addition of rotenone, suggesting high amount of intramitochondrial NAD-linked oxidative substrates. Pyruvate and α-glycerophosphate appear to be the optimal oxidative substrates for maintaining the high rates of oxidative metabolism of the bumblebee mitochondria.

  10. Managed Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Caged With Blueberry Bushes at High Density Did Not Increase Fruit Set or Fruit Weight Compared to Open Pollination.

    PubMed

    Campbell, J W; O'Brien, J; Irvin, J H; Kimmel, C B; Daniels, J C; Ellis, J D

    2017-02-17

    Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is an important crop grown throughout Florida. Currently, most blueberry growers use honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to provide pollination services for highbush blueberries even though bumble bees (Bombus spp.) have been shown to be more efficient at pollinating blueberries on a per bee basis. In general, contribution of bumble bees to the pollination of commercial highbush blueberries in Florida is unknown. Herein, we determined if managed bumble bees could contribute to highbush blueberry pollination. There were four treatments in this study: two treatments of caged commercial bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) colonies (low and high weight hives), a treatment excluding all pollinators, and a final treatment which allowed all pollinators (managed and wild pollinators) in the area have access to the plot. All treatments were located within a highbush blueberry field containing two cultivars of blooming plants, 'Emerald' and 'Millennia', with each cage containing 16 mature blueberry plants. We gathered data on fruit set, berry weight, and number of seeds produced per berry. When pollinators were excluded, fruit set was significantly lower in both cultivars (<8%) compared to that in all of the other treatments (>58%). Berry weight was not significantly different among the treatments, and the number of seeds per berry did not show a clear response. This study emphasizes the importance of bumble bees as an effective pollinator of blueberries and the potential beneficial implications of the addition of bumble bees in commercial blueberry greenhouses or high tunnels.

  11. 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.

  12. Chemical reproductive traits of diploid Bombus terrestris males: Consequences on bumblebee conservation.

    PubMed

    Lecocq, Thomas; Gérard, Maxence; Maebe, Kevin; Brasero, Nicolas; Dehon, Lauren; Smagghe, Guy; Valterová, Irena; De Meulemeester, Thibaut; Rasmont, Pierre; Michez, Denis

    2016-03-07

    The current bumblebee decline leads to inbreeding in populations that fosters a loss of allelic diversity and diploid male production. As diploid males are viable and their offspring are sterile, bumblebee populations can quickly fall in a vortex of extinction. In this paper, we investigate for the first time a potential pre-mating mechanism through a major chemical reproductive trait (male cephalic labial gland secretions) that could prevent monandrous virgin queens from mating with diploid males. We focus our study on the cephalic labial gland secretions of diploid and haploid males of Bombus terrestris (L.). Contrary to initial expectations, our results do not show any significant differentiation of cephalic labial gland secretions between diploid and haploid specimens. Queens seem therefore to be unable to avoid mating with diploid males based on their compositions of cephalic labial gland secretions. This suggests that the vortex of extinction of diploid males could not be stopped through pre-mating avoidance based on the cephalic labial gland secretions but other mechanisms could avoid mating between diploid males and queens. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  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. Evaluation of the toxicity of fungicides to flight muscle mitochondria of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris L.).

    PubMed

    Syromyatnikov, Mikhail Y; Kokina, Anastasia V; Lopatin, Alexey V; Starkov, Anatoly A; Popov, Vasily N

    2017-01-01

    Insects pollinate 75% of crops used for human consumption. Over the last decade, a substantial reduction in the abundance of pollinating insects has been recorded and recognized as a severe matter for food supply security. Many of the important food crops destined for human consumption are grown in greenhouses. A unique feature of greenhouse agriculture is the extensive use of fungicides to curb multiple fungal infections. The most widely used pollinating insects in greenhouses are commercially reared bumblebees. However, there is no data regarding the toxicity of fungicides to bumblebee mitochondria. To fill this gap in knowledge, we examined the effects of 16 widely used fungicides on the energetics of the flight muscles mitochondria of Bombus terrestris. We found that diniconazole and fludioxonil uncoupled the respiration of mitochondria; dithianon and difenoconazole inhibited it. By analyzing the action of these inhibitors on mitochondrial respiration and generation of reactive oxygen species, we concluded that difenoconazole inhibited electron transport at the level of Complex I and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Dithianon strongly inhibited succinate dehydrogenase and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. It also strongly inhibited mitochondrial oxidation of NAD-linked substrates or glycerol 3-phosphate, but it had no effect on the enzymatic activity of Complex I. It may be suggested that dithianon inhibits electron transport downstream of Complex I, likely at multiply sites.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. Can red flowers be conspicuous to bees? Bombus dahlbomii and South American temperate forest flowers as a case in point.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Harms, J; Palacios, A G; Márquez, N; Estay, P; Arroyo, M T K; Mpodozis, J

    2010-02-15

    It has been argued that trichromatic bees with photoreceptor spectral sensitivity peaks in the ultraviolet (UV), blue and green areas of the spectrum are blind to long wavelengths (red to humans). South American temperate forests (SATF) contain a large number of human red-looking flowers that are reported to be visited by the bumblebee Bombus dahlbomii. In the present study, B. dahlbomii's spectral sensitivity was measured through electroretinogram (ERG) recordings. No extended sensitivity to long wavelengths was found in B. dahlbomii. The spectral reflectance curves from eight plant species with red flowers were measured. The color loci occupied by these flowers in the bee color space was evaluated using the receptor noise-limited model. Four of the plant species have pure red flowers with low levels of chromatic contrast but high levels of negative L-receptor contrast. Finally, training experiments were performed in order to assess the role of achromatic cues in the detection and discrimination of red targets by B. dahlbomii. The results of the training experiments suggest that the bumblebee relies on achromatic contrast provided by the L-receptor to detect and discriminate red targets. These findings are discussed in the context of the evolutionary background under which the relationship between SATF species and their flower visitors may have evolved.

  19. A second generation genetic map of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758) reveals slow genome and chromosome evolution in the Apidae

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The bumblebee Bombus terrestris is an ecologically and economically important pollinator and has become an important biological model system. To study fundamental evolutionary questions at the genomic level, a high resolution genetic linkage map is an essential tool for analyses ranging from quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping to genome assembly and comparative genomics. We here present a saturated linkage map and match it with the Apis mellifera genome using homologous markers. This genome-wide comparison allows insights into structural conservations and rearrangements and thus the evolution on a chromosomal level. Results The high density linkage map covers ~ 93% of the B. terrestris genome on 18 linkage groups (LGs) and has a length of 2'047 cM with an average marker distance of 4.02 cM. Based on a genome size of ~ 430 Mb, the recombination rate estimate is 4.76 cM/Mb. Sequence homologies of 242 homologous markers allowed to match 15 B. terrestris with A. mellifera LGs, five of them as composites. Comparing marker orders between both genomes we detect over 14% of the genome to be organized in synteny and 21% in rearranged blocks on the same homologous LG. Conclusions This study demonstrates that, despite the very high recombination rates of both A. mellifera and B. terrestris and a long divergence time of about 100 million years, the genomes' genetic architecture is highly conserved. This reflects a slow genome evolution in these bees. We show that data on genome organization and conserved molecular markers can be used as a powerful tool for comparative genomics and evolutionary studies, opening up new avenues of research in the Apidae. PMID:21247459

  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. Can Winter-Active Bumblebees Survive the Cold? Assessing the Cold Tolerance of Bombus terrestris audax and the Effects of Pollen Feeding

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Emily L.; Bale, Jeffrey S.; Hayward, Scott A. L.

    2013-01-01

    There is now considerable evidence that climate change is disrupting the phenology of key pollinator species. The recently reported UK winter activity of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris brings a novel set of thermal challenges to bumblebee workers that would typically only be exposed to summer conditions. Here we assess the ability of workers to survive acute and chronic cold stress (via lower lethal temperatures and lower lethal times at 0°C), the capacity for rapid cold hardening (RCH) and the influence of diet (pollen versus nectar consumption) on supercooling points (SCP). Comparisons are made with chronic cold stress indices and SCPs in queen bumblebees. Results showed worker bees were able to survive acute temperatures likely to be experienced in a mild winter, with queens significantly more tolerant to chronic cold temperature stress. The first evidence of RCH in any Hymenoptera is shown. In addition, dietary manipulation indicated the consumption of pollen significantly increased SCP temperature. These results are discussed in the light of winter active bumblebees and climate change. PMID:24224036

  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. 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 ...

  6. The Abundance and Pollen Foraging Behaviour of Bumble Bees in Relation to Population Size of Whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum)

    PubMed Central

    Mayer, Carolin; Michez, Denis; Chyzy, Alban; Brédat, Elise; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2012-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can have severe effects on plant pollinator interactions, for example changing the foraging behaviour of pollinators. To date, the impact of plant population size on pollen collection by pollinators has not yet been investigated. From 2008 to 2010, we monitored nine bumble bee species (Bombus campestris, Bombus hortorum s.l., Bombus hypnorum, Bombus lapidarius, Bombus pascuorum, Bombus pratorum, Bombus soroensis, Bombus terrestris s.l., Bombus vestalis s.l.) on Vaccinium uliginosum (Ericaceae) in up to nine populations in Belgium ranging in size from 80 m2 to over 3.1 ha. Bumble bee abundance declined with decreasing plant population size, and especially the proportion of individuals of large bumble bee species diminished in smaller populations. The most remarkable and novel observation was that bumble bees seemed to switch foraging behaviour according to population size: while they collected both pollen and nectar in large populations, they largely neglected pollen collection in small populations. This pattern was due to large bumble bee species, which seem thus to be more likely to suffer from pollen shortages in smaller habitat fragments. Comparing pollen loads of bumble bees we found that fidelity to V. uliginosum pollen did not depend on plant population size but rather on the extent shrub cover and/or openness of the site. Bumble bees collected pollen only from three plant species (V. uliginosum, Sorbus aucuparia and Cytisus scoparius). We also did not discover any pollination limitation of V. uliginosum in small populations. We conclude that habitat fragmentation might not immediately threaten the pollination of V. uliginosum, nevertheless, it provides important nectar and pollen resources for bumble bees and declining populations of this plant could have negative effects for its pollinators. The finding that large bumble bee species abandon pollen collection when plant populations become small is of interest when considering plant and

  7. The abundance and pollen foraging behaviour of bumble bees in relation to population size of whortleberry (Vaccinium uliginosum).

    PubMed

    Mayer, Carolin; Michez, Denis; Chyzy, Alban; Brédat, Elise; Jacquemart, Anne-Laure

    2012-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation can have severe effects on plant pollinator interactions, for example changing the foraging behaviour of pollinators. To date, the impact of plant population size on pollen collection by pollinators has not yet been investigated. From 2008 to 2010, we monitored nine bumble bee species (Bombus campestris, Bombus hortorum s.l., Bombus hypnorum, Bombus lapidarius, Bombus pascuorum, Bombus pratorum, Bombus soroensis, Bombus terrestris s.l., Bombus vestalis s.l.) on Vaccinium uliginosum (Ericaceae) in up to nine populations in Belgium ranging in size from 80 m(2) to over 3.1 ha. Bumble bee abundance declined with decreasing plant population size, and especially the proportion of individuals of large bumble bee species diminished in smaller populations. The most remarkable and novel observation was that bumble bees seemed to switch foraging behaviour according to population size: while they collected both pollen and nectar in large populations, they largely neglected pollen collection in small populations. This pattern was due to large bumble bee species, which seem thus to be more likely to suffer from pollen shortages in smaller habitat fragments. Comparing pollen loads of bumble bees we found that fidelity to V. uliginosum pollen did not depend on plant population size but rather on the extent shrub cover and/or openness of the site. Bumble bees collected pollen only from three plant species (V.uliginosum, Sorbus aucuparia and Cytisus scoparius). We also did not discover any pollination limitation of V. uliginosum in small populations. We conclude that habitat fragmentation might not immediately threaten the pollination of V. uliginosum, nevertheless, it provides important nectar and pollen resources for bumble bees and declining populations of this plant could have negative effects for its pollinators. The finding that large bumble bee species abandon pollen collection when plant populations become small is of interest when considering plant and

  8. Preferred viewing directions of bumblebees (Bombus terrestris L.) when learning and approaching their nest site.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

    Many bees and wasps learn about the immediate surroundings of their nest during learning flights, in which they look back towards the nest and acquire visual information that guides their subsequent returns. Visual guidance to the nest is simplified by the insects' tendency to adopt similar viewing directions during learning and return flights. To understand better the factors determining the particular viewing directions that insects choose, we have recorded the learning and return flights of a ground-nesting bumblebee in two visual environments--an enclosed garden with a partly open view between north and west, and a flat roof with a more open panorama. In both places, bees left and returned to an inconspicuous nest hole in the centre of a tabletop, with the hole marked by one or more nearby cylinders. In all experiments, bees adopted similar preferred orientations on their learning and return flights. Bees faced predominantly either north or south, suggesting the existence of two attractors. The bees' selection between attractors seems to be influenced both by the distribution of light, as determined by the shape of the skyline, and by the direction of wind. In the partly enclosed garden with little or no wind, bees tended to face north throughout the day, i.e. towards the pole in the brighter half of their surroundings. When white curtains, which distributed skylight more evenly, were placed around the table, bees faced both north and south. The bees on the roof tended to face south or north when the wind came from a wide arc of directions from the south or north, respectively. We suggest that bees switch facing orientation between north and south as a compromise between maintaining a single viewing direction for efficient view-based navigation and responding to the distribution of light for the easier detection of landmarks seen against the ground or to the direction of the wind for exploiting olfactory cues.

  9. 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

  10. Specific and sensitive detection of Nosema bombi (Microsporidia: Nosematidae) in bumble bees (Bombus spp.; Hymenoptera: Apidae) by PCR of partial rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Klee, Julia; Tek Tay, Wee; Paxton, Robert J

    2006-02-01

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based method was developed for the specific and sensitive diagnosis of the microsporidian parasite Nosema bombi in bumble bees (Bombus spp.). Four primer pairs, amplifying ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene fragments, were tested on N. bombi and the related microsporidia Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, both of which infect honey bees. Only primer pair Nbombi-SSU-Jf1/Jr1 could distinguish N. bombi (323bp amplicon) from these other bee parasites. Primer pairs Nbombi-SSU-Jf1/Jr1 and ITS-f2/r2 were then tested for their sensitivity with N. bombi spore concentrations from 10(7) down to 10 spores diluted in 100 microl of either (i) water or (ii) host bumble bee homogenate to simulate natural N. bombi infection (equivalent to the DNA from 10(6) spores down to 1 spore per PCR). Though the N. bombi-specific primer pair Nbombi-SSU-Jf1/Jr1 was relatively insensitive, as few as 10 spores per extract (equivalent to 1 spore per PCR) were detectable using the N. bombi-non-specific primer pair ITS-f2/r2, which amplifies a short fragment of approximately 120 bp. Testing 99 bumble bees for N. bombi infection by light microscopy versus PCR diagnosis with the highly sensitive primer pair ITS-f2/r2 showed the latter to be more accurate. PCR diagnosis of N. bombi using a combination of two primer pairs (Nbombi-SSU-Jf1/Jr1 and ITS-f2/r2) provides increased specificity, sensitivity, and detection of all developmental stages compared with light microscopy.

  11. Separation of different pollen types by chemotactile sensing in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Ruedenauer, Fabian A; Leonhardt, Sara D; Schmalz, Fabian; Rössler, Wolfgang; Strube-Bloss, Martin F

    2017-02-09

    When tasting food, animals rely on chemical and tactile cues, which determine the animal's decision on whether or not to eat food. As food nutritional composition has enormous consequences for the survival of animals, food items should generally be tasted before they are eaten or collected for later consumption. Even though recent studies confirmed the importance of e.g. gustatory cues, compared to olfaction only little is known about the representation of chemotactile stimuli at the receptor level (let alone higher brain centers) in animals other than vertebrates. To better understand how invertebrates may process chemotactile cues, we used bumblebees as a model species and combined electroantennographical (EAG) recordings with a novel technique for chemotactile antennal stimulation in bees. The recorded EAG responses to chemotactile stimulation clearly separated volatile compounds by both compound identity and concentration, and could be successfully applied to test the receptor activity evoked by different types of pollen. We found that two different pollen types (apple and almond) (which were readily distinguished by bumblebees in a classical conditioning task) evoked significantly distinct neural activity already at the antennal receptor level. Our novel stimulation technique therefore enables investigation of chemotactile sensing which is highly important for assessing food nutritional quality while foraging. It can further be applied to test other chemosensory behaviors, such as mate or nest mate recognition, or to investigate whether toxic substances, e.g. in pollen, affect neuronal separation of different food types.

  12. 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...

  13. The effect of group size on the interplay between dominance and reproduction in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Amsalem, Etya; Hefetz, Abraham

    2011-03-28

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  20. Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) and honeybees (Apis mellifera) prefer similar colours of higher spectral purity over trained colours.

    PubMed

    Rohde, Katja; Papiorek, Sarah; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-03-01

    Differences in the concentration of pigments as well as their composition and spatial arrangement cause intraspecific variation in the spectral signature of flowers. Known colour preferences and requirements for flower-constant foraging bees predict different responses to colour variability. In experimental settings, we simulated small variations of unicoloured petals and variations in the spatial arrangement of colours within tricoloured petals using artificial flowers and studied their impact on the colour choices of bumblebees and honeybees. Workers were trained to artificial flowers of a given colour and then given the simultaneous choice between three test colours: either the training colour, one colour of lower and one of higher spectral purity, or the training colour, one colour of lower and one of higher dominant wavelength; in all cases the perceptual contrast between the training colour and the additional test colours was similarly small. Bees preferred artificial test flowers which resembled the training colour with the exception that they preferred test colours with higher spectral purity over trained colours. Testing the behaviour of bees at artificial flowers displaying a centripetal or centrifugal arrangement of three equally sized colours with small differences in spectral purity, bees did not prefer any type of artificial flowers, but preferentially choose the most spectrally pure area for the first antenna contact at both types of artificial flowers. Our results indicate that innate preferences for flower colours of high spectral purity in pollinators might exert selective pressure on the evolution of flower colours.

  1. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus Infection Leads to an Enhanced RNA Interference Response and Not Its Suppression in the Bumblebee Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Cappelle, Kaat; Smagghe, Guy; Dhaenens, Maarten; Meeus, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is the primary antiviral defense system in insects and its importance for pollinator health is indisputable. In this work, we examined the effect of Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) infection on the RNAi process in the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, and whether the presence of possible functional viral suppressors could alter the potency of the host’s immune response. For this, a two-fold approach was used. Through a functional RNAi assay, we observed an enhancement of the RNAi system after IAPV infection instead of its suppression, despite only minimal upregulation of the genes involved in RNAi. Besides, the presence of the proposed suppressor 1A and the predicted OrfX protein in IAPV could not be confirmed using high definition mass spectrometry. In parallel, when bumblebees were infected with cricket paralysis virus (CrPV), known to encode a suppressor of RNAi, no increase in RNAi efficiency was seen. For both viruses, pre-infection with the one virus lead to a decreased replication of the other virus, indicating a major effect of competition. These results are compelling in the context of Dicistroviridae in multi-virus/multi-host networks as the effect of a viral infection on the RNAi machinery may influence subsequent virus infections. PMID:27999371

  2. Bumble bees regulate their intake of essential protein and lipid pollen macronutrients.

    PubMed

    Vaudo, A D; Stabler, D; Patch, H M; Tooker, J F; Grozinger, C M; Wright, G A

    2016-12-15

    Bee population declines are linked to the reduction of nutritional resources due to land-use intensification, yet we know little about the specific nutritional needs of many bee species. Pollen provides bees with their primary source of protein and lipids, but nutritional quality varies widely among host-plant species. Therefore, bees might have adapted to assess resource quality and adjust their foraging behavior to balance nutrition from multiple food sources. We tested the ability of two bumble bee species, Bombus terrestris and Bombus impatiens, to regulate protein and lipid intake. We restricted B. terrestris adults to single synthetic diets varying in protein:lipid ratios (P:L). The bees over-ate protein on low-fat diets and over-ate lipid on high-fat diets to reach their targets of lipid and protein, respectively. The bees survived best on a 10:1 P:L diet; the risk of dying increased as a function of dietary lipid when bees ate diets with lipid contents greater than 5:1 P:L. Hypothesizing that the P:L intake target of adult worker bumble bees was between 25:1 and 5:1, we presented workers from both species with unbalanced but complementary paired diets to determine whether they self-select their diet to reach a specific intake target. Bees consumed similar amounts of proteins and lipids in each treatment and averaged a 14:1 P:L for B. terrestris and 12:1 P:L for B. impatiens These results demonstrate that adult worker bumble bees likely select foods that provide them with a specific ratio of P:L. These P:L intake targets could affect pollen foraging in the field and help explain patterns of host-plant species choice by bumble bees.

  3. Gene Expression Dynamics in Major Endocrine Regulatory Pathways along the Transition from Solitary to Social Life in a Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Jedlička, Pavel; Ernst, Ulrich R.; Votavová, Alena; Hanus, Robert; Valterová, Irena

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the social evolution leading to insect eusociality requires, among other, a detailed insight into endocrine regulatory mechanisms that have been co-opted from solitary ancestors to play new roles in the complex life histories of eusocial species. Bumblebees represent well-suited models of a relatively primitive social organization standing on the mid-way to highly advanced eusociality and their queens undergo both, a solitary and a social phase, separated by winter diapause. In the present paper, we characterize the gene expression levels of major endocrine regulatory pathways across tissues, sexes, and life-stages of the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, with special emphasis on critical stages of the queen's transition from solitary to social life. We focused on fundamental genes of three pathways: (1) Forkhead box protein O and insulin/insulin-like signaling, (2) Juvenile hormone (JH) signaling, and (3) Adipokinetic hormone signaling. Virgin queens were distinguished by higher expression of forkhead box protein O and downregulated insulin-like peptides and JH signaling, indicated by low expression of methyl farnesoate epoxidase (MFE) and transcription factor Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1). Diapausing queens showed the expected downregulation of JH signaling in terms of low MFE and vitellogenin (Vg) expressions, but an unexpectedly high expression of Kr-h1. By contrast, reproducing queens revealed an upregulation of MFE and Vg together with insulin signaling. Surprisingly, the insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) turned out to be a queen-specific hormone. Workers exhibited an expression pattern of MFE and Vg similar to that of reproducing queens. Males were characterized by high Kr-h1 expression and low Vg level. The tissue comparison unveiled an unexpected resemblance between the fat body and hypopharyngeal glands across all investigated genes, sexes, and life stages. PMID:27932998

  4. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-07

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. Unbiased RNA Shotgun Metagenomics in Social and Solitary Wild Bees Detects Associations with Eukaryote Parasites and New Viruses

    PubMed Central

    De Smet, Lina; Smagghe, Guy; Vierstraete, Andy; Braeckman, Bart P.; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of eukaryote organisms and viruses associated with wild bees remains poorly characterized in contrast to the well-documented pathosphere of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Using a deliberate RNA shotgun metagenomic sequencing strategy in combination with a dedicated bioinformatics workflow, we identified the (micro-)organisms and viruses associated with two bumble bee hosts, Bombus terrestris and Bombus pascuorum, and two solitary bee hosts, Osmia cornuta and Andrena vaga. Ion Torrent semiconductor sequencing generated approximately 3.8 million high quality reads. The most significant eukaryote associations were two protozoan, Apicystis bombi and Crithidia bombi, and one nematode parasite Sphaerularia bombi in bumble bees. The trypanosome protozoan C. bombi was also found in the solitary bee O. cornuta. Next to the identification of three honey bee viruses Black queen cell virus, Sacbrood virus and Varroa destructor virus-1 and four plant viruses, we describe two novel RNA viruses Scaldis River bee virus (SRBV) and Ganda bee virus (GABV) based on their partial genomic sequences. The novel viruses belong to the class of negative-sense RNA viruses, SRBV is related to the order Mononegavirales whereas GABV is related to the family Bunyaviridae. The potential biological role of both viruses in bees is discussed in the context of recent advances in the field of arthropod viruses. Further, fragmentary sequence evidence for other undescribed viruses is presented, among which a nudivirus in O. cornuta and an unclassified virus related to Chronic bee paralysis virus in B. terrestris. Our findings extend the current knowledge of wild bee parasites in general and addsto the growing evidence of unexplored arthropod viruses in valuable insects. PMID:28006002

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Interspecific sensitivity of bees towards dimethoate and implications for environmental risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Uhl, Philipp; Franke, Lea A; Rehberg, Christina; Wollmann, Claudia; Stahlschmidt, Peter; Jeker, Lukas; Brühl, Carsten A

    2016-09-30

    Wild and domesticated bee species are exposed to a variety of pesticides which may drive pollinator decline. Due to wild bee sensitivity data shortage, it is unclear if the honey bee Apis mellifera is a suitable surrogate species in the current EU risk assessment scheme. Furthermore, the underlying causes for sensitivity differences in bees are not established. We assessed the acute toxicity (median lethal dose, LD50) of dimethoate towards multiple bee species, generated a species sensitivity distribution and derived a hazardous dose (HD5). Furthermore, we performed a regression analysis with body weight and dimethoate toxicity. HD5 lower 95% confidence limit was equal to honey bee mean LD50 when applying a safety factor of 10. Body weight proved to be a predictor of interspecific bee sensitivity but did not explain the pattern completely. Using acute toxicity values from honey bees and a safety factor of 10 seems to cover the interspecific sensitivity range of bees in the case of dimethoate. Acute endpoints of proposed additional test species, the buff-tailed bumblebee Bombus terrestris and the red mason bee Osmia bicornis, do not improve the risk assessment for the entire group. However, this might not apply to other insecticides such as neonicotinoids.

  15. Infections of virulent and avirulent viruses differentially influenced the expression of dicer-1, ago-1, and microRNAs in Bombus terrestris

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Jinzhi; Meeus, Ivan; De Coninck, Dieter IM; Deforce, Dieter; Etebari, Kayvan; Asgari, Sassan; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-01-01

    The microRNA (miRNA) pathway is well established to be involved in host-pathogen interactions. As key insect pollinators, bees are suffering from widely spreading viruses, especially honeybees and bumblebees. In order to better understand bee-virus interaction, we comparatively analyzed the involvement of the bumblebee miRNA pathway upon infection by two different viruses. In our setup, an avirulent infection is induced by slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) and a virulent infection is induced by Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV). Our results showed the increased expressions of dicer-1 and ago-1 upon SBPV infection. There were 17 and 12 bumblebee miRNAs differentially expressed upon SBPV and IAPV infections, respectively. These results may indicate the involvement of the host miRNA pathway in bumblebee-virus interaction. However, silencing of dicer-1 did not influence the genome copy number of SBPV. Target prediction for these differentially expressed miRNAs showed their possible involvement in targeting viral genomic RNA and in the regulation of networks in bumblebee. Our study opens a new insight into bee-virus interaction meditated by host miRNAs. PMID:28374846

  16. Infections of virulent and avirulent viruses differentially influenced the expression of dicer-1, ago-1, and microRNAs in Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Niu, Jinzhi; Meeus, Ivan; De Coninck, Dieter Im; Deforce, Dieter; Etebari, Kayvan; Asgari, Sassan; Smagghe, Guy

    2017-04-04

    The microRNA (miRNA) pathway is well established to be involved in host-pathogen interactions. As key insect pollinators, bees are suffering from widely spreading viruses, especially honeybees and bumblebees. In order to better understand bee-virus interaction, we comparatively analyzed the involvement of the bumblebee miRNA pathway upon infection by two different viruses. In our setup, an avirulent infection is induced by slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) and a virulent infection is induced by Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV). Our results showed the increased expressions of dicer-1 and ago-1 upon SBPV infection. There were 17 and 12 bumblebee miRNAs differentially expressed upon SBPV and IAPV infections, respectively. These results may indicate the involvement of the host miRNA pathway in bumblebee-virus interaction. However, silencing of dicer-1 did not influence the genome copy number of SBPV. Target prediction for these differentially expressed miRNAs showed their possible involvement in targeting viral genomic RNA and in the regulation of networks in bumblebee. Our study opens a new insight into bee-virus interaction meditated by host miRNAs.

  17. Phylogenetic analysis of honey bee behavioral evolution.

    PubMed

    Raffiudin, Rika; Crozier, Ross H

    2007-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Comparison and examination of Bombus occidentalis and Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in tomato greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Whittington, Robin; Winston, Mark L

    2004-08-01

    Experiments were conducted in commercial tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Miller (Solanaceae), greenhouses to compare the relative foraging effort of two bumble bee species, Bombus occidentalis Greene and Bombus impatiens Cresson, to examine interspecific competition between B. occidentalis and B. impatiens, and to determine whether bumble bee colonies grew to their full population potential in commercial tomato greenhouses. B. impatiens colonies had more brood and workers and made more foraging trips per hour than B. occidentalis colonies. However, B. impatiens returned to the colony without pollen loads and left their colonies without dropping off their pollen loads more frequently than B. occidentalis greenhouse colonies. Our data also suggest that the presence of B. impatiens had a detrimental effect on B. occidentalis populations. Furthermore, B. occidentalis colonies did not grow to their full population potential in tomato greenhouses, with fewer workers in greenhouse colonies than in colonies placed outside in a natural environment, or in colonies that were physically enclosed and protected from external mortality. Together, this study suggests that B. impatiens is a better pollinator than B. occidentalis. It also shows that unknown factors are limiting the size of B. occidentalis colonies in tomato greenhouses.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Comparative analysis of detection limits and specificity of molecular diagnostic markers for three pathogens (Microsporidia, Nosema spp.) in the key pollinators Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Erler, Silvio; Lommatzsch, Stefanie; Lattorff, H Michael G

    2012-04-01

    Global pollinator decline has recently been discussed in the context of honey and bumble bee infections from various pathogens including viruses, bacteria, microsporidia and mites. The microsporidian pathogens Nosema apis, Nosema ceranae and Nosema bombi may in fact be major candidates contributing to this decline. Different molecular and non-molecular detection methods have been developed; however, a comparison, especially of the highly sensitive PCR based methods, is currently lacking. Here, we present the first comparative quantitative real-time PCR study of nine Nosema spp. primers within the framework of primer specificity and sensitivity. With the help of dilution series of defined numbers of spores, we reveal six primer pairs amplifying N. apis, six for N. bombi and four for N. ceranae. All appropriate primer pairs detected an amount of at least 10(4) spores, the majority of which were even as sensitive to detect such low amounts as 10(3) to ten spores. Species specificity of primers was observed for N. apis and N. bombi, but not for N. ceranae. Additionally, we did not find any significant correlation for the amplified fragments with PCR efficiency or the limit of detection. We discuss our findings on the background of false positive and negative results using quantitative real-time PCR. On the basis of these results, future research might be based on appropriate primer selection depending on the experimental needs. Primers may be selected on the basis of specificity or sensitivity. Pathogen species and load may be determined with higher precision enhancing all kinds of diagnostic studies.

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

    PubMed

    Meeus, Ivan; Vercruysse, Vicky; Smagghe, Guy

    2012-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Effect of acute pesticide exposure on bee spatial working memory using an analogue of the radial-arm maze

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuelson, Elizabeth E. W.; Chen-Wishart, Zachary P.; Gill, Richard J.; Leadbeater, Ellouise

    2016-12-01

    Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, typically target pest insects by being neurotoxic. Inadvertent exposure to foraging insect pollinators is usually sub-lethal, but may affect cognition. One cognitive trait, spatial working memory, may be important in avoiding previously-visited flowers and other spatial tasks such as navigation. To test this, we investigated the effect of acute thiamethoxam exposure on spatial working memory in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, using an adaptation of the radial-arm maze (RAM). We first demonstrated that bumblebees use spatial working memory to solve the RAM by showing that untreated bees performed significantly better than would be expected if choices were random or governed by stereotyped visitation rules. We then exposed bees to either a high sub-lethal positive control thiamethoxam dose (2.5 ng‑1 bee), or one of two low doses (0.377 or 0.091 ng‑1) based on estimated field-realistic exposure. The high dose caused bees to make more and earlier spatial memory errors and take longer to complete the task than unexposed bees. For the low doses, the negative effects were smaller but statistically significant, and dependent on bee size. The spatial working memory impairment shown here has the potential to harm bees exposed to thiamethoxam, through possible impacts on foraging efficiency or homing.

  5. Effect of acute pesticide exposure on bee spatial working memory using an analogue of the radial-arm maze

    PubMed Central

    Samuelson, Elizabeth E. W.; Chen-Wishart, Zachary P.; Gill, Richard J.; Leadbeater, Ellouise

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, typically target pest insects by being neurotoxic. Inadvertent exposure to foraging insect pollinators is usually sub-lethal, but may affect cognition. One cognitive trait, spatial working memory, may be important in avoiding previously-visited flowers and other spatial tasks such as navigation. To test this, we investigated the effect of acute thiamethoxam exposure on spatial working memory in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, using an adaptation of the radial-arm maze (RAM). We first demonstrated that bumblebees use spatial working memory to solve the RAM by showing that untreated bees performed significantly better than would be expected if choices were random or governed by stereotyped visitation rules. We then exposed bees to either a high sub-lethal positive control thiamethoxam dose (2.5 ng−1 bee), or one of two low doses (0.377 or 0.091 ng−1) based on estimated field-realistic exposure. The high dose caused bees to make more and earlier spatial memory errors and take longer to complete the task than unexposed bees. For the low doses, the negative effects were smaller but statistically significant, and dependent on bee size. The spatial working memory impairment shown here has the potential to harm bees exposed to thiamethoxam, through possible impacts on foraging efficiency or homing. PMID:27958350

  6. Effect of acute pesticide exposure on bee spatial working memory using an analogue of the radial-arm maze.

    PubMed

    Samuelson, Elizabeth E W; Chen-Wishart, Zachary P; Gill, Richard J; Leadbeater, Ellouise

    2016-12-13

    Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, typically target pest insects by being neurotoxic. Inadvertent exposure to foraging insect pollinators is usually sub-lethal, but may affect cognition. One cognitive trait, spatial working memory, may be important in avoiding previously-visited flowers and other spatial tasks such as navigation. To test this, we investigated the effect of acute thiamethoxam exposure on spatial working memory in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris, using an adaptation of the radial-arm maze (RAM). We first demonstrated that bumblebees use spatial working memory to solve the RAM by showing that untreated bees performed significantly better than would be expected if choices were random or governed by stereotyped visitation rules. We then exposed bees to either a high sub-lethal positive control thiamethoxam dose (2.5 ng(-1) bee), or one of two low doses (0.377 or 0.091 ng(-1)) based on estimated field-realistic exposure. The high dose caused bees to make more and earlier spatial memory errors and take longer to complete the task than unexposed bees. For the low doses, the negative effects were smaller but statistically significant, and dependent on bee size. The spatial working memory impairment shown here has the potential to harm bees exposed to thiamethoxam, through possible impacts on foraging efficiency or homing.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  9. Interspecific geographic distribution and variation of the pathogens Nosema bombi and Crithidia species in United States bumble bee populations.

    PubMed

    Cordes, Nils; Huang, Wei-Fone; Strange, James P; Cameron, Sydney A; Griswold, Terry L; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Solter, Leellen F

    2012-02-01

    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 test this hypothesis. In a nationwide survey of the US, nearly 10,000 specimens of 36 bumble bee species collected at 284 sites were evaluated for the presence and prevalence of two known Bombus pathogens, the microsporidium Nosema bombi and trypanosomes in the genus Crithidia. Prevalence of Crithidia was ≤10% for all host species examined but was recorded from 21% of surveyed sites. Crithidia was isolated from 15 of the 36 Bombus species screened, and were most commonly recovered from Bombus bifarius, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus impatiens and Bombus mixtus. Nosema bombi was isolated from 22 of the 36 US Bombus species collected. Only one species with more than 50 sampled bees, Bombus appositus, was free of the pathogen; whereas, prevalence was highest in Bombus occidentalis and Bombus pensylvanicus, two species that are reportedly undergoing population declines in North America. A variant of a tetranucleotide repeat in the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) of the N. bombi rRNA gene, thus far not reported from European isolates, was isolated from ten US Bombus hosts, appearing in varying ratios in different host species. Given the genetic similarity of the rRNA gene of N. bombi sampled in Europe and North America to date, the presence of a unique isolate in US bumble could reveal one or more native North American strains and indicate that N. bombi is enzootic across the Holarctic Region, exhibiting some genetic isolation.

  10. Whole-Genome Sequence Analysis of Bombella intestini LMG 28161T, a Novel Acetic Acid Bacterium Isolated from the Crop of a Red-Tailed Bumble Bee, Bombus lapidarius

    PubMed Central

    Li, Leilei; Illeghems, Koen; Van Kerrebroeck, Simon; Borremans, Wim; Cleenwerck, Ilse; Smagghe, Guy; De Vuyst, Luc

    2016-01-01

    The whole-genome sequence of Bombella intestini LMG 28161T, an endosymbiotic acetic acid bacterium (AAB) occurring in bumble bees, was determined to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying its metabolic capabilities. The draft genome sequence of B. intestini LMG 28161T was 2.02 Mb. Metabolic carbohydrate pathways were in agreement with the metabolite analyses of fermentation experiments and revealed its oxidative capacity towards sucrose, D-glucose, D-fructose and D-mannitol, but not ethanol and glycerol. The results of the fermentation experiments also demonstrated that the lack of effective aeration in small-scale carbohydrate consumption experiments may be responsible for the lack of reproducibility of such results in taxonomic studies of AAB. Finally, compared to the genome sequences of its nearest phylogenetic neighbor and of three other insect associated AAB strains, the B. intestini LMG 28161T genome lost 69 orthologs and included 89 unique genes. Although many of the latter were hypothetical they also included several type IV secretion system proteins, amino acid transporter/permeases and membrane proteins which might play a role in the interaction with the bumble bee host. PMID:27851750

  11. 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

  12. Sex ratios in bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Bourke, A. F. G.

    1997-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-06

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. Review of field and monitoring studies investigating the role of nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides in the reported losses of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Schmuck, Richard; Lewis, Gavin

    2016-11-01

    The nitro-substituted neonicotinoid insecticides, which include imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, are widely used to control a range of important agricultural pests both by foliar applications and also as seed dressings and by soil application. Since they exhibit systemic properties, exposure of bees may occur as a result of residues present in the nectar and/or pollen of seed- or soil-treated crop plants and so they have been the subject of much debate about whether they cause adverse effects in pollinating insects under field conditions. Due to these perceived concerns, the use of the three neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam has been temporarily suspended in the European Union for seed treatment, soil application and foliar treatment in crops attractive to bees. Monitoring data from a number of countries are available to assess the presence of neonicotinoid residues in honey bee samples and possible impacts at the colony level and these are reviewed here together with a number of field studies which have looked at the impact of clothiandin on honey bees in relation to specific crop use and in particular with oilseed rape. Currently there is considerable uncertainty with regards to the regulatory testing requirements for field studies. Accordingly, a testing protocol was developed to address any acute and chronic risks from oilseed rape seeds containing a coating with 10 g clothianidin and 2 g beta-cyfluthrin per kg seeds (Elado(®)) for managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies, commercially bred bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) colonies and red mason bees (Osmia bicornis) as a representative solitary bee species. This is described here together with a summary of the results obtained as an introduction to the study details given in the following papers in this issue.

  19. Incidents of bee poisoning with pesticides in the United Kingdom, 1994-2003.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Elizabeth A; Charlton, Andrew J; Fletcher, Mark R

    2007-11-01

    For over 20 years, the UK Agriculture Departments have monitored the direct effects of pesticides on beneficial insects, mainly honeybees (Apis mellifera, L.) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris, L.), as part of the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS). The Central Science Laboratory (CSL) has contributed to WIIS by providing the required laboratory skills for the determination of bee diseases and the expert analytical experience necessary to determine low-level pesticide residues and interpret these results. The results from WIIS form part of the pesticide regulatory process coordinated by the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) and are published each year. This paper has reviewed the data from WIIS over the 10 year period from 1994 to 2003. The overall trend is that suspected poisoning incidents, reported by beekeepers and the general public, have declined from 56 incidents per year to 23 incidents per year. The number of these incidents that have been attributed to pesticide poisoning has also declined, from 25 incidents to five incidents per year. The possible reasons for these changes and the circumstances involved in the bee poisoning incidents are discussed. However, the source of the pesticide in bee poisoning incidents is often uncertain and the likely cause of these incidents and any trends over time are also discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  1. Fast learning in free-foraging bumble bees is negatively correlated with lifetime resource collection.

    PubMed

    Evans, Lisa J; Smith, Karen E; Raine, Nigel E

    2017-03-29

    Despite widespread interest in the potential adaptive value of individual differences in cognition, few studies have attempted to address the question of how variation in learning and memory impacts their performance in natural environments. Using a novel split-colony experimental design we evaluated visual learning performance of foraging naïve bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) in an ecologically relevant associative learning task under controlled laboratory conditions, before monitoring the lifetime foraging performance of the same individual bees in the field. We found appreciable variation among the 85 workers tested in both their learning and foraging performance, which was not predicted by colony membership. However, rather than finding that foragers benefited from enhanced learning performance, we found that fast and slow learners collected food at comparable rates and completed a similar number of foraging bouts per day in the field. Furthermore, bees with better learning abilities foraged for fewer days; suggesting a cost of enhanced learning performance in the wild. As a result, slower learning individuals collected more resources for their colony over the course of their foraging career. These results demonstrate that enhanced cognitive traits are not necessarily beneficial to the foraging performance of individuals or colonies in all environments.

  2. Cloning and expression profiling of four antibacterial peptide genes from the bumblebee Bombus ignitus.

    PubMed

    Choi, Yong Soo; Choo, Young Moo; Lee, Kwang Sik; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Kim, Iksoo; Je, Yeon Ho; Sohn, Hung Dae; Jin, Byung Rae

    2008-06-01

    Four antibacterial peptide genes (apidaecin, hymenoptaecin, abaecin, and defensin) were cloned from the bumblebee Bombus ignitus, and cDNAs and their genomic structures were sequenced and characterized. Comparative analysis revealed that the four antibacterial peptides of B. ignitus had similar characteristics to other bee antibacterial peptides identified to date. The transcriptional expression profiles of the four antibacterial peptide genes in the fat body of B. ignitus workers revealed that all four antibacterial peptide genes were acutely induced in a similar manner by PBS injection or LPS stimulation, indicating that antibacterial peptides from various classes are simultaneously expressed in a single insect upon infection or injury.

  3. 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...

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Presence of a thermoregulatory hot spot in the prothorax of the large carpenter bee and the bumble bee.

    PubMed

    Volynchik, Stanislav; Plotkin, Marian; Ermakov, Natalya Y; Bergman, David J; Ishay, Jacob S

    2006-11-01

    In both the large carpenter bee (Xylocopa pubescens) and the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), a hot spot was detected in the center of the prothorax on its dorsal-external aspect. In both cases, the temperature in this hot spot was found to be greater than the ambient temperature and that at the tip of the gaster. In B. terrestris, it was higher by 9-10 degrees C from that at the gaster tip and by 15-16 degrees C from the ambient temperature, while in X. pubescens the corresponding differences were 11-20 degrees C and 18-19 degrees C, respectively. The recorded thermal differences were not fixed but were rather variable, temporally as well as individually, but invariably all individuals measured showed these temperature differences. Furthermore, in none of the studied specimens was a hot spot detected in any part of the body other than the prothorax. From this hot spot in the prothorax, there is a cascade of temperatures in both directions, that is, anteriorly towards the head and posteriorly towards the gaster, with a graded drop in temperature in either direction. This article discusses possible reasons for the existence of such a hot spot in this particular location (the prothorax), its role or function, and its mode of operation. The authors speculate that it is a thermoregulatory center (for heating or cooling) that might be present in possibly all Hymenoptera that spend a considerable part of their life flying, regardless of whether they are social, parasocial, or solitary.

  8. 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

  9. Does Pathogen Spillover from Commercially Reared Bumble Bees Threaten Wild Pollinators?

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-04-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Field study results on the probability and risk of a horizontal gene transfer from transgenic herbicide-resistant oilseed rape pollen to gut bacteria of bees.

    PubMed

    Mohr, Kathrin I; Tebbe, Christoph C

    2007-06-01

    Bees are specifically subjected to intimate contacts with transgenic plants due to their feeding activities on pollen. In this study, the probability and ecological risk of a gene transfer from pollen to gut bacteria of bees was investigated with larvae of Apis mellifera (honeybee), Bombus terrestris (bumblebee), and Osmia bicornis (red mason bee), all collected at a flowering transgenic oilseed rape field. The plants were genetically engineered with the pat-gene, conferring resistance against glufosinate (syn. phosphinothricin), a glutamine-synthetase inhibitor in plants and microorganisms. Ninety-six bacterial strains were isolated and characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, revealing that Firmicutes represented 58% of the isolates, Actinobacteria 31%, and Proteobacteria 11%, respectively. Of all isolates, 40% were resistant to 1 mM glufosinate, and 11% even to 10 mM. Resistant phenotypes were found in all phylogenetic groups. None of the resistant phenotypes carried the recombinant pat-gene in its genome. The threshold of detecting gene transfer in this field study was relatively insensitive due to the high background of natural glufosinate resistance. However, the broad occurrence of glufosinate-resistant bacteria from different phylogenetic groups suggests that rare events of horizontal gene transfer will not add significantly to natural bacterial glufosinate resistance.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Long-term prevalence of the protists Crithidia bombi and Apicystis bombi and detection of the microsporidium Nosema bombi in invasive bumble bees.

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Antúnez, Karina; Haramboure, Marina; Minardi, Graciela M; Lange, Carlos E

    2017-04-01

    An initial survey in 2009 carried out at a site in northwestern Patagonia region, Argentina, revealed for the first time in South America the presence of the flagellate Crithidia bombi and the neogregarine Apicystis bombi, two pathogens associated with the Palaearctic invasive bumble bee Bombus terrestris. In order to determine the long-term persistence and dynamics of this microparasite complex, four additional collections at the same site (San Carlos de Bariloche) were conducted along the following seven years. Both protists were detected in all collections: prevalence was 2%-21.6% for C. bombi and 1.2%-14% for A. bombi. In addition, the microsporidium Nosema bombi was recorded for the first time in the country in the last two collections, at prevalences of 12.4% and 2.4% and unusually high infection intensities (Average = 6.56 × 10(7) spores per individual). Due to the exceptional dispersal ability of the exotic B. terrestris, these three multihost pathogens should be considered as potential threats to South American native bumble bees.

  19. Host manipulation of bumble bee queens by Sphaerularia nematodes indirectly affects foraging of non-host workers.

    PubMed

    Kadoya, Eri Z; Ishii, Hiroshi S

    2015-05-01

    Sphaerularia bombi Dufour is a major parasite of bumble bee queens that manipulates its host's behavior: parasitized queens do not breed and found nests but continue to fly into the early summer months. We examined the indirect consequences of this host manipulation on non-host workers in central Hokkaido Island, Japan. In this area, parasitism of Bombus terrestris by S. bombi is common but does not affect every queen; therefore, as summer begins, B. terrestris queens continue to dominate some flower patches and disappear from others. At sites dominated by parasitized queens, we found that the nectar standing crop of red clover was smaller, B. terrestris workers carried out fewer legitimate visits to red clover and more nectar robberies, and the workers were smaller than at other sites. Removing queens from a site increased the nectar standing crop of red clover, the frequency of worker visits to red clover, and the size of the workers. These results suggest that host manipulation by S. bombi increased competition for flower resources among host queens and non-host workers and altered the interaction between plants and non-host flower visitors.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Performance of Apis mellifera, Bombus impatiens, and Peponapis pruinosa (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as pollinators of pumpkin.

    PubMed

    Artz, Derek R; Nault, Brian A

    2011-08-01

    Pollination services of pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L., provided by the European honey bee, Apis mellifera L., were compared with two native bee species, the common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens (Cresson), and Peponapis pruinosa Say, in New York from 2008 to 2010. Performance of each species was determined by comparing single-visit pollen deposition, percentage of visits that contacted the stigma, flower-handling time, fruit and seed set, and fruit weight per number of visits. Fruit yield from small fields (0.6 ha) supplemented with commercial B. impatiens colonies was compared with yield from those not supplemented. A. mellifera spent nearly 2 and 3 times longer foraging on each pistillate flower compared with B. impatiens and P. pruinosa, respectively. A. mellifera also visited pistillate flowers 10-20 times more frequently than B. impatiens and P. pruinosa, respectively. Yet, B. impatiens deposited 3 times more pollen grains per stigma and contacted stigmas significantly more often than either A. mellifera or P. pruinosa. Fruit set and weight from flowers visited four to eight times by B. impatiens were similar to those from open-pollinated flowers, whereas flowers pollinated by A. mellifera and P. pruinosa produced fewer fruit and smaller fruit compared with those from open-pollinated flowers. Fields supplemented with B. impatiens produced significantly more pumpkins per plant than nonsupplemented fields. B. impatiens was a better pollinator of pumpkin than P. pruinosa and should be considered as a promising alternative to A. mellifera for pollinating this crop.

  3. Identification of Aspergillus nomius in Bees Visiting Brazil Nut Flowers

    PubMed Central

    Massi, Fernanda Pelisson; Penha, Rafael Elias Silva; Cavalcante, Marcelo Casimiro; Viaro, Helena Paula; da Silva, Josué José; de Souza Ferranti, Larissa; Fungaro, Maria Helena Pelegrinelli

    2015-01-01

    We designed a primer pair (BtubNomF/BtubNomR) specifically for amplifying Aspergillus nomius DNA. In vitro assays confirmed BtubNomF/BtubNomR specificity, corroborating its usefulness in detecting and identifying A. nomius. We then investigated the occurrence of A. nomius in floral visitors of Bertholletia excelsa trees by means of PCR, and A. nomius was detected in the following bees: Xylocopa frontalis, Bombus transversalis, Centris denudans, C. ferruginea, and Epicharis flava. The presence of A. nomius in bees visiting Brazil nuts opens up new avenues for obtaining novel insights into the process whereby Brazil nuts are contaminated by aflatoxin-producing fungi. PMID:26063353

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Estimation of the fructose diphosphatase–phosphofructokinase substrate cycle in the flight muscle of Bombus affinis

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Michael G.; Bloxham, David P.; Holland, Paul C.; Lardy, Henry A.

    1973-01-01

    1. Substrate cycling of fructose 6-phosphate through reactions catalysed by phosphofructokinase and fructose diphosphatase was estimated in bumble-bee (Bombus affinis) flight muscle in vivo. 2. Estimations of substrate cycling of fructose 6-phosphate and of glycolysis were made from the equilibrium value of the 3H/14C ratio in glucose 6-phosphate as well as the rate of 3H release to water after the metabolism of [5-3H,U-14C]glucose. 3. In flight, the metabolism of glucose proceeded exclusively through glycolysis (20.4μmol/min per g fresh wt.) and there was no evidence for substrate cycling. 4. In the resting bumble-bee exposed to low temperatures (5°C), the pattern of glucose metabolism in the flight muscle was altered so that substrate cycling was high (10.4μmol/min per g fresh wt.) and glycolysis was decreased (5.8μmol/min per g fresh wt.). 5. The rate of substrate cycling in the resting bumble-bee flight muscle was inversely related to the ambient temperature, since at 27°, 21° and 5°C the rates of substrate cycling were 0, 0.48 and 10.4μmol/min per g fresh wt. respectively. 6. Calcium ions inhibited fructose diphosphatase of the bumble-bee flight muscle at concentrations that were without effect on phosphofructokinase. The inhibition was reversed by the presence of a Ca2+-chelating compound. It is proposed that the rate of fructose 6-phosphate substrate cycling could be regulated by changes in the sarcoplasmic Ca2+ concentration associated with the contractile process. PMID:16742821

  7. Estimation of the fructose diphosphatase-phosphofructokinase substrate cycle in the flight muscle of Bombus affinis.

    PubMed

    Clark, M G; Bloxham, D P; Holland, P C; Lardy, H A

    1973-06-01

    1. Substrate cycling of fructose 6-phosphate through reactions catalysed by phosphofructokinase and fructose diphosphatase was estimated in bumble-bee (Bombus affinis) flight muscle in vivo. 2. Estimations of substrate cycling of fructose 6-phosphate and of glycolysis were made from the equilibrium value of the (3)H/(14)C ratio in glucose 6-phosphate as well as the rate of (3)H release to water after the metabolism of [5-(3)H,U-(14)C]glucose. 3. In flight, the metabolism of glucose proceeded exclusively through glycolysis (20.4mumol/min per g fresh wt.) and there was no evidence for substrate cycling. 4. In the resting bumble-bee exposed to low temperatures (5 degrees C), the pattern of glucose metabolism in the flight muscle was altered so that substrate cycling was high (10.4mumol/min per g fresh wt.) and glycolysis was decreased (5.8mumol/min per g fresh wt.). 5. The rate of substrate cycling in the resting bumble-bee flight muscle was inversely related to the ambient temperature, since at 27 degrees , 21 degrees and 5 degrees C the rates of substrate cycling were 0, 0.48 and 10.4mumol/min per g fresh wt. respectively. 6. Calcium ions inhibited fructose diphosphatase of the bumble-bee flight muscle at concentrations that were without effect on phosphofructokinase. The inhibition was reversed by the presence of a Ca(2+)-chelating compound. It is proposed that the rate of fructose 6-phosphate substrate cycling could be regulated by changes in the sarcoplasmic Ca(2+) concentration associated with the contractile process.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. Bee poison

    MedlinePlus

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

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

    PubMed

    Sabara, Holly A; Winston, Mark L

    2003-06-01

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

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Bumble bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) activity and pollination levels in commercial tomato greenhouses.

    PubMed

    Morandin, L A; Laverty, T M; Kevan, P G

    2001-04-01

    Commercial greenhouse studies were conducted to assess levels of pollination of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) flowers in relation to bumble bee (Bombus impatiens Cresson) colony activity and colony densities. For the assessment of pollination levels of tomato flowers, five categories were defined based on bruising levels caused by bumble bee pollination. Colony activity was measured as bee trips per ha/d using electric powered photodiode monitors inserted into the hive entrance. Levels of pollination were positively correlated with bee activity levels, up to a mean of approximately 400 pollen grains per stigma per day, after which greater activity did not result in further increases in daily pollination levels. Densities of colonies in the commercial greenhouses studied ranged from 7.6 to 19.8 colonies per hectare with a mean of 11.6 +/- 0.9. We found that an average activity of 2,000 bee trips per hectare per day was more than adequate to ensure sufficient pollination, and that this level of activity could be achieved with 7-15 colonies per hectare, depending on greenhouse conditions. Greenhouses requiring >15 colonies per hectare to achieve this level of pollination may be able to increase bee activity through alteration of greenhouse conditions. Across 50-m rows of tomato plants, levels of pollination decreased with increasing distance from bee colonies, suggesting that colonies should be evenly distributed throughout the greenhouses.

  5. Positive and Negative Impacts of Non-Native Bee Species around the World

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Though they are relatively understudied, non-native bees are ubiquitous and have enormous potential economic and environmental impacts. These impacts may be positive or negative, and are often unquantified. In this manuscript, I review literature on the known distribution and environmental and economic impacts of 80 species of introduced bees. The potential negative impacts of non-native bees include competition with native bees for nesting sites or floral resources, pollination of invasive weeds, co-invasion with pathogens and parasites, genetic introgression, damage to buildings, affecting the pollination of native plant species, and changing the structure of native pollination networks. The potential positive impacts of non-native bees include agricultural pollination, availability for scientific research, rescue of native species, and resilience to human-mediated disturbance and climate change. Most non-native bee species are accidentally introduced and nest in stems, twigs, and cavities in wood. In terms of number of species, the best represented families are Megachilidae and Apidae, and the best represented genus is Megachile. The best studied genera are Apis and Bombus, and most of the species in these genera were deliberately introduced for agricultural pollination. Thus, we know little about the majority of non-native bees, accidentally introduced or spreading beyond their native ranges. PMID:27916802

  6. Does Passive Sampling Accurately Reflect the Bee (Apoidea: Anthophila) Communities Pollinating Apple and Sour Cherry Orchards?

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Jason; Joshi, Neelendra K; Wilson, Julianna K; Rothwell, Nikki L; Powers, Karen; Haas, Mike; Gut, Larry; Biddinger, David J; Isaacs, Rufus

    2017-03-31

    During bloom of spring orchard crops, bees are the primary providers of pollination service. Monitoring these insects for research projects is often done by timed observations or by direct aerial netting, but there has been increasing interest in blue vane traps as an efficient passive approach to collecting bees. Over multiple spring seasons in Michigan and Pennsylvania, orchards were monitored for wild bees using timed netting from crop flowers and blue vane traps. This revealed a distinctly different community of wild bees captured using the two methods, suggesting that blue vane traps can complement but cannot replace direct aerial netting. The bee community in blue vane traps was generally composed of nonpollinating species, which can be of interest for broader biodiversity studies. In particular, blue vane traps caught Eucera atriventris (Smith), Eucera hamata (Bradley), Bombus fervidus (F.), and Agapostemon virescens (F.) that were never collected from the orchard crop flowers during the study period. Captures of bee species in nets was generally stable across the 3 yr, whereas we observed significant declines in the abundance of Lasioglossum pilosum (Smith) and Eucera spp. trapped using blue vane traps during the project, suggesting local overtrapping of reproductive individuals. We conclude that blue vane traps are a useful tool for expanding insights into bee communities within orchard crop systems, but they should be used with great caution to avoid local extirpation of these important insects.

  7. 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

  8. CORRELATION OF SOUND GENERATION AND METABOLIC HEAT FLUX IN THE BUMBLEBEE BOMBUS LAPIDARIUS

    PubMed

    Schultze-Motel; Lamprecht

    1994-02-01

    Flying insects produce extreme amounts of heat as a by-product during the contractions of their thoracic flight muscles (Heinrich, 1989). Before flight, metabolic heat may serve to warm up the thoracic muscles until the minimum lift-off temperature is reached (Heinrich, 1974b; Stone and Willmer, 1989; Esch and Goller, 1991). Social bees and wasps are also able to use the heat produced in their flight muscles for brood incubation and for active regulation of nest temperatures (Heinrich, 1974a; Seeley and Heinrich, 1981; Schultze-Motel, 1991). In this study, we report simultaneous measurements of heat flux and sound generation by wing buzzing in individual bumblebee workers (Bombus lapidarius L.). Bumblebees used in the experiments were taken from colonies in observation nest boxes (Schultze-Motel, 1991) and placed into the cylindrical 100 ml stainless-steel vessel of a Calvet-type microcalorimeter (MS 70, Setaram, Lyon; Wadso, 1987). A small microphone had been installed below the screw cap of the calorimeter vessel. The sensitivity of the calorimeter under these conditions was 41.7 mV W-1. Both the calorimeter and the microphone signals were amplified and recorded on a dual-channel chart recorder. In 32 out of a total of 36 measurements, the bumblebees showed prolonged periods of sound generation, most frequently at the beginning of experiments. We assume that the sound was not produced in an alarm reaction, but by flight movements of the wings when the animals attempted to lift off inside the calorimeter vessel. The buzzing sounds produced by bumblebees are caused by oscillations of the flight muscles inside the metathorax (Schneider, 1975). Previous endoscopic observations of bumblebees sitting on the bottom of our calorimeter vessel had shown that there was a one-to-one correlation between episodes of wing movements and sound production. The microphone recordings thus allowed an easy way of measuring locomotor activity inside the calorimeter. The simultaneous

  9. Comparative studies of pollen and fluorescent dye transport by bumble bees visiting Erythronium grandiflorum.

    PubMed

    Thomson, James D; Price, Mary V; Waser, Nickolas M; Stratton, Donald A

    1986-07-01

    In the Colorado Rocky Mountains the glacier lily Erythronium grandiflorum exhibits a striking dimorphism in pollen color and is commonly pollinated by the bumble bee Bombus occidentalis. We induced bees to visit sequences of flowers in a flight cage, and compared dispersal of distinctively-colored pollen and fluorescent pigment ("dye") that the bee had picked up at a single donor flower. Nonparametric and parametric analyses showed that dispersal properties of pollen and dye differed; consistently less pollen was deposited and it was carried consistently shorter distances than dye. Dye thus does not provide an accurate means of assessing exacty where or how far pollen travels in this plant-pollinator system. On the other hand, both pollen and dye responded similarly to several experimental manipulations of donor and recipient flowers. Hence dye may well be of value for a qualitative investigation of how floral traits influence pollen dispersal.

  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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. Visitation by wild and managed bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) to eastern U.S. native plants for use in conservation programs.

    PubMed

    Tuell, Julianna K; Fiedler, Anna K; Landis, Douglas; Isaacs, Rufus

    2008-06-01

    Addition of floral resources to agricultural field margins has been shown to increase abundance of beneficial insects in crop fields, but most plants recommended for this use are non-native annuals. Native perennial plants with different bloom periods can provide floral resources for bees throughout the growing season for use in pollinator conservation projects. To identify the most suitable plants for this use, we examined the relative attractiveness to wild and managed bees of 43 eastern U.S. native perennial plants, grown in a common garden setting. Floral characteristics were evaluated for their ability to predict bee abundance and taxa richness. Of the wild bees collected, the most common species (62%) was Bombus impatiens Cresson. Five other wild bee species were present between 3 and 6% of the total: Lasioglossum admirandum (Sandhouse), Hylaeus affinis (Smith), Agapostemon virescens (F.), Halictus ligatus Say, and Ceratina calcarata/dupla Robertson/Say. The remaining wild bee species were present at <2% of the total. Abundance of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) was nearly identical to that of B. impatiens. All plant species were visited at least once by wild bees; 9 were highly attractive, and 20 were moderately attractive. Honey bees visited 24 of the 43 plant species at least once. Floral area was the only measured factor accounting for variation in abundance and richness of wild bees but did not explain variation in honey bee abundance. Results of this study can be used to guide selection of flowering plants to provide season-long forage for conservation of wild bees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-03

    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.

  1. Native bee diversity and pollen foraging specificity in cultivated highbush blueberry (Ericaceae: Vaccinium corymbosum) in Rhode Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, Zachary; Ginsberg, Howard; Alm, Steven R.

    2016-01-01

    We identified 41 species of native bees from a total of 1,083 specimens collected at cultivated highbush blueberry plantings throughout Rhode Island in 2014 and 2015. Andrena spp., Bombus spp., and Xylocopa virginica (L.) were collected most often. Bombus griseocollis (DeGeer), B. impatiens Cresson, B. bimaculatus Cresson, B. perplexus Cresson, and Andrena vicina Smith collected the largest mean numbers of blueberry pollen tetrads. The largest mean percent blueberry pollen loads were carried by the miner bees Andrena bradleyi Viereck (91%), A. carolina Viereck (90%), and Colletes validus Cresson (87%). The largest mean total pollen grain loads were carried by B. griseocollis (549,844), B. impatiens (389,558), X. virginica (233,500), and B. bimaculatus (193,132). Xylocopa virginica was the fourth and fifth most commonly collected bee species in 2014 and 2015, respectively. They exhibit nectar robbing and females carried relatively low blueberry pollen loads (mean 33%). Overall, we found 10 species of bees to be the primary pollinators of blueberries in Rhode Island.

  2. Native Bee Diversity and Pollen Foraging Specificity in Cultivated Highbush Blueberry (Ericaceae: Vaccinium corymbosum) in Rhode Island.

    PubMed

    Scott, Zachary; Ginsberg, Howard S; Alm, Steven R

    2016-12-01

    We identified 41 species of native bees from a total of 1,083 specimens collected at cultivated highbush blueberry plantings throughout Rhode Island in 2014 and 2015. Andrena spp., Bombus spp., and Xylocopa virginica (L.) were collected most often. Bombus griseocollis (DeGeer), B. impatiens Cresson, B. bimaculatus Cresson, B. perplexus Cresson, and Andrena vicina Smith collected the largest mean numbers of blueberry pollen tetrads. The largest mean percent blueberry pollen loads were carried by the miner bees Andrena bradleyi Viereck (91%), A. carolina Viereck (90%), and Colletes validus Cresson (87%). The largest mean total pollen grain loads were carried by B. griseocollis (549,844), B. impatiens (389,558), X. virginica (233,500), and B. bimaculatus (193,132). Xylocopa virginica was the fourth and fifth most commonly collected bee species in 2014 and 2015, respectively. They exhibit nectar robbing and females carried relatively low blueberry pollen loads (mean 33%). Overall, we found 10 species of bees to be the primary pollinators of blueberries in Rhode Island.

  3. Native Bee Diversity and Pollen Foraging Specificity in Cultivated Highbush Blueberry (Ericaceae: Vaccinium corymbosum) in Rhode Island.

    PubMed

    Scott, Zachary; Ginsberg, Howard S; Alm, Steven R

    2016-10-15

    We identified 41 species of native bees from a total of 1,083 specimens collected at cultivated highbush blueberry plantings throughout Rhode Island in 2014 and 2015. Andrena spp., Bombus spp., and Xylocopa virginica (L.) were collected most often. Bombus griseocollis (DeGeer), B. impatiens Cresson, B. bimaculatus Cresson, B. perplexus Cresson, and Andrena vicina Smith collected the largest mean numbers of blueberry pollen tetrads. The largest mean percent blueberry pollen loads were carried by the miner bees Andrena bradleyi Viereck (91%), A. carolina Viereck (90%), and Colletes validus Cresson (87%). The largest mean total pollen grain loads were carried by B. griseocollis (549,844), B. impatiens (389,558), X. virginica (233,500), and B. bimaculatus (193,132). Xylocopa virginica was the fourth and fifth most commonly collected bee species in 2014 and 2015, respectively. They exhibit nectar robbing and females carried relatively low blueberry pollen loads (mean 33%). Overall, we found 10 species of bees to be the primary pollinators of blueberries in Rhode Island.

  4. 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.

  5. Effect of Three Entomopathogenic Fungi on Three Species of Stingless Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Under Laboratory Conditions.

    PubMed

    Toledo-Hernández, R A; Ruíz-Toledo, J; Toledo, J; Sánchez, D

    2016-05-04

    Development of alternative strategies for pest control with reduced effect on beneficial organisms is a priority given the increasing global loss of biodiversity. Biological control with entomopathogenic fungi arises as a viable option to control insect pests. However, few studies have focused on the consequences of using these organisms on pollinators other than the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) or bumble bees (Bombus spp). We evaluated the pathogenicity of commercial formulations of three widely used entomopathogenic fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin, Beauveria bassiana Vuillemin, and Isaria fumosorosea (Wize), to three species of stingless bees: Tetragonisca angustula Latreille, Scaptotrigona mexicana Guérin-Meneville, and Melipona beecheii Bennett. Bioassays consisted of exposing groups of bees to the recommended field concentration of each fungus using a microspray tower under laboratory conditions. Susceptibility to fungi varied greatly among species. Isaria fumosorosea (strain Ifu-lu 01) and the two formulations of B. bassiana (Bea-TNK and BotanicGard) caused <30.3% mortality in all bee species. Metarhizium anisopliae (Meta-TNK and strain Ma-lu 01) was highly active against T. angustula (94.2% mortality) and moderately active against M. beecheii (53.0% mortality) and S. mexicana (38.9% mortality). Though our laboratory-derived results suggest a moderate to high impact of these entomopathogenic fungi on stingless bees, further field studies are required to support this finding.

  6. Molecular characterization of iron binding proteins, transferrin and ferritin heavy chain subunit, from the bumblebee Bombus ignitus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Kim, Bo Yeon; Lee, Kwang Sik; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Cui, Zheng; Lu, Wei; Jia, Jing Ming; Kim, Doh Hoon; Sohn, Hung Dae; Jin, Byung Rae

    2009-01-01

    Transferrin and ferritin are iron-binding proteins involved in transport and storage of iron as part of iron metabolism. Here, we describe the cDNA cloning and characterization of transferrin (Bi-Tf) and the ferritin heavy chain subunit (Bi-FerHCH), from the bumblebee Bombus ignitus. Bi-Tf cDNA spans 2340 bp and encodes a protein of 706 amino acids and Bi-FerHCH cDNA spans 1393 bp and encodes a protein of 217 amino acids. Comparative analysis revealed that Bi-Tf appears to have residues comprising iron-binding sites in the N-terminal lobe, and Bi-FerHCH contains a 5'UTR iron-responsive element and seven conserved amino acid residues associated with a ferroxidase center. The Bi-Tf and Bi-FerHCH cDNAs were expressed as 79 kDa and 27 kDa polypeptides, respectively, in baculovirus-infected insect Sf9 cells. Northern blot analysis revealed that Bi-Tf exhibits fat body-specific expression and Bi-FerHCH shows ubiquitous expression. The expression profiles of the Bi-Tf and Bi-FerHCH in the fat body of B. ignitus worker bees revealed that Bi-Tf and Bi-FerHCH are differentially induced in a time-dependent manner in a single insect by wounding, bacterial challenge, and iron overload.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  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.

  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. Bumble bee parasite strains vary in resistance to phytochemicals

    PubMed Central

    Palmer-Young, Evan C.; Sadd, Ben M.; Stevenson, Philip C.; Irwin, Rebecca E.; Adler, Lynn S.

    2016-01-01

    Nectar and pollen contain diverse phytochemicals that can reduce disease in pollinators. However, prior studies showed variable effects of nectar chemicals on infection, which could reflect variable phytochemical resistance among parasite strains. Inter-strain variation in resistance could influence evolutionary interactions between plants, pollinators, and pollinator disease, but testing direct effects of phytochemicals on parasites requires elimination of variation between bees. Using cell cultures of the bumble bee parasite Crithidia bombi, we determined (1) growth-inhibiting effects of nine floral phytochemicals and (2) variation in phytochemical resistance among four parasite strains. C. bombi growth was unaffected by naturally occurring concentrations of the known antitrypanosomal phenolics gallic acid, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. However, C. bombi growth was inhibited by anabasine, eugenol, and thymol. Strains varied >3-fold in phytochemical resistance, suggesting that selection for phytochemical resistance could drive parasite evolution. Inhibitory concentrations of thymol (4.53–22.2 ppm) were similar to concentrations in Thymus vulgaris nectar (mean 5.2 ppm). Exposure of C. bombi to naturally occurring levels of phytochemicals—either within bees or during parasite transmission via flowers—could influence infection in nature. Flowers that produce antiparasitic phytochemicals, including thymol, could potentially reduce infection in Bombus populations, thereby counteracting a possible contributor to pollinator decline. PMID:27883009

  12. Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  13. Bumble bee parasite strains vary in resistance to phytochemicals.

    PubMed

    Palmer-Young, Evan C; Sadd, Ben M; Stevenson, Philip C; Irwin, Rebecca E; Adler, Lynn S

    2016-11-24

    Nectar and pollen contain diverse phytochemicals that can reduce disease in pollinators. However, prior studies showed variable effects of nectar chemicals on infection, which could reflect variable phytochemical resistance among parasite strains. Inter-strain variation in resistance could influence evolutionary interactions between plants, pollinators, and pollinator disease, but testing direct effects of phytochemicals on parasites requires elimination of variation between bees. Using cell cultures of the bumble bee parasite Crithidia bombi, we determined (1) growth-inhibiting effects of nine floral phytochemicals and (2) variation in phytochemical resistance among four parasite strains. C. bombi growth was unaffected by naturally occurring concentrations of the known antitrypanosomal phenolics gallic acid, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. However, C. bombi growth was inhibited by anabasine, eugenol, and thymol. Strains varied >3-fold in phytochemical resistance, suggesting that selection for phytochemical resistance could drive parasite evolution. Inhibitory concentrations of thymol (4.53-22.2 ppm) were similar to concentrations in Thymus vulgaris nectar (mean 5.2 ppm). Exposure of C. bombi to naturally occurring levels of phytochemicals-either within bees or during parasite transmission via flowers-could influence infection in nature. Flowers that produce antiparasitic phytochemicals, including thymol, could potentially reduce infection in Bombus populations, thereby counteracting a possible contributor to pollinator decline.

  14. 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.

  15. Inbreeding in Mimulus guttatus reduces visitation by bumble bee pollinators.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Blackawton bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Sensory Information Systems Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-06

    tracking R. Olberg ( Union College): Dragonfly flight to target capture S. Sterbing ( U. MD): Wing sensors in bat flight control M...Bombus terrestris Megalopta genalis (Nocturnal Bee) Hawks & Falcons Echolocating Bats Dragonfly Hawkmoth Span of Natural Flier Research: A

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-09

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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'.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. Report Bee Kills

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  3. Consequences of toxic secondary compounds in nectar for mutualist bees and antagonist butterflies.

    PubMed

    Jones, Patricia L; Agrawal, Anurag A

    2016-10-01

    Attraction of mutualists and defense against antagonists are critical challenges for most organisms and can be especially acute for plants with pollinating and non-pollinating flower visitors. Secondary compounds in flowers have been hypothesized to adaptively mediate attraction of mutualists and defense against antagonists, but this hypothesis has rarely been tested. The tissues of milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) contain toxic cardenolides that have long been studied as chemical defenses against herbivores. Milkweed nectar also contains cardenolides, and we have examined the impact of manipulating cardenolides in nectar on the foraging choices of two flower visitors: generalist bumble bees, Bombus impatiens, which are mutualistic pollinators, and specialist monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, which are herbivores as larvae and ineffective pollinators as adults. Although individual bumble bees in single foraging bouts showed no avoidance of cardenolides at the highest natural concentrations reported for milkweeds, a pattern of deterrence did arise when entire colonies were allowed to forage for several days. Monarch butterflies were not deterred by the presence of cardenolides in nectar when foraging from flowers, but laid fewer eggs on plants paired with cardenolide-laced flowers compared to controls. Thus, although deterrence of bumble bees by cardenolides may only occur after extensive foraging, a primary effect of nectar cardenolides appears to be reduction of monarch butterfly oviposition.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Stakeholder Conference on Bee Health

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Honey Bees, Satellites and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esaias, W.

    2008-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. [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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Evans, Jay D; Schwarz, Ryan S

    2011-12-01

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

  17. Segregation of visual inputs from different regions of the compound eye in two parallel pathways through the anterior optic tubercle of the bumblebee (Bombus ignitus).

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Keram; Kinoshita, Michiyo

    2012-02-01

    Visually guided behaviors require the brain to extract features of the visual world and to integrate them in a context-specific manner. Hymenopteran insects have been prime models for ethological research into visual behaviors for decades but knowledge about the underlying central processing is very limited. This is particularly the case for sky-compass navigation. To learn more about central processing of visual information in general and specifically to reveal a possible polarization vision pathway in the bee brain, we used tracer injections to investigate the pathways through the anterior optic tubercle, a prominent output target of the insect optic lobe, in the bumblebee Bombus ignitus. The anterior optic tubercle of the bumblebee is a small neuropil of 200 μm width and is located dorsolateral to the antennal lobe at the anterior surface of the brain. It is divided into a larger upper and a smaller lower subunit, both of which receive input from the optic lobe and connect to the lateral accessory lobe, and the contralateral tubercle, via two parallel pathways. The lower subunit receives input from the dorsal rim area (DRA) of the compound eye. The bumblebee DRA shares structural similarities with polarization-sensitive DRAs of other insects and looks similar to that of honeybees. We identified several neurons within this pathway that could be homologous to identified polarization-sensitive neurons in the locust brain. We therefore conclude that the pathway through the lower subunit of the anterior optic tubercle could carry polarization information from the periphery to the central brain.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. A field study examining the effects of exposure to neonicotinoid seed-treated corn on commercial bumble bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Christopher Cutler, G; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D

    2014-11-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides have been studied as possible contributors to bumble bee declines in North America and Europe. This has potential significance in corn agro-ecosystems since this crop is frequently treated with neonicotinoids and dominates much of the agricultural landscape in North America and Europe where bumble bees and other pollinators are commonplace. We conducted an experiment where commercial bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) hives were placed during pollen shed next to corn (Zea mays) fields that were grown from "conventional" seed that was treated with neonicotinoids, or "organic" seed that was not treated with pesticides. Samples of pollen were collected from corn plants for neonicotinoid residue analysis, pollen types carried by worker bees returning to hives were determined, and in autumn hives were dissected to measure various endpoints that serve as markers of colony vigor. Clothianidin was detected (0.1-0.8 ng/g) in pollen collected from all conventional fields, but was not detected in pollen from organic fields. Corn pollen was only rarely collected from bumble bee foragers and the vast majority of pollen was from wild plants around the corn fields. All hives appeared healthy and neonicotinoid seed treatments had no effect on any hive endpoints measured, except the number of workers, where significantly fewer workers were recovered from hives placed next to conventional fields (96 ± 15 workers per hive) compared to organic fields (127 ± 17 workers per hive). The results suggest that exposure during pollen shed to corn grown from neonicotinoid-treated shed poses low risk to B. impatiens.

  3. 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

  4. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-29

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Genetic toolkits for bee health

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. [Bee mite: Varroa jacobsoni qudemans].

    PubMed

    Ozer, N; Boşgelmez, A

    1983-07-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Hey! A Bee Stung Me!

    MedlinePlus

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

  5. 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

  6. Chemical Ecology of Stingless Bees.

    PubMed

    Leonhardt, Sara Diana

    2017-04-06

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-03

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

  10. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. Honey Bee Colonies Remote Monitoring System

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Do Honey Bees Increase Sunflower See Yields?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. 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...

  20. Antioxidant Activity of Sonoran Desert Bee Pollen

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Flowers and Wild Megachilid Bees Share Microbes.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Bee health and international trade.

    PubMed

    Shimanuki, H; Knox, D A

    1997-04-01

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

  3. Swimming of the Honey Bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roh, Chris; Gharib, Morteza

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Chemical communication is not sufficient to explain reproductive inhibition in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Padilla, Mario; Amsalem, Etya; Altman, Naomi; Hefetz, Abraham

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive division of labour is a hallmark of eusociality, but disentangling the underlying proximate mechanisms can be challenging. In bumblebees, workers isolated from the queen can activate their ovaries and lay haploid, male eggs. We investigated if volatile, contact, visual or behavioural cues produced by the queen or brood mediate reproductive dominance in Bombus impatiens. Exposure to queen-produced volatiles, brood-produced volatiles and direct contact with pupae did not reduce worker ovary activation; only direct contact with the queen could reduce ovary activation. We evaluated behaviour, physiology and gene expression patterns in workers that were reared in chambers with all stages of brood and a free queen, caged queen (where workers could contact the queen, but the queen was unable to initiate interactions) or no queen. Workers housed with a caged queen or no queen fully activated their ovaries, whereas ovary activation in workers housed with a free queen was completely inhibited. The caged queen marginally reduced worker aggression and expression of an aggression-associated gene relative to queenless workers. Thus, queen-initiated behavioural interactions appear necessary to establish reproductive dominance. Queen-produced chemical cues may function secondarily in a context-specific manner to augment behavioural cues, as reliable or honest signal. PMID:27853577

  5. Chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid increases expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, William R.; Angelini, David R.

    2017-01-01

    Bumblebees are important pollinators in wild and agricultural settings. In recent decades pollinator declines have been linked to the effects of increased pesticide use and the spread of disease. Synergy between these factors has been suggested, but no physiological mechanism has been identified. This study examines the connection between neonicotinoid exposure and innate immune function in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens, which is an important wild and commercial pollinator in eastern North America. Experimental colonies in the field were enclosed and provided pollen and sugar syrup containing an agriculturally relevant range of imidacloprid concentrations. Bumblebees were collected from colonies over four weeks, and the expression of antimicrobial peptides was measured using multiplex quantitative real time PCR. Significant increases in the expression of abaecin, apidaecin and hymenoptaecin were found over time in treatments receiving moderate to high concentrations of the pesticide. Responses were dependent on time of exposure and dose. These results indicate that immune function in bumblebees is affected by neonicotinoid exposure and suggest a physiological mechanism by which neonicotinoids may impact the innate immune function of bumblebee pollinators in wild and agricultural habitats. PMID:28322347

  6. Limits to vertical force and power production in bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Buchwald, R; Dudley, R

    2010-02-01

    Maximum vertical forces produced by flying animals can be difficult to identify unequivocally, but potentially indicate general limits to aerodynamic force and muscle power output. We used two methods (i.e. incremental addition of supplemental mass and asymptotic load lifting) to determine both the intraspecific allometry of and methodological differences in estimates of maximum flight performance for the bumblebee Bombus impatiens. We found that incremental mass addition underestimated maximum lifting capacity by approximately 18% relative to values obtained by asymptotically increasing the applied load during a lifting bout. In asymptotic loading, bumblebees lifted on average 53% of their body weight, and demonstrated a significantly negative allometry of maximum aerodynamic force production relative to thoracic muscle mass. Estimates of maximum body mass-specific mechanical power output increased intraspecifically with body mass to the 0.38-0.50 power, depending on values assumed for the profile drag coefficient. We also found a significant reduction in vertical force production when both hindwings were removed. Limits to load-lifting capacity ultimately co-occur with an upper bound on stroke amplitude (approximately 145 deg.). Although thoracic muscle mass showed positive allometry, overall load-lifting performance exhibited significant size-dependent degradation.

  7. Chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid increases expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens.

    PubMed

    Simmons, William R; Angelini, David R

    2017-03-21

    Bumblebees are important pollinators in wild and agricultural settings. In recent decades pollinator declines have been linked to the effects of increased pesticide use and the spread of disease. Synergy between these factors has been suggested, but no physiological mechanism has been identified. This study examines the connection between neonicotinoid exposure and innate immune function in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens, which is an important wild and commercial pollinator in eastern North America. Experimental colonies in the field were enclosed and provided pollen and sugar syrup containing an agriculturally relevant range of imidacloprid concentrations. Bumblebees were collected from colonies over four weeks, and the expression of antimicrobial peptides was measured using multiplex quantitative real time PCR. Significant increases in the expression of abaecin, apidaecin and hymenoptaecin were found over time in treatments receiving moderate to high concentrations of the pesticide. Responses were dependent on time of exposure and dose. These results indicate that immune function in bumblebees is affected by neonicotinoid exposure and suggest a physiological mechanism by which neonicotinoids may impact the innate immune function of bumblebee pollinators in wild and agricultural habitats.

  8. Learned Use of Picture Cues by Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) in a Delayed Matching Task

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Emma; Plowright, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Picture-object correspondence provides an alternate method of investigating delayed matching by providing a cue (picture) which may be spontaneously perceived as similar but different from a corresponding target. Memory for, and corresponding choice of, a target corresponding to a cue could be facilitated by the use of a picture. Bumblebees have been found to both easily differentiate images from corresponding objects but also spontaneously perceive a similarity between the two. Herein, an approach was designed to test the possible use of picture cues to signal reward in a delayed matching task. Target choice preference corresponding to picture cues was tested among three bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) colonies using photograph cues (presented prior to target stimuli) corresponding to one of four target stimuli. Photograph cues were the only predictor of corresponding target reward, presented in stable locations. Rewarded and unrewarded tests show a choice preference significantly higher than chance for targets matching the cue. Results suggest that bumblebees can learn to use picture cues in a delayed matching task. Furthermore, experience, conditions of reward inconsistency and location, are discussed as possible contributing factors to learning in a delayed matching task. PMID:27754410

  9. 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.

  10. Identifying bacterial predictors of honey bee health.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Honey Bee Hemocyte Profiling by Flow Cytometry

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Bee sting of the cornea.

    PubMed

    Singh, G

    1984-04-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. The problem of disease when domesticating bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Climate change: bees and orchids lose touch.

    PubMed

    Willmer, Pat

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

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

    PubMed Central

    MacIvor, J. Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    MacIvor, J Scott; Packer, Laurence

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees.

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

  3. Brood care by male bumble bees

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Sydney A.

    1985-01-01

    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°C-6°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. Images PMID:16593608

  4. Hygienic behaviour in Brazilian stingless bees.

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-15

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

  5. Hygienic behaviour in Brazilian stingless bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Genetic stock identification of Russian honey bees.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Anti-Obesity Effect of Bombus ignitus Queen Glycosaminoglycans in Rats on a High-Fat Diet

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Mi Young; Kim, Ban Ji; Kim, Ha Jeong; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Jee, Sang Duck; Hwang, Jae Sam; Park, Kun-Koo

    2017-01-01

    The mechanism of functional insect glycosaminoglycan (GAG) on obesity caused a high fat diet has not yet been elucidated. Therefore, insect glycosaminoglycans derived from Isaria sinclairii, Bombus ignitus (a type of bumblebee) queen, and Gryllus bimaculatus were purified and investigated as a potential functional food. 14-week old male Wistar rats were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks. There were five groups that received daily intraperitoneal administration of phosphate buffered saline (PBS, control), GbG (GAG from Gryllus bimaculatus) 10 mg/kg, ISG (GAG from Isaria sinclairii) 10 mg/kg, IQG (GAG from Bombus ignites) 10 mg/kg, or Pravastatin (2 mg/kg). All treatments were performed for one month. IQG produced a potential anti-inflammatory effect with the inhibition of c-reactive protein and sero-biochemical parameters of phospholipids and free fatty acids indicative of an anti-hyperlipidemic effect. Abdominal and epididymidal fat weight were reduced in conjunction with a mild increase in body weight. The level of laminin in HMVEC-C cells or fibronectin in HFD rat hepatocytes was significantly affected by these GAG treatments, which regulated adipogenesis and adipocyte function. Compared to the control rats, IQG-treated rats displayed up-regulation of 87 genes (test:control ratio >2.0) including fatty acid synthase and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, with the down-regulation of 47 genes including the uridine diphosphate (UDP) glycosyltransferase 2 families, polypeptidase B, and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1. The data suggest that IQG could potentially prevent or treat fatty liver or hyperlipidemia. PMID:28327528

  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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Taste perception in honey bees.

    PubMed

    de Brito Sanchez, Maria Gabriela

    2011-10-01

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

  17. The solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chappell, C. R.

    1978-01-01

    The larger system of the earth environment is controlled externally by electromagnetic and particle energy from the sun. Recent studies have shown that the sun is a variable star with changes in its radiation which produce significant effects in the earth's climate and weather. The study of the solar-terrestrial system requires simultaneous, long-duration observations of the different elements or 'links' in the solar-terrestrial chain. Many investigations must be conducted in space from a vantage point above the earth's atmosphere where all of the sun's emissions can be observed free from atmospheric distortion, where the magnetospheric particles and fields can be measured directly, and where the atmosphere can be observed on a global scale. The extension of the Shuttle on-orbit capability in connection with the development of the power module will offer an important near-term step in an evolutionary process leading toward a permanent manned Solar Terrestrial Observatory capability in low-earth orbit. Attention is given to the required solar-terrestrial measurements, the operation of the Solar Terrestrial Observatory, and an evolutionary approach to the Solar Terrestrial Observatory.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-07

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sammataro, D; Gerson, U; Needham, G

    2000-01-01

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

  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

    2015-05-07

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Management of bee-sting anaphylaxis.

    PubMed

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

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

  7. 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.

  8. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Aronstein, K A; Murray, K D

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Analysis of microsatellites derived from bee Ests.

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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...

  12. Arctic terrestrial ecosystem contamination.

    PubMed

    Thomas, D J; Tracey, B; Marshall, H; Norstrom, R J

    1992-07-15

    Limited data have been collected on the presence of contaminants in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem, with the exception of radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. Although southern and temperate biological systems have largely cleansed themselves of radioactive fallout deposited during the 1950s and 1960s, Arctic environments have not. Lichens accumulate radioactivity more than many other plants because of their large surface area and long life span; the presence and persistence of radioisotopes in the Arctic is of concern because of the lichen----reindeer----human ecosystem. Effective biological half-life of cesium 137 is reckoned to be substantially less than its physical half-life. The database on organochlorines in Canadian Arctic terrestrial mammals and birds is very limited, but indications are that the air/plant/animal contaminant pathway is the major route of these compounds into the terrestrial food chain. For terrestrial herbivores, the most abundant organochlorine is usually hexachlorobenzene followed by hexachlorocyclohexane isomers. PCB accumulation favours the hexachlorobiphenyl, pentachlorobiphenyl and heptachlorobiphenyl homologous series. The concentrations of the various classes of organochlorine compounds are substantially lower in terrestrial herbivore tissues than in marine mammal tissues. PCBs and DDT are the most abundant residues in peregrine falcons (a terrestrial carnivore) reaching average levels of 9.2 and 10.4 micrograms.g-1, respectively, more than 10 times higher than other organochlorines and higher than in marine mammals, including the polar bear. Contaminants from local sources include metals from mining activities, hydrocarbons and waste drilling fluids from oil and gas exploration and production, wastes from DEW line sites, naturally occurring radionuclides associated with uranium mineralization, and smoke containing SO2 and H2SO4 aerosol from the Smoking Hills at Cape Bathurst, N.W.T.

  13. Terrestrial Gravity Fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Harms, Jan

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Morphological and physiological idiosyncrasies lead to interindividual variation in flight metabolic rate in worker bumblebees (Bombus impatiens).

    PubMed

    Skandalis, Dimitri A; Darveau, Charles-A

    2012-01-01

    Although intraspecific variation in metabolic rate is associated with variation in body size, similarly sized individuals nonetheless vary greatly. At similar masses, hovering bumblebee workers (Bombus impatiens) can differ in metabolic rate up to twofold. We examined how such interindividual variation arises by studying covariation of flight metabolic rate with morphological and other physiological parameters. Body size alone explained roughly half the variation in flight metabolic rate. The remaining variation could be explained as the outcome of variation in wing morphology and possibly an association with variation in flight muscle metabolic enzyme activities. As shown using statistical models, for a given mass, higher metabolic rate was correlated with both higher thoracic temperature and higher wing stroke frequency, in turn resulting from smaller wing surface area. When organismal and cellular metabolism for a given mass were linked, variation in metabolic rate was positively correlated with the activities of trehalase and hexokinase. Altogether, covariation with morphology and other physiological parameters explains up to 75% of the variation in metabolic rate. We also investigated the role of flight experience and show that neither flight restriction nor the number of lifetime flights affected flight energetics or flight muscle phenotype. Additionally, manipulating the level of wing asymmetry increased flight wing stroke frequency, metabolic rate, and thoracic temperature, but it did not alter enzyme activity. We conclude that idiosyncrasies in body morphology largely explained interindividual variation in flight metabolic rate but flight muscle metabolic phenotype shows little variation associated with differences in flight experience.

  2. Intraspecific variation in flight metabolic rate in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens: repeatability and functional determinants in workers and drones.

    PubMed

    Darveau, Charles-A; Billardon, Fannie; Bélanger, Kasandra

    2014-02-15

    The evolution of flight energetics requires that phenotypes be variable, repeatable and heritable. We studied intraspecific variation in flight energetics in order to assess the repeatability of flight metabolic rate and wingbeat frequency, as well as the functional basis of phenotypic variation in workers and drones of the bumblebee species Bombus impatiens. We showed that flight metabolic rate and wingbeat frequency were highly repeatable in workers, even when controlling for body mass variation using residual analysis. We did not detect significant repeatability in drones, but a smaller range of variation might have prevented us from finding significant values in our sample. Based on our results and previous findings, we associated the high repeatability of flight phenotypes in workers to the functional links between body mass, thorax mass, wing size, wingbeat frequency and metabolic rate. Moreover, differences between workers and drones were as predicted from these functional associations, where drones had larger wings for their size, lower wingbeat frequency and lower flight metabolic rate. We also investigated thoracic muscle metabolic phenotypes by measuring the activity of carbohydrate metabolism enzymes, and we found positive correlations between mass-independent metabolic rate and the activity of all enzymes measured, but in workers only. When comparing workers and drones that differ in flight metabolic rate, only the activity of the enzymes hexokinase and trehalase showed the predicted differences. Overall, our study indicates that there should be correlated evolution among physiological phenotypes at multiple levels of organization and morphological traits associated with flight.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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,…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Does bee pollen cause to eosinophilic gastroenteropathy?

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Collective thermoregulation in bee clusters.

    PubMed

    Ocko, Samuel A; Mahadevan, L

    2014-02-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. How does pollen chemistry impact development and feeding behaviour of polylectic bees?

    PubMed

    Vanderplanck, Maryse; Moerman, Romain; Rasmont, Pierre; Lognay, Georges; Wathelet, Bernard; Wattiez, Ruddy; Michez, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Larvae and imagos of bees rely exclusively on floral rewards as a food source but host-plant range can vary greatly among bee species. While oligolectic species forage on pollen from a single family of host plants, polylectic bees, such as bumblebees, collect pollen from many families of plants. These polylectic species contend with interspecific variability in essential nutrients of their host-plants but we have only a limited understanding of the way in which chemicals and chemical combinations influence bee development and feeding behaviour. In this paper, we investigated five different pollen diets (Calluna vulgaris, Cistus sp., Cytisus scoparius, Salix caprea and Sorbus aucuparia) to determine how their chemical content affected bumblebee colony development and pollen/syrup collection. Three compounds were used to characterise pollen content: polypeptides, amino acids and sterols. Several parameters were used to determine the impact of diet on micro-colonies: (i) Number and weight of larvae (total and mean weight of larvae), (ii) weight of pollen collected, (iii) pollen efficacy (total weight of larvae divided by weight of the pollen collected) and (iv) syrup collection. Our results show that pollen collection is similar regardless of chemical variation in pollen diet while syrup collection is variable. Micro-colonies fed on S. aucuparia and C. scoparius pollen produced larger larvae (i.e. better mates and winter survivors) and fed less on nectar compared to the other diets. Pollen from both of these species contains 24-methylenecholesterol and high concentrations of polypeptides/total amino acids. This pollen nutritional "theme" seems therefore to promote worker reproduction in B. terrestris micro-colonies and could be linked to high fitness for queenright colonies. As workers are able to selectively forage on pollen of high chemical quality, plants may be evolutionarily selected for their pollen content, which might attract and increase the degree of

  8. How Does Pollen Chemistry Impact Development and Feeding Behaviour of Polylectic Bees?

    PubMed Central

    Rasmont, Pierre; Lognay, Georges; Wathelet, Bernard; Wattiez, Ruddy; Michez, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Larvae and imagos of bees rely exclusively on floral rewards as a food source but host-plant range can vary greatly among bee species. While oligolectic species forage on pollen from a single family of host plants, polylectic bees, such as bumblebees, collect pollen from many families of plants. These polylectic species contend with interspecific variability in essential nutrients of their host-plants but we have only a limited understanding of the way in which chemicals and chemical combinations influence bee development and feeding behaviour. In this paper, we investigated five different pollen diets (Calluna vulgaris, Cistus sp., Cytisus scoparius, Salix caprea and Sorbus aucuparia) to determine how their chemical content affected bumblebee colony development and pollen/syrup collection. Three compounds were used to characterise pollen content: polypeptides, amino acids and sterols. Several parameters were used to determine the impact of diet on micro-colonies: (i) Number and weight of larvae (total and mean weight of larvae), (ii) weight of pollen collected, (iii) pollen efficacy (total weight of larvae divided by weight of the pollen collected) and (iv) syrup collection. Our results show that pollen collection is similar regardless of chemical variation in pollen diet while syrup collection is variable. Micro-colonies fed on S. aucuparia and C. scoparius pollen produced larger larvae (i.e. better mates and winter survivors) and fed less on nectar compared to the other diets. Pollen from both of these species contains 24-methylenecholesterol and high concentrations of polypeptides/total amino acids. This pollen nutritional “theme” seems therefore to promote worker reproduction in B. terrestris micro-colonies and could be linked to high fitness for queenright colonies. As workers are able to selectively forage on pollen of high chemical quality, plants may be evolutionarily selected for their pollen content, which might attract and increase the degree of

  9. Chronic sublethal stress causes bee colony failure.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  10. Why do Varroa mites prefer nurse bees?

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Chronic sublethal stress causes bee colony failure

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Predictive Markers of Honey Bee Colony Collapse

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Genomics of the honey bee microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Moran, Nancy A.

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Time Scales: Terrestrial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petit, G.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Terrestrial time is at present derived from atomic clocks. The SI second, the unit of time of the international system of units, has been defined since 1967 in terms of a hyperfine transition of the cesium atom and the best primary frequency standards now realize it with a relative uncertainty of a few parts in 1015, which makes it the most accurately measurable physical quantity. INTERNATIONAL A...

  16. Impact of electric fields on honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bindokas, V.P.

    1985-01-01

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

  17. Pathogen Webs in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-19

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

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Pemberton, Robert W

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fries, Ingemar

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cutler, G Christopher; Rix, Rachel R

    2015-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Connor, Rod; Peck, Larry

    1980-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Scent of a break-up: phylogeography and reproductive trait divergences in the red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Pleistocene climatic oscillations are considered as a major driving force of intraspecific divergence and speciation. During Ice Ages, populations isolated in allopatric glacial refugia can experience differentiation in reproductive traits through divergence in selection regimes. This phenomenon may lead to reproductive isolation and dramatically accentuates the consequences of the climatic oscillations on species. Alternatively, when reproductive isolation is incomplete and populations are expanding again, further mating between the formerly isolated populations can result in the formation of a hybrid zone, genetic introgression or reinforcement speciation through reproductive trait displacements. Therefore changes in reproductive traits driven by population movements during climatic oscillations can act as an important force in promoting pre-zygotic isolation. Notwithstanding, divergence of reproductive traits has not been approached in the context of climatic oscillations. Here we investigate the impact of population movements driven by climatic oscillations on a reproductive trait of a bumblebee species (Bombus lapidarius). We characterise the pattern of variation and differentiation across the species distribution (i) with five genes (nuclear and mitochondrial), and (ii) in the chemical composition of male marking secretions (MMS), a key trait for mate attraction in bumblebees. Results Our results provide evidence that populations have experienced a genetic allopatric differentiation, in at least three main refugia (the Balkans, Centre-Eastern Europe, and Southern Italy) during Quaternary glaciations. The comparative chemical analyses show that populations from the Southern Italian refugium have experienced MMS differentiation and an incipient speciation process from another refugium. The meeting of Southern Italian populations with other populations as a result of range expansion at a secondary contact zone seems to have led to a reinforcement

  9. Interactions between the Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum and Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Are Mediated by Plant Genetic Background

    PubMed Central

    Sands, Richard J.; Rowntree, Jennifer K.

    2016-01-01

    Wildflower mixes are often planted around field margins to provide forage for pollinators. Although seed for these mixtures is often wild-sourced, for species where agricultural cultivars are available, for example red clover (Trifolium pratense), cultivars can also be included. Previous evidence suggests that plant genetic background can have a strong influence on plant-arthropod interactions and therefore the provenance and genetic background of the plants included in wildflower mixes could impact plant-pollinator interactions. We tested the performance of five individual T. pratense cultivars against two commercially available wild-sourced T. pratense populations in terms of their ability to attract potential pollinator species (focusing on bumblebees) and their floral traits using greenhouse and garden experiments. The main bumblebee observed interacting with T. pratense was Bombus pascuorum and we found no difference in the absolute number of B. pascuorum visiting the cultivars or wild populations. However, we found variation among cultivars and between wild populations in their ability to attract bumblebees, which seems to be related to their relative investment in different floral traits. There was a positive relationship between biomass and number of inflorescences produced by the wild populations of T. pratense, which was not apparent for the cultivars. This suggests that artificial selection on the cultivars has changed the G-matrix of correlated traits. We show that agricultural cultivars of T. pratense can be as effective as wild populations at attracting pollinators such as bumblebees, but that the genetic background of both cultivars and wild populations can have a significant impact on the attractiveness of the plant to pollinators. We also show divergence in the correlated traits of T. pratense cultivars and wild populations that could lead to outbreeding depression if the plants interbreed. PMID:27552193

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papiorek, Sarah; Rohde, Katja; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Genetic Stock Identification of Russian Honey Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Odor compound detection in male euglossine bees.

    PubMed

    Schiestl, F P; Roubik, D W

    2003-01-01

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

  17. Tragedy of the commons in Melipona bees.

    PubMed Central

    Wenseleers, Tom; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Solar terrestrial observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Eight basic solar-terrestrial scientific objectives that benefit from the Shuttle/Platform approach and a program of measurements for each are discussed. The objectives are to understand: (1) solar variability, (2) wave-particle processes, (3) magnetosphere-ionosphere mass transport, (4) the global electric circuit, (5) upper atmospheric dynamics, (6) middle atmospheric chemistry and energetics, (7) lower atmospheric turbidity, and (8) planetary atmospheric waves. A two stage approach to a multidisciplinary payload is developed: an initial STO, that uses a single platform in a low-Earth orbit, and an advanced STO that uses two platforms in differing orbits.

  1. Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, D.W.H.

    1987-01-01

    The Maritime and Continental Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are considered in the context of environmental impacts - habitat destruction, alien introductions, and pollution. Four types of pollution are considered: nutrients, radionuclides, inert materials, and noxious chemicals. Their ability to recover from perturbation is discussed in the light of present scientific knowledge, and the methods used to control impacts are reviewed. It is concluded that techniques of waste disposal are still inadequate, adequate training in environmental and conservation principles for Antarctic personnel in many countries is lacking, and scientific investigations may be a much more serious threat than tourism to the integrity of these ecosystems. Some priorities crucial to future management are suggested.

  2. Cultivation and characterization of the gut symbionts of honey bees and bumble bees: description of Snodgrassella alvi gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of the family Neisseriaceae of the Betaproteobacteria, and Gilliamella apicola gen. nov., sp. nov., a member of Orbaceae fam. nov., Orbales ord. nov., a sister taxon to the order 'Enterobacteriales' of the Gammaproteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2013-06-01

    Gut-associated bacteria were isolated in axenic culture from the honey bee Apis mellifera and the bumble bees Bombus bimaculatus and B. vagans and are here placed in the novel genera and species Snodgrassella alvi gen. nov., sp. nov. and Gilliamella apicola gen. nov., sp. nov. Two strains from A. mellifera were characterized and are proposed as the type strains of Snodgrassella alvi (type strain wkB2(T) =NCIMB 14803(T) =ATCC BAA-2449(T) =NRRL B-59751(T)) and Gilliamella apicola (type strain wkB1(T) =NCIMB 14804(T) =ATCC BAA-2448(T)), representing, respectively, phylotypes referred to as 'Betaproteobacteria' and 'Gammaproteobacteria-1'/'Gamma-1' in earlier publications. These strains grew optimally under microaerophilic conditions, and did not grow readily under a normal atmosphere. The predominant fatty acids in both strains were palmitic acid (C16:0) and cis-vaccenic acid (C18:1ω7c and/or C18:1ω6c), and both strains had ubiquinone-8 as their major respiratory quinone. The DNA G+C contents were 41.3 and 33.6 mol% for wkB2(T) and wkB1(T), respectively. The Snodgrassella alvi strains from honey bees and bumble bees formed a novel clade within the family Neisseriaceae of the Betaproteobacteria, showing about 94% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity to their closest relatives, species of Stenoxybacter, Alysiella and Kingella. The Gilliamella apicola strains showed the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence identity to Orbus hercynius CN3(T) (93.9%) and several sequences from uncultured insect-associated bacteria. Phylogenetic reconstruction using conserved, single-copy amino acid sequences showed Gilliamella apicola as sister to the order 'Enterobacteriales' of the Gammaproteobacteria. Given its large sequence divergence from and basal position to the well-established order 'Enterobacteriales', we propose to place the clade encompassing Gilliamella apicola and O. hercynius in a new family and order, Orbaceae fam. nov. and Orbales ord. nov.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Bilabiate Flowers: The Ultimate Response to Bees?

    PubMed Central

    Westerkamp, Christian; Claßen-Bockhoff, Regine

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  7. The vitellogenin of the bumblebee, Bombus hypocrita: studies on structural analysis of the cDNA and expression of the mRNA.

    PubMed

    Li, Jilian; Huang, Jiaxing; Cai, Wanzhi; Zhao, Zhangwu; Peng, Wenjun; Wu, Jie

    2010-02-01

    In this present study, the cDNA of Bombus hypocrita vitellogenin (Vg) was cloned and sequenced. It is composed of 5,478 bp and contains an ORF of 1,772 amino acids within a putative signal peptide of 16 residues. The deduced amino acid sequence shows significant similarity with Bombus ignitus (95%) and Apis mellifera (52%) and a high number of conserved motifs. Close to the C terminus there is a GL/ICG motif followed by nine cysteines, and a DGXR motif is located 18 residues upstream from the GL/ICG motif. Moreover, we predicted the 3D structure of B. hypocrita Vg. Furthermore, the Vg mRNA of B. hypocrita was spatio-temporally analyzed in different castes (such as queen, worker and drone) from pupae to adult. The Vg mRNA was found in the white-eyed pupal (Pw) stage in queens, and the expression increased during the entire pupal development and attained its peak in the dark brown pupal stage. It also had a high expression in the adult fat body. In workers, the Vg expression was detected in the Pw stage, and its levels increased with age with the highest in 15 days. Afterward, it decreased progressively. Vg mRNA was also observed in drones, with a higher level of expression shown in only freshly molted adult drones.

  8. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability.

    PubMed

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2, temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y (-1)) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y (-1)), and

  9. Terrestrial Carbon Cycle Variability

    PubMed Central

    Baldocchi, Dennis; Ryu, Youngryel; Keenan, Trevor

    2016-01-01

    A growing literature is reporting on how the terrestrial carbon cycle is experiencing year-to-year variability because of climate anomalies and trends caused by global change. As CO 2 concentration records in the atmosphere exceed 50 years and as satellite records reach over 30 years in length, we are becoming better able to address carbon cycle variability and trends. Here we review how variable the carbon cycle is, how large the trends in its gross and net fluxes are, and how well the signal can be separated from noise. We explore mechanisms that explain year-to-year variability and trends by deconstructing the global carbon budget. The CO 2 concentration record is detecting a significant increase in the seasonal amplitude between 1958 and now. Inferential methods provide a variety of explanations for this result, but a conclusive attribution remains elusive. Scientists have reported that this trend is a consequence of the greening of the biosphere, stronger northern latitude photosynthesis, more photosynthesis by semi-arid ecosystems, agriculture and the green revolution, tropical temperature anomalies, or increased winter respiration. At the global scale, variability in the terrestrial carbon cycle can be due to changes in constituent fluxes, gross primary productivity, plant respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration, and losses due to fire, land use change, soil erosion, or harvesting. It remains controversial whether or not there is a significant trend in global primary productivity (due to rising CO 2, temperature, nitrogen deposition, changing land use, and preponderance of wet and dry regions). The degree to which year-to-year variability in temperature and precipitation anomalies affect global primary productivity also remains uncertain. For perspective, interannual variability in global gross primary productivity is relatively small (on the order of 2 Pg-C y -1) with respect to a large and uncertain background (123 +/- 4 Pg-C y -1), and

  10. Magnetic Sensing through the Abdomen of the Honey bee

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Terrestrial Water Storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodell, M.; Chambers, D. P.; Famiglietti, J. S.

    2015-01-01

    During 2014 dryness continued in the Northern Hemisphere and relative wetness continued in the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. 2.21; Plate 2.1g). These largely canceled out such that the global land surface began and ended the year with a terrestrial water storage (TWS) anomaly slightly below 0 cm (equivalent height of water; Fig. 2.22). TWS is the sum of groundwater, soil moisture, surface water, snow, and ice. Groundwater responds more slowly to meteorological phenomena than the other components because the overlying soil acts as a low pass filter, but often it has a larger range of variability on multiannual timescales (Rodell and Famiglietti 2001; Alley et al. 2002).In situ groundwater data are only archived and made and Tanzania. The rest of the continent experienced mixed to dry conditions. Significant reductions in TWS in Greenland, Antarctica, and southern coastal Alaska reflect ongoing ice sheet and glacier ablation, not groundwater depletion.

  13. Terrestrial Planets Accreted Dry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albarede, F.; Blichert-Toft, J.

    2007-12-01

    Plate tectonics shaped the Earth, whereas the Moon is a dry and inactive desert. Mars probably came to rest within the first billion years of its history, and Venus, although internally very active, has a dry inferno for its surface. The strong gravity field of a large planet allows for an enormous amount of gravitational energy to be released, causing the outer part of the planetary body to melt (magma ocean), helps retain water on the planet, and increases the pressure gradient. The weak gravity field and anhydrous conditions prevailing on the Moon stabilized, on top of its magma ocean, a thick buoyant plagioclase lithosphere, which insulated the molten interior. On Earth, the buoyant hydrous phases (serpentines) produced by reactions between the terrestrial magma ocean and the wet impactors received from the outer Solar System isolated the magma and kept it molten for some few tens of million years. The elemental distributions and the range of condensation temperatures show that the planets from the inner Solar System accreted dry. The interior of planets that lost up to 95% of their K cannot contain much water. Foundering of their wet surface material softened the terrestrial mantle and set the scene for the onset of plate tectonics. This very same process may have removed all the water from the surface of Venus 500 My ago and added enough water to its mantle to make its internal dynamics very strong and keep the surface very young. Because of a radius smaller than that of the Earth, not enough water could be drawn into the Martian mantle before it was lost to space and Martian plate tectonics never began. The radius of a planet therefore is the key parameter controlling most of its evolutional features.

  14. Terrestrial Planet Geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Terrestrial planet geophysics beyond our home sphere had its start arguably in the early 1960s, with Keith Runcorn contending that the second-degree shape of the Moon is due to convection and Mariner 2 flying past Venus and detecting no planetary magnetic field. Within a decade, in situ surface geophysical measurements were carried out on the Moon with the Apollo program, portions of the lunar magnetic and gravity fields were mapped, and Jack Lorell and his colleagues at JPL were producing spherical harmonic gravity field models for Mars using tracking data from Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit another planet. Moreover, Mariner 10 discovered a planetary magnetic field at Mercury, and a young Sean Solomon was using geological evidence of surface contraction to constrain the thermal evolution of the innermost planet. In situ geophysical experiments (such as seismic networks) were essentially never carried out after Apollo, although they were sometimes planned just beyond the believability horizon in planetary mission queues. Over the last three decades, the discipline of terrestrial planet geophysics has matured, making the most out of orbital magnetic and gravity field data, altimetric measurements of surface topography, and the integration of geochemical information. Powerful constraints are provided by tectonic and volcanic information gleaned from surface images, and the engagement of geologists in geophysical exercises is actually quite useful. Accompanying these endeavors, modeling techniques, largely adopted from the Earth Science community, have become increasingly sophisticated and have been greatly enhanced by the dramatic increase in computing power over the last two decades. The future looks bright with exciting new data sets emerging from the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the promise of the GRAIL gravity mission to the Moon, and the re-emergence of Venus as a worthy target for exploration. Who knows? With the unflagging optimism and persistence

  15. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

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

  16. Terrestrial Coordinate Systems and Frames

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucher, C.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    A terrestrial reference system (TRS) is a spatial reference system corotating with the Earth in its DIURNAL MOTION in space. In such a system, the positions of points anchored on the Earth's solid surface have coordinates which have only small variations with time, as a result of geophysical effects (tectonic or tidal deformations; see TECTONICS, EARTH'S INTERIOR, TIDES). A terrestrial reference ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  3. Do bees like Van Gogh's Sunflowers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chittka, Lars; Walker, Julian

    2006-06-01

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

  4. Thi Qar Bee Farm Thi Qar, Iraq

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-01

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

  5. Extrapolation of acute toxicity across bee species.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-22

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

  7. Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-30

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1979-02-24

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

  12. Impacts of Austrian Climate Variability on Honey Bee Mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Utility terrestrial biodiversity issues

    SciTech Connect

    Breece, G.A.; Ward, B.J.

    1996-11-01

    Results from a survey of power utility biologists indicate that terrestrial biodiversity is considered a major issued by only a few utilities; however, a majority believe it may be a future issue. Over half of the respondents indicated that their company is involved in some management for biodiversity, and nearly all feel that it should be a goal for resource management. Only a few utilities are funding biodiversity research, but a majority felt more research was needed. Generally, larger utilities with extensive land holdings had greater opportunities and resources for biodiversity management. Biodiversity will most likely be a concern with transmission rights-of-way construction and maintenance, endangered species issues and general land resource management, including mining reclamation and hydro relicensing commitments. Over half of the companies surveyed have established voluntary partnerships with management groups, and biodiversity is a goal in nearly all the joint projects. Endangered species management and protection, prevention of forest fragmentation, wetland protection, and habitat creation and protection are the most common partnerships involving utility companies. Common management practices and unique approaches are presented, along with details of the survey. 4 refs.

  16. Space or terrestrial energy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boulet, L.

    Consideration is given to the possibility of generating sufficient energy at acceptable costs on earth to offset the need to build solar power satellite systems (SPS). Electricity usage, one of the basic driving forces of developed nations, grows with the population. Currently comprising 33 pct of the total world energy used, electricity is projected to grow to a 50-55 pct share in the 21st century. Future terrestrial electrical energy sources include carbon-based fuels, nuclear (fusion or fission), and the renewable solar technologies. Carbon-based fuel supplies can last until 2030 AD, about the same as fission plants with recycled fuel. Breeder reactors would stretch the nuclear fuels to the year 3000. Solar technologies offer more immediate solutions than fusion reactors and can produce 50 pct of the power available from the construction of the maximum number of nuclear power plants. The addition of SPS would further augment the total. Combinations of all the technologies are recommended, with local research for the most appropriate technology for each nation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nicholls, Elizabeth; de Ibarra, Natalie Hempel

    2014-08-01

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

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  2. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Microbial Control of Invasive Arthropod Pests of Bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mueller, Michael P.; Pickering, John

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Parasite infection accelerates age polyethism in young honey bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee.

    PubMed

    Brutscher, Laura M; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Do fungicide applications affect bee fidelity to cranberries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Creativity and Mobile Language Learning Using LingoBee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hollingsworth, Jan Carter

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. RNAi and Antiviral Defense in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Brutscher, Laura M.; Flenniken, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Nutrition, immunity and viral infections in honey bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. The proboscis extension reflex not elicited in Magachilid bees

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Kapustjansky, Alexander; Chittka, Lars; Spaethe, Johannes

    2010-02-01

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

  20. Bee threat elicits alarm call in African elephants.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-26

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