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Sample records for european honey bees

  1. 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.

  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. Male reproductive parasitism: a factor in the africanization of European honey-bee populations.

    PubMed

    Rinderer, T E; Hellmich, R L; Danka, R G; Collins, A M

    1985-05-31

    Africanized drone honey bees (Apis mellifera) migrate into European honey-bee colonies in large numbers, but Africanized colonies only rarely host drones from other colonies. This migration leads to a strong mating advantage for Africanized bees since it both inhibits European drone production and enhances Africanized drone production.

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

    PubMed

    Williams, D L

    2000-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Roubik, D W

    1978-09-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tsevegmid, Khaliunaa; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-19

    Pollen substitute diets are a valuable resource for maintaining strong and health honey bee colonies. Specific diets may be useful in one region or country and inadequate or economically unviable in others. We compared two artificial protein diets that had been formulated from locally-available ingredients in Brazil with bee bread and a non-protein sucrose diet. Groups of 100 newly-emerged, adult workers of Africanized honey bees in Brazil and European honey bees in the USA were confined in small cages and fed on one of four diets for seven days. The artificial diets included a high protein diet made of soy milk powder and albumin, and a lower protein level diet consisting of soy milk powder, brewer's yeast and rice bran. The initial protein levels in newly emerged bees were approximately 18-21 µg/µL hemolymph. After feeding on the diets for seven days, the protein levels in the hemolymph were similar among the protein diet groups (~37-49 µg/µL after seven days), although Africanized bees acquired higher protein levels, increasing 145 and 100% on diets D1 and D2, respectively, versus 83 and 60% in the European bees. All the protein diets resulted in significantly higher levels of protein than sucrose solution alone. In the field, the two pollen substitute diets were tested during periods of low pollen availability in the field in two regions of Brazil. Food consumption, population development, colony weight, and honey production were evaluated to determine the impact of the diets on colony strength parameters. The colonies fed artificial diets had a significant improvement in all parameters, while control colonies dwindled during the dearth period. We conclude that these two artificial protein diets have good potential as pollen substitutes during dearth periods and that Africanized bees more efficiently utilize artificial protein diets than do European honey bees.

  10. Africanized honey bees are slowere learners than their European counterparts

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The range of Africanized honeybees continues to expand, superseding the common European honeybees in the southern United States. Are superior learning and memory the reason for their ecological success? Surprisingly, a comparison in a classical conditioning test of the two bee races shows that few...

  11. Brains and brain components in African and European honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) - a volumetric comparison

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A study was conducted to determine if the volume of major regions of the brain and the capacity for associative learning differed between European (AHB) and African honey bees (AHB). Associative learning was measured in 14-day old workers and foragers using proboscis extension response to odor-suga...

  12. Host adaptations reduce the reproductive success of Varroa destructor in two distinct European honey bee populations.

    PubMed

    Locke, Barbara; Conte, Yves Le; Crauser, Didier; Fries, Ingemar

    2012-06-01

    Honey bee societies (Apis mellifera), the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, and honey bee viruses that are vectored by the mite, form a complex system of host-parasite interactions. Coevolution by natural selection in this system has been hindered for European honey bee hosts since apicultural practices remove the mite and consequently the selective pressures required for such a process. An increasing mite population means increasing transmission opportunities for viruses that can quickly develop into severe infections, killing a bee colony. Remarkably, a few subpopulations in Europe have survived mite infestation for extended periods of over 10 years without management by beekeepers and offer the possibility to study their natural host-parasite coevolution. Our study shows that two of these "natural" honey bee populations, in Avignon, France and Gotland, Sweden, have in fact evolved resistant traits that reduce the fitness of the mite (measured as the reproductive success), thereby reducing the parasitic load within the colony to evade the development of overt viral infections. Mite reproductive success was reduced by about 30% in both populations. Detailed examinations of mite reproductive parameters suggest these geographically and genetically distinct populations favor different mechanisms of resistance, even though they have experienced similar selection pressures of mite infestation. Compared to unrelated control colonies in the same location, mites in the Avignon population had high levels of infertility while in Gotland there was a higher proportions of mites that delayed initiation of egg-laying. Possible explanations for the observed rapid coevolution are discussed.

  13. Host adaptations reduce the reproductive success of Varroa destructor in two distinct European honey bee populations

    PubMed Central

    Locke, Barbara; Conte, Yves Le; Crauser, Didier; Fries, Ingemar

    2012-01-01

    Honey bee societies (Apis mellifera), the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, and honey bee viruses that are vectored by the mite, form a complex system of host–parasite interactions. Coevolution by natural selection in this system has been hindered for European honey bee hosts since apicultural practices remove the mite and consequently the selective pressures required for such a process. An increasing mite population means increasing transmission opportunities for viruses that can quickly develop into severe infections, killing a bee colony. Remarkably, a few subpopulations in Europe have survived mite infestation for extended periods of over 10 years without management by beekeepers and offer the possibility to study their natural host–parasite coevolution. Our study shows that two of these “natural” honey bee populations, in Avignon, France and Gotland, Sweden, have in fact evolved resistant traits that reduce the fitness of the mite (measured as the reproductive success), thereby reducing the parasitic load within the colony to evade the development of overt viral infections. Mite reproductive success was reduced by about 30% in both populations. Detailed examinations of mite reproductive parameters suggest these geographically and genetically distinct populations favor different mechanisms of resistance, even though they have experienced similar selection pressures of mite infestation. Compared to unrelated control colonies in the same location, mites in the Avignon population had high levels of infertility while in Gotland there was a higher proportions of mites that delayed initiation of egg-laying. Possible explanations for the observed rapid coevolution are discussed. PMID:22833790

  14. Honey bee viruses.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan Ping; Siede, Reinhold

    2007-01-01

    Viruses are significant threats to the health and well-being of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. To alleviate the threats posed by these invasive organisms, a better understanding of bee viral infections will be of crucial importance in developing effective and environmentally benign disease control strategies. Although knowledge of honey bee viruses has been accumulated considerably in the past three decades, a comprehensive review to compile the various aspects of bee viruses at the molecular level has not been reported. This chapter summarizes recent progress in the understanding of the morphology, genome organization, transmission, epidemiology, and pathogenesis of honey bee viruses as well as their interactions with their honey bee hosts. The future prospects of research of honey bee viruses are also discussed in detail. The chapter has been designed to provide researchers in the field with updated information about honey bee viruses and to serve as a starting point for future research.

  15. Comparative virulence of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in individual European honey bees.

    PubMed

    Forsgren, Eva; Fries, Ingemar

    2010-06-24

    Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are intracellular microsporidian parasites infecting the midgut epithelial cells of adult honey bees. N. ceranae was considered to be restricted to the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, but is nowadays a parasite found also in the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) across most of the world. Recent surveys and experimental work suggest that N. ceranae is a serious threat to the global beekeeping industry. It has been suggested that N. ceranae induces significantly higher mortality in honey bees than N. apis, but little is known about their comparative virulence. In this study, we used in vivo infection experiments to study the two parasites' different virulence (i.e. multiplication rate and infectivity). A qPCR was developed to elucidate within host competition between the two parasites using mixed infections. The outcome of the experiments indicates minor differences in infectious dose and multiplication rate between the two species. Moreover, the mortality caused by N. ceranae was not significantly higher than for N. apis and N. ceranae appeared to have no competitive advantage within host.

  16. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Ashley N; Ellis, James D

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African-matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas.

  17. Managed European-Derived Honey Bee, Apis mellifera sspp, Colonies Reduce African-Matriline Honey Bee, A. m. scutellata, Drones at Regional Mating Congregations

    PubMed Central

    Mortensen, Ashley N.; Ellis, James D.

    2016-01-01

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of African-matriline drones at regional mating sites known as drone congregation areas (DCAs). We collected 2,400 drones at six DCAs either 0.25 km or >2.8 km from managed European-derived honey bee apiaries. The maternal ancestry of each drone was determined by Bgl II enzyme digestion of an amplified portion of the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene. Furthermore, sibship reconstruction via nuclear microsatellites was conducted for a subset of 1,200 drones to estimate the number of colonies contributing drones to each DCA. Results indicate that DCAs distant to managed European apiaries (>2.8 km) had significantly more African−matriline drones (34.33% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA) than did DCAs close (0.25 km) to managed European apiaries (1.83% of the collected drones had African mitochondrial DNA). Furthermore, nuclear sibship reconstruction demonstrated that the reduction in the proportion of African matriline drones at DCAs near apiaries was not simply an increase in the number of European matriline drones at the DCAs but also the result of fewer African matriline colonies contributing drones to the DCAs. Our data demonstrate that the management of European honey bee colonies can dramatically influence the proportion of drones with African matrilines at nearby drone congregation areas, and would likely decreasing the probability that virgin European queens will mate with African drones at those drone congregation areas. PMID:27518068

  18. 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

  19. Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Rapid morphological changes in populations of hybrids between Africanized and European honey bees.

    PubMed

    Francoy, T M; Gonçalves, L S; De Jong, D

    2012-09-17

    African honey bees, introduced to Brazil in 1956, rapidly dominated the previously introduced European subspecies. To better understand how hybridization between these different types of bees proceeded, we made geometric morphometric analyses of the wing venation patterns of specimens resulting from crosses made between Africanized honey bees (predominantly Apis mellifera scutellata) and Italian honey bees (A. mellifera ligustica) from 1965 to 1967, at the beginning of the Africanization process, in an apiary about 150 km from the original introduction site. Two virgin queens reared from an Italian parental were instrumentally inseminated with semen from drones from an Africanized parental. Six F(1) queens from one of these colonies were open mated with Africanized drones. Resultant F(1) drones were backcrossed to 50 Italian and 50 Africanized parental queens. Five backcross workers were collected from each of eight randomly selected colonies of each type of backcross (N = 5 bees x 8 colonies x 2 types of backcrosses). The F1 progeny (40 workers and 30 drones) was found to be morphologically closer to the Africanized than to the European parental (N = 20 drones and 40 workers, each); Mahalanobis square distances = 21.6 versus 25.8, respectively, for the workers, and 39.9 versus 46.4, respectively, for the drones. The worker progenies of the backcrosses (N = 40, each) were placed between the respective parental and the F(1) progeny, although closer to the Africanized than to the Italian parentals (Mahalanobis square distance = 6.2 versus 12.1, respectively). Consequently, the most common crosses at the beginning of the Africanization process would have generated individuals more similar to Africanized than to Italian bees. This adds a genetic explanation for the rapid changes in the populational morphometric profile in recently colonized areas. Africanized alleles of wing venation pattern genes are apparently dominant and epistatic.

  1. Migrations of European honey bee lineages into Africa, Asia, and North America during the Oligocene and Miocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotthoff, Ulrich; Wappler, Torsten; Engel, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Today honey bees, principally the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, represent a multi-billion dollar agricultural industry. Through the efforts of humans they have become established well outside of their modern native ranges, having been introduced multiple times into the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, and many areas of Oceania. The native, i.e., non-human influenced, distribution and migration of honey bee species and populations has been a matter of serious and continued debate. Apicultural dogma informs us that the center of origin of honey bees (genus Apis) resides in Asia, with subsequent migration and diversification into Europe and Asia. Recent population genetic studies of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, slightly modified this received wisdom by suggesting that this species originated in Africa and subsequently reinvaded Eurasia. Research into the historical biogeography of honey bees has ignored entirely the abundant fossil evidence distributed through a variety of Late Paleogene (Oligocene) and Early Neogene (Miocene) deposits, a diversity which is predominantly European in origin, particularly among the most basal species of the genus. We have examined the morphological disparity and affinities of the full living and fossil diversity of honey bees ranging from their earliest origins to the present day. This analysis indicates that honey bees exhibited a greater morphological disparity during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, a time when the principal lineages were established, and that Apis apparently originated in Europe, spreading from there into Asia, Africa, and North America, with subsequent diversification in the former two regions and extinction in the latter. During the human migrations and colonization honey bees were once again introduced multiple times into the Americas, as well as into Australia and Asia.

  2. A comparison of bee bread made by Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and its effects on hemolymph protein titers

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The genetic influence on nutrient acquisition was examined using European and African honey bees (EHB and AHB). Both races collected the same pollen and stored it in comb cells where it was converted to a fermented food called bee bread. We compared pH, protein and amino acid concentrations in the...

  3. First Insights into the Genome of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, Isolated from Honey Bee Larva Infected with European Foulbrood.

    PubMed

    Djukic, Marvin; Daniel, Rolf; Poehlein, Anja

    2015-07-30

    European foulbrood is a worldwide disease affecting the honey bee brood. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Fructobacillus sp. EFB-N1, which was isolated from an infected honey bee larva derived from a Swiss European foulbrood outbreak. The genome consists of 68 contigs and harbors 1,629 predicted protein-encoding genes. Copyright © 2015 Djukic et al.

  4. A pan-European epidemiological study reveals honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control.

    PubMed

    Jacques, Antoine; Laurent, Marion; Ribière-Chabert, Magali; Saussac, Mathilde; Bougeard, Stéphanie; Budge, Giles E; Hendrikx, Pascal; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Reports of honey bee population decline has spurred many national efforts to understand the extent of the problem and to identify causative or associated factors. However, our collective understanding of the factors has been hampered by a lack of joined up trans-national effort. Moreover, the impacts of beekeeper knowledge and beekeeping management practices have often been overlooked, despite honey bees being a managed pollinator. Here, we established a standardised active monitoring network for 5 798 apiaries over two consecutive years to quantify honey bee colony mortality across 17 European countries. Our data demonstrate that overwinter losses ranged between 2% and 32%, and that high summer losses were likely to follow high winter losses. Multivariate Poisson regression models revealed that hobbyist beekeepers with small apiaries and little experience in beekeeping had double the winter mortality rate when compared to professional beekeepers. Furthermore, honey bees kept by professional beekeepers never showed signs of disease, unlike apiaries from hobbyist beekeepers that had symptoms of bacterial infection and heavy Varroa infestation. Our data highlight beekeeper background and apicultural practices as major drivers of honey bee colony losses. The benefits of conducting trans-national monitoring schemes and improving beekeeper training are discussed.

  5. A pan-European epidemiological study reveals honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control

    PubMed Central

    Jacques, Antoine; Laurent, Marion; Ribière-Chabert, Magali; Saussac, Mathilde; Bougeard, Stéphanie; Budge, Giles E.; Hendrikx, Pascal; Chauzat, Marie-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Reports of honey bee population decline has spurred many national efforts to understand the extent of the problem and to identify causative or associated factors. However, our collective understanding of the factors has been hampered by a lack of joined up trans-national effort. Moreover, the impacts of beekeeper knowledge and beekeeping management practices have often been overlooked, despite honey bees being a managed pollinator. Here, we established a standardised active monitoring network for 5 798 apiaries over two consecutive years to quantify honey bee colony mortality across 17 European countries. Our data demonstrate that overwinter losses ranged between 2% and 32%, and that high summer losses were likely to follow high winter losses. Multivariate Poisson regression models revealed that hobbyist beekeepers with small apiaries and little experience in beekeeping had double the winter mortality rate when compared to professional beekeepers. Furthermore, honey bees kept by professional beekeepers never showed signs of disease, unlike apiaries from hobbyist beekeepers that had symptoms of bacterial infection and heavy Varroa infestation. Our data highlight beekeeper background and apicultural practices as major drivers of honey bee colony losses. The benefits of conducting trans-national monitoring schemes and improving beekeeper training are discussed. PMID:28278255

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-06-01

    There has been growing concern over declines in populations of honey bees and other pollinators which are a vital part to our food security. It is imperative to identify factors responsible for accelerated declines in bee populations and develop solutions for reversing bee losses. While exact causes of colony losses remain elusive, risk factors thought to play key roles are ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and neonicotinoid pesticides. The present study aims to investigate effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide Imidacloprid and Varroa mites individually on survivorship, growth, physiology, virus dynamics and immunity of honey bee workers. Our study provides clear evidence that the exposure to sublethal doses of Imidacloprid could exert a significantly negative effect on health and survival of honey bees. We observed a significant reduction in the titer of vitellogenin (Vg), an egg yolk precursor that regulates the honey bees development and behavior and often are linked to energy homeostasis, in bees exposed to Imidacloprid. This result indicates that sublethal exposure to neonicotinoid could lead to increased energy usage in honey bees as detoxification is a energy-consuming metabolic process and suggests that Vg could be a useful biomarker for measuring levels of energy stress and sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees. Measurement of the quantitative effects of different levels of Varroa mite infestation on the replication dynamic of Deformed wing virus (DWV), an RNA virus associated with Varroa infestation, and expression level of immune genes yields unique insights into how honey bees respond to stressors under laboratory conditions. © 2016 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

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

  9. [Bee, wax and honey].

    PubMed

    de Laguérenne, Claude

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Video Tracking Protocol to Screen Deterrent Chemistries for Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Larson, Nicholas R; Anderson, Troy D

    2017-06-12

    The European honey bee, Apis mellifera L., is an economically and agriculturally important pollinator that generates billions of dollars annually. Honey bee colony numbers have been declining in the United States and many European countries since 1947. A number of factors play a role in this decline, including the unintentional exposure of honey bees to pesticides. The development of new methods and regulations are warranted to reduce pesticide exposures to these pollinators. One approach is the use of repellent chemistries that deter honey bees from a recently pesticide-treated crop. Here, we describe a protocol to discern the deterrence of honey bees exposed to select repellent chemistries. Honey bee foragers are collected and starved overnight in an incubator 15 h prior to testing. Individual honey bees are placed into Petri dishes that have either a sugar-agarose cube (control treatment) or sugar-agarose-compound cube (repellent treatment) placed into the middle of the dish. The Petri dish serves as the arena that is placed under a camera in a light box to record the honey bee locomotor activities using video tracking software. A total of 8 control and 8 repellent treatments were analyzed for a 10 min period with each treatment was duplicated with new honey bees. Here, we demonstrate that honey bees are deterred from the sugar-agarose cubes with a compound treatment whereas honey bees are attracted to the sugar-agarose cubes without an added compound.

  11. First detection of Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian parasite of European honey bees (Apis mellifera), in Canada and central USA.

    PubMed

    Williams, Geoffrey R; Shafer, Aaron B A; Rogers, Richard E L; Shutler, Dave; Stewart, Donald T

    2008-02-01

    Nosema ceranae is an emerging microsporidian parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, but its distribution is not well known. Six Nosema-positive samples (determined from light microscopy of spores) of adult worker bees from Canada (two each from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) and two from USA (Minnesota) were tested to determine Nosema species using previously-developed PCR primers of the 16S rRNA gene. We detected for the first time N. ceranae in Canada and central USA. One haplotype of N. ceranae was identified; its virulence may differ from that of other haplotypes.

  12. Microbial Gut Diversity of Africanized and European Honey Bee Larval Instars

    PubMed Central

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Rehan, Sandra M.; Anderson, Kirk E.

    2013-01-01

    The first step in understanding gut microbial ecology is determining the presence and potential niche breadth of associated microbes. While the core gut bacteria of adult honey bees is becoming increasingly apparent, there is very little and inconsistent information concerning symbiotic bacterial communities in honey bee larvae. The larval gut is the target of highly pathogenic bacteria and fungi, highlighting the need to understand interactions between typical larval gut flora, nutrition and disease progression. Here we show that the larval gut is colonized by a handful of bacterial groups previously described from guts of adult honey bees or other pollinators. First and second larval instars contained almost exclusively Alpha 2.2, a core Acetobacteraceae, while later instars were dominated by one of two very different Lactobacillus spp., depending on the sampled site. Royal jelly inhibition assays revealed that of seven bacteria occurring in larvae, only one Neisseriaceae and one Lactobacillus sp. were inhibited. We found both core and environmentally vectored bacteria with putatively beneficial functions. Our results suggest that early inoculation by Acetobacteraceae may be important for microbial succession in larvae. This assay is a starting point for more sophisticated in vitro models of nutrition and disease resistance in honey bee larvae. PMID:23991051

  13. Microbial gut diversity of Africanized and European honey bee larval instars

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The first step in understanding gut microbial ecology is determining the presence and potential niche breadth of associated microbes. While the core gut bacteria of adult honey bees is becoming increasingly apparent, there is very little and inconsistent information concerning symbiotic bacterial co...

  14. Polychlorinated biphenyls in honey bees

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-02-01

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

  15. Differential responses of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) to viral replication following mechanical transmission or Varroa destructor parasitism.

    PubMed

    Hamiduzzaman, Mollah Md; Guzman-Novoa, Ernesto; Goodwin, Paul H; Reyes-Quintana, Mariana; Koleoglu, Gun; Correa-Benítez, Adriana; Petukhova, Tatiana

    2015-03-01

    For the first time, adults and brood of Africanized and European honey bees (Apis mellifera) were compared for relative virus levels over 48 h following Varroa destructor parasitism or injection of V. destructor homogenate. Rates of increase of deformed wing virus (DWV) for Africanized versus European bees were temporarily lowered for 12h with parasitism and sustainably lowered over the entire experiment (48 h) with homogenate injection in adults. The rates were also temporarily lowered for 24h with parasitism but were not affected by homogenate injection in brood. Rates of increase of black queen cell virus (BQCV) for Africanized versus European bees were similar with parasitism but sustainably lowered over the entire experiment with homogenate injection in adults and were similar for parasitism and homogenate injection in brood. Analyses of sac brood bee virus and Israeli acute paralysis virus were limited as detection did not occur after both homogenate injection and parasitism treatment, or levels were not significantly higher than those following control buffer injection. Lower rates of replication of DWV and BQCV in Africanized bees shows that they may have greater viral resistance, at least early after treatment.

  16. 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.

  17. Responses of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to Deformed wing virus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The negative impact of Deformedwing virus (DWV) on European honey bees Apis mellifera is magnified by Varroa destructor parasitism. This study compared the responses of two Varroa-resistant honey bee stocks, pure Russian honey bees (RHB) and out-crossed Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees, Pol-line (POL)...

  18. 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.

  19. Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-20

    sustain wildlife populations ; emphasizing the importance of pollinator diversity and sustaining wild and native pollinator species; developing or...Bee Population Losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Recent Colony Losses from Available Surveys...www.masterbeekeeper.org/pdf/ pollination.pdf]. Source: Bee Alert Inc., [http://www.beealert.info/]. Shaded areas show reported affected states. Past Honey Bee Population

  20. Chalkbrood disease in honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  1. Methods for comparing nutrients in beebread made by Africanized and European honey bees and the effects on hemolymph protein titers.

    PubMed

    Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Eckholm, Bruce; Huang, Ming

    2015-03-17

    Honey bees obtain nutrients from pollen they collect and store in the hive as beebread. We developed methods to control the pollen source that bees collect and convert to beebread by placing colonies in a specially constructed enclosed flight area. Methods were developed to analyze the protein and amino acid composition of the pollen and beebread. We also describe how consumption of the beebread was measured and methods used to determine adult worker bee hemolymph protein titers after feeding on beebread for 4, 7 and 11 days after emergence. Methods were applied to determine if genotype affects the conversion of pollen to beebread and the rate that bees consume and acquire protein from it. Two subspecies (European and Africanized honey bees; EHB and AHB respectively) were provided with the same pollen source. Based on the developed methods, beebread made by both subspecies had lower protein concentrations and pH values than the pollen. In general, amino acid concentrations in beebread made by either EHB or AHB were similar and occurred at higher levels in beebread than in pollen. Both AHB and EHB consumed significantly more of the beebread made by AHB than by EHB. Though EHB and AHB consumed similar amounts of each type of beebread, hemolymph protein concentrations in AHB were higher than in EHB. Differences in protein acquisition between AHB and EHB might reflect environmental adaptations related to the geographic region where each subspecies evolved. These differences could contribute to the successful establishment of AHB populations in the New World because of the effects on brood rearing and colony growth.

  2. Methods for Comparing Nutrients in Beebread Made by Africanized and European Honey Bees and the Effects on Hemolymph Protein Titers

    PubMed Central

    Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Eckholm, Bruce; Huang, Ming

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees obtain nutrients from pollen they collect and store in the hive as beebread. We developed methods to control the pollen source that bees collect and convert to beebread by placing colonies in a specially constructed enclosed flight area. Methods were developed to analyze the protein and amino acid composition of the pollen and beebread. We also describe how consumption of the beebread was measured and methods used to determine adult worker bee hemolymph protein titers after feeding on beebread for 4, 7 and 11 days after emergence. Methods were applied to determine if genotype affects the conversion of pollen to beebread and the rate that bees consume and acquire protein from it. Two subspecies (European and Africanized honey bees; EHB and AHB respectively) were provided with the same pollen source. Based on the developed methods, beebread made by both subspecies had lower protein concentrations and pH values than the pollen. In general, amino acid concentrations in beebread made by either EHB or AHB were similar and occurred at higher levels in beebread than in pollen. Both AHB and EHB consumed significantly more of the beebread made by AHB than by EHB. Though EHB and AHB consumed similar amounts of each type of beebread, hemolymph protein concentrations in AHB were higher than in EHB. Differences in protein acquisition between AHB and EHB might reflect environmental adaptations related to the geographic region where each subspecies evolved. These differences could contribute to the successful establishment of AHB populations in the New World because of the effects on brood rearing and colony growth. PMID:25867246

  3. Genetic Stock Identification of Russian Honey Bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. 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

  5. Use of costic acid, a natural extract from Dittrichia viscosa, for the control of Varroa destructor, a parasite of the European honey bee

    PubMed Central

    Sofou, Kalliopi; Isaakidis, Demosthenis; Spyros, Apostolos; Büttner, Anita

    2017-01-01

    Costic acid has been isolated from the plant Dittrichia viscosa and its efficacy against Varroa destructor, a parasite of Apis mellifera, the European honey bee, has been studied. Costic acid exhibited potent in vivo acaricidal activity against the parasite. Initial experiments showed that the compound is not toxic for human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) at concentrations of up to 230 micromolar (μM), indicating that costic acid could be used as a safe, low-cost and efficient agent for controlling varroosis in honey bee colonies. PMID:28684976

  6. Recent Honey Bee Colony Declines

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-03-26

    Population Losses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder...MAAREC), which represents beekeeping associations in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Past Honey Bee Population Losses... population losses due to bee pests, parasites, pathogens, and disease. Most notable are declines due to two parasitic mites, the Varroa destructor and the

  7. Honey Bees: Sweetness and Mites

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Inhibitory effect of gut bacteria from the Japanese honey bee, Apis cerana japonica, against Melissococcus plutonius, the causal agent of European foulbrood disease.

    PubMed

    Wu, Meihua; Sugimura, Yuya; Iwata, Kyoko; Takaya, Noriko; Takamatsu, Daisuke; Kobayashi, Masaru; Taylor, DeMar; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Yoshiyama, Mikio

    2014-01-01

    European foulbrood is a contagious bacterial disease of honey bee larvae. Studies have shown that the intestinal bacteria of insects, including honey bees, act as probiotic organisms. Microbial flora from the gut of the Japanese honey bee, Apis cerana japonica F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), were characterized and evaluated for their potential to inhibit the growth of Melissococcus plutonius corrig. (ex White) Bailey and Collins (Lactobacillales: Enterococcaceae), the causative agent of European foulbrood. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from 17 bacterial strains isolated by using a culture-dependent method revealed that most isolates belonged to Bacillus, Staphylococcus, and Pantoea. The isolates were screened against the pathogenic bacterium M. plutonius by using an in vitro growth inhibition assay, and one isolate (Acja3) belonging to the genus Bacillus exhibited inhibitory activity against M. plutonius. In addition, in vivo feeding assays revealed that isolate Acja3 decreased the mortality of honey bee larvae infected with M plutonius, suggesting that this bacterial strain could potentially be used as a probiotic agent against European foulbrood.

  11. Inhibitory Effect of Gut Bacteria from the Japanese Honey Bee, Apis cerana japonica, Against Melissococcus plutonius, the Causal Agent of European Foulbrood Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Meihua; Sugimura, Yuya; Iwata, Kyoko; Takaya, Noriko; Takamatsu, Daisuke; Kobayashi, Masaru; Taylor, DeMar; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Yoshiyama, Mikio

    2014-01-01

    European foulbrood is a contagious bacterial disease of honey bee larvae. Studies have shown that the intestinal bacteria of insects, including honey bees, act as probiotic organisms. Microbial flora from the gut of the Japanese honey bee, Apis cerana japonica F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), were characterized and evaluated for their potential to inhibit the growth of Melissococcus plutonius corrig. (ex White) Bailey and Collins (Lactobacillales: Enterococcaceae), the causative agent of European foulbrood. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from 17 bacterial strains isolated by using a culture-dependent method revealed that most isolates belonged to Bacillus, Staphylococcus, and Pantoea. The isolates were screened against the pathogenic bacterium M. plutonius by using an in vitro growth inhibition assay, and one isolate (Acja3) belonging to the genus Bacillus exhibited inhibitory activity against M. plutonius. In addition, in vivo feeding assays revealed that isolate Acja3 decreased the mortality of honey bee larvae infected with M. plutonius, suggesting that this bacterial strain could potentially be used as a probiotic agent against European foulbrood. PMID:25368073

  12. 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.

  13. Native bees provide insurance against ongoing honey bee losses.

    PubMed

    Winfree, Rachael; Williams, Neal M; Dushoff, Jonathan; Kremen, Claire

    2007-11-01

    One of the values of biodiversity is that it may provide 'biological insurance' for services currently rendered by domesticated species or technology. We used crop pollination as a model system, and investigated whether the loss of a domesticated pollinator (the honey bee) could be compensated for by native, wild bee species. We measured pollination provided to watermelon crops at 23 farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, USA, and used a simulation model to separate the pollen provided by honey bees and native bees. Simulation results predict that native bees alone provide sufficient pollination at > 90% of the farms studied. Furthermore, empirical total pollen deposition at flowers was strongly, significantly correlated with native bee visitation but not with honey bee visitation. The honey bee is currently undergoing extensive die-offs because of Colony Collapse Disorder. We predict that in our region native bees will buffer potential declines in agricultural production because of honey bee losses.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-05-15

    Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee-beetle-yeast-pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee.

  19. Global Status of Honey Bee Mites

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Parasitic bee mites have become a major problem to both beekeepers and honey bees. This chapter updates the latest information we have on the three mite species, Acarapis (tracheal), Varroa and Tropilaelaps that are currently a threat to honey bees. It also updates the current information on the ...

  20. Hologenome theory and the honey bee pathosphere

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  1. Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite–host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee–beetle–yeast–pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee. PMID:17483478

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  3. Sickness Behavior in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Cocaine Tolerance in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  7. Physiology and biochemistry of honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. Pathogen webs in collapsing honey bee colonies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  9. Cell culture techniques in honey bee research

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed Central

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kono, Yoshiaki; Kohn, Joshua R

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Viral Infection Affects Sucrose Responsiveness and Homing Ability of Forager Honey Bees, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Do Honey Bees Increase Sunflower See Yields?

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. 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

  17. Metatranscriptomic analyses of honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. No apparent correlation between honey bee forager gut microbiota and honey production

    PubMed Central

    Horton, Melissa A.; Oliver, Randy

    2015-01-01

    One of the best indicators of colony health for the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is its performance in the production of honey. Recent research into the microbial communities naturally populating the bee gut raise the question as to whether there is a correlation between microbial community structure and colony productivity. In this work, we used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to explore the microbial composition associated with forager bees from honey bee colonies producing large amounts of surplus honey (productive) and compared them to colonies producing less (unproductive). As supported by previous work, the honey bee microbiome was found to be dominated by three major phyla: the Proteobacteria, Bacilli and Actinobacteria, within which we found a total of 23 different bacterial genera, including known “core” honey bee microbiome members. Using discriminant function analysis and correlation-based network analysis, we identified highly abundant members (such as Frischella and Gilliamella) as important in shaping the bacterial community; libraries from colonies with high quantities of these Orbaceae members were also likely to contain fewer Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species (such as Firm-4). However, co-culture assays, using isolates from these major clades, were unable to confirm any antagonistic interaction between Gilliamella and honey bee gut bacteria. Our results suggest that honey bee colony productivity is associated with increased bacterial diversity, although this mechanism behind this correlation has yet to be determined. Our results also suggest researchers should not base inferences of bacterial interactions solely on correlations found using sequencing. Instead, we suggest that depth of sequencing and library size can dramatically influence statistically significant results from sequence analysis of amplicons and should be cautiously interpreted. PMID:26623177

  19. Antiviral Defense Mechanisms in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. The role of honey bees as pollinators in natural areas

    Treesearch

    Clare E. Aslan; Christina T. Liang; Ben Galindo; Hill Kimberly; Walter Topete

    2016-01-01

    The western or European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the primary managed pollinator in US agricultural systems, and its importance for food production is widely recognized. However, the role of A. mellifera as an introduced species in natural areas is potentially more complicated. The impact of A. mellifera...

  1. Mass envenomations by honey bees and wasps.

    PubMed Central

    Vetter, R S; Visscher, P K; Camazine, S

    1999-01-01

    Stinging events involving honey bees and wasps are rare; most deaths or clinically important incidents involve very few stings (< 10) and anaphylactic shock. However, mass stinging events can prove life-threatening via the toxic action of the venom when injected in large amounts. With the advent of the Africanized honey bee in the southwestern United States and its potential for further spread, mass envenomation incidents will increase. Here we review the literature on mass stinging events involving honey bees and wasps (i.e., yellowjackets, wasps, and hornets). Despite different venom composition in the two insect groups, both may cause systemic damage and involve hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, and acute renal failure. Victim death may occur due to renal failure or cardiac complications. With supportive care, however, most victims should be able to survive attacks from hundreds of wasps or approximately 1000 honey bees. PMID:10344177

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Nosema Ceranae is a long present and wide spread microsporidian infection of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) in the United States.

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nosema is a serious disease of adult honey bees and a major threat to the beekeeping industry. To investigate the presence, distribution, and historical occurrence of two different Nosema species, N. apis and N. ceranae, in the United States, we examined bee samples collected between 1995 and 2007...

  8. [Total amitraz residues in bee honeys].

    PubMed

    Hemmerling, C; Augustyniak, B; Risto, C

    1991-01-01

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

  9. Differential gene expression in Varroa jacobsoni mites following a host shift to European honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Andino, Gladys K; Gribskov, Michael; Anderson, Denis L; Evans, Jay D; Hunt, Greg J

    2016-11-16

    Varroa mites are widely considered the biggest honey bee health problem worldwide. Until recently, Varroa jacobsoni has been found to live and reproduce only in Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) colonies, while V. destructor successfully reproduces in both A. cerana and A. mellifera colonies. However, we have identified an island population of V. jacobsoni that is highly destructive to A. mellifera, the primary species used for pollination and honey production. The ability of these populations of mites to cross the host species boundary potentially represents an enormous threat to apiculture, and is presumably due to genetic variation that exists among populations of V. jacobsoni that influences gene expression and reproductive status. In this work, we investigate differences in gene expression between populations of V. jacobsoni reproducing on A. cerana and those either reproducing or not capable of reproducing on A. mellifera, in order to gain insight into differences that allow V. jacobsoni to overcome its normal species tropism. We sequenced and assembled a de novo transcriptome of V. jacobsoni. We also performed a differential gene expression analysis contrasting biological replicates of V. jacobsoni populations that differ in their ability to reproduce on A. mellifera. Using the edgeR, EBSeq and DESeq R packages for differential gene expression analysis, we found 287 differentially expressed genes (FDR ≤ 0.05), of which 91% were up regulated in mites reproducing on A. mellifera. In addition, mites found reproducing on A. mellifera showed substantially more variation in expression among replicates. We searched for orthologous genes in public databases and were able to associate 100 of these 287 differentially expressed genes with a functional description. There is differential gene expression between the two mite groups, with more variation in gene expression among mites that were able to reproduce on A. mellifera. A small set of genes showed reduced

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen; Aronstein, Katherine; Huang, Zachary

    2015-01-01

    Nosema ceranae infection is ubiquitous in western honey bees, Apis mellifera, in the United States and the pathogen has apparently replaced Nosema apis in colonies nationwide. Displacement of N. apis suggests that N. ceranae has competitive advantages but N. ceranae was significantly less infective and less virulent than N. apis in commercially available lineages of honey bees in studies conducted in Illinois and Texas. At 5 days post eclosion, the most susceptible age of adult bees tested, the mean ID50 for N. apis was 359 spores compared to 3217 N. ceranae spores, a nearly 9-fold difference. Infectivity of N. ceranae was also lower than N. apis for 24-h and 14-day worker bees. N. ceranae was less infective than reported in studies using European strains of honey bees, while N. apis infectivity, tested in the same cohort of honey bees, corresponded to results reported globally from 1972 to 2010. Mortality of worker bees was similar for both pathogens at a dosage of 50 spores and was not different from the uninfected controls, but was significantly higher for N. apis than N. ceranae at dosages ⩾500 spores. Our results provide comparisons for evaluating research using different ages of bees and pathogen dosages and clarify some controversies. In addition, comparisons among studies suggest that the mixed lineages of US honey bees may be less susceptible to N. ceranae infections than are European bees or that the US isolates of the pathogen are less infective and less virulent than European isolates.

  11. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-23

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

  12. Honey Bee Infecting Lake Sinai Viruses

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Allee effects and colony collapse disorder in honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Honey bees, neonicotinoids and bee incident reports: the Canadian situation.

    PubMed

    Cutler, G Christopher; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D; Drexler, David M

    2014-05-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides have been the target of much scrutiny as possible causes of recent declines observed in pollinator populations. Although neonicotinoids have been implicated in honey bee pesticide incidents, there has been little examination of incident report data. Here we summarize honey bee incident report data obtained from the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). In Canada, there were very few honey bee incidents reported in 2007-2011 and data were not collected prior to 2007. In 2012, a significant number of incidents were reported in the province of Ontario, where exposure to neonicotinoid dust during planting of corn was suspected to have caused the incident in up to 70% of cases. Most of these incidents were classified as 'minor' by the PMRA, and only six cases were considered 'moderate' or 'major'. In that same year, there were over three times as many moderate or major incidents due to older non-neonicotinoid pesticides, involving numbers of hives or bees far greater than the number of moderate or major incidents suspected to be due to neonicotinoid poisoning. These data emphasize that, while exposure of honey bees to neonicotinoid-contaminated dust during corn planting needs to be mitigated, other pesticides also pose a risk. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  17. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Neotropical Africanized honey bees have African mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

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

    1989-05-18

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

  1. Honey bees selectively avoid difficult choices.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Barron, Andrew B

    2013-11-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Owen, Robert

    2017-04-06

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  5. Predictive markers of honey bee colony collapse

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. 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)…

  7. Virus infections in Brazilian honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  8. 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)…

  9. Phenotypic and genetic analyses of the Varroa Sensitive Hygienic trait in Russian Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Varroa destructor continues to threaten colonies of European honey bees. General hygiene and more specific VarroaVarroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) provide resistance toward the Varroa mite in a number of stocks. In this study, Russian (RHB) and Italian honey bees were assessed for the VSH trait. Two...

  10. Statistical methods to quantify the effect of mite parasitism on the probability of death in honey bee colonies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Varroa destructor is a mite parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that weakens the population, can lead to the death of an entire honey bee colony, and is believed to be the parasite with the most economic impact on beekeeping. The purpose of this study was to estimate the probability of ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. 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.

  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. Multiyear survey targeting disease incidence in US honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. Genomics of the honey bee microbiome.

    PubMed

    Moran, Nancy A

    2015-08-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Multiple virus infections in the honey bee and genome divergence of honey bee viruses.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yanping; Zhao, Yan; Hammond, John; Hsu, Hei-ti; Evans, Jay; Feldlaufer, Mark

    2004-01-01

    Using uniplex RT-PCR we screened honey bee colonies for the presence of several bee viruses, including black queen cell virus (BQCV), deformed wing virus (DWV), Kashmir bee virus (KBV), and sacbrood virus (SBV), and described the detection of mixed virus infections in bees from these colonies. We report for the first time that individual bees can harbor four viruses simultaneously. We also developed a multiplex RT-PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of multiple bee viruses. The feasibility and specificity of the multiplex RT-PCR assay suggests that this assay is an effective tool for simultaneous examination of mixed virus infections in bee colonies and would be useful for the diagnosis and surveillance of honey bee viral diseases in the field and laboratory. Phylogenetic analysis of putative helicase and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) encoded by viruses reveal that DWV and SBV fall into a same clade, whereas KBV and BQCV belong to a distinct lineage with other picorna-like viruses that infect plants, insects and vertebrates. Results from field surveys of these viruses indicate that mixed infections of BQCV, DWV, KBV, and SBV in the honey bee probably arise due to broad geographic distribution of viruses.

  2. Brain composition and olfactory learning in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Gronenberg, Wulfila; Couvillon, Margaret J.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.; Jakobsson, Eric

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Honey Bees Inspired Optimization Method: The Bees Algorithm

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    The recent decline in honey bee colonies observed in both European countries and worldwide is of great interest and concern, although the underlying causes remain poorly understood. In recent years, growing evidence has implicated parasites and pathogens in this decline of both the vitality and number of honey bee colonies. The Iberian Peninsula provides an interesting environment in which to study the occurrence of pathogens and parasites in the host honey bee populations due to the presence of two evolutionary lineages in A. m. iberiensis (Western European [M] or African [A]). Here, we provide the first evidence linking the population structure of the Iberian honey bee with the prevalence of some of its most important parasites and pathogens: the Varroa destructor mite and the microsporidia Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Using data collected in two surveys conducted in 2006 and 2010 in 41 Spanish provinces, the evolutionary lineage and the presence of the three parasitic organisms cited above were analyzed in a total of 228 colonies. In 2006 N. apis was found in a significantly higher proportion of M lineage honey bees than in the A lineage. However, in 2010 this situation had changed significantly due to a higher prevalence of N. ceranae. We observed no significant relationships in either year between the distributions of V. destructor or N. ceranae and the evolutionary lineage present in A. m. iberiensis colonies, but the effects of these organisms on the genetic diversity of the honey bee populations need further research. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael L.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Magnetic Sensing through the Abdomen of the Honey bee.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-23

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Even, Naïla; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Barron, Andrew B.

    2012-01-01

    The biological concept of stress originated in mammals, where a “General Adaptation Syndrome” describes a set of common integrated physiological responses to diverse noxious agents. Physiological mechanisms of stress in mammals have been extensively investigated through diverse behavioral and physiological studies. One of the main elements of the stress response pathway is the endocrine hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which underlies the “fight-or-flight” response via a hormonal cascade of catecholamines and corticoid hormones. Physiological responses to stress have been studied more recently in insects: they involve biogenic amines (octopamine, dopamine), neuropeptides (allatostatin, corazonin) and metabolic hormones (adipokinetic hormone, diuretic hormone). Here, we review elements of the physiological stress response that are or may be specific to honey bees, given the economical and ecological impact of this species. This review proposes a hypothetical integrated honey bee stress pathway somewhat analogous to the mammalian HPA, involving the brain and, particularly, the neurohemal organ corpora cardiaca and peripheral targets, including energy storage organs (fat body and crop). We discuss how this system can organize rapid coordinated changes in metabolic activity and arousal, in response to adverse environmental stimuli. We highlight physiological elements of the general stress responses that are specific to honey bees, and the areas in which we lack information to stimulate more research into how this fascinating and vital insect responds to stress. PMID:26466739

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-22

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Antioxidants in wax cappings of honey bee brood

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    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. PMID:16942620

  5. Nutrition, immunity and viral infections in honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. Coordinated responses to honey bee decline in the USA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  8. 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.

  9. Octopamine modulates honey bee dance behavior

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17237217

  10. 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.

  11. The effects of Imidacloprid and Varroa destructor on the survival and health of European honey bees, Apis mellifera

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In the past decade, there has been growing concern over the decline in populations of honeybees and other pollinators which are vital part of our food security. It is therefore imperative to identify factors that are responsible for accelerated decline in bee population and develop solutions toward ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Silencing the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Naked Cuticle Gene (nkd) Improves Host Immune Function and Reduces Nosema ceranae Infections

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wenfeng; Evans, Jay D.; Huang, Qiang; Rodríguez-García, Cristina; Liu, Jie; Hamilton, Michele; Grozinger, Christina M.; Webster, Thomas C.; Su, Songkun

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Nosema ceranae is a new and emerging microsporidian parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that has been implicated in colony losses worldwide. RNA interference (RNAi), a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism, has emerged as a potent and specific strategy for controlling infections of parasites and pathogens in honey bees. While previous studies have focused on the silencing of parasite/pathogen virulence factors, we explore here the possibility of silencing a host factor as a mechanism for reducing parasite load. Specifically, we used an RNAi strategy to reduce the expression of a honey bee gene, naked cuticle (nkd), which is a negative regulator of host immune function. Our studies found that nkd mRNA levels in adult bees were upregulated by N. ceranae infection (and thus, the parasite may use this mechanism to suppress host immune function) and that ingestion of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) specific to nkd efficiently silenced its expression. Furthermore, we found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of nkd transcripts in Nosema-infected bees resulted in upregulation of the expression of several immune genes (Abaecin, Apidaecin, Defensin-1, and PGRP-S2), reduction of Nosema spore loads, and extension of honey bee life span. The results of our studies clearly indicate that silencing the host nkd gene can activate honey bee immune responses, suppress the reproduction of N. ceranae, and improve the overall health of honey bees. This study represents a novel host-derived therapeutic for honey bee disease treatment that merits further exploration. IMPORTANCE Given the critical role of honey bees in the pollination of agricultural crops, it is urgent to develop strategies to prevent the colony decline induced by the infection of parasites/pathogens. Targeting parasites and pathogens directly by RNAi has been proven to be useful for controlling infections in honey bees, but little is known about the disease impacts of RNAi silencing of host factors

  15. Silencing the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Naked Cuticle Gene (nkd) Improves Host Immune Function and Reduces Nosema ceranae Infections.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenfeng; Evans, Jay D; Huang, Qiang; Rodríguez-García, Cristina; Liu, Jie; Hamilton, Michele; Grozinger, Christina M; Webster, Thomas C; Su, Songkun; Chen, Yan Ping

    2016-11-15

    Nosema ceranae is a new and emerging microsporidian parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, that has been implicated in colony losses worldwide. RNA interference (RNAi), a posttranscriptional gene silencing mechanism, has emerged as a potent and specific strategy for controlling infections of parasites and pathogens in honey bees. While previous studies have focused on the silencing of parasite/pathogen virulence factors, we explore here the possibility of silencing a host factor as a mechanism for reducing parasite load. Specifically, we used an RNAi strategy to reduce the expression of a honey bee gene, naked cuticle (nkd), which is a negative regulator of host immune function. Our studies found that nkd mRNA levels in adult bees were upregulated by N. ceranae infection (and thus, the parasite may use this mechanism to suppress host immune function) and that ingestion of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) specific to nkd efficiently silenced its expression. Furthermore, we found that RNAi-mediated knockdown of nkd transcripts in Nosema-infected bees resulted in upregulation of the expression of several immune genes (Abaecin, Apidaecin, Defensin-1, and PGRP-S2), reduction of Nosema spore loads, and extension of honey bee life span. The results of our studies clearly indicate that silencing the host nkd gene can activate honey bee immune responses, suppress the reproduction of N. ceranae, and improve the overall health of honey bees. This study represents a novel host-derived therapeutic for honey bee disease treatment that merits further exploration. Given the critical role of honey bees in the pollination of agricultural crops, it is urgent to develop strategies to prevent the colony decline induced by the infection of parasites/pathogens. Targeting parasites and pathogens directly by RNAi has been proven to be useful for controlling infections in honey bees, but little is known about the disease impacts of RNAi silencing of host factors. Here, we demonstrate

  16. 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'.

  17. The complete mitochondrial genome of the invasive Africanized Honey Bee, Apis mellifera scutellata (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Gibson, Joshua D; Hunt, Greg J

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome from an Africanized honey bee population (AHB, derived from Apis mellifera scutellata) was assembled and analyzed. The mitogenome is 16,411 bp long and contains the same gene repertoire and gene order as the European honey bee (13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and 2 rRNA genes). ND4 appears to use an alternate start codon and the long rRNA gene is 48 bp shorter in AHB due to a deletion in a terminal AT dinucleotide repeat. The dihydrouracil arm is missing from tRNA-Ser (AGN) and tRNA-Glu is missing the TV loop. The A + T content is comparable to the European honey bee (84.7%), which increases to 95% for the 3rd position in the protein coding genes.

  18. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide

    PubMed Central

    Démares, Fabien J.; Crous, Kendall L.; Pirk, Christian W. W.; Nicolson, Susan W.; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed. PMID:27272274

  19. Sucrose Sensitivity of Honey Bees Is Differently Affected by Dietary Protein and a Neonicotinoid Pesticide.

    PubMed

    Démares, Fabien J; Crous, Kendall L; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W; Human, Hannelie

    2016-01-01

    Over a decade, declines in honey bee colonies have raised worldwide concerns. Several potentially contributing factors have been investigated, e.g. parasites, diseases, and pesticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides have received much attention due to their intensive use in crop protection, and their adverse effects on many levels of honey bee physiology led the European Union to ban these compounds. Due to their neuronal target, a receptor expressed throughout the insect nervous system, studies have focused mainly on neuroscience and behaviour. Through the Geometric Framework of nutrition, we investigated effects of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on survival, food consumption and sucrose sensitivity of honey bees (Apis mellifera). Thiamethoxam did not affect protein and carbohydrate intake, but decreased responses to high concentrations of sucrose. Interestingly, when bees ate fixed unbalanced diets, dietary protein facilitated better sucrose detection. Both thiamethoxam and dietary protein influenced survival. These findings suggest that, in the presence of a pesticide and unbalanced food, honey bee health may be severely challenged. Consequences for foraging efficiency and colony activity, cornerstones of honey bee health, are also discussed.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Aquino, Italo S

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Chinese Sacbrood virus infection in Asian honey bees (Apis cerana cerana) and host immune responses to the virus infection.

    PubMed

    Shan, Liu; Liuhao, Wang; Jun, Guo; Yujie, Tang; Yanping, Chen; Jie, Wu; Jilian, Li

    2017-09-12

    Chinese Sacbrood virus (CSBV) is a positive-stranded RNAvirus that infects both the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) and the Asian honey bee (A. cerana). However, CSBV has much more devastating effects on Asian honey bees than on European honey bees, posing a serious threat to the agricultural and natural ecosystems that rely on A. cerana for pollination service. Using quantitative RT-PCR method, we conducted studies to examine the CSBV infection in Asian honey bee colonies and immune responses of individual bees in response to CSBV infection. Our study showed that CSBV could cause infection in different developmental stages of workers including eggs, larvae, pupae, newly emerged workers, and foraging workers. In addition, evaluating the tissue tropism and transmission of CSBV in infected bees showed that CSBV was detected in the ovaries, spermatheca, and feces of queens as well as semen of drones of the same colonies, suggesting an existence of vertical transmission of CSBV in Asian honey bees. Further, the detection of CSBV in colony food suggests that healthy bees could pick the infection by the virus-contaminated food, and therefore, a possible existence of a food-borne transmission pathway of CSBV in Asian bee colonies. The expression analysis of transcripts (defensin, abaecin, apidaecin, and hymenoptaecin) involving innate antiviral immune pathways showed that CSBV infection could induce significant immune responses in infected bees. However, the immune responses to CSBV infection varied among different development stages with eggs exhibiting the lowest level of immune expression and forager workers exhibiting the highest level of immune gene expression. The results obtained in the study yield important insights into the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis of CSBV infections in Asian honey bees and provide valuable information for a rational design of disease control measures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Diet-dependent gene expression in honey bees: honey vs. sucrose or high fructose corn syrup

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Marsha M.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2014-01-01

    Severe declines in honey bee populations have made it imperative to understand key factors impacting honey bee health. Of major concern is nutrition, as malnutrition in honey bees is associated with immune system impairment and increased pesticide susceptibility. Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose after harvesting honey or during periods of nectar dearth. We report that, relative to honey, chronic feeding of either of these two alternative carbohydrate sources elicited hundreds of differences in gene expression in the fat body, a peripheral nutrient-sensing tissue analogous to vertebrate liver and adipose tissues. These expression differences included genes involved in protein metabolism and oxidation-reduction, including some involved in tyrosine and phenylalanine metabolism. Differences between HFCS and sucrose diets were much more subtle and included a few genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that bees receive nutritional components from honey that are not provided by alternative food sources widely used in apiculture. PMID:25034029

  5. Diet-dependent gene expression in honey bees: honey vs. sucrose or high fructose corn syrup.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Marsha M; Robinson, Gene E

    2014-07-17

    Severe declines in honey bee populations have made it imperative to understand key factors impacting honey bee health. Of major concern is nutrition, as malnutrition in honey bees is associated with immune system impairment and increased pesticide susceptibility. Beekeepers often feed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose after harvesting honey or during periods of nectar dearth. We report that, relative to honey, chronic feeding of either of these two alternative carbohydrate sources elicited hundreds of differences in gene expression in the fat body, a peripheral nutrient-sensing tissue analogous to vertebrate liver and adipose tissues. These expression differences included genes involved in protein metabolism and oxidation-reduction, including some involved in tyrosine and phenylalanine metabolism. Differences between HFCS and sucrose diets were much more subtle and included a few genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Our results suggest that bees receive nutritional components from honey that are not provided by alternative food sources widely used in apiculture.

  6. Genetic structure of the gentle Africanized honey bee population (gAHB) in Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Galindo-Cardona, Alberto; Acevedo-Gonzalez, Jenny P; Rivera-Marchand, Bert; Giray, Tugrul

    2013-08-06

    The Africanized honey bee is one of the most spectacular invasions in the Americas. African bees escaped from apiaries in Brazil in 1956, spread over Americas and by 1994 they were reported in Puerto Rico. In contrast to other places, the oceanic island conditions in Puerto Rico may mean a single introduction and different dynamics of the resident European and new-coming Africanized bees.To examine the genetic variation of honey bee feral populations and colonies from different locations in Puerto Rico, we used eight known polymorphic microsatellite loci. In Puerto Rico, gAHB population does not show any genetic structure (Fst = 0.0783), and is best described as one honey bee population, product of hybridization of AHB and EHB. The genetic variability in this Africanized population was similar to that reported in studies from Texas. We observed that European private allele frequencies are high in all but one locus. This contrasts with mainland Africanized populations, where European allele frequencies are diminished. Two loci with European private alleles, one on Linkage Group 7, known to carry two known defensiveness Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs), and the other on Linkage Group 1, known to carry three functionally studied genes and 11 candidate genes associated with Varroa resistance mechanisms were respectively, significantly greater or lower in European allele frequency than the other loci with European private alleles. Genetic structure of Puerto Rico gAHB differs from mainland AHB populations, probably representing evolutionary processes on the island.

  7. Genetic structure of the gentle Africanized honey bee population (gAHB) in Puerto Rico

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Africanized honey bee is one of the most spectacular invasions in the Americas. African bees escaped from apiaries in Brazil in 1956, spread over Americas and by 1994 they were reported in Puerto Rico. In contrast to other places, the oceanic island conditions in Puerto Rico may mean a single introduction and different dynamics of the resident European and new-coming Africanized bees. To examine the genetic variation of honey bee feral populations and colonies from different locations in Puerto Rico, we used eight known polymorphic microsatellite loci. Results In Puerto Rico, gAHB population does not show any genetic structure (Fst = 0.0783), and is best described as one honey bee population, product of hybridization of AHB and EHB. The genetic variability in this Africanized population was similar to that reported in studies from Texas. We observed that European private allele frequencies are high in all but one locus. This contrasts with mainland Africanized populations, where European allele frequencies are diminished. Two loci with European private alleles, one on Linkage Group 7, known to carry two known defensiveness Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs), and the other on Linkage Group 1, known to carry three functionally studied genes and 11 candidate genes associated with Varroa resistance mechanisms were respectively, significantly greater or lower in European allele frequency than the other loci with European private alleles. Conclusions Genetic structure of Puerto Rico gAHB differs from mainland AHB populations, probably representing evolutionary processes on the island. PMID:23915100

  8. Iridovirus and microsporidian linked to honey bee colony decline.

    PubMed

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J; Henderson, Colin B; Wick, Charles H; Stanford, Michael F; Zulich, Alan W; Jabbour, Rabih E; Deshpande, Samir V; McCubbin, Patrick E; Seccomb, Robert A; Welch, Phillip M; Williams, Trevor; Firth, David R; Skowronski, Evan; Lehmann, Margaret M; Bilimoria, Shan L; Gress, Joanna; Wanner, Kevin W; Cramer, Robert A

    2010-10-06

    In 2010 Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), again devastated honey bee colonies in the USA, indicating that the problem is neither diminishing nor has it been resolved. Many CCD investigations, using sensitive genome-based methods, have found small RNA bee viruses and the microsporidia, Nosema apis and N. ceranae in healthy and collapsing colonies alike with no single pathogen firmly linked to honey bee losses. We used Mass spectrometry-based proteomics (MSP) to identify and quantify thousands of proteins from healthy and collapsing bee colonies. MSP revealed two unreported RNA viruses in North American honey bees, Varroa destructor-1 virus and Kakugo virus, and identified an invertebrate iridescent virus (IIV) (Iridoviridae) associated with CCD colonies. Prevalence of IIV significantly discriminated among strong, failing, and collapsed colonies. In addition, bees in failing colonies contained not only IIV, but also Nosema. Co-occurrence of these microbes consistently marked CCD in (1) bees from commercial apiaries sampled across the U.S. in 2006-2007, (2) bees sequentially sampled as the disorder progressed in an observation hive colony in 2008, and (3) bees from a recurrence of CCD in Florida in 2009. The pathogen pairing was not observed in samples from colonies with no history of CCD, namely bees from Australia and a large, non-migratory beekeeping business in Montana. Laboratory cage trials with a strain of IIV type 6 and Nosema ceranae confirmed that co-infection with these two pathogens was more lethal to bees than either pathogen alone. These findings implicate co-infection by IIV and Nosema with honey bee colony decline, giving credence to older research pointing to IIV, interacting with Nosema and mites, as probable cause of bee losses in the USA, Europe, and Asia. We next need to characterize the IIV and Nosema that we detected and develop management practices to reduce honey bee losses.

  9. Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline

    PubMed Central

    Bromenshenk, Jerry J.; Henderson, Colin B.; Wick, Charles H.; Stanford, Michael F.; Zulich, Alan W.; Jabbour, Rabih E.; Deshpande, Samir V.; McCubbin, Patrick E.; Seccomb, Robert A.; Welch, Phillip M.; Williams, Trevor; Firth, David R.; Skowronski, Evan; Lehmann, Margaret M.; Bilimoria, Shan L.; Gress, Joanna; Wanner, Kevin W.; Cramer, Robert A.

    2010-01-01

    Background In 2010 Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), again devastated honey bee colonies in the USA, indicating that the problem is neither diminishing nor has it been resolved. Many CCD investigations, using sensitive genome-based methods, have found small RNA bee viruses and the microsporidia, Nosema apis and N. ceranae in healthy and collapsing colonies alike with no single pathogen firmly linked to honey bee losses. Methodology/Principal Findings We used Mass spectrometry-based proteomics (MSP) to identify and quantify thousands of proteins from healthy and collapsing bee colonies. MSP revealed two unreported RNA viruses in North American honey bees, Varroa destructor-1 virus and Kakugo virus, and identified an invertebrate iridescent virus (IIV) (Iridoviridae) associated with CCD colonies. Prevalence of IIV significantly discriminated among strong, failing, and collapsed colonies. In addition, bees in failing colonies contained not only IIV, but also Nosema. Co-occurrence of these microbes consistently marked CCD in (1) bees from commercial apiaries sampled across the U.S. in 2006–2007, (2) bees sequentially sampled as the disorder progressed in an observation hive colony in 2008, and (3) bees from a recurrence of CCD in Florida in 2009. The pathogen pairing was not observed in samples from colonies with no history of CCD, namely bees from Australia and a large, non-migratory beekeeping business in Montana. Laboratory cage trials with a strain of IIV type 6 and Nosema ceranae confirmed that co-infection with these two pathogens was more lethal to bees than either pathogen alone. Conclusions/Significance These findings implicate co-infection by IIV and Nosema with honey bee colony decline, giving credence to older research pointing to IIV, interacting with Nosema and mites, as probable cause of bee losses in the USA, Europe, and Asia. We next need to characterize the IIV and Nosema that we detected and develop management practices to reduce honey bee losses

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

    PubMed

    Gong, Youhui; Diao, Qingyun

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  12. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony health and pathogen composition in migratory beekeeping operations involved in California almond pollination

    PubMed Central

    Daughenbaugh, Katie F.; Radford, Rosemarie; Kegley, Susan E.

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Pathogens and other factors have been implicated in high annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and some European countries. To further investigate the relationship between multiple factors, including pathogen prevalence and abundance and colony health, we monitored commercially managed migratory honey bee colonies involved in California almond pollination in 2014. At each sampling event, honey bee colony health was assessed, using colony population size as a proxy for health, and the prevalence and abundance of seven honey bee pathogens was evaluated using PCR and quantitative PCR, respectively. In this sample cohort, pathogen prevalence and abundance did not correlate with colony health, but did correlate with the date of sampling. In general, pathogen prevalence (i.e., the number of specific pathogens harbored within a colony) was lower early in the year (January—March) and was greater in the summer, with peak prevalence occurring in June. Pathogen abundance in individual honey bee colonies varied throughout the year and was strongly associated with the sampling date, and was influenced by beekeeping operation, colony health, and mite infestation level. Together, data from this and other observational cohort studies that monitor individual honey bee colonies and precisely account for sampling date (i.e., day of year) will lead to a better understanding of the influence of pathogens on colony mortality and the effects of other factors on these associations. PMID:28817641

  13. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony health and pathogen composition in migratory beekeeping operations involved in California almond pollination.

    PubMed

    Glenny, William; Cavigli, Ian; Daughenbaugh, Katie F; Radford, Rosemarie; Kegley, Susan E; Flenniken, Michelle L

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees are important pollinators of agricultural crops. Pathogens and other factors have been implicated in high annual losses of honey bee colonies in North America and some European countries. To further investigate the relationship between multiple factors, including pathogen prevalence and abundance and colony health, we monitored commercially managed migratory honey bee colonies involved in California almond pollination in 2014. At each sampling event, honey bee colony health was assessed, using colony population size as a proxy for health, and the prevalence and abundance of seven honey bee pathogens was evaluated using PCR and quantitative PCR, respectively. In this sample cohort, pathogen prevalence and abundance did not correlate with colony health, but did correlate with the date of sampling. In general, pathogen prevalence (i.e., the number of specific pathogens harbored within a colony) was lower early in the year (January-March) and was greater in the summer, with peak prevalence occurring in June. Pathogen abundance in individual honey bee colonies varied throughout the year and was strongly associated with the sampling date, and was influenced by beekeeping operation, colony health, and mite infestation level. Together, data from this and other observational cohort studies that monitor individual honey bee colonies and precisely account for sampling date (i.e., day of year) will lead to a better understanding of the influence of pathogens on colony mortality and the effects of other factors on these associations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Parasite Pressures on Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera sp.)

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. PMID:25126840

  18. Evidence from mitochondrial DNA that African honey bees spread as continuous maternal lineages.

    PubMed

    Hall, H G; Muralidharan, K

    1989-05-18

    African honey bees have populated much of South and Central America and will soon enter the United States. The mechanism by which they have spread is controversial. Africanization may be largely the result of paternal gene flow into extant European populations or, alternatively, of maternal migration of feral swarms that have maintained an African genetic integrity. We have been using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms to follow the population dynamics between European and African bees. In earlier reports, we suggested that if African honey bees had distinctive mitochondrial (mt) DNA, then it could potentially distinguish the relative contributions of swarming and mating to the Africanization process. Because mtDNA is maternally inherited, it would not be transmitted by mating drones and only transported by queens accompanying swarms. Furthermore, the presence of African mtDNA would reflect unbroken maternal lineages from the original bees introduced from Africa. The value of mtDNA for population studies in general has been reviewed recently. Here we report that 19 feral swarms, randomly caught in Mexico, all carried African mtDNA. Thus, the migrating force of the African honey bee in the American tropics consists of continuous African maternal lineages spreading as swarms. The mating of African drones to European queens seems to contribute little to African bee migration.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Silencing honey bee naked cuticle (nkd) reduces Nosema ceranae replication and disease levels

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nosema ceranae is a new and emerging microsporidian parasite of European honey bees, Apis mellifera that has been implicated in alarming colony losses worldwide. RNA interference (RNAi), a post-transcriptional gene silencing mechanism, has emerged as a potent and specific strategy for controlling in...

  2. Variation in and responses to brood pheromone of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Brood pheromone was characterized from same-stage larvae derived from honey bee sources having European mitochondrial DNA from Texas and Georgia, USA and African mitochondrial DNA from Texas, USA and Pretoria, South Africa. The proportions of the 10 fatty acid ester components (blend) were sufficie...

  3. Asymmetrical Coexistence of Nosema ceranae and N. apis in Honey Bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Globalization has provided opportunities for parasites/pathogens to cross geographic boundaries and expand to new hosts. Recent studies showed that Nosema ceranae, originally considered as a microsporidian parasite of Eastern honey bees, Apis ceranae, was the disease agent of Nosemosis in European ...

  4. Honey, bee pollen and vegetable oil unsaponifiables in wound healing.

    PubMed

    Ragno, Alessandro; Cavallaro, Emanuela; Marsili, Daniele; Apa, Michele; D'Erasmo, Laura; Martin, Luis Severino

    2016-08-01

    We would like to remark on the mechanisms and therapeutic properties of honey, bee pollen and unsaponifiable fractions of vegetable oils in wound healing. Copyright © 2016 Tissue Viability Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Chmielewski, W

    1991-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Daly, Z; Melhim, A; Weersink, A

    2012-08-01

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

  8. Honey bee (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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  10. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. A Quantitative Model of Honey Bee Colony Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Since 2006 the rate of honey bee colony failure has increased significantly. As an aid to testing hypotheses for the causes of colony failure we have developed a compartment model of honey bee colony population dynamics to explore the impact of different death rates of forager bees on colony growth and development. The model predicts a critical threshold forager death rate beneath which colonies regulate a stable population size. If death rates are sustained higher than this threshold rapid population decline is predicted and colony failure is inevitable. The model also predicts that high forager death rates draw hive bees into the foraging population at much younger ages than normal, which acts to accelerate colony failure. The model suggests that colony failure can be understood in terms of observed principles of honey bee population dynamics, and provides a theoretical framework for experimental investigation of the problem. PMID:21533156

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  16. Propolis Counteracts Some Threats to Honey Bee Health.

    PubMed

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Borba, Renata S; Wilson, Michael; Spivak, Marla

    2017-04-29

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are constantly dealing with threats from pathogens, pests, pesticides and poor nutrition. It is critically important to understand how honey bees' natural immune responses (individual immunity) and collective behavioral defenses (social immunity) can improve bee health and productivity. One form of social immunity in honey bee colonies is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and their use in the nest architecture as propolis. We review research on the constitutive benefits of propolis on the honey bee immune system, and its known therapeutic, colony-level effects against the pathogens Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis. We also review the limited research on the effects of propolis against other pathogens, parasites and pests (Nosema, viruses, Varroa destructor, and hive beetles) and how propolis may enhance bee products such as royal jelly and honey. Although propolis may be a source of pesticide contamination, it also has the potential to be a detoxifying agent or primer of detoxification pathways, as well as increasing bee longevity via antioxidant-related pathways. Throughout this paper, we discuss opportunities for future research goals and present ways in which the beekeeping community can promote propolis use in standard colonies, as one way to improve and maintain colony health and resiliency.

  17. Nosema ceranae Escapes Fumagillin Control in Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen F.; Yau, Peter M.; Imai, Brian S.

    2013-01-01

    Fumagillin is the only antibiotic approved for control of nosema disease in honey bees and has been extensively used in United States apiculture for more than 50 years for control of Nosema apis. It is toxic to mammals and must be applied seasonally and with caution to avoid residues in honey. Fumagillin degrades or is diluted in hives over the foraging season, exposing bees and the microsporidia to declining concentrations of the drug. We showed that spore production by Nosema ceranae, an emerging microsporidian pathogen in honey bees, increased in response to declining fumagillin concentrations, up to 100% higher than that of infected bees that have not been exposed to fumagillin. N. apis spore production was also higher, although not significantly so. Fumagillin inhibits the enzyme methionine aminopeptidase2 (MetAP2) in eukaryotic cells and interferes with protein modifications necessary for normal cell function. We sequenced the MetAP2 gene for apid Nosema species and determined that, although susceptibility to fumagillin differs among species, there are no apparent differences in fumagillin binding sites. Protein assays of uninfected bees showed that fumagillin altered structural and metabolic proteins in honey bee midgut tissues at concentrations that do not suppress microsporidia reproduction. The microsporidia, particularly N. ceranae, are apparently released from the suppressive effects of fumagillin at concentrations that continue to impact honey bee physiology. The current application protocol for fumagillin may exacerbate N. ceranae infection rather than suppress it. PMID:23505365

  18. Nosema ceranae escapes fumagillin control in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Huang, Wei-Fone; Solter, Leellen F; Yau, Peter M; Imai, Brian S

    2013-03-01

    Fumagillin is the only antibiotic approved for control of nosema disease in honey bees and has been extensively used in United States apiculture for more than 50 years for control of Nosema apis. It is toxic to mammals and must be applied seasonally and with caution to avoid residues in honey. Fumagillin degrades or is diluted in hives over the foraging season, exposing bees and the microsporidia to declining concentrations of the drug. We showed that spore production by Nosema ceranae, an emerging microsporidian pathogen in honey bees, increased in response to declining fumagillin concentrations, up to 100% higher than that of infected bees that have not been exposed to fumagillin. N. apis spore production was also higher, although not significantly so. Fumagillin inhibits the enzyme methionine aminopeptidase2 (MetAP2) in eukaryotic cells and interferes with protein modifications necessary for normal cell function. We sequenced the MetAP2 gene for apid Nosema species and determined that, although susceptibility to fumagillin differs among species, there are no apparent differences in fumagillin binding sites. Protein assays of uninfected bees showed that fumagillin altered structural and metabolic proteins in honey bee midgut tissues at concentrations that do not suppress microsporidia reproduction. The microsporidia, particularly N. ceranae, are apparently released from the suppressive effects of fumagillin at concentrations that continue to impact honey bee physiology. The current application protocol for fumagillin may exacerbate N. ceranae infection rather than suppress it.

  19. Motivation and vector navigation in honey bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyer, Fred; Gill, Micah; Sharbowski, Jennifer

    2002-03-01

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

  20. Nutritional status influences socially regulated foraging ontogeny in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Toth, Amy L; Kantarovich, Sara; Meisel, Adam F; Robinson, Gene E

    2005-12-01

    In many social insects, including honey bees, worker energy reserve levels are correlated with task performance in the colony. Honey bee nest workers have abundant stored lipid and protein while foragers are depleted of these reserves; this depletion precedes the shift from nest work to foraging. The first objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that lipid depletion has a causal effect on the age at onset of foraging in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). We found that bees treated with a fatty acid synthesis inhibitor (TOFA) were more likely to forage precociously. The second objective of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between social interactions, nutritional state and behavioral maturation. Since older bees are known to inhibit the development of young bees into foragers, we asked whether this effect is mediated nutritionally via the passage of food from old to young bees. We found that bees reared in social isolation have low lipid stores, but social inhibition occurs in colonies in the field, whether young bees are starved or fed. These results indicate that although social interactions affect the nutritional status of young bees, social and nutritional factors act independently to influence age at onset of foraging. Our findings suggest that mechanisms linking internal nutritional physiology to foraging in solitary insects have been co-opted to regulate altruistic foraging in a social context.

  1. Resin collection and social immunity in honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    In diverse pollinator communities, interspecific interactions may modify the behaviour and increase the pollination effectiveness of individual species. Because agricultural production reliant on pollination is growing, improving pollination effectiveness could increase crop yield without any increase in agricultural intensity or area. In California almond, a crop highly dependent on honey bee pollination, we explored the foraging behaviour and pollination effectiveness of honey bees in orchards with simple (honey bee only) and diverse (non-Apis bees present) bee communities. In orchards with non-Apis bees, the foraging behaviour of honey bees changed and the pollination effectiveness of a single honey bee visit was greater than in orchards where non-Apis bees were absent. This change translated to a greater proportion of fruit set in these orchards. Our field experiments show that increased pollinator diversity can synergistically increase pollination service, through species interactions that alter the behaviour and resulting functional quality of a dominant pollinator species. These results of functional synergy between species were supported by an additional controlled cage experiment with Osmia lignaria and Apis mellifera. Our findings highlight a largely unexplored facilitative component of the benefit of biodiversity to ecosystem services, and represent a way to improve pollinator-dependent crop yields in a sustainable manner. PMID:23303545

  6. 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.

  7. The habitat disruption induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Tomomi; Kojima, Yuriko; Toki, Taku; Komeda, Yayoi; Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi; Nirasawa, Keijiro; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The honey bee is a major insect used for pollination of many commercial crops worldwide. Although the use of honey bees for pollination can disrupt the habitat, the effects on their physiology have never been determined. Recently, honey bee colonies have often collapsed when introduced in greenhouses for pollination in Japan. Thus, suppressing colony collapses and maintaining the number of worker bees in the colonies is essential for successful long-term pollination in greenhouses and recycling of honey bee colonies. To understand the physiological states of honey bees used for long-term pollination in greenhouses, we characterized their gene expression profiles by microarray. We found that the greenhouse environment changes the gene expression profiles and induces immune-suppression and oxidative stress in honey bees. In fact, the increase of the number of Nosema microsporidia and protein carbonyl content was observed in honey bees during pollination in greenhouses. Thus, honey bee colonies are likely to collapse during pollination in greenhouses when heavily infested with pathogens. Degradation of honey bee habitat by changing the outside environment of the colony, during pollination services for example, imposes negative impacts on honey bees. Thus, worldwide use of honey bees for crop pollination in general could be one of reasons for the decline of managed honey bee colonies. PMID:22393496

  8. 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.

  9. Propolis Counteracts Some Threats to Honey Bee Health

    PubMed Central

    Simone-Finstrom, Michael; Borba, Renata S.; Wilson, Michael; Spivak, Marla

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are constantly dealing with threats from pathogens, pests, pesticides and poor nutrition. It is critically important to understand how honey bees’ natural immune responses (individual immunity) and collective behavioral defenses (social immunity) can improve bee health and productivity. One form of social immunity in honey bee colonies is the collection of antimicrobial plant resins and their use in the nest architecture as propolis. We review research on the constitutive benefits of propolis on the honey bee immune system, and its known therapeutic, colony-level effects against the pathogens Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis. We also review the limited research on the effects of propolis against other pathogens, parasites and pests (Nosema, viruses, Varroa destructor, and hive beetles) and how propolis may enhance bee products such as royal jelly and honey. Although propolis may be a source of pesticide contamination, it also has the potential to be a detoxifying agent or primer of detoxification pathways, as well as increasing bee longevity via antioxidant-related pathways. Throughout this paper, we discuss opportunities for future research goals and present ways in which the beekeeping community can promote propolis use in standard colonies, as one way to improve and maintain colony health and resiliency. PMID:28468244

  10. Honey bee aggression supports a link between gene regulation and behavioral evolution

    PubMed Central

    Alaux, Cédric; Sinha, Saurabh; Hasadsri, Linda; Hunt, Greg J.; Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Uribe-Rubio, José Luis; Southey, Bruce R.; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra; Robinson, Gene E.

    2009-01-01

    A prominent theory states that animal phenotypes arise by evolutionary changes in gene regulation, but the extent to which this theory holds true for behavioral evolution is not known. Because “nature and nurture” are now understood to involve hereditary and environmental influences on gene expression, we studied whether environmental influences on a behavioral phenotype, i.e., aggression, could have evolved into inherited differences via changes in gene expression. Here, with microarray analysis of honey bees, we show that aggression-related genes with inherited patterns of brain expression are also environmentally regulated. There were expression differences in the brain for hundreds of genes between the highly aggressive Africanized honey bee compared with European honey bee (EHB) subspecies. Similar results were obtained for EHB in response to exposure to alarm pheromone (which provokes aggression) and when comparing old and young bees (aggressive tendencies increase with age). There was significant overlap of the gene lists generated from these three microarray experiments. Moreover, there was statistical enrichment of several of the same cis regulatory motifs in promoters of genes on all three gene lists. Aggression shows a remarkably robust brain molecular signature regardless of whether it occurs because of inherited, age-related, or environmental (social) factors. It appears that one element in the evolution of different degrees of aggressive behavior in honey bees involved changes in regulation of genes that mediate the response to alarm pheromone. PMID:19706434

  11. Evaluation of the Distribution and Impacts of Parasites, Pathogens, and Pesticides on Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Populations in East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations. PMID:24740399

  12. Evaluation of the distribution and impacts of parasites, pathogens, and pesticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in East Africa.

    PubMed

    Muli, Elliud; Patch, Harland; Frazier, Maryann; Frazier, James; Torto, Baldwyn; Baumgarten, Tracey; Kilonzo, Joseph; Kimani, James Ng'ang'a; Mumoki, Fiona; Masiga, Daniel; Tumlinson, James; Grozinger, Christina

    2014-01-01

    In East Africa, honey bees (Apis mellifera) provide critical pollination services and income for small-holder farmers and rural families. While honey bee populations in North America and Europe are in decline, little is known about the status of honey bee populations in Africa. We initiated a nationwide survey encompassing 24 locations across Kenya in 2010 to evaluate the numbers and sizes of honey bee colonies, assess the presence of parasites (Varroa mites and Nosema microsporidia) and viruses, identify and quantify pesticide contaminants in hives, and assay for levels of hygienic behavior. Varroa mites were present throughout Kenya, except in the remote north. Levels of Varroa were positively correlated with elevation, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in honey bee host-parasite interactions. Levels of Varroa were negatively correlated with levels of hygienic behavior: however, while Varroa infestation dramatically reduces honey bee colony survival in the US and Europe, in Kenya Varroa presence alone does not appear to impact colony size. Nosema apis was found at three sites along the coast and one interior site. Only a small number of pesticides at low concentrations were found. Of the seven common US/European honey bee viruses, only three were identified but, like Varroa, were absent from northern Kenya. The number of viruses present was positively correlated with Varroa levels, but was not correlated with colony size or hygienic behavior. Our results suggest that Varroa, the three viruses, and Nosema have been relatively recently introduced into Kenya, but these factors do not yet appear to be impacting Kenyan bee populations. Thus chemical control for Varroa and Nosema are not necessary for Kenyan bees at this time. This study provides baseline data for future analyses of the possible mechanisms underlying resistance to and the long-term impacts of these factors on African bee populations.

  13. A genome-wide signature of positive selection in ancient and recent invasive expansions of the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Zayed, Amro; Whitfield, Charles W

    2008-03-04

    Apis mellifera originated in Africa and extended its range into Eurasia in two or more ancient expansions. In 1956, honey bees of African origin were introduced into South America, their descendents admixing with previously introduced European bees, giving rise to the highly invasive and economically devastating "Africanized" honey bee. Here we ask whether the honey bee's out-of-Africa expansions, both ancient and recent (invasive), were associated with a genome-wide signature of positive selection, detected by contrasting genetic differentiation estimates (F(ST)) between coding and noncoding SNPs. In native populations, SNPs in protein-coding regions had significantly higher F(ST) estimates than those in noncoding regions, indicating adaptive evolution in the genome driven by positive selection. This signal of selection was associated with the expansion of honey bees from Africa into Western and Northern Europe, perhaps reflecting adaptation to temperate environments. We estimate that positive selection acted on a minimum of 852-1,371 genes or approximately 10% of the bee's coding genome. We also detected positive selection associated with the invasion of African-derived honey bees in the New World. We found that introgression of European-derived alleles into Africanized bees was significantly greater for coding than noncoding regions. Our findings demonstrate that Africanized bees exploited the genetic diversity present from preexisting introductions in an adaptive way. Finally, we found a significant negative correlation between F(ST) estimates and the local GC content surrounding coding SNPs, suggesting that AT-rich genes play an important role in adaptive evolution in the honey bee.

  14. A genome-wide signature of positive selection in ancient and recent invasive expansions of the honey bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Zayed, Amro; Whitfield, Charles W.

    2008-01-01

    Apis mellifera originated in Africa and extended its range into Eurasia in two or more ancient expansions. In 1956, honey bees of African origin were introduced into South America, their descendents admixing with previously introduced European bees, giving rise to the highly invasive and economically devastating “Africanized” honey bee. Here we ask whether the honey bee's out-of-Africa expansions, both ancient and recent (invasive), were associated with a genome-wide signature of positive selection, detected by contrasting genetic differentiation estimates (FST) between coding and noncoding SNPs. In native populations, SNPs in protein-coding regions had significantly higher FST estimates than those in noncoding regions, indicating adaptive evolution in the genome driven by positive selection. This signal of selection was associated with the expansion of honey bees from Africa into Western and Northern Europe, perhaps reflecting adaptation to temperate environments. We estimate that positive selection acted on a minimum of 852–1,371 genes or ≈10% of the bee's coding genome. We also detected positive selection associated with the invasion of African-derived honey bees in the New World. We found that introgression of European-derived alleles into Africanized bees was significantly greater for coding than noncoding regions. Our findings demonstrate that Africanized bees exploited the genetic diversity present from preexisting introductions in an adaptive way. Finally, we found a significant negative correlation between FST estimates and the local GC content surrounding coding SNPs, suggesting that AT-rich genes play an important role in adaptive evolution in the honey bee. PMID:18299560

  15. 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

  16. Virulence of mixed fungal infections in honey bee brood

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kathiresan, K; Srinivasan, K

    2005-07-01

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

  19. Honey bee-collected pollen in agro-ecosystems reveals diet diversity, diet quality, and pesticide exposure.

    PubMed

    Colwell, Megan J; Williams, Geoffrey R; Evans, Rodger C; Shutler, Dave

    2017-09-01

    European honey bees Apis mellifera are important commercial pollinators that have suffered greater than normal overwintering losses since 2007 in North America and Europe. Contributing factors likely include a combination of parasites, pesticides, and poor nutrition. We examined diet diversity, diet nutritional quality, and pesticides in honey bee-collected pollen from commercial colonies in the Canadian Maritime Provinces in spring and summer 2011. We sampled pollen collected by honey bees at colonies in four site types: apple orchards, blueberry fields, cranberry bogs, and fallow fields. Proportion of honey bee-collected pollen from crop versus noncrop flowers was high in apple, very low in blueberry, and low in cranberry sites. Pollen nutritional value tended to be relatively good from apple and cranberry sites and poor from blueberry and fallow sites. Floral surveys ranked, from highest to lowest in diversity, fallow, cranberry, apple, and blueberry sites. Pesticide diversity in honey bee-collected pollen was high from apple and blueberry sites and low from cranberry and fallow sites. Four different neonicotinoid pesticides were detected, but neither these nor any other pesticides were at or above LD50 levels. Pollen hazard quotients were highest in apple and blueberry sites and lowest in fallow sites. Pollen hazard quotients were also negatively correlated with the number of flower taxa detected in surveys. Results reveal differences among site types in diet diversity, diet quality, and pesticide exposure that are informative for improving honey bee and land agro-ecosystem management.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) is an important viral disease of adult bees which induces significant losses in honey bee colonies. In this study winter worker bees were experimentally infected using three different experiments. Bees were inoculated orally or topically with CBPV to evaluate the l...

  1. Honey bee promoter sequences for targeted gene expression.

    PubMed

    Schulte, C; Leboulle, G; Otte, M; Grünewald, B; Gehne, N; Beye, M

    2013-08-01

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, displays a rich behavioural repertoire, social organization and caste differentiation, and has an interesting mode of sex determination, but we still know little about its underlying genetic programs. We lack stable transgenic tools in honey bees that would allow genetic control of gene activity in stable transgenic lines. As an initial step towards a transgenic method, we identified promoter sequences in the honey bee that can drive constitutive, tissue-specific and cold shock-induced gene expression. We identified the promoter sequences of Am-actin5c, elp2l, Am-hsp83 and Am-hsp70 and showed that, except for the elp2l sequence, the identified sequences were able to drive reporter gene expression in Sf21 cells. We further demonstrated through electroporation experiments that the putative neuron-specific elp2l promoter sequence can direct gene expression in the honey bee brain. The identification of these promoter sequences is an important initial step in studying the function of genes with transgenic experiments in the honey bee, an organism with a rich set of interesting phenotypes. © 2013 Royal Entomological Society.

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

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Erik M K; Amdam, Gro V

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  4. Transcriptional responses in Honey Bee larvae infected with chalkbrood fungus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background 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 are differentially expressed in response to infection of honey bee larvae with the chalkbrood fungus, Ascosphaera apis. Results We used cDNA-AFLP ®Technology to profile transcripts in infected and uninfected bee larvae. From 64 primer combinations, over 7,400 transcriptionally-derived fragments were obtained A total of 98 reproducible polymorphic cDNA-AFLP fragments were excised and sequenced, followed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of these and additional samples. We have identified a number of differentially-regulated transcripts that are implicated in general mechanisms of stress adaptation, including energy metabolism and protein transport. One of the most interesting differentially-regulated transcripts is for a chitinase-like enzyme that may be linked to anti-fungal activities in the honey bee larvae, similarly to gut and fat-body specific chitinases found in mosquitoes and the red flour beetle. Surprisingly, we did not find many components of the well-characterized NF-κB intracellular signaling pathways to be differentially-regulated using the cDNA-AFLP approach. Therefore, utilizing qRT-PCR, we probed some of the immune related genes to determine whether the lack of up-regulation of their transcripts in our analysis can be attributed to lack of immune activation or to limitations of the cDNA-AFLP approach. Conclusions Using a combination of cDNA-AFLP and qRT-PCR analyses, we were able to determine several key transcriptional events that constitute the overall effort in the honey bee larvae to fight natural fungal infection. Honey bee transcripts identified in this study are involved in critical functions related to

  5. Spore Loads May Not be Used Alone as a Direct Indicator of the Severity of Nosema ceranae Infection in Honey Bees Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera:Apidae).

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Lin, Zhe-Guang; Huang, Shao-Kang; Sohr, Alex; Wu, Lyman; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-12-01

    Nosema ceranae Fries et al., 1996, a microsporidian parasite recently transferred from Asian honey bees Apis cerana F., 1793, to European honey bees Apis mellifera L., 1758, has been suspected as one of the major culprits of the worldwide honey bee colony losses. Spore load is a commonly used criterion to describe the intensity of Nosema infection. In this study, by providing Nosema-infected bees with sterilized pollen, we confirmed that pollen feeding increased the spore loads of honey bees by several times either in the presence or absence of a queen. By changing the amount of pollen consumed by bees in cages, we showed that spore loads increased with an increase in pollen consumption. Nosema infections decrease honey bee longevity and transcription of vitellogenin, either with or without pollen feeding. However, the reduction of pollen consumption had a greater impact on honey bee longevity and vitellogenin level than the increase of spore counts caused by pollen feeding. These results indicate that spore loads may not be used alone as a direct indicator of the severity of N. ceranae infection in honey bees. © 2014 Entomological Society of America.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Pollution monitoring using networks of honey bees

    SciTech Connect

    Bromenshenk, J.J.; Dewart, M.L.; Thomas, J.M.

    1983-08-01

    Each year thousands of chemicals in large quantities are introduced into the global environment and the need for effective methods of monitoring these substances has steadily increased. Most monitoring programs rely upon instrumentation to measure specific contaminants in air, water, or soil. However, it has become apparent that humans and their environment are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals rather than single entities. As our ability to detect ever smaller quantities of pollutants has increased, the biological significance of these findings has become more uncertain. Also, it is clear that monitoring efforts should shift from short-term studies of easily identifiable sources in localized areas to long-term studies of multiple sources over widespread regions. Our investigations aim at providing better tools to meet these exigencies. Honey bees are discussed as an effective, long-term, self-sustaining system for monitoring environmental impacts. Our results indicate that the use of regional, and possibly national or international, capability can be realized with the aid of beekeepers in obtaining samples and conducting measurements. This approach has the added advantage of public involvement in environmental problem solving and protection of human health and environmental quality.

  9. The Honey Bee Parasite Nosema ceranae: Transmissible via Food Exchange?

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Michael L.

    2012-01-01

    Nosema ceranae, a newly introduced parasite of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, is contributing to worldwide colony losses. Other Nosema species, such as N. apis, tend to be associated with increased defecation and spread via a fecal-oral pathway, but because N. ceranae does not induce defecation, it may instead be spread via an oral-oral pathway. Cages that separated older infected bees from young uninfected bees were used to test whether N. ceranae can be spread during food exchange. When cages were separated by one screen, food could be passed between the older bees and the young bees, but when separated by two screens, food could not be passed between the two cages. Young uninfected bees were also kept isolated in cages, as a solitary control. After 4 days of exposure to the older bees, and 10 days to incubate infections, young bees were more likely to be infected in the 1-Screen Test treatment vs. the 2-Screen Test treatment (P = 0.0097). Young bees fed by older bees showed a 13-fold increase in mean infection level relative to young bees not fed by older bees (1-Screen Test 40.8%; 2-Screen Test 3.4%; Solo Control 2.8%). Although fecal-oral transmission is still possible in this experimental design, oral-oral infectivity could help explain the rapid spread of N. ceranae worldwide. PMID:22916241

  10. Screening alternative therapies to control Nosemosis type C in honey bee (Apis mellifera iberiensis) colonies.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2013-12-01

    Nosemosis type C caused by the microsporidium Nosema ceranae is one of the most widespread of the adult honey bee diseases, and due to its detrimental effects on both strength and productivity of honey bee colonies, an appropriate control of this disease is advisable. Fumagillin is the only veterinary medicament recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to suppress infections by Nosema, but the use of this antibiotic is prohibited in the European Union and few alternatives are available at present to control the disease. In the present study three therapeutic agents (Nosestat®, Phenyl salicylate and Vitafeed Gold®) have been tested to control N. ceranae infection in honey bee colonies, and have been compared to the use of fumagillin. None of the products tested was effective against Nosema under our experimental conditions. Low consumption of the different doses of treatments may have had a strong influence on the results obtained, highlighting the importance of this issue and emphasizing that this should be evaluated in studies to test therapeutic treatments of honey bee colonies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Honey bees possess a polarity-sensitive magnetoreceptor.

    PubMed

    Lambinet, Veronika; Hayden, Michael E; Reid, Chloe; Gries, Gerhard

    2017-09-15

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, exploit the geomagnetic field for orientation during foraging and for alignment of their combs within hives. We tested the hypothesis that honey bees sense the polarity of magnetic fields. We created an engineered magnetic anomaly in which the magnetic field generally either converged toward a sugar reward in a watch glass, or away from it. After bees in behavioral field studies had learned to associate this anomaly with a sugar water reward, we subjected them to two experiments performed in random order. In both experiments, we presented bees with two identical sugar water rewards, one of which was randomly marked by a magnetic field anomaly. During the control experiment, the polarity of the magnetic field anomaly was maintained the same as it was during the training session. During the treatment experiment, it was reversed. We predicted that bees would not respond to the altered anomaly if they were sensitive to the polarity of the magnetic field. Our findings that bees continued to respond to the magnetic anomaly when its polarity was in its unaltered state, but did not respond to it when its polarity was reversed, support the hypothesis that honey bees possess a polarity-sensitive magnetoreceptor.

  12. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used for Western U.S. Honey Production and Almond Pollination

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, were evaluated for performance when used for honey production in Montana, USA, and for almond pollination the following winter. Colonies of Russian honey bees (RHB) and outcrossed honey bees with...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  14. Learning impairment in honey bees caused by agricultural spray adjuvants.

    PubMed

    Ciarlo, Timothy J; Mullin, Christopher A; Frazier, James L; Schmehl, Daniel R

    2012-01-01

    Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s). The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. It was previously unknown whether these agrochemicals have any deleterious effects on honey bee behavior. An improved, automated version of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay with a high degree of trial-to-trial reproducibility was used to measure the olfactory learning ability of honey bees treated orally with sublethal doses of the most widely used spray adjuvants on almonds in the Central Valley of California. Three different adjuvant classes (nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, and organosilicone surfactants) were investigated in this study. Learning was impaired after ingestion of 20 µg organosilicone surfactant, indicating harmful effects on honey bees caused by agrochemicals previously believed to be innocuous. Organosilicones were more active than the nonionic adjuvants, while the crop oil concentrates were inactive. Ingestion was required for the tested adjuvant to have an effect on learning, as exposure via antennal contact only induced no level of impairment. A decrease in percent conditioned response after ingestion of organosilicone surfactants has been demonstrated here for the first time. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many social interactions. Organosilicone spray adjuvants may therefore contribute to the

  15. Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants

    PubMed Central

    Ciarlo, Timothy J.; Mullin, Christopher A.; Frazier, James L.; Schmehl, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s). The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. It was previously unknown whether these agrochemicals have any deleterious effects on honey bee behavior. Methodology/Principal Findings An improved, automated version of the proboscis extension reflex (PER) assay with a high degree of trial-to-trial reproducibility was used to measure the olfactory learning ability of honey bees treated orally with sublethal doses of the most widely used spray adjuvants on almonds in the Central Valley of California. Three different adjuvant classes (nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, and organosilicone surfactants) were investigated in this study. Learning was impaired after ingestion of 20 µg organosilicone surfactant, indicating harmful effects on honey bees caused by agrochemicals previously believed to be innocuous. Organosilicones were more active than the nonionic adjuvants, while the crop oil concentrates were inactive. Ingestion was required for the tested adjuvant to have an effect on learning, as exposure via antennal contact only induced no level of impairment. Conclusions/Significance A decrease in percent conditioned response after ingestion of organosilicone surfactants has been demonstrated here for the first time. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many social interactions

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

    PubMed

    Zheng, Huo-Qing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-06-01

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

  17. Pilocarpine improves recognition of nestmates in young honey bees

    PubMed Central

    Ismail, Nyla; Christine, Stephanie; Robinson, Gene E.; Fahrbach, Susan E.

    2008-01-01

    Honey bees can distinguish nestmates from non-nestmates, directing aggressive responses toward non-nestmates and rarely attacking nestmates. Here we provide evidence that treatment with pilocarpine, a muscarinic agonist, significantly reduced the number of aggressive responses directed toward nestmates. By contrast, treatment with scopolamine, a muscarinic antagonist, significantly increased attacks on nestmates. Locomotor activity was not altered by these pharmacological treatments. When interpreted in light of known cholinergic pathways in the insect brain, our results provide the first evidence that cholinergic signaling via muscarinic receptors plays a role in olfaction-based social behavior in honey bees. PMID:18514413

  18. Genetic diversity in honey bee colonies enhances productivity and fitness.

    PubMed

    Mattila, Heather R; Seeley, Thomas D

    2007-07-20

    Honey bee queens mate with many males, creating numerous patrilines within colonies that are genetically distinct. The effects of genetic diversity on colony productivity and long-term fitness are unknown. We show that swarms from genetically diverse colonies (15 patrilines per colony) founded new colonies faster than swarms from genetically uniform colonies (1 patriline per colony). Accumulated differences in foraging rates, food storage, and population growth led to impressive boosts in the fitness (i.e., drone production and winter survival) of genetically diverse colonies. These results further our understanding of the origins of polyandry in honey bees and its benefits for colony performance.

  19. Modelling Food and Population Dynamics in Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are increasingly in demand as pollinators for various key agricultural food crops, but globally honey bee populations are in decline, and honey bee colony failure rates have increased. This scenario highlights a need to understand the conditions in which colonies flourish and in which colonies fail. To aid this investigation we present a compartment model of bee population dynamics to explore how food availability and bee death rates interact to determine colony growth and development. Our model uses simple differential equations to represent the transitions of eggs laid by the queen to brood, then hive bees and finally forager bees, and the process of social inhibition that regulates the rate at which hive bees begin to forage. We assume that food availability can influence both the number of brood successfully reared to adulthood and the rate at which bees transition from hive duties to foraging. The model predicts complex interactions between food availability and forager death rates in shaping colony fate. Low death rates and high food availability results in stable bee populations at equilibrium (with population size strongly determined by forager death rate) but consistently increasing food reserves. At higher death rates food stores in a colony settle at a finite equilibrium reflecting the balance of food collection and food use. When forager death rates exceed a critical threshold the colony fails but residual food remains. Our model presents a simple mathematical framework for exploring the interactions of food and forager mortality on colony fate, and provides the mathematical basis for more involved simulation models of hive performance. PMID:23667418

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Fries, Ingemar; Raina, Suresh

    2003-12-01

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

  2. Field application of menthol for Japanese honey bees, Apis cerana japonica (Hymenoptera: Apidae), to control tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi (Acari: Tarsonemidae).

    PubMed

    Maeda, Taro; Sakamoto, Yoshiko

    2016-11-01

    The first record of tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi, in Japan was made in 2010. These mites have since caused serious damage to the colonies of Japanese honey bees, Apis cerana japonica. In the present study, to control the mites on Japanese honey bees with l-menthol, an agent used for European honey bees, Apis mellifera, we investigated (1) the seasonality of menthol efficacy, (2) the overwintering mortality of menthol-treated colonies, and (3) the menthol residue in honey under field conditions in cooperation with private beekeepers of Japanese honey bees. Seasonal menthol efficacy was tested by applying 30 g of l-menthol for 1 month in different seasons. Mite prevalence was measured by dissecting the honey bee thorax. Overwintering mortality was monitored during winter after checking the mite prevalence in autumn, and was compared with that of untreated colonies reported in our previous study. The residual level of menthol in honey was measured by GC-MS. The results showed that the menthol-treated colonies had a smaller rate of increase in mite prevalence than the untreated colonies. The effects of menthol were highest in March and April. The winter mortality was depressed by menthol treatment. Honey samples extracted from the menthol-treated colonies included 0.4 ppm of menthol residue on average. Our findings suggest that menthol treatment is effective for controlling the tracheal mites on Japanese honey bees.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Marina; Gustav, David

    2010-01-01

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

  6. APIS—a novel approach for conditioning honey bees

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees perform robustly in different conditioning paradigms. This makes them excellent candidates for studying mechanisms of learning and memory at both an individual and a population level. Here we introduce a novel method of honey bee conditioning: APIS, the Automatic Performance Index System. In an enclosed walking arena where the interior is covered with an electric grid, presentation of odors from either end can be combined with weak electric shocks to form aversive associations. To quantify behavioral responses, we continuously monitor the movement of the bee by an automatic tracking system. We found that escapes from one side to the other, changes in velocity as well as distance and time spent away from the punished odor are suitable parameters to describe the bee's learning capabilities. Our data show that in a short-term memory test the response rate for the conditioned stimulus (CS) in APIS correlates well with response rate obtained from conventional Proboscis Extension Response (PER)-conditioning. Additionally, we discovered that bees modulate their behavior to aversively learned odors by reducing their rate, speed and magnitude of escapes and that both generalization and extinction seem to be different between appetitive and aversive stimuli. The advantages of this automatic system make it ideal for assessing learning rates in a standardized and convenient way, and its flexibility adds to the toolbox for studying honey bee behavior. PMID:23616753

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-28

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

  10. Nosema ceranae has been present in Brazil for more than three decades infecting Africanized honey bees.

    PubMed

    Teixeira, Erica Weinstein; Santos, Lubiane Guimarães Dos; Sattler, Aroni; Message, Dejair; Alves, Maria Luisa Teles Marques Florencio; Martins, Marta Fonseca; Grassi-Sella, Marina Lopes; Francoy, Tiago Mauricio

    2013-11-01

    Until the mid-1990s, the only microsporidium known to infect bees of the genus Apis was Nosema apis. A second species, Nosema ceranae, was first identified in 1996 from Asian honey bees; it is postulated that this parasite was transmitted from the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, to the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. Currently, N. ceranae is found on all continents and has often been associated with honey bee colony collapse and other reports of high bee losses. Samples of Africanized drones collected in 1979, preserved in alcohol, were analyzed by light microscopy to count spores and were subjected to DNA extraction, after which duplex PCR was conducted. All molecular analyses (triplicate) indicated that the drones were infected with both N. ceranae and N. apis. PCR products were sequenced and matched to sequences reported in the GenBank (Acc. Nos. JQ639316.1 and JQ639301.1). The venation pattern of the wings of these males was compared to those of the current population living in the same area and with the pattern of drones collected in 1968 from Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil, from a location close to where African swarms first escaped in 1956. The morphometric results indicated that the population collected in 1979 was significantly different from the current living population, confirming its antiquity. Considering that the use of molecular tools for identifying Nosema species is relatively recent, it is possible that previous reports of infections (which used only light microscopy, without ultrastructural analysis) wrongly identified N. ceranae as N. apis. Although we can conclude that N. ceranae has been affecting Africanized honeybees in Brazil for at least 34 years, the impact of this pathogen remains unclear.

  11. Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees.

    PubMed

    Woodcock, B A; Bullock, J M; Shore, R F; Heard, M S; Pereira, M G; Redhead, J; Ridding, L; Dean, H; Sleep, D; Henrys, P; Peyton, J; Hulmes, S; Hulmes, L; Sárospataki, M; Saure, C; Edwards, M; Genersch, E; Knäbe, S; Pywell, R F

    2017-06-30

    Neonicotinoid seed dressings have caused concern world-wide. We use large field experiments to assess the effects of neonicotinoid-treated crops on three bee species across three countries (Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom). Winter-sown oilseed rape was grown commercially with either seed coatings containing neonicotinoids (clothianidin or thiamethoxam) or no seed treatment (control). For honey bees, we found both negative (Hungary and United Kingdom) and positive (Germany) effects during crop flowering. In Hungary, negative effects on honey bees (associated with clothianidin) persisted over winter and resulted in smaller colonies in the following spring (24% declines). In wild bees (Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis), reproduction was negatively correlated with neonicotinoid residues. These findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  12. Recipe for a Busy Bee: MicroRNAs in Honey Bee Caste Determination

    PubMed Central

    Skogerboe, Geir; Dai, Shuanjin; Li, Wenfeng; Li, Zhiguo; Liu, Fang; Ni, Ruifeng; Guo, Yu; Chen, Shenglu; Zhang, Shaowu; Chen, Runsheng

    2013-01-01

    Social caste determination in the honey bee is assumed to be determined by the dietary status of the young larvae and translated into physiological and epigenetic changes through nutrient-sensing pathways. We have employed Illumina/Solexa sequencing to examine the small RNA content in the bee larval food, and show that worker jelly is enriched in miRNA complexity and abundance relative to royal jelly. The miRNA levels in worker jelly were 7–215 fold higher than in royal jelly, and both jellies showed dynamic changes in miRNA content during the 4th to 6th day of larval development. Adding specific miRNAs to royal jelly elicited significant changes in queen larval mRNA expression and morphological characters of the emerging adult queen bee. We propose that miRNAs in the nurse bee secretions constitute an additional element in the regulatory control of caste determination in the honey bee. PMID:24349106

  13. Thrice out of Africa: ancient and recent expansions of the honey bee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Charles W; Behura, Susanta K; Berlocher, Stewart H; Clark, Andrew G; Johnston, J Spencer; Sheppard, Walter S; Smith, Deborah R; Suarez, Andrew V; Weaver, Daniel; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2006-10-27

    We characterized Apis mellifera in both native and introduced ranges using 1136 single-nucleotide polymorphisms genotyped in 341 individuals. Our results indicate that A. mellifera originated in Africa and expanded into Eurasia at least twice, resulting in populations in eastern and western Europe that are geographically close but genetically distant. A third expansion in the New World has involved the near-replacement of previously introduced "European" honey bees by descendants of more recently introduced A. m. scutellata ("African" or "killer" bees). Our analyses of spatial transects and temporal series in the New World revealed differential replacement of alleles derived from eastern versus western Europe, with admixture evident in all individuals.

  14. Honey bee gut dysbiosis: A novel context for disease ecology

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A biofilm in the ileum of the honey bee has become a hot-spot of recent research. Highly host co-evolved, hindgut biofilm structure consists of six species that alter in relative abundance over the life of the adult worker, showing parallels with age-related senescence in Drosophila. Induced shifts ...

  15. Genetic Stock Identification Of Production Colonies Of Russian Honey Bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The prevalence of Nosema ceranae in managed honey bee colonies has increased dramatically in the past 10 – 20 years worldwide. A variety of genetic testing methods for species identification and prevalence are now available. However sample size and preservation method of samples prior to testing hav...

  16. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirica...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  18. Pollen collection and honey bee forager distribution in cantaloupe

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera, L.) pollen collection and forager distribution were examined during the summer of 2002 in a cantaloupe (Cucumis melo, L., Cruiser cv.) field provided with plastic mulch and drip irrigation. The experimental site was located near the INIFAP Campo Experimental La Laguna, Ma...

  19. Propolis counteracts some threats to honey bee health

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in North America and Europe are currently experiencing high and unsustainable annual losses. It is critically important to understand the impact of individual stressors and the interactions among stressors in order to develop solutions to increase colony health...

  20. Hybrid origins of Australian honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    With increased globalisation and homogenisation the maintenance of genetic integrity of local populations of agriculturally important species is of increasing concern. The honey bee provides an interesting perspective as it is both domesticated and wild, with a large native range and much larger int...

  1. Sensitivity analysis for simulating pesticide impacts on honey bee colonies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Question/Methods Regulatory agencies assess risks to honey bees from pesticides through a tiered process that includes predictive modeling with empirical toxicity and chemical data of pesticides as a line of evidence. We evaluate the Varroapop colony model, proposed by...

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Gut Pathology and Responses to the Microsporidium Nosema ceranae in the Honey Bee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is a newly prevalent parasite of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). Although this parasite is presently spreading across the world into its novel host, the mechanisms by it which affects the bees and how bees respond are not well understood. We therefore performed an extensive characterization of the parasite effects at the molecular level by using genetic and biochemical tools. The transcriptome modifications at the midgut level were characterized seven days post-infection with tiling microarrays. Then we tested the bee midgut response to infection by measuring activity of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes (superoxide dismutases, glutathione peroxidases, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferase). At the gene-expression level, the bee midgut responded to N. ceranae infection by an increase in oxidative stress concurrent with the generation of antioxidant enzymes, defense and protective response specifically observed in the gut of mammals and insects. However, at the enzymatic level, the protective response was not confirmed, with only glutathione-S-transferase exhibiting a higher activity in infected bees. The oxidative stress was associated with a higher transcription of sugar transporter in the gut. Finally, a dramatic effect of the microsporidia infection was the inhibition of genes involved in the homeostasis and renewal of intestinal tissues (Wnt signaling pathway), a phenomenon that was confirmed at the histological level. This tissue degeneration and prevention of gut epithelium renewal may explain early bee death. In conclusion, our integrated approach not only gives new insights into the pathological effects of N. ceranae and the bee gut response, but also demonstrate that the honey bee gut is an interesting model system for studying host defense responses. PMID:22623972

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  7. Responses of Varroa-resistant honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to Deformed Wing Virus

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The impact of Deformed wing virus (DWV) on Apis mellifera is magnified by Varroa destructor parasitism. This study compared the responses of two Varroa-resistant honey bee stocks [Russian honey bees (RHB) and an outcross of Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees (POL)] to DWV infection to that of Italian ho...

  8. Population dynamics of Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in commercial honey bee colonies and implications for control

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Treatment schedules to maintain low levels of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies were tested in hives started from either package bees or splits of larger colonies. The schedules were developed based on predictions of Varroa population growth generated from a mathematical model of honey bee colony ...

  9. Estimating reproductive success of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in honey bee colonies by trapping emigrating larvae.

    PubMed

    Arbogast, Richard T; Torto, Baldwyn; Willms, Steve; Fombong, Ayuka T; Duehl, Adrian; Teal, Peter E A

    2012-02-01

    The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) is a scavenger and facultative predator in honey bee colonies, where it feeds on pollen, honey, and bee brood. Although a minor problem in its native Africa, it is an invasive pest of honey bees in the United States and Australia. Adult beetles enter bee hives to oviposit and feed. Larval development occurs within the hive, but mature larvae leave the hive to pupate in soil. The numbers leaving, which can be estimated by trapping, measure the reproductive success of adult beetles in the hive over any given period of time. We describe a trap designed to intercept mature larvae as they reach the end of the bottom board on their way to the ground. Trap efficiency was estimated by releasing groups of 100 larvae into empty brood boxes and counting the numbers trapped. Some larvae escaped, but mean efficiency ranged from 87.2 to 94.2%. We envision the trap as a research tool for study of beetle population dynamics, and we used it to track numbers of larvae leaving active hives for pupation in the soil. The traps detected large increases and then decreases in numbers of larvae leaving colonies that weakened and died. They also detected small numbers of larvae leaving strong European and African colonies, even when no larvae were observed in the hives.

  10. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Himalayan honey bee, Apis laboriosa.

    PubMed

    Chhakchhuak, Liansangmawii; De Mandal, Surajit; Gurusubramanian, Guruswami; Sudalaimuthu, Naganeeswaran; Gopalakrishnan, Chellappa; Mugasimangalam, Raja C; Senthil Kumar, Nachimuthu

    2016-09-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of Himalayan bee Apis laboriosa, from Mizoram, India, has been sequenced using Illumina NextSeq500 platform and analysed. The mitogenome was assembled and found to be 15 266 bp in length and the gene arrangement is similar to other honey bee species. The A. laboriosa mitogenome comprises of 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs and an A + T-rich region of 346 bp. Based on the concatenated PCGs, in the phylogenetic tree, A. laboriosa is placed as a sister group along with the cavity nesting honey bees. The present study reports the first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of A. laboriosa, which will enhance our knowledge on Apinae mitogenomes and phylogeny.

  11. The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies Part-2: Factors Affecting the Microbial Community in Honey Bee Colonies

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Honey bee colonies have innumerable symbiotic bacteria and fungi that are essential to the health of the colony. In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of microbes in maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. The bacteria, yeasts and molds that live in a healthy colony a...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  13. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and bee age impact honey bee pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Traynor, Kirsten S; Andree, Michael; Lichtenberg, Elinor M; Chen, Yanping; Saegerman, Claude; Cox-Foster, Diana L

    2017-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies continue to experience high annual losses that remain poorly explained. Numerous interacting factors have been linked to colony declines. Understanding the pathways linking pathophysiology with symptoms is an important step in understanding the mechanisms of disease. In this study we examined the specific pathologies associated with honey bees collected from colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and compared these with bees collected from apparently healthy colonies. We identified a set of pathological physical characteristics that occurred at different rates in CCD diagnosed colonies prior to their collapse: rectum distension, Malpighian tubule iridescence, fecal matter consistency, rectal enteroliths (hard concretions), and venom sac color. The multiple differences in rectum symptomology in bees from CCD apiaries and colonies suggest effected bees had trouble regulating water. To ensure that pathologies we found associated with CCD were indeed pathologies and not due to normal changes in physical appearances that occur as an adult bee ages (CCD colonies are assumed to be composed mostly of young bees), we documented the changes in bees of different ages taken from healthy colonies. We found that young bees had much greater incidences of white nodules than older cohorts. Prevalent in newly-emerged bees, these white nodules or cellular encapsulations indicate an active immune response. Comparing the two sets of characteristics, we determined a subset of pathologies that reliably predict CCD status rather than bee age (fecal matter consistency, rectal distension size, rectal enteroliths and Malpighian tubule iridescence) and that may serve as biomarkers for colony health. In addition, these pathologies suggest that CCD bees are experiencing disrupted excretory physiology. Our identification of these symptoms is an important first step in understanding the physiological pathways that underlie CCD and factors

  14. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and bee age impact honey bee pathophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Traynor, Kirsten S.; Andree, Michael; Lichtenberg, Elinor M.; Chen, Yanping; Saegerman, Claude; Cox-Foster, Diana L.

    2017-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies continue to experience high annual losses that remain poorly explained. Numerous interacting factors have been linked to colony declines. Understanding the pathways linking pathophysiology with symptoms is an important step in understanding the mechanisms of disease. In this study we examined the specific pathologies associated with honey bees collected from colonies suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and compared these with bees collected from apparently healthy colonies. We identified a set of pathological physical characteristics that occurred at different rates in CCD diagnosed colonies prior to their collapse: rectum distension, Malpighian tubule iridescence, fecal matter consistency, rectal enteroliths (hard concretions), and venom sac color. The multiple differences in rectum symptomology in bees from CCD apiaries and colonies suggest effected bees had trouble regulating water. To ensure that pathologies we found associated with CCD were indeed pathologies and not due to normal changes in physical appearances that occur as an adult bee ages (CCD colonies are assumed to be composed mostly of young bees), we documented the changes in bees of different ages taken from healthy colonies. We found that young bees had much greater incidences of white nodules than older cohorts. Prevalent in newly-emerged bees, these white nodules or cellular encapsulations indicate an active immune response. Comparing the two sets of characteristics, we determined a subset of pathologies that reliably predict CCD status rather than bee age (fecal matter consistency, rectal distension size, rectal enteroliths and Malpighian tubule iridescence) and that may serve as biomarkers for colony health. In addition, these pathologies suggest that CCD bees are experiencing disrupted excretory physiology. Our identification of these symptoms is an important first step in understanding the physiological pathways that underlie CCD and factors

  15. 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

    2017-06-01

    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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Orchid mimics honey bee alarm pheromone in order to attract hornets for pollination.

    PubMed

    Brodmann, Jennifer; Twele, Robert; Francke, Wittko; Yi-bo, Luo; Xi-qiang, Song; Ayasse, Manfred

    2009-08-25

    Approximately one-third of the world's estimated 30,000 orchid species are deceptive and do not reward their pollinators with nectar or pollen. Most of these deceptive orchids imitate the scent of rewarding flowers or potential mates. In this study, we investigated the floral scent involved in pollinator attraction to the rewardless orchid Dendrobium sinense, a species endemic to the Chinese island Hainan that is pollinated by the hornet Vespa bicolor. Via chemical analyses and electrophysiological methods, we demonstrate that the flowers of D. sinense produce (Z)-11-eicosen-1-ol and that the pollinator can smell this compound. This is a major compound in the alarm pheromones of both Asian (Apis cerana) and European (Apis mellifera) honey bees and is also exploited by the European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum) to locate its prey. This is the first time that (Z)-11-eicosen-1-ol has been identified as a floral volatile. In behavioral experiments, we demonstrate that the floral scent of D. sinense and synthetic (Z)-11-eicosen-1-ol are both attractive to hornets. Because hornets frequently capture honey bees to feed to their larvae, we suggest that the flowers of D. sinense mimic the alarm pheromone of honey bees in order to attract prey-hunting hornets for pollination.

  17. Intraspecific Aggression in Giant Honey Bees (Apis dorsata)

    PubMed Central

    Weihmann, Frank; Waddoup, Dominique; Hötzl, Thomas; Kastberger, Gerald

    2014-01-01

    We investigated intraspecific aggression in experimental nests (expN1, expN2) of the giant honey bee Apis dorsata in Chitwan (Nepal), focusing on interactions between surface bees and two other groups of bees approaching the nest: (1) homing “nestmate” foragers landing on the bee curtain remained unmolested by guards; and (2) supposed “non-nestmate” bees, which were identified by their erratic flight patterns in front of the nest, such as hovering or sideways scanning and splaying their legs from their body, and were promptly attacked by the surface bees after landing. These supposed non-nestmate bees only occurred immediately before and after migration swarms, which had arrived in close vicinity (and were most likely scouting for a nesting site). In total, 231 of the “nestmate” foragers (fb) and 102 approaches of such purported “non-nestmate” scouts (sc) were analysed (total observation time expN1: 5.43 min) regarding the evocation of shimmering waves (sh). During their landing the “nestmate” foragers provoked less shimmering waves (relnsh[fb] = 23/231 = 0.0996, relnsh[sc] = 75/102 = 0.7353; p <0.001, χ2-test) with shorter duration (Dsh[fb] = 197 ± 17 ms, Dsh[sc] = 488 ± 16 ms; p <0.001; t-test) than “non-nestmates”. Moreover, after having landed on the nest surface, the “non-nestmates” were attacked by the surface bees (expN1, expN2: observation time >18 min) quite similarly to the defensive response against predatory wasps. Hence, the surface members of settled colonies respond differently to individual giant honey bees approaching the nest, depending on whether erratic flight patterns are displayed or not. PMID:26462834

  18. Honey Bees Avoiding Ant Harassment at Flowers Using Scent Cues.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Sheena C; Wilson Rankin, Erin E

    2016-02-01

    Pollinators require resources throughout the year to maintain healthy populations. Along the urban-natural interface, floral resource availability may be limited especially when the system experiences extreme drought and fire threats. In such areas, succulents, such as Aloe spp., are commonly planted to serve as functional drought-tolerant, fire-protective landscaping, which can also support pollinator populations. However, access to this resource may be restricted by competition from other floral foragers, including invasive pests. We measured free-foraging honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) visitation rate and visitation duration to aloe flowers with and without Argentine ants (Linepithema humile (Mayr)) in a drought-stressed environment and found that bees actively avoided foraging on the ant-occupied flowers. To determine the mechanisms of avoidance, our subsequent experiments assessed visitation in the absence of ants and compared aloe flowers treated with ant pheromone to unmanipulated flowers lacking ant pheromone. Bees approached all flowers equally, but accepted flowers without ants at a higher rate than flowers with ants. Visitation duration also increased twofold on ant-excluded flowers, which suggests that Argentine ants may limit resource acquisition by bees. Honey bees similarly avoided flowers with Argentine ant pheromone and preferentially visited unmanipulated flowers at threefold higher rate. This study demonstrates that honey bees avoid foraging on floral resources with invasive Argentine ants and that bees use ant odors to avoid ant-occupied flowers. Resource limitation by this invasive pest ant may have serious implication for sustaining healthy pollinator populations at the urban-natural interface. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

    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. Breeding system, floral longevity, stigma receptivity, visitation rates, pollen loads, pollen deposition and removal and fruit- and seed-set were investigated. 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. 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 reserves, where the bulk of Oncocyclus iris species are

  1. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) as explosives detectors: exploring proboscis extension reflex conditioned response to trinitrotolulene (TNT)

    SciTech Connect

    Taylor-mccabe, Kirsten J; Wingo, Robert M; Haarmann, Timothy K

    2008-01-01

    We examined honey bee's associative learning response to conditioning with trinitrotolulene (TNT) vapor concentrations generated at three temperatures and their ability to be reconditioned after a 24 h period. We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension (PER) in honey bees using TNT vapors as the conditioned stimulus and sucrose as the unconditioned stimulus. We conducted fifteen experimental trials with an explosives vapor generator set at 43 C, 25 C and 5 C, producing three concentrations of explosives (1070 ppt, 57 ppt, and 11 ppt). Our objective was to test the honey bee's ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT vapors at all three concentrations by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees successfully exhibiting a conditioned response within each temperature group. Furthermore, we conducted eight experimental trials to test the honey bee's ability to retain their ability to exhibit a conditioned response to TNT after 24h period by comparing the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response TNT on the first day compared to the percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT on the second day. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between the mean percentage of honey bees with a conditioned response to TNT vapors between three temperature groups. There was a significant difference between the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response on the first day of training compared to the percentage of honey bees exhibiting conditioned response 24 h after training. Our experimental results indicate that honey bees can be trained to exhibit a conditioned response to a range of TNT concentrations via PER However, it appears that the honey bee's ability to retain the conditioned response to TNT vapors after 24h significantly decreases.

  2. An improved marriage in honey bees optimization algorithm for single objective unconstrained optimization.

    PubMed

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO) is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO) by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm's performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Social reversal of immunosenescence in honey bee workers.

    PubMed

    Amdam, Gro V; Aase, Anne Lene T O; Seehuus, Siri-Christine; Kim Fondrk, M; Norberg, Kari; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2005-12-01

    A striking example of immunosenescence is seen in the honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker caste. The bees' age-associated transition from hive duties to more risky foraging activities is linked to a dramatic decline in immunity. Explicitly, it has been shown that an increase in the juvenile hormone (JH) level, which accompanies onset of foraging behavior, induces extensive hemocyte death through nuclear pycnosis. Here, we demonstrate that foragers that are forced to revert to hive-tasks show reversal of immunosenescence, i.e. a recovery of immunity with age. This recovery, which is triggered by a social manipulation, is accompanied by a drop in the endogenous JH titer and an increase in the hemolymph vitellogenin level. Vitellogenin is a zinc binding glycolipoprotein that has been implicated in the regulation of honey bee immune integrity. We also establish that worker immunosenescence is mediated by apoptosis, corroborating that reversal of immunosenescence emerges through proliferation of new cells. The results presented here, consequently, reveal a unique flexibility in honey bee immunity--a regulatory plasticity that may be of general biological interest.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  6. Can we disrupt the sensing of honey bees by the bee parasite Varroa destructor?

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. These data indicate the potential of the selected compounds to disrupt the Varroa--honey bee associations, thus opening new avenues for Varroa control.

  7. Differentially expressed regulatory genes in honey bee caste development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepperle, C.; Hartfelder, K.

    2001-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mensah, Sylvanus; Veldtman, Ruan; Seifert, Thomas

    2017-03-15

    Honey bees play a vital role in the pollination of flowers in many agricultural systems, while providing honey through well managed beekeeping activities. Managed honey bees rely on the provision of pollen and nectar for their survival and productivity. Using data from field plot inventories in natural mistbelt forests, we (1) assessed the diversity and relative importance of honey bee plants, (2) explored the temporal availability of honey bee forage (nectar and pollen resources), and (3) elucidated how plant diversity (bee plant richness and overall plant richness) influenced the amount of forage available (production). A forage value index was defined on the basis of species-specific nectar and pollen values, and expected flowering period. Up to 50% of the overall woody plant richness were found to be honey bee plant species, with varying flowering period. As expected, bee plant richness increased with overall plant richness. Interestingly, bee plants' flowering period was spread widely over a year, although the highest potential of forage supply was observed during the last quarter. We also found that only few honey bee plant species contributed 90 percent of the available forage. Surprisingly, overall plant richness did not significantly influence the bee forage value. Rather, bee plant species richness showed significant and greater effect. The results of this study suggest that mistbelt forests can contribute to increase the spatial and temporal availability of diverse floral resources for managed honey bees. Conservation efforts must be specifically oriented towards honey bee plant species in mistbelt forests to preserve and enhance their potential to help maintain honey bee colonies. The implications for forest management, beekeeping activities and pollination-based agriculture were discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Genetic diversity of Iranian honey bee (Apis mellifera meda Skorikow, 1829) populations based on ISSR markers.

    PubMed

    Rahimi, A; Mirmoayedi, A; Kahrizi, D; Zarei, L; Jamali, S

    2016-04-30

    Honey bee is one of the most important insects considering its role in agriculture,ecology and economy as a whole. In this study, the genetic diversity of different Iranian honey bee populations was evaluated using inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. During May to September 2014, 108 young worker honey bees were collected from six different populations in 30 different geoclimatic locations from Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Ardebil provinces of Iran. DNA was extracted from the worker honey bees. The quality and quantity of extracted DNA were measured. A set of ten primers were screened with the laboratory populations of honey bees. The number of fragments produced in the different honey bee populations varied from 3 to 10, varying within 150 to 1500 bp. The used ten ISSR primers generated 40 polymorphic fragments, and the average heterozygosity for each primer was 0.266. Maximum numbers of bands were recorded for primer A1. A dendrogram based on the Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic mean (UPGMA) method generated two sub-clusters. Honey bee populations of Golestan, Mazendaran, Guilan provinces were located in the first group. The second group included honey bee populations of Ardebil, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan provinces, but this group showed a close relationship with other populations. The results showed obviously the ability of the ISSR marker technique to detect the genetic diversity among the honey bee populations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sponsler, Douglas B; Johnson, Reed M

    2017-04-01

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

  15. Field-Level Sublethal Effects of Approved Bee Hive Chemicals on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L)

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    In a study replicated across two states and two years, we tested the sublethal effects on honey bees of the miticides Apistan (tau fluvalinate) and Check Mite+ (coumaphos) and the wood preservative copper naphthenate applied at label rates in field conditions. A continuous covariate, a colony Varroa mite index, helped us disambiguate the effects of the chemicals on bees while adjusting for a presumed benefit of controlling mites. Mite levels in colonies treated with Apistan or Check Mite+ were not different from levels in non-treated controls. Experimental chemicals significantly decreased 3-day brood survivorship and increased construction of queen supercedure cells compared to non-treated controls. Bees exposed to Check Mite+ as immatures had higher legacy mortality as adults relative to non-treated controls, whereas bees exposed to Apistan had improved legacy mortality relative to non-treated controls. Relative to non-treated controls, Check Mite+ increased adult emergence weight. Although there was a treatment effect on a test of associative learning, it was not possible to statistically separate the treatment means, but bees treated with Apistan performed comparatively well. And finally, there were no detected effects of bee hive chemical on colony bee population, amount of brood, amount of honey, foraging rate, time required for marked released bees to return to their nest, percentage of released bees that return to the nest, and colony Nosema spore loads. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine sublethal effects of bee hive chemicals applied at label rates under field conditions while disambiguating the results from mite control benefits realized from the chemicals. Given the poor performance of the miticides at reducing mites and their inconsistent effects on the host, these results defend the use of bee health management practices that minimize use of exotic hive chemicals. PMID:24204638

  16. 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.

  17. A pragmatic approach to assess the exposure of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) when subjected to pesticide spray.

    PubMed

    Poquet, Yannick; Bodin, Laurent; Tchamitchian, Marc; Fusellier, Marion; Giroud, Barbara; Lafay, Florent; Buleté, Audrey; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Pélissier, Michel; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Belzunces, Luc P

    2014-01-01

    Plant protection spray treatments may expose non-target organisms to pesticides. In the pesticide registration procedure, the honey bee represents one of the non-target model species for which the risk posed by pesticides must be assessed on the basis of the hazard quotient (HQ). The HQ is defined as the ratio between environmental exposure and toxicity. For the honey bee, the HQ calculation is not consistent because it corresponds to the ratio between the pesticide field rate (in mass of pesticide/ha) and LD50 (in mass of pesticide/bee). Thus, in contrast to all other species, the HQ can only be interpreted empirically because it corresponds to a number of bees/ha. This type of HQ calculation is due to the difficulty in transforming pesticide field rates into doses to which bees are exposed. In this study, we used a pragmatic approach to determine the apparent exposure surface area of honey bees submitted to pesticide treatments by spraying with a Potter-type tower. The doses received by the bees were quantified by very efficient chemical analyses, which enabled us to determine an apparent surface area of 1.05 cm(2)/bee. The apparent surface area was used to calculate the exposure levels of bees submitted to pesticide sprays and then to revisit the HQ ratios with a calculation mode similar to that used for all other living species. X-tomography was used to assess the physical surface area of a bee, which was 3.27 cm(2)/bee, and showed that the apparent exposure surface was not overestimated. The control experiments showed that the toxicity induced by doses calculated with the exposure surface area was similar to that induced by treatments according to the European testing procedure. This new approach to measure risk is more accurate and could become a tool to aid the decision-making process in the risk assessment of pesticides.

  18. A Pragmatic Approach to Assess the Exposure of the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) When Subjected to Pesticide Spray

    PubMed Central

    Poquet, Yannick; Bodin, Laurent; Tchamitchian, Marc; Fusellier, Marion; Giroud, Barbara; Lafay, Florent; Buleté, Audrey; Tchamitchian, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Pélissier, Michel; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Belzunces, Luc P.

    2014-01-01

    Plant protection spray treatments may expose non-target organisms to pesticides. In the pesticide registration procedure, the honey bee represents one of the non-target model species for which the risk posed by pesticides must be assessed on the basis of the hazard quotient (HQ). The HQ is defined as the ratio between environmental exposure and toxicity. For the honey bee, the HQ calculation is not consistent because it corresponds to the ratio between the pesticide field rate (in mass of pesticide/ha) and LD50 (in mass of pesticide/bee). Thus, in contrast to all other species, the HQ can only be interpreted empirically because it corresponds to a number of bees/ha. This type of HQ calculation is due to the difficulty in transforming pesticide field rates into doses to which bees are exposed. In this study, we used a pragmatic approach to determine the apparent exposure surface area of honey bees submitted to pesticide treatments by spraying with a Potter-type tower. The doses received by the bees were quantified by very efficient chemical analyses, which enabled us to determine an apparent surface area of 1.05 cm2/bee. The apparent surface area was used to calculate the exposure levels of bees submitted to pesticide sprays and then to revisit the HQ ratios with a calculation mode similar to that used for all other living species. X-tomography was used to assess the physical surface area of a bee, which was 3.27 cm2/bee, and showed that the apparent exposure surface was not overestimated. The control experiments showed that the toxicity induced by doses calculated with the exposure surface area was similar to that induced by treatments according to the European testing procedure. This new approach to measure risk is more accurate and could become a tool to aid the decision-making process in the risk assessment of pesticides. PMID:25412103

  19. Does the Honey Bee "Risk Cup" Runneth Over? Estimating Aggregate Exposures for Assessing Pesticide Risks to Honey Bees in Agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Berenbaum, May R

    2016-01-13

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are uniquely vulnerable to nontarget pesticide impacts because, as ubiquitous managed pollinators, they are deliberately transported into areas where crops are grown with pesticides. Moreover, attributes making them excellent managed pollinators, including large long-lived colonies and complex behavior, also make them challenging subjects for toxicity bioassays. For over 150 years, improvements in formulation and delivery of pesticides, increasing their environmental and temporal presence, have had unintended consequences for honey bees. Since 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency has used "aggregate risk"--exposure risks to all possible sources--to set tolerances; once a "risk cup" is filled, no new pesticide or use can be approved unless risks are reduced elsewhere. The EPA now recommends a modeling approach for aggregating all exposure risks for bees, with differential lifestage sensitivity and exposure probabilities. Thus, the honey bee is the first insect with its own "risk cup"--a technological innovation that may not have unintended consequences for this beleaguered beneficial species.

  20. A common neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam, impairs honey bee flight ability.

    PubMed

    Tosi, Simone; Burgio, Giovanni; Nieh, James C

    2017-04-26

    Pesticides can pose environmental risks, and a common neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam, decreases homing success in honey bees. Neonicotinoids can alter bee navigation, but we present the first evidence that neonicotinoid exposure alone can impair the physical ability of bees to fly. We tested the effects of acute or chronic exposure to thiamethoxam on the flight ability of foragers in flight mills. Within 1 h of consuming a single sublethal dose (1.34 ng/bee), foragers showed excitation and significantly increased flight duration (+78%) and distance (+72%). Chronic exposure significantly decreased flight duration (-54%), distance (-56%), and average velocity (-7%) after either one or two days of continuous exposure that resulted in bees ingesting field-relevant thiamethoxam doses of 1.96-2.90 ng/bee/day. These results provide the first demonstration that acute or chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid alone can significantly alter bee flight. Such exposure may impair foraging and homing, which are vital to normal colony function and ecosystem services.

  1. Varroa-virus interaction in collapsing honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Varroa-Virus Interaction in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  4. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) and bee age impact honey bee pathophysiology

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies continue to experience high annual losses that remain poorly explained. Numerous interacting factors have been linked to colony declines. Understanding the pathways linking dysfunction with symptoms is an important step in understanding the mechanisms of disease. ...

  5. A Diverse Range of Novel RNA Viruses in Geographically Distinct Honey Bee Populations.

    PubMed

    Remnant, Emily J; Shi, Mang; Buchmann, Gabriele; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Holmes, Edward C; Beekman, Madeleine; Ashe, Alyson

    2017-08-15

    Understanding the diversity and consequences of viruses present in honey bees is critical for maintaining pollinator health and managing the spread of disease. The viral landscape of honey bees (Apis mellifera) has changed dramatically since the emergence of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which increased the spread of virulent variants of viruses such as deformed wing virus. Previous genomic studies have focused on colonies suffering from infections by Varroa and virulent viruses, which could mask other viral species present in honey bees, resulting in a distorted view of viral diversity. To capture the viral diversity within colonies that are exposed to mites but do not suffer the ultimate consequences of the infestation, we examined populations of honey bees that have evolved naturally or have been selected for resistance to Varroa This analysis revealed seven novel viruses isolated from honey bees sampled globally, including the first identification of negative-sense RNA viruses in honey bees. Notably, two rhabdoviruses were present in three geographically diverse locations and were also present in Varroa mites parasitizing the bees. To characterize the antiviral response, we performed deep sequencing of small RNA populations in honey bees and mites. This provided evidence of a Dicer-mediated immune response in honey bees, while the viral small RNA profile in Varroa mites was novel and distinct from the response observed in bees. Overall, we show that viral diversity in honey bee colonies is greater than previously thought, which encourages additional studies of the bee virome on a global scale and which may ultimately improve disease management.IMPORTANCE Honey bee populations have become increasingly susceptible to colony losses due to pathogenic viruses spread by parasitic Varroa mites. To date, 24 viruses have been described in honey bees, with most belonging to the order Picornavirales Collapsing Varroa-infected colonies are often overwhelmed with

  6. A Diverse Range of Novel RNA Viruses in Geographically Distinct Honey Bee Populations

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Mang; Buchmann, Gabriele; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Beekman, Madeleine; Ashe, Alyson

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Understanding the diversity and consequences of viruses present in honey bees is critical for maintaining pollinator health and managing the spread of disease. The viral landscape of honey bees (Apis mellifera) has changed dramatically since the emergence of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which increased the spread of virulent variants of viruses such as deformed wing virus. Previous genomic studies have focused on colonies suffering from infections by Varroa and virulent viruses, which could mask other viral species present in honey bees, resulting in a distorted view of viral diversity. To capture the viral diversity within colonies that are exposed to mites but do not suffer the ultimate consequences of the infestation, we examined populations of honey bees that have evolved naturally or have been selected for resistance to Varroa. This analysis revealed seven novel viruses isolated from honey bees sampled globally, including the first identification of negative-sense RNA viruses in honey bees. Notably, two rhabdoviruses were present in three geographically diverse locations and were also present in Varroa mites parasitizing the bees. To characterize the antiviral response, we performed deep sequencing of small RNA populations in honey bees and mites. This provided evidence of a Dicer-mediated immune response in honey bees, while the viral small RNA profile in Varroa mites was novel and distinct from the response observed in bees. Overall, we show that viral diversity in honey bee colonies is greater than previously thought, which encourages additional studies of the bee virome on a global scale and which may ultimately improve disease management. IMPORTANCE Honey bee populations have become increasingly susceptible to colony losses due to pathogenic viruses spread by parasitic Varroa mites. To date, 24 viruses have been described in honey bees, with most belonging to the order Picornavirales. Collapsing Varroa-infected colonies are often

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

    PubMed

    Collins, Anita M; Mazur, Peter

    2006-08-01

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

  8. Honey Bee Mating Optimization Vector Quantization Scheme in Image Compression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horng, Ming-Huwi

    The vector quantization is a powerful technique in the applications of digital image compression. The traditionally widely used method such as the Linde-Buzo-Gray (LBG) algorithm always generated local optimal codebook. Recently, particle swarm optimization (PSO) is adapted to obtain the near-global optimal codebook of vector quantization. In this paper, we applied a new swarm algorithm, honey bee mating optimization, to construct the codebook of vector quantization. The proposed method is called the honey bee mating optimization based LBG (HBMO-LBG) algorithm. The results were compared with the other two methods that are LBG and PSO-LBG algorithms. Experimental results showed that the proposed HBMO-LBG algorithm is more reliable and the reconstructed images get higher quality than those generated form the other three methods.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Beibei; Hou, Chunsheng; Deng, Shuai; Zhang, Xuefeng; Chu, Yanna; Yuan, Chunying; Diao, Qingyun

    2016-08-04

    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. Copyright © 2016 Li et al.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency (m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e  ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e  > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated.

  17. Genetic diversity affects colony survivorship in commercial honey bee colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarpy, David R.; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Pettis, Jeffrey S.

    2013-08-01

    Honey bee ( Apis mellifera) queens mate with unusually high numbers of males (average of approximately 12 drones), although there is much variation among queens. One main consequence of such extreme polyandry is an increased diversity of worker genotypes within a colony, which has been shown empirically to confer significant adaptive advantages that result in higher colony productivity and survival. Moreover, honey bees are the primary insect pollinators used in modern commercial production agriculture, and their populations have been in decline worldwide. Here, we compare the mating frequencies of queens, and therefore, intracolony genetic diversity, in three commercial beekeeping operations to determine how they correlate with various measures of colony health and productivity, particularly the likelihood of queen supersedure and colony survival in functional, intensively managed beehives. We found the average effective paternity frequency ( m e ) of this population of honey bee queens to be 13.6 ± 6.76, which was not significantly different between colonies that superseded their queen and those that did not. However, colonies that were less genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e ≤ 7.0) were 2.86 times more likely to die by the end of the study when compared to colonies that were more genetically diverse (headed by queens with m e > 7.0). The stark contrast in colony survival based on increased genetic diversity suggests that there are important tangible benefits of increased queen mating number in managed honey bees, although the exact mechanism(s) that govern these benefits have not been fully elucidated.

  18. Population structure of honey bees in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) confirms introgression from surrounding subspecies.

    PubMed

    Péntek-Zakar, Erika; Oleksa, Andrzej; Borowik, Tomasz; Kusza, Szilvia

    2015-12-01

    Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) are considered as an indigenous subspecies in Hungary adapted to most of the ecological and climatic conditions in this area. However, during the last decades Hungarian beekeepers have recognized morphological signs of the Italian honey bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). As the natural distribution of the honey bee subspecies can be affected by the importation of honey bee queens or by natural gene flow, we aimed at determining the genetic structure and characteristics of the local honey bee population using molecular markers. All together, 48 Hungarian and 84 foreign (Italian, Polish, Spanish, Liberian) pupae and/or workers were used for mitochondrial DNA analysis. Additionally, 53 sequences corresponding to 10 subspecies and the Buckfast hybrid were downloaded from GenBank. For the nuclear analysis, 236 Hungarian and 106 foreign honey bees were genotyped using nine microsatellites. Heterozygosity values, population-specific alleles, FST values, principal coordinate analysis, assignment tests, structure analysis, and dendrograms were calculated. Haplotype and nucleotide diversity values showed moderate values. We found that one haplotype (H9) was dominant in Hungary. The presence of the black honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) was negligible, but a few individuals resembling other subspecies were identified. We proved that the Hungarian honey bee population is nearly homogeneous but also demonstrated introgression from the foreign subspecies. Both mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite analyses corroborated the observations of the beekeepers. Molecular analyses suggested that Carniolan honey bee in Hungary is slightly affected by Italian and black honey bee introgression. Genetic differences were detected between Polish and Hungarian Carniolan honey bee populations, suggesting the existence of at least two different gene pools within A. m. carnica.

  19. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, RM

    2015-01-01

    Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland. PMID:25802808

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Methods to estimate breeding values in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Brascamp, Evert W; Bijma, Piter

    2014-09-19

    Efficient methodologies based on animal models are widely used to estimate breeding values in farm animals. These methods are not applicable in honey bees because of their mode of reproduction. Observations are recorded on colonies, which consist of a single queen and thousands of workers that descended from the queen mated to 10 to 20 drones. Drones are haploid and sperms are copies of a drone's genotype. As a consequence, Mendelian sampling terms of full-sibs are correlated, such that the covariance matrix of Mendelian sampling terms is not diagonal. In this paper, we show how the numerator relationship matrix and its inverse can be obtained for honey bee populations. We present algorithms to derive the covariance matrix of Mendelian sampling terms that accounts for correlated terms. The resulting matrix is a block-diagonal matrix, with a small block for each full-sib family, and is easy to invert numerically. The method allows incorporating the within-colony distribution of progeny from drone-producing queens and drones, such that estimates of breeding values weigh information from relatives appropriately. Simulation shows that the resulting estimated breeding values are unbiased predictors of true breeding values. Benefits for response to selection, compared to an existing approximate method, appear to be limited (~5%). Benefits may however be greater when estimating genetic parameters. This work shows how the relationship matrix and its inverse can be developed for honey bee populations, and used to estimate breeding values and variance components.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-21

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

  4. Honey bee success predicted by landscape composition in Ohio, USA.

    PubMed

    Sponsler, D B; Johnson, R M

    2015-01-01

    Foraging honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) can routinely travel as far as several kilometers from their hive in the process of collecting nectar and pollen from floral patches within the surrounding landscape. Since the availability of floral resources at the landscape scale is a function of landscape composition, apiculturists have long recognized that landscape composition is a critical determinant of honey bee colony success. Nevertheless, very few studies present quantitative data relating colony success metrics to local landscape composition. We employed a beekeeper survey in conjunction with GIS-based landscape analysis to model colony success as a function of landscape composition in the State of Ohio, USA, a region characterized by intensive cropland, urban development, deciduous forest, and grassland. We found that colony food accumulation and wax production were positively related to cropland and negatively related to forest and grassland, a pattern that may be driven by the abundance of dandelion and clovers in agricultural areas compared to forest or mature grassland. Colony food accumulation was also negatively correlated with urban land cover in sites dominated by urban and agricultural land use, which does not support the popular opinion that the urban environment is more favorable to honey bees than cropland.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Trypanosomatids infecting honey bees have been poorly studied with molecular methods until recently. After the description of Crithidia mellificae (Langridge and McGhee, 1967) it took about forty years until molecular data for honey bee trypanosomatids became available and were used to identify and describe a new trypanosomatid species from honey bees, Lotmaria passim (Evans and Schwarz, 2014). However, an easy method to distinguish them without sequencing is not yet available. Research on the related bumble bee parasites Crithidia bombi and Crithidia expoeki revealed a fragment length polymorphism in the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), which enabled species discrimination. In search of fragment length polymorphisms for differential diagnostics in honey bee trypanosomatids, we studied honey bee trypanosomatid cell cultures of C. mellificae and L. passim. This research resulted in the identification of fragment length polymorphisms in ITS1 and ITS1-2 markers, which enabled us to develop a diagnostic method to differentiate both honey bee trypanosomatid species without the need for sequencing. However, the amplification success of the ITS1 marker depends probably on the trypanosomatid infection level. Further investigation confirmed that L. passim is the dominant species in Belgium, Japan and Switzerland. We found C. mellificae only rarely in Belgian honey bee samples, but not in honey bee samples from other countries. C. mellificae was also detected in mason bees (Osmia bicornis and Osmia cornuta) besides in honey bees. Further, the characterization and comparison of additional markers from L. passim strain SF (published as C. mellificae strain SF) and a Belgian honey bee sample revealed very low divergence in the 18S rRNA, ITS1-2, 28S rRNA and cytochrome b sequences. Nevertheless, a variable stretch was observed in the gp63 virulence factor. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Impact of the Phoretic Phase on Reproduction and Damage Caused by Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) to Its Host, the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Piou, Vincent; Tabart, Jérémy; Urrutia, Virginie; Hemptinne, Jean-Louis; Vétillard, Angélique

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite of the honeybee that causes thousands of colony losses worldwide. The parasite cycle is composed of a phoretic and a reproductive phase. During the former, mites stay on adult bees, mostly on nurses, to feed on hemolymph. During the latter, the parasites enter brood cells and reproduce. We investigated if the type of bees on which Varroa stays during the phoretic phase and if the duration of this stay influenced the reproductive success of the parasite and the damage caused to bees. For that purpose, we used an in vitro rearing method developed in our laboratory to assess egg laying rate and the presence and number of fully molted daughters. The expression level of two Varroa vitellogenin genes (VdVg1 and VdVg2), known to vary throughout reproduction, was also quantified. Results showed that the status of the bees or time spent during the phoretic phase impacts neither reproduction parameters nor the Varroa vitellogenin genes levels of expression. However, we correlated these parameters to the gene expression and demonstrated that daughters expressed the vitellogenin genes at lower levels than their mother. Regarding the damage to bees, the data indicated that a longer stay on adult bees during the phoretic phase resulted in more frequent physical deformity in newborn bees. We showed that those mites carry more viral loads of the Deformed Wing Virus and hence trigger more frequently overt infections. This study provides new perspectives towards a better understanding of the Varroa-honeybee interactions.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

  11. Why does bee health matter? The science surrounding honey bee health concerns and what we can do about it

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spivak, Marla S; Browning, Zac; Goblirsch, Mike; Lee, Katie; Otto, Clint R.; Smart, Matthew; Wu-Smart, Judy

    2017-01-01

    A colony of honey bees is an amazing organism when it is healthy; it is a superorganism in many senses of the word. As with any organism, maintaining a state of health requires cohesiveness and interplay among cells and tissues and, in the case of a honey bee colony, the bees themselves. The individual bees that make up a honey bee colony deliver to the superorganism what it needs: pollen and nectar collected from flowering plants that contain nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Honey bees with access to better and more complete nutrition exhibit improved immune system function and behavioral defenses for fighting off effects of pathogens and pesticides (Evans and Spivak 2010; Mao, Schuler, and Berenbaum 2013; Wahl and Ulm 1983). Sadly, as this story is often told in the headlines, the focus is rarely about what it means for a honey bee colony to be healthy and is instead primarily focused on colony survival rates. Bee colonies are chronically exposed to parasitic mites, viruses, diseases, miticides, pesticides, and poor nutrition, which weaken and make innate defenses insufficient at overcoming these combined stressors. Colonies that are chronically weakened can be even more susceptible to infections and levels of pesticide exposure that might otherwise be innocuous, further promoting a downward spiral of health. Sick and weakened bees diminish the colony’s resiliency, ultimately leading to a breakdown in the social structure, production, efficiency, immunity, and reproduction of the colony, and eventual or sudden colony death.

  12. Acaricide, fungicide and drug interactions in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Reed M; Dahlgren, Lizette; Siegfried, Blair D; Ellis, Marion D

    2013-01-01

    Chemical analysis shows that honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive products contain many pesticides derived from various sources. The most abundant pesticides are acaricides applied by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor. Beekeepers also apply antimicrobial drugs to control bacterial and microsporidial diseases. Fungicides may enter the hive when applied to nearby flowering crops. Acaricides, antimicrobial drugs and fungicides are not highly toxic to bees alone, but in combination there is potential for heightened toxicity due to interactive effects. Laboratory bioassays based on mortality rates in adult worker bees demonstrated interactive effects among acaricides, as well as between acaricides and antimicrobial drugs and between acaricides and fungicides. Toxicity of the acaricide tau-fluvalinate increased in combination with other acaricides and most other compounds tested (15 of 17) while amitraz toxicity was mostly unchanged (1 of 15). The sterol biosynthesis inhibiting (SBI) fungicide prochloraz elevated the toxicity of the acaricides tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos and fenpyroximate, likely through inhibition of detoxicative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase activity. Four other SBI fungicides increased the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate in a dose-dependent manner, although possible evidence of P450 induction was observed at the lowest fungicide doses. Non-transitive interactions between some acaricides were observed. Sublethal amitraz pre-treatment increased the toxicity of the three P450-detoxified acaricides, but amitraz toxicity was not changed by sublethal treatment with the same three acaricides. A two-fold change in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate was observed between years, suggesting a possible change in the genetic composition of the bees tested. Interactions with acaricides in honey bees are similar to drug interactions in other animals in that P450-mediated detoxication appears to play an important role. Evidence of non-transivity, year-to-year variation

  13. Acaricide, Fungicide and Drug Interactions in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Reed M.; Dahlgren, Lizette; Siegfried, Blair D.; Ellis, Marion D.

    2013-01-01

    Background Chemical analysis shows that honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive products contain many pesticides derived from various sources. The most abundant pesticides are acaricides applied by beekeepers to control Varroa destructor. Beekeepers also apply antimicrobial drugs to control bacterial and microsporidial diseases. Fungicides may enter the hive when applied to nearby flowering crops. Acaricides, antimicrobial drugs and fungicides are not highly toxic to bees alone, but in combination there is potential for heightened toxicity due to interactive effects. Methodology/Principal Findings Laboratory bioassays based on mortality rates in adult worker bees demonstrated interactive effects among acaricides, as well as between acaricides and antimicrobial drugs and between acaricides and fungicides. Toxicity of the acaricide tau-fluvalinate increased in combination with other acaricides and most other compounds tested (15 of 17) while amitraz toxicity was mostly unchanged (1 of 15). The sterol biosynthesis inhibiting (SBI) fungicide prochloraz elevated the toxicity of the acaricides tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos and fenpyroximate, likely through inhibition of detoxicative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase activity. Four other SBI fungicides increased the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate in a dose-dependent manner, although possible evidence of P450 induction was observed at the lowest fungicide doses. Non-transitive interactions between some acaricides were observed. Sublethal amitraz pre-treatment increased the toxicity of the three P450-detoxified acaricides, but amitraz toxicity was not changed by sublethal treatment with the same three acaricides. A two-fold change in the toxicity of tau-fluvalinate was observed between years, suggesting a possible change in the genetic composition of the bees tested. Conclusions/Significance Interactions with acaricides in honey bees are similar to drug interactions in other animals in that P450-mediated detoxication appears to play an

  14. Ligand selectivity in tachykinin and natalisin neuropeptidergic systems of the honey bee parasitic mite Varroa destructor

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is a devastating ectoparasite of the honey bees Apis mellifera and A. cerana. Control of these mites in beehives is a challenge in part due to the lack of toxic agents that are specific to mites and not to the host honey bee. In searching for a specific toxic targ...

  15. Effective gene silencing of a microsporidian parasite associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony declines

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Honey bee colonies are vulnerable to parasites and pathogens ranging from viruses to vertebrates. An increasingly prevalent disease of managed honey bees is caused by the microsporidian, Nosema ceranae. Microsporidia are basal fungi and obligate parasites with much reduced genomic and cellular compo...

  16. Host-parasite interactions and purifying selection in a microsporidian parasite of honey bees

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nosema ceranae is a microsporidian parasite that infects honey bee mid-gut epithelial cells. Infection can impair honey bee cognitive function, shorten lifespan, suppress the innate immune response and inhibit the apoptosis of infected gut cells. However, the virulence factors of this parasite are s...

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

    PubMed Central

    Forkpah, Cordelia; Dixon, Luke R.; Fahrbach, Susan E.; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species. PMID:24608542

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  20. Israeli acute paralysis virus in Africanized honey bees in southeastern Brazilian Apiaries

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Honey bee losses in Brazil have been observed over the past few years. These losses share somewhat similar symptoms with the syndrome known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in the USA. After more than a half century of introgression from Apis mellifera subsp. scutellata, Africanized honey bees have...

  1. The synergistic effects of almond protection fungicides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) forager survival

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) contributes approximately $17 billion annually in pollination services performed for major agricultural crops in the United States including almond, which is completely dependent on honey bee pollination for nut set. Almond growers face challenges to crop productivity ...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  3. Xenobiotic effects on intestinal stem cell proliferation in adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L) workers.

    PubMed

    Forkpah, Cordelia; Dixon, Luke R; Fahrbach, Susan E; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-01-01

    The causes of the current global decline in honey bee health are unknown. One major group of hypotheses invokes the pesticides and other xenobiotics to which this important pollinator species is often exposed. Most studies have focused on mortality or behavioral deficiencies in exposed honey bees while neglecting other biological functions and target organs. The midgut epithelium of honey bees presents an important interface between the insect and its environment. It is maintained by proliferation of intestinal stem cells throughout the adult life of honey bees. We used caged honey bees to test multiple xenobiotics for effects on the replicative activity of the intestinal stem cells under laboratory conditions. Most of the tested compounds did not alter the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells. However, colchicine, methoxyfenozide, tetracycline, and a combination of coumaphos and tau-fluvalinate significantly affected proliferation rate. All substances except methoxyfenozide decreased proliferation rate. Thus, the results indicate that some xenobiotics frequently used in apiculture and known to accumulate in honey bee hives may have hitherto unknown physiological effects. The nutritional status and the susceptibility to pathogens of honey bees could be compromised by the impacts of xenobiotics on the maintenance of the midgut epithelium. This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that more comprehensive testing of xenobiotics may be required before novel or existing compounds can be considered safe for honey bees and other non-target species.

  4. Genomic analysis of the interaction between pesticide exposure and nutrition in honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Populations of pollinators are in decline worldwide. These declines are best documented in honey bees and are due to a combination of stressors. In particular, pesticides have been linked to decreased longevity and performance in honey bees; however, the molecular and physiological pathways mediatin...

  5. Concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in honey, pollen and honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in central Saskatchewan, Canada.

    PubMed

    Codling, Garry; Al Naggar, Yahya; Giesy, John P; Robertson, Albert J

    2016-02-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) and their transformation products were detected in honey, pollen and honey bees, (Apis mellifera) from hives located within 30 km of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were the most frequently detected NIs, found in 68 and 75% of honey samples at mean concentrations of 8.2 and 17.2 ng g(-1) wet mass, (wm), respectively. Clothianidin was also found in >50% of samples of bees and pollen. Concentrations of clothianidin in bees exceed the LD50 in 2 of 28 samples, while for other NIs concentrations were typically 10-100-fold less than the oral LD50. Imidaclorpid was detected in ∼30% of samples of honey, but only 5% of pollen and concentrations were bees. Transformation products of Imidaclorpid, imidaclorpid-Olefin and imidacloprid-5-Hydroxy were detected with greater frequency and at greater mean concentrations indicating a need for more focus on potential effects of these transformation products than the untransformed, active ingredient NIs. Results of an assessment of the potential dietary uptake of NIs from honey and pollen by bees over winter, during which worker bees live longer than in summer, suggested that, in some hives, consumption of honey and pollen during over-wintering might have adverse effects on bees.

  6. USDA research and honey bee health

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The USDA - Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Laboratory (BRL) is comprised of nine full-time federal employees and a team of 20+ students and collaborators from the U.S., England, Thailand, Spain, and China. The mission of the BRL is to provide innovative tools and insights for building and...

  7. Impact of the Phoretic Phase on Reproduction and Damage Caused by Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) to Its Host, the European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Piou, Vincent; Tabart, Jérémy; Urrutia, Virginie; Hemptinne, Jean-Louis; Vétillard, Angélique

    2016-01-01

    Varroa destructor is a parasitic mite of the honeybee that causes thousands of colony losses worldwide. The parasite cycle is composed of a phoretic and a reproductive phase. During the former, mites stay on adult bees, mostly on nurses, to feed on hemolymph. During the latter, the parasites enter brood cells and reproduce. We investigated if the type of bees on which Varroa stays during the phoretic phase and if the duration of this stay influenced the reproductive success of the parasite and the damage caused to bees. For that purpose, we used an in vitro rearing method developed in our laboratory to assess egg laying rate and the presence and number of fully molted daughters. The expression level of two Varroa vitellogenin genes (VdVg1 and VdVg2), known to vary throughout reproduction, was also quantified. Results showed that the status of the bees or time spent during the phoretic phase impacts neither reproduction parameters nor the Varroa vitellogenin genes levels of expression. However, we correlated these parameters to the gene expression and demonstrated that daughters expressed the vitellogenin genes at lower levels than their mother. Regarding the damage to bees, the data indicated that a longer stay on adult bees during the phoretic phase resulted in more frequent physical deformity in newborn bees. We showed that those mites carry more viral loads of the Deformed Wing Virus and hence trigger more frequently overt infections. This study provides new perspectives towards a better understanding of the Varroa-honeybee interactions. PMID:27096154

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brettell, L E; Martin, S J

    2017-04-10

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

  13. Measurement of optical activity of honey bee

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Gutiérrez, Mauricio; Olivares-Pérez, Arturo; Salgado-Verduzco, Marco Antonio; Ibarra-Torres, Juan Carlos

    2016-03-01

    Optical activity of some substances, such as chiral molecules, often exhibits circular birefringence. Circular birefringence causes rotation of the vibration plane of the plane polarized light as it passes through the substance. In this work we present optical characterization of honey as function of the optical activity when it is placed in a polariscope that consists of a light source and properly arranged polarizing elements.

  14. Vertical transmission of honey bee viruses in a Belgian queen breeding program.

    PubMed

    Ravoet, Jorgen; De Smet, Lina; Wenseleers, Tom; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-03-14

    The Member States of European Union are encouraged to improve the general conditions for the production and marketing of apicultural products. In Belgium, programmes on the restocking of honey bee hives have run for many years. Overall, the success ratio of this queen breeding programme has been only around 50%. To tackle this low efficacy, we organized sanitary controls of the breeding queens in 2012 and 2014. We found a high quantity of viruses, with more than 75% of the egg samples being infected with at least one virus. The most abundant viruses were Deformed Wing Virus and Sacbrood Virus (≥40%), although Lake Sinai Virus and Acute Bee Paralysis Virus were also occasionally detected (between 10-30%). In addition, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus strain Brookings, Black Queen Cell Virus, Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus occurred at very low prevalences (≤5%). Remarkably, we found Apis mellifera carnica bees to be less infected with Deformed Wing Virus than Buckfast bees (p < 0.01), and also found them to have a lower average total number of infecting viruses (p < 0.001). This is a significant finding, given that Deformed Wing Virus has earlier been shown to be a contributory factor to winter mortality and Colony Collapse Disorder. Moreover, negative-strand detection of Sacbrood Virus in eggs was demonstrated for the first time. High pathogen loads were observed in this sanitary control program. We documented for the first time vertical transmission of some viruses, as well as significant differences between two honey bee races in being affected by Deformed Wing Virus. Nevertheless, we could not demonstrate a correlation between the presence of viruses and queen breeding efficacies.

  15. Honey bees preferentially consume freshly-stored pollen.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Mark J; Brown, Nicholas; Goodall, Craig; Downs, Alexandra M; Sheenan, Timothy H; Anderson, Kirk E

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) collect and store both honey and pollen in preserved forms. Pollen storage involves the addition of honey or nectar and oral secretions to pollen granules. It is controversial whether the duration of pollen storage alters the palatability or nutritive value of the pollen storage medium. We examined how bees utilize different-aged stored pollen during an extended pollen flow. The deposition of pollen into wax cells and subsequent consumption were monitored daily on 18 brood frames from 6 colonies over an 8d observation period. Despite a greater abundance of older stored pollen cells on brood frames, bees showed a marked preference for the consumption of freshly-stored pollen. Two to four day-old pollen cell contents were significantly more likely to be consumed, while pollen cell contents more than seven days old were eaten at much lower rates. Similar experiments that controlled for cell abundance and spatial effects using cage assays yielded the same result. One day-old stored pollen was consumed approximately three times more often than 10d-old stored pollen, and two times more often than 5d-old stored pollen. These consumption preferences for freshly-stored pollen occurred despite a lack of clear developmental advantages. Young adult workers reared for 7 days on 1d-, 5d-, or 10d-old stored pollen showed no difference in body mass, stored pollen consumption, hindgut fecal material accumulation, or hypopharyngeal gland (HPG) protein titers, suggesting that different-aged pollen stores did not vary in their nutritional value to adult bees. These findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis promoting a period of microbially-mediated, "beebread maturation" that results in greater palatability or nutritive value for aged pollen stores. Rather, stored pollen that is not eaten in the first few days accumulates as excess stores preserved in a less preferred, but nutritionally-similar state.

  16. Honey bees preferentially consume freshly-stored pollen

    PubMed Central

    Goodall, Craig; Downs, Alexandra M.; Sheenan, Timothy H.

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) collect and store both honey and pollen in preserved forms. Pollen storage involves the addition of honey or nectar and oral secretions to pollen granules. It is controversial whether the duration of pollen storage alters the palatability or nutritive value of the pollen storage medium. We examined how bees utilize different-aged stored pollen during an extended pollen flow. The deposition of pollen into wax cells and subsequent consumption were monitored daily on 18 brood frames from 6 colonies over an 8d observation period. Despite a greater abundance of older stored pollen cells on brood frames, bees showed a marked preference for the consumption of freshly-stored pollen. Two to four day-old pollen cell contents were significantly more likely to be consumed, while pollen cell contents more than seven days old were eaten at much lower rates. Similar experiments that controlled for cell abundance and spatial effects using cage assays yielded the same result. One day-old stored pollen was consumed approximately three times more often than 10d-old stored pollen, and two times more often than 5d-old stored pollen. These consumption preferences for freshly-stored pollen occurred despite a lack of clear developmental advantages. Young adult workers reared for 7 days on 1d-, 5d-, or 10d-old stored pollen showed no difference in body mass, stored pollen consumption, hindgut fecal material accumulation, or hypopharyngeal gland (HPG) protein titers, suggesting that different-aged pollen stores did not vary in their nutritional value to adult bees. These findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis promoting a period of microbially-mediated, “beebread maturation” that results in greater palatability or nutritive value for aged pollen stores. Rather, stored pollen that is not eaten in the first few days accumulates as excess stores preserved in a less preferred, but nutritionally-similar state. PMID:28430801

  17. Non-Specific dsRNA-Mediated Antiviral Response in the Honey Bee

    PubMed Central

    Flenniken, Michelle L.; Andino, Raul

    2013-01-01

    Honey bees are essential pollinators of numerous agricultural crops. Since 2006, honey bee populations have suffered considerable annual losses that are partially attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is an unexplained phenomenon that correlates with elevated incidence of pathogens, including RNA viruses. Honey bees are eusocial insects that live in colonies of genetically related individuals that work in concert to gather and store nutrients. Their social organization provides numerous benefits, but also facilitates pathogen transmission between individuals. To investigate honey bee antiviral defense mechanisms, we developed an RNA virus infection model and discovered that administration of dsRNA, regardless of sequence, reduced virus infection. Our results suggest that dsRNA, a viral pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP), triggers an antiviral response that controls virus infection in honey bees. PMID:24130869

  18. Critical Structure for Telescopic Movement of Honey bee (Insecta: Apidae) Abdomen: Folded Intersegmental Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jieliang; Yan, Shaoze; Wu, Jianing

    2016-01-01

    The folded intersegmental membrane is a structure that interconnects two adjacent abdominal segments; this structure is distributed in the segments of the honey bee abdomen. The morphology of the folded intersegmental membrane has already been documented. However, the ultrastructure of the intersegmental membrane and its assistive role in the telescopic movements of the honey bee abdomen are poorly understood. To explore the morphology and ultrastructure of the folded intersegmental membrane in the honey bee abdomen, frozen sections were analyzed under a scanning electron microscope. The intersegmental membrane between two adjacent terga has a Z–S configuration that greatly influences the daily physical activities of the honey bee abdomen. The dorsal intersegmental membrane is 2 times thicker than the ventral one, leading to asymmetric abdominal motion. Honey bee abdominal movements were recorded using a high-speed camera and through phase-contrast computed tomography. These movements conformed to the structural features of the folded intersegmental membrane. PMID:27456912

  19. Negligible uptake and transfer of diet-derived pollen microRNAs in adult honey bees.

    PubMed

    Masood, Maryam; Everett, Claire P; Chan, Stephen Y; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-01-01

    The putative transfer and gene regulatory activities of diet-derived miRNAs in ingesting animals are still debated. Importantly, no study to date has fully examined the role of dietary uptake of miRNA in the honey bee, a critical pollinator in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. After controlled pollen feeding experiments in adult honey bees, we observed that midguts demonstrated robust increases in plant miRNAs after pollen ingestion. However, we found no evidence of biologically relevant delivery of these molecules to proximal or distal tissues of recipient honey bees. Our results, therefore, support the premise that pollen miRNAs ingested as part of a typical diet are not robustly transferred across barrier epithelia of adult honey bees under normal conditions. Key future questions include whether other small RNA species in honey bee diets behave similarly and whether more specialized and specific delivery mechanisms exist for more efficient transport, particularly in the context of stressed barrier epithelia.

  20. 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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Nutrigenomics in honey bees: digital gene expression analysis of pollen's nutritive effects on healthy and varroa-parasitized bees

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Malnutrition is a major factor affecting animal health, resistance to disease and survival. In honey bees (Apis mellifera), pollen, which is the main dietary source of proteins, amino acids and lipids, is essential to adult bee physiological development while reducing their susceptibility to parasites and pathogens. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying pollen's nutritive impact on honey bee health remained to be determined. For that purpose, we investigated the influence of pollen nutrients on the transcriptome of worker bees parasitized by the mite Varroa destructor, known for suppressing immunity and decreasing lifespan. The 4 experimental groups (control bees without a pollen diet, control bees fed with pollen, varroa-parasitized bees without a pollen diet and varroa-parasitized bees fed with pollen) were analyzed by performing a digital gene expression (DGE) analysis on bee abdomens. Results Around 36, 000 unique tags were generated per DGE-tag library, which matched about 8, 000 genes (60% of the genes in the honey bee genome). Comparing the transcriptome of bees fed with pollen and sugar and bees restricted to a sugar diet, we found that pollen activates nutrient-sensing and metabolic pathways. In addition, those nutrients had a positive influence on genes affecting longevity and the production of some antimicrobial peptides. However, varroa parasitism caused the development of viral populations and a decrease in metabolism, specifically by inhibiting protein metabolism essential to bee health. This harmful effect was not reversed by pollen intake. Conclusions The DGE-tag profiling methods used in this study proved to be a powerful means for analyzing transcriptome variation related to nutrient intake in honey bees. Ultimately, with such an approach, applying genomics tools to nutrition research, nutrigenomics promises to offer a better understanding of how nutrition influences body homeostasis and may help reduce the susceptibility of bees

  4. Nutrigenomics in honey bees: digital gene expression analysis of pollen's nutritive effects on healthy and varroa-parasitized bees.

    PubMed

    Alaux, Cédric; Dantec, Christelle; Parrinello, Hughes; Le Conte, Yves

    2011-10-10

    Malnutrition is a major factor affecting animal health, resistance to disease and survival. In honey bees (Apis mellifera), pollen, which is the main dietary source of proteins, amino acids and lipids, is essential to adult bee physiological development while reducing their susceptibility to parasites and pathogens. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying pollen's nutritive impact on honey bee health remained to be determined. For that purpose, we investigated the influence of pollen nutrients on the transcriptome of worker bees parasitized by the mite Varroa destructor, known for suppressing immunity and decreasing lifespan. The 4 experimental groups (control bees without a pollen diet, control bees fed with pollen, varroa-parasitized bees without a pollen diet and varroa-parasitized bees fed with pollen) were analyzed by performing a digital gene expression (DGE) analysis on bee abdomens. Around 36, 000 unique tags were generated per DGE-tag library, which matched about 8, 000 genes (60% of the genes in the honey bee genome). Comparing the transcriptome of bees fed with pollen and sugar and bees restricted to a sugar diet, we found that pollen activates nutrient-sensing and metabolic pathways. In addition, those nutrients had a positive influence on genes affecting longevity and the production of some antimicrobial peptides. However, varroa parasitism caused the development of viral populations and a decrease in metabolism, specifically by inhibiting protein metabolism essential to bee health. This harmful effect was not reversed by pollen intake. The DGE-tag profiling methods used in this study proved to be a powerful means for analyzing transcriptome variation related to nutrient intake in honey bees. Ultimately, with such an approach, applying genomics tools to nutrition research, nutrigenomics promises to offer a better understanding of how nutrition influences body homeostasis and may help reduce the susceptibility of bees to (less virulent) pathogens.

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

    PubMed

    Lindström, Anders; Korpela, Seppo; Fries, Ingemar

    2008-09-01

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

  6. 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

  7. THE VISUAL ACUITY OF THE HONEY BEE.

    PubMed

    Hecht, S; Wolf, E

    1929-07-20

    1. Bees respond by a characteristic reflex to a movement in their visual field. By confining the field to a series of parallel dark and luminous bars it is possible to determine the size of bar to which the bees respond under different conditions and in this way to measure the resolving power or visual acuity of the eye. The maximum visual acuity of the bee is lower than the lowest human visual acuity. Under similar, maximal conditions the fineness of resolution of the human eye is about 100 times that of the bee. 2. The eye of the bee is a mosaic composed of hexagonal pyramids of variable apical angle. The size of this angle determines the angular separation between adjacent ommatidia and therefore sets the structural limits to the resolving power of the eye. It is found that the visual angle corresponding to the maximum visual acuity as found experimentally is identical with the structural angular separation of adjacent ommatidia in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. When this region of maximum ommatidia population is rendered non-functional by being covered with an opaque paint, the maximum visual acuity then corresponds to the angular separation of those remaining ommatidia which now constitute the maximum density of population. 3. The angular separation of adjacent ommatidia is much smaller in the vertical (dorso-ventral) axis than in the horizontal (anterio-posterior) axis. The experimentally found visual acuity varies correspondingly. From this and other experiments as well as from the shape of the eye itself, it is shown that the bee's eye is essentially an instrument for uni-directional visual resolution, functional along the dorso-ventral axis. The resolution of the visual pattern is therefore determined by the vertical angular separation of those ocular elements situated in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. 4. The visual acuity of the bee varies with the illumination in much the same way that it does for the human

  8. THE VISUAL ACUITY OF THE HONEY BEE

    PubMed Central

    Hecht, Selig; Wolf, Ernst

    1929-01-01

    1. Bees respond by a characteristic reflex to a movement in their visual field. By confining the field to a series of parallel dark and luminous bars it is possible to determine the size of bar to which the bees respond under different conditions and in this way to measure the resolving power or visual acuity of the eye. The maximum visual acuity of the bee is lower than the lowest human visual acuity. Under similar, maximal conditions the fineness of resolution of the human eye is about 100 times that of the bee. 2. The eye of the bee is a mosaic composed of hexagonal pyramids of variable apical angle. The size of this angle determines the angular separation between adjacent ommatidia and therefore sets the structural limits to the resolving power of the eye. It is found that the visual angle corresponding to the maximum visual acuity as found experimentally is identical with the structural angular separation of adjacent ommatidia in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. When this region of maximum ommatidia population is rendered non-functional by being covered with an opaque paint, the maximum visual acuity then corresponds to the angular separation of those remaining ommatidia which now constitute the maximum density of population. 3. The angular separation of adjacent ommatidia is much smaller in the vertical (dorso-ventral) axis than in the horizontal (anterio-posterior) axis. The experimentally found visual acuity varies correspondingly. From this and other experiments as well as from the shape of the eye itself, it is shown that the bee's eye is essentially an instrument for uni-directional visual resolution, functional along the dorso-ventral axis. The resolution of the visual pattern is therefore determined by the vertical angular separation of those ocular elements situated in the region of maximum density of ommatidia population. 4. The visual acuity of the bee varies with the illumination in much the same way that it does for the human

  9. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations. PMID:27070422

  10. Intensively Cultivated Landscape and Varroa Mite Infestation Are Associated with Reduced Honey Bee Nutritional State.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    As key pollinators, honey bees are crucial to many natural and agricultural ecosystems. An important factor in the health of honey bees is the availability of diverse floral resources. However, in many parts of the world, high-intensity agriculture could result in a reduction in honey bee forage. Previous studies have investigated how the landscape surrounding honey bee hives affects some aspects of honey bee health, but to our knowledge there have been no investigations of the effects of intensively cultivated landscapes on indicators of individual bee health such as nutritional physiology and pathogen loads. Furthermore, agricultural landscapes in different regions vary greatly in forage and land management, indicating a need for additional information on the relationship between honey bee health and landscape cultivation. Here, we add to this growing body of information by investigating differences in nutritional physiology between honey bees kept in areas of comparatively low and high cultivation in an area generally high agricultural intensity in the Midwestern United States. We focused on bees collected directly before winter, because overwintering stress poses one of the most serious problems for honey bees in temperate climates. We found that honey bees kept in areas of lower cultivation exhibited higher lipid levels than those kept in areas of high cultivation, but this effect was observed only in colonies that were free of Varroa mites. Furthermore, we found that the presence of mites was associated with lower lipid levels and higher titers of deformed wing virus (DWV), as well as a non-significant trend towards higher overwinter losses. Overall, these results show that mite infestation interacts with landscape, obscuring the effects of landscape alone and suggesting that the benefits of improved foraging landscape could be lost without adequate control of mite infestations.

  11. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Clint J.; Myerscough, Mary R.; Barron, Andrew B.

    2015-01-01

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience. PMID:25675508

  12. Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies.

    PubMed

    Perry, Clint J; Søvik, Eirik; Myerscough, Mary R; Barron, Andrew B

    2015-03-17

    Many complex factors have been linked to the recent marked increase in honey bee colony failure, including pests and pathogens, agrochemicals, and nutritional stressors. It remains unclear, however, why colonies frequently react to stressors by losing almost their entire adult bee population in a short time, resulting in a colony population collapse. Here we examine the social dynamics underlying such dramatic colony failure. Bees respond to many stressors by foraging earlier in life. We manipulated the demography of experimental colonies to induce precocious foraging in bees and used radio tag tracking to examine the consequences of precocious foraging for their performance. Precocious foragers completed far fewer foraging trips in their life, and had a higher risk of death in their first flights. We constructed a demographic model to explore how this individual reaction of bees to stress might impact colony performance. In the model, when forager death rates were chronically elevated, an increasingly younger forager force caused a positive feedback that dramatically accelerated terminal population decline in the colony. This resulted in a breakdown in division of labor and loss of the adult population, leaving only brood, food, and few adults in the hive. This study explains the social processes that drive rapid depopulation of a colony, and we explore possible strategies to prevent colony failure. Understanding the process of colony failure helps identify the most effective strategies to improve colony resilience.

  13. A Look into the Cell: Honey Storage in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved. PMID:27560969

  14. A Look into the Cell: Honey Storage in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Eyer, Michael; Neumann, Peter; Dietemann, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved.

  15. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema.

    PubMed

    Pettis, Jeffery S; vanEngelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

  16. Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettis, Jeffery S.; Vanengelsdorp, Dennis; Johnson, Josephine; Dively, Galen

    2012-02-01

    Global pollinator declines have been attributed to habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change or some combination of these factors, and managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, are part of worldwide pollinator declines. Here we exposed honey bee colonies during three brood generations to sub-lethal doses of a widely used pesticide, imidacloprid, and then subsequently challenged newly emerged bees with the gut parasite, Nosema spp. The pesticide dosages used were below levels demonstrated to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. Nosema infections increased significantly in the bees from pesticide-treated hives when compared to bees from control hives demonstrating an indirect effect of pesticides on pathogen growth in honey bees. We clearly demonstrate an increase in pathogen growth within individual bees reared in colonies exposed to one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide, imidacloprid, at below levels considered harmful to bees. The finding that individual bees with undetectable levels of the target pesticide, after being reared in a sub-lethal pesticide environment within the colony, had higher Nosema is significant. Interactions between pesticides and pathogens could be a major contributor to increased mortality of honey bee colonies, including colony collapse disorder, and other pollinator declines worldwide.

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

    PubMed Central

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E.

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation. PMID:24740297

  18. The bacterial communities associated with honey bee (Apis mellifera) foragers.

    PubMed

    Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Maes, Patrick; Anderson, Kirk E

    2014-01-01

    The honey bee is a key pollinator species in decline worldwide. As part of a commercial operation, bee colonies are exposed to a variety of agricultural ecosystems throughout the year and a multitude of environmental variables that may affect the microbial balance of individuals and the hive. While many recent studies support the idea of a core microbiota in guts of younger in-hive bees, it is unknown whether this core is present in forager bees or the pollen they carry back to the hive. Additionally, several studies hypothesize that the foregut (crop), a key interface between the pollination environment and hive food stores, contains a set of 13 lactic acid bacteria (LAB) that inoculate collected pollen and act in synergy to preserve pollen stores. Here, we used a combination of 454 based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the microbial communities of forager guts, crops, and corbicular pollen and crop plate counts to show that (1) despite a very different diet, forager guts contain a core microbiota similar to that found in younger bees, (2) corbicular pollen contains a diverse community dominated by hive-specific, environmental or phyllosphere bacteria that are not prevalent in the gut or crop, and (3) the 13 LAB found in culture-based studies are not specific to the crop but are a small subset of midgut or hindgut specific bacteria identified in many recent 454 amplicon-based studies. The crop is dominated by Lactobacillus kunkeei, and Alpha 2.2 (Acetobacteraceae), highly osmotolerant and acid resistant bacteria found in stored pollen and honey. Crop taxa at low abundance include core hindgut bacteria in transit to their primary niche, and potential pathogens or food spoilage organisms seemingly vectored from the pollination environment. We conclude that the crop microbial environment is influenced by worker task, and may function in both decontamination and inoculation.

  19. Inheritance of thelytoky in the honey bee Apis mellifera capensis.

    PubMed

    Chapman, N C; Beekman, M; Allsopp, M H; Rinderer, T E; Lim, J; Oxley, P R; Oldroyd, B P

    2015-06-01

    Asexual reproduction via thelytokous parthenogenesis is widespread in the Hymenoptera, but its genetic underpinnings have been described only twice. In the wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum and the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis the origin of thelytoky have each been traced to a single recessive locus. In the Cape honey bee it has been argued that thelytoky (th) controls the thelytoky phenotype and that a deletion of 9 bp in the flanking intron downstream of exon 5 (tae) of the gemini gene switches parthenogenesis from arrhenotoky to thelytoky. To further explore the mode of inheritance of thelytoky, we generated reciprocal backcrosses between thelytokous A. m. capensis and the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata. Ten genetic markers were used to identify 108 thelytokously produced offspring and 225 arrhenotokously produced offspring from 14 colonies. Patterns of appearance of thelytokous parthenogenesis were inconsistent with a single locus, either th or tae, controlling thelytoky. We further show that the 9 bp deletion is present in the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata population in South Africa, in A. m. intermissa in Morocco and in Africanized bees from Brazil and Texas, USA, where thelytoky has not been reported. Thus the 9  p deletion cannot be the cause of thelytoky. Further, we found two novel tae alleles. One contains the previously described 9 bp deletion and an additional deletion of 7 bp nearby. The second carries a single base insertion with respect to the wild type. Our data are consistent with the putative th locus increasing reproductive capacity.

  20. Proteomic analyses of male contributions to honey bee sperm storage and mating.

    PubMed

    Collins, A M; Caperna, T J; Williams, V; Garrett, W M; Evans, J D

    2006-10-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens mate early in life and store sperm for years. Male bees likely contribute significantly to sperm survival. Proteins were extracted from seminal vesicles and semen of mature drones, separated by electrophoresis, and analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Computer searches against three databases, general species, honey bees and fruit flies, were performed. Spectra were used to query the recently generated honey bee genome protein list as well as general species and fruit fly databases. Of the 69 unique honey bee proteins found, 66 are also in Drosophila melanogaster. Two proteins only matched honey bee genes and one is a widespread protein lost from the fly genome. There is over-representation of genes implicated in the glycolysis pathway. Metabolism-associated proteins were found primarily in the seminal vesicle. Male accessory gland proteins as identified in Drosophila rarely had orthologs among proteins found in the honey bee. A complete listing of gel spots chosen including honey bee genome matches and Mascot searches of MALDI-TOF results with statistics is in the Supplementary table. MALDI-TOF spectra and more complete Mascot peptide mass fingerprinting data are available on request. Supplementary figs 1-3 show the stained protein gels.

  1. Proteomic analyses of male contributions to honey bee sperm storage and mating

    PubMed Central

    Collins, A M; Caperna, T J; Williams, V; Garrett, W M; Evans, J D

    2006-01-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queens mate early in life and store sperm for years. Male bees likely contribute significantly to sperm survival. Proteins were extracted from seminal vesicles and semen of mature drones, separated by electrophoresis, and analysed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Computer searches against three databases, general species, honey bees and fruit flies, were performed. Spectra were used to query the recently generated honey bee genome protein list as well as general species and fruit fly databases. Of the 69 unique honey bee proteins found, 66 are also in Drosophila melanogaster. Two proteins only matched honey bee genes and one is a widespread protein lost from the fly genome. There is over-representation of genes implicated in the glycolysis pathway. Metabolism-associated proteins were found primarily in the seminal vesicle. Male accessory gland proteins as identified in Drosophila rarely had orthologs among proteins found in the honey bee. A complete listing of gel spots chosen including honey bee genome matches and Mascot searches of MALDI-TOF results with statistics is in the Supplementary table. MALDI-TOF spectra and more complete Mascot peptide mass fingerprinting data are available on request. Supplementary figs 1–3 show the stained protein gels. PMID:17069630

  2. Comparison of acute effects of heroin and Kerack on sensory and motor activity of honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Hassanpour-Ezatti, Majid

    2015-04-01

    Previous studies demonstrated a functional similarity between vertebrate and honey bee nervous systems. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of heroin and Iranian street Kerack, a combination of heroin and caffeine, on sensory threshold and locomotor activity in honey bees. All drugs were given orally to honey bees 30 min before each experiment. The levels of these drugs and their metabolites in brain samples of honey bees were determined by GC/MS. The sucrose sensitivity test was used for evaluation of changes in honey bees' sensory threshold. Following the administration of both drugs, the honey bees' locomotor activity changes were evaluated in open fields. 6-acetylmorphine had a higher concentration in comparison with other heroin metabolites in honey bees' brains. Concentration of the compound in the brain was directly proportional to the amount ingested. Heroin reduced the sensory threshold of honey bees, but Kerack increased it in the same doses. Locomotor activity of honey bee in open field was enhanced after the administration of both drugs. However, immobility time of honey bees was only affected by high doses of heroin. Acute effects of heroin andKerack on the sensory and motor functions of honey bees were different. Findings of this research suggest that these differences originated from the activation of different neurotransmitter systems by caffeine together with activation of opioid receptors by heroin.

  3. Antimicrobial activity and rutin identification of honey produced by the stingless bee Melipona compressipes manaosensis and commercial honey

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Honey has been identified as a potential alternative to the widespread use of antibiotics, which are of significant concern considering the emergence of resistant bacteria. In this context, this study aimed to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of honey samples produced by a stingless bee species and by Apis sp. against pathogenic bacteria, as well as to identify the presence of phenolic compounds. Methods Honey samples from the stingless bee M. compressipes manaosensis were collected twice, during the dry and rainy seasons. Three commercial honey samples from Apis sp. were also included in this study. Two different assays were performed to evaluate the antibacterial potential of the honey samples: agar-well diffusion and broth macrodilution. Liquid-liquid extraction was used to assess phenolic compounds from honey. HPLC analysis was performed in order to identify rutin and apigenin on honey samples. Chromatograms were recorded at 340 and 290 nm. Results Two honey samples were identified as having the highest antimicrobial activity using the agar diffusion method. Honey produced by Melipona compressipes manaosensis inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (0157: H7), Proteus vulgaris, Shigella sonnei and Klebsiella sp. A sample of honey produced by Apis sp. also inhibited the growth of Salmonella paratyphi. The macrodilution technique presented greater sensitivity for the antibacterial testing, since all honey samples showed activity. Flavonoid rutin was identified in the honey sample produced by the stingless bee. Conclusions Honey samples tested in this work showed antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The results reported herein highlight the potential of using honey to control bacterial growth. PMID:23815879

  4. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G.; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-07-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress.

  5. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G.; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-01-01

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress. PMID:26212690

  6. Field populations of native Indian honey bees from pesticide intensive agricultural landscape show signs of impaired olfaction.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Priyadarshini; Rana, Santanu; Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Naik, Dattatraya G; Sarkar, Sagartirtha; Basu, Parthiba

    2015-07-27

    Little information is available regarding the adverse effects of pesticides on natural honey bee populations. This study highlights the detrimental effects of pesticides on honey bee olfaction through behavioural studies, scanning electron microscopic imaging of antennal sensillae and confocal microscopic studies of honey bee brains for calcium ions on Apis cerana, a native Indian honey bee species. There was a significant decrease in proboscis extension response and biologically active free calcium ions and adverse changes in antennal sensillae in pesticide exposed field honey bee populations compared to morphometrically similar honey bees sampled from low/no pesticide sites. Controlled laboratory experiments corroborated these findings. This study reports for the first time the changes in antennal sensillae, expression of Calpain 1(an important calcium binding protein) and resting state free calcium in brains of honey bees exposed to pesticide stress.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  8. Nosema ceranae induced mortality in honey bees (Apis mellifera) depends on infection methods.

    PubMed

    Milbrath, Meghan O; Xie, Xianbing; Huang, Zachary Y

    2013-09-01

    Nosema ceranae infection can reduce survival of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, but experiments examining its virulence have highly variable results. This variation may arise from differences in experimental techniques. We examined survival effects of two techniques: Nosema infection at day 1 without anesthesia and infection at day 5 using CO2 anesthesia. All bees infected with the latter method had poorer survival. Interestingly, these bees also had significantly fewer spores than bees infected without anesthesia. These results indicate that differences in Nosema ceranae-induced mortality in honey bees may be partially due to differences in experimental techniques.

  9. Thermal energy conduction in a honey bee comb due to cell-heating bees.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, J A C; Dykes, E S

    2008-01-07

    Theoretical analysis and numerical calculations are performed to characterize the unsteady two-dimensional conduction of thermal energy in an idealized honey bee comb. The situation explored corresponds to a comb containing a number of brood cells occupied by pupae. These cells are surrounded by other cells containing pollen which, in turn, are surrounded (above) by cells containing honey and (below) by vacant cells containing air. Up to five vacant cells in the brood region can be occupied by cell-heating bees which, through the isometrical contraction of their flight muscles, can generate sufficient energy to raise their body temperatures by a few degrees. In this way, the cell-heating bees alter the heat flux and temperature distributions in the brood region so as to maintain conditions that benefit the pupae. The calculations show that the number of cell-heating bees significantly affects the magnitude, time rate of change, and spatial distribution of temperature throughout the comb. They also reveal a vertically aligned asymmetry in the spatial distribution of temperature that is due to the large heat capacity and thermal conductivity of honey relative to air, whereby air-filled cells experience larger temperature increases than honey-filled cells. Analysis shows that convection and radiation represent negligible modes of thermal energy transfer at all levels in the problem considered. Also, because of its small thickness, the wax wall of a comb cell simultaneously presents negligible resistance to conduction heat transfer normal to it and very large resistance along it. As a consequence the walls of a cell play no thermal role, but simply serve as mechanical supports for the materials they contain.

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

    PubMed

    Lehrman, Anna

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Effects of insemination quantity on honey bee queen physiology.

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-03

    Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens, these changes are permanent. Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed. Because it is not possible to control the natural mating behavior of queens, we used instrumental insemination and compared queens inseminated with semen from either a single drone (single-drone inseminated, or SDI) or 10 drones (multi-drone inseminated, or MDI). We used observation hives to monitor attraction of workers to SDI or MDI queens in colonies, and cage studies to monitor the attraction of workers to virgin, SDI, and MDI queen mandibular gland extracts (the main source of queen pheromone). The chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of virgin, SDI, and MDI queens were characterized using GC-MS. Finally, we measured brain expression levels in SDI and MDI queens of a gene associated with phototaxis in worker honey bees (Amfor). Here, we demonstrate for the first time that insemination quantity significantly affects mandibular gland chemical profiles, queen-worker interactions, and brain gene expression. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the mechanistic bases for these effects: insemination volume, sperm and seminal protein quantity, and genetic diversity of the sperm may all be important factors contributing to this profound change in honey bee queen physiology, queen behavior, and social interactions in the colony.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Effects of Insemination Quantity on Honey Bee Queen Physiology

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens, these changes are permanent. Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed. Because it is not possible to control the natural mating behavior of queens, we used instrumental insemination and compared queens inseminated with semen from either a single drone (single-drone inseminated, or SDI) or 10 drones (multi-drone inseminated, or MDI). We used observation hives to monitor attraction of workers to SDI or MDI queens in colonies, and cage studies to monitor the attraction of workers to virgin, SDI, and MDI queen mandibular gland extracts (the main source of queen pheromone). The chemical profiles of the mandibular glands of virgin, SDI, and MDI queens were characterized using GC-MS. Finally, we measured brain expression levels in SDI and MDI queens of a gene associated with phototaxis in worker honey bees (Amfor). Here, we demonstrate for the first time that insemination quantity significantly affects mandibular gland chemical profiles, queen-worker interactions, and brain gene expression. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the mechanistic bases for these effects: insemination volume, sperm and seminal protein quantity, and genetic diversity of the sperm may all be important factors contributing to this profound change in honey bee queen physiology, queen behavior, and social interactions in the colony. PMID

  14. The paratransgenic potential of Lactobacillus kunkeei in the honey bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Rangberg, A; Mathiesen, G; Amdam, G V; Diep, D B

    2015-01-01

    The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a domestic insect of high value to human societies, as a crop pollinator in agriculture and a model animal in scientific research. The honey bee, however, has experienced massive mortality worldwide due to the phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), resulting in alarming prospects for crop failure in Europe and the USA. The reasons for CCD are complex and much debated, but several honey bee pathogens are believed to be involved. Paratransgenesis is a Trojan horse strategy, where endogenous microorganisms are used to express effector molecules that antagonise pathogen development. For use in honey bees, paratransgenesis must rely on a set of criteria that the candidate paratransgenic microorganism must fulfil in order to obtain a successful outcome: (1) the candidate must be genetically modifiable to express effector molecules; (2) the modified organism should have no adverse effects on honey bee health upon reintroduction; and (3) it must survive together with other non-pathogenic bee-associated microorganisms. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are common gut bacteria in vertebrates and invertebrates, and some have naturally beneficial properties in their host. In the present work we aimed to find a potential paratransgenic candidate within this bacterial group for use in honey bees. Among isolated LAB associated with bee gut microbiota, we found the fructophilic Lactobacillus kunkeei to be the most predominant species during foraging seasons. Four genetically different strains of L. kunkeei were selected for further assessment. We demonstrated (1) that L. kunkeei is transformable; (2) that the transformed cells had no obvious adverse effect on honey bee survival; and (3) that transformed cells survived well in the gut environment of bees upon reintroduction. Our study demonstrates that L. kunkeei fulfils the three criteria for paratransgenesis and can be a suitable candidate for further research on this strategy in honey bees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  16. Dynamics of Persistent and Acute Deformed Wing Virus Infections in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    The dynamics of viruses are critical to our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Using honey bee Deformed wing virus (DWV) as a model, we conducted field and laboratory studies to investigate the roles of abiotic and biotic stress factors as well as host health conditions in dynamics of virus replication in honey bees. The results showed that temperature decline could lead to not only significant decrease in the rate for pupae to emerge as adult bees, but also an increased severity of the virus infection in emerged bees, partly explaining the high levels of winter losses of managed honey bees, Apis mellifera, around the world. By experimentally exposing adult bees with variable levels of parasitic mite Varroa destructor, we showed that the severity of DWV infection was positively correlated with the density and time period of Varroa mite infestation, confirming the role of Varroa mites in virus transmission and activation in honey bees. Further, we showed that host conditions have a significant impact on the outcome of DWV infection as bees that originate from strong colonies resist DWV infection and replication significantly better than bee originating from weak colonies. The information obtained from this study has important implications for enhancing our understanding of host‑pathogen interactions and can be used to develop effective disease control strategies for honey bees. PMID:22355447

  17. Superinfection exclusion and the long-term survival of honey bees in Varroa-infested colonies.

    PubMed

    Mordecai, Gideon J; Brettell, Laura E; Martin, Stephen J; Dixon, David; Jones, Ian M; Schroeder, Declan C

    2016-05-01

    Over the past 50 years, many millions of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have died as the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has spread around the world. Subsequent studies have indicated that the mite's association with a group of RNA viral pathogens (Deformed Wing Virus, DWV) correlates with colony death. Here, we propose a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion that provides an explanation of how certain A. mellifera populations have survived, despite Varroa infestation and high DWV loads. Next-generation sequencing has shown that a non-lethal DWV variant 'type B' has become established in these colonies and that the lethal 'type A' DWV variant fails to persist in the bee population. We propose that this novel stable host-pathogen relationship prevents the accumulation of lethal variants, suggesting that this interaction could be exploited for the development of an effective treatment that minimises colony losses in the future.

  18. Superinfection exclusion and the long-term survival of honey bees in Varroa-infested colonies

    PubMed Central

    Mordecai, Gideon J; Brettell, Laura E; Martin, Stephen J; Dixon, David; Jones, Ian M; Schroeder, Declan C

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 50 years, many millions of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have died as the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, has spread around the world. Subsequent studies have indicated that the mite's association with a group of RNA viral pathogens (Deformed Wing Virus, DWV) correlates with colony death. Here, we propose a phenomenon known as superinfection exclusion that provides an explanation of how certain A. mellifera populations have survived, despite Varroa infestation and high DWV loads. Next-generation sequencing has shown that a non-lethal DWV variant ‘type B' has become established in these colonies and that the lethal ‘type A' DWV variant fails to persist in the bee population. We propose that this novel stable host-pathogen relationship prevents the accumulation of lethal variants, suggesting that this interaction could be exploited for the development of an effective treatment that minimises colony losses in the future. PMID:26505829

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

    PubMed

    Traver, Brenna E; Fell, Richard D

    2011-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-16

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

  2. Learning in the Africanized honey bee: Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Abramson, C I; Aquino, I S; Silva, M C; Price, J M

    1997-09-01

    Several series of experiments are reported that investigate learning in the Africanized honey bee. In the first series, classical conditioning of proboscis extension was studied by confining bees to small metal tubes where they received pairings of an odor with a 3-s feeding of sucrose. After a number of odor-sucrose pairings, the bees began to extend their proboscis to the odor. Controls include Unpaired, Discrimination, and Pseudoconditioning Groups. This technique was used to look at conditioning to a light CS, and to the odors of beeswax, geraniol, citral, and hexanal. The results indicate that acquisition was best when sucrose was paired with the odor of beeswax. Conditioning to the remaining odors was roughly similar, but acquisition did not occur using a light. In a second series of experiments, odors were no longer followed by sucrose feedings and the conditioned response slowly disappeared. With the exception of geraniol as a CS, this extinction effect did not occur if the animals continued to be fed on an unpaired schedule. In a third series of experiments, conditioned inhibition was demonstrated when geraniol was used as conditioned stimuli, but no effect was found when the odors of hexanal, citral and wax were used. In a fourth series of experiments, unrestrained bees flew back and forth from the laboratory to the hive, where they were taught to distinguish targets based on color and odor. With this technique, color and odor discrimination in the Africanized bees was demonstrated. In addition, it was found that more intruder bees visited the experimental station when the stimuli used were olfactory rather than visual.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Impact of Thiamethoxam on Honey Bee Queen (Apis mellifera carnica) Reproductive Morphology and Physiology.

    PubMed

    Gajger, Ivana Tlak; Sakač, Martina; Gregorc, Aleš

    2017-07-26

    High honey bee losses around the world have been linked in part by the regular use of neonicotinoids in agriculture. In light of the current situation, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of thiamethoxam on the development of the reproductive system and physiology in the honey bee queen. Two experimental groups of honey bee queen larvae were treated with thiamethoxam during artificial rearing, applied via artificial feed in two cycles. In the first rearing cycle, honey bee larvae received a single treatment dose (4.28 ng thiamethoxam/queen larva on the 4th day after larvae grafting in artificial queen cells), while the second honey bee queen rearing cycle received a double treatment dose (total of 8.56 ng thiamethoxam/queen larva on the 4th and 5th day after larvae grafting in artificial queen cells). After emerging, queens were anesthetized and weighed, and after mating with drones were anesthetized, weighed, and sectioned. Ovary mass and number of stored sperm were determined. Body weight differed between untreated and treated honey bee queens. The results also show a decrease in the number of sperm within honey bee queen spermathecae that received the double thiamethoxam dose.

  5. Divergent forms of endoplasmic reticulum stress trigger a robust unfolded protein response in honey bees.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Brittany A; Hooks, Katarzyna B; McKinstry, Mia; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bee colonies in the United States have suffered from an increased rate of die-off in recent years, stemming from a complex set of interacting stresses that remain poorly described. While we have some understanding of the physiological stress responses in the honey bee, our molecular understanding of honey bee cellular stress responses is incomplete. Thus, we sought to identify and began functional characterization of the components of the UPR in honey bees. The IRE1-dependent splicing of the mRNA for the transcription factor Xbp1, leading to translation of an isoform with more transactivation potential, represents the most conserved of the UPR pathways. Honey bees and other Apoidea possess unique features in the Xbp1 mRNA splice site, which we reasoned could have functional consequences for the IRE1 pathway. However, we find robust induction of target genes upon UPR stimulation. In addition, the IRE1 pathway activation, as assessed by splicing of Xbp1 mRNA upon UPR, is conserved. By providing foundational knowledge about the UPR in the honey bee and the relative sensitivity of this species to divergent stresses, this work stands to improve our understanding of the mechanistic underpinnings of honey bee health and disease.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  7. Kiwifruit Flower Odor Perception and Recognition by Honey Bees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Twidle, Andrew M; Mas, Flore; Harper, Aimee R; Horner, Rachael M; Welsh, Taylor J; Suckling, David M

    2015-06-17

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from male and female kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa 'Hayward') flowers were collected by dynamic headspace sampling. Honey bee (Apis mellifera) perception of the flower VOCs was tested using gas chromatography coupled to electroantennogram detection. Honey bees consistently responded to six compounds present in the headspace of female kiwifruit flowers and five compounds in the headspace of male flowers. Analysis of the floral volatiles by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and microscale chemical derivatization showed the compounds to be nonanal, 2-phenylethanol, 4-oxoisophorone, (3E,6E)-α-farnesene, (6Z,9Z)-heptadecadiene, and (8Z)-heptadecene. Bees were then trained via olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) to synthetic mixtures of these compounds using the ratios present in each flower type. Honey bees trained to the synthetic mixtures showed a high response to the natural floral extracts, indicating that these may be the key compounds for honey bee perception of kiwifruit flower odor.

  8. Heat Shielding: A Novel Method of Colonial Thermoregulation in Honey Bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starks, Philip T.; Gilley, David C.

    Honey bees, Apis mellifera, maintain constant colony temperatures throughout the year. Honey bees fan their wings to cool the colony, and often spread fluid in conjunction with this behavior to induce evaporative cooling. We present an additional, previously undescribed mechanism used by the honey bee to maintain constant colony temperature in response to localized temperature increases. Worker bees shield the comb from external heat sources by positioning themselves on hot interior regions of the hive's walls. Although honey comb and brood comb were both shielded, the temperature-sensitive brood received a greater number of heat shielders and was thus better protected from overheating. Heat shielding appears to be a context-dependent adaptive behavior performed by worker bees who would previously have been considered "unemployed."

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  12. Parasitized honey bees are less likely to forage and carry less pollen.

    PubMed

    Lach, Lori; Kratz, Madlen; Baer, Boris

    2015-09-01

    Research into loss of pollination capacity has focused primarily on documenting pollinator declines and their causes with comparatively little attention paid to how stressors may affect pollinating behavior of surviving pollinators. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera is one of the world's most important generalist pollinators, and Nosema apis is a widespread microsporidian gut parasite of adult A. mellifera. We individually fed 960 newly eclosed A. mellifera workers either a sucrose solution or 400 N. apis spores in a sucrose solution and tagged them with a unique radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to monitor their foraging behavior. We found spore-fed bees were less likely to forage than those fed sugar only. Those that did forage started foraging when they were older and stopped foraging when they were younger than bees fed sugar only. However, inoculated and non-inoculated bees did not significantly differ in the number of foraging trips taken per day, the total hours foraged over their lifetime, or homing ability. Inoculated returning foragers were 4.3 times less likely to be carrying available pollen than non-inoculated returning foragers and the number of pollen grains carried was negatively correlated with the number of N. apis spores. In an arena of artificial flowers, inoculated bees had a tendency (p=0.061) to choose sugar flowers over pollen flowers, compared to non-inoculated bees which visited pollen and sugar flowers equally. These results demonstrate that even a relatively low dose of a widespread disease of A. mellifera may adversely affect bees' ability to pollinate.

  13. Variations in the Availability of Pollen Resources Affect Honey Bee Health

    PubMed Central

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Alaux, Cédric; Le Conte, Yves; Odoux, Jean-François; Pioz, Maryline; Vaissière, Bernard E.; Belzunces, Luc P.; Decourtye, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Intensive agricultural systems often expose honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to large temporal variations in the availability (quantity, quality and diversity) of nutritional resources. Such nutritional irregularity is expected to affect honey bee health. We therefore tested under laboratory conditions the effect of such variation in pollen availability on honey bee health (survival and nursing physiology—hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin expression). We fed honey bees with different diets composed of pollen pellets collected by honey bees in an agricultural landscape of western France. Slight drops (5–10%) in the availability of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) pollen resulted in significant reductions of all tested variables. Despite some variations in taxonomic diversity and nutritional quality, the pollen mixes harvested over the season had a similar positive influence on honey bee health, except for the one collected in late July that induced poor survival and nursing physiology. This period coincided with the mass-flowering of maize (Zea mays L.), an anemophilous crop which produces poor-quality pollen. Therefore, changes in bee health were not connected to variations in pollen diversity but rather to variations in pollen depletion and quality, such as can be encountered in an intensive agricultural system of western France. Finally, even though pollen can be available ad libitum during the mass-flowering of some crops (e.g. maize), it can fail to provide bees with diet adequate for their development. PMID:27631605

  14. Variations in the Availability of Pollen Resources Affect Honey Bee Health.

    PubMed

    Di Pasquale, Garance; Alaux, Cédric; Le Conte, Yves; Odoux, Jean-François; Pioz, Maryline; Vaissière, Bernard E; Belzunces, Luc P; Decourtye, Axel

    2016-01-01

    Intensive agricultural systems often expose honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) to large temporal variations in the availability (quantity, quality and diversity) of nutritional resources. Such nutritional irregularity is expected to affect honey bee health. We therefore tested under laboratory conditions the effect of such variation in pollen availability on honey bee health (survival and nursing physiology-hypopharyngeal gland development and vitellogenin expression). We fed honey bees with different diets composed of pollen pellets collected by honey bees in an agricultural landscape of western France. Slight drops (5-10%) in the availability of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) pollen resulted in significant reductions of all tested variables. Despite some variations in taxonomic diversity and nutritional quality, the pollen mixes harvested over the season had a similar positive influence on honey bee health, except for the one collected in late July that induced poor survival and nursing physiology. This period coincided with the mass-flowering of maize (Zea mays L.), an anemophilous crop which produces poor-quality pollen. Therefore, changes in bee health were not connected to variations in pollen diversity but rather to variations in pollen depletion and quality, such as can be encountered in an intensive agricultural system of western France. Finally, even though pollen can be available ad libitum during the mass-flowering of some crops (e.g. maize), it can fail to provide bees with diet adequate for their development.

  15. Quantitative trait loci for honey bee stinging behavior and body size.

    PubMed

    Hunt, G J; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Fondrk, M K; Page, R E

    1998-03-01

    A study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect colony-level stinging behavior and individual body size of honey bees. An F1 queen was produced from a cross between a queen of European origin and a drone descended from an African subspecies. Haploid drones from the hybrid queen were individually backcrossed to sister European queens to produce 172 colonies with backcross workers that were evaluated for tendency to sting. Random amplified polymorphic DNA markers were scored from the haploid drone fathers of these colonies. Wings of workers and drones were used as a measure of body size because Africanized bees in the Americas are smaller than European bees. Standard interval mapping and multiple QTL models were used to analyze data. One possible QTL was identified with a significant effect on tendency to sting (LOD 3.57). Four other suggestive QTLs were also observed (about LOD 1.5). Possible QTLs also were identified that affect body size and were unlinked to defensive-behavior QTLs. Two of these were significant (LOD 3.54 and 5.15).

  16. Quantitative trait loci for honey bee stinging behavior and body size.

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, G J; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Fondrk, M K; Page, R E

    1998-01-01

    A study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect colony-level stinging behavior and individual body size of honey bees. An F1 queen was produced from a cross between a queen of European origin and a drone descended from an African subspecies. Haploid drones from the hybrid queen were individually backcrossed to sister European queens to produce 172 colonies with backcross workers that were evaluated for tendency to sting. Random amplified polymorphic DNA markers were scored from the haploid drone fathers of these colonies. Wings of workers and drones were used as a measure of body size because Africanized bees in the Americas are smaller than European bees. Standard interval mapping and multiple QTL models were used to analyze data. One possible QTL was identified with a significant effect on tendency to sting (LOD 3.57). Four other suggestive QTLs were also observed (about LOD 1.5). Possible QTLs also were identified that affect body size and were unlinked to defensive-behavior QTLs. Two of these were significant (LOD 3.54 and 5.15). PMID:9539435

  17. Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) have low infestation levels of the mite Varroa destructor in different ecological regions in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Medina-Flores, C A; Guzmán-Novoa, E; Hamiduzzaman, M M; Aréchiga-Flores, C F; López-Carlos, M A

    2014-02-21

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies of African and European descent were compared for levels of Varroa destructor infestation in 3 different ecological regions in Mexico. The 300 colonies that were studied were located in subtropical, temperate sub-humid, and temperate dry climates. The morphotype and mitotype of adult bees as well as their rates of infestation by varroa mites were determined. Additionally, the number of combs with brood and covered with bees was recorded for each colony. The highest frequency of colonies that were classified as African-derived was found in the subtropical environment, whereas the lowest occurred in the temperate dry region. Overall, the colonies of African genotype had significantly lower mite infestation rates (3.5±0.34%) than the colonies of European genotype (4.7±0.49%) regardless of the region sampled. Significant effects of genotype and region on Varroa infestation rates were evident, and there were no differences in bee population or capped brood between genotypes. Mite infestation levels were significantly lower in the colonies of the temperate dry region than in the colonies of the other 2 regions. These results are discussed within the context of results from studies that were previously conducted in Brazil. This is the first study that demonstrates the effects of Africanization and ecological environment on V. destructor infestation rates in honey bee colonies in North America.

  18. Molecular epidemiology and population structure of the honey bee brood pathogen Melissococcus plutonius.

    PubMed

    Budge, Giles E; Shirley, Mark D F; Jones, Benjamin; Quill, Emiline; Tomkies, Victoria; Feil, Edward J; Brown, Mike A; Haynes, Edward G

    2014-08-01

    Melissococcus plutonius is the causative agent of European foulbrood (EFB), which is a serious brood disease of the European honey bee (Apis mellifera). EFB remains a threat because of a poor understanding of disease epidemiology. We used a recently published multi-locus sequence typing method to characterise 206 M. plutonius isolates recovered from outbreaks in England and Wales over the course of 2 years. We detected 15 different sequence types (STs), which were resolved by eBURST and phylogenetic analysis into three clonal complexes (CCs) 3, 12 and 13. Single and double locus variants within CC3 were the most abundant and widespread genotypes, accounting for 85% of the cases. In contrast, CCs 12 and 13 were rarer and predominantly found in geographical regions of high sampling intensity, consistent with a more recent introduction and localised spread. K-function analysis and interpoint distance tests revealed significant geographical clustering in five common STs, but pointed to different dispersal patterns between STs. We noted that CCs appeared to vary in pathogenicity and that infection caused by the more pathogenic variants is more likely to lead to honey bee colony destruction, as opposed to treatment. The importance of these findings for improving our understanding of disease aetiology and control are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Evaluation of cage designs and feeding regimes for honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) laboratory experiments.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shao Kang; Csaki, Tamas; Doublet, Vincent; Dussaubat, Claudia; Evans, Jay D; Gajda, Anna M; Gregorc, Alex; Hamilton, Michele C; Kamler, Martin; Lecocq, Antoine; Muz, Mustafa N; Neumann, Peter; Ozkirim, Asli; Schiesser, Aygün; Sohr, Alex R; Tanner, Gina; Tozkar, Cansu Ozge; Williams, Geoffrey R; Wu, Lyman; Zheng, Huoqing; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this study was to improve cage systems for maintaining adult honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers under in vitro laboratory conditions. To achieve this goal, we experimentally evaluated the impact of different cages, developed by scientists of the international research network COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes), on the physiology and survival of honey bees. We identified three cages that promoted good survival of honey bees. The bees from cages that exhibited greater survival had relatively lower titers of deformed wing virus, suggesting that deformed wing virus is a significant marker reflecting stress level and health status of the host. We also determined that a leak- and drip-proof feeder was an integral part of a cage system and a feeder modified from a 20-ml plastic syringe displayed the best result in providing steady food supply to bees. Finally, we also demonstrated that the addition of protein to the bees' diet could significantly increase the level ofvitellogenin gene expression and improve bees' survival. This international collaborative study represents a critical step toward improvement of cage designs and feeding regimes for honey bee laboratory experiments.

  1. Hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis differs between honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker castes.

    PubMed

    Hystad, Eva Marit; Salmela, Heli; Amdam, Gro Vang; Münch, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Honey bees as other insects rely on the innate immune system for protection against diseases. The innate immune system includes the circulating hemocytes (immune cells) that clear pathogens from hemolymph (blood) by phagocytosis, nodulation or encapsulation. Honey bee hemocyte numbers have been linked to hemolymph levels of vitellogenin. Vitellogenin is a multifunctional protein with immune-supportive functions identified in a range of species, including the honey bee. Hemocyte numbers can increase via mitosis, and this recruitment process can be important for immune system function and maintenance. Here, we tested if hemocyte mediated phagocytosis differs among the physiologically different honey bee worker castes (nurses, foragers and winter bees), and study possible interactions with vitellogenin and hemocyte recruitment. To this end, we adapted phagocytosis assays, which-together with confocal microscopy and flow cytometry-allow qualitative and quantitative assessment of hemocyte performance. We found that nurses are more efficient in phagocytic uptake than both foragers and winter bees. We detected vitellogenin within the hemocytes, and found that winter bees have the highest numbers of vitellogenin-positive hemocytes. Connections between phagocytosis, hemocyte-vitellogenin and mitosis were worker caste dependent. Our results demonstrate that the phagocytic performance of immune cells differs significantly between honey bee worker castes, and support increased immune competence in nurses as compared to forager bees. Our data, moreover, provides support for roles of vitellogenin in hemocyte activity.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite of honey bees (Apis mellifera), is the most serious pest threatening the apiculture industry. In our honey bee breeding programme, two honey bee colonies showing extreme phenotypes for varroa tolerance/resistance (S88) and susceptibility (G4) were identified by natural selection from a large gene pool over a 6-year period. To investigate potential defence mechanisms for honey bee tolerance to varroa infestation, we employed DNA microarray and real time quantitative (PCR) analyses to identify differentially expressed genes in the tolerant and susceptible colonies at pupa and adult stages. Our results showed that more differentially expressed genes were identified in the tolerant bees than in bees from the susceptible colony, indicating that the tolerant colony showed an increased genetic capacity to respond to varroa mite infestation. In both colonies, there were more differentially expressed genes identified at the pupa stage than at the adult stage, indicating that pupa bees are more responsive to varroa infestation than adult bees. Genes showing differential expression in the colony phenotypes were categorized into several groups based on their molecular functions, such as olfactory signalling, detoxification processes, exoskeleton formation, protein degradation and long-chain fatty acid metabolism, suggesting that these biological processes play roles in conferring varroa tolerance to naturally selected colonies. Identification of differentially expressed genes between the two colony phenotypes provides potential molecular markers for selecting and breeding varroa-tolerant honey bees. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Celik, Yuksel; Ulker, Erkan

    2013-01-01

    Marriage in honey bees optimization (MBO) is a metaheuristic optimization algorithm developed by inspiration of the mating and fertilization process of honey bees and is a kind of swarm intelligence optimizations. In this study we propose improved marriage in honey bees optimization (IMBO) by adding Levy flight algorithm for queen mating flight and neighboring for worker drone improving. The IMBO algorithm's performance and its success are tested on the well-known six unconstrained test functions and compared with other metaheuristic optimization algorithms. PMID:23935416

  5. A fluorescent method for visualization of Nosema infection in whole-mount honey bee tissues.

    PubMed

    Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-03-01

    Honey bees are critical pollinators in both agricultural and ecological settings. The Nosema species, ceranae and apis, are microsporidian parasites that are pathogenic to honey bees. While current methods for detecting Nosema infection have key merits, additional techniques with novel properties for studying the cell biology of Nosema infection are highly desirable. We demonstrate that whole-mount staining of honey bee midgut tissue with chitin-binding agent Fluorescent Brightener 28 and DNA dye Propidium Iodide allows for observation of Nosema infection in structurally intact tissue, providing a new tool for increasing our understanding of Nosema infection at the cellular and tissue level. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Social Reinforcement Delays in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Craig, David Philip Arthur; Grice, James W.; Varnon, Chris A.; Gibson, B.; Sokolowski, Michel B. C.; Abramson, Charles I.

    2012-01-01

    Free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) reactions were observed when presented with varying schedules of post-reinforcement delays of 0 s, 300 s, or 600 s. We measured inter-visit-interval, response length, inter-response-time, and response rate. Honey bees exposed to these post-reinforcement delay intervals exhibit one of several patterns compared to groups not encountering delays, and had longer inter-visit-intervals. We observed no group differences in inter-response time. Honey bees with higher response rates tended to not finish the experiment. The removal of the delay intervals increased response rates for those subjects that completed the trials. PMID:23056425

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  8. Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine.

    PubMed

    du Rand, Esther E; Smit, Salome; Beukes, Mervyn; Apostolides, Zeno; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W

    2015-07-02

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality.

  9. Detoxification mechanisms of honey bees (Apis mellifera) resulting in tolerance of dietary nicotine

    PubMed Central

    Rand, Esther E. du; Smit, Salome; Beukes, Mervyn; Apostolides, Zeno; Pirk, Christian W.W.; Nicolson, Susan W.

    2015-01-01

    Insecticides are thought to be among the major factors contributing to current declines in bee populations. However, detoxification mechanisms in healthy, unstressed honey bees are poorly characterised. Alkaloids are naturally encountered in pollen and nectar, and we used nicotine as a model compound to identify the mechanisms involved in detoxification processes in honey bees. Nicotine and neonicotinoids have similar modes of action in insects. Our metabolomic and proteomic analyses show active detoxification of nicotine in bees, associated with increased energetic investment and also antioxidant and heat shock responses. The increased energetic investment is significant in view of the interactions of pesticides with diseases such as Nosema spp which cause energetic stress and possible malnutrition. Understanding how healthy honey bees process dietary toxins under unstressed conditions will help clarify how pesticides, alone or in synergy with other stress factors, lead to declines in bee vitality. PMID:26134631

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  11. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Genome sequencing has provided us with gene lists but cannot tell us where and how their encoded products work together to support life. Complex organisms rely on differential expression of subsets of genes/proteins in organs and tissues, and, in concert, evolved to their present state as they function together to improve an organism's overall reproductive fitness. Proteomics studies of individual organs help us understand their basic functions, but this reductionist approach misses the larger context of the whole organism. This problem could be circumvented if all the organs in an organism were comprehensively studied by the same methodology and analyzed together. Using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as a model system, we report here an initial whole proteome of a complex organism, measuring 29 different organ/tissue types among the three honey bee castes: queen, drone, and worker. The data reveal that, e.g., workers have a heightened capacity to deal with environmental toxins and queens have a far more robust pheromone detection system than their nestmates. The data also suggest that workers altruistically sacrifice not only their own reproductive capacity but also their immune potential in favor of their queen. Finally, organ-level resolution of protein expression offers a systematic insight into how organs may have developed. PMID:23878156

  12. Honey bee protein atlas at organ-level resolution.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    Genome sequencing has provided us with gene lists but cannot tell us where and how their encoded products work together to support life. Complex organisms rely on differential expression of subsets of genes/proteins in organs and tissues, and, in concert, evolved to their present state as they function together to improve an organism's overall reproductive fitness. Proteomics studies of individual organs help us understand their basic functions, but this reductionist approach misses the larger context of the whole organism. This problem could be circumvented if all the organs in an organism were comprehensively studied by the same methodology and analyzed together. Using honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) as a model system, we report here an initial whole proteome of a complex organism, measuring 29 different organ/tissue types among the three honey bee castes: queen, drone, and worker. The data reveal that, e.g., workers have a heightened capacity to deal with environmental toxins and queens have a far more robust pheromone detection system than their nestmates. The data also suggest that workers altruistically sacrifice not only their own reproductive capacity but also their immune potential in favor of their queen. Finally, organ-level resolution of protein expression offers a systematic insight into how organs may have developed.

  13. Exceptionally high levels of recombination across the honey bee genome.

    PubMed

    Beye, Martin; Gattermeier, Irene; Hasselmann, Martin; Gempe, Tanja; Schioett, Morten; Baines, John F; Schlipalius, David; Mougel, Florence; Emore, Christine; Rueppell, Olav; Sirviö, Anu; Guzmán-Novoa, Ernesto; Hunt, Greg; Solignac, Michel; Page, Robert E

    2006-11-01

    The first draft of the honey bee genome sequence and improved genetic maps are utilized to analyze a genome displaying 10 times higher levels of recombination (19 cM/Mb) than previously analyzed genomes of higher eukaryotes. The exceptionally high recombination rate is distributed genome-wide, but varies by two orders of magnitude. Analysis of chromosome, sequence, and gene parameters with respect to recombination showed that local recombination rate is associated with distance to the telomere, GC content, and the number of simple repeats as described for low-recombining genomes. Recombination rate does not decrease with chromosome size. On average 5.7 recombination events per chromosome pair per meiosis are found in the honey bee genome. This contrasts with a wide range of taxa that have a uniform recombination frequency of about 1.6 per chromosome pair. The excess of recombination activity does not support a mechanistic role of recombination in stabilizing pairs of homologous chromosome during chromosome pairing. Recombination rate is associated with gene size, suggesting that introns are larger in regions of low recombination and may improve the efficacy of selection in these regions. Very few transposons and no retrotransposons are present in the high-recombining genome. We propose evolutionary explanations for the exceptionally high genome-wide recombination rate.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-12-15

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

  16. MicroRNAs of host honey bees, Apis mellifera respond to the infection of Microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In order to clarify the impacts of Nosema ceranae infection on the expression levels of honey bees’ MicroRNAs (miRNAs), we deep-sequenced honey bee miRNAs daily across a full 6-day parasite reproduction cycle. 18 miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed in honey bees infected by N. ceranae...

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

    PubMed Central

    Paleolog, Jerzy; Borsuk, Grzegorz

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ptaszyńska, Aneta A; Paleolog, Jerzy; Borsuk, Grzegorz

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  20. Highly Dynamic and Adaptive Traffic Congestion Avoidance in Real-Time Inspired by Honey Bee Behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wedde, Horst F.; Lehnhoff, Sebastian; van Bonn, Bernhard; Bay, Z.; Becker, S.; Böttcher, S.; Brunner, C.; Büscher, A.; Fürst, T.; Lazarescu, A. M.; Rotaru, E.; Senge, S.; Steinbach, B.; Yilmaz, F.; Zimmermann, T.

    Traffic congestions have become a major problem in metropolitan areas world-wide, within and between cities, to an extent where they make driving and transportation times largely unpredictable. Due to the highly dynamic character of congestion building and dissolving this phenomenon appears even to resist a formal treatment. Static approaches, and even more their global management, have proven counterproductive in practice. Given the latest progress in VANET technology and the remarkable commercially driven efforts like in the European C2C consortium, or the VSC Project in the US, allow meanwhile to tackle various aspects of traffic regulation through VANET communication. In this paper we introduce a novel, completely decentralized multi-agent routing algorithm (termed BeeJamA) which we have derived from the foraging behavior of honey bees. It is highly dynamic, adaptive, robust, and scalable, and it allows for both avoiding congestions, and minimizing traveling times to individual destinations. Vehicle guidance is provided well ahead of every intersection, depending on the individual speeds. Thus strict deadlines are imposed on, and respected by, the BeeJamA algorithm. We report on extensive simulation experiments which show the superior performance of BeeJamA over conventional approaches.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Functionality of Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Used in Migratory Beekeeping for Crop Pollination

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Two types of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., that were bred for resistance to Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman were evaluated for performance when used for beekeeping in an intensive, migratory crop pollination system. Colonies of these stocks (Russian honey bees [RHB] and outcrosses of bees with...

  3. Reducing honey bee defensive responses and social wasp colonization with methyl anthranilate.

    PubMed

    Pankiw, Tanya

    2009-07-01

    Human victims of a massive number of stings have been steadily increasing since the invasion of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera) to the United States in 1990. Multiple honey bee stings may result in venom toxicity, leading to renal failure and even death. Here we tested the efficacy of methyl anthranilate as a honey bee repellent during a massive defensive response by Africanized honey bees. An aerosolized solution of 10% methyl anthranilate reduced the number of defensive bee hits to a retreating victim by 95% compared with a water control. One hundred fifty milliliters of the 10% methyl anthranilate solution sprayed onto stationary foam balls covered with black suede leather located 2 m from provoked Africanized colonies received 80% fewer stings than targets treated with water. Methyl anthranilate (100%) delivered through a UV blocking 3 mil polyethylene pouch was 100% effective in preventing Polistes colonization in wildlife observation huts and from the roof overhang of home patios. Although methyl anthranilate was not 100% effective in preventing honey bee stinging, it seemed to reduce number of stings below the average human LD50, indicative of a promising tool for preventing honey bee venom toxicity and wasp colonization.

  4. Early-life experience affects honey bee aggression and resilience to immune challenge

    PubMed Central

    Rittschof, Clare C.; Coombs, Chelsey B.; Frazier, Maryann; Grozinger, Christina M.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    Early-life social experiences cause lasting changes in behavior and health for a variety of animals including humans, but it is not well understood how social information ‘‘gets under the skin’’ resulting in these effects. Adult honey bees (Apis mellifera) exhibit socially coordinated collective nest defense, providing a model for social modulation of aggressive behavior. Here we report for the first time that a honey bee’s early-life social environment has lasting effects on individual aggression: bees that experienced high-aggression environments during pre-adult stages showed increased aggression when they reached adulthood relative to siblings that experienced low-aggression environments, even though all bees were kept in a common environment during adulthood. Unlike other animals including humans however, high-aggression honey bees were more, rather than less, resilient to immune challenge, assessed as neonicotinoid pesticide susceptibility. Moreover, aggression was negatively correlated with ectoparasitic mite presence. In honey bees, early-life social experience has broad effects, but increased aggression is decoupled from negative health outcomes. Because honey bees and humans share aspects of their physiological response to aggressive social encounters, our findings represent a step towards identifying ways to improve individual resiliency. Pre-adult social experience may be crucial to the health of the ecologically threatened honey bee. PMID:26493190

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

    PubMed

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season.

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

    PubMed Central

    Ludvigsen, Jane; Rangberg, Anbjørg; Avershina, Ekaterina; Sekelja, Monika; Kreibich, Claus; Amdam, Gro; Rudi, Knut

    2015-01-01

    Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are prominent crop pollinators and are, thus, important for effective food production. The honey bee gut microbiota is mainly host specific, with only a few species being shared with other insects. It currently remains unclear how environmental/dietary conditions affect the microbiota within a honey bee population over time. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to characterize the composition of the midgut/pyloric microbiota of a honey bee apiary throughout a season. The rationale for investigating the midgut/pyloric microbiota is its dynamic nature. Monthly sampling of a demographic homogenous population of bees was performed between May and October, with concordant recording of the honey bee diet. Mixed Sanger-and Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with a quantitative PCR analysis were used to determine the bacterial composition. A marked increase in α-diversity was detected between May and June. Furthermore, we found that four distinct phylotypes belonging to the Proteobacteria dominated the microbiota, and these displayed major shifts throughout the season. Gilliamella apicola dominated the composition early on, and Snodgrassella alvi began to dominate when the other bacteria declined to an absolute low in October. In vitro co-culturing revealed that G. apicola suppressed S. alvi. No shift was detected in the composition of the microbiota under stable environment/dietary conditions between November and February. Therefore, environmental/dietary changes may trigger the shifts observed in the honey bee midgut/pyloric microbiota throughout a season. PMID:26330094

  7. Honey bee colonies act as reservoirs for two Spiroplasma facultative symbionts and incur complex, multiyear infection dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Ryan S; Teixeira, Érica Weinstein; Tauber, James P; Birke, Juliane M; Martins, Marta Fonseca; Fonseca, Isabela; Evans, Jay D

    2014-01-01

    Two species of Spiroplasma (Mollicutes) bacteria were isolated from and described as pathogens of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, ∼30 years ago but recent information on them is lacking despite global concern to understand bee population declines. Here we provide a comprehensive survey for the prevalence of these two Spiroplasma species in current populations of honey bees using improved molecular diagnostic techniques to assay multiyear colony samples from North America (U.S.A.) and South America (Brazil). Significant annual and seasonal fluctuations of Spiroplasma apis and Spiroplasma melliferum prevalence in colonies from the U.S.A. (n = 616) and Brazil (n = 139) occurred during surveys from 2011 through 2013. Overall, 33% of U.S.A. colonies and 54% of Brazil colonies were infected by Spiroplasma spp., where S. melliferum predominated over S. apis in both countries (25% vs. 14% and 44% vs. 38% frequency, respectively). Colonies were co-infected by both species more frequently than expected in both countries and at a much higher rate in Brazil (52%) compared to the U.S.A. (16.5%). U.S.A. samples showed that both species were prevalent not only during spring, as expected from prior research, but also during other seasons. These findings demonstrate that the model of honey bee spiroplasmas as springtime-restricted pathogens needs to be broadened and their role as occasional pathogens considered in current contexts. PMID:24771723

  8. Inheritance of thelytoky in the honey bee Apis mellifera capensis

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, N C; Beekman, M; Allsopp, M H; Rinderer, T E; Lim, J; Oxley, P R; Oldroyd, B P

    2015-01-01

    Asexual reproduction via thelytokous parthenogenesis is widespread in the Hymenoptera, but its genetic underpinnings have been described only twice. In the wasp Lysiphlebus fabarum and the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis the origin of thelytoky have each been traced to a single recessive locus. In the Cape honey bee it has been argued that thelytoky (th) controls the thelytoky phenotype and that a deletion of 9 bp in the flanking intron downstream of exon 5 (tae) of the gemini gene switches parthenogenesis from arrhenotoky to thelytoky. To further explore the mode of inheritance of thelytoky, we generated reciprocal backcrosses between thelytokous A. m. capensis and the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata. Ten genetic markers were used to identify 108 thelytokously produced offspring and 225 arrhenotokously produced offspring from 14 colonies. Patterns of appearance of thelytokous parthenogenesis were inconsistent with a single locus, either th or tae, controlling thelytoky. We further show that the 9 bp deletion is present in the arrhenotokous A. m. scutellata population in South Africa, in A. m. intermissa in Morocco and in Africanized bees from Brazil and Texas, USA, where thelytoky has not been reported. Thus the 9 bp deletion cannot be the cause of thelytoky. Further, we found two novel tae alleles. One contains the previously described 9 bp deletion and an additional deletion of 7 bp nearby. The second carries a single base insertion with respect to the wild type. Our data are consistent with the putative th locus increasing reproductive capacity. PMID:25585920

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  10. Africanization of a feral honey bee (Apis mellifera) population in South Texas: does a decade make a difference?

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Giresi, Melissa; Pinto, Maria Alice; Baum, Kristen A; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, John Spencer

    2016-04-01

    The arrival to the United States of the Africanized honey bee, a hybrid between European subspecies and the African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, is a remarkable model for the study of biological invasions. This immigration has created an opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of honey bee subspecies from African and European lineages in a feral population in South Texas. An 11-year survey of this population (1991-2001) showed that mitochondrial haplotype frequencies changed drastically over time from a resident population of eastern and western European maternal ancestry, to a population dominated by the African haplotype. A subsequent study of the nuclear genome showed that the Africanization process included bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honey bees, giving rise to a new panmictic mixture of A. m. scutellata- and European-derived genes. In this study, we examined gene flow patterns in the same population 23 years after the first hybridization event occurred. We found 28 active colonies inhabiting 92 tree cavities surveyed in a 5.14 km(2) area, resulting in a colony density of 5.4 colonies/km(2). Of these 28 colonies, 25 were of A. m. scutellata maternal ancestry, and three were of western European maternal ancestry. No colonies of eastern European maternal ancestry were detected, although they were present in the earlier samples. Nuclear DNA revealed little change in the introgression of A. m. scutellata-derived genes into the population compared to previous surveys. Our results suggest this feral population remains an admixed swarm with continued low levels of European ancestry and a greater presence of African-derived mitochondrial genetic composition.

  11. Lethal and sublethal effects, and incomplete clearance of ingested imidacloprid in honey bees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Bayo, Francisco; Belzunces, Luc; Bonmatin, Jean-Marc

    2017-08-22

    A previous study claimed a differential behavioural resilience between spring or summer honey bees (Apis mellifera) and bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) after exposure to syrup contaminated with 125 µg L(-1) imidacloprid for 8 days. The authors of that study based their assertion on the lack of body residues and toxic effects in honey bees, whereas bumble bees showed body residues of imidacloprid and impaired locomotion during the exposure. We have reproduced their experiment using winter honey bees subject to the same protocol. After exposure to syrup contaminated with 125 µg L(-1) imidacloprid, honey bees experienced high mortality rates (up to 45%), had body residues of imidacloprid in the range 2.7-5.7 ng g(-1) and exhibited abnormal behaviours (restless, apathetic, trembling and falling over) that were significantly different from the controls. There was incomplete clearance of the insecticide during the 10-day exposure period. Our results contrast with the findings reported in the previous study for spring or summer honey bees, but are consistent with the results reported for the other bee species.

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

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Mittner, Fabian; Fent, Karl

    2016-04-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Nuclear DNA PCR-RFLPs that distinguish African and European honey bee groups of subspecies. II: Conversion of long PCR markers to standard PCR.

    PubMed

    Suazo, Alonso; Hall, H Glenn

    2002-08-01

    Nuclear DNA PCR-RFLPs previously found in amplifications of three long (> 5 kbp) anonymous regions of DNA were made analyzable using standard PCR procedures. RFLP analyses were simplified by restricting the amplifications to sections, within each locus, that contained most of the informative polymorphic sites. AluI digests of locus L-1 section 2 (L-1S2) revealed three suballeles of which one was African-specific (Apis mellifera scutellata Lepeletier) and one was east European-predominant (A. m. ligustica Spinola, A. m. carnica Pollman, and A. m. caucasica Gorbachev). Alleles found originally at locus L-2 with AvaI were determined in RFLP analysis of two sections, L-2S1int and L-2S2, resulting in two African-specific and two east European-predominant suballeles. Suballele identity was determined by the combination of banding patterns from both fragments. Polymorphisms revealed by HaeIII in locus L-2 were analyzed in amplifications and digests of L-2SM1int. an 830 bpfragment within L-2S1. Seven suballeles were found of which two were African-specific and three were east European-specific or predominant, including one suballele specific to the east European subspecies A. m. caucasica. In locus L-5, RFLPs were detected with HaeIII, DdeI, and SpeI. HaeIII polymorphisms were analyzed by amplification and digestion offragments L-5S1xt and L-5S1ter: Five suballeles were found of which three were African-specific and one east European-predominant. For DdeI, all five alleles originally found with long PCR could be identified in RFLP analyses of three sections. Two African-specific, one east European-specific, and one west European-predominant (A. m. mellifera L. and A. m. iberica Goetze) suballeles were found. A west European-predominant suballele was also found in RFLP analysis of L-5S3 with SpeI. Allele frequency data from Old World and US. populations are presented.

  15. Comparison of acute effects of heroin and Kerack on sensory and motor activity of honey bees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Hassanpour-Ezatti, Majid

    2015-01-01

    Objective(s): Previous studies demonstrated a functional similarity between vertebrate and honey bee nervous systems. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of heroin and Iranian street Kerack, a combination of heroin and caffeine, on sensory threshold and locomotor activity in honey bees. Materials and Methods: All drugs were given orally to honey bees 30 min before each experiment. The levels of these drugs and their metabolites in brain samples of honey bees were determined by GC/MS. The sucrose sensitivity test was used for evaluation of changes in honey bees’ sensory threshold. Following the administration of both drugs, the honey bees’ locomotor activity changes were evaluated in open fields. Results: 6-acetylmorphine had a higher concentration in comparison with other heroin metabolites in honey bees’ brains. Concentration of the compound in the brain was directly proportional to the amount ingested. Heroin reduced the sensory threshold of honey bees, but Kerack increased it in the same doses. Locomotor activity of honey bee in open field was enhanced after the administration of both drugs. However, immobility time of honey bees was only affected by high doses of heroin. Conclusion: Acute effects of heroin andKerack on the sensory and motor functions of honey bees were different. Findings of this research suggest that these differences originated from the activation of different neurotransmitter systems by caffeine together with activation of opioid receptors by heroin. PMID:26019799

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Long, Elizabeth Y.; Krupke, Christian H.

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Critical aspects of the Nosema spp. diagnostic sampling in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies.

    PubMed

    Botías, Cristina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; Higes, Mariano

    2012-06-01

    Nosemosis is one of the most widespread of the adult honey bee diseases and causes major economic losses to beekeepers. Two microsporidia have been described infecting honey bees worldwide, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, whose seasonality and pathology differ markedly. An increasing prevalence of microsporidian infections in honey bees has been observed worldwide during the last years. Because nosemosis has detrimental effects on both strength and productivity of the infected colonies, an accurate and reliable method to evaluate the presence of Nosema in honey bee colonies is needed. In this study a high degree of variability in the detection of microsporidia depending on the random subsample analyzed was found, suggesting that both sample size and the time of collection (month and day of sampling) notably affect the diagnosis.

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

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kirk E; Johansson, Andreas; Sheehan, Tim H; Mott, Brendon M; Corby-Harris, Vanessa; Johnstone, Laurel; Sprissler, Ryan; Fitz, William

    2013-12-18

    Widely considered probiotic organisms, Bifidobacteria are common inhabitants of the alimentary tract of animals including insects. Bifidobacteria identified from the honey bee are found in larval guts and throughout the alimentary tract, but attain their greatest abundance in the adult hind gut. To further understand the role of Bifidobacteria in honey bees, we sequenced two strains of Bifidobacterium cultured from different alimentary tract environments and life stages. Reflecting an oxygen-rich niche, both strains possessed catalase, peroxidase, superoxide-dismutase and respiratory chain enzymes indicative of oxidative metabolism. The strains show markedly different carbohydrate processing capabilities, with one possessing auxiliary and key enzymes of the Entner-Doudoroff pathway. As a result of long term co-evolution, honey bee associated Bifidobacterium may harbor considerable strain diversity reflecting adaptation to a variety of different honey bee microenvironments and hive-mediated vertical transmission between generations.

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

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grozinger, Christina M; Robinson, Gene E

    2015-08-01

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