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Sample records for eusocial honeybee apis

  1. Molecular determinants of caste differentiation in the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Barchuk, Angel R; Cristino, Alexandre S; Kucharski, Robert; Costa, Luciano F; Simões, Zilá LP; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2007-01-01

    Background In honeybees, differential feeding of female larvae promotes the occurrence of two different phenotypes, a queen and a worker, from identical genotypes, through incremental alterations, which affect general growth, and character state alterations that result in the presence or absence of specific structures. Although previous studies revealed a link between incremental alterations and differential expression of physiometabolic genes, the molecular changes accompanying character state alterations remain unknown. Results By using cDNA microarray analyses of >6,000 Apis mellifera ESTs, we found 240 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between developing queens and workers. Many genes recorded as up-regulated in prospective workers appear to be unique to A. mellifera, suggesting that the workers' developmental pathway involves the participation of novel genes. Workers up-regulate more developmental genes than queens, whereas queens up-regulate a greater proportion of physiometabolic genes, including genes coding for metabolic enzymes and genes whose products are known to regulate the rate of mass-transforming processes and the general growth of the organism (e.g., tor). Many DEGs are likely to be involved in processes favoring the development of caste-biased structures, like brain, legs and ovaries, as well as genes that code for cytoskeleton constituents. Treatment of developing worker larvae with juvenile hormone (JH) revealed 52 JH responsive genes, specifically during the critical period of caste development. Using Gibbs sampling and Expectation Maximization algorithms, we discovered eight overrepresented cis-elements from four gene groups. Graph theory and complex networks concepts were adopted to attain powerful graphical representations of the interrelation between cis-elements and genes and objectively quantify the degree of relationship between these entities. Conclusion We suggest that clusters of functionally related DEGs are co-regulated during

  2. Rare royal families in honeybees, Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  4. Seminal fluid of honeybees contains multiple mechanisms to combat infections of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yan; Grassl, Julia; Millar, A Harvey; Baer, Boris

    2016-01-27

    The societies of ants, bees and wasps are genetically closed systems where queens only mate during a brief mating episode prior to their eusocial life and males therefore provide queens with a lifetime supply of high-quality sperm. These ejaculates also contain a number of defence proteins that have been detected in the seminal fluid but their function and efficiency have never been investigated in great detail. Here, we used the honeybee Apis mellifera and quantified whether seminal fluid is able to combat infections of the fungal pathogen Nosema apis, a widespread honeybee parasite that is also sexually transmitted. We provide the first empirical evidence that seminal fluid has a remarkable antimicrobial activity against N. apis spores and that antimicrobial seminal fluid components kill spores in multiple ways. The protein fraction of seminal fluid induces extracellular spore germination, which disrupts the life cycle of N. apis, whereas the non-protein fraction of seminal fluid induces a direct viability loss of intact spores. We conclude that males provide their ejaculates with efficient antimicrobial molecules that are able to kill N. apis spores and thereby reduce the risk of disease transmission during mating. Our findings could be of broader significance to master honeybee diseases in managed honeybee stock in the future.

  5. Seminal fluid of honeybees contains multiple mechanisms to combat infections of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yan; Grassl, Julia; Millar, A. Harvey; Baer, Boris

    2016-01-01

    The societies of ants, bees and wasps are genetically closed systems where queens only mate during a brief mating episode prior to their eusocial life and males therefore provide queens with a lifetime supply of high-quality sperm. These ejaculates also contain a number of defence proteins that have been detected in the seminal fluid but their function and efficiency have never been investigated in great detail. Here, we used the honeybee Apis mellifera and quantified whether seminal fluid is able to combat infections of the fungal pathogen Nosema apis, a widespread honeybee parasite that is also sexually transmitted. We provide the first empirical evidence that seminal fluid has a remarkable antimicrobial activity against N. apis spores and that antimicrobial seminal fluid components kill spores in multiple ways. The protein fraction of seminal fluid induces extracellular spore germination, which disrupts the life cycle of N. apis, whereas the non-protein fraction of seminal fluid induces a direct viability loss of intact spores. We conclude that males provide their ejaculates with efficient antimicrobial molecules that are able to kill N. apis spores and thereby reduce the risk of disease transmission during mating. Our findings could be of broader significance to master honeybee diseases in managed honeybee stock in the future. PMID:26791609

  6. Alternative splicing of a single transcription factor drives selfish reproductive behavior in honeybee workers (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Jarosch, Antje; Stolle, Eckart; Crewe, Robin M.; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2011-01-01

    In eusocial insects the production of daughters is generally restricted to mated queens, and unmated workers are functionally sterile. The evolution of this worker sterility has been plausibly explained by kin selection theory [Hamilton W (1964) J Theor Biol 7:1–52], and many traits have evolved to prevent conflict over reproduction among the females in an insect colony. In honeybees (Apis mellifera), worker reproduction is regulated by the queen, brood pheromones, and worker policing. However, workers of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, can evade this control and establish themselves as social parasites by activating their ovaries, parthenogenetically producing diploid female offspring (thelytoky) and producing queen-like amounts of queen pheromones. All these traits have been shown to be strongly influenced by a single locus on chromosome 13 [Lattorff HMG, et al. (2007) Biol Lett 3:292–295]. We screened this region for candidate genes and found that alternative splicing of a gene homologous to the gemini transcription factor of Drosophila controls worker sterility. Knocking out the critical exon in a series of RNAi experiments resulted in rapid worker ovary activation—one of the traits characteristic of the social parasites. This genetic switch may be controlled by a short intronic splice enhancer motif of nine nucleotides attached to the alternative splice site. The lack of this motif in parasitic Cape honeybee clones suggests that the removal of nine nucleotides from the altruistic worker genome may be sufficient to turn a honeybee from an altruistic worker into a parasite. PMID:21896748

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Abundance of phosphorylated Apis mellifera CREB in the honeybee's mushroom body inner compact cells varies with age.

    PubMed

    Gehring, Katrin B; Heufelder, Karin; Kersting, Isabella; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2016-04-15

    Hymenopteran eusociality has been proposed to be associated with the activity of the transcription factor CREB (cAMP-response element binding protein). The honeybee (Apis mellifera) is a eusocial insect displaying a pronounced age-dependent division of labor. In honeybee brains, CREB-dependent genes are regulated in an age-dependent manner, indicating that there might be a role for neuronal honeybee CREB (Apis mellifera CREB, or AmCREB) in the bee's division of labor. In this study, we further explore this hypothesis by asking where in the honeybee brain AmCREB-dependent processes might take place and whether they vary with age in these brain regions. CREB is activated following phosphorylation at a conserved serine residue. An increase of phosphorylated CREB is therefore regarded as an indicator of CREB-dependent transcriptional activation. Thus, we here examine the localization of phosphorylated AmCREB (pAmCREB) in the brain and its age-dependent variability. We report prominent pAmCREB staining in a subpopulation of intrinsic neurons of the mushroom bodies. In these neurons, the inner compact cells (IC), pAmCREB is located in the nuclei, axons, and dendrites. In the central bee brain, the IC somata and their dendritic region, we observed an age-dependent increase of pAmCREB. Our results demonstrate the IC to be candidate neurons involved in age-dependent division of labor. We hypothesize that the IC display a high level of CREB-dependent transcription that might be related to neuronal and behavioral plasticity underlying a bee's foraging behavior.

  9. Virus Infections of Honeybees Apis Mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Tantillo, Giuseppina; Bottaro, Marilisa; Di Pinto, Angela; Martella, Vito; Di Pinto, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    The health and vigour of honeybee colonies are threatened by numerous parasites (such as Varroa destructor and Nosema spp.) and pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa. Among honeybee pathogens, viruses are one of the major threats to the health and well-being of honeybees and cause serious concern for researchers and beekeepers. To tone down 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. Here we summarize recent progress in the understanding of the morphology, genome organization, transmission, epidemiology and pathogenesis of eight honeybee viruses: Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Kakugo virus (KV); Sacbrood virus (SBV); Black Queen cell virus (BQCV); Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV); Kashmir bee virus (KBV); Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV); Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV). The review has been designed to provide researchers in the field with updated information about honeybee viruses and to serve as a starting point for future research. PMID:27800411

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Reproductive division of labour and thelytoky result in sympatric barriers to gene flow in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Neumann, P; Härtel, S; Kryger, P; Crewe, R M; Moritz, R F A

    2011-02-01

    Determining the extent and causes of barriers to gene flow is essential for understanding sympatric speciation, but the practical difficulties of quantifying reproductive isolation remain an obstacle to analysing this process. Social parasites are common in eusocial insects and tend to be close phylogenetic relatives of their hosts (= Emery's rule). Sympatric speciation caused by reproductive isolation between host and parasite is a possible evolutionary pathway. Socially parasitic workers of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, produce female clonal offspring parthenogenetically and invade colonies of the neighbouring subspecies A. m. scutellata. In the host colony, socially parasitic workers can become pseudoqueens, an intermediate caste with queenlike pheromone secretion. Here, we show that over an area of approximately 275.000 km², all parasitic workers bear the genetic signature of a clone founded by a single ancestral worker genotype. Any gene flow from the host to the parasite is impossible because honeybee workers cannot mate. Gene flow from the parasite to the host is possible, as parasitic larvae can develop into queens. However, we show that despite sympatric coexistence for more than a decade, gene flow between host and social parasite (F(st) = 0.32) and hybridizations (0.71%) are rare, resulting in reproductive isolation. Our data suggest a new barrier to gene flow in sympatry, which is not based on assortative matings but on thelytoky and reproductive division of labour in eusocial insects, thereby suggesting a new potential pathway to Emery's rule.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. Lethal fighting between honeybee queens and parasitic workers (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Moritz, Robin F A; Pflugfelder, Jochen; Crewe, Robin M

    2003-08-01

    Pheromonal signals associated with queen and worker policing prevent worker reproduction and have been identified as important factors for establishing harmony in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony. However, "anarchic workers", which can evade both mechanisms, have been detected at low frequency in several honeybee populations. Worker bees of the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, also show this anarchistic trait but to an extreme degree. They can develop into so called "pseudoqueens", which release a pheromonal bouquet very similar to that of queens. They prime and release very similar reactions in sterile workers to those of true queens (e.g. suppress ovary activation; release retinue behavior). Here we show in an experimental bioassay that lethal fights between these parasitic workers and the queen (similar to queen-queen fights) occur, resulting in the death of either queen or worker. Although it is usually the queen that attacks the parasitic workers and kills many of them, in a few cases the workers succeeded in killing the queen. If this also occurs in a parasitized colony where the queen encounters many parasitic workers, she may eventually be killed in one of the repeated fights she engages in.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-10

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2010-03-01

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

  20. The defensive response of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Nouvian, Morgane; Reinhard, Judith; Giurfa, Martin

    2016-11-15

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are insects living in colonies with a complex social organization. Their nest contains food stores in the form of honey and pollen, as well as the brood, the queen and the bees themselves. These resources have to be defended against a wide range of predators and parasites, a task that is performed by specialized workers, called guard bees. Guards tune their response to both the nature of the threat and the environmental conditions, in order to achieve an efficient trade-off between defence and loss of foraging workforce. By releasing alarm pheromones, they are able to recruit other bees to help them handle large predators. These chemicals trigger both rapid and longer-term changes in the behaviour of nearby bees, thus priming them for defence. Here, we review our current understanding on how this sequence of events is performed and regulated depending on a variety of factors that are both extrinsic and intrinsic to the colony. We present our current knowledge on the neural bases of honeybee aggression and highlight research avenues for future studies in this area. We present a brief overview of the techniques used to study honeybee aggression, and discuss how these could be used to gain further insights into the mechanisms of this behaviour.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Schott, Matthias; Klein, Birgit; Vilcinskas, Andreas

    2015-01-01

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

  4. The pheromones of laying workers in two honeybee sister species: Apis cerana and Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Tan, Ken; Yang, Mingxian; Wang, Zhengwei; Radloff, Sarah E; Pirk, Christian W W

    2012-04-01

    When a honeybee colony loses its queen, workers activate their ovaries and begin to lay eggs. This is accompanied by a shift in their pheromonal bouquet, which becomes more queen like. Workers of the Asian hive bee Apis cerana show unusually high levels of ovary activation and this can be interpreted as evidence for a recent evolutionary arms race between queens and workers over worker reproduction in this species. To further explore this, we compared the rate of pheromonal bouquet change between two honeybee sister species of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera under queenright and queenless conditions. We show that in both species, the pheromonal components HOB, 9-ODA, HVA, 9-HDA, 10-HDAA and 10-HDA have significantly higher amounts in laying workers than in non-laying workers. In the queenright colonies of A. mellifera and A. cerana, the ratios (9-ODA)/(9-ODA + 9-HDA + 10-HDAA + 10-HDA) are not significantly different between the two species, but in queenless A. cerana colonies the ratio is significant higher than in A. mellifera, suggesting that in A. cerana, the workers' pheromonal bouquet is dominated by the queen compound, 9-ODA. The amount of 9-ODA in laying A. cerana workers increased by over 585% compared with the non-laying workers, that is 6.75 times higher than in A. mellifera where laying workers only had 86% more 9-ODA compared with non-laying workers.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

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

  6. Genomic and transcriptional analysis of protein heterogeneity of the honeybee venom allergen Api m 6.

    PubMed

    Peiren, N; de Graaf, D C; Evans, J D; Jacobs, F J

    2006-10-01

    Several components of honeybee venom are known to cause allergenic responses in humans and other vertebrates. One such component, the minor allergen Api m 6, has been known to show amino acid variation but the genetic mechanism for this variation is unknown. Here we show that Api m 6 is derived from a single locus, and that substantial protein-level variation has a simple genome-level cause, without the need to invoke multiple loci or alternatively spliced exons. Api m 6 sits near a misassembled section of the honeybee genome sequence, and we propose that a substantial number of indels at and near Api m 6 might be the root cause of this misassembly. We suggest that genes such as Api m 6 with coding-region or untranslated region indels might have had a strong effect on the assembly of this draft of the honeybee genome.

  7. Social waves in giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) elicit nest vibrations.

    PubMed

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Hoetzl, Thomas

    2013-07-01

    Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have developed a wide array of strategies for colony defence, including the Mexican wave-like shimmering behaviour. In this collective response, the colony members perform upward flipping of their abdomens in coordinated cascades across the nest surface. The time-space properties of these emergent waves are response patterns which have become of adaptive significance for repelling enemies in the visual domain. We report for the first time that the mechanical impulse patterns provoked by these social waves and measured by laser Doppler vibrometry generate vibrations at the central comb of the nest at the basic (='natural') frequency of 2.156 ± 0.042 Hz which is more than double the average repetition rate of the driving shimmering waves. Analysis of the Fourier spectra of the comb vibrations under quiescence and arousal conditions provoked by mass flight activity and shimmering waves gives rise to the proposal of two possible models for the compound physical system of the bee nest: According to the elastic oscillatory plate model, the comb vibrations deliver supra-threshold cues preferentially to those colony members positioned close to the comb. The mechanical pendulum model predicts that the comb vibrations are sensed by the members of the bee curtain in general, enabling mechanoreceptive signalling across the nest, also through the comb itself. The findings show that weak and stochastic forces, such as general quiescence or diffuse mass flight activity, cause a harmonic frequency spectrum of the comb, driving the comb as an elastic plate. However, shimmering waves provide sufficiently strong forces to move the nest as a mechanical pendulum. This vibratory behaviour may support the colony-intrinsic information hypothesis herein that the mechanical vibrations of the comb provoked by shimmering do have the potential to facilitate immediate communication of the momentary defensive state of the honeybee nest to

  8. `Special agents' trigger social waves in giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmelzer, Evelyn; Kastberger, Gerald

    2009-12-01

    Giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have therefore evolved a variety of defence strategies. Against predatory wasps, they produce highly coordinated Mexican wavelike cascades termed ‘shimmering’, whereby hundreds of bees flip their abdomens upwards. Although it is well known that shimmering commences at distinct spots on the nest surface, it is still unclear how shimmering is generated. In this study, colonies were exposed to living tethered wasps that were moved in front of the experimental nest. Temporal and spatial patterns of shimmering were investigated in and after the presence of the wasp. The numbers and locations of bees that participated in the shimmering were assessed, and those bees that triggered the waves were identified. The findings reveal that the position of identified trigger cohorts did not reflect the experimental path of the tethered wasp. Instead, the trigger centres were primarily arranged in the close periphery of the mouth zone of the nest, around those parts where the main locomotory activity occurs. This favours the ‘special-agents’ hypothesis that suggest that groups of specialized bees initiate the shimmering.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Beaurepaire, Alexis L; Truong, Tuan A; Fajardo, Alejandro C; Dinh, Tam Q; Cervancia, Cleofas; Moritz, Robin F A

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Ovariole number and ovary activation of Russian honeybee workers (Apis mellifera L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although functionally sterile under normal hive conditions, honeybee workers retain small ovaries. The size of the worker ovaries varies considerably within Apis mellifera and has been linked to individual reproduction and various aspects of social behavior. Here, we report the ovary size of workers...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Pheromonal dominance and the selection of a socially parasitic honeybee worker lineage (Apis mellifera capensis Esch.).

    PubMed

    Dietemann, V; Neumann, P; Härtel, S; Pirk, C W W; Crewe, R M

    2007-05-01

    The recent invasion by self-replicating socially parasitic Cape honeybee workers, Apis mellifera capensis, of colonies of the neighbouring African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata represents an opportunity to study evolution of intraspecific parasitism in real time. As honeybee workers compete pheromonally for reproductive dominance, and as A. m. capensis workers readily produce queen-like pheromones, we hypothesized that these semiochemicals promoted the evolution of intraspecific social parasitism. Remarkably, the offspring of a single worker became established as a parasite in A. m. scutellata's range. This could have resulted from extreme selection among different clonal parasitic worker lineages. Using pheromonal contest experiments, we show that the selected parasitic lineage dominates in the production of mandibular gland pheromones over all other competitors to which it is exposed. Our results suggest that mandibular gland pheromones played a key role in the evolution of intraspecific social parasitism in the honeybee and in the selection of a single genotype of parasitic workers.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Golding, Y C; Edmunds, M

    2000-05-07

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

  1. Proteomic analysis of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) pupae head development.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Aijuan; Li, Jianke; Begna, Desalegn; Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Song, Feifei

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee pupae development influences its future adult condition as well as honey and royal jelly productions. However, the molecular mechanism that regulates honeybee pupae head metamorphosis is still poorly understood. To further our understand of the associated molecular mechanism, we investigated the protein change of the honeybee pupae head at 5 time-points using 2-D electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis. Accordingly, 58 protein spots altered their expression across the 5 time points (13-20 days), of which 36 proteins involved in the head organogenesis were upregulated during early stages (13-17 days). However, 22 proteins involved in regulating the pupae head neuron and gland development were upregulated at later developmental stages (19-20 days). Also, the functional enrichment analysis further suggests that proteins related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, development, cytoskeleton and protein folding were highly involved in the generation of organs and development of honeybee pupal head. Furthermore, the constructed protein interaction network predicted 33 proteins acting as key nodes of honeybee pupae head growth of which 9 and 4 proteins were validated at gene and protein levels, respectively. In this study, we uncovered potential protein species involved in the formation of honeybee pupae head development along with their specific temporal requirements. This first proteomic result allows deeper understanding of the proteome profile changes during honeybee pupae head development and provides important potential candidate proteins for future reverse genetic research on honeybee pupae head development to improve the performance of related organs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  3. MicroRNAs Associated with Caste Determination and Differentiation in a Primitively Eusocial Insect

    PubMed Central

    Collins, David H.; Mohorianu, Irina; Beckers, Matthew; Moulton, Vincent; Dalmay, Tamas; Bourke, Andrew F. G.

    2017-01-01

    In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), queen and worker adult castes typically arise via environmental influences. A fundamental challenge is to understand how a single genome can thereby produce alternative phenotypes. A powerful approach is to compare the molecular basis of caste determination and differentiation along the evolutionary trajectory between primitively and advanced eusocial species, which have, respectively, relatively undifferentiated and strongly differentiated adult castes. In the advanced eusocial honeybee, Apis mellifera, studies suggest that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the molecular basis of caste determination and differentiation. To investigate how miRNAs affect caste in eusocial evolution, we used deep sequencing and Northern blots to isolate caste-associated miRNAs in the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris. We found that the miRNAs Bte-miR-6001-5p and -3p are more highly expressed in queen- than in worker-destined late-instar larvae. These are the first caste-associated miRNAs from outside advanced eusocial Hymenoptera, so providing evidence for caste-associated miRNAs occurring relatively early in eusocial evolution. Moreover, we found little evidence that miRNAs previously shown to be associated with caste in A. mellifera were differentially expressed across caste pathways in B. terrestris, suggesting that, in eusocial evolution, the caste-associated role of individual miRNAs is not conserved. PMID:28361900

  4. MicroRNAs Associated with Caste Determination and Differentiation in a Primitively Eusocial Insect.

    PubMed

    Collins, David H; Mohorianu, Irina; Beckers, Matthew; Moulton, Vincent; Dalmay, Tamas; Bourke, Andrew F G

    2017-03-31

    In eusocial Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps), queen and worker adult castes typically arise via environmental influences. A fundamental challenge is to understand how a single genome can thereby produce alternative phenotypes. A powerful approach is to compare the molecular basis of caste determination and differentiation along the evolutionary trajectory between primitively and advanced eusocial species, which have, respectively, relatively undifferentiated and strongly differentiated adult castes. In the advanced eusocial honeybee, Apis mellifera, studies suggest that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the molecular basis of caste determination and differentiation. To investigate how miRNAs affect caste in eusocial evolution, we used deep sequencing and Northern blots to isolate caste-associated miRNAs in the primitively eusocial bumblebee Bombus terrestris. We found that the miRNAs Bte-miR-6001-5p and -3p are more highly expressed in queen- than in worker-destined late-instar larvae. These are the first caste-associated miRNAs from outside advanced eusocial Hymenoptera, so providing evidence for caste-associated miRNAs occurring relatively early in eusocial evolution. Moreover, we found little evidence that miRNAs previously shown to be associated with caste in A. mellifera were differentially expressed across caste pathways in B. terrestris, suggesting that, in eusocial evolution, the caste-associated role of individual miRNAs is not conserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Genetic diversity of the Dwarf honeybee (Apis florea Fabricius, 1787) populations based on microsatellite markers.

    PubMed

    Asadi, N; Rahimi, A; Ghaheri, M; Kahrizi, D; Bagheri Dehbaghi, M; Khederzadeh, S; Banabazi, M H; Esmaeilkhanian, S; Veisi, B; Geravandi, M; Karim, H; Vaziri, S; Daneshgar, F; Zargooshi, J

    2016-10-31

    Apis florea is one of two species of small, wild honeybee. The present study was conducted to evaluate the genetic diversity of Apis florea honeybee from 48 nests (colonies) using microsatellite markers in the South of Iran. All honeybee samples were analyzed for six microsatellite loci (A88, A107, A7, B124, A113 and A35). The six loci had different numbers of alleles in the sampled colonies ranging from 7 (loci A107) to 3 (loci A7, A35). Gene diversity in Apis florea ranged from 0.491 to 0.595. This range probably reflects the spreading of nests in a large region with a varied climate. Phylogenetic tree showed two distinct clusters including a) Minab region samples and b) Bandar Abbas, Bandar Khamir and Qeshm Island regions. All of these regions are geographically rich, having varied vegetation and climate conditions. Our findings are an important contribution to the methods of studying distribution and conservation of Apis florea.

  7. Complete Genome Sequence of Spiroplasma apis B31T (ATCC 33834), a Bacterium Associated with May Disease of Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Ku, Chuan; Lo, Wen-Sui; Chen, Ling-Ling; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2014-01-09

    Spiroplasma apis B31(T) (ATCC 33834) is a wall-less bacterium in the class Mollicutes that has been linked to May disease of honeybees (Apis mellifera). Here, we report the complete genome sequence of this bacterium to facilitate the investigation of its virulence factors.

  8. Conservation of Bio synthetic pheromone pathways in honeybees Apis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Stephen J.; Jones, Graeme R.

    Social insects use complex chemical communication systems to govern many aspects of their life. We studied chemical changes in Dufour's gland secretions associated with ovary development in several genotypes of honeybees. We found that C28-C38 esters were associated only with cavity nesting honeybee queens, while the alcohol eicosenol was associated only with their non-laying workers. In contrast, both egg-laying anarchistic workers and all parasitic Cape workers from queenright colonies showed the typical queen pattern (i.e. esters present and eicosenol absent), while egg-laying wild-type and anarchistic workers in queenless colonies showed an intermediate pattern, producing both esters and eicosenol but at intermediate levels. Furthermore, neither esters nor eicosenol were found in aerial nesting honeybee species. Both esters and eicosenol are biosynthetically similar compounds since both are recognizable products of fatty acid biosynthesis. Therefore, we propose that in honeybees the biosynthesis of esters and eicosenol in the Dufour's gland is caste-regulated and this pathway has been conserved over evolutionary time.

  9. Differential Flight Muscle Development in Workers, Queens and Males of the Eusocial Bees, Apis mellifera and Scaptotrigona postica

    PubMed Central

    Correa-Fernandez, Fernanda; Cruz-Landim, Carminda

    2010-01-01

    The flight capability of the adult eusocial bees, Apis mellifera L. and Scaptotrigona postica Latreille (Hymenoptera: Apidae), is intrinsically linked to their colonial functions, such as the nuptial flight for mating in the case of queens and males, and the exploration of new habitats for nesting and food sources in the case of workers. Flight is achieved by the contraction of indirect flight muscles that produce changes in thoracic volume and, therefore, wing movement. The purpose of this work is to examine possible differences in muscle development that may be associated with the flying activity of individuals in a given life stage considering the behavioral and physiological differences among the stages and between the two species studied. Measurements of the muscle fibers obtained from light microscopy preparations of muscle were submitted to statistical analysis in order to detect the differences at a given time, or throughout the life of the individual. The results show that muscle morphology is similar in both species, but in A. mellifera the muscle fibers are thicker and more numerous than in S. postica. Differences in the fiber thickness according to life stage in all classes of individuals of both species were detected. These results are discussed in relation to the need for flying in each life stage. PMID:20673070

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

  13. Comparative proteomic analysis reveals mite (Varroa destructor) resistance-related proteins in Eastern honeybees (Apis cerana).

    PubMed

    Ji, T; Shen, F; Liu, Z; Yin, L; Shen, J; Liang, Q; Luo, Y X

    2015-08-21

    The mite (Varroa destructor) has become the greatest threat to apiculture worldwide. As the original host of the mite, Apis cerana can effectively resist the mite. An increased understanding of the resistance mechanisms of Eastern honeybees against V. destructor may help researchers to protect other species against these parasites. In this study, the proteomes of 4 Apis cerana colonies were analyzed using an isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation technology. We determined the differences in gene and protein expression between susceptible and resistant colonies that were either unchallenged or challenged by V. destructor. The results showed that a total of 1532 proteins were identified. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis suggested that the transcription factors and basic metabolic and respiratory processes were efficient and feasible factors controlling this resistance, and 12 differentially expressed proteins were identified in Venn analysis. The results were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. This study may provide insight into the genetic mechanisms underlying the resistance of honeybee to mites.

  14. First Detection of Nosema ceranae, a Microsporidian Protozoa of European Honeybees (Apis mellifera) In Iran

    PubMed Central

    Nabian, S; Ahmadi, K; Nazem Shirazi, MH; Gerami Sadeghian, A

    2011-01-01

    Background Nosemosis of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is present in bee colonies worldwide. Until recently, Nosema apis had been regarded as the causative agent of the disease, that causes heavy economic losses in apicultures. Nosema ceranae is an emerging microsporidian parasite of European honeybees, A. mellifera, but its distribution is not well known. Previously, nosemosis in honeybees in Iran was attributed exclusively to N. apis. Methods Six Nosema positive samples (determined from light microscopy of spores) of adult worker bees from one province of Iran (Savadkouh- Mazandaran, northern Iran) were tested to determine Nosema species using previously- developed PCR primers of the 16 S rRNA gene. As it is difficult to distinguish N. ceranae and N. apis morphologically, a PCR assay based on 16 S ribosomal RNA has been used to differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae. Results Only N. ceranae was found in all samples, indicating that this species present in Iran apiaries. Conclusion This is the first report of N. ceranae in colonies of A. mellifera in Iran. It seems that intensive surveys are needed to determine the distribution and prevalence of N. ceranae in different regions of Iran. PMID:22347302

  15. Genetic reincarnation of workers as queens in the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2015-01-01

    Thelytokous parthenogenesis, or the asexual production of female offspring, is rare in the animal kingdom, but relatively common in social Hymenoptera. However, in honeybees, it is only known to be ubiquitous in one subspecies of Apis mellifera, the Cape honeybee, A. mellifera capensis. Here we report the appearance of queen cells in two colonies of the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana that no longer contained a queen or queen-produced brood to rear queens from. A combination of microsatellite genotyping and the timing of the appearance of these individuals excluded the possibility that they had been laid by the original queen. Based on the genotypes of these individuals, thelytokous production by natal workers is the most parsimonious explanation for their existence. Thus, we present the first example of thelytoky in a honeybee outside A. mellifera. We discuss the evolutionary and ecological consequences of thelytoky in A. cerana, in particular the role thelytoky may play in the recent invasions by populations of this species. PMID:25052414

  16. [New SNP markers of the honeybee vitellogenin gene (Vg) used for identification of subspecies Apis mellifera mellifera L].

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Preservation of the gene pool of honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera mellifera is of vital importance for successful beekeeping development in the northern regions of Eurasia. An effective method of genotyping honeybee colonies used in modern science is the mapping of sites of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). The honeybee vitellogenin gene (Vg) encodes a protein that affects reproductive function, behavior, immunity, longevity, and social organization in the honeybee Apis mellifera and is therefore a topical research subject. The results of comparative analysis of honeybee Vg sequences show that there are 26 SNP sites that differentiate M and C evolutionary branches and can be used as markers in selective breeding, DNA-barcoding, and the creation of genetic passports for A. m. mellifera colonies.

  17. Relational learning in honeybees (Apis mellifera): Oddity and nonoddity discrimination.

    PubMed

    Muszynski, Nicole M; Couvillon, P A

    2015-06-01

    Honeybee learning is surprisingly similar to vertebrate learning and one implication is that the basic associative learning principles are also similar. This research extends the work to more complex cognitive phenomena. Forager bees were trained individually to visit a laboratory window for sucrose. On each training trial for all experiments, bees found three stimuli, two identical and one different. In Experiments 1 and 2, stimuli were three-dimensional two-color patterns, and in Experiments 3 and 4, stimuli were two-color patterns displayed on a computer monitor. Training was trial-unique, that is, a different triad of stimuli was presented on each trial. In Experiments 1 and 3, choice of odd was rewarded and choice of nonodd was punished. In Experiments 2 and 4, choice of nonodd was rewarded and choice of odd was punished. On every trial, the initial choice was recorded and correction permitted. Honeybees learned to choose the odd stimulus in Experiments 1 and 3 and the nonodd stimuli in Experiments 2 and 4. The results provide compelling evidence of oddity and nonoddity learning, often interpreted as relational learning in vertebrates. Whether the mechanism of such learning in honeybees is similar to that of vertebrate species remains to be determined.

  18. The flight physiology of reproductives of Africanized, European, and hybrid honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Harrison, Jon F; Taylor, Orley R; Hall, H Glenn

    2005-01-01

    Neotropical African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata), in the process of spreading throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, hybridize with and mostly replace European honeybees (primarily Apis mellifera mellifera and Apis mellifera ligustica). To help understand this process, we studied the effect of lineage (African, European, or hybrid) on the flight physiology of honeybee reproductives. Flight metabolic rates were higher in queens and drones of African lineage than in European or hybrid bees, as has been previously found for foraging workers. These differences were associated with higher thorax/body mass ratios and higher thorax-specific metabolic rates in African lineage bees. Queens were reared in common colonies, so these metabolic and morphological differences are likely to be genetic in origin. African drones had higher wing beat frequencies and thorax temperatures than European or hybrid bees. Hybrids were intermediate for many parameters, but hybrid queen mass-specific flight metabolic rates were low relative to Africans and were nonlinearly affected by the proportion of African lineage, consistent with some negative heterosis for this trait.

  19. Proteomic characterization of royal jelly proteins in Chinese (Apis cerana cerana) and European (Apis mellifera) honeybees.

    PubMed

    Qu, Ning; Jiang, Jie; Sun, Liangxian; Lai, Changcheng; Sun, Lifang; Wu, Xueji

    2008-06-01

    In this study, the proteins contained in royal jelly (RJ) derived from Chinese and European honeybees have been analyzed in detail and compared. Remarkable differences were found in the heterogeneity of major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), MRJP2 and MRJP3, in terms of molecular weight and isoelectric points between the two species of RJ. MRJP2 and MRJP3 produced by Chinese honeybee are less polymorphic than those produced by European honeybee. This study is a contribution to the description of the royal jelly proteome.

  20. Geographical overlap of two mitochondrial genomes in Spanish honeybees (Apis mellifera iberica).

    PubMed

    Smith, D R; Palopoli, M F; Taylor, B R; Garnery, L; Cornuet, J M; Solignac, M; Brown, W M

    1991-01-01

    Restriction enzyme cleavage maps of mitochondrial DNA from the Spanish honeybee, Apis mellifera iberica (Hymenoptera: Apidae), were compared with those from the European subspecies A. m. mellifera, A. m. ligustica, and A. m. carnica, and the African subspecies A. m. intermissa and A. m. scutellata. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the two African subspecies can be distinguished by restriction fragment polymorphisms revealed by Hinf I digests. Two distinct mtDNA types were found among Spanish honeybees: a west European mellifera-like type, which predominates in the north of Spain, and an African intermissa-like type, which predominates in the south. Spain appears to be a region of contact and hybridization between the two subspecies A. m. intermissa and A. m. mellifera, which respectively represent African and west European honeybee lineages. This natural boundary between European and African honeybee populations in the Old World may provide a model for predicting the eventual outcome of the colonization of North America by introduced African honeybees.

  1. Do honeybees, Apis mellifera scutellata, regulate humidity in their nest?

    PubMed

    Human, Hannelie; Nicolson, Sue W; Dietemann, Vincent

    2006-08-01

    Honeybees are highly efficient at regulating the biophysical parameters of their hive according to colony needs. Thermoregulation has been the most extensively studied aspect of nest homeostasis. In contrast, little is known about how humidity is regulated in beehives, if at all. Although high humidity is necessary for brood development, regulation of this parameter by honeybee workers has not yet been demonstrated. In the past, humidity was measured too crudely for a regulation mechanism to be identified. We reassess this issue, using miniaturised data loggers that allow humidity measurements in natural situations and at several places in the nest. We present evidence that workers influence humidity in the hive. However, there are constraints on potential regulation mechanisms because humidity optima may vary in different locations of the nest. Humidity could also depend on variable external factors, such as water availability, which further impair the regulation. Moreover, there are trade-offs with the regulation of temperature and respiratory gas exchanges that can disrupt the establishment of optimal humidity levels. As a result, we argue that workers can only adjust humidity within sub-optimal limits.

  2. The prevalence of parasites and pathogens in Asian honeybees Apis cerana in China.

    PubMed

    Li, Jilian; Qin, Haoran; Wu, Jie; Sadd, Ben M; Wang, Xiuhong; Evans, Jay D; Peng, Wenjun; Chen, Yanping

    2012-01-01

    Pathogens and parasites represent significant threats to the health and well-being of honeybee species that are key pollinators of agricultural crops and flowers worldwide. We conducted a nationwide survey to determine the occurrence and prevalence of pathogens and parasites in Asian honeybees, Apis cerana, in China. Our study provides evidence of infections of A. cerana by pathogenic Deformed wing virus (DWV), Black queen cell virus (BQCV), Nosema ceranae, and C. bombi species that have been linked to population declines of European honeybees, A. mellifera, and bumble bees. However, the prevalence of DWV, a virus that causes widespread infection in A. mellifera, was low, arguably a result of the greater ability of A. cerana to resist the ectoprasitic mite Varroa destructor, an efficient vector of DWV. Analyses of microbial communities from the A. cerana digestive tract showed that Nosema infection could have detrimental effects on the gut microbiota. Workers infected by N. ceranae tended to have lower bacterial quantities, with these differences being significant for the Bifidobacterium and Pasteurellaceae bacteria groups. The results of this nationwide screen show that parasites and pathogens that have caused serious problems in European honeybees can be found in native honeybee species kept in Asia. Environmental changes due to new agricultural practices and globalization may facilitate the spread of pathogens into new geographic areas. The foraging behavior of pollinators that are in close geographic proximity likely have played an important role in spreading of parasites and pathogens over to new hosts. Phylogenetic analyses provide insights into the movement and population structure of these parasites, suggesting a bidirectional flow of parasites among pollinators. The presence of these parasites and pathogens may have considerable implications for an observed population decline of Asian honeybees.

  3. [Study on foraging behaviors of honeybee Apis mellifera based on RFID technology].

    PubMed

    Tian, Liu-Qing; He, Xu-Jiang; Wu, Xiao-Bo; Gan, Hai-Yan; Han, Xu; Liu, Hao; Zeng, Zhi-Jiang

    2014-03-01

    Honeybee foragers can flexibly adjust their out-hive activities to ensure growth and reproduction of the colony. In order to explore the characteristics of honey bees foraging behaviors, in this study, their flight activities were monitored 24 hours per day for a duration of 38 days, using an radio frequency identification (RFID) system designed and manufactured by the Honeybee Research Institute of Jiangxi Agricultural University in cooperation with the Guangzhou Invengo Information Technology Co., Ltd. Our results indicated that 63.4% and 64.5% of foragers were found rotating more than one day off during the foraging period in two colonies, and 22.5% and 26.4% of the total foraging days were used for rest respectively. Further, although the total foraging time between rotating day-off foragers and continuously working foragers was equal, the former had a significant longer lifespan than the latter. Additionally, the lifespan of the early developed foragers was significantly lower than that of the normally developed foragers. This study enriched the content of foraging behaviors of honey bees, and it could be used as the basis for the further explorations on evolutionary mechanism of foraging behaviors of eusocial insects.

  4. Conditioning procedure and color discrimination in the honeybee Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giurfa, Martin

    We studied the influence of the conditioning procedure on color discrimination by free-flying honeybees. We asked whether absolute and differential conditioning result in different discrimination capabilities for the same pairs of colored targets. In absolute conditioning, bees were rewarded on a single color; in differential conditioning, bees were rewarded on the same color but an alternative, non-rewarding, similar color was also visible. In both conditioning procedures, bees learned their respective task and could also discriminate the training stimulus from a novel stimulus that was perceptually different from the trained one. Discrimination between perceptually closer stimuli was possible after differential conditioning but not after absolute conditioning. Differences in attention inculcated by these training procedures may underlie the different discrimination performances of the bees.

  5. PROTEINS OF THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM OF THE HONEYBEE, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Micas, André Fernando Ditondo; Ferreira, Germano Aguiar; Laure, Helen Julie; Rosa, José Cesar; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile

    2016-09-01

    The integument of insects and other arthropods is composed of an inner basal lamina coated by the epidermis, which secretes the bulk of the outer integument layer, the cuticle. The genome sequencing of several insect species has allowed predicting classes of proteins integrating the cuticle. However, only a small proportion of them, as well as other proteins in the integumentary system, have been validated. Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry, we identified 45 different proteins in a total of 112 selected gel spots derived from thoracic integument samples of developing honeybee workers, including 14 cuticular proteins (AmelCPR 3, AmelCPR 12, AmelCPR 16, AmelCPR 27, apidermin 2, apidermin 3, endocuticle structural glycoprotein SgAbd-8-like, LOC100577363, LOC408365, LOC413679, LOC725454, LOC100576916, LOC725838, and peritrophin 3-C analogous). Gene ontology functional analysis revealed that the higher proportions of the identified proteins have molecular functions related to catalytic and structural molecule activities, are involved in metabolic biological processes, and pertain to the protein class of structural or cytoskeletal proteins and hydrolases. It is noteworthy that 26.7% of the identified proteins, including five cuticular proteins, were revealed as protein species resulting from allelic isoforms or derived from posttranslational modifications. Also, 66.7% of the identified cuticular proteins were expressed in more than one developmental phase, thus indicating that they are part of the larval, pupal, and adult cuticle. Our data provide experimental support for predicted honeybee gene products and new information on proteins expressed in the developing integument.

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

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

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

  7. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in unmated queen honeybees (Apis mellifera capensis): central fusion and high recombination rates.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Allsopp, Michael H; Gloag, Rosalyn S; Lim, Julianne; Jordan, Lyndon A; Beekman, Madeleine

    2008-09-01

    The subspecies of honeybee indigenous to the Cape region of South Africa, Apis mellifera capensis, is unique because a high proportion of unmated workers can lay eggs that develop into females via thelytokous parthenogenesis involving central fusion of meiotic products. This ability allows pseudoclonal lineages of workers to establish, which are presently widespread as reproductive parasites within the honeybee populations of South Africa. Successful long-term propagation of a parthenogen requires the maintenance of heterozygosity at the sex locus, which in honeybees must be heterozygous for the expression of female traits. Thus, in successful lineages of parasitic workers, recombination events are reduced by an order of magnitude relative to meiosis in queens of other honeybee subspecies. Here we show that in unmated A. m. capensis queens treated to induce oviposition, no such reduction in recombination occurs, indicating that thelytoky and reduced recombination are not controlled by the same gene. Our virgin queens were able to lay both arrhenotokous male-producing haploid eggs and thelytokous female-producing diploid eggs at the same time, with evidence that they have some voluntary control over which kind of egg was laid. If so, they are able to influence the kind of second-division meiosis that occurs in their eggs post partum.

  8. RNA-sequence analysis of gene expression from honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Nosema ceranae

    PubMed Central

    Fougeroux, André; Petit, Fabien; Anselmo, Anna; Gorni, Chiara; Cucurachi, Marco; Cersini, Antonella; Granato, Anna; Cardeti, Giusy; Formato, Giovanni; Mutinelli, Franco; Giuffra, Elisabetta; Williams, John L.; Botti, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are constantly subjected to many biotic stressors including parasites. This study examined honeybees infected with Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae). N. ceranae infection increases the bees energy requirements and may contribute to their decreased survival. RNA-seq was used to investigate gene expression at days 5, 10 and 15 Post Infection (P.I) with N. ceranae. The expression levels of genes, isoforms, alternative transcription start sites (TSS) and differential promoter usage revealed a complex pattern of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation suggesting that bees use a range of tactics to cope with the stress of N. ceranae infection. N. ceranae infection may cause reduced immune function in the bees by: (i)disturbing the host amino acids metabolism (ii) down-regulating expression of antimicrobial peptides (iii) down-regulation of cuticle coatings and (iv) down-regulation of odorant binding proteins. PMID:28350872

  9. Molecular characterization of MRJP3, highly polymorphic protein of honeybee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly.

    PubMed

    Albert, S; Klaudiny, J; Simúth, J

    1999-05-01

    Major proteins of honey bee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly are members of the MRJP protein family. One MRJP protein termed MRJP3 exhibits a size polymorphism as detected by SDS-PAGE. In this report we show that polymorphism of the MRJP3 protein is a consequence of the polymorphism of a region with a variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) located at the C-terminal part of the MRJP3 coding region. We present the characterization of five polymorphic alleles of MRJP3 by DNA sequencing. By PCR analyses, at least 10 alleles of distinct sizes were found in randomly sampled bees. Studies with nurse bees from a single honeybee colony revealed both Mendelian inheritance and very high variability of the MRJP3 genomic locus. The high variability and simple detection of the MRJP3 polymorphism may be useful for genotyping of individuals in studies of the honeybee.

  10. RNA-sequence analysis of gene expression from honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Nosema ceranae.

    PubMed

    Badaoui, Bouabid; Fougeroux, André; Petit, Fabien; Anselmo, Anna; Gorni, Chiara; Cucurachi, Marco; Cersini, Antonella; Granato, Anna; Cardeti, Giusy; Formato, Giovanni; Mutinelli, Franco; Giuffra, Elisabetta; Williams, John L; Botti, Sara

    2017-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are constantly subjected to many biotic stressors including parasites. This study examined honeybees infected with Nosema ceranae (N. ceranae). N. ceranae infection increases the bees energy requirements and may contribute to their decreased survival. RNA-seq was used to investigate gene expression at days 5, 10 and 15 Post Infection (P.I) with N. ceranae. The expression levels of genes, isoforms, alternative transcription start sites (TSS) and differential promoter usage revealed a complex pattern of transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation suggesting that bees use a range of tactics to cope with the stress of N. ceranae infection. N. ceranae infection may cause reduced immune function in the bees by: (i)disturbing the host amino acids metabolism (ii) down-regulating expression of antimicrobial peptides (iii) down-regulation of cuticle coatings and (iv) down-regulation of odorant binding proteins.

  11. High mobility group (HMG-box) genes in the honeybee fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis.

    PubMed

    Aronstein, K A; Murray, K D; de León, J H; Qin, X; Weinstock, G M

    2007-01-01

    The genome of the honeybee fungal pathogen Ascosphaera apis (Maassen) encodes three putative high mobility group (HMG-box) transcription factors. The predicted proteins (MAT1-2, STE11 and HTF), each of which contain a single strongly conserved HMG-box, exhibit high similarity to mating type proteins and STE11-like transcription factors previously identified in other ascomycete fungi, some of them important plant and human pathogens. In this study we characterized the A. apis HMG-box containing genes and analyzed the structure of the mating type locus (MAT1-2) and its flanking regions. The MAT1-2 locus contains a single gene encoding a protein with an HMG-box. We also have determined the transcriptional patterns of all three HMG-box containing genes in both mating type idiomorphs and discuss a potential role of these transcription factors in A. apis development and reproduction. A multiplex PCR method with primers amplifying mat1-2-1 and Ste11 gene fragments is described. This new method allows for identification of a single mating type idiomorph and might become an essential tool for applied and basic research of chalkbrood disease in honeybees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    2006-10-26

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

  18. Temporal genetic structure of a drone congregation area of the giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata).

    PubMed

    Kraus, F B; Koeniger, N; Tingek, S; Moritz, R F A

    2005-12-01

    The giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata), like all other members of the genus Apis, has a complex mating system in which the queens and males (drones) mate at spatially defined drone congregation areas (DCAs). Here, we studied the temporal genetic structure of a DCA of A. dorsata over an 8-day time window by the genotyping of sampled drones with microsatellite markers. Analysis of the genotypic data revealed a significant genetic differentiation between 3 sampling days and indicated that the DCA was used by at least two subpopulations at all days in varying proportions. The estimation of the number of colonies which used the DCA ranged between 20 and 40 colonies per subpopulation, depending on the estimation procedure and population. The overall effective population size was estimated as high as N (e)=140. The DCA seems to counteract known tendencies of A. dorsata for inbreeding within colony aggregations by facilitating gene flow among subpopulations and increasing the effective population size.

  19. Temporal genetic structure of a drone congregation area of the giant Asian honeybee ( Apis dorsata)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraus, F. B.; Koeniger, N.; Tingek, S.; Moritz, R. F. A.

    2005-12-01

    The giant Asian honeybee ( Apis dorsata), like all other members of the genus Apis, has a complex mating system in which the queens and males (drones) mate at spatially defined drone congregation areas (DCAs). Here, we studied the temporal genetic structure of a DCA of A. dorsata over an 8-day time window by the genotyping of sampled drones with microsatellite markers. Analysis of the genotypic data revealed a significant genetic differentiation between 3 sampling days and indicated that the DCA was used by at least two subpopulations at all days in varying proportions. The estimation of the number of colonies which used the DCA ranged between 20 and 40 colonies per subpopulation, depending on the estimation procedure and population. The overall effective population size was estimated as high as N e=140. The DCA seems to counteract known tendencies of A. dorsata for inbreeding within colony aggregations by facilitating gene flow among subpopulations and increasing the effective population size.

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

    PubMed Central

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) mob wasps away from the nest by directed visual patterns.

    PubMed

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Zierler, Martina; Hötzl, Thomas

    2014-11-01

    The open nesting behaviour of giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) accounts for the evolution of a series of defence strategies to protect the colonies from predation. In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators. In shimmering, bees on the nest surface flip their abdomens in a highly coordinated manner to generate Mexican wave-like patterns. The paper documents a further-going capacity of this kind of collective defence: the visual patterns of shimmering waves align regarding their directional characteristics with the projected flight manoeuvres of the wasps when preying in front of the bees' nest. The honeybees take here advantage of a threefold asymmetry intrinsic to the prey-predator interaction: (a) the visual patterns of shimmering turn faster than the wasps on their flight path, (b) they "follow" the wasps more persistently (up to 100 ms) than the wasps "follow" the shimmering patterns (up to 40 ms) and (c) the shimmering patterns align with the wasps' flight in all directions at the same strength, whereas the wasps have some preference for horizontal correspondence. The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps. This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

  2. Giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) mob wasps away from the nest by directed visual patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Zierler, Martina; Hötzl, Thomas

    2014-11-01

    The open nesting behaviour of giant honeybees ( Apis dorsata) accounts for the evolution of a series of defence strategies to protect the colonies from predation. In particular, the concerted action of shimmering behaviour is known to effectively confuse and repel predators. In shimmering, bees on the nest surface flip their abdomens in a highly coordinated manner to generate Mexican wave-like patterns. The paper documents a further-going capacity of this kind of collective defence: the visual patterns of shimmering waves align regarding their directional characteristics with the projected flight manoeuvres of the wasps when preying in front of the bees' nest. The honeybees take here advantage of a threefold asymmetry intrinsic to the prey-predator interaction: (a) the visual patterns of shimmering turn faster than the wasps on their flight path, (b) they "follow" the wasps more persistently (up to 100 ms) than the wasps "follow" the shimmering patterns (up to 40 ms) and (c) the shimmering patterns align with the wasps' flight in all directions at the same strength, whereas the wasps have some preference for horizontal correspondence. The findings give evidence that shimmering honeybees utilize directional alignment to enforce their repelling power against preying wasps. This phenomenon can be identified as predator driving which is generally associated with mobbing behaviour (particularly known in selfish herds of vertebrate species), which is, until now, not reported in insects.

  3. Influence of pollen quality on ovarian development in honeybee workers (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Human, H; Nicolson, S W; Strauss, K; Pirk, C W W; Dietemann, V

    2007-07-01

    Protein-rich diets are known to promote ovarian and egg development in workers of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, even in the presence of a queen. Since the main source of protein for honeybees is pollen, its quality and digestibility might be important dietary factors determining reproductive capacity. We have compared the effect of two types of pollen-sunflower, Helianthus annuus, and aloe, Aloe greatheadii var davyana-on ovarian development in A. mellifera scutellata workers. Under queenright conditions in the field, worker bees exhibited greater ovarian development when feeding on aloe pollen than on sunflower pollen. In their midgut, we observed higher extraction efficiency for aloe (80%) than for sunflower (69%) pollen. This may be attributed to the morphology and size of the two kinds of pollen grains and explains, together with the high protein content of aloe pollen (32% dry mass in bee-collected pollen) compared to sunflower pollen (15%), why aloe pollen promoted higher ovarian development. However, in the laboratory workers sustained on aloe pollen had significantly less-developed ovaries and higher mortality than those fed sunflower pollen. These detrimental effects may be due to an unbalanced protein:carbohydrate ratio. We discuss the effects of unbalanced diets on the physiology and ecology of honeybee reproduction.

  4. A single locus determines thelytokous parthenogenesis of laying honeybee workers (Apis mellifera capensis).

    PubMed

    Lattorff, H M G; Moritz, R F A; Fuchs, S

    2005-05-01

    The evolution and maintenance of parthenogenetic species are a puzzling issue in evolutionary biology. Although the genetic mechanisms that act to restore diploidy are well studied, the underlying genes that cause the switch from sexual reproduction to parthenogenesis have not been analysed. There are several species that are polymorphic for sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction, which may have a genetic basis. We use the South African honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera capensis to analyse the genetic control of thelytoky (asexual production of female workers). Due to the caste system of honeybees, it is possible to establish classical backcrosses using sexually reproducing queens and drones of both arrhenotokous and thelytokous subspecies, and to score the frequency of parthenogenesis in the resulting workers. We found Mendelian segregation for thelytoky of egg-laying workers, which appears to be controlled by a single major gene (th). The segregation pattern indicates a recessive allele causing thelytoky. We found no evidence for maternal transmission of bacterial endosymbionts controlling parthenogenesis. Thelytokous parthenogenesis of honeybee workers appears to be a classical qualitative trait, because we did not observe mixed parthenogenesis (amphitoky), which might be expected in the case of multi-locus inheritance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Mitochondrial genome of the Levant Region honeybee, Apis mellifera syriaca (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nizar Jamal

    2016-11-01

    The mitochondrial genome sequence of Levant Region honeybee, Apis mellifera syriaca, is analyzed and presented for the public for the first time. The genome of this honeybee is 15,428 bp in its length, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 2 ribosomal RNA genes. The overall base composition is A (42.88%), C (9.97%), G (5.85%), and T (41.3%), the percentage of A and T being higher than that of G and C. Percentage of non-ATGC characters is 0.007. All the genes are encoded on H-strand, except for four subunit genes (ND1, ND4, ND4L, and ND5), two rRNA genes and eight tRNA genes. The publication of the mitochondrial genome sequence will play a vital role in the conservation genetic projects of A. mellifera, in general, and Apis mellifera syriaca, in particular; moreover, it will be useful for further phylogenetic analysis.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

  11. Genetic characterization of slow bee paralysis virus of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    de Miranda, Joachim R; Dainat, Benjamin; Locke, Barbara; Cordoni, Guido; Berthoud, Helène; Gauthier, Laurent; Neumann, Peter; Budge, Giles E; Ball, Brenda V; Stoltz, Don B

    2010-10-01

    Complete genome sequences were determined for two distinct strains of slow bee paralysis virus (SBPV) of honeybees (Apis mellifera). The SBPV genome is approximately 9.5 kb long and contains a single ORF flanked by 5'- and 3'-UTRs and a naturally polyadenylated 3' tail, with a genome organization typical of members of the family Iflaviridae. The two strains, labelled 'Rothamsted' and 'Harpenden', are 83% identical at the nucleotide level (94% identical at the amino acid level), although this variation is distributed unevenly over the genome. The two strains were found to co-exist at different proportions in two independently propagated SBPV preparations. The natural prevalence of SBPV for 847 colonies in 162 apiaries across five European countries was <2%, with positive samples found only in England and Switzerland, in colonies with variable degrees of Varroa infestation.

  12. Asymmetric introgression of African genes in honeybee populations (Apis mellifera L.) in Central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Kraus, F B; Franck, P; Vandame, R

    2007-08-01

    The Africanization of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) in South America is one of the most spectacular examples of biological invasions. In this study, we analyzed the Africanization process in Central Mexico along an altitudinal transect from 72 to 2800 m, using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers. The mitochondrial analysis revealed that the two high-altitude populations had a significantly greater percentage of African mitotypes (95%) than the three lowland populations (67%), indicating successful spreading of Africanized swarms to these altitudes. All populations (highland and lowland) had a similar overall proportion of African alleles at nuclear loci (58%). Thus, all populations showed an asymmetric introgression of African nuclear and mtDNA. Colonies with African mitotypes had, on average, significantly more African nuclear alleles (60%) than those with European mitotypes (51%). Furthermore, the three lowland populations showed clear signs of linkage disequilibrium, while the two high-altitude populations did not, indicating recent genetic introgression events into the lowland populations.

  13. Depression of brain dopamine and its metabolite after mating in European honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harano, Ken-Ichi; Sasaki, Ken; Nagao, Takashi

    2005-07-01

    To explore neuro-endocrinal changes in the brain of European honeybee (Apis mellifera) queens before and after mating, we measured the amount of several biogenic amines, including dopamine and its metabolite in the brain of 6- and 12-day-old virgins and 12-day-old mated queens. Twelve-day-old mated queens showed significantly lower amounts of dopamine and its metabolite (N-acetyldopamine) than both 6- and 12-day-old virgin queens, whereas significant differences in the amounts of these amines were not detected between 6- and 12-day-old virgin queens. These results are explained by down-regulation of both synthesis and secretion of brain dopamine after mating. It is speculated that higher amounts of brain dopamine in virgin queens might be involved in activation of ovarian follicles arrested in previtellogenic stages, as well as regulation of their characteristic behaviors.

  14. Definitive identification of magnetite nanoparticles in the abdomen of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desoil, M.; Gillis, P.; Gossuin, Y.; Pankhurst, Q. A.; Hautot, D.

    2005-01-01

    The biogenic magnetic properties of the honeybee Apis mellifera were investigated with a view to understanding the bee's physiological response to magnetic fields. The magnetisations of bee abdomens on one hand, and heads and thoraxes on the other hand, were measured separately as functions of temperature and field. Both the antiferromagnetic responses of the ferrihydrite cores of the iron storage protein ferritin, and the ferrimagnetic responses of nanoscale magnetite (Fe3O4) particles, were observed. Relatively large magnetite particles (ca. 30 nm or more), capable of retaining a remanent magnetisation at room temperature, were found in the abdomens, but were absent in the heads and thoraxes. In both samples, more than 98% of the iron atoms were due to ferritin.

  15. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Algerian honeybee, Apis mellifera intermissa (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Hu, Peng; Lu, Zhi-Xiang; Haddad, Nizar; Noureddine, Adjlane; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida; Wang, Yong-Zhi; Zhao, Ren-Bin; Zhang, Ai-Ling; Guan, Xin; Zhang, Hai-Xi; Niu, Hua

    2016-05-01

    In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Algerian honeybee, Apis mellifera intermissa, is analyzed for the first time. The results show that this genome is 16,336 bp in length, and contains 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 1 control region (D-loop). The overall base composition is A (43.2%), C (9.8%), G (5.6%), and T (41.4%), so the percentage of A and T (84.6%) is considerably higher than that of G and C. All the genes are encoded on H-strand, except for four subunit genes (ND1, ND4, ND4L, and ND5), two rRNA genes (12S and 16S rRNA), and eight tRNA genes. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence reported here would be useful for further phylogenetic analysis and conservation genetic studies in A. m. intermissa.

  16. Honeybee Apis mellifera acetylcholinesterase--a biomarker to detect deltamethrin exposure.

    PubMed

    Badiou, A; Meled, M; Belzunces, L P

    2008-02-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the possibility to use acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as a biomarker of exposure to deltamethrin insecticide in the honeybee, Apis mellifera and to test its reliability in the presence of other contaminants, as carbamate insecticide. Joined actions of deltamethrin (pyrethroid) and pirimicarb (carbamate), alone or in association, are investigated on AChE activity in surviving and dead honeybees, with a special focus on the relative proportions of its membrane and soluble forms. At the 0.5X dose (12.5 ng of deltamethrin and/or 2.5 microg of pirimicarb per bee), the residual tissue AChE activity in dead bees was 78% with deltamethrin, 43% with pirimicarb and 33% with dual treatment. In surviving bees, tissue AChE activity represented 250%, and 270% of control AChE activity with deltamethrin and dual treatment, respectively. The analysis of membrane and soluble AChE forms revealed an increase in the soluble form in dead bees after deltamethrin and dual treatment. However, in vitro investigations showed no direct interaction of deltamethrin on soluble and membrane AChE activity. The results suggest that the action of deltamethrin on AChE activity, in honeybee intact organisms, could be due to indirect mechanisms. The duality of AChE response to deltamethrin exposure, exhibited by the possibility of increase (surviving bees) or decrease (dead bees) of its activity has been pointed out for the first time. The important increase in AChE activity in response to deltamethrin, not altered by pirimicarb treatment, suggests that AChE activity could represent a robust biomarker specific to deltamethrin exposure in living bees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-07

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

  20. Bee-hawking by the wasp, Vespa velutina, on the honeybees Apis cerana and A. mellifera.

    PubMed

    Tan, K; Radloff, S E; Li, J J; Hepburn, H R; Yang, M X; Zhang, L J; Neumann, P

    2007-06-01

    The vespine wasps, Vespa velutina, specialise in hawking honeybee foragers returning to their nests. We studied their behaviour in China using native Apis cerana and introduced A. mellifera colonies. When the wasps are hawking, A. cerana recruits threefold more guard bees to stave off predation than A. mellifera. The former also utilises wing shimmering as a visual pattern disruption mechanism, which is not shown by A. mellifera. A. cerana foragers halve the time of normal flight needed to dart into the nest entrance, while A. mellifera actually slows down in sashaying flight manoeuvres. V. velutina preferentially hawks A. mellifera foragers when both A. mellifera and A. cerana occur in the same apiary. The pace of wasp-hawking was highest in mid-summer but the frequency of hawking wasps was three times higher at A. mellifera colonies than at the A. cerana colonies. The wasps were taking A. mellifera foragers at a frequency eightfold greater than A. cerana foragers. The final hawking success rates of the wasps were about three times higher for A. mellifera foragers than for A. cerana. The relative success of native A. cerana over European A. mellifera in thwarting predation by the wasp V. velutina is interpreted as the result of co-evolution between the Asian wasp and honeybee, respectively.

  1. Genetic Structure and Potential Environmental Determinants of Local Genetic Diversity in Japanese Honeybees (Apis cerana japonica)

    PubMed Central

    Nagamitsu, Teruyoshi; Yasuda, Mika; Saito-Morooka, Fuki; Inoue, Maki N.; Nishiyama, Mio; Goka, Koichi; Sugiura, Shinji; Maeto, Kaoru; Okabe, Kimiko; Taki, Hisatomo

    2016-01-01

    Declines in honeybee populations have been a recent concern. Although causes of the declines remain unclear, environmental factors may be responsible. We focused on the potential environmental determinants of local populations of wild honeybees, Apis cerana japonica, in Japan. This subspecies has little genetic variation in terms of its mitochondrial DNA sequences, and genetic variations at nuclear loci are as yet unknown. We estimated the genetic structure and environmental determinants of local genetic diversity in nuclear microsatellite genotypes of fathers and mothers, inferred from workers collected at 139 sites. The genotypes of fathers and mothers showed weak isolation by distance and negligible genetic structure. The local genetic diversity was high in central Japan, decreasing toward the peripheries, and depended on the climate and land use characteristics of the sites. The local genetic diversity decreased as the annual precipitation increased, and increased as the proportion of urban and paddy field areas increased. Positive effects of natural forest area, which have also been observed in terms of forager abundance in farms, were not detected with respect to the local genetic diversity. The findings suggest that A. cerana japonica forms a single population connected by gene flow in its main distributional range, and that climate and landscape properties potentially affect its local genetic diversity. PMID:27898704

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  4. Characterization of an Unusually Conserved Alui Highly Reiterated DNA Sequence Family from the Honeybee, Apis Mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Tares, S.; Cornuet, J. M.; Abad, P.

    1993-01-01

    An AluI family of highly reiterated nontranscribed sequences has been found in the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera. This repeated sequence is shown to be present at approximately 23,000 copies per haploid genome constituting about 2% of the total genomic DNA. The nucleotide sequence of 10 monomers was determined. The consensus sequence is 176 nucleotides long and has an A + T content of 58%. There are clusters of both direct and inverted repeats. Internal subrepeating units ranging from 11 to 17 nucleotides are observed, suggesting that it could have evolved from a shorter sequence. DNA sequence data reveal that this repeat class is unusually homogeneous compared to the other class of invertebrate highly reiterated DNA sequences. The average pairwise sequence divergence between the repeats is 2.5%. In spite of this unusual homogeneity, divergence has been found in the repeated sequence hybridization ladder between four different honeybee subspecies. Therefore, the AluI highly reiterated sequences provide a new probe for fingerprinting in A. m. mellifera. PMID:8104160

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    The understanding of physiological and molecular processes underlying the sense of smell has made considerable progress during the past three decades, revealing the cascade of molecular steps that lead to the activation of olfactory receptor (OR) neurons. However, the mode of primary interaction of odorant molecules with the OR proteins within the sensory cells is still enigmatic. Two different concepts try to explain these interactions: the ‘odotope hypothesis’ suggests that OR proteins recognize structural aspects of the odorant molecule, whereas the ‘vibration hypothesis’ proposes that intra-molecular vibrations are the basis for the recognition of the odorant by the receptor protein. The vibration hypothesis predicts that OR proteins should be able to discriminate compounds containing deuterium from their common counterparts which contain hydrogen instead of deuterium. This study tests this prediction in honeybees (Apis mellifera) using the proboscis extension reflex learning in a differential conditioning paradigm. Rewarding one odour (e.g. a deuterated compound) with sucrose and not rewarding the respective analogue (e.g. hydrogen-based odorant) shows that honeybees readily learn to discriminate hydrogen-based odorants from their deuterated counterparts and supports the idea that intra-molecular vibrations may contribute to odour discrimination. PMID:24452031

  7. Gigantism in honeybees: Apis cerana queens reared in mixed-species colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Ken; Hepburn, H. R.; He, Shaoyu; Radloff, S. E.; Neumann, P.; Fang, Xiang

    2006-07-01

    The development of animals depends on both genetic and environmental effects to a varying extent. Their relative influences can be evaluated in the social insects by raising the intracolonial diversity to an extreme in nests consisting of workers from more than one species. In this study, we studied the effects of mixed honeybee colonies of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana on the rearing of grafted queen larvae of A. cerana. A. mellifera sealed worker brood was introduced into A. cerana colonies and on emergence, the adults were accepted. Then, A. cerana larvae were grafted for queen rearing into two of these mixed-species colonies. Similarly, A. cerana larvae and A. mellifera larvae were also grafted conspecifically as controls. The success rate of A. cerana queen rearing in the test colonies was 64.5%, surpassing all previous attempts at interspecific queen rearing. After emergence, all virgin queens obtained from the three groups ( N=90) were measured morphometrically. The A. cerana queens from the mixed-species colonies differed significantly in size and pigmentation from the A. cerana control queens and closely approximated the A. mellifera queens. It is inferred that these changes in the A. cerana queens reared in the mixed-species colonies can be attributed to feeding by heterospecific nurse bees and/or chemical differences in royal jelly. Our data show a strong impact of environment on the development of queens. The results further suggest that in honeybees the cues for brood recognition can be learned by heterospecific workers after eclosion, thereby providing a novel analogy to slave making in ants.

  8. Extensive population admixture on drone congregation areas of the giant honeybee, Apis dorsata (Fabricius, 1793)

    PubMed Central

    Beaurepaire, Alexis L; Kraus, Bernard F; Koeniger, Gudrun; Koeniger, Nikolaus; Lim, Herbert; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-01-01

    The giant honeybee Apis dorsata often forms dense colony aggregations which can include up to 200 often closely related nests in the same location, setting the stage for inbred matings. Yet, like in all other Apis species, A. dorsata queens mate in mid-air on lek like drone congregation areas (DCAs) where large numbers of males gather in flight. We here report how the drone composition of A. dorsata DCAs facilitates outbreeding, taking into the account both spatial (three DCAs) and temporal (subsequent sampling days) dynamics. We compared the drones’ genotypes at ten microsatellite DNA markers with those of the queen genotypes of six drone-producing colonies located close to the DCAs (Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia). None of 430 sampled drones originated from any of these nearby colonies. Moreover, we estimated that 141 unidentified colonies were contributing to the three DCAs. Most of these colonies were participating multiple times in the different locations and/or during the consecutive days of sampling. The drones sampled in the DCAs could be attributed to six subpopulations. These were all admixed in all DCA samples, increasing the effective population size an order of magnitude and preventing matings between potentially related queens and drones. PMID:25558361

  9. Extensive population admixture on drone congregation areas of the giant honeybee, Apis dorsata (Fabricius, 1793).

    PubMed

    Beaurepaire, Alexis L; Kraus, Bernard F; Koeniger, Gudrun; Koeniger, Nikolaus; Lim, Herbert; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-12-01

    The giant honeybee Apis dorsata often forms dense colony aggregations which can include up to 200 often closely related nests in the same location, setting the stage for inbred matings. Yet, like in all other Apis species, A. dorsata queens mate in mid-air on lek like drone congregation areas (DCAs) where large numbers of males gather in flight. We here report how the drone composition of A. dorsata DCAs facilitates outbreeding, taking into the account both spatial (three DCAs) and temporal (subsequent sampling days) dynamics. We compared the drones' genotypes at ten microsatellite DNA markers with those of the queen genotypes of six drone-producing colonies located close to the DCAs (Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia). None of 430 sampled drones originated from any of these nearby colonies. Moreover, we estimated that 141 unidentified colonies were contributing to the three DCAs. Most of these colonies were participating multiple times in the different locations and/or during the consecutive days of sampling. The drones sampled in the DCAs could be attributed to six subpopulations. These were all admixed in all DCA samples, increasing the effective population size an order of magnitude and preventing matings between potentially related queens and drones.

  10. Exploring poisonous mechanism of honeybee, Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola, caused by pyrethroids.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiang; Diao, Qingyun; Dai, Pingli; Chu, Yanna; Wu, Yanyan; Zhou, Ting; Cai, Qingnian

    2017-01-01

    As the important intracellular secondary messengers, calcium channel is the target of many neurotoxic pesticides as calcium homeostasis in the neuroplasm play important role in neuronal functions and behavior in insects. This study investigated the effect of deltamethrin (DM) on calcium channel in the brain nerve cells of adult workers of Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola that were cultured in vitro. The results showed that the intracellular calcium concentration was significantly elevated even with a very low concentration of the DM (3.125×10(-2)mg/L). Further testing revealed that T-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), except for sodium channels, was one of the target of DM on toxicity of Apis mellifera, while DM has no significant effect on the L-type VGCCs, N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor-gated calcium channels and calcium store. These results suggesting that the DM may act on T-type VGCCs in brain cells of honeybees and result in behavioral abnormalities including swarming, feeding, learning, and acquisition.

  11. In-Depth N-Glycosylation Reveals Species-Specific Modifications and Functions of the Royal Jelly Protein from Western (Apis mellifera) and Eastern Honeybees (Apis cerana).

    PubMed

    Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Han, Bin; Xu, Xiang; Fan, Pei; Hao, Yue; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Wu, Bin; Li, Jianke

    2015-12-04

    Royal jelly (RJ), secreted by honeybee workers, plays diverse roles as nutrients and defense agents for honeybee biology and human health. Despite being reported to be glycoproteins, the glycosylation characterization and functionality of RJ proteins in different honeybee species are largely unknown. An in-depth N-glycoproteome analysis and functional assay of RJ produced by Apis mellifera lingustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc) were conducted. RJ produced by Aml yielded 80 nonredundant N-glycoproteins carrying 190 glycosites, of which 23 novel proteins harboring 35 glycosites were identified. For Acc, all 43 proteins glycosylated at 138 glycosites were reported for the first time. Proteins with distinct N-glycoproteomic characteristics in terms of glycoprotein species, number of N-glycosylated sites, glycosylation motif, abundance level of glycoproteins, and N-glycosites were observed in this two RJ samples. The fact that the low inhibitory efficiency of N-glycosylated major royal jelly protein 2 (MRJP2) against Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae) and the absence of antibacterial related glycosylated apidaecin, hymenoptaecin, and peritrophic matrix in the Aml RJ compared to Acc reveal the mechanism for why the Aml larvae are susceptible to P. larvae, the causative agent of a fatal brood disease (American foulbrood, AFB). The observed antihypertension activity of N-glycosylated MRJP1 in two RJ samples and a stronger activity found in Acc than in Aml reveal that specific RJ protein and modification are potentially useful for the treatment of hypertensive disease for humans. Our data gain novel understanding that the western and eastern bees have evolved species-specific strategies of glycosylation to fine-tune protein activity for optimizing molecular function as nutrients and immune agents for the good of honeybee and influence on the health promoting activity for human as well. This serves as a valuable resource for the targeted probing of the biological

  12. Honeybees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Platt, Season, Ed.

    1986-01-01

    The life patterns, behaviors, and functions of the social insects, the honeybees, are presented in this publication. Illustrations and information are offered on the topic areas of: (1) the honeybee society (explaining the jobs of the queen, worker, and drone bees); (2) the hive (describing how the hive is constructed, how new bees develop, and…

  13. Notch signalling mediates reproductive constraint in the adult worker honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Elizabeth J.; Hyink, Otto; Dearden, Peter K.

    2016-01-01

    The hallmark of eusociality is the reproductive division of labour, in which one female caste reproduces, while reproduction is constrained in the subordinate caste. In adult worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) reproductive constraint is conditional: in the absence of the queen and brood, adult worker honeybees activate their ovaries and lay haploid male eggs. Here, we demonstrate that chemical inhibition of Notch signalling can overcome the repressive effect of queen pheromone and promote ovary activity in adult worker honeybees. We show that Notch signalling acts on the earliest stages of oogenesis and that the removal of the queen corresponds with a loss of Notch protein in the germarium. We conclude that the ancient and pleiotropic Notch signalling pathway has been co-opted into constraining reproduction in worker honeybees and we provide the first molecular mechanism directly linking ovary activity in adult worker bees with the presence of the queen. PMID:27485026

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kodai, Tetsuya; Nakatani, Takafumi; Noda, Naoki

    2011-03-01

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

  16. A variant reference data set for the Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Kadri, Samir M.; Harpur, Brock A.; Orsi, Ricardo O.; Zayed, Amro

    2016-01-01

    The Africanized honeybee (AHB) is a population of Apis mellifera found in the Americas. AHBs originated in 1956 in Rio Clara, Brazil where imported African A. m. scutellata escaped and hybridized with local populations of European A. mellifera. Africanized populations can now be found from Northern Argentina to the Southern United States. AHBs—often referred to as ‘Killer Bees’— are a major concern to the beekeeping industry as well as a model for the evolutionary genetics of colony defence. We performed high coverage pooled-resequencing of 360 diploid workers from 30 Brazilian AHB colonies using Illumina Hi-Seq (150 bp PE). This yielded a high density SNP data set with an average read depth at each site of 20.25 reads. With 3,606,720 SNPs and 155,336 SNPs within 11,365 genes, this data set is the largest genomic resource available for AHBs and will enable high-resolution studies of the population dynamics, evolution, and genetics of this successful biological invader, in addition to facilitating the development of SNP-based tools for identifying AHBs. PMID:27824336

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  19. Maternal effects on the hygienic behavior of Russian x Ontario hybrid honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Unger, Peter; Guzmán-novoa, Ernesto

    2010-01-01

    Strains and hybrids of Russian and Ontario honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) were evaluated for hygienic behavior at both colony and individual levels. The objectives were to determine phenotypic and genotypic variability and to study the inheritance of this behavior. At the colony level, Russian bees uncapped and removed significantly more freeze-killed brood than Ontario bees. The most hygienic Russian colonies and the least hygienic Ontario colonies were selected to perform reciprocal crosses between the strains. Bees from the hybrid colonies as well as from the parental colonies were tagged and introduced into observation hives, where hygienic behavior was directly observed on a piece of frozen brood comb. Russian and hybrid bees of Russian mother had the highest percentages of workers uncapping cells and removing brood. Conversely, Ontario and hybrid bees of Ontario mother had the lowest percentages of individuals for these variables. Differences were also observed among the 4 genotypes for their degree of specialization on hygienic tasks. Russian and hybrid bees of Russian mother showed a significantly higher uncapping frequency per individual than Ontario and hybrid bees of Ontario mother. These results demonstrate phenotypic and genotypic variability for hygienic behavior and are suggestive of maternal effects in the inheritance of hygienic traits.

  20. Molecular and biological characterization of deformed wing virus of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  4. Origin of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) from the Yucatan peninsula inferred from mitochondrial DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Clarke, K E; Oldroyd, B P; Javier, J; Quezada-Euán, G; Rinderer, T E

    2001-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) sampled at sites in Europe, Africa and South America were analysed using a mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) marker. These samples were used to provide baseline information for a detailed analysis of the process of Africanization of bees from the neotropical Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Radical changes in mitochondrial haplotype (mitotype) frequencies were found to have occurred in the 13-year period studied. Prior to the arrival of Africanized bees (1986) the original inhabitants of the Yucatan peninsula appear to have been essentially of southeastern European origin with a smaller proportion having northwestern European ancestry. Three years after the migration of Africanized bees into the area (1989), only very low levels of maternal gene flow from Africanized populations into the resident European populations had occurred. By 1998, however, there was a sizeable increase in the proportion of African mitotypes in domestic populations (61%) with feral populations having 87% of mitotypes classified as African derived. The results suggest that the early stages of Africanization did not involve a rapid replacement of European with African mitotypes and that earlier studies probably overestimated the prevalence of African mitotypes.

  5. A variant reference data set for the Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Kadri, Samir M; Harpur, Brock A; Orsi, Ricardo O; Zayed, Amro

    2016-11-08

    The Africanized honeybee (AHB) is a population of Apis mellifera found in the Americas. AHBs originated in 1956 in Rio Clara, Brazil where imported African A. m. scutellata escaped and hybridized with local populations of European A. mellifera. Africanized populations can now be found from Northern Argentina to the Southern United States. AHBs-often referred to as 'Killer Bees'- are a major concern to the beekeeping industry as well as a model for the evolutionary genetics of colony defence. We performed high coverage pooled-resequencing of 360 diploid workers from 30 Brazilian AHB colonies using Illumina Hi-Seq (150 bp PE). This yielded a high density SNP data set with an average read depth at each site of 20.25 reads. With 3,606,720 SNPs and 155,336 SNPs within 11,365 genes, this data set is the largest genomic resource available for AHBs and will enable high-resolution studies of the population dynamics, evolution, and genetics of this successful biological invader, in addition to facilitating the development of SNP-based tools for identifying AHBs.

  6. MtDNA COI-COII marker and drone congregation area: an efficient method to establish and monitor honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) conservation centres.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Bénédicte; Alburaki, Mohamed; Legout, Hélène; Moulin, Sibyle; Mougel, Florence; Garnery, Lionel

    2015-05-01

    Honeybee subspecies have been affected by human activities in Europe over the past few decades. One such example is the importation of nonlocal subspecies of bees which has had an adverse impact on the geographical repartition and subsequently on the genetic diversity of the black honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera. To restore the original diversity of this local honeybee subspecies, different conservation centres were set up in Europe. In this study, we established a black honeybee conservation centre Conservatoire de l'Abeille Noire d'Ile de France (CANIF) in the region of Ile-de-France, France. CANIF's honeybee colonies were intensively studied over a 3-year period. This study included a drone congregation area (DCA) located in the conservation centre. MtDNA COI-COII marker was used to evaluate the genetic diversity of CANIF's honeybee populations and the drones found and collected from the DCA. The same marker (mtDNA) was used to estimate the interactions and the haplotype frequency between CANIF's honeybee populations and 10 surrounding honeybee apiaries located outside of the CANIF. Our results indicate that the colonies of the conservation centre and the drones of the DCA show similar stable profiles compared to the surrounding populations with lower level of introgression. The mtDNA marker used on both DCA and colonies of the conservation centre seems to be an efficient approach to monitor and maintain the genetic diversity of the protected honeybee populations.

  7. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays for rapid detection and differentiation of Nosema apis and N. ceranae in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ptaszyńska, Aneta A; Borsuk, Grzegorz; Woźniakowski, Grzegorz; Gnat, Sebastian; Małek, Wanda

    2014-08-01

    Nosemosis is a contagious disease of honeybees (Apis mellifera) manifested by increased winter mortality, poor spring build-up and even the total extinction of infected bee colonies. In this paper, loop-mediated isothermal amplifications (LAMP) were used for the first time to identify and differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae, the causative agents of nosemosis. LAMP assays were performed at a constant temperature of 60 °C using two sets of six species-specific primers, recognising eight distinct fragments of 16S rDNA gene and GspSSD polymerase with strand displacement activity. The optimal time for LAMP and its Nosema species sensitivity and specificity were assessed. LAMP only required 30 min for robust identification of the amplicons. Ten-fold serial dilutions of total DNA isolated from bees infected with microsporidia were used to determine the detection limit of N. apis and N. ceranae DNAs by LAMP and standard PCR assays. LAMP appeared to be 10(3) -fold more sensitive than a standard PCR in detecting N. apis and N. ceranae. LAMP methods developed by us are highly Nosema species specific and allow to identify and differentiate N. apis and N. ceranae.

  8. Genetic and Biochemical Diversity among Isolates of Paenibacillus alvei Cultured from Australian Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Colonies

    PubMed Central

    Djordjevic, Steven P.; Forbes, Wendy A.; Smith, Lisa A.; Hornitzky, Michael A.

    2000-01-01

    Twenty-five unique CfoI-generated whole-cell DNA profiles were identified in a study of 30 Paenibacillus alvei isolates cultured from honey and diseased larvae collected from honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies in geographically diverse areas in Australia. The fingerprint patterns were highly variable and readily discernible from one another, which highlighted the potential of this method for tracing the movement of isolates in epidemiological studies. 16S rRNA gene fragments (length, 1,416 bp) for all 30 isolates were enzymatically amplified by PCR and subjected to restriction analysis with DraI, HinfI, CfoI, AluI, FokI, and RsaI. With each enzyme the restriction profiles of the 16S rRNA genes from all 30 isolates were identical (one restriction fragment length polymorphism [RFLP] was observed in the HinfI profile of the 16S rRNA gene from isolate 17), which confirmed that the isolates belonged to the same species. The restriction profiles generated by using DraI, FokI, and HinfI differentiated P. alvei from the phylogenetically closely related species Paenibacillus macerans and Paenibacillus macquariensis. Alveolysin gene fragments (length, 1,555 bp) were enzymatically amplified from some of the P. alvei isolates (19 of 30 isolates), and RFLP were detected by using the enzymes CfoI, Sau3AI, and RsaI. Extrachromosomal DNA ranging in size from 1 to 10 kb was detected in 17 of 30 (57%) P. alvei whole-cell DNA profiles. Extensive biochemical heterogeneity was observed among the 28 P. alvei isolates examined with the API 50CHB system. All of these isolates were catalase, oxidase, and Voges-Proskauer positive and nitrate negative, and all produced acid when glycerol, esculin, and maltose were added. The isolates produced variable results for 16 of the 49 biochemical tests; negative reactions were recorded in the remaining 30 assays. The genetic and biochemical heterogeneity in P. alvei isolates may be a reflection of adaptation to the special habitats in which they

  9. Evidence for Ventilation through Collective Respiratory Movements in Giant Honeybee (Apis dorsata) Nests

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The Asian giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) build single-comb nests in the open, which makes this species particularly susceptible to environmental strains. Long-term infrared (IR) records documented cool nest regions (CNR) at the bee curtain (nCNR = 207, nnests > 20) distinguished by marked negative gradients (ΔTCNR/d < -3°C / 5 cm) at their margins. CNRs develop and recede within minutes, predominantly at higher ambient temperatures in the early afternoon. The differential size (ΔACNR) and temperature (ΔTCNR) values per time unit correlated mostly positively (RAT > 0) displaying the Venturi effect, which evidences funnel properties of CNRs. The air flows inwards through CNRs, which is verified by the negative spatial gradient ΔTCNR/d, by the positive grading of TCNR with Tamb and lastly by fanners which have directed their abdomens towards CNRs. Rare cases of RAT < 0 (< 3%) document closing processes (for ΔACNR/Δt < -0.4 cm2/s) but also suggest ventilation of the bee curtain (for ΔACNR/Δt > +0.4 cm2/s) displaying “inhalation” and “exhalation” cycling. “Inhalation” could be boosted by bees at the inner curtain layers, which stretch their extremities against the comb enlarging the inner nest lumen and thus causing a pressure fall which drives ambient air inwards through CNR funnels. The relaxing of the formerly “activated” bees could then trigger the “exhalation” process, which brings the bee curtain, passively by gravity, close to the comb again. That way, warm, CO2-enriched nest-borne air is pressed outwards through the leaking mesh of the bee curtain. This ventilation hypothesis is supported by IR imaging and laser vibrometry depicting CNRs in at least four aspects as low-resistance convection funnels for maintaining thermoregulation and restoring fresh air in the nest. PMID:27487188

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Side-effects of thiamethoxam on the brain andmidgut of the africanized honeybee Apis mellifera (Hymenopptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Regiane Alves; Roat, Thaisa Cristina; Carvalho, Stephan Malfitano; Malaspina, Osmar

    2014-10-01

    The development of agricultural activities coincides with the increased use of pesticides to control pests, which can also be harmful to nontarget insects such as bees. Thus, the goal of this work was assess the toxic effects of thiamethoxam on newly emerged worker bees of Apis mellifera (africanized honeybee-AHB). Initially, we determined that the lethal concentration 50 (LC50 ) of thiamethoxam was 4.28 ng a.i./μL of diet. To determine the lethal time 50 (LT50 ), a survival assay was conducted using diets containing sublethal doses of thiamethoxam equal to 1/10 and 1/100 of the LC50. The group of bees exposed to 1/10 of the LC50 had a 41.2% reduction of lifespan. When AHB samples were analyzed by morphological technique we found the presence of condensed cells in the mushroom bodies and optical lobes in exposed honeybees. Through Xylidine Ponceau technique, we found cells which stained more intensely in groups exposed to thiamethoxam. The digestive and regenerative cells of the midgut from exposed bees also showed morphological and histochemical alterations, like cytoplasm vacuolization, increased apocrine secretion and increased cell elimination. Thus, intoxication with a sublethal doses of thiamethoxam can cause impairment in the brain and midgut of AHB and contribute to the honeybee lifespan reduction.

  12. More than royal food - Major royal jelly protein genes in sexuals and workers of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In the honeybee Apis mellifera, female larvae destined to become a queen are fed with royal jelly, a secretion of the hypopharyngeal glands of young nurse bees that rear the brood. The protein moiety of royal jelly comprises mostly major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) of which the coding genes (mrjp1-9) have been identified on chromosome 11 in the honeybee’s genome. Results We determined the expression of mrjp1-9 among the honeybee worker caste (nurses, foragers) and the sexuals (queens (unmated, mated) and drones) in various body parts (head, thorax, abdomen). Specific mrjp expression was not only found in brood rearing nurse bees, but also in foragers and the sexuals. Conclusions The expression of mrjp1 to 7 is characteristic for the heads of worker bees, with an elevated expression of mrjp1-4 and 7 in nurse bees compared to foragers. Mrjp5 and 6 were higher in foragers compared to nurses suggesting functions in addition to those of brood food proteins. Furthermore, the expression of mrjp9 was high in the heads, thoraces and abdomen of almost all female bees, suggesting a function irrespective of body section. This completely different expression profile suggests mrjp9 to code for the most ancestral major royal jelly protein of the honeybee. PMID:24279675

  13. The prevalence of the honeybee brood pathogens Ascosphaera apis, Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius in Spanish apiaries determined with a new multiplex PCR assay

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The microorganisms Ascosphaera apis, Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius are the three most important pathogens that affect honeybee brood. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of these pathogens in honeybee colonies and to elucidate their role in the honeybee colony losses in Spain. In order to get it, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed to simultaneously amplify the16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene of P. larvae and M. plutonius, and the 5.8S rRNA gene of A. apis. The multiplex PCR assay provides a quick and specific tool that successfully detected the three infectious pathogens (P. larvae, M. plutonius and A. apis) in brood and adult honeybee samples without the need for microbiological culture. This technique was then used to evaluate the prevalence of these pathogens in Spanish honeybee colonies in 2006 and 2007, revealing our results a low prevalence of these pathogens in most of the geographic areas studied. PMID:23919248

  14. Why acquiesce? Worker reproductive parasitism in the Eastern honeybee (Apis cerana).

    PubMed

    Holmes, M J; Tan, K; Wang, Z; Oldroyd, B P; Beekman, M

    2014-05-01

    Most societies are vulnerable to rogue individuals that pursue their own interests at the expense of the collective entity. Societies often protect themselves from selfish behaviour by 'policing', thereby enforcing the interests of the collective over those of individuals. In insect societies, for example, selfish workers can activate their ovaries and lay eggs, exploiting the collective brood rearing system for individual benefit. Policing, usually in the form of oophagy of worker-laid eggs, controls selfish behaviour. Importantly, once an effective system of policing has evolved, the incentive for personal reproduction is lost, and 'reproductive acquiescence' in which ovary activation is rare or absent is predicted to evolve. Studies of social Hymenoptera have largely supported the prediction of worker 'acquiescence'; workers of most species where policing is well developed have inactive ovaries. However, the eastern honeybee Apis cerana appears to be an exception. A. cerana colonies are characterized by highly efficient policing, yet about 5% of workers have active ovaries, even when a queen is present. This suggests that the evolution of acquiescence is incomplete in A. cerana. We regularly sampled male eggs and pupae from four A. cerana colonies. Workers had high levels of ovary activation overall (11.7%), and 3.8% of assignable male eggs and 1.1% of assignable male pupae were worker-laid. We conclude that workers with active ovaries lay their eggs, but these rarely survive to pupation because of intense policing. We then used our findings as well as previously published data on A. cerana and A. mellifera to redo the meta-analysis on which reproductive acquiescence theory is based. Including data on both species did not affect the relationship between effectiveness of policing and levels of worker reproduction. Their inclusion did, however, seriously weaken the relationship between relatedness among workers and levels of worker reproduction. Our work thus

  15. On the Front Line: Quantitative Virus Dynamics in Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Colonies along a New Expansion Front of the Parasite Varroa destructor

    PubMed Central

    Mondet, Fanny; de Miranda, Joachim R.; Kretzschmar, Andre; Le Conte, Yves; Mercer, Alison R.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past fifty years, annual honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony losses have been steadily increasing worldwide. These losses have occurred in parallel with the global spread of the honeybee parasite Varroa destructor. Indeed, Varroa mite infestations are considered to be a key explanatory factor for the widespread increase in annual honeybee colony mortality. The host-parasite relationship between honeybees and Varroa is complicated by the mite's close association with a range of honeybee viral pathogens. The 10-year history of the expanding front of Varroa infestation in New Zealand offered a rare opportunity to assess the dynamic quantitative and qualitative changes in honeybee viral landscapes in response to the arrival, spread and level of Varroa infestation. We studied the impact of de novo infestation of bee colonies by Varroa on the prevalence and titres of seven well-characterised honeybee viruses in both bees and mites, using a large-scale molecular ecology approach. We also examined the effect of the number of years since Varroa arrival on honeybee and mite viral titres. The dynamic shifts in the viral titres of black queen cell virus and Kashmir bee virus mirrored the patterns of change in Varroa infestation rates along the Varroa expansion front. The deformed wing virus (DWV) titres in bees continued to increase with Varroa infestation history, despite dropping infestation rates, which could be linked to increasing DWV titres in the mites. This suggests that the DWV titres in mites, perhaps boosted by virus replication, may be a major factor in maintaining the DWV epidemic after initial establishment. Both positive and negative associations were identified for several pairs of viruses, in response to the arrival of Varroa. These findings provide important new insights into the role of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor in influencing the viral landscape that affects honeybee colonies. PMID:25144447

  16. Purification and properties of a very high density lipoprotein from the hemolymph of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Shipman, B A; Ryan, R O; Schmidt, J O; Law, J H

    1987-04-07

    A larval-specific very high density lipoprotein (VHDL) has been isolated from the hemolymph of the honeybee Apis mellifera. VHDL was isolated by a combination of density gradient ultracentrifugation and gel filtration. The purified protein is a dimer of Mr 160,000 apoproteins as shown by chemical cross-linking with dimethyl suberimidate. N-Terminal sequence analysis indicates that the two polypeptide chains are identical. The holoprotein contains 10% lipid by weight and 2.6% covalently bound carbohydrate. A native Mr 330,000 species was obtained by gel permeation chromatography. Antiserum directed against VHDL was used to show that VHDL is distinct from other hemolymph proteins and appears to constitute a novel lipoprotein of unknown function. However, the lipoprotein is present in high amounts in hemolymph only at the end of larval life, suggesting a potential role in lipid transport and/or storage protein metabolism during metamorphosis.

  17. An assessment of honeybee colony matrices, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) to monitor pesticide presence in continental France.

    PubMed

    Chauzat, Marie-Pierre; Martel, Anne-Claire; Cougoule, Nicolas; Porta, Philippe; Lachaize, Julie; Zeggane, Sarah; Aubert, Michel; Carpentier, Patrice; Faucon, Jean-Paul

    2011-01-01

    The frequency of occurrence and relative concentration of 44 pesticides in apicultural (Apis mellifera) matrices collected from five French locations (24 apiaries) were assessed from 2002 to 2005. The number and nature of the pesticides investigated varied with the matrices examined-living honeybees, pollen loads, honey, and beeswax. Pollen loads and beeswax had the highest frequency of pesticide occurrence among the apiary matrices examined in the present study, whereas honey samples had the lowest. The imidacloprid group and the fipronil group were detected in sufficient amounts in all matrices to allow statistical comparisons. Some seasonal variation was shown when residues were identified in pollen loads. Given the results (highest frequency of presence) and practical aspects (easy to collect; matrix with no turnover, unlike with bees that are naturally renewed), pollen loads were the best matrix for assessing the presence of pesticide residues in the environment in our given conditions.

  18. Quantitative comparison of caste differences in honeybee hemolymph.

    PubMed

    Chan, Queenie W T; Howes, Charles G; Foster, Leonard J

    2006-12-01

    The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an invaluable partner in agriculture around the world both for its production of honey and, more importantly, for its role in pollination. Honeybees are largely unexplored at the molecular level despite a long and distinguished career as a model organism for understanding social behavior. Like other eusocial insects, honeybees can be divided into several castes: the queen (fertile female), workers (sterile females), and drones (males). Each caste has different energetic and metabolic requirements, and each differs in its susceptibility to pathogens, many of which have evolved to take advantage of the close social network inside a colony. Hemolymph, arthropods' equivalent to blood, distributes nutrients throughout the bee, and the immune components contained within it form one of the primary lines of defense against invading microorganisms. In this study we have applied qualitative and quantitative proteomics to gain a better understanding of honeybee hemolymph and how it varies among the castes and during development. We found large differences in hemolymph protein composition, especially between larval and adult stage bees and between male and female castes but even between adult workers and queens. We also provide experimental evidence for the expression of several unannotated honeybee genes and for the detection of biomarkers of a viral infection. Our data provide an initial molecular picture of honeybee hemolymph, to a greater depth than previous studies in other insects, and will pave the way for future biochemical studies of innate immunity in this animal.

  19. Transcriptome Analysis of Honeybee (Apis Mellifera) Haploid and Diploid Embryos Reveals Early Zygotic Transcription during Cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Camilla Valente; Freitas, Flávia Cristina de Paula; Cristino, Alexandre S.; Dearden, Peter K.; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino

    2016-01-01

    In honeybees, the haplodiploid sex determination system promotes a unique embryogenesis process wherein females develop from fertilized eggs and males develop from unfertilized eggs. However, the developmental strategies of honeybees during early embryogenesis are virtually unknown. Similar to most animals, the honeybee oocytes are supplied with proteins and regulatory elements that support early embryogenesis. As the embryo develops, the zygotic genome is activated and zygotic products gradually replace the preloaded maternal material. The analysis of small RNA and mRNA libraries of mature oocytes and embryos originated from fertilized and unfertilized eggs has allowed us to explore the gene expression dynamics in the first steps of development and during the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT). We localized a short sequence motif identified as TAGteam motif and hypothesized to play a similar role in honeybees as in fruit flies, which includes the timing of early zygotic expression (MZT), a function sustained by the presence of the zelda ortholog, which is the main regulator of genome activation. Predicted microRNA (miRNA)-target interactions indicated that there were specific regulators of haploid and diploid embryonic development and an overlap of maternal and zygotic gene expression during the early steps of embryogenesis. Although a number of functions are highly conserved during the early steps of honeybee embryogenesis, the results showed that zygotic genome activation occurs earlier in honeybees than in Drosophila based on the presence of three primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs) (ame-mir-375, ame-mir-34 and ame-mir-263b) during the cleavage stage in haploid and diploid embryonic development. PMID:26751956

  20. Ethanol increases HSP70 concentrations in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) brain tissue.

    PubMed

    Hranitz, John M; Abramson, Charles I; Carter, Richard P

    2010-05-01

    Previous research on the honeybee ethanol model established how acute ethanol exposure altered function at different levels of organization: behavior and learning, ecology, and physiology. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether ethanol doses that affect honeybee behavior also induce a significant stress response, measured by heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) concentrations, in honeybee brain tissues. Experiment 1 examined how pretreatment handling influenced brain HSP70 concentrations in three pretreatment groups of bees; immediately after being collected, after being harnessed and fed, and after 22-24h in a harness. HSP70 concentrations did not differ among pretreatment groups within replicates, although we observed significantly different HSP70 concentrations between the two replicates. Experiment 2 investigated the relationship between ethanol dose and brain HSP70 concentrations. Bees were placed in seven experimental groups, the three pretreatment groups as in Experiment 1 and four ethanol-fed groups. Bees in ethanol treatments were fed 1.5M sucrose (control) and 1.5M sucrose-ethanol solutions containing 2.5, 5, and 10% ethanol, allowed to sit for 4h, and dissected brains were assayed for HSP70. We observed ethanol-induced increases in honeybee brain HSP70 concentrations from the control group through the 5% ethanol group. Only bees in the 5% ethanol group had HSP70 concentrations significantly higher than the control group. The inverted U-shaped ethanol dose-HSP70 concentration response curve indicated that ingestion of 2.5% ethanol and 5% ethanol stimulated the stress response, whereas ingestion of 10% ethanol inhibited the stress response. Doses that show maximum HSP70 concentration (5% ethanol) or HSP70 inhibition (10% ethanol) correspond to those (> or =5% ethanol) that also impaired honeybees in previous studies. We conclude that acute ethanol intoxication by solutions containing > or =5% ethanol causes significant ethanol-induced stress in brain

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-31

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

  2. Making a queen: an epigenetic analysis of the robustness of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen developmental pathway.

    PubMed

    He, Xu Jiang; Zhou, Lin Bin; Pan, Qi Zhong; Barron, Andrew B; Yan, Wei Yu; Zeng, Zhi Jiang

    2016-12-27

    Specialized castes are considered a key reason for the evolutionary and ecological success of the social insect lifestyle. The most essential caste distinction is between the fertile queen and the sterile workers. Honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers and queens are not genetically distinct, rather these different phenotypes are the result of epigenetically regulated divergent developmental pathways. This is an important phenomenon in understanding the evolution of social insect societies. Here, we studied the genomic regulation of the worker and queen developmental pathways, and the robustness of the pathways by transplanting eggs or young larvae to queen cells. Queens could be successfully reared from worker larvae transplanted up to 3 days age, but queens reared from older worker larvae had decreased queen body size and weight compared with queens from transplanted eggs. Gene expression analysis showed that queens raised from worker larvae differed from queens raised from eggs in the expression of genes involved in the immune system, caste differentiation, body development and longevity. DNA methylation levels were also higher in 3-day-old queen larvae raised from worker larvae compared with that raised from transplanted eggs identifying a possible mechanism stabilizing the two developmental paths. We propose that environmental (nutrition and space) changes induced by the commercial rearing practice result in a suboptimal queen phenotype via epigenetic processes, which may potentially contribute to the evolution of queen-worker dimorphism. This also has potentially contributed to the global increase in honeybee colony failure rates.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Parasites and Pathogens of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) and Their Influence on Inter-Colonial Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Eva; Rosenkranz, Peter; Paxton, Robert J.; Moritz, Robin F. A.

    2015-01-01

    Pathogens and parasites may facilitate their transmission by manipulating host behavior. Honeybee pathogens and pests need to be transferred from one colony to another if they are to maintain themselves in a host population. Inter-colony transmission occurs typically through honeybee workers not returning to their home colony but entering a foreign colony (“drifting”). Pathogens might enhance drifting to enhance transmission to new colonies. We here report on the effects infection by ten honeybee viruses and Nosema spp., and Varroa mite infestation on honeybee drifting. Genotyping of workers collected from colonies allowed us to identify genuine drifted workers as well as source colonies sending out drifters in addition to sink colonies accepting them. We then used network analysis to determine patterns of drifting. Distance between colonies in the apiary was the major factor explaining 79% of drifting. None of the tested viruses or Nosema spp. were associated with the frequency of drifting. Only colony infestation with Varroa was associated with significantly enhanced drifting. More specifically, colonies with high Varroa infestation had a significantly enhanced acceptance of drifters, although they did not send out more drifting workers. Since Varroa-infested colonies show an enhanced attraction of drifting workers, and not only those infected with Varroa and its associated pathogens, infestation by Varroa may also facilitate the uptake of other pests and parasites. PMID:26451849

  5. Interactions between Nosema microspores and a neonicotinoid weaken honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Alaux, Cédric; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Dussaubat, Claudia; Mondet, Fanny; Tchamitchan, Sylvie; Cousin, Marianne; Brillard, Julien; Baldy, Aurelie; Belzunces, Luc P; Le Conte, Yves

    2010-01-01

    Global pollinators, like honeybees, are declining in abundance and diversity, which can adversely affect natural ecosystems and agriculture. Therefore, we tested the current hypotheses describing honeybee losses as a multifactorial syndrome, by investigating integrative effects of an infectious organism and an insecticide on honeybee health. We demonstrated that the interaction between the microsporidia Nosema and a neonicotinoid (imidacloprid) significantly weakened honeybees. In the short term, the combination of both agents caused the highest individual mortality rates and energetic stress. By quantifying the strength of immunity at both the individual and social levels, we showed that neither the haemocyte number nor the phenoloxidase activity of individuals was affected by the different treatments. However, the activity of glucose oxidase, enabling bees to sterilize colony and brood food, was significantly decreased only by the combination of both factors compared with control, Nosema or imidacloprid groups, suggesting a synergistic interaction and in the long term a higher susceptibility of the colony to pathogens. This provides the first evidences that interaction between an infectious organism and a chemical can also threaten pollinators, interactions that are widely used to eliminate insect pests in integrative pest management. PMID:20050872

  6. Parasites and Pathogens of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) and Their Influence on Inter-Colonial Transmission.

    PubMed

    Forfert, Nadège; Natsopoulou, Myrsini E; Frey, Eva; Rosenkranz, Peter; Paxton, Robert J; Moritz, Robin F A

    2015-01-01

    Pathogens and parasites may facilitate their transmission by manipulating host behavior. Honeybee pathogens and pests need to be transferred from one colony to another if they are to maintain themselves in a host population. Inter-colony transmission occurs typically through honeybee workers not returning to their home colony but entering a foreign colony ("drifting"). Pathogens might enhance drifting to enhance transmission to new colonies. We here report on the effects infection by ten honeybee viruses and Nosema spp., and Varroa mite infestation on honeybee drifting. Genotyping of workers collected from colonies allowed us to identify genuine drifted workers as well as source colonies sending out drifters in addition to sink colonies accepting them. We then used network analysis to determine patterns of drifting. Distance between colonies in the apiary was the major factor explaining 79% of drifting. None of the tested viruses or Nosema spp. were associated with the frequency of drifting. Only colony infestation with Varroa was associated with significantly enhanced drifting. More specifically, colonies with high Varroa infestation had a significantly enhanced acceptance of drifters, although they did not send out more drifting workers. Since Varroa-infested colonies show an enhanced attraction of drifting workers, and not only those infected with Varroa and its associated pathogens, infestation by Varroa may also facilitate the uptake of other pests and parasites.

  7. Draft Genome of Chilean Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Gut Strain Lactobacillus kunkeei MP2

    PubMed Central

    Olmos, Alejandro; Henríquez-Piskulich, Patricia; Sanchez, Carolina; Rojas-Herrera, Marcelo; Moreno-Pino, Mario; Gómez, Marcela; Rodríguez Da Silva, Rafael; Maracaja-Coutinho, Vinicius; Aldea, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, isolated from a Chilean honeybee gut. The sequenced genome has a total size of 1.58 Mb distributed into 44 contigs and 1,356 protein-coding sequences. PMID:25301653

  8. Evaluating exposure and potential effects on honeybee brood (Apis mellifera) development using glyphosate as an example.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen M; Levine, Steven L; Doering, Janine; Norman, Steve; Manson, Philip; Sutton, Peter; von Mérey, Georg

    2014-07-01

    This study aimed to develop an approach to evaluate potential effects of plant protection products on honeybee brood with colonies at realistic worst-case exposure rates. The approach comprised 2 stages. In the first stage, honeybee colonies were exposed to a commercial formulation of glyphosate applied to flowering Phacelia tanacetifolia with glyphosate residues quantified in relevant matrices (pollen and nectar) collected by foraging bees on days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 postapplication and glyphosate levels in larvae were measured on days 4 and 7. Glyphosate levels in pollen were approximately 10 times higher than in nectar and glyphosate demonstrated rapid decline in both matrices. Residue data along with foraging rates and food requirements of the colony were then used to set dose rates in the effects study. In the second stage, the toxicity of technical glyphosate to developing honeybee larvae and pupae, and residues in larvae, were then determined by feeding treated sucrose directly to honeybee colonies at dose rates that reflect worst-case exposure scenarios. There were no significant effects from glyphosate observed in brood survival, development, and mean pupal weight. Additionally, there were no biologically significant levels of adult mortality observed in any glyphosate treatment group. Significant effects were observed only in the fenoxycarb toxic reference group and included increased brood mortality and a decline in the numbers of bees and brood. Mean glyphosate residues in larvae were comparable at 4 days after spray application in the exposure study and also following dosing at a level calculated from the mean measured levels in pollen and nectar, showing the applicability and robustness of the approach for dose setting with honeybee brood studies. This study has developed a versatile and predictive approach for use in higher tier honeybee toxicity studies. It can be used to realistically quantify exposure of colonies to pesticides to allow the

  9. Excitable properties of adult skeletal muscle fibres from the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Collet, Claude; Belzunces, Luc

    2007-02-01

    In the hive, a wide range of honeybees tasks such as cell cleaning, nursing, thermogenesis, flight, foraging and inter-individual communication (waggle dance, antennal contact and trophallaxy) depend on proper muscle activity. However, whereas extensive electrophysiological studies have been undertaken over the past ten years to characterize ionic currents underlying the physiological neuronal activity in honeybee, ionic currents underlying skeletal muscle fibre activity in this insect remain, so far, unexplored. Here, we show that, in contrast to many other insect species, action potentials in muscle fibres isolated from adult honeybee metathoracic tibia, are not graded but actual all-or-none responses. Action potentials are blocked by Cd(2+) and La(3+) but not by tetrodotoxin (TTX) in current-clamp mode of the patch-clamp technique, and as assessed under voltage-clamp, both Ca(2+) and K(+) currents are involved in shaping action potentials in single muscle fibres. The activation threshold potential for the voltage-dependent Ca(2+) current is close to -40 mV, its mean maximal amplitude is -8.5+/-1.9 A/F and the mean apparent reversal potential is near +40 mV. In honeybees, GABA does not activate any ionic membrane currents in muscle fibres from the tibia, but L-glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular synapse induces fast activation of an inward current when the membrane potential is voltage clamped close to its resting value. Instead of undergoing desensitization as is the case in many other preparations, a component of this glutamate-activated current has a sustained component, the reversal potential of which is close to 0 mV, as demonstrated with voltage ramps. Future investigations will allow extensive pharmacological characterization of membrane ionic currents and excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscle from honeybee, a useful insect that became a model to study many physiological phenomena and which plays a major role in

  10. Insulin effects on honeybee appetitive behaviour.

    PubMed

    Mengoni Goñalons, Carolina; Guiraud, Marie; de Brito Sanchez, María Gabriela; Farina, Walter M

    2016-10-01

    Worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) carry out multiple tasks throughout their adult lifespan. It has been suggested that the insulin/insulin-like signalling pathway participates in regulating behavioural maturation in eusocial insects. Insulin signalling increases as the honeybee worker transitions from nurse to food processor to forager. As behavioural shifts require differential usage of sensory modalities, our aim was to assess insulin effects on olfactory and gustatory responsiveness as well as on olfactory learning in preforaging honeybee workers of different ages. Adults were reared in the laboratory or in the hive. Immediately after being injected with insulin or vehicle (control), and focusing on the proboscis extension response, bees were tested for their spontaneous response to odours, sucrose responsiveness and ability to discriminate odours through olfactory conditioning. Bees injected with insulin have higher spontaneous odour responses. Sucrose responsiveness and odour discrimination are differentially affected by treatment according to age: whereas insulin increases gustatory responsiveness and diminishes learning abilities of younger workers, it has the opposite effect on older bees. In summary, insulin can improve chemosensory responsiveness in young workers, but also worsens their learning abilities to discriminate odours. The insulin signalling pathway is responsive in young workers, although they are not yet initiating outdoor activities. Our results show strong age-dependent effects of insulin on appetitive behaviour, which uncover differences in insulin signalling regulation throughout the honeybee worker's adulthood.

  11. Origin and function of the major royal jelly proteins of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) as members of the yellow gene family.

    PubMed

    Buttstedt, Anja; Moritz, Robin F A; Erler, Silvio

    2014-05-01

    In the honeybee, Apis mellifera, the queen larvae are fed with a diet exclusively composed of royal jelly (RJ), a secretion of the hypopharyngeal gland of young worker bees that nurse the brood. Up to 15% of RJ is composed of proteins, the nine most abundant of which have been termed major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs). Although it is widely accepted that RJ somehow determines the fate of a female larva and in spite of considerable research efforts, there are surprisingly few studies that address the biochemical characterisation and functions of these MRJPs. Here we review the research on MRJPs not only in honeybees but in hymenopteran insects in general and provide metadata analyses on genome organisation of mrjp genes, corroborating previous reports that MRJPs have important functions for insect development and not just a nutritional value for developing honeybee larvae.

  12. Defensive behaviour of Apis mellifera against Vespa velutina in France: testing whether European honeybees can develop an effective collective defence against a new predator.

    PubMed

    Arca, Mariangela; Papachristoforou, Alexandros; Mougel, Florence; Rortais, Agnès; Monceau, Karine; Bonnard, Olivier; Tardy, Pascal; Thiéry, Denis; Silvain, Jean-François; Arnold, Gérard

    2014-07-01

    We investigated the prey-predator interactions between the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, which first invaded France in 2004 and thereafter spread to neighbouring European countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Our goal was to determine how successfully honeybees are able to defend their colonies against their new predator in Europe. Experiments were conducted in the southwest of France-the point of entry of the hornet in Europe-under natural and semi-controlled field conditions. We investigated a total of eight apiaries and 95 colonies subjected to either low or high levels of predation. We analyzed hornet predatory behaviour and collective response of colonies under attack. The results showed that A. mellifera in France exhibit an inefficient and unorganized defence against V. velutina, unlike in other regions of Europe and other areas around the globe where honeybees have co-evolved with their natural Vespa predators.

  13. Nutraceutical potential of monofloral honeys produced by the Sicilian black honeybees (Apis mellifera ssp. sicula).

    PubMed

    Tenore, Gian Carlo; Ritieni, Alberto; Campiglia, Pietro; Novellino, Ettore

    2012-06-01

    In the light of the growing interest in food and food products obtained through organic and environmentally friendly techniques, the present work represents the first approach to the evaluation of the biological profile of some Sicilian honeys produced in purity by the local black honeybees. Samples exhibited up to 10 times more total phenolics and higher antioxidant capacity than what already reported for the same variety of honeys produced by other honeybee subspecies from Sicily, other Italian regions and abroad. Noteworthy, the gallic acid contents in medlar and almond honeys represented the highest level of single phenolic acid reported in honey so far. A broad antimicrobial spectrum was showed by all of the honey samples and a good correlation between their inhibition capacity and polyphenolic contents was measured. Experimental results highlighted samples among the honeys characterised by the highest nutraceutical added value and most excellent quality.

  14. Genetic evaluation of a novel system for controlled mating of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Oxley, Peter R; Hinhumpatch, Pantip; Gloag, Rosalyn; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2010-01-01

    Many apiculturally important traits of the honeybee have medium to high heritabilities and are therefore capable of strong response to selection. However, the natural mating system of honeybees makes it difficult to exclude unselected males from matings and necessitates expensive procedures like artificial insemination or isolated mating stations. By manipulating ambient light and temperature, an Australian queen breeder has developed a novel system that delays the flight time of selected queens and drones. To assess the efficacy of this "Horner system," drones and their assumed worker offspring were genotyped using microsatellite loci to test whether the workers were exclusively sired by the selected drones. The Horner system was found to provide at least 85% control of matings, equivalent to a 48% increase in the selection differential, when queens and drones are selected in a breeding program.

  15. Lower disease infections in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies headed by polyandrous vs monandrous queens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarpy, David R.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2006-04-01

    We studied the relationship between genetic diversity and disease susceptibility in honeybee colonies living under natural conditions. To do so, we created colonies in which each queen was artificially inseminated with sperm from either one or ten drones. Of the 20 colonies studied, 80% showed at least one brood disease. We found strong differences between the two types of colonies in the infection intensity of chalkbrood and in the total intensity of all brood diseases (chalkbrood, sacbrood, American foulbrood, and European foulbrood) with both variables lower for the colonies with higher genetic diversity. Our findings demonstrate that disease can be an important factor in the ecology of honeybee colonies and they provide strong support for the disease hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry by social insect queens.

  16. Detection of Methyl Salicylate Transforted by Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Using Solid Phase Microextration (SPME) Fibers

    SciTech Connect

    BENDER, SUSAN FAE ANN; RODACY, PHILIP J.; BARNETT, JAMES L.; BENDER, GARY L.

    2001-12-01

    The ultimate goal of many environmental measurements is to determine the risk posed to humans or ecosystems by various contaminants. Conventional environmental monitoring typically requires extensive sampling grids covering several media including air, water, soil and vegetation. A far more efficient, innovative and inexpensive tactic has been found using honeybees as sampling mechanisms. Members from a single bee colony forage over large areas ({approx}2 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 2}), making tens of thousands of trips per day, and return to a fixed location where sampling can be conveniently conducted. The bees are in direct contact with the air, water, soil and vegetation where they encounter and collect any contaminants that are present in gaseous, liquid and particulate form. The monitoring of honeybees when they return to the hive provides a rapid method to assess chemical distributions and impacts (1). The primary goal of this technology is to evaluate the efficiency of the transport mechanism (honeybees) to the hive using preconcentrators to collect samples. Once the extent and nature of the contaminant exposure has been characterized, resources can be distributed and environmental monitoring designs efficiently directed to the most appropriate locations. Methyl salicylate, a chemical agent surrogate was used as the target compound in this study.

  17. Diversity of honey stores and their impact on pathogenic bacteria of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Erler, Silvio; Denner, Andreas; Bobiş, Otilia; Forsgren, Eva; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-10-01

    Honeybee colonies offer an excellent environment for microbial pathogen development. The highest virulent, colony killing, bacterial agents are Paenibacillus larvae causing American foulbrood (AFB), and European foulbrood (EFB) associated bacteria. Besides the innate immune defense, honeybees evolved behavioral defenses to combat infections. Foraging of antimicrobial plant compounds plays a key role for this "social immunity" behavior. Secondary plant metabolites in floral nectar are known for their antimicrobial effects. Yet, these compounds are highly plant specific, and the effects on bee health will depend on the floral origin of the honey produced. As worker bees not only feed themselves, but also the larvae and other colony members, honey is a prime candidate acting as self-medication agent in honeybee colonies to prevent or decrease infections. Here, we test eight AFB and EFB bacterial strains and the growth inhibitory activity of three honey types. Using a high-throughput cell growth assay, we show that all honeys have high growth inhibitory activity and the two monofloral honeys appeared to be strain specific. The specificity of the monofloral honeys and the strong antimicrobial potential of the polyfloral honey suggest that the diversity of honeys in the honey stores of a colony may be highly adaptive for its "social immunity" against the highly diverse suite of pathogens encountered in nature. This ecological diversity may therefore operate similar to the well-known effects of host genetic variance in the arms race between host and parasite.

  18. Identification of two piwi genes and their expression profile in honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Liao, Zhen; Jia, Qidong; Li, Fei; Han, Zhaojun

    2010-06-01

    Piwi genes play an important role in regulating spermatogenesis and oogenesis because they participate in the biogenesis of piRNAs, a new class of noncoding RNAs. However, these genes are not well understood in most insects. To understand the function of piwi genes in honeybee reproduction, we amplified two full-length piwi-like genes, Am-aub and Am-ago3. Both the cloned Am-aub and Am-ago3 genes contained typical PAZ and PIWI domains and active catalytic motifs "Asp-Asp-Asp/His/Glu/Lys," suggesting that the two piwi-like genes possessed slicer activity. We examined the expression levels of Am-aub and Am-ago3 in workers, queens, drones, and female larvae by quantitative PCR. Am-aub was more abundant than Am-ago3 in all the tested samples. Both Am-aub and Am-ago3 were highly expressed in drones but not in workers and queens. The significant finding was that the larval food stream influenced the expression of Piwi genes in adult honeybees. This helps to understand the nutritional control of reproductive status in honeybees at the molecular level.

  19. Diversity of honey stores and their impact on pathogenic bacteria of the honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Erler, Silvio; Denner, Andreas; Bobiş, Otilia; Forsgren, Eva; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-01-01

    Honeybee colonies offer an excellent environment for microbial pathogen development. The highest virulent, colony killing, bacterial agents are Paenibacillus larvae causing American foulbrood (AFB), and European foulbrood (EFB) associated bacteria. Besides the innate immune defense, honeybees evolved behavioral defenses to combat infections. Foraging of antimicrobial plant compounds plays a key role for this “social immunity” behavior. Secondary plant metabolites in floral nectar are known for their antimicrobial effects. Yet, these compounds are highly plant specific, and the effects on bee health will depend on the floral origin of the honey produced. As worker bees not only feed themselves, but also the larvae and other colony members, honey is a prime candidate acting as self-medication agent in honeybee colonies to prevent or decrease infections. Here, we test eight AFB and EFB bacterial strains and the growth inhibitory activity of three honey types. Using a high-throughput cell growth assay, we show that all honeys have high growth inhibitory activity and the two monofloral honeys appeared to be strain specific. The specificity of the monofloral honeys and the strong antimicrobial potential of the polyfloral honey suggest that the diversity of honeys in the honey stores of a colony may be highly adaptive for its “social immunity” against the highly diverse suite of pathogens encountered in nature. This ecological diversity may therefore operate similar to the well-known effects of host genetic variance in the arms race between host and parasite. PMID:25505523

  20. Evaluating exposure and potential effects on honeybee brood (Apis mellifera) development using glyphosate as an example

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Helen M; Levine, Steven L; Doering, Janine; Norman, Steve; Manson, Philip; Sutton, Peter; von Mérey, Georg

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to develop an approach to evaluate potential effects of plant protection products on honeybee brood with colonies at realistic worst-case exposure rates. The approach comprised 2 stages. In the first stage, honeybee colonies were exposed to a commercial formulation of glyphosate applied to flowering Phacelia tanacetifolia with glyphosate residues quantified in relevant matrices (pollen and nectar) collected by foraging bees on days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 postapplication and glyphosate levels in larvae were measured on days 4 and 7. Glyphosate levels in pollen were approximately 10 times higher than in nectar and glyphosate demonstrated rapid decline in both matrices. Residue data along with foraging rates and food requirements of the colony were then used to set dose rates in the effects study. In the second stage, the toxicity of technical glyphosate to developing honeybee larvae and pupae, and residues in larvae, were then determined by feeding treated sucrose directly to honeybee colonies at dose rates that reflect worst-case exposure scenarios. There were no significant effects from glyphosate observed in brood survival, development, and mean pupal weight. Additionally, there were no biologically significant levels of adult mortality observed in any glyphosate treatment group. Significant effects were observed only in the fenoxycarb toxic reference group and included increased brood mortality and a decline in the numbers of bees and brood. Mean glyphosate residues in larvae were comparable at 4 days after spray application in the exposure study and also following dosing at a level calculated from the mean measured levels in pollen and nectar, showing the applicability and robustness of the approach for dose setting with honeybee brood studies. This study has developed a versatile and predictive approach for use in higher tier honeybee toxicity studies. It can be used to realistically quantify exposure of colonies to pesticides to allow the

  1. Modification of the brain proteome of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera) exposed to a sub-lethal doses of the insecticide fipronil.

    PubMed

    Roat, T C; dos Santos-Pinto, J R A; Dos Santos, L D; Santos, K S; Malaspina, O; Palma, M S

    2014-11-01

    Fipronil is a phenylpyrazole insecticide that is widely used in Brazilian agriculture for pest control. Although honeybees are not targets of fipronil, studies indicate that this pesticide can be harmful to honeybees. To assess the effects of fipronil in the brain of Africanized Apis mellifera workers, this study focused on the toxico-proteome profiling of the brain of newly emerged and aged honeybee workers that were exposed to a sub-lethal dose (10 pg fipronil per day. i.e. (1)/100 of LD50/bee/day during 5 days) of the insecticide. Proteomic analysis identified 25 proteins that were differentially up-regulated or down-regulated when the fipronil-exposed and non-exposed groups were compared. These proteins are potentially related to pathogen susceptibility, neuronal chemical stress, neuronal protein misfolding, and occurrence of apoptosis, ischemia, visual impairment, damaged synapse formation, brain degeneration, memory and learning impairment. The exposure of honeybees to a very low dose of fipronil, even for a short period of time (5 days), was sufficient to cause a series of important neuroproteomic changes in the brains of honeybees.

  2. Molecular identification and phylogenetic analysis of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. isolated from gut of honeybees (Apis mellifera) from West Azerbaijan, Iran.

    PubMed

    Sharifpour, Mohammad Farouq; Mardani, Karim; Ownagh, Abdulghaffar

    2016-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and phylogenetic analysis were used for molecular identification of lactic acid bacteria (LABs) isolated from Apis mellifera. Eighteen honeybee workers were collected from three different apiaries in West Azerbaijan. LABs from the gut of honeybees were isolated and cultured using routine biochemical procedures. Genomic DNA was extracted from LABs and a fragment of 1540 bp in size of 16S rRNA gene was amplified. PCR products were digested using HinfI endonuclease and digested products with different RFLP patterns were subjected to nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The results revealed that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria spp. are were the most abundant LABs in honeybee gut. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were closely clustered with high similarity percentage with the same bacteria isolated from honeybees' gut elsewhere. It was concluded that LABs isolated from honeybees had low sequence divergence in comparison with LABs isolated from other sources such as dairy products.

  3. Lifetime- and caste-specific changes in flight metabolic rate and muscle biochemistry of honeybees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Schippers, Marie-Pierre; Dukas, Reuven; McClelland, Grant B

    2010-01-01

    Honeybees, Apis mellifera, who show temporal polyethism, begin their adult life performing tasks inside the hive (hive bees) and then switch to foraging when they are about 2-3 weeks old (foragers). Usually hive tasks require little or no flying, whereas foraging involves flying for several hours a day and carrying heavy loads of nectar and pollen. Flight muscles are particularly plastic organs that can respond to use and disuse, and accordingly it would be expected that adjustments in flight muscle metabolism occur throughout a bee's life. We thus investigated changes in lifetime flight metabolic rate and flight muscle biochemistry of differently aged hive bees and of foragers with varying foraging experience. Rapid increases in flight metabolic rates early in life coincided with a switch in troponin T isoforms and increases in flight muscle maximal activities (V (max)) of the enzymes citrate synthase, cytochrome c oxidase, hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, and pyruvate kinase. However, further increases in flight metabolic rate in experienced foragers occurred without additional changes in the in vitro V (max) of these flight muscle metabolic enzymes. Estimates of in vivo flux (v) compared to maximum flux of each enzyme in vitro (fractional velocity, v/V (max)) suggest that most enzymes operate at a higher fraction of V (max) in mature foragers compared to young hive bees. Our results indicate that honeybees develop most of their flight muscle metabolic machinery early in life. Any further increases in flight metabolism with age or foraging experience are most likely achieved by operating metabolic enzymes closer to their maximal flux capacity.

  4. Antennal Transcriptome and Differential Expression Analysis of Five Chemosensory Gene Families from the Asian Honeybee Apis cerana cerana

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Huiting; Du, Yali; Gao, Pengfei; Wang, Shujie; Pan, Jianfang; Jiang, Yusuo

    2016-01-01

    Chemosensory genes play a central role in sensing chemical signals and guiding insect behavior. The Chinese honeybee, Apis cerana cerana, is one of the most important insect species in China in terms of resource production, and providing high-quality products for human consumption, and also serves as an important pollinator. Communication and foraging behavior of worker bees is likely linked to a complex chemosensory system. Here, we used transcriptome sequencing on adult A. c. cerana workers of different ages to identify the major chemosensory gene families and the differentially expressed genes(DEGs), and to investigate their expression profiles. A total of 109 candidate chemosensory genes in five gene families were identified from the antennal transcriptome assemblies, including 17 OBPs, 6 CSPs, 74 ORs, 10 IRs, and 2SNMPs, in which nineteen DEGs were screened and their expression values at different developmental stages were determined in silico. No chemosensory transcript was specific to a certain developmental period. Thirteen DEGs were upregulated and 6were downregulated. We created extensive expression profiles in six major body tissues using qRT-PCR and found that most DEGs were exclusively or primarily expressed in antennae. Others were abundantly expressed in the other tissues, such as head, thorax, abdomen, legs, and wings. Interestingly, when a DEG was highly expressed in the thorax, it also had a high level of expression in legs, but showed a lowlevel in antennae. This study explored five chemoreceptor superfamily genes using RNA-Seq coupled with extensive expression profiling of DEGs. Our results provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of odorant detection in the Asian honeybee and also serve as an extensive novel resource for comparing and investigating olfactory functionality in hymenopterans. PMID:27776190

  5. Age, caste, and behavior determine the replicative activity of intestinal stem cells in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Ward, Kristen N; Coleman, Jennifer L; Clinnin, Kaitlin; Fahrbach, Susan; Rueppell, Olav

    2008-06-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) display a pronounced natural aging plasticity. The differences in aging rates between the alternative phenotypes and behavioral classes could reflect differences in protection against damage or in the ability to repair vulnerable tissues. As in other animals, including humans, the gut is continually exposed to environmental insults and harbors a large population of replicating stem cells that maintain the intestinal epithelium. Through studies of the major internal organs using incorporation and immunodetection of the mitotic marker bromo-deoxyuridine, the intestine was determined to be the main site of tissue renewal in adult honeybees. Proliferative activity of the intestinal stem cells was compared among queens, workers, and males of different ages. Simultaneous attempts to assess intestinal cell loss via apoptosis yielded inconclusive results. The relationship between intestinal cell proliferation and worker life-history was evaluated in greater depth by studying diutinus winter workers, reproductive workers, and by decoupling worker behavioral status from chronological age in a single-cohort colony. Intestinal cell proliferation was abundant in all groups and showed an age-related decline in workers, queens, and males. At young ages, workers exhibited relatively more intestinal cell proliferation than did queens and queens more than drones, but the caste and sex differences decreased with age. Cell proliferation did not decrease beyond 6 weeks of age in older queens and in diutinus workers. Ovary activation did not correlate with the amount of intestinal stem cell proliferation in workers, although the queenless hive condition was associated with lower overall counts. In the single-cohort colony, nurse bees exhibited more cell proliferation than foragers, regardless of age. The overall results do not support our hypothesis that longer-lived phenotypes exhibit increased somatic repair in the form of higher replicative activity of

  6. Proteome comparison of hypopharyngeal gland development between Italian and royal jelly producing worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Jianke, Li; Mao, Feng; Begna, Desalegn; Yu, Fang; Aijuan, Zheng

    2010-12-03

    The hypopharyngeal gland (HG) of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) produces royal jelly (RJ) that is essential to feed and raise broods and queens. A strain of bees (high royal jelly producing bee, RJb) has been selected for its high RJ production, but the mechanisms of its higher yield are not understood. In this study, we compared HG acini size, RJ production, and protein differential expressions between the RJb and nonselected honeybee (Italian bee, ITb) using proteomics in combination with an electron microscopy, Western blot, and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Generally, the HG of both bees showed age-dependent changes in acini sizes and protein expression as worker behaviors changed from brood nursing to nectar ripening, foraging, and storage activities. The electron microscopic analysis revealed that the HG acini diameter of the RJb strain was large and produced 5 times more RJ than the ITb, demonstrating a positive correlation between the yield and HG acini size. In addition, the proteomic analysis showed that RJb significantly upregulated a large group of proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, those involved in protein biosynthesis, development, amino acid metabolism, nucleotide and fatty acid, transporter, protein folding, cytoskeleton, and antioxidation, which coincides with the fact that the HGs of the RJb strain produce more RJ than the ITb strain that is owing to selection pressure. We also observed age-dependent major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) changing both in form and expressional intensity concurrent with task-switching. In addition to MRJPs, the RJb overexpressed proteins such as enolase and transitional endoplasmic reticulum ATPase, protein biosynthesis, and development proteins compared to the ITb strain to support its large HG growth and RJ secretion. Because of selection pressure, RJb pursued a different strategy of increased RJ production by involving additional proteins compared to its original

  7. Improved Cholinergic Transmission is Detrimental to Behavioural Plasticity in Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Guez, David; Zhu, Hong; Zhang, Shao-Wu

    2012-10-16

    Unravelling the role of neuromessenger processes in learning and memory has long interested researchers. We investigated the effects of an acetylcholinesterase blocker, Methyl Parathion (MeP), on honeybee learning. We used visual and olfactory tasks to test whether MeP had a detrimental effect on the acquisition of new knowledge when this new knowledge contradicts previously acquired one. Our results indicate that treatment with MeP prior to conditioning was significantly detrimental to the acquisition of incongruous (but not irrelevant or congruous) new knowledge due to improved recall. The neurobiological and ecotoxicological consequences of these results are discussed.

  8. Differential antennal proteome comparison of adult honeybee drone, worker and queen (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-04

    To understand the olfactory mechanism of honeybee antennae in detecting specific volatile compounds in the atmosphere, antennal proteome differences of drone, worker and queen were compared using 2-DE, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics. Therefore, 107 proteins were altered their expressions in the antennae of drone, worker and queen bees. There were 54, 21 and 32 up-regulated proteins in the antennae of drone, worker and queen, respectively. Proteins upregulated in the drone antennae were involved in fatty acid metabolism, antioxidation, carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, protein folding and cytoskeleton. Proteins upregulated in the antennae of worker and queen bees were related to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production while molecular transporters were upregulated in the queen antennae. Our results explain the role played by the antennae of drone is to aid in perceiving the queen sexual pheromones, in the worker antennae to assist for food search and social communication and in the queen antennae to help pheromone communication with the worker and the drone during the mating flight. This first proteomic study significantly extends our understanding of honeybee olfactory activities and the possible mechanisms played by the antennae in response to various environmental, social, biological and biochemical signals.

  9. The Circuitry of Olfactory Projection Neurons in the Brain of the Honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Zwaka, Hanna; Münch, Daniel; Manz, Gisela; Menzel, Randolf; Rybak, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    In the honeybee brain, two prominent tracts – the medial and the lateral antennal lobe tract – project from the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobes (ALs), to the central brain, the mushroom bodies (MBs), and the protocerebral lobe (PL). Intracellularly stained uniglomerular projection neurons were reconstructed, registered to the 3D honeybee standard brain atlas, and then used to derive the spatial properties and quantitative morphology of the neurons of both tracts. We evaluated putative synaptic contacts of projection neurons (PNs) using confocal microscopy. Analysis of the patterns of axon terminals revealed a domain-like innervation within the MB lip neuropil. PNs of the lateral tract arborized more sparsely within the lips and exhibited fewer synaptic boutons, while medial tract neurons occupied broader regions in the MB calyces and the PL. Our data show that uPNs from the medial and lateral tract innervate both the core and the cortex of the ipsilateral MB lip but differ in their innervation patterns in these regions. In the mushroombody neuropil collar we found evidence for ALT boutons suggesting the collar as a multi modal input site including olfactory input similar to lip and basal ring. In addition, our data support the conclusion drawn in previous studies that reciprocal synapses exist between PNs, octopaminergic-, and GABAergic cells in the MB calyces. For the first time, we found evidence for connections between both tracts within the AL. PMID:27746723

  10. Proboscis conditioning experiments with honeybees, Apis mellifera caucasica, with butyric acid and DEET mixture as conditioned and unconditioned stimuli.

    PubMed

    Abramson, Charles I; Giray, Tugrul; Mixson, T Andrew; Nolf, Sondra L; Wells, Harrington; Kence, Aykut; Kence, Meral

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments are described investigating whether olfactory repellents DEET and butyric acid can support the classical conditioning of proboscis extension in the honeybee, Apis mellifera caucasica (Hymenoptera: Apidae). In the first experiment DEET and butyric acid readily led to standard acquisition and extinction effects, which are comparable to the use of cinnamon as a conditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that the odor of DEET or butyric acid is not intrinsically repellent to honey bees. In a second experiment, with DEET and butyric acid mixed with sucrose as an unconditioned stimulus, proboscis conditioning was not established. After several trials, few animals responded to the unconditioned stimulus. These results demonstrate that these chemicals are gustatory repellents when in direct contact. In the last experiment a conditioned suppression paradigm was used. Exposing animals to butyric acid or DEET when the proboscis was extended by direct sucrose stimulation or by learning revealed that retraction of the proboscis was similar to another novel odor, lavender, and in all cases greatest when the animal was not permitted to feed. These results again demonstrate that DEET or butyric acid are not olfactory repellents, and in addition, conditioned suppression is influenced by feeding state of the bee.

  11. Assessment of food source profitability in honeybees (Apis mellifera): how does disturbance of foraging activity affect trophallactic behaviour?

    PubMed

    Wainselboim, A J; Roces, F; Farina, W M

    2003-01-01

    When forager honeybees (Apis mellifera) return to the hive after a successful foraging trip, they unload the collected liquid to recipient hive mates through mouth-to-mouth contacts (trophallaxis). The speed at which the liquid is transferred (unloading rate) from donor to recipient is related to the profitability of the recently visited food source. Two main characteristics that define this profitability are the flow of solution delivered by the feeder and the time invested by the forager at the source (visit time). To investigate the effect of visit time on trophallactic behaviour, donor foragers were trained to a rate feeder that could deliver different flows of solution. We dissociated visit time and flow of solution by introducing pauses in the solution's deliverance at different moments of the foraging visit. We analysed whether timing of the non-deliverance period within the visit is important for the forager's assessment of resource profitability. During the subsequent trophallactic encounter with a hive mate, unloading rate was related to the total time invested by the forager at the food source only if the ingestion process had already been started. These results together with previous ones suggest that foragers integrate an overall flow rate of solution of the feeder throughout the entire foraging visit.

  12. Expression and regulation of phospholipase A2 in venom gland of the chinese honeybee, Apis cerana cerana.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiang-Hong; Zhang, Chuan-Xi; Shen, Li-rong; Tang, Zhen-Hua; Cheng, Jia-An

    2005-09-01

    Phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) is one of the components of bee venom with a wide range of pharmacological functions. It operates as a major allergen working with other venom components to defend the colony from intruder. In the present study, the cDNA sequence of the Ac-pla(2) gene from cDNA library of the venom gland of Apis cerana was compared with the amplified corresponding region of genomic DNA. The result showed that the Ac-pla(2) gene consisted of four exons and three introns. Southern blot showed that the Ac-pla(2) gene was a single copy per haploid genome. The most active transcription period was during the first 8 days of adults, which correspondingly was the period of sharp increase of PLA(2) protein. ELISA analysis revealed that the PLA(2) was undetectable in pupal stage and the newly eclosed adult, but increased sharply to a maximum of 10-12 mug per honeybee by 8-10 days of adult life, followed by a gradual decrease to 8 mug for the rest of adult life. Transcriptional or post transcriptional regulation is the key step for Ac-pla(2) expression. The early secreted Ac-PLA(2) showed a low degree of post-translational modification; with increasing age, glycosylation was detected by Western blot and glycoprotein staining analysis. Different post-translational modifications were found among different individuals in A. cerana when compared to A. mellifera.

  13. Coenzyme Q10 treatments influence the lifespan and key biochemical resistance systems in the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Strachecka, Aneta; Olszewski, Krzysztof; Paleolog, Jerzy; Borsuk, Grzegorz; Bajda, Milena; Krauze, Magdalena; Merska, Malwina; Chobotow, Jacek

    2014-07-01

    Natural bioactive preparations that will boost apian resistance, aid body detoxification, or fight crucial bee diseases are in demand. Therefore, we examined the influence of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10, 2,3-dimethoxy, 5-methyl, 6-decaprenyl benzoquinone) treatment on honeybee lifespan, Nosema resistance, the activity/concentration of antioxidants, proteases and protease inhibitors, and biomarkers. CoQ10 slows age-related metabolic processes. Workers that consumed CoQ10 lived longer than untreated controls and were less infested with Nosema spp. Relative to controls, the CoQ10-treated workers had higher protein concentrations that increased with age but then they decreased in older bees. CoQ10 treatments increased the activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, GPx, catalase, glutathione S-transferase), protease inhibitors, biomarkers (aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase), the total antioxidant potential level, and concentrations of uric acid and creatinine. The activities of acidic, neutral, and alkaline proteases, and concentrations of albumin and urea were lower in the bees that were administered CoQ10. CoQ10 could be taken into consideration as a natural diet supplement in early spring before pollen sources become available in the temperate Central European climate. A response to CoQ10 administration that is similar to mammals supports our view that Apis mellifera is a model organism for biochemical gerontology.

  14. The Africanization of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) of the Yucatan: a study of a massive hybridization event across time.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Kylea E; Rinderer, Thomas E; Franck, Pierre; Quezada-Euán, Javier G; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2002-07-01

    Until recently, African and European subspecies of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) had been geographically separated for around 10,000 years. However, human-assisted introductions have caused the mixing of large populations of African and European subspecies in South and Central America, permitting an unprecedented opportunity to study a large-scale hybridization event using molecular analyses. We obtained reference populations from Europe, Africa, and South America and used these to provide baseline information for a microsatellite and mitochondrial analysis of the process of Africanization of the bees of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The genetic structure of the Yucatecan population has changed dramatically over time. The pre-Africanized Yucatecan population (1985) comprised bees that were most similar to samples from southeastern Europe and northern and western Europe. Three years after the arrival of Africanized bees (1989), substantial paternal gene flow had occurred from feral Africanized drones into the resident European population, but maternal gene flow from the invading Africanized population into the local population was negligible. However by 1998, there was a radical shift with both African nuclear alleles (65%) and African-derived mitochondria (61%) dominating the genomes of domestic colonies. We suggest that although European mitochondria may eventually be driven to extinction in the feral population, stable introgression of European nuclear alleles has occurred.

  15. Reassessing the role of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) Dufour's gland in egg marking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Stephen; Jones, Graeme; Châline, Nicolas; Middleton, Helen; Ratnieks, Francis

    2002-10-01

    Dufour's gland secretion may allow worker honeybees to discriminate between queen-laid and worker-laid eggs. To investigate this, we combined the chemical analysis of individually treated eggs with an egg removal bioassay. We partitioned queen Dufour's gland into hydrocarbon and ester fractions. The bioassay showed that worker-laid eggs treated with either whole gland extract, ester fraction or synthetic gland esters were removed more slowly than untreated worker-laid eggs. However, the effect only lasted up to 20 h. Worker-laid eggs treated with the hydrocarbon fraction were removed at the same rate as untreated eggs. The amount of ester which reduced the egg removal rate was far higher than that naturally found on queen-laid or worker-laid eggs, and at natural ester levels no effect was found. Our results indicate that esters or hydrocarbons probably do not function as the signal by which eggs can be discriminated.

  16. Foraging reactivation in the honeybee Apis mellifera L.: factors affecting the return to known nectar sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil, Mariana; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2002-05-01

    This paper addresses, what determines that experienced forager honeybees return to places where they have previously exploited nectar. Although there was already some evidence that dance and trophallaxis can cause bees to return to feed, the fraction of unemployed foragers that follow dance or receive food from employed foragers before revisiting the feeder was unknown. We found that 27% of the experienced foragers had no contact with the returning foragers inside the hive. The most common interactions were dance following (64%) and trophallaxis (21%). The great variability found in the amount of interactions suggests that individual bees require different stimulation before changing to the foraging mode. This broad disparity negatively correlated with the number of days after marking at the feeder, a variable that is closely related to the foraging experience, suggesting that a temporal variable might affect the decision-making in reactivated foragers.

  17. Binary mixtures of neonicotinoids show different transcriptional changes than single neonicotinoids in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Christen, Verena; Bachofer, Sara; Fent, Karl

    2017-01-01

    Among the many factors responsible for the decline of bee populations are plant protection products such as neonicotinoids. In general, bees are exposed to not only one but mixtures of such chemicals. At environmental realistic concentrations neonicotinoids may display negative effects on the immune system, foraging activity, learning and memory formation of bees. Neonicotinoids induce alterations of gene transcripts such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, vitellogenin, genes of the immune system and genes linked to memory formation. While previous studies focused on individual compounds, the effect of neonicotinoid mixtures in bees is poorly known. Here we investigated the effects of neonicotinoids acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam as single compounds, and binary mixtures thereof in honeybees. We determined transcriptional changes of nAChR subunits and vitellogenin in the brain of experimentally exposed honeybees after exposure up to 72 h. Exposure concentrations were selected on the basis of lowest effect concentrations of the single compounds. Transcriptional induction of nAChRs and vitellogenin was strongest for thiamethoxam, and weakest for acetamiprid. To a large extent, binary mixtures did not show additive transcriptional inductions but they were less than additive. Our data suggest that the joint transcriptional activity of neonicotinoids cannot be explained by concentration addition. The in vivo effects are not only governed by agonistic interaction with nAChRs alone, but are more complex as a result of interactions with other pathways as well. Further studies are needed to investigate the physiological joint effects of mixtures of neonicotinoids and other plant protection products on bees to better understand their joint effects.

  18. Molecular identification and phylogenetic analysis of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. isolated from gut of honeybees (Apis mellifera) from West Azerbaijan, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Sharifpour, Mohammad Farouq; Mardani, Karim; Ownagh, Abdulghaffar

    2016-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and phylogenetic analysis were used for molecular identification of lactic acid bacteria (LABs) isolated from Apis mellifera. Eighteen honeybee workers were collected from three different apiaries in West Azerbaijan. LABs from the gut of honeybees were isolated and cultured using routine biochemical procedures. Genomic DNA was extracted from LABs and a fragment of 1540 bp in size of 16S rRNA gene was amplified. PCR products were digested using HinfI endonuclease and digested products with different RFLP patterns were subjected to nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The results revealed that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria spp. are were the most abundant LABs in honeybee gut. Phylogenetic analysis showed that both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were closely clustered with high similarity percentage with the same bacteria isolated from honeybees’ gut elsewhere. It was concluded that LABs isolated from honeybees had low sequence divergence in comparison with LABs isolated from other sources such as dairy products. PMID:28144419

  19. A new antigenic marker specifically labels a subpopulation of the class II Kenyon cells in the brain of the European honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takayuki; Kubo, Takeo

    2015-01-01

    The mushroom bodies are the higher-order integration center in the insect brain and are involved in higher brain functions such as learning and memory. In the social hymenopteran insects such as honeybees, the mushroom bodies are the prominent brain structures. The mushroom bodies are composed of lobed neuropils formed by thousands of parallel-projecting axons of intrinsic neurons, and the lobes are divided into parallel subdivisions. In the present paper, we report a new antigenic marker to label a single layer in the vertical lobes of the European honeybee Apis mellifera. In the brain of A. mellifera, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) 15C3, which was originally developed against an insect ecdysone receptor (EcR) protein, immunolabels a single layer of the vertical lobes that correspond to the most dorsal layer of the γ-lobe. The 15C3 mAb recognizes a single ~200 kDa protein expressed in the adult honeybee brain. In addition, the 15C3 mAb immunoreactivity was also observed in the lobes of the developing pupal mushroom bodies. Since γ-lobe is well known to their extensive reorganization that occurs during metamorphosis in Drosophila, the novel antigenic marker for the honeybee γ-lobe allows us to investigate morphological changes of the mushroom bodies during metamorphosis.

  20. Comparative analysis of two immunohistochemical methods for antigen retrieval in the optical lobe of the honeybee Apis mellifera: myosin-V assay.

    PubMed

    Calábria, Luciana Karen; Teixeira, Renata Roland; Coelho Gonçalves, Sybelli Magda; Passos Lima, Andreia Barcelos; Santos, Ana Alice Diniz Dos; Martins, Antônio Roberto; Espindola, Foued Salmen

    2010-01-01

    The present study compared two heating methods currently used for antigen retrieval (AR) immunostaining: the microwave oven and the steam cooker. Myosin-V, a molecular motor involved in vesicle transport, was used as a neuronal marker in honeybee Apis mellifera brains fixed in formalin. Overall, the steam cooker showed the most satisfactory AR results. At 100 ºC, tissue morphology was maintained and revealed epitope recovery, while evaporation of the AR solution was markedly reduced; this is important for stabilizing the sodium citrate molarity of the AR buffer and reducing background effects. Standardization of heat-mediated AR of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue sections results in more reliable immunostaining of the honeybee brain.

  1. Optimization of γ-aminobutyric acid production by Lactobacillus plantarum Taj-Apis362 from honeybees.

    PubMed

    Tajabadi, Naser; Ebrahimpour, Afshin; Baradaran, Ali; Rahim, Raha Abdul; Mahyudin, Nor Ainy; Manap, Mohd Yazid Abdul; Bakar, Fatimah Abu; Saari, Nazamid

    2015-04-15

    Dominant strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from honey bees were evaluated for their γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-producing ability. Out of 24 strains, strain Taj-Apis362 showed the highest GABA-producing ability (1.76 mM) in MRS broth containing 50 mM initial glutamic acid cultured for 60 h. Effects of fermentation parameters, including initial glutamic acid level, culture temperature, initial pH and incubation time on GABA production were investigated via a single parameter optimization strategy. The optimal fermentation condition for GABA production was modeled using response surface methodology (RSM). The results showed that the culture temperature was the most significant factor for GABA production. The optimum conditions for maximum GABA production by Lactobacillus plantarum Taj-Apis362 were an initial glutamic acid concentration of 497.97 mM, culture temperature of 36 °C, initial pH of 5.31 and incubation time of 60 h, which produced 7.15 mM of GABA. The value is comparable with the predicted value of 7.21 mM.

  2. The Optics of the Compound Eye of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Varela, Francisco G.; Wiitanen, Wayne

    1970-01-01

    The optical system of the compound eye of the worker honeybee, as a representative of the closed-rhabdom type of eye, was investigated and its function analyzed. Measurements of refractive indices of the elements of the optical system were made with an interference microscope. With the use of the resulting measurements, the optical system was analyzed by means of a ray-tracing procedure implemented for the IBM 7094 digital computer, and by means of the Gaussian thick lens formulae. The more detailed results of the ray-tracing technique were used for further analyses. Direct visual confirmation of the focal point was obtained. The rhabdom and the surrounding zone of lower refractive index act together as a wave guide, as demonstrated by the presence of several wave guide modes in the rhabdom. An admittance function was defined as the percentage of the rays reaching the rhabdom with respect to those entering the ommatidium. Good agreement with experimental results was found. The characterization of the visual field of an ommatidium by means of an admittance function permits the analysis of the influence of different stimuli on the eye. PMID:5520506

  3. Trophallaxis in forager honeybees (Apis mellifera): resource uncertainty enhances begging contacts?

    PubMed

    De Marco, R J; Farina, W M

    2003-02-01

    Trophallaxis among adult worker honeybees is the transfer of liquid food by mouth from one individual to another. Within the colony, nectar foragers perform offering contacts (as food-donors) to transfer the contents of their crops to recipient nest-mates and, in addition, they also perform begging contacts (as food-receivers). The biological relevance of these last interactions remains unknown. Previous evidence suggests that begging may be involved in the exchange of information on food resources that occurs naturally between employed foragers and nest-mates. This work was aimed to reveal possible connections between the information obtained while foraging and the begging behavior displayed inside the nest. Experiments were intended to (1) analyze whether chemosensory information obtained while foraging, i.e., odors and sucrose concentrations, affects begging behavior, and (2) determine whether resource uncertainty enhances begging contacts. Results showed that: (1) most begging contacts lasted less than 1 s, a duration which only allows receiving food samples from nest-mates; (2) the diversity of odors and sucrose concentrations at the feeding place enhances the occurrence of begging contacts; and (3) an increased resource uncertainty enhances the forager begging behavior. In addition, results suggest that foragers may direct their begging contacts frequently to other employed nectar foragers.

  4. Trophallaxis in filled-crop honeybees (Apis mellifera L.): food-loading time affects unloading behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wainselboim, A. J.; Farina, W. M.

    Honeybees ingested 50% w/w (1.8M) sucrose solution at a rate feeder offering either 16.5, 32.5 or 65 μl/min. While the time spent ingesting solution at the feeder decreased significantly with increasing flow of solution, bees attained maximum crop loads with this range of flows. Different parameters related to mouth-to-mouth food exchange (trophallaxis) showed important modulations as the offered flow of solution was incremented. Trophallactic transfer rate, i.e. the speed at which liquid food is transferred from donor to recipient bee, was found to increase along with increasing profitability at the rate feeder. In the present case, food source profitability could have been evaluated by foragers either by measuring the time invested in ingesting the solution, or by direct assessment of the flow rate of the feeder. Thus it seems that perception of profitability conditions at the food sourcesuffices for later representation in the hive through trophallactic contacts, independently of crop-filling state.

  5. Differentially methylated obligatory epialleles modulate context-dependent LAM gene expression in the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Wedd, Laura; Kucharski, Robert; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Differential intragenic methylation in social insects has been hailed as a prime mover of environmentally driven organismal plasticity and even as evidence for genomic imprinting. However, very little experimental work has been done to test these ideas and to prove the validity of such claims. Here we analyze in detail differentially methylated obligatory epialleles of a conserved gene encoding lysosomal α-mannosidase (AmLAM) in the honeybee. We combined genotyping of progenies derived from colonies founded by single drone inseminated queens, ultra-deep allele-specific bisulfite DNA sequencing, and gene expression to reveal how sequence variants, DNA methylation, and transcription interrelate. We show that both methylated and non-methylated states of AmLAM follow Mendelian inheritance patterns and are strongly influenced by polymorphic changes in DNA. Increased methylation of a given allele correlates with higher levels of context-dependent AmLAM expression and appears to affect the transcription of an antisense long noncoding RNA. No evidence of allelic imbalance or imprinting involved in this process has been found. Our data suggest that by generating alternate methylation states that affect gene expression, sequence variants provide organisms with a high level of epigenetic flexibility that can be used to select appropriate responses in various contexts. This study represents the first effort to integrate DNA sequence variants, gene expression, and methylation in a social insect to advance our understanding of their relationships in the context of causality. PMID:26507253

  6. Differentially methylated obligatory epialleles modulate context-dependent LAM gene expression in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wedd, Laura; Kucharski, Robert; Maleszka, Ryszard

    2016-01-01

    Differential intragenic methylation in social insects has been hailed as a prime mover of environmentally driven organismal plasticity and even as evidence for genomic imprinting. However, very little experimental work has been done to test these ideas and to prove the validity of such claims. Here we analyze in detail differentially methylated obligatory epialleles of a conserved gene encoding lysosomal α-mannosidase (AmLAM) in the honeybee. We combined genotyping of progenies derived from colonies founded by single drone inseminated queens, ultra-deep allele-specific bisulfite DNA sequencing, and gene expression to reveal how sequence variants, DNA methylation, and transcription interrelate. We show that both methylated and non-methylated states of AmLAM follow Mendelian inheritance patterns and are strongly influenced by polymorphic changes in DNA. Increased methylation of a given allele correlates with higher levels of context-dependent AmLAM expression and appears to affect the transcription of an antisense long noncoding RNA. No evidence of allelic imbalance or imprinting involved in this process has been found. Our data suggest that by generating alternate methylation states that affect gene expression, sequence variants provide organisms with a high level of epigenetic flexibility that can be used to select appropriate responses in various contexts. This study represents the first effort to integrate DNA sequence variants, gene expression, and methylation in a social insect to advance our understanding of their relationships in the context of causality.

  7. Transcriptional responses in eastern honeybees (Apis cerana) infected with mites, Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

    Ji, T; Yin, L; Liu, Z; Liang, Q; Luo, Y; Shen, J; Shen, F

    2014-10-31

    The Varroa destructor mite has become the greatest threat to Apis mellifera health worldwide, but rarely causes serious damage to its native host Apis cerana. Understanding the resistance mechanisms of eastern bees against Varroa mites will help researchers determine how to protect other species from this organism. The A. cerana genome has not been previously sequenced; hence, here we sequenced the A. cerana nurse workers transcriptome and monitored the differential gene expression of A. cerana bees challenged by V. destructor. Using de novo transcriptome assembly, we obtained 91,172 unigenes (transcripts) for A. cerana. Differences in gene expression levels between the unchallenged (Con) and challenged (Con2) samples were estimated, and a total of 36,691 transcripts showed a 2-fold difference (at least) between the 2 libraries. A total of 272 differentially expressed genes showed differences greater than 15-fold, and 265 unigenes were present at higher levels in Con2 than in Con. Among the upregulated unigenes in the Con2 colony, genes related to skeletal muscle movement (troponin and calcium-transporting ATPase), olfactory sensitivity (odorant binding proteins, and Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule gene) and transcription factors (cyclic adenosine monophosphate-responsive element-binding protein and transcription factor mblk-1) appeared to be involved in Varroa resistance. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed to validate these differentially expressed genes screened by the sequencing approach, and sufficient consistency was observed between the two methods. These findings strongly support that hygienic and grooming behaviors play important roles in Varroa resistance.

  8. RNAi-Mediated Functional Analysis of Bursicon Genes Related to Adult Cuticle Formation and Tanning in the Honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Elias-Neto, Moysés; Falcon, Tiago; Dallacqua, Rodrigo Pires; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Marcia Maria Gentile

    2016-01-01

    Bursicon is a heterodimeric neurohormone that acts through a G protein-coupled receptor named rickets (rk), thus inducing an increase in cAMP and the activation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the cuticular tanning pathway. In insects, the role of bursicon in the post-ecdysial tanning of the adult cuticle and wing expansion is well characterized. Here we investigated the roles of the genes encoding the bursicon subunits during the adult cuticle development in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. RNAi-mediated knockdown of AmBurs α and AmBurs β bursicon genes prevented the complete formation and tanning (melanization/sclerotization) of the adult cuticle. A thinner, much less tanned cuticle was produced, and ecdysis toward adult stage was impaired. Consistent with these results, the knockdown of bursicon transcripts also interfered in the expression of genes encoding its receptor, AmRk, structural cuticular proteins, and enzymes in the melanization/sclerotization pathway, thus evidencing roles for bursicon in adult cuticle formation and tanning. Moreover, the expression of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and AmRk is contingent on the declining ecdysteroid titer that triggers the onset of adult cuticle synthesis and deposition. The search for transcripts of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and candidate targets in RNA-seq libraries prepared with brains and integuments strengthened our data on transcript quantification through RT-qPCR. Together, our results support our premise that bursicon has roles in adult cuticle formation and tanning, and are in agreement with other recent studies pointing for roles during the pharate-adult stage, in addition to the classical post-ecdysial ones. PMID:27907116

  9. RNAi-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function turns honeybee ( Apis mellifera) workers into extremely precocious foragers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marco Antonio, David Santos; Guidugli-Lazzarini, Karina Rosa; Do Nascimento, Adriana Mendes; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2008-10-01

    The switch from within-hive activities to foraging behavior is a major transition in the life cycle of a honeybee ( Apis mellifera) worker. A prominent regulatory role in this switch has long been attributed to juvenile hormone (JH), but recent evidence also points to the yolk precursor protein vitellogenin as a major player in behavioral development. In the present study, we injected vitellogenin double-stranded RNA (dsVg) into newly emerged worker bees of Africanized genetic origin and introduced them together with controls into observation hives to record flight behavior. RNA interference-mediated silencing of vitellogenin gene function shifted the onset of long-duration flights (>10 min) to earlier in life (by 3 4 days) when compared with sham and untreated control bees. In fact, dsVg bees were observed conducting such flights extremely precociously, when only 3 days old. Short-duration flights (<10 min), which bees usually perform for orientation and cleaning, were not affected. Additionally, we found that the JH titer in dsVg bees collected after 7 days was not significantly different from the controls. The finding that depletion of the vitellogenin titer can drive young bees to become extremely precocious foragers could imply that vitellogenin is the primary switch signal. At this young age, downregulation of vitellogenin gene activity apparently had little effect on the JH titer. As this unexpected finding stands in contrast with previous results on the vitellogenin/JH interaction at a later age, when bees normally become foragers, we propose a three-step sequence in the constellation of physiological parameters underlying behavioral development.

  10. RNAi-Mediated Functional Analysis of Bursicon Genes Related to Adult Cuticle Formation and Tanning in the Honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Costa, Claudinéia Pereira; Elias-Neto, Moysés; Falcon, Tiago; Dallacqua, Rodrigo Pires; Martins, Juliana Ramos; Bitondi, Marcia Maria Gentile

    2016-01-01

    Bursicon is a heterodimeric neurohormone that acts through a G protein-coupled receptor named rickets (rk), thus inducing an increase in cAMP and the activation of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the cuticular tanning pathway. In insects, the role of bursicon in the post-ecdysial tanning of the adult cuticle and wing expansion is well characterized. Here we investigated the roles of the genes encoding the bursicon subunits during the adult cuticle development in the honeybee, Apis mellifera. RNAi-mediated knockdown of AmBurs α and AmBurs β bursicon genes prevented the complete formation and tanning (melanization/sclerotization) of the adult cuticle. A thinner, much less tanned cuticle was produced, and ecdysis toward adult stage was impaired. Consistent with these results, the knockdown of bursicon transcripts also interfered in the expression of genes encoding its receptor, AmRk, structural cuticular proteins, and enzymes in the melanization/sclerotization pathway, thus evidencing roles for bursicon in adult cuticle formation and tanning. Moreover, the expression of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and AmRk is contingent on the declining ecdysteroid titer that triggers the onset of adult cuticle synthesis and deposition. The search for transcripts of AmBurs α, AmBurs β and candidate targets in RNA-seq libraries prepared with brains and integuments strengthened our data on transcript quantification through RT-qPCR. Together, our results support our premise that bursicon has roles in adult cuticle formation and tanning, and are in agreement with other recent studies pointing for roles during the pharate-adult stage, in addition to the classical post-ecdysial ones.

  11. Brain modulation of Dufour's gland ester biosynthesis in vitro in the honeybee ( Apis mellifera)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katzav-Gozansky, Tamar; Hefetz, Abraham; Soroker, Victoria

    2007-05-01

    Caste-specific pheromone biosynthesis is a prerequisite for reproductive skew in the honeybee. Nonetheless, this process is not hardwired but plastic, in that egg-laying workers produce a queen-like pheromone. Studies with Dufour’s gland pheromone revealed that, in vivo, workers’ gland biosynthesis matches the social status of the worker, i.e., sterile workers showed a worker-like pattern whereas fertile workers showed a queen-like pattern (production of the queen-specific esters). However, when incubated in vitro, the gland spontaneously exhibits the queen-like pattern, irrespective of its original worker type, prompting the notion that ester production in workers is under inhibitory control that is queen-dependent. We tested this hypothesis by exposing queen or worker Dufour’s glands in vitro to brain extracts of queens, queenright (sterile) workers and males. Unexpectedly, worker brain extracts activated the queen-like esters biosynthesis in workers’ Dufour’s gland. This stimulation was gender-specific; queen or worker brains demonstrated a stimulatory activity, but male brains did not. Queen gland could not be further stimulated. Bioassays with heated and filtered extracts indicate that the stimulatory brain factor is below 3,000 Da. We suggest that pheromone production in Dufour’s gland is under dual, negative positive control. Under queenright conditions, the inhibitor is released and blocks ester biosynthesis, whereas under queenless conditions, the activator is released, activating ester biosynthesis in the gland. This is consistent with the hypothesis that queenright workers are unequivocally recognized as non-fertile, whereas queenless workers try to become “false queens” as part of the reproductive competition.

  12. Patterns of Apis mellifera infection by Nosema ceranae support the parasite hypothesis for the evolution of extreme polyandry in eusocial insects.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microsporidian Nosema ceranae has recently invaded managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies beyond Asia. The presence of this emergent parasite in lineages of A. mellifera that are naïve to its selection pressure (“Italian”) and that have co-evolved with the parasite over ca. 150 generations ...

  13. Magnetoreception in eusocial insects: an update

    PubMed Central

    Wajnberg, Eliane; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; Alves, Odivaldo Cambraia; de Oliveira, Jandira Ferreira; Srygley, Robert B.; Esquivel, Darci M. S.

    2010-01-01

    Behavioural experiments for magnetoreception in eusocial insects in the last decade are reviewed. Ants and bees use the geomagnetic field to orient and navigate in areas around their nests and along migratory paths. Bees show sensitivity to small changes in magnetic fields in conditioning experiments and when exiting the hive. For the first time, the magnetic properties of the nanoparticles found in eusocial insects, obtained by magnetic techniques and electron microscopy, are reviewed. Different magnetic oxide nanoparticles, ranging from superparamagnetic to multi-domain particles, were observed in all body parts, but greater relative concentrations in the abdomens and antennae of honeybees and ants have focused attention on these segments. Theoretical models for how these specific magnetosensory apparatuses function have been proposed. Neuron-rich ant antennae may be the most amenable to discovering a magnetosensor that will greatly assist research into higher order processing of magnetic information. The ferromagnetic hypothesis is believed to apply to eusocial insects, but interest in a light-sensitive mechanism is growing. The diversity of compass mechanisms in animals suggests that multiple compasses may function in insect orientation and navigation. The search for magnetic compasses will continue even after a magnetosensor is discovered in eusocial insects. PMID:20106876

  14. Magnetoreception in eusocial insects: an update.

    PubMed

    Wajnberg, Eliane; Acosta-Avalos, Daniel; Alves, Odivaldo Cambraia; de Oliveira, Jandira Ferreira; Srygley, Robert B; Esquivel, Darci M S

    2010-04-06

    Behavioural experiments for magnetoreception in eusocial insects in the last decade are reviewed. Ants and bees use the geomagnetic field to orient and navigate in areas around their nests and along migratory paths. Bees show sensitivity to small changes in magnetic fields in conditioning experiments and when exiting the hive. For the first time, the magnetic properties of the nanoparticles found in eusocial insects, obtained by magnetic techniques and electron microscopy, are reviewed. Different magnetic oxide nanoparticles, ranging from superparamagnetic to multi-domain particles, were observed in all body parts, but greater relative concentrations in the abdomens and antennae of honeybees and ants have focused attention on these segments. Theoretical models for how these specific magnetosensory apparatuses function have been proposed. Neuron-rich ant antennae may be the most amenable to discovering a magnetosensor that will greatly assist research into higher order processing of magnetic information. The ferromagnetic hypothesis is believed to apply to eusocial insects, but interest in a light-sensitive mechanism is growing. The diversity of compass mechanisms in animals suggests that multiple compasses may function in insect orientation and navigation. The search for magnetic compasses will continue even after a magnetosensor is discovered in eusocial insects.

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

    PubMed

    Crailsheim, K; Panzenböck, U

    1997-02-21

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

  16. Temporal variation in the genetic structure of a drone congregation area: an insight into the population dynamics of wild African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata).

    PubMed

    Jaffé, R; Dietemann, V; Crewe, R M; Moritz, R F A

    2009-04-01

    The mating system of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been regarded as one of the most panmictic in the animal kingdom, with thousands of males aggregating in drone congregation areas (DCAs) that virgin queens visit to mate with tens of partners. Although males from many colonies gather at such congregations, the temporal changes in the colonies contributing drones remain unknown. Yet, changes in the DCAs' genetic structure will ultimately determine population gene flow and effective population size. By repeatedly sampling drones from an African DCA over a period of 3 years, we studied the temporal changes in the genetic structure of a wild honeybee population. Using three sets of tightly linked microsatellite markers, we were able to reconstruct individual queen genotypes with a high accuracy, follow them through time and estimate their rate of replacement. The number of queens contributing drones to the DCA varied from 12 to 72 and was correlated with temperature and rainfall. We found that more than 80% of these queens were replaced by mostly unrelated ones in successive eight months sampling intervals, which resulted in a clear temporal genetic differentiation of the DCA. Our results suggest that the frequent long-range migration of colonies without nest-site fidelity is the main driver of this high queen turnover. DCAs of African honeybees should thus be regarded as extremely dynamic systems which together with migration boost the effective population size and maintain a high genetic diversity in the population.

  17. The invasive Korea and Japan types of Varroa destructor, ectoparasitic mites of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera), are two partly isolated clones

    PubMed Central

    Solignac, Michel; Cornuet, Jean-Marie; Vautrin, Dominique; Le Conte, Yves; Anderson, Denis; Evans, Jay; Cros-Arteil, Sandrine; Navajas, Maria

    2005-01-01

    Varroa destructor, now a major pest of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, switched from its original host, the Eastern honeybee, A. cerana, ca. 50 years ago. So far, only two out of several known mitochondrial haplotypes of V. destructor have been found to be capable of reproducing on A. mellifera (Korea and Japan). These haplotypes are associated in almost complete cytonuclear disequilibrium to diagnostic alleles at 11 microsatellite loci. By contrast, microsatellite polymorphism within each type is virtually absent, because of a severe bottleneck at the time of host change. Accordingly, 12 mitochondrial sequences of 5185 nucleotides displayed 0.40% of nucleotide divergence between haplotypes and no intra haplotype variation. Hence, each type has a quasi-clonal structure. The nascent intratype variability is subsequent to the clone formation 50 years ago: in both types the variant alleles differ from the most common by one (in 10 cases), two (five cases) or three (one case) repeated motifs. In addition to individuals of the two ‘pure’ types, five F1 hybrids and 19 recombinant individuals (Japan alleles introgressed into the Korea genetic background) were detected. The existence of F1 and recombinant individuals in admixed populations requires that double infestations of honeybee cells occur in a high proportion but the persistence of pure types suggests a post-zygotic isolation between the two clones. PMID:15734696

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Detection and identification of a novel lactic acid bacterial flora within the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Olofsson, Tobias C; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2008-10-01

    This investigation concerned the question of whether honeybees collect bacteria that are beneficial for humans from the flowers that contribute to formation of their honey. Bacteria originating from the types of flowers involved, and found in different anatomic parts of the bees, in larvae, and in honey of different types, were sampled during a 2-year period. 16S rRNA sequencing of isolates and clones was employed. A novel bacterial flora composed of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which originated in the honey stomach of the honeybee, was discovered. It varied with the sources of nectar and the presence of other bacterial genera within the honeybee and ended up eventually in the honey. It appeared that honeybees and the novel LAB flora may have evolved in mutual dependence on one another. It was suggested that honey be considered a fermented food product because of the LAB involved in honey production. The findings are seen as having clear implications for future research in the area, as providing a better understanding the health of honeybees and of their production and storage of honey, and as having clear relevance for future honeybee and human probiotics.

  20. Africanization in the United States: replacement of feral European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) by an African hybrid swarm.

    PubMed

    Pinto, M Alice; Rubink, William L; Patton, John C; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, J Spencer

    2005-08-01

    The expansion of Africanized honeybees from South America to the southwestern United States in <50 years is considered one of the most spectacular biological invasions yet documented. In the American tropics, it has been shown that during their expansion Africanized honeybees have low levels of introgressed alleles from resident European populations. In the United States, it has been speculated, but not shown, that Africanized honeybees would hybridize extensively with European honeybees. Here we report a continuous 11-year study investigating temporal changes in the genetic structure of a feral population from the southern United States undergoing Africanization. Our microsatellite data showed that (1) the process of Africanization involved both maternal and paternal bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honeybees and (2) the panmitic European population was replaced by panmitic mixtures of A. m. scutellata and European genes within 5 years after Africanization. The post-Africanization gene pool (1998-2001) was composed of a diverse array of recombinant classes with a substantial European genetic contribution (mean 25-37%). Therefore, the resulting feral honeybee population of south Texas was best viewed as a hybrid swarm.

  1. Fever in honeybee colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starks, P. T.; Blackie, Caroline A.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    Honeybees, Apis spp., maintain elevated temperatures inside their nests to accelerate brood development and to facilitate defense against predators. We present an additional defensive function of elevating nest temperature: honeybees generate a brood-comb fever in response to colonial infection by the heat-sensitive pathogen Ascosphaera apis. This response occurs before larvae are killed, suggesting that either honeybee workers detect the infection before symptoms are visible, or that larvae communicate the ingestion of the pathogen. This response is a striking example of convergent evolution between this "superorganism" and other fever-producing animals.

  2. Using BEEHAVE to explore pesticide protection goals for European honeybee (Apis melifera L.) worker losses at different forage qualities.

    PubMed

    Thorbek, Pernille; Campbell, Peter J; Sweeney, Paul J; Thompson, Helen M

    2017-01-01

    Losses of honeybee colonies are intensely debated and although honeybees suffer multiple stressors, the main focus has been on pesticides. As a result, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) revised the guidance for pesticide risk assessment for honeybees. The European Food Safety Authority reported a protection goal of negligible effect at 7% of colony size and then used the Khoury honeybee colony model to set trigger values for forager losses. However, the Khoury model is very simplistic and simulates colonies in an idealized state. In the present study, the authors demonstrate how a more realistic published honeybee model, BEEHAVE, with a few simple changes, can be used to explore pesticide risks. The results show that forage availability interacts with pesticide-induced worker losses, and colony resilience increases with forage quality. Adding alternative unexposed forage to the landscape also substantially mitigates the effects of pesticide exposure. The results indicate that EFSA's reported protection goal of 7% of colony size and triggers for daily worker losses are overly conservative. The authors conclude that forage availability is critical for colony resilience and that with adequate forage the colonies are resilient to even high levels of worker losses. However, the authors recommend setting protection goals using suboptimal forage conditions to ensure conservatism and for such suboptimal forage, a total of 20% reduction in colony size was safe. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:254-264. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

  3. Insights into the molecular basis of long-term storage and survival of sperm in the honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Paynter, Ellen; Millar, A. Harvey; Welch, Mat; Baer-Imhoof, Barbara; Cao, Danyang; Baer, Boris

    2017-01-01

    Honeybee males produce ejaculates consisting of large numbers of high quality sperm. Because queens never re-mate after a single mating episode early in life, sperm are stored in a specialised organ for years but the proximate mechanisms underlying this key physiological adaptation are unknown. We quantified energy metabolism in honeybee sperm and show that the glycolytic metabolite glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (GA3P) is a key substrate for honeybee sperm survival and energy production. This reliance on non-aerobic energy metabolism in stored sperm was further supported by our findings of very low levels of oxygen inside the spermatheca. Expression of GA3P dehydrogenase (GAPDH), the enzyme involved in catabolism of GA3P, was significantly higher in stored compared to ejaculated sperm. Therefore, long-term sperm storage seems facilitated by the maintenance of non-aerobic energy production, the need for only the ATP-producing steps of glycolysis and by avoiding sperm damage resulting from ROS production. We also confirm that honeybee sperm is capable of aerobic metabolism, which predominates in ejaculated sperm while they compete for access to the spermatheca, but is suppressed during storage. Consequently, the remarkable reproductive traits of honeybees are proximately achieved by differential usage of energy production pathways to maximise competitiveness and minimise damage of sperm. PMID:28091518

  4. Genetic structure of Africanized honeybee populations (Apis mellifera L.) from Brazil and Uruguay viewed through mitochondrial DNA COI-COII patterns.

    PubMed

    Collet, T; Ferreira, K M; Arias, M C; Soares, A E E; Del Lama, M A

    2006-11-01

    Mitochondrial genotypes of Africanized honeybees from Brazil and Uruguay were surveyed by DraI restriction of the COI-COII region. Eleven mitotypes were found, three of which had not previously been described (A28-A30). Out of 775 samples (725 from Brazil, 50 from Uruguay), 197 were A1 and 520 were A4. A1 frequency increases toward the north of Brazil, whereas A4 frequency increases toward the south, a pattern echoing the African distribution. The origin of the A4 and most of the A1 African patterns can be attributed to the introduction of Apis mellifera scutellata into Brazil in 1956. The A29 and A30 patterns have the P1 sequence observed in many Iberian Peninsula samples, which represent the traces of the introductions into Brazil and Uruguay by settlers.

  5. Reproduction, social behavior, and aging trajectories in honeybee workers.

    PubMed

    Dixon, Luke; Kuster, Ryan; Rueppell, Olav

    2014-02-01

    While a negative correlation between reproduction and life span is commonly observed, specialized reproductive individuals outlive their non-reproductive nestmates in all eusocial species, including the honeybee, Apis mellifera (L). The consequences of reproduction for individual life expectancy can be studied directly by comparing reproductive and non-reproductive workers. We quantified the life span consequences of reproduction in honeybee workers by removal of the queen to trigger worker reproduction. Furthermore, we observed the social behavior of large cohorts of workers under experimental and control conditions to test for associations with individual life expectancy. Worker life expectancy was moderately increased by queen removal. Queenless colonies contained a few long-lived workers, and oviposition behavior was associated with a strong reduction in mortality risk, indicating that a reproductive role confers a significant survival advantage. This finding is further substantiated by an association between brood care behavior and worker longevity that depends on the social environment. In contrast, other in-hive activities, such as fanning, trophallaxis, and allogrooming did not consistently affect worker life expectancy. The influence of foraging varied among replicates. An earlier age of transitioning from in-hive tasks to outside foraging was always associated with shorter life spans, in accordance with previous studies. In sum, our studies quantify how individual mortality is affected by particular social roles and colony environments and demonstrate interactions between the two. The exceptional, positive association between reproduction and longevity in honeybees extends to within-caste plasticity, which may be exploited for mechanistic studies.

  6. In situ localization of heat-shock and histone proteins in honey-bee (Apis mellifera l.) larvae infected with Paenibacillus larvae.

    PubMed

    Gregorc, A; Bowen, I D

    1999-01-01

    The immunohistochemical localization of the heat shock proteins (Hsp70 and Hsp90) and histone protein in healthy and Paenibacillus larvae infected honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) larvae has been studied. Hsp70 was found in the nuclei and the cytoplasm of infected midgut, salivary gland cells and haemocytes, but not in uninfected larvae. Hsp90 was localized in both infected and uninfected cells. Exposed histone proteins were localized in the nuclei of dying uninfected cells undergoing programmed cell death. The distribution of histone protein in uninfected cells of midgut, salivary gland, and other tissues was nuclear and indicative of normal programmed cell death at levels between 1 and 5%. After applying histone protein antibodies to P. larvae infected honeybee larvae, the DAB based reaction product was located in the nuclei or immediate surroundings of all larval cells. The Hsp70, Hsp90 and histone protein distribution patterns are discussed in relation to the morphological, cytochemical and immunocytochemical characteristics of programmed cell death and pathological necrosis. Results produced by methyl green-pyronin staining confirm an elevation of RNA levels in normal programmed cell death and a reduced staining for RNA in necrotic infected cells.

  7. Analysis of the Differentiation of Kenyon Cell Subtypes Using Three Mushroom Body-Preferential Genes during Metamorphosis in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Okude, Genta; Fujiyuki, Tomoko; Shirai, Kenichi; Kubo, Takeo

    2016-01-01

    The adult honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) mushroom bodies (MBs, a higher center in the insect brain) comprise four subtypes of intrinsic neurons: the class-I large-, middle-, and small-type Kenyon cells (lKCs, mKCs, and sKCs, respectively), and class-II KCs. Analysis of the differentiation of KC subtypes during metamorphosis is important for the better understanding of the roles of KC subtypes related to the honeybee behaviors. In the present study, aiming at identifying marker genes for KC subtypes, we used a cDNA microarray to comprehensively search for genes expressed in an MB-preferential manner in the honeybee brain. Among the 18 genes identified, we further analyzed three genes whose expression was enriched in the MBs: phospholipase C epsilon (PLCe), synaptotagmin 14 (Syt14), and discs large homolog 5 (dlg5). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that expression of PLCe, Syt14, and dlg5 was more enriched in the MBs than in the other brain regions by approximately 31-, 6.8-, and 5.6-fold, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 was enriched in the lKCs but not in the mKCs and sKCs, whereas expression of PLCe was similar in all KC subtypes (the entire MBs) in the honeybee brain, suggesting that Syt14 and dlg5, and PLCe are available as marker genes for the lKCs, and all KC subtypes, respectively. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of PLCe is already detectable in the class-II KCs at the larval fifth instar feeding stage, indicating that PLCe expression is a characteristic common to the larval and adult MBs. In contrast, expression of both Syt14 and dlg5 became detectable at the day three pupa, indicating that Syt14 and dlg5 expressions are characteristic to the late pupal and adult MBs and the lKC specific molecular characteristics are established during the late pupal stages. PMID:27351839

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee's locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48 h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case of

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The toxicity of pesticides used in agriculture towards non-targeted organisms and especially pollinators has recently drawn the attention from a broad scientific community. Increased honeybee mortality observed worldwide certainly contributes to this interest. The potential role of several neurotoxic insecticides in triggering or potentiating honeybee mortality was considered, in particular phenylpyrazoles and neonicotinoids, given that they are widely used and highly toxic for insects. Along with their ability to kill insects at lethal doses, they can compromise survival at sublethal doses by producing subtle deleterious effects. In this study, we compared the bee’s locomotor ability, which is crucial for many tasks within the hive (e.g. cleaning brood cells, feeding larvae…), before and after an acute sublethal exposure to one insecticide belonging to the two insecticide classes, fipronil and thiamethoxam. Additionally, we examined the locomotor ability after exposure to pyrethroids, an older chemical insecticide class still widely used and known to be highly toxic to bees as well. Our study focused on young bees (day 1 after emergence) since (i) few studies are available on locomotion at this stage and (ii) in recent years, pesticides have been reported to accumulate in different hive matrices, where young bees undergo their early development. At sublethal doses (SLD48h, i.e. causing no mortality at 48h), three pyrethroids, namely cypermethrin (2.5 ng/bee), tetramethrin (70 ng/bee), tau-fluvalinate (33 ng/bee) and the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam (3.8 ng/bee) caused a locomotor deficit in honeybees. While the SLD48h of fipronil (a phenylpyrazole, 0.5 ng/bee) had no measurable effect on locomotion, we observed high mortality several days after exposure, an effect that was not observed with the other insecticides. Although locomotor deficits observed in the sublethal range of pyrethroids and thiamethoxam would suggest deleterious effects in the field, the case

  10. Dimorphic ovary differentiation in honeybee (Apis mellifera) larvae involves caste-specific expression of homologs of ark and buffy cell death genes.

    PubMed

    Dallacqua, Rodrigo Pires; Bitondi, Márcia Maria Gentile

    2014-01-01

    The establishment of the number of repeated structural units, the ovarioles, in the ovaries is one of the critical events that shape caste polyphenism in social insects. In early postembryonic development, honeybee (Apis mellifera) larvae have a pair of ovaries, each one consisting of almost two hundred ovariole primordia. While practically all these ovarioles continue developing in queen-destined larvae, they undergo massive programmed cell death (PCD) in worker-destined larvae. So as to gain insight into the molecular basis of this fundamental process in caste differentiation we used quantitative PCR (qPCR) and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to investigate the expression of the Amark and Ambuffy genes in the ovaries of the two honeybee castes throughout the fifth larval instar. These are the homologs of ark and buffy Drosophila melanogaster genes, respectively, involved in activating and inhibiting PCD. Caste-specific expression patterns were found during this time-window defining ovariole number. Amark transcript levels were increased when ovariole resorption was intensified in workers, but remained at low levels in queen ovaries. The transcripts were mainly localized at the apical end of all the worker ovarioles, but appeared in only a few queen ovarioles, thus strongly suggesting a function in mediating massive ovariolar cell death in worker larvae. Ambuffy was mainly expressed in the peritoneal sheath cells covering each ovariole. The levels of Ambuffy transcripts increased earlier in the developing ovaries of queens than in workers. Consistent with a protective role against cell death, Ambuffy transcripts were localized in practically all queen ovarioles, but only in few worker ovarioles. The results are indicative of a functional relationship between the expression of evolutionary conserved cell death genes and the morphological events leading to caste-specific ovary differentiation in a social insect.

  11. A virulent strain of deformed wing virus (DWV) of honeybees (Apis mellifera) prevails after Varroa destructor-mediated, or in vitro, transmission.

    PubMed

    Ryabov, Eugene V; Wood, Graham R; Fannon, Jessica M; Moore, Jonathan D; Bull, James C; Chandler, Dave; Mead, Andrew; Burroughs, Nigel; Evans, David J

    2014-06-01

    The globally distributed ectoparasite Varroa destructor is a vector for viral pathogens of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera), in particular the Iflavirus Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). In the absence of Varroa low levels DWV occur, generally causing asymptomatic infections. Conversely, Varroa-infested colonies show markedly elevated virus levels, increased overwintering colony losses, with impairment of pupal development and symptomatic workers. To determine whether changes in the virus population were due Varroa amplifying and introducing virulent virus strains and/or suppressing the host immune responses, we exposed Varroa-naïve larvae to oral and Varroa-transmitted DWV. We monitored virus levels and diversity in developing pupae and associated Varroa, the resulting RNAi response and transcriptome changes in the host. Exposed pupae were stratified by Varroa association (presence/absence) and virus levels (low/high) into three groups. Varroa-free pupae all exhibited low levels of a highly diverse DWV population, with those exposed per os (group NV) exhibiting changes in the population composition. Varroa-associated pupae exhibited either low levels of a diverse DWV population (group VL) or high levels of a near-clonal virulent variant of DWV (group VH). These groups and unexposed controls (C) could be also discriminated by principal component analysis of the transcriptome changes observed, which included several genes involved in development and the immune response. All Varroa tested contained a diverse replicating DWV population implying the virulent variant present in group VH, and predominating in RNA-seq analysis of temporally and geographically separate Varroa-infested colonies, was selected upon transmission from Varroa, a conclusion supported by direct injection of pupae in vitro with mixed virus populations. Identification of a virulent variant of DWV, the role of Varroa in its transmission and the resulting host transcriptome changes furthers our

  12. Variations in chemical mimicry by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni according to the developmental stage of the host honey-bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Martin, C; Salvy, M; Provost, E; Bagnères, A; Roux, M; Crauser, D; Clement, J; Le Conte, Y

    2001-03-15

    The ectoparasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni poses a major threat to the survival of European honey-bee populations. Development of effective control methods is therefore much needed. Study of interspecific chemical communication between the parasite and host is a particularly promising avenue of research. Previous study has shown that the cuticular hydrocarbons of the parasite mite Varroa jacobsoni are qualitatively identical to those of its honey-bee host Apis mellifera (Nation J.L., Sanford M.T., Milne K., 1992. Cuticular hydrocarbons from Varroa jacobsoni. Experimental and Applied Acarology 16, 331-344). The purpose of the present study was to compare the cuticular hydrocarbon patterns of the two species at different stages of bee development. Cuticular components were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The proportion of each component was calculated at three stages of bee development (larvae, pupa, emerging bee). The degree of chemical mimicry between the parasite and host was evaluated by multivariate analyses using the resulting proportions for each category of individuals. There were four main findings. The first was that the proportions of some components are different at the larval, pupal and imago stage of bee development. Second, Varroa profiles vary depending on the developmental stage of the host. Third, the cuticular profile of adult mites is more similar to that of the stage of the host than that of later and/or earlier stages except for parasites collected from emerging adult bees. Fourth, the degree of mimicry by Varroa is greater during larval and pupal stages than during the emerging adult bee stages. The role of chemical mimicry - although it is not perfect - in enabling parasites to infest bee colonies by the parasite is discussed.

  13. A Virulent Strain of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) of Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Prevails after Varroa destructor-Mediated, or In Vitro, Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ryabov, Eugene V.; Wood, Graham R.; Fannon, Jessica M.; Moore, Jonathan D.; Bull, James C.; Chandler, Dave; Mead, Andrew; Burroughs, Nigel; Evans, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The globally distributed ectoparasite Varroa destructor is a vector for viral pathogens of the Western honeybee (Apis mellifera), in particular the Iflavirus Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). In the absence of Varroa low levels DWV occur, generally causing asymptomatic infections. Conversely, Varroa-infested colonies show markedly elevated virus levels, increased overwintering colony losses, with impairment of pupal development and symptomatic workers. To determine whether changes in the virus population were due Varroa amplifying and introducing virulent virus strains and/or suppressing the host immune responses, we exposed Varroa-naïve larvae to oral and Varroa-transmitted DWV. We monitored virus levels and diversity in developing pupae and associated Varroa, the resulting RNAi response and transcriptome changes in the host. Exposed pupae were stratified by Varroa association (presence/absence) and virus levels (low/high) into three groups. Varroa-free pupae all exhibited low levels of a highly diverse DWV population, with those exposed per os (group NV) exhibiting changes in the population composition. Varroa-associated pupae exhibited either low levels of a diverse DWV population (group VL) or high levels of a near-clonal virulent variant of DWV (group VH). These groups and unexposed controls (C) could be also discriminated by principal component analysis of the transcriptome changes observed, which included several genes involved in development and the immune response. All Varroa tested contained a diverse replicating DWV population implying the virulent variant present in group VH, and predominating in RNA-seq analysis of temporally and geographically separate Varroa-infested colonies, was selected upon transmission from Varroa, a conclusion supported by direct injection of pupae in vitro with mixed virus populations. Identification of a virulent variant of DWV, the role of Varroa in its transmission and the resulting host transcriptome changes furthers our

  14. Developmental regulation of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and EcR-controlled gene expression during pharate-adult development of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Mello, Tathyana R P; Aleixo, Aline C; Pinheiro, Daniel G; Nunes, Francis M F; Bitondi, Márcia M G; Hartfelder, Klaus; Barchuk, Angel R; Simões, Zilá L P

    2014-01-01

    Major developmental transitions in multicellular organisms are driven by steroid hormones. In insects, these, together with juvenile hormone (JH), control development, metamorphosis, reproduction and aging, and are also suggested to play an important role in caste differentiation of social insects. Here, we aimed to determine how EcR transcription and ecdysteroid titers are related during honeybee postembryonic development and what may actually be the role of EcR in caste development of this social insect. In addition, we expected that knocking-down EcR gene expression would give us information on the participation of the respective protein in regulating downstream targets of EcR. We found that in Apis mellifera females, EcR-A is the predominantly expressed variant in postembryonic development, while EcR-B transcript levels are higher in embryos, indicating an early developmental switch in EcR function. During larval and pupal stages, EcR-B expression levels are very low, while EcR-A transcripts are more variable and abundant in workers compared to queens. Strikingly, these transcript levels are opposite to the ecdysteroid titer profile. 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) application experiments revealed that low 20E levels induce EcR expression during development, whereas high ecdysteroid titers seem to be repressive. By means of RNAi-mediated knockdown (KD) of both EcR transcript variants we detected the differential expression of 234 poly-A(+) transcripts encoding genes such as CYPs, MRJPs and certain hormone response genes (Kr-h1 and ftz-f1). EcR-KD also promoted the differential expression of 70 miRNAs, including highly conserved ones (e.g., miR-133 and miR-375), as well honeybee-specific ones (e.g., miR-3745 and miR-3761). Our results put in evidence a broad spectrum of EcR-controlled gene expression during postembryonic development of honeybees, revealing new facets of EcR biology in this social insect.

  15. Developmental regulation of ecdysone receptor (EcR) and EcR-controlled gene expression during pharate-adult development of honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Mello, Tathyana R. P.; Aleixo, Aline C.; Pinheiro, Daniel G.; Nunes, Francis M. F.; Bitondi, Márcia M. G.; Hartfelder, Klaus; Barchuk, Angel R.; Simões, Zilá L. P.

    2014-01-01

    Major developmental transitions in multicellular organisms are driven by steroid hormones. In insects, these, together with juvenile hormone (JH), control development, metamorphosis, reproduction and aging, and are also suggested to play an important role in caste differentiation of social insects. Here, we aimed to determine how EcR transcription and ecdysteroid titers are related during honeybee postembryonic development and what may actually be the role of EcR in caste development of this social insect. In addition, we expected that knocking-down EcR gene expression would give us information on the participation of the respective protein in regulating downstream targets of EcR. We found that in Apis mellifera females, EcR-A is the predominantly expressed variant in postembryonic development, while EcR-B transcript levels are higher in embryos, indicating an early developmental switch in EcR function. During larval and pupal stages, EcR-B expression levels are very low, while EcR-A transcripts are more variable and abundant in workers compared to queens. Strikingly, these transcript levels are opposite to the ecdysteroid titer profile. 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) application experiments revealed that low 20E levels induce EcR expression during development, whereas high ecdysteroid titers seem to be repressive. By means of RNAi-mediated knockdown (KD) of both EcR transcript variants we detected the differential expression of 234 poly-A+ transcripts encoding genes such as CYPs, MRJPs and certain hormone response genes (Kr-h1 and ftz-f1). EcR-KD also promoted the differential expression of 70 miRNAs, including highly conserved ones (e.g., miR-133 and miR-375), as well honeybee-specific ones (e.g., miR-3745 and miR-3761). Our results put in evidence a broad spectrum of EcR-controlled gene expression during postembryonic development of honeybees, revealing new facets of EcR biology in this social insect. PMID:25566327

  16. Pyrethroids and Nectar Toxins Have Subtle Effects on the Motor Function, Grooming and Wing Fanning Behaviour of Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Oliver, Caitlin J; Softley, Samantha; Williamson, Sally M; Stevenson, Philip C; Wright, Geraldine A

    2015-01-01

    Sodium channels, found ubiquitously in animal muscle cells and neurons, are one of the main target sites of many naturally-occurring, insecticidal plant compounds and agricultural pesticides. Pyrethroids, derived from compounds found only in the Asteraceae, are particularly toxic to insects and have been successfully used as pesticides including on flowering crops that are visited by pollinators. Pyrethrins, from which they were derived, occur naturally in the nectar of some flowering plant species. We know relatively little about how such compounds--i.e., compounds that target sodium channels--influence pollinators at low or sub-lethal doses. Here, we exposed individual adult forager honeybees to several compounds that bind to sodium channels to identify whether these compounds affect motor function. Using an assay previously developed to identify the effect of drugs and toxins on individual bees, we investigated how acute exposure to 10 ng doses (1 ppm) of the pyrethroid insecticides (cyfluthrin, tau-fluvalinate, allethrin and permethrin) and the nectar toxins (aconitine and grayanotoxin I) affected honeybee locomotion, grooming and wing fanning behaviour. Bees exposed to these compounds spent more time upside down and fanning their wings. They also had longer bouts of standing still. Bees exposed to the nectar toxin, aconitine, and the pyrethroid, allethrin, also spent less time grooming their antennae. We also found that the concentration of the nectar toxin, grayanotoxin I (GTX), fed to bees affected the time spent upside down (i.e., failure to perform the righting reflex). Our data show that low doses of pyrethroids and other nectar toxins that target sodium channels mainly influence motor function through their effect on the righting reflex of adult worker honeybees.

  17. Pyrethroids and Nectar Toxins Have Subtle Effects on the Motor Function, Grooming and Wing Fanning Behaviour of Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Sally M.; Stevenson, Philip C.; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2015-01-01

    Sodium channels, found ubiquitously in animal muscle cells and neurons, are one of the main target sites of many naturally-occurring, insecticidal plant compounds and agricultural pesticides. Pyrethroids, derived from compounds found only in the Asteraceae, are particularly toxic to insects and have been successfully used as pesticides including on flowering crops that are visited by pollinators. Pyrethrins, from which they were derived, occur naturally in the nectar of some flowering plant species. We know relatively little about how such compounds—i.e., compounds that target sodium channels—influence pollinators at low or sub-lethal doses. Here, we exposed individual adult forager honeybees to several compounds that bind to sodium channels to identify whether these compounds affect motor function. Using an assay previously developed to identify the effect of drugs and toxins on individual bees, we investigated how acute exposure to 10 ng doses (1 ppm) of the pyrethroid insecticides (cyfluthrin, tau-fluvalinate, allethrin and permethrin) and the nectar toxins (aconitine and grayanotoxin I) affected honeybee locomotion, grooming and wing fanning behaviour. Bees exposed to these compounds spent more time upside down and fanning their wings. They also had longer bouts of standing still. Bees exposed to the nectar toxin, aconitine, and the pyrethroid, allethrin, also spent less time grooming their antennae. We also found that the concentration of the nectar toxin, grayanotoxin I (GTX), fed to bees affected the time spent upside down (i.e., failure to perform the righting reflex). Our data show that low doses of pyrethroids and other nectar toxins that target sodium channels mainly influence motor function through their effect on the righting reflex of adult worker honeybees. PMID:26280999

  18. Proteome Analysis Unravels Mechanism Underling the Embryogenesis of the Honeybee Drone and Its Divergence with the Worker (Apis mellifera lingustica).

    PubMed

    Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Qi, Yuping; Hu, Han; Fan, Pei; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Li, Jianke

    2015-09-04

    The worker and drone bees each contain a separate diploid and haploid genetic makeup, respectively. Mechanisms regulating the embryogenesis of the drone and its mechanistic difference with the worker are still poorly understood. The proteomes of the two embryos at three time-points throughout development were analyzed by applying mass spectrometry-based proteomics. We identified 2788 and 2840 proteins in the worker and drone embryos, respectively. The age-dependent proteome driving the drone embryogenesis generally follows the worker's. The two embryos however evolve a distinct proteome setting to prime their respective embryogenesis. The strongly expressed proteins and pathways related to transcriptional-translational machinery and morphogenesis at 24 h drone embryo relative to the worker, illustrating the earlier occurrence of morphogenesis in the drone than worker. These morphogenesis differences remain through to the middle-late stage in the two embryos. The two embryos employ distinct antioxidant mechanisms coinciding with the temporal-difference organogenesis. The drone embryo's strongly expressed cytoskeletal proteins signify key roles to match its large body size. The RNAi induced knockdown of the ribosomal protein offers evidence for the functional investigation of gene regulating of honeybee embryogenesis. The data significantly expand novel regulatory mechanisms governing the embryogenesis, which is potentially important for honeybee and other insects.

  19. South American native bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) infected by Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia), an emerging pathogen of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Plischuk, Santiago; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Prieto, Lourdes; Lucía, Mariano; Botías, Cristina; Meana, Aránzazu; Abrahamovich, Alberto H; Lange, Carlos; Higes, Mariano

    2009-04-01

    As pollination is a critical process in both human-managed and natural terrestrial ecosystems, pollinators provide essential services to both nature and humans. Pollination is mainly due to the action of different insects, such as the bumblebee and the honeybee. These important ecological and economic roles have led to widespread concern over the recent decline in pollinator populations that has been detected in many regions of the world. While this decline has been attributed in some cases to changes in the use of agricultural land, the effects of parasites could play a significant role in the reduction of these populations. For the first time, we describe here the presence of Nosema ceranae, an emerging honeybee pathogen, in three species of Argentine native bumblebees. A total of 455 bumblebees belonging to six species of genus Bombus were examined. PCR results showed that three of the species are positive to N. ceranae (Bombus atratus, Bombus morio and Bombus bellicosus). We discuss the appearance of this pathogen in the context of the population decline of this pollinators.

  20. SNPs selected by information content outperform randomly selected microsatellite loci for delineating genetic identification and introgression in the endangered dark European honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera).

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Irene; Henriques, Dora; Jara, Laura; Johnston, J Spencer; Chávez-Galarza, Julio; De La Rúa, Pilar; Pinto, M Alice

    2016-11-14

    The honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been threatened by multiple factors including pests and pathogens, pesticides and loss of locally adapted gene complexes due to replacement and introgression. In western Europe, the genetic integrity of the native A. m. mellifera (M-lineage) is endangered due to trading and intensive queen breeding with commercial subspecies of eastern European ancestry (C-lineage). Effective conservation actions require reliable molecular tools to identify pure-bred A. m. mellifera colonies. Microsatellites have been preferred for identification of A. m. mellifera stocks across conservation centres. However, owing to high throughput, easy transferability between laboratories and low genotyping error, SNPs promise to become popular. Here, we compared the resolving power of a widely utilized microsatellite set to detect structure and introgression with that of different sets that combine a variable number of SNPs selected for their information content and genomic proximity to the microsatellite loci. Contrary to every SNP data set, microsatellites did not discriminate between the two lineages in the PCA space. Mean introgression proportions were identical across the two marker types, although at the individual level, microsatellites' performance was relatively poor at the upper range of Q-values, a result reflected by their lower precision. Our results suggest that SNPs are more accurate and powerful than microsatellites for identification of A. m. mellifera colonies, especially when they are selected by information content.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  2. A circadian neuropeptide PDF in the honeybee, Apis mellifera: cDNA cloning and expression of mRNA.

    PubMed

    Sumiyoshi, Miho; Sato, Seiji; Takeda, Yukimasa; Sumida, Kazunori; Koga, Keita; Itoh, Tsunao; Nakagawa, Hiroyuki; Shimohigashi, Yasuyuki; Shimohigashi, Miki

    2011-12-01

    Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) is a pacemaker hormone regulating the locomotor rhythm in insects. In the present study, we cloned the cDNAs encoding the Apis PDF precursor protein, and found that there are at least seven different pdf mRNAs yielded by an alternative splicing site and five alternative polyadenylation sites in the 5'UTR and 3'UTR regions. The amino acid sequence of Apis PDF peptide has a characteristic novel amino acid residue, aspargine (Asn), at position 17. Quantitative real-time PCR of total and 5'UTR insertion-type pdf mRNAs revealed, for the first time, that the expression levels change in a circadian manner with a distinct trough at the beginning of night in LD conditions, and at the subjective night under DD conditions. In contrast, the expression level of 5'UTR deletion-type pdf mRNAs was about half of that of the insertion type, and the expression profile failed to show a circadian rhythm. As the expression profile of the total pdf mRNA exhibited a circadian rhythm, transcription regulated at the promoter region was supposed to be controlled by some of the clock components. Whole mount in situ hybridization revealed that 14 lateral neurons at the frontal margin of the optic lobe express these mRNA isoforms. PDF expressing cells examined with a newly produced antibody raised against Apis PDF were also found to have a dense supply of axon terminals in the optic lobes and the central brain.

  3. Distribution and variability of deformed wing virus of honeybees (Apis mellifera) in the Middle East and North Africa.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Nizar Jamal; Noureddine, Adjlane; Al-Shagour, Banan; Loucif-Ayad, Wahida; El-Niweiri, Mogbel A A; Anaswah, Eman; Hammour, Wafaa Abu; El-Obeid, Dany; Imad, Albaba; Shebl, Mohamed A; Almaleky, Abdulhusien Sehen; Nasher, Abdullah; Walid, Nagara; Bergigui, Mohamed Fouad; Yañez, Orlando; de Miranda, Joachim R

    2017-02-01

    Three hundred and eleven honeybee samples from 12 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Palestine, and Sudan) were analyzed for the presence of deformed wing virus (DWV). The prevalence of DWV throughout the MENA region was pervasive, but variable. The highest prevalence was found in Lebanon and Syria, with prevalence dropping in Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt before increasing slightly moving westwards to Algeria and Morocco Phylogenetic analysis of a 194 nucleotide section of the DWV Lp gene did not identify any significant phylogenetic resolution among the samples, although the sequences did show consistent regional clustering, including an interesting geographic gradient from Morocco through North Africa to Jordan and Syria. The sequences revealed several clear variability hotspots in the deduced amino acid sequence, which furthermore showed some patterns of regional identity. Furthermore, the sequence variants from the Middle East and North Africa appear more numerous and diverse than those from Europe.

  4. Influence of age and juvenile hormone on brain dopamine level in male honeybee (Apis mellifera): association with reproductive maturation.

    PubMed

    Harano, Ken-ichi; Sasaki, Ken; Nagao, Takashi; Sasaki, Masami

    2008-05-01

    Dopamine (DA) is a major functional biogenic amine in insects and has been suggested to regulate reproduction in female honeybees. However, its function has not been investigated in male drones. To clarify developmental changes of DA in drones, brain DA levels were investigated at various ages and showed a similar pattern to the previously reported juvenile hormone (JH) hemolymph titer. The DA level was lowest at emergence and peaked at day 7 or 8, followed by decline. Application of JH analog increased brain DA levels in young drones (2-4-days-old), suggesting regulation of DA by JH in drones. In young drones, maturation of male reproductive organs closely matched the increase in brain DA. The dry weight of testes decreased and that of seminal vesicles increased from emergence to day 8. The dry weight of mucus glands increased up to day 4. Consequently, DA regulated by JH might have reproductive behavior and/or physiological functions in drones.

  5. Long-term memory and response generalization in mushroom body extrinsic neurons in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Haehnel, Melanie; Menzel, Randolf

    2012-02-01

    Honeybees learn to associate an odor with sucrose reward under conditions that allow the monitoring of neural activity by imaging Ca(2+) transients in morphologically identified neurons. Here we report such recordings from mushroom body extrinsic neurons - which belong to a recurrent tract connecting the output of the mushroom body with its input, potentially providing inhibitory feedback - and other extrinsic neurons. The neurons' responses to the learned odor and two novel control odors were measured 24 h after learning. We found that calcium responses to the learned odor and an odor that was strongly generalized with it were enhanced compared with responses to a weakly generalized control. Thus, the physiological responses measured in these extrinsic neurons accurately reflect what is observed in behavior. We conclude that the recorded recurrent neurons feed information back to the mushroom body about the features of learned odor stimuli. Other extrinsic neurons may signal information about learned odors to different brain regions.

  6. Transmedulla Neurons in the Sky Compass Network of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Are a Possible Site of Circadian Input

    PubMed Central

    Zeller, Maximilian; Held, Martina; Bender, Julia; Berz, Annuska; Heinloth, Tanja; Hellfritz, Timm; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees are known for their ability to use the sun’s azimuth and the sky’s polarization pattern for spatial orientation. Sky compass orientation in bees has been extensively studied at the behavioral level but our knowledge about the underlying neuronal systems and mechanisms is very limited. Electrophysiological studies in other insect species suggest that neurons of the sky compass system integrate information about the polarization pattern of the sky, its chromatic gradient, and the azimuth of the sun. In order to obtain a stable directional signal throughout the day, circadian changes between the sky polarization pattern and the solar azimuth must be compensated. Likewise, the system must be modulated in a context specific way to compensate for changes in intensity, polarization and chromatic properties of light caused by clouds, vegetation and landscape. The goal of this study was to identify neurons of the sky compass pathway in the honeybee brain and to find potential sites of circadian and neuromodulatory input into this pathway. To this end we first traced the sky compass pathway from the polarization-sensitive dorsal rim area of the compound eye via the medulla and the anterior optic tubercle to the lateral complex using dye injections. Neurons forming this pathway strongly resembled neurons of the sky compass pathway in other insect species. Next we combined tracer injections with immunocytochemistry against the circadian neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor and the neuromodulators serotonin, and γ-aminobutyric acid. We identified neurons, connecting the dorsal rim area of the medulla to the anterior optic tubercle, as a possible site of neuromodulation and interaction with the circadian system. These neurons have conspicuous spines in close proximity to pigment dispersing factor-, serotonin-, and GABA-immunoreactive neurons. Our data therefore show for the first time a potential interaction site between the sky compass pathway and the circadian

  7. Seeing near and seeing far; behavioural evidence for dual mechanisms of pattern vision in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Dyer, Adrian G; Griffiths, David W

    2012-02-01

    Visual perception is a primary modality for interacting with complex environments. Recent work has shown that the brain and visual system of the honeybee is able, in some cases, to learn complex spatial relationships, while in other cases, bee vision is relatively rudimentary and based upon simple elemental-type visual processing. In the present study, we test the ability of honeybees to learn 4-bar asymmetric patterns in a Y-maze with aversive-appetitive differential conditioning. In Experiment 1, a group of bees were trained at a small visual angle of 50 deg by constraining individuals to the decision chamber within the Y-maze. Bees learned this task, and were able to solve the task even in the presence of background noise. However, these bees failed to solve the task when the stimuli were presented at a novel visual angle of 100 deg. In Experiment 2, a separate group of bees were trained to sets of 4-bar asymmetric patterns that excluded retinotopic matching and, in this case, bees learned the configural rule describing stimuli at a visual angle of approximately 50 deg, and this allowed the bees to solve the task when the stimuli were presented at a novel vision angle of 100 deg. This shows that the bee brain contains multiple mechanisms for pattern recognition, and what a bee sees is very dependent upon the specific experience that it receives. These multiple mechanisms would allow bees to interact with complex environments to solve tasks like recognising landmarks at variable distances or quickly discriminating between rewarding/non-rewarding flowers at reasonable constant visual angles.

  8. Effects of an insect growth regulator and a solvent on honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) brood development and queen viability.

    PubMed

    Milchreit, Kathrin; Ruhnke, Haike; Wegener, Jakob; Bienefeld, Kaspar

    2016-04-01

    Honeybee toxicology is complex because effects on individual bees are modulated by social interactions between colony members. In the present study, we applied high doses of the insect growth regulator fenoxycarb to honeybee colonies to elucidate a possible interplay of individually- and colony-mediated effects regarding honey bee toxicology. Additionally, possible effects of the solvent dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) were assessed. We conducted studies on egg hatching and brood development to assess brood care by nurse bees as well as queen viability. Egg hatching was determined by the eclosion rate of larvae from eggs originating from colonies (i) treated with sugar syrup only, (ii) treated with sugar syrup containing DMSO and (iii) treated with sugar syrup containing fenoxycarb (dissolved in DMSO). To evaluate brood development, combs with freshly laid eggs were reciprocally transferred between colonies, and development of brood was examined in the recipient hive. Brood reared inside DMSO- and fenoxycarb-treated colonies as well as brood from DMSO- and from fenoxycarb-exposed queens showed higher mortality than brood not exposed to the chemicals. No differences were found in egg hatching among the treatments, but there was a higher variability of eclosion rates after queens were exposed to fenoxycarb. We also observed queen loss and absconding of whole colonies. Based on our results we infer that fenoxycarb has queen- as well as nurse bee-mediated effects on brood quality and development which can lead to the queen's death. There also is an effect of DMSO on the nurse bees' performance that could disturb the colony's equilibrium, at least for a delimited timespan.

  9. MicroRNA signatures characterizing caste-independent ovarian activity in queen and worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Macedo, L M F; Nunes, F M F; Freitas, F C P; Pires, C V; Tanaka, E D; Martins, J R; Piulachs, M-D; Cristino, A S; Pinheiro, D G; Simões, Z L P

    2016-06-01

    Queen and worker honeybees differ profoundly in reproductive capacity. The queen of this complex society, with 200 highly active ovarioles in each ovary, is the fertile caste, whereas the workers have approximately 20 ovarioles as a result of receiving a different diet during larval development. In a regular queenright colony, the workers have inactive ovaries and do not reproduce. However, if the queen is sensed to be absent, some of the workers activate their ovaries, producing viable haploid eggs that develop into males. Here, a deep-sequenced ovary transcriptome library of reproductive workers was used as supporting data to assess the dynamic expression of the regulatory molecules and microRNAs (miRNAs) of reproductive and nonreproductive honeybee females. In this library, most of the differentially expressed miRNAs are related to ovary physiology or oogenesis. When we quantified the dynamic expression of 19 miRNAs in the active and inactive worker ovaries and compared their expression in the ovaries of virgin and mated queens, we noted that some miRNAs (miR-1, miR-31a, miR-13b, miR-125, let-7 RNA, miR-100, miR-276, miR-12, miR-263a, miR-306, miR-317, miR-92a and miR-9a) could be used to identify reproductive and nonreproductive statuses independent of caste. Furthermore, integrative gene networks suggested that some candidate miRNAs function in the process of ovary activation in worker bees.

  10. Transmedulla Neurons in the Sky Compass Network of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Are a Possible Site of Circadian Input.

    PubMed

    Zeller, Maximilian; Held, Martina; Bender, Julia; Berz, Annuska; Heinloth, Tanja; Hellfritz, Timm; Pfeiffer, Keram

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees are known for their ability to use the sun's azimuth and the sky's polarization pattern for spatial orientation. Sky compass orientation in bees has been extensively studied at the behavioral level but our knowledge about the underlying neuronal systems and mechanisms is very limited. Electrophysiological studies in other insect species suggest that neurons of the sky compass system integrate information about the polarization pattern of the sky, its chromatic gradient, and the azimuth of the sun. In order to obtain a stable directional signal throughout the day, circadian changes between the sky polarization pattern and the solar azimuth must be compensated. Likewise, the system must be modulated in a context specific way to compensate for changes in intensity, polarization and chromatic properties of light caused by clouds, vegetation and landscape. The goal of this study was to identify neurons of the sky compass pathway in the honeybee brain and to find potential sites of circadian and neuromodulatory input into this pathway. To this end we first traced the sky compass pathway from the polarization-sensitive dorsal rim area of the compound eye via the medulla and the anterior optic tubercle to the lateral complex using dye injections. Neurons forming this pathway strongly resembled neurons of the sky compass pathway in other insect species. Next we combined tracer injections with immunocytochemistry against the circadian neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor and the neuromodulators serotonin, and γ-aminobutyric acid. We identified neurons, connecting the dorsal rim area of the medulla to the anterior optic tubercle, as a possible site of neuromodulation and interaction with the circadian system. These neurons have conspicuous spines in close proximity to pigment dispersing factor-, serotonin-, and GABA-immunoreactive neurons. Our data therefore show for the first time a potential interaction site between the sky compass pathway and the circadian

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

    PubMed

    Rohde, Katja; Papiorek, Sarah; Lunau, Klaus

    2013-03-01

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

  12. Caps and gaps: a computer model for studies on brood incubation strategies in honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fehler, Manuel; Kleinhenz, Marco; Klügl, Franziska; Puppe, Frank; Tautz, Jürgen

    2007-08-01

    In addition to heat production on the comb surface, honeybee workers frequently visit open cells (“gaps”) that are scattered throughout the sealed brood area, and enter them to incubate adjacent brood cells. We examined the efficiency of this heating strategy under different environmental conditions and for gap proportions from 0 to 50%. For gap proportions from 4 to 10%, which are common to healthy colonies, we find a significant reduction in the incubation time per brood cell to maintain the correct temperature. The savings make up 18 to 37% of the time, which would be required for this task in completely sealed brood areas without any gaps. For unnatural high proportions of gaps (>20%), which may be the result of inbreeding or indicate a poor condition of the colony, brood nest thermoregulation becomes less efficient, and the incubation time per brood cell has to increase to maintain breeding temperature. Although the presence of gaps is not essential to maintain an optimal brood nest temperature, a small number of gaps make heating more economical by reducing the time and energy that must be spent on this vital task. As the benefit depends on the availability, spatial distribution and usage of gaps by the bees, further studies need to show the extent to which these results apply to real colonies.

  13. Mitochondrial function in flying honeybees (Apis mellifera): respiratory chain enzymes and electron flow from complex III to oxygen.

    PubMed

    Suarez, R K; Staples, J F; Lighton, J R; Mathieu-Costello, O

    2000-03-01

    The biochemical bases for the high mass-specific metabolic rates of flying insects remain poorly understood. To gain insights into mitochondrial function during flight, metabolic rates of individual flying honeybees were measured using respirometry, and their thoracic muscles were fixed for electron microscopy. Mitochondrial volume densities and cristae surface densities, combined with biochemical data concerning cytochrome content per unit mass, were used to estimate respiratory chain enzyme densities per unit cristae surface area. Despite the high content of respiratory enzymes per unit muscle mass, these are accommodated by abundant mitochondria and high cristae surface densities such that enzyme densities per unit cristae surface area are similar to those found in mammalian muscle and liver. These results support the idea that a unit area of mitochondrial inner membrane constitutes an invariant structural unit. Rates of O(2) consumption per unit cristae surface area are much higher than those estimated in mammals as a consequence of higher enzyme turnover rates (electron transfer rates per enzyme molecule) during flight. Cytochrome c oxidase, in particular, operates close to its maximum catalytic capacity (k(cat)). Thus, high flux rates are achieved via (i) high respiratory enzyme content per unit muscle mass and (ii) the operation of these enzymes at high fractional velocities.

  14. Mushroom body extrinsic neurons in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) brain integrate context and cue values upon attentional stimulus selection.

    PubMed

    Filla, Ina; Menzel, Randolf

    2015-09-01

    Multimodal GABA-immunoreactive feedback neurons in the honeybee brain connecting the output region of the mushroom body with its input are expected to tune the input to the mushroom body in an experience-dependent way. These neurons are known to change their rate responses to learned olfactory stimuli. In this work we ask whether these neurons also transmit learned attentional effects during multisensory integration. We find that a visual context and an olfactory cue change the rate responses of these neurons after learning according to the associated values of both context and cue. The learned visual context promotes attentional response selection by enhancing olfactory stimulus valuation at both the behavioral and the neural level. During a rewarded visual context, bees reacted faster and more reliably to a rewarded odor. We interpreted this as the result of the observed enhanced neural discharge toward the odor. An unrewarded context reduced already low rate responses to the unrewarded odor. In addition to stimulus valuation, these feedback neurons generate a neural error signal after an incorrect behavioral response. This might act as a learning signal in feedback neurons. All of these effects were exclusively found in trials in which the animal prepares for a motor response that happens during attentional stimulus selection. We discuss possible implications of the results for the feedback connections of the mushroom body.

  15. Experimental bacteriophage treatment of honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American Foulbrood Disease.

    PubMed

    Yost, Diane G; Tsourkas, Philippos; Amy, Penny S

    2016-01-01

    American Foulbrood Disease (AFB) is an infection of honeybees caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. One potential remedy involves using biocontrol, such as bacteriophages (phages) to lyse P. larvae. Therefore, bacteriophages specific for P. larvae were isolated to determine their efficacy in lysing P. larvae cells. Samples from soil, beehive materials, cosmetics, and lysogenized P. larvae strains were screened; of 157 total samples, 28 were positive for at least one P. larvae bacteriophage, with a total of 30. Newly isolated bacteriophages were tested for the ability to lyse each of 11 P. larvae strains. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the phage isolates were from the family Siphoviridae. Seven phages with the broadest host ranges were combined into a cocktail for use in experimental treatments of infected bee larvae; both prophylactic and post-infection treatments were conducted. Results indicated that although both pre- and post-treatments were effective, prophylactic administration of the phages increased the survival of larvae more than post-treatment experiments. These preliminary experiments demonstrate the likelihood that phage therapy could be an effective method to control AFB.

  16. Experimental bacteriophage treatment of honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American Foulbrood Disease

    PubMed Central

    Yost, Diane G.; Tsourkas, Philippos; Amy, Penny S.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT American Foulbrood Disease (AFB) is an infection of honeybees caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. One potential remedy involves using biocontrol, such as bacteriophages (phages) to lyse P. larvae. Therefore, bacteriophages specific for P. larvae were isolated to determine their efficacy in lysing P. larvae cells. Samples from soil, beehive materials, cosmetics, and lysogenized P. larvae strains were screened; of 157 total samples, 28 were positive for at least one P. larvae bacteriophage, with a total of 30. Newly isolated bacteriophages were tested for the ability to lyse each of 11 P. larvae strains. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the phage isolates were from the family Siphoviridae. Seven phages with the broadest host ranges were combined into a cocktail for use in experimental treatments of infected bee larvae; both prophylactic and post-infection treatments were conducted. Results indicated that although both pre- and post-treatments were effective, prophylactic administration of the phages increased the survival of larvae more than post-treatment experiments. These preliminary experiments demonstrate the likelihood that phage therapy could be an effective method to control AFB. PMID:27144085

  17. Residues of Pesticides in honeybee (Apis mellifera carnica) bee bread and in pollen loads from treated apple orchards.

    PubMed

    Smodis Skerl, Maja Ivana; Velikonja Bolta, Spela; Basa Cesnik, Helena; Gregorc, Ales

    2009-09-01

    Honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) colonies were placed in two apple orchards treated with the insecticides diazinon and thiacloprid and the fungicide difenoconazole in accordance with a Protection Treatment Plan in the spring of 2007. Pollen and bee bread were collected from combs inside the hives. The residue of diazinon in pollen loads 10 days after orchard treatment was 0.09 mg/kg, and the same amount of residue was found in bee bread 16 days after treatment. In pollen loads 6 days after application 0.03 mg/kg of thiacloprid residues and 0.01 mg/kg of difenoconazole were found on the first day after application. Possible sub-lethal effects on individual honey bees and brood are discussed.

  18. Virgin queen mandibular gland signals of Apis mellifera capensis change with age and affect honeybee worker responses.

    PubMed

    Wossler, Theresa C; Jones, Georgina E; Allsopp, Michael H; Hepburn, Randall

    2006-05-01

    The mandibular gland secretions of Apis mellifera capensis virgin queens were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Changes in the patterns of the mandibular gland volatiles of A. m. capensis virgin queens were followed from emergence until 14-d old. Ontogenetic changes in the mandibular gland secretions were largely quantitative in nature, delineating the age categories (global R = 0.612, P = 0.001), except for 7- and 14-d-old queens, which cannot be separated on their mandibular gland profiles (P = 0.2). (E)-9-Oxodec-2-enoic acid (9ODA) contributes most and most consistently to the dissimilarity between groups as well as the similarity within groups. Worker reactions to introduced virgin queens of various ages were recorded. Workers showed a significant increase in hostile reactions as queens aged (r = 0.615, N = 20, P < 0.05). Consequently, worker reactions and relative 9ODA production exhibit a positive queen age-dependent response.

  19. Differences in long-term memory stability and AmCREB level between forward and backward conditioned honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Felsenberg, Johannes; Dyck, Yan; Feige, Janina; Ludwig, Jenny; Plath, Jenny Aino; Froese, Anja; Karrenbrock, Melanie; Nölle, Anna; Heufelder, Karin; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2015-01-01

    In classical conditioning a predictive relationship between a neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus; CS) and a meaningful stimulus (unconditioned stimulus; US) is learned when the CS precedes the US. In backward conditioning the sequence of the stimuli is reversed. In this situation animals might learn that the CS signals the end or the absence of the US. In honeybees 30 min and 24 h following backward conditioning a memory for the excitatory and inhibitory properties of the CS could be retrieved, but it remains unclear whether a late long-term memory is formed that can be retrieved 72 h following backward conditioning. Here we examine this question by studying late long-term memory formation in forward and backward conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER). We report a difference in the stability of memory formed upon forward and backward conditioning with the same number of conditioning trials. We demonstrate a transcription-dependent memory 72 h after forward conditioning but do not observe a 72 h memory after backward conditioning. Moreover we find that protein degradation is differentially involved in memory formation following these two conditioning protocols. We report differences in the level of a transcription factor, the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) known to induce transcription underlying long-term memory formation, following forward and backward conditioning. Our results suggest that these alterations in CREB levels might be regulated by the proteasome. We propose that the differences observed are due to the sequence of stimulus presentation between forward and backward conditioning and not to differences in the strength of the association of both stimuli. PMID:25964749

  20. Lactobacillus johnsonii CRL1647, isolated from Apis mellifera L. bee-gut, exhibited a beneficial effect on honeybee colonies.

    PubMed

    Audisio, M C; Benítez-Ahrendts, M R

    2011-03-01

    Lactobacillus johnsonii CRL1647, isolated from the intestinal tract of a honeybee and selected due to its high lactic acid production, was assayed as a monoculture on bee colony performance. It was delivered to the bees on a one litre of 125 g/l sugar-cane syrup with a final concentration of 105 cfu/ml lactobacilli. The bees accepted the new nourishment, which was consumed within 24-48 h and was administered in two independent trials (every 14-15 days for 3 consecutive months in one case, and once a month for 13 consecutive months in the other). From late spring - early summer (2008) the photo-records and statistical analyses revealed significant differences in the open and the operculated brood areas in the treated group compared with the control. This stimulation was observed after the first administration of the lactobacilli and maintained throughout. Also, a higher number of bees were measured in the treated group (54%) and the control (18%) with respect to the initial bees' number. Furthermore, honey storage was higher, 40% and 19%, for the treated and control groups, respectively. From December 2008 to December 2009, a similar situation was observed even though, in this trial, the lactobacilli cells were administered once a month. The in vivo results of this study are promising and indicate that a L. johnsonii CRL1647 supplement to beehives favours mainly open and operculated brood areas, demonstrating a stronger stimulation of egg-laying and will become a natural product which will assist the beekeeper both in colony management and the creation of late nuclei and/or bee packages due to its beneficial effects in the beehive colony.

  1. Trophallaxis in the honeybee, Apis mellifera : the interaction between viscosity and sucrose concentration of the transferred solution.

    PubMed

    Tezze; Farina

    1999-06-01

    Trophallaxis by honeybee foragers was studied under the experimental conditions of an arena. The behaviour of pairs of bees, one (donor) fed with 50-&mgr;l sucrose solutions and another unfed recipient, was analysed as a function of the sucrose concentration, the concentration at constant viscosity (kept constant by adding tylose, an inert polysaccharide), and of the viscosity of a 30% sucrose solution. By increasing the concentration of solutions, the rate at which the solution was transferred to recipient bees (transfer rate of solution, in &mgr;l/s) increased up to a maximum value for 30% sucrose solution, and decreased beyond this concentration (concentration experiment). At constant viscosity, no modulation was observed for the lower sugar concentration range (10-30%), while the transfer rate of solution clearly increased beyond 30% (concentration experiment at constant viscosity). For the 30% sucrose solution, the transfer rate decreased with increasing viscosity (viscosity experiment). If only the sucrose compound is comparatively analysed, the transfer rate of sucrose (in mg/s) increased similarly in the first two experiments. These results give behavioural evidence suggesting that donor bees are capable of modulating the trophallactic food transfer as related to the sucrose concentrations carried into their crops within a considerable wide range, but viscosity prevents it. It also suggests that trophallactic transfer rate does not depend on abdominal volume, for even when all donor bees attained similar loads (50 &mgr;l), transfer rate of solution increased along with the offered sucrose concentration. Results are discussed in relation to the information exchange performed in the foraging context displayed by foragers. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  2. The transmission of deformed wing virus between honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) by the ectoparasitic mite varroa jacobsoni Oud

    PubMed

    Bowen-Walker; Martin; Gunn

    1999-01-01

    Under field conditions, Varroa jacobsoni were shown to be highly effective vectors of deformed wing virus (DWV) between bees. Adult female mites obtained from honeybee pupae naturally infected with DWV contained virus titers many times in excess of those found in their hosts and, beyond that, which might be expected from a concentration effect. It is therefore possible that DWV may be capable of replicating within V. jacobsoni. Bees which tested positive for DWV exhibited characteristic morphological deformity and/or they died during pupation. Asymptomatic bees had much lower virus titers than those which were deformed or had died during pupation. It is therefore suggested that for DWV to cause pathology it must be present in pupae above a certain concentration. The amount of DWV vectored by V. jacobsoni will depend on the mites' level of infection, which will in turn depend on whether they had fed previously on dead or deformed bees and also on the rate of replication of the virus within the mites. Consequently, developing bees infested with large numbers of mites could suffer a high incidence of deformity if the mites are heavily infected or harbor an especially virulent strain of virus. A positive relationship was found between increasing numbers of mites on individual bees and the incidence of morphological deformity and death. This probably reflected the large number of viral particles transmitted by the mites, which resulted in many multiply infested bees dying before emergence. These results demonstrate the importance of the role of viruses when considering the pathology of V. jacobsoni and that much of the pathology previously associated with the effects of mite feeding could be attributed directly to secondary pathogens vectored by V. jacobsoni. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. Supplementing with vitamin C the diet of honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica) parasitized with Varroa destructor: effects on antioxidative status.

    PubMed

    Farjan, Marek; Łopieńska-Biernat, Elżbieta; Lipiński, Zbigniew; Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata; Żółtowska, Krystyna

    2014-05-01

    We studied a total of eight developmental stages of capped brood and newly emerged workers of Apis mellifera carnica colonies naturally parasitized with Varroa destructor. During winter and early spring four colonies were fed syrup containing 1.8 mg vitamin C kg(-1) (ascorbic acid group; group AA) while four colonies were fed syrup without the vitamin C (control group C). Selected elements of the antioxidative system were analysed including total antioxidant status (TAS), glutathione content and antioxidative enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase). Body weight, protein content and indices of infestation were also determined. The prevalence (8.11%) and intensity (1·15 parasite per bee) of the infestation were lower in group AA compared with group C (11.3% and 1.21, respectively). Changes in the indicators of antioxidative stress were evidence for the strengthening of the antioxidative system in the brood by administration of vitamin C. In freshly emerged worker bees of group AA, despite the infestation, protein content, TAS, and the activity of all antioxidative enzymes had significantly higher values in relation to group C.

  5. DNA methylation is widespread and associated with differential gene expression in castes of the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Elango, Navin; Hunt, Brendan G; Goodisman, Michael A D; Yi, Soojin V

    2009-07-07

    The recent, unexpected discovery of a functional DNA methylation system in the genome of the social bee Apis mellifera underscores the potential importance of DNA methylation in invertebrates. The extent of genomic DNA methylation and its role in A. mellifera remain unknown, however. Here we show that genes in A. mellifera can be divided into 2 distinct classes, one with low-CpG dinucleotide content and the other with high-CpG dinucleotide content. This dichotomy is explained by the gradual depletion of CpG dinucleotides, a well-known consequence of DNA methylation. The loss of CpG dinucleotides associated with DNA methylation also may explain the unusual mutational patterns seen in A. mellifera that lead to AT-rich regions of the genome. A detailed investigation of this dichotomy implicates DNA methylation in A. mellifera development. High-CpG genes, which are predicted to be hypomethylated in germlines, are enriched with functions associated with developmental processes, whereas low-CpG genes, predicted to be hypermethylated in germlines, are enriched with functions associated with basic biological processes. Furthermore, genes more highly expressed in one caste than another are overrepresented among high-CpG genes. Our results highlight the potential significance of epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, in developmental processes in social insects. In particular, the pervasiveness of DNA methylation in the genome of A. mellifera provides fertile ground for future studies of phenotypic plasticity and genomic imprinting.

  6. Variable induction of vitellogenin genes in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) by the honeybee, Apis mellifera L, host and its environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transcript levels of vitellogenins (Vgs) in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) were variably induced by interactions between the developing honeybee as a food source and the capped honeybee cell environment. Transcripts for 2 Vgs of varroa mites were sequenced and putative Vg pr...

  7. A novel approach for the management of the chalkbrood disease infesting honeybee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Mourad, A K; Zaghloul, O A; El Kady, Magda B; Nemat, F M; Morsy, M E

    2005-01-01

    Except for, very few articles regarding the influence of some organic acids on the causative pathogen, Ascosphaera apis Maassen, no other studies pertaining to the management of the chalkbrood disease were performed, so far in Egypt. Laboratory investigations indicated that the fungicides, i.e (Galben C 46%, Radomil gold pluse WP 42.5% and Daconil 2787) at their recommended rates did not exert any effect on the mycelical growth of the fungus. Therefore, these fungicides were completely excluded from the subsequent apiary trials. As to the Mycostatin, it was found clearly that this mycostatic compound was effective at the rates of 50.000 and 100.000 IU. Regarding the essential oils (ceder, clove, peppermint, parsley, black cumin, garden rocket, and ricin), ceder oil surpassed the other oils and materials in controlling the subject disease. It is peculiar that no studies on the efficacy of ceder are available in the literature, so the present work using ceder oil is recorded for the first time worldwide. Thymol substance at the rate of 2% showed also a great success in managing the CHB disease. Baised on the obtained results, the promising materials in controlling the disease could be arranged according to their efficacy in a descending order as follows: ceder oil>thymol>mycostatin and oxalic acid, so these highly effective materials were again tested under the apiary conditions. Outdoors (apiary) studies revealed that ceder oil 4% gave 100% reduction in mummies numbers. Reductions in number of fallen mummies ranged from 63.22 to 96.94, 18.93 to 81.74, and 10.11 to 68.16%, on average, for thymol, mycostatin, and oxalic acid, respectively. From the practical point of view, thymol could be recommended for controlling the CHB disease, as it is the cheapest material and proved to increase the brood nest as well. In addition, thymol has other uses in the field of apiculture.

  8. Predicting acute contact toxicity of pesticides in honeybees (Apis mellifera) through a k-nearest neighbor model.

    PubMed

    Como, F; Carnesecchi, E; Volani, S; Dorne, J L; Richardson, J; Bassan, A; Pavan, M; Benfenati, E

    2017-01-01

    Ecological risk assessment of plant protection products (PPPs) requires an understanding of both the toxicity and the extent of exposure to assess risks for a range of taxa of ecological importance including target and non-target species. Non-target species such as honey bees (Apis mellifera), solitary bees and bumble bees are of utmost importance because of their vital ecological services as pollinators of wild plants and crops. To improve risk assessment of PPPs in bee species, computational models predicting the acute and chronic toxicity of a range of PPPs and contaminants can play a major role in providing structural and physico-chemical properties for the prioritisation of compounds of concern and future risk assessments. Over the last three decades, scientific advisory bodies and the research community have developed toxicological databases and quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models that are proving invaluable to predict toxicity using historical data and reduce animal testing. This paper describes the development and validation of a k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN) model using in-house software for the prediction of acute contact toxicity of pesticides on honey bees. Acute contact toxicity data were collected from different sources for 256 pesticides, which were divided into training and test sets. The k-NN models were validated with good prediction, with an accuracy of 70% for all compounds and of 65% for highly toxic compounds, suggesting that they might reliably predict the toxicity of structurally diverse pesticides and could be used to screen and prioritise new pesticides.

  9. Eusocial insects as superorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Chen; Kaspari, Michael

    2010-01-01

    We recently published a paper titled “Energetic Basis of Colonial Living in Social Insects” showing that basic features of whole colony physiology and life history follow virtually the same size-dependencies as unitary organisms when a colony’s mass is the summed mass of individuals. We now suggest that these results are evidence, not only for the superorganism hypothesis, but also for colony level selection. In addition, we further examine the implications of these results for the metabolism and lifetime reproductive success of eusocial insect colonies. We conclude by discussing the mechanisms which may underlie the observed mass-dependence of survival, growth and reproduction in these colonies. PMID:20798827

  10. Odor discrimination in classical conditioning of proboscis extension in two stingless bee species in comparison to Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed

    Mc Cabe, S I; Hartfelder, K; Santana, W C; Farina, W M

    2007-11-01

    Learning in insects has been extensively studied using different experimental approaches. One of them, the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm, is particularly well suited for quantitative studies of cognitive abilities of honeybees under controlled conditions. The goal of this study was to analyze the capability of three eusocial bee species to be olfactory conditioned in the PER paradigm. We worked with two Brazilian stingless bees species, Melipona quadrifasciata and Scaptotrigona aff. depilis, and with the invasive Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera. These three species present very different recruitment strategies, which could be related with different odor-learning abilities. We evaluated their gustatory responsiveness and learning capability to discriminate floral odors. Gustatory responsiveness was similar for the three species, although S. aff. depilis workers showed fluctuations along the experimental period. Results for the learning assays revealed that M. quadrifasciata workers can be conditioned to discriminate floral odors in a classical differential conditioning protocol and that this discrimination is maintained 15 min after training. During conditioning, Africanized honeybees presented the highest discrimination, for M. quadrifasciata it was intermediate, and S. aff. depilis bees presented no discrimination. The differences found are discussed considering the putative different learning abilities and procedure effect for each species.

  11. Development of improved molecular methods for the detection of deformed wing virus (DWV) in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) and mites ( Varroa destructor Oud.).

    PubMed

    Parrella, G; Caprio, E; Mazzone, P

    2006-01-01

    A simple and rapid method for the extraction of total nucleic acid from honeybee and mite, useful either as template for RT-PCR or in nucleic acids hybridization, was developed. Sensitivity of the methods were evaluated up to 10(9) and 10(6) dilution of TNAs extracted from a single honeybee, for reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and molecular hybridization respectively. The two diagnostic methods developed could be useful for the study of the molecular biology and the pathology of DWV. For practical applications dot-blot hybridization could be used in order to study the incidence of DWV in honeybees populations. The method is enough sensitive, rapid and less affected by contamination problems compared to RT-PCR and thus it could be applied to the sanitary certification of honeybees and their products.

  12. Africanized honeybees are slower learners than their European counterparts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couvillon, Margaret J.; Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2010-02-01

    Does cognitive ability always correlate with a positive fitness consequence? Previous research in both vertebrates and invertebrates provides mixed results. Here, we compare the learning and memory abilities of Africanized honeybees ( Apis mellifera scutellata hybrid) and European honeybees ( Apis mellifera ligustica). The range of the Africanized honeybee continues to expand, superseding the European honeybee, which led us to hypothesize that they might possess greater cognitive capabilities as revealed by a classical conditioning assay. Surprisingly, we found that fewer Africanized honeybees learn to associate an odor with a reward. Additionally, fewer Africanized honeybees remembered the association a day later. While Africanized honeybees are replacing European honeybees, our results show that they do so despite displaying a relatively poorer performance on an associative learning paradigm.

  13. Africanized honeybees are slower learners than their European counterparts

    PubMed Central

    DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2015-01-01

    Does cognitive ability always correlate with a positive fitness consequence? Previous research in both vertebrates and invertebrates provides mixed results. Here, we compare the learning and memory abilities of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata hybrid) and European honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica). The range of the Africanized honeybee continues to expand, superseding the European honeybee, which led us to hypothesize that they might possess greater cognitive capabilities as revealed by a classical conditioning assay. Surprisingly, we found that fewer Africanized honeybees learn to associate an odor with a reward. Additionally, fewer Africanized honeybees remembered the association a day later. While Africanized honeybees are replacing European honeybees, our results show that they do so despite displaying a relatively poorer performance on an associative learning paradigm. PMID:19904521

  14. Africanized honeybees are slower learners than their European counterparts.

    PubMed

    Couvillon, Margaret J; DeGrandi-Hoffman, Gloria; Gronenberg, Wulfila

    2010-02-01

    Does cognitive ability always correlate with a positive fitness consequence? Previous research in both vertebrates and invertebrates provides mixed results. Here, we compare the learning and memory abilities of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata hybrid) and European honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica). The range of the Africanized honeybee continues to expand, superseding the European honeybee, which led us to hypothesize that they might possess greater cognitive capabilities as revealed by a classical conditioning assay. Surprisingly, we found that fewer Africanized honeybees learn to associate an odor with a reward. Additionally, fewer Africanized honeybees remembered the association a day later. While Africanized honeybees are replacing European honeybees, our results show that they do so despite displaying a relatively poorer performance on an associative learning paradigm.

  15. "Double-trick" visual and chemical mimicry by the juvenile orchid mantis hymenopus coronatus used in predation of the oriental honeybee apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, Takafumi; Yamaguchi, Susumu; Yamamoto, Ichiro; Yamaoka, Ryohei; Akino, Toshiharu

    2014-12-01

    It has long been hypothesized that the flower-like appearance of the juvenile orchid mantis is used as visual camouflage to capture flower-visiting insects, although it is doubtful whether such morphological resemblance alone could increase their success in hunting. We confirmed that juvenile female orchid mantes often succeed in capturing oriental honeybees, while adult females often fail. Since most of the honeybees approached the juveniles from the front, we hypothesized that juvenile orchid mantes might attract honeybees by emitting some volatile chemical cues. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses revealed that the mantes' mandibular adducts contained 3-hydroxyoctanoic acid (3HOA) and 10-hydroxy-(E)-2-decenoic acid (10HDA), both of which are also features of the pheromone communication of the oriental honeybee. We also successfully detected 3HOA emitted in the head space air only at the time when the juvenile mantes were attempting to capture their prey. Field bioassay showed that the Oriental Honeybee predominantly preferred to visit dummies impregnated with a mixture of the appropriate amounts and ratios of 3HOA and 10HDA. We therefore conclude that the juvenile mantes utilize these as allelochemicals to trick and attract oriental honeybees.

  16. Transcriptome analyses of primitively eusocial wasps reveal novel insights into the evolution of sociality and the origin of alternative phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Understanding how alternative phenotypes arise from the same genome is a major challenge in modern biology. Eusociality in insects requires the evolution of two alternative phenotypes - workers, who sacrifice personal reproduction, and queens, who realize that reproduction. Extensive work on honeybees and ants has revealed the molecular basis of derived queen and worker phenotypes in highly eusocial lineages, but we lack equivalent deep-level analyses of wasps and of primitively eusocial species, the latter of which can reveal how phenotypic decoupling first occurs in the early stages of eusocial evolution. Results We sequenced 20 Gbp of transcriptomes derived from brains of different behavioral castes of the primitively eusocial tropical paper wasp Polistes canadensis. Surprisingly, 75% of the 2,442 genes differentially expressed between phenotypes were novel, having no significant homology with described sequences. Moreover, 90% of these novel genes were significantly upregulated in workers relative to queens. Differential expression of novel genes in the early stages of sociality may be important in facilitating the evolution of worker behavioral complexity in eusocial evolution. We also found surprisingly low correlation in the identity and direction of expression of differentially expressed genes across similar phenotypes in different social lineages, supporting the idea that social evolution in different lineages requires substantial de novo rewiring of molecular pathways. Conclusions These genomic resources for aculeate wasps and first transcriptome-wide insights into the origin of castes bring us closer to a more general understanding of eusocial evolution and how phenotypic diversity arises from the same genome. PMID:23442883

  17. Thelytokous parthenogenesis in eusocial Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Rabeling, Christian; Kronauer, Daniel J C

    2013-01-01

    Female parthenogenesis, or thelytoky, is particularly common in solitary Hymenoptera. Only more recently has it become clear that many eusocial species also regularly reproduce thelytokously, and here we provide a comprehensive overview. Especially in ants, thelytoky underlies a variety of idiosyncratic life histories with unique evolutionary and ecological consequences. In all eusocial species studied, thelytoky probably has a nuclear genetic basis and the underlying cytological mechanism retains high levels of heterozygosity. This is in striking contrast to many solitary wasps, in which thelytoky is often induced by cytoplasmic bacteria and results in an immediate loss of heterozygosity. These differences are likely related to differences in haplodiploid sex determination mechanisms, which in eusocial species usually require heterozygosity for female development. At the same time, haplodiploidy might account for important preadaptations that can help explain the apparent ease with which Hymenoptera transition between sexual and asexual reproduction.

  18. Selection for varroatosis resistance in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Moritz, R F

    1994-06-01

    The parasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni is a major problem for beekeeping worldwide. It can be controlled efficiently with a variety of ocaracides. However, Robin F.A. Moritz argues that, owing to the risk of honey contamination and the costs involved with continuous treatment of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies, there is a pressing need to find alternative ways of varroatosis control. A variety of physiological and behavioural traits of the honeybee are known to control efficiently the development and spread of V. jacobsoni infestation. Breeding of a varroatosis-resistant honeybee seems possible and selection could offer swift results if one capitalizes on the male haploid population structure of the honeybee.

  19. Effect of 1,3-1,6 β-Glucan on Natural and Experimental Deformed Wing Virus Infection in Newly Emerged Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica)

    PubMed Central

    Sagona, Simona; Carrozza, Maria Luisa; Forzan, Mario; Pizzurro, Federica; Bibbiani, Carlo; Miragliotta, Vincenzo; Abramo, Francesca; Millanta, Francesca; Bagliacca, Marco; Poli, Alessandro; Felicioli, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The Western Honeybee is a key pollinator for natural as well as agricultural ecosystems. In the last decade massive honeybee colony losses have been observed worldwide, the result of a complex syndrome triggered by multiple stress factors, with the RNA virus Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) and the mite Varroa destructor playing crucial roles. The mite supports replication of DWV to high titers, which exert an immunosuppressive action and correlate with the onset of the disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 1,3–1,6 β-glucan, a natural innate immune system modulator, on honeybee response to low-titer natural and high-titer experimental DWV infection. As the effects exerted by ß-glucans can be remarkably different, depending on the target organism and the dose administered, two parallel experiments were performed, where 1,3–1,6 ß-glucan at a concentration of 0.5% and 2% respectively, was added to the diet of three cohorts of newly emerged honeybees, which were sampled from a Varroa-free apiary and harboured a low endogenous DWV viral titer. Each cohort was subjected to one of the following experimental treatments: no injection, injection of a high-copy number DWV suspension into the haemocel (experimental DWV infection) or injection of PBS into the haemocoel (physical injury). Control bees fed a ß-glucan-free diet were subjected to the same treatments. Viral load, survival rate, haemocyte populations and phenoloxidase activity of each experimental group were measured and compared. The results indicated that oral administration of 0.5% ß-glucan to naturally infected honeybees was associated with a significantly decrease of the number of infected bees and viral load they carried, and with a significant increase of the survival rate, suggesting that this natural immune modulator molecule might contribute to increase honeybee resistance to viral infection. PMID:27829027

  20. Effect of 1,3-1,6 β-Glucan on Natural and Experimental Deformed Wing Virus Infection in Newly Emerged Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    PubMed

    Mazzei, Maurizio; Fronte, Baldassare; Sagona, Simona; Carrozza, Maria Luisa; Forzan, Mario; Pizzurro, Federica; Bibbiani, Carlo; Miragliotta, Vincenzo; Abramo, Francesca; Millanta, Francesca; Bagliacca, Marco; Poli, Alessandro; Felicioli, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The Western Honeybee is a key pollinator for natural as well as agricultural ecosystems. In the last decade massive honeybee colony losses have been observed worldwide, the result of a complex syndrome triggered by multiple stress factors, with the RNA virus Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) and the mite Varroa destructor playing crucial roles. The mite supports replication of DWV to high titers, which exert an immunosuppressive action and correlate with the onset of the disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of 1,3-1,6 β-glucan, a natural innate immune system modulator, on honeybee response to low-titer natural and high-titer experimental DWV infection. As the effects exerted by ß-glucans can be remarkably different, depending on the target organism and the dose administered, two parallel experiments were performed, where 1,3-1,6 ß-glucan at a concentration of 0.5% and 2% respectively, was added to the diet of three cohorts of newly emerged honeybees, which were sampled from a Varroa-free apiary and harboured a low endogenous DWV viral titer. Each cohort was subjected to one of the following experimental treatments: no injection, injection of a high-copy number DWV suspension into the haemocel (experimental DWV infection) or injection of PBS into the haemocoel (physical injury). Control bees fed a ß-glucan-free diet were subjected to the same treatments. Viral load, survival rate, haemocyte populations and phenoloxidase activity of each experimental group were measured and compared. The results indicated that oral administration of 0.5% ß-glucan to naturally infected honeybees was associated with a significantly decrease of the number of infected bees and viral load they carried, and with a significant increase of the survival rate, suggesting that this natural immune modulator molecule might contribute to increase honeybee resistance to viral infection.

  1. Role of the Varroa mite in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colony loss: A case study for adverse outcome pathway development with a nonchemical stressor

    EPA Science Inventory

    Significant honeybee colony losses have been reported across North America and Europe in recent years. A number of factors, both chemical and nonchemical, have been associated with such losses. Adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) provide a conceptual framework to describe and evalu...

  2. The effects of four insect growth-regulating (IGR) insecticides on honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colony development, queen rearing and drone sperm production.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Helen M; Wilkins, Selwyn; Battersby, Alastair H; Waite, Ruth J; Wilkinson, David

    2005-10-01

    This study assessed the effects of exposure to IGRs on the long-term development of the honeybee colony, viability of queens and sperm production in drones and integrated the data into a honeybee population model. Colonies treated with diflubenzuron resulted in a short-term reduction in the numbers of adult bees and brood. Colonies treated with fenoxycarb declined during the season earlier and started the season slower. The number of queens that successfully mated and laid eggs was affected in the fenoxycarb treatment group but there were no significant differences in the drone sperm counts between the colonies. An existing honeybee population model was modified to include exposure to IGRs. In the model, fenoxycarb reduced the winter size of the colony, with the greatest effects following a June or an August application. Assuming a 'larvae per nurse bee' ratio of 1.5 for brood rearing capability, the reduction in winter size of a colony following a fenoxycarb application was at its worst about 8%. However, even if only those bees reared within 2 weeks of the IGR being applied are subject to premature ageing, this might significantly reduce the size of over-wintering colonies, and increase the chance of the bee population dwindling and dying in late winter or early spring.

  3. Chemoreceptor Evolution in Hymenoptera and Its Implications for the Evolution of Eusociality.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J

    2015-08-12

    Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory receptors in recently sequenced Hymenoptera genomes and systematically compare >4,000 chemoreceptors from 13 hymenopterans, representing one solitary lineage (wasps) and three independently evolved eusocial lineages (ants and two bees). We observe a strong general tendency for chemoreceptors to expand in Hymenoptera, whereas the specifics of gene gains/losses are highly diverse between lineages. We also find more frequent positive selection on chemoreceptors in a facultative eusocial bee and in the common ancestor of ants compared with solitary wasps. Our results suggest that the frequent expansions of chemoreceptors have facilitated the transition to eusociality. Divergent expression patterns of odorant receptors between honeybee and ants further indicate differential roles of chemoreceptors in parallel trajectories of social evolution.

  4. Lactobacillus apinorum sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellifer sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellis sp. nov., Lactobacillus melliventris sp. nov., Lactobacillus kimbladii sp. nov., Lactobacillus helsingborgensis sp. nov. and Lactobacillus kullabergensis sp. nov., isolated from the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Alsterfjord, Magnus; Nilson, Bo; Butler, Èile; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2014-01-01

    We previously discovered a symbiotic lactic acid bacterial (LAB) microbiota in the honey stomach of the honeybee Apis mellifera. The microbiota was composed of several phylotypes of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses and phenotypic and genetic characteristics revealed that the phylotypes isolated represent seven novel species. One grouped with Lactobacillus kunkeei and the others belong to the Lactobacillus buchneri and Lactobacillus delbrueckiisubgroups of Lactobacillus. We propose the names Lactobacillus apinorum sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellifer sp. nov., Lactobacillus mellis sp. nov., Lactobacillus melliventris sp. nov., Lactobacillus kimbladii sp. nov., Lactobacillus helsingborgensis sp. nov. and Lactobacillus kullabergensis sp. nov. for these novel species, with the respective type strains being Fhon13NT ( = DSM 26257T = CCUG 63287T), Bin4NT ( = DSM 26254T = CCUG 63291T), Hon2NT ( = DSM 26255T = CCUG 63289T), Hma8NT ( = DSM 26256T = CCUG 63629T), Hma2NT ( = DSM 26263T = CCUG 63633T), Bma5NT ( = DSM 26265T = CCUG 63301T) and Biut2NT ( = DSM 26262T = CCUG 63631T). PMID:24944337

  5. Juvenile hormone titer in capped worker brood of Apis mellifera and reproduction in the bee mite Varroa jacobsoni.

    PubMed

    Rosenkranz, P; Rachinsky, A; Strambi, A; Strambi, C; Röpstorf, P

    1990-05-01

    Juvenile hormone (JH) titers were recorded from fifth instar worker larvae of Apis mellifera carnica, Apis mellifera lamarckii, and Africanized honeybees kept under temperate and tropical climatic conditions. No differences in hormone titer according to honeybee race or climatic conditions were determined. However, the rate of reproduction of the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa jacobsoni, on larvae of the different honeybee races was highly variable. The possible role of honeybee JH in control of the parasite's reproduction is discussed.

  6. Endangered Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bourne, Russell

    1975-01-01

    Because of pesticides, the disappearance of open farmland, chemical fertilizers, and our own indifference and ignorance, the number of United States honeybee colonies has been reduced an average of 2 percent per year. (BT)

  7. Comparison of learning and memory of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Qin, Qiu-Hong; He, Xu-Jiang; Tian, Liu-Qing; Zhang, Shao-Wu; Zeng, Zhi-Jiang

    2012-10-01

    The honeybee is an excellent model organism for research on learning and memory among invertebrates. Learning and memory in honeybees has intrigued neuroscientists and entomologists in the last few decades, but attention has focused almost solely on the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera. In contrast, there have been few studies on learning and memory in the Eastern honeybee, Apis cerana. Here we report comparative behavioral data of color and grating learning and memory for A. cerana and A. mellifera in China, gathered using a Y-maze apparatus. We show for the first time that the learning and memory performance of A. cerana is significantly better on both color and grating patterns than that of A. mellifera. This study provides the first evidence of a learning and memory difference between A. cerana and A. mellifera under controlled conditions, and it is an important basis for the further study of the mechanism of learning and memory in honeybees.

  8. Thymol as an alternative to pesticides: persistence and effects of Apilife Var on the phototactic behavior of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Carayon, Jean-Luc; Téné, Nathan; Bonnafé, Elsa; Alayrangues, Julie; Hotier, Lucie; Armengaud, Catherine; Treilhou, Michel

    2014-04-01

    Thymol is a natural substance increasingly used as an alternative to pesticides in the fight against the Varroa destructor mite. Despite the effectiveness of this phenolic monoterpene against Varroa, few articles have covered the negative or side effects of thymol on bees. In a previous study, we have found an impairment of phototaxis in honeybees following application of sublethal doses of thymol-lower or equal to 100 ng/bee-under laboratory conditions. The present work shows the same behavioral effects on bees from hives treated with Apilife Var®, a veterinary drug containing 74 % thymol, with a decrease in phototactic behavior observed 1 day after treatment. Thus, thymol causes disruption of bee phototactic behavior both under laboratory conditions as well as in beehives. The bee exposure dose in treated hives was quantified using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS), giving a median value of 4.3 μg per body 24 h after treatment, with 11 ng in the brain. The thymol level in 20 organic waxes from hives treated with Apilife Var® was also measured and showed that it persists in waxes (around 10 mg/kg) 1 year after treatment. Thus, in the light of (1) behavioral data obtained under laboratory conditions and in beehives, (2) the persistence of thymol in waxes, and (3) the high load on bees, it would appear important to study the long-term effects of thymol in beehives.

  9. Nutrition and dopamine: An intake of tyrosine in royal jelly can affect the brain levels of dopamine in male honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Ken

    2016-04-01

    Precursors of neuroactive substances can be obtained from dietary sources, which can affect the resulting production of such substances in the brain. In social species, an intake of the precursor in food could be controlled by social interactions. To test the effects of dietary tyrosine on the brain dopamine levels in social insect colonies, male and worker honeybees were fed tyrosine or royal jelly under experimental conditions and the brain levels of dopamine and its metabolite were then measured. The results showed that the levels of dopamine and its metabolite in the brains of 4- and 8-day-old workers and 8-day-old males were significantly higher in tyrosine-fed bees than in control bees, but the levels in 4-day-old males were not. The brain levels of dopamine and its metabolite in 4- and 8-day-old males and workers were significantly higher in royal jelly-fed bees than in control bees, except for one group of 4-day-old workers. Food exchanges with workers were observed in males during 1-3 days, but self-feedings were also during 5-7 days. These results suggest that the brain levels of dopamine in males can be controlled by an intake of tyrosine in food via exchanging food with nestmates and by self-feeding.

  10. The activity of carbohydrate-degrading enzymes in the development of brood and newly emerged workers and drones of the Carniolan honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica.

    PubMed

    Żółtowska, Krystyna; Lipiński, Zbigniew; Łopieńska-Biernat, Elżbieta; Farjan, Marek; Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata

    2012-01-01

    The activity of glycogen Phosphorylase and carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes α-amylase, glucoamylase, trehalase, and sucrase was studied in the development of the Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica Pollman (Hymenoptera: Apidae), from newly hatched larva to freshly emerged imago of worker and drone. Phosphorolytic degradation of glycogen was significantly stronger than hydrolytic degradation in all developmental stages. Developmental profiles of hydrolase activity were similar in both sexes of brood; high activity was found in unsealed larvae, the lowest in prepupae followed by an increase in enzymatic activity. Especially intensive increases in activity occurred in the last stage of pupae and newly emerged imago. Besides α-amylase, the activities of other enzymes were higher in drone than in worker broods. Among drones, activity of glucoamylase was particularly high, ranging from around three times higher in the youngest larvae to 13 times higher in the oldest pupae. This confirms earlier suggestions about higher rates of metabolism in drone broods than in worker broods.

  11. Toward an Understanding of Divergent Compound Eye Development in Drones and Workers of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.): A Correlative Analysis of Morphology and Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Marco Antonio, David S; Hartfelder, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    Eye development in insects is best understood in Drosophila melanogaster, but little is known for other holometabolous insects. Combining a morphological with a gene expression analysis, we investigated eye development in the honeybee, putting emphasis on the sex-specific differences in eye size. Optic lobe development starts from an optic lobe anlage in the larval brain, which sequentially gives rise to the lobula, medulla, and lamina. The lamina differentiates in the last larval instar, when it receives optic nerve projections from the developing retina. The expression analysis focused on seven genes important for Drosophila eye development: eyes absent, sine oculis, embryonic lethal abnormal vision, minibrain, small optic lobes, epidermal growth factor receptor, and roughest. All except small optic lobes were more highly expressed in third-instar drone larvae, but then, in the fourth and fifth instar, their expression was sex-specifically modulated, showing shifts in temporal dynamics. The clearest differences were seen for small optic lobes, which is highly expressed in the developing eye of workers, and minibrain and roughest, which showed a strong expression peak coinciding with retina differentiation. A microarray analysis for optic lobe/retina complexes revealed the differential expression of several metabolism-related genes, as well as of two micro-RNAs. While we could not see major morphological differences in the developing eye structures before the pupal stage, the expression differences observed for the seven candidate genes and in the transcriptional microarray profiles indicate that molecular signatures underlying sex-specific optic lobe and retina development become established throughout the larval stages.

  12. Proteomic Analysis Reveals the Molecular Underpinnings of Mandibular Gland Development and Lipid Metabolism in Two Lines of Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    PubMed

    Huo, Xinmei; Wu, Bin; Feng, Mao; Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Hao, Yue; Meng, Lifeng; Wubie, Abebe Jenberie; Fan, Pei; Hu, Han; Qi, Yuping; Li, Jianke

    2016-09-02

    The mandibular glands (MGs) of honeybee workers are vital for the secretion of lipids, for both larval nutrition and pheromones. However, knowledge of how the proteome controls MG development and functionality at the different physiological stages of worker bees is still lacking. We characterized and compared the proteome across different ages of MGs in Italian bees (ITBs) and Royal Jelly (RJ) bees (RJBs), the latter being a line bred for increasing RJ yield, originating from the ITB. All 2000 proteins that were shared by differently aged MGs in both bee lines (>4000 proteins identified in all) were strongly enriched in metabolizing protein, nucleic acid, small molecule, and lipid functional groups. The fact that these shared proteins are enriched in similar groups in both lines suggests that they are essential for basic cellular maintenance and MG functions. However, great differences were found when comparing the proteome across different MG phases in each line. In newly emerged bees (NEBs), the unique and highly abundant proteins were enriched in protein synthesis, cytoskeleton, and development related functional groups, suggesting their importance to initialize young MG development. In nurse bees (NBs), specific and highly abundant proteins were mainly enriched in substance transport and lipid synthesis, indicating their priority may be in priming high secretory activity in lipid synthesis as larval nutrition. The unique and highly abundant proteins in forager bees (FBs) were enriched in lipid metabolism, small molecule, and carbohydrate metabolism. This indicates their emphasis on 2-heptanone synthesis as an alarm pheromone to enhance colony defense or scent marker for foraging efficiency. Furthermore, a wide range of different biological processes was observed between ITBs and RJBs at different MG ages. Both bee stocks may adapt different proteome programs to drive gland development and functionality. The RJB nurse bee has reshaped its proteome by enhancing

  13. Comparative pollen preferences by africanized honeybees Apis mellifera L. of two colonies in Pará de Minas, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Luz, Cynthia F P; Bacha Junior, Gabriel L; Fonseca, Rafael L S E; Sousa, Priscila R de

    2010-06-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the polliniferous floral sources used by Apis mellifera (L.) (africanized) in an apiary situated in Pará de Minas, Minas Gerais state, and evaluate the pollen prefences among the beehives. Two beehives of Langstroth type with frontal pollen trap collectors were used. The harvest was made from September 2007 to March 2008, with three samples of pollen pellets colected per month per beehive. The subsamples of 2 grams each were prepared according to the European standard melissopalynological method. A total of 56 pollen types were observed, identifying 43 genus and 32 families. The families that showed the major richness of pollen types were: Mimosaceae (8), Asteraceae (6), Fabaceae (3), Arecaceae (3), Euphorbiaceae (3), Rubiaceae (3), Caesalpiniaceae (2), Moraceae (2) and Myrtaceae (2). The most frequent pollen types (> 45%) were Mimosa scabrella, Myrcia and Sorocea. The results demonstrated a similarity regarding the preferences of floral sources during the major part of the time. There was a distinct utilization of floral sources among the pollen types of minor frequency. In spite of the strong antropic influence, the region showed a great polliniferous variety, which was an indicative of the potential for monofloral as well as heterofloral pollen production.

  14. The Activity of Carbohydrate-Degrading Enzymes in the Development of Brood and Newly Emerged workers and Drones of the Carniolan Honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica

    PubMed Central

    Żółtowska, Krystyna; Lipiński, Zbigniew; Łopieńska-Biernat, Elżbieta; Farjan, Marek; Dmitryjuk, Małgorzata

    2012-01-01

    The activity of glycogen Phosphorylase and carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes α-amylase, glucoamylase, trehalase, and sucrase was studied in the development of the Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica Pollman (Hymenoptera: Apidae), from newly hatched larva to freshly emerged imago of worker and drone. Phosphorolytic degradation of glycogen was significantly stronger than hydrolytic degradation in all developmental stages. Developmental profiles of hydrolase activity were similar in both sexes of brood; high activity was found in unsealed larvae, the lowest in prepupae followed by an increase in enzymatic activity. Especially intensive increases in activity occurred in the last stage of pupae and newly emerged imago. Besides α-amylase, the activities of other enzymes were higher in drone than in worker broods. Among drones, activity of glucoamylase was particularly high, ranging from around three times higher in the youngest larvae to 13 times higher in the oldest pupae. This confirms earlier suggestions about higher rates of metabolism in drone broods than in worker broods. PMID:22943407

  15. Toxicological, Biochemical, and Histopathological Analyses Demonstrating That Cry1C and Cry2A Are Not Toxic to Larvae of the Honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan-Yuan; Li, Yun-He; Huang, Zachary Y; Chen, Xiu-Ping; Romeis, Jörg; Dai, Ping-Li; Peng, Yu-Fa

    2015-07-15

    The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is commonly used as a test species for the regulatory risk assessment of insect-resistant genetically engineered (IRGE) plants. In the current study, a dietary exposure assay was developed, validated, and used to assess the potential toxicity of Cry1C and Cry2A proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to A. mellifera larvae; Cry1C and Cry2A are produced by different IRGE crops. The assay, which uses the soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI) as a positive control and bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a negative control, was used to measure the responses of A. mellifera larvae to high concentrations of Cry1C and Cry2A. Survival was reduced and development was delayed when larvae were fed SBTI (1 mg/g diet) but were unaffected when larvae were fed BSA (400 μg/g), Cry1C (50 μg/g), or Cry2A (400 μg/g). The enzymatic activities of A. mellifera larvae were not altered and their midgut brush border membranes (BBMs) were not damaged after being fed with diets containing BSA, Cry1C, or Cry2A; however, enzymatic activities were increased and BBMs were damaged when diets contained SBTI. The study confirms that Cry1C and Cry2A have no acute toxicity to A. mellifera larvae at concentrations >10 times higher than those detected in pollen from Bt plants.

  16. Evaluation of pesticide toxicity at their field recommended doses to honeybees, Apis cerana and A. mellifera through laboratory, semi-field and field studies.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Johnson; Sah, Khushboo; Jain, S K; Bhatt, J C; Sushil, S N

    2015-01-01

    A series of experiments were carried out to determine the acute toxicity of pesticides in the laboratory, toxicity through spray on flowering plants of mustard (Tier II evaluation) and field on both Apis cerana and A. mellifera bees. The overall mortality of honey bees through topical (direct contact) were found significantly higher than that of indirect filter paper contamination assays. Insecticides viz., chlorpyriphos, dichlorvos, malathion, profenofos, monocrotophos and deltamethrin when exposed directly or indirectly at their field recommended doses caused very high mortality up to 100% to both the bees at 48 HAT. The insecticides that caused less mortality through filter paper contamination viz., flubendiamide, methyl demeton, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused very high morality through direct exposure. Apart from all the fungicides tested, carbendazim, mancozeb, chlorothalonil and propiconazole, insecticides acetamiprid and endosulfan were found safer to both the bees either by direct or indirect exposures. Tier II evaluation by spray of pesticides at their field recommended doses on potted mustard plants showed monocrotophos as the highly toxic insecticide with 100% mortality even with 1h of exposure followed by thiamethoxam, dichlorvos, profenofos and chlorpyriphos which are not to be recommended for use in pollinator attractive flowering plants. Acetamiprid and endosulfan did not cause any repellent effect on honey bees in the field trials endorse the usage of acetamiprid against sucking pest in flowering plants.

  17. Heat-balling wasps by honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ken, Tan; Hepburn, H. R.; Radloff, S. E.; Yusheng, Yu; Yiqiu, Liu; Danyin, Zhou; Neumann, P.

    2005-10-01

    Defensiveness of honeybee colonies of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera (actively balling the wasps but reduction of foraging) against predatory wasps, Vespa velutina, and false wasps was assessed. There were significantly more worker bees in balls of the former than latter. Core temperatures in a ball around a live wasp of A. cerana were significantly higher than those of A. mellifera, and also significantly more when exposed to false wasps. Core temperatures of bee balls exposed to false wasps were significantly lower than those exposed to V. velutina for both A. cerana and for A. mellifera. The lethal thermal limits for V. velutina, A. cerana and A. mellifera were significantly different, so that both species of honeybees have a thermal safety factor in heat-killing such wasp predators. During wasps attacks at the hives measured at 3, 6 and 12 min, the numbers of Apis cerana cerana and Apis cerana indica bees continuing to forage were significantly reduced with increased wasp attack time. Tropical lowland A. c. indica reduced foraging rates significantly more than the highland A. c. cerana bees; but, there was no significant effect on foraging by A. mellifera. The latency to recovery of honeybee foraging was significantly greater the longer the duration of wasp attacks. The results show remarkable thermal fine-tuning in a co-evolving predator prey relationship.

  18. An improved test for Africanized honeybee mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Crozier, Y C; Koulianos, S; Crozier, R H

    1991-09-15

    Mitochondrial DNA derived from Apis mellifera scutellata, the ancestor of the Africanized bees of the New World, lacks a BglII restriction site found in other types of honeybee. We present primers allowing amplification of a 485-bp section of the cytochrome b gene containing this site, using the polymerase chain reaction. Digestion of the amplified product with BglII yields contrasting patterns between Africanized and other honeybees.

  19. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Fairbrother, Anne; Purdy, John; Anderson, Troy; Fell, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera, is an important pollinator of agricultural crops. Since 2006, when unexpectedly high colony losses were first reported, articles have proliferated in the popular press suggesting a range of possible causes and raising alarm over the general decline of bees. Suggested causes include pesticides, genetically modified crops, habitat fragmentation, and introduced diseases and parasites. Scientists have concluded that multiple factors in various combinations—including mites, fungi, viruses, and pesticides, as well as other factors such as reduction in forage, poor nutrition, and queen failure—are the most probable cause of elevated colony loss rates. Investigators and regulators continue to focus on the possible role that insecticides, particularly the neonicotinoids, may play in honeybee health. Neonicotinoid insecticides are insect neurotoxicants with desirable features such as broad-spectrum activity, low application rates, low mammalian toxicity, upward systemic movement in plants, and versatile application methods. Their distribution throughout the plant, including pollen, nectar, and guttation fluids, poses particular concern for exposure to pollinators. The authors describe how neonicotinoids interact with the nervous system of honeybees and affect individual honeybees in laboratory situations. Because honeybees are social insects, colony effects in semifield and field studies are discussed. The authors conclude with a review of current and proposed guidance in the United States and Europe for assessing the risks of pesticides to honeybees. PMID:24692231

  20. Magnetoreception in Eusocial Insects: An Update

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Behavioral experiments for magnetoreception in eusocial insects in the last decade are reviewed. Ants and bees use the geomagnetic field to orient and navigate in areas around their nests and in migratory paths. Bees show sensitivity to small changes in magnetic fields in conditioning experiments a...

  1. Relatedness, conflict, and the evolution of eusociality.

    PubMed

    Liao, Xiaoyun; Rong, Stephen; Queller, David C

    2015-03-01

    The evolution of sterile worker castes in eusocial insects was a major problem in evolutionary theory until Hamilton developed a method called inclusive fitness. He used it to show that sterile castes could evolve via kin selection, in which a gene for altruistic sterility is favored when the altruism sufficiently benefits relatives carrying the gene. Inclusive fitness theory is well supported empirically and has been applied to many other areas, but a recent paper argued that the general method of inclusive fitness was wrong and advocated an alternative population genetic method. The claim of these authors was bolstered by a new model of the evolution of eusociality with novel conclusions that appeared to overturn some major results from inclusive fitness. Here we report an expanded examination of this kind of model for the evolution of eusociality and show that all three of its apparently novel conclusions are essentially false. Contrary to their claims, genetic relatedness is important and causal, workers are agents that can evolve to be in conflict with the queen, and eusociality is not so difficult to evolve. The misleading conclusions all resulted not from incorrect math but from overgeneralizing from narrow assumptions or parameter values. For example, all of their models implicitly assumed high relatedness, but modifying the model to allow lower relatedness shows that relatedness is essential and causal in the evolution of eusociality. Their modeling strategy, properly applied, actually confirms major insights of inclusive fitness studies of kin selection. This broad agreement of different models shows that social evolution theory, rather than being in turmoil, is supported by multiple theoretical approaches. It also suggests that extensive prior work using inclusive fitness, from microbial interactions to human evolution, should be considered robust unless shown otherwise.

  2. Entomology: Asian honeybees parasitize the future dead.

    PubMed

    Nanork, Piyamas; Paar, Jürgen; Chapman, Nadine C; Wongsiri, Siriwat; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2005-10-06

    The queen of a honeybee colony has a reproductive monopoly because her workers' ovaries are normally inactive and any eggs that they do lay are eaten by their fellow workers. But if a colony becomes queenless, the workers start to lay eggs, stop policing and rear a last batch of males before the colony finally dies out. Here we show that workers of the Asian dwarf red honeybee Apis florea from other colonies exploit this interval as an opportunity to move in and lay their own eggs while no policing is in force. Such parasitism of queenless colonies does not occur in the western honeybee A. mellifera and may be facilitated by the accessibility of A. florea nests, which are built out in the open.

  3. Bee-hawking by the wasp, Vespa velutina, on the honeybees Apis cerana and A. mellifera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, K.; Radloff, S. E.; Li, J. J.; Hepburn, H. R.; Yang, M. X.; Zhang, L. J.; Neumann, P.

    2007-06-01

    The vespine wasps, Vespa velutina, specialise in hawking honeybee foragers returning to their nests. We studied their behaviour in China using native Apis cerana and introduced A. mellifera colonies. When the wasps are hawking, A. cerana recruits threefold more guard bees to stave off predation than A. mellifera. The former also utilises wing shimmering as a visual pattern disruption mechanism, which is not shown by A. mellifera. A. cerana foragers halve the time of normal flight needed to dart into the nest entrance, while A. mellifera actually slows down in sashaying flight manoeuvres. V. velutina preferentially hawks A. mellifera foragers when both A. mellifera and A. cerana occur in the same apiary. The pace of wasp-hawking was highest in mid-summer but the frequency of hawking wasps was three times higher at A. mellifera colonies than at the A. cerana colonies. The wasps were taking A. mellifera foragers at a frequency eightfold greater than A. cerana foragers. The final hawking success rates of the wasps were about three times higher for A. mellifera foragers than for A. cerana. The relative success of native A. cerana over European A. mellifera in thwarting predation by the wasp V. velutina is interpreted as the result of co-evolution between the Asian wasp and honeybee, respectively.

  4. Dancing to different tunes: heterospecific deciphering of the honeybee waggle dance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, K.; Yang, M. X.; Radloff, S. E.; Hepburn, H. R.; Zhang, Z. Y.; Luo, L. J.; Li, H.

    2008-12-01

    Although the structure of the dance language is very similar among species of honeybees, communication of the distance component of the message varies both intraspecifically and interspecifically. However, it is not known whether different honeybee species would attend interspecific waggle dances and, if so, whether they can decipher such dances. Using mixed-species colonies of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera, we show that, despite internal differences in the structure of the waggle dances of foragers, both species attend, and act on the information encoded in each other’s waggle dances but with limited accuracy. These observations indicate that direction and distance communication pre-date speciation in honeybees.

  5. Analysis of the Waggle Dance Motion of Honeybees for the Design of a Biomimetic Honeybee Robot

    PubMed Central

    Landgraf, Tim; Rojas, Raúl; Nguyen, Hai; Kriegel, Fabian; Stettin, Katja

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee dance “language” is one of the most popular examples of information transfer in the animal world. Today, more than 60 years after its discovery it still remains unknown how follower bees decode the information contained in the dance. In order to build a robotic honeybee that allows a deeper investigation of the communication process we have recorded hundreds of videos of waggle dances. In this paper we analyze the statistics of visually captured high-precision dance trajectories of European honeybees (Apis mellifera carnica). The trajectories were produced using a novel automatic tracking system and represent the most detailed honeybee dance motion information available. Although honeybee dances seem very variable, some properties turned out to be invariant. We use these properties as a minimal set of parameters that enables us to model the honeybee dance motion. We provide a detailed statistical description of various dance properties that have not been characterized before and discuss the role of particular dance components in the commmunication process. PMID:21857906

  6. Neuroendocrinology and Sexual Differentiation in Eusocial Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Melissa M.; Goldman, Bruce D.; Goldman, Sharry L.; Seney, Marianne L.; Forger, Nancy G.

    2009-01-01

    Sexual differentiation of the mammalian nervous system has been studied intensively for over 25 years. Most of what we know, however, comes from work on relatively non-social species in which direct reproduction (i.e., production of offspring) is virtually the only route to reproductive success. In social species, an individual’s inclusive fitness may include contributions to the gene pool that are achieved by supporting the reproductive efforts of close relatives; this feature is most evident in eusocial organisms. Here, we review what is known about neuroendocrine mechanisms, sexual differentiation, and effects of social status on the brain and spinal cord in two eusocial mammals: the naked mole-rat and Damaraland mole-rat. These small rodents exhibit the most rigidly organized reproductive hierarchy among mammals, with reproduction suppressed in a majority of individuals. Our findings suggest that eusociality may be associated with a relative lack of sex differences and a reduced influence of gonadal hormones on some functions to which these hormones are usually tightly linked. We also identify neural changes accompanying a change in social and reproductive status, and discuss the implications of our findings for understanding the evolution of sex differences and the neuroendocrinology of reproductive suppression. PMID:19416733

  7. Temperature dependent virulence of obligate and facultative fungal pathogens of honeybee brood

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Chalkbrood (Ascosphaera apis) and stonebrood (Aspergillus flavus) are well known fungal brood diseases of honeybees (Apis mellifera), but they have hardly been systematically studied because the difficulty of rearing larvae in vitro has precluded controlled experimentation. Chalkbrood is a chronic h...

  8. Forward and Backward Second-Order Pavlovian Conditioning in Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hussaini, Syed Abid; Komischke, Bernhard; Menzel, Randolf; Lachnit, Harald

    2007-01-01

    Second-order conditioning (SOC) is the association of a neutral stimulus with another stimulus that had previously been combined with an unconditioned stimulus (US). We used classical conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) in honeybees ("Apis mellifera") with odors (CS) and sugar (US). Previous SOC experiments in bees were…

  9. Mechanism of action of recombinant Acc-royalisin from royal jelly of Chinese honeybee against gram-positive bacteria

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The antibacterial activity of royalisin, an antimicrobial peptide from the royal jelly produced by honeybees has been addressed extensively. However, its mechanism of action remains unclear. In this study, a recombinant royalisin, RAcc-royalisin from the royal jelly of Chinese honeybee Apis cerana...

  10. Deformed wing virus is a recent global epidemic in honeybees driven by Varroa mites.

    PubMed

    Wilfert, L; Long, G; Leggett, H C; Schmid-Hempel, P; Butlin, R; Martin, S J M; Boots, M

    2016-02-05

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) and its vector, the mite Varroa destructor, are a major threat to the world's honeybees. Although the impact of Varroa on colony-level DWV epidemiology is evident, we have little understanding of wider DWV epidemiology and the role that Varroa has played in its global spread. A phylogeographic analysis shows that DWV is globally distributed in honeybees, having recently spread from a common source, the European honeybee Apis mellifera. DWV exhibits epidemic growth and transmission that is predominantly mediated by European and North American honeybee populations and driven by trade and movement of honeybee colonies. DWV is now an important reemerging pathogen of honeybees, which are undergoing a worldwide manmade epidemic fueled by the direct transmission route that the Varroa mite provides.

  11. Effect of Temperature on the Biotic Potential of Honeybee Microsporidia▿

    PubMed Central

    Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Meana, Aránzazu; García-Palencia, Pilar; Marín, Pilar; Botías, Cristina; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; Barrios, Laura; Higes, Mariano

    2009-01-01

    The biological cycle of Nosema spp. in honeybees depends on temperature. When expressed as total spore counts per day after infection, the biotic potentials of Nosema apis and N. ceranae at 33°C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37°C, the biotic potential of N. ceranae was higher than that of N. apis. The better adaptation of N. ceranae to complete its endogenous cycle at different temperatures clearly supports the observation of the different epidemiological patterns. PMID:19233948

  12. A descriptive study of the prevalence of parasites and pathogens in Chinese black honeybees.

    PubMed

    Peng, Wenjun; Li, Jilian; Zhao, Yazhou; Chen, Yanping; Zeng, Zhijiang

    2015-09-01

    The Chinese black honey bee is a distinct honey bee subspecies distributed in the Xinjiang, Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces of China. We conducted a study to investigate the genetic origin and the parasite/pathogen profile on Chinese black honeybees. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that Chinese black honeybees were two distinct groups: one group of bees formed a distinct clade that was most similar to Apis mellifera mellifera and the other group was a hybrid of the subspecies, Apis mellifera carnica, Apis mellifera anatolica and Apis mellifera caucasica. This suggests that the beekeeping practices might have promoted gene flow between different subspecies. Screening for pathogens and parasites showed that Varroa destructor and viruses were detected at low prevalence in Chinese black honeybees, compared with Italian bees. Further, a population of pure breeding black honeybees, A. m. mellifera, displayed a high degree of resistance to Varroa. No Varroa mites or Deformed wing virus could be detected in any examined bee colonies. This finding suggests that a population of pure breeding Chinese black honeybees possess some natural resistance to Varroa and indicated the need or importance for the conservation of the black honeybees in China.

  13. Young and old honey bee (Apis mellifera) larvae differentially prime the developmental maturation of their caregivers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In eusocial insects daughters rear the offspring of the queen to adulthood. In the honey bee, Apis mellifera, nurses differentially regulate larval nutrition. Among worker-destined larvae, younger instars receive an unrestricted diet paralleling that of queen larvae in protein composition but with r...

  14. Recombination, chromosome number and eusociality in the Hymenoptera.

    PubMed

    Ross, L; Blackmon, H; Lorite, P; Gokhman, V E; Hardy, N B

    2015-01-01

    Extraordinarily high rates of recombination have been observed in some eusocial species. The most popular explanation is that increased recombination increases genetic variation among workers, which in turn increases colony performance, for example by increasing parasite resistance. However, support for the generality of higher recombination rates among eusocial organisms remains weak, due to low sample size and a lack of phylogenetic independence of observations. Recombination rate, although difficult to measure directly, is correlated with chromosome number. As predicted, several authors have noted that chromosome numbers are higher among the eusocial species of Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). Here, we present a formal comparative analysis of karyotype data from 1567 species of Hymenoptera. Contrary to earlier studies, we find no evidence for an absolute difference between chromosome number in eusocial and solitary species of Hymenoptera. However, we find support for an increased rate of chromosome number change in eusocial taxa. We show that among eusocial taxa colony size is able to explain some of the variation in chromosome number: intermediate-sized colonies have more chromosomes than those that are either very small or very large. However, we were unable to detect effects of a number of other colony characteristics predicted to affect recombination rate - including colony relatedness and caste number. Taken together, our results support the view that a eusocial lifestyle has led to variable selection pressure for increased recombination rates, but that identifying the factors contributing to this variable selection will require further theoretical and empirical effort.

  15. The function of resilin in honeybee wings.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yun; Ning, Jian Guo; Ren, Hui Lan; Zhang, Peng Fei; Zhao, Hong Yan

    2015-07-01

    The present work aimed to reveal morphological characteristics of worker honeybee (Apis mellifera) wings and demonstrate the function of resilin on camber changes during flapping flight. Detailed morphological investigation of the wings showed that different surface characteristics appear on the dorsal and ventral side of the honeybee wings and the linking structure connecting the forewing and hindwing plays an indispensable role in honeybee flapping flight. Resilin stripes were found on both the dorsal and ventral side of the wings, and resilin patches mostly existed on the ventral side. On the basis of resilin distribution, five flexion lines and three cambered types around the lines of passive deformation of the coupled-wing profile were obtained, which defined the deformation mechanism of the wing along the chord, i.e. concave, flat plate and convex. From a movie obtained using high-speed photography from three orthogonal views of free flight in honeybees, periodic changes of the coupled-wing profile were acquired and further demonstrated that the deformation mechanism is a fundamental property for variable deformed shapes of the wing profile during flapping flight, and, in particular, the flat wing profile achieves a nice transition between downstrokes and upstrokes.

  16. Evidence of trapline foraging in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Buatois, Alexis; Lihoreau, Mathieu

    2016-08-15

    Central-place foragers exploiting floral resources often use multi-destination routes (traplines) to maximise their foraging efficiency. Recent studies on bumblebees have showed how solitary foragers can learn traplines, minimising travel costs between multiple replenishing feeding locations. Here we demonstrate a similar routing strategy in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), a major pollinator known to recruit nestmates to discovered food resources. Individual honeybees trained to collect sucrose solution from four artificial flowers arranged within 10 m of the hive location developed repeatable visitation sequences both in the laboratory and in the field. A 10-fold increase of between-flower distances considerably intensified this routing behaviour, with bees establishing more stable and more efficient routes at larger spatial scales. In these advanced social insects, trapline foraging may complement cooperative foraging for exploiting food resources near the hive (where dance recruitment is not used) or when resources are not large enough to sustain multiple foragers at once.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Differential proteomic analysis of midguts from Nosema ceranae-infected honeybees reveals manipulation of key host functions.

    PubMed

    Vidau, Cyril; Panek, Johan; Texier, Catherine; Biron, David G; Belzunces, Luc P; Le Gall, Morgane; Broussard, Cédric; Delbac, Frédéric; El Alaoui, Hicham

    2014-09-01

    Many invasive pathogens effectively bypass the insect defenses to ensure the completion of their life cycle. Among those, an invasive microsporidian species, Nosema ceranae, can cause nosemosis in honeybees. N. ceranae was first described in the Asian honeybee Apis cerana and is suspected to be involved in Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) declines worldwide. The midgut of honeybees is the first barrier against N. ceranae attacks. To bring proteomics data on honeybee/N. ceranae crosstalk and more precisely to decipher the worker honeybee midgut response after an oral inoculation of N. ceranae (10days post-infection), we used 2D-DIGE (2-Dimensional Differential In-Gel Electrophoresis) combined with mass spectrometry. Forty-five protein spots produced by the infected worker honeybee group were shown to be differentially expressed when compared to the uninfected group; 14 were subsequently identified by mass spectrometry. N. ceranae mainly caused a modulation of proteins involved in three key host biological functions: (i) energy production, (ii) innate immunity (reactive oxygen stress) and (iii) protein regulation. The modulation of these host biological functions suggests that N. ceranae creates a zone of "metabolic habitat modification" in the honeybee midgut favoring its development by enhancing availability of nutrients and reducing the worker honeybee defense.

  19. Kinship, parental manipulation and evolutionary origins of eusociality

    PubMed Central

    Kapheim, Karen M.; Nonacs, Peter; Smith, Adam R.; Wayne, Robert K.; Wcislo, William T.

    2015-01-01

    One of the hallmarks of eusociality is that workers forego their own reproduction to assist their mother in raising siblings. This seemingly altruistic behaviour may benefit workers if gains in indirect fitness from rearing siblings outweigh the loss of direct fitness. If worker presence is advantageous to mothers, however, eusociality may evolve without net benefits to workers. Indirect fitness benefits are often cited as evidence for the importance of inclusive fitness in eusociality, but have rarely been measured in natural populations. We compared inclusive fitness of alternative social strategies in the tropical sweat bee, Megalopta genalis, for which eusociality is optional. Our results show that workers have significantly lower inclusive fitness than females that found their own nests. In mathematical simulations based on M. genalis field data, eusociality cannot evolve with reduced intra-nest relatedness. The simulated distribution of alternative social strategies matched observed distributions of M. genalis social strategies when helping behaviour was simulated as the result of maternal manipulation, but not as worker altruism. Thus, eusociality in M. genalis is best explained through kin selection, but the underlying mechanism is likely maternal manipulation. PMID:25694620

  20. Caste-Selective Pheromone Biosynthesis in Honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plettner, Erika; Slessor, Keith N.; Winston, Mark L.; Oliver, James E.

    1996-03-01

    Queen and worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) produce a caste-related blend of functionalized 8- and 10-carbon fatty acids in their mandibular glands. The biological functions of these compounds match the queen's reproductive and the worker's nonreproductive roles in the colony. Studies with deuterated substrates revealed that the biosynthesis of these acids begins with stearic acid, which is hydroxylated at the 17th or 18th position. The 18-carbon hydroxy acid chains are shortened, and the resulting 10-carbon hydroxy acids are oxidized in a caste-selective manner, thereby determining many of the functional differences between queens and workers.

  1. Expression of recombinant AccMRJP1 protein from royal jelly of Chinese honeybee in Pichia pastoris and its proliferation activity in an insect cell line

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Main royal jelly protein 1 (MRJP1) is the most abundant member of the main royal jelly protein (MRJP) family among honeybees. Mature MRJP1 cDNA of the Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana MRJP1, or AccMRJP1) was expressed in Pichia pastoris. SDS-PAGE showed that recombinant AccMRJP1 was identical in...

  2. Duration of the Unconditioned Stimulus in Appetitive Conditioning of Honeybees Differentially Impacts Learning, Long-Term Memory Strength, and the Underlying Protein Synthesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marter, Kathrin; Grauel, M. Katharina; Lewa, Carmen; Morgenstern, Laura; Buckemüller, Christina; Heufelder, Karin; Ganz, Marion; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the role of stimulus duration in learning and memory formation of honeybees ("Apis mellifera"). In classical appetitive conditioning honeybees learn the association between an initially neutral, conditioned stimulus (CS) and the occurrence of a meaningful stimulus, the unconditioned stimulus (US). Thereby the CS…

  3. Achievement of thermal stability by varying metabolic heat production in flying honeybees.

    PubMed

    Harrison, J F; Fewell, J H; Roberts, S P; Hall, H G

    1996-10-04

    Thermoregulation of the thorax allows endothermic insects to achieve power outputs during flight that are among the highest in the animal kingdom. Flying endothermic insects, including the honeybee Apis mellifera, are believed to thermoregulate almost exclusively by varying heat loss. Here it is shown that a rise in air temperature from 20 degrees to 40 degrees C causes large decreases in metabolic heat production and wing-beat frequency in honeybees during hovering, agitated, or loaded flight. Thus, variation in heat production may be the primary mechanism for achieving thermal stability in flying honeybees, and this mechanism may occur commonly in endothermic insects.

  4. Parasite resistance and tolerance in honeybees at the individual and social level.

    PubMed

    Kurze, Christoph; Routtu, Jarkko; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-08-01

    Organisms living in large groups, such as social insects, are particularly vulnerable to parasite transmission. However, they have evolved diverse defence mechanisms which are not only restricted to the individual's immune response, but also include social defences. Here, we review cases of adaptations at the individual and social level in the honeybee Apis mellifera against the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and the endoparasitic microsporidians Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis. They are considered important threats to honeybee health worldwide. We highlight how individual resistance may result in tolerance at the colony level and vice versa.

  5. Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) mrjp gene family: computational analysis of putative promoters and genomic structure of mrjp1, the gene coding for the most abundant protein of larval food.

    PubMed

    Malecová, Barbora; Ramser, Juliane; O'Brien, John K; Janitz, Michal; Júdová, Jana; Lehrach, Hans; Simúth, Jozef

    2003-01-16

    Mrjp1 gene belongs to the honeybee mrjp gene family encoding the major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), secreted by nurse bees into the royal jelly. In this study, we have isolated the genomic clone containing the entire mrjp1 gene and determined its sequence. The mrjp1 gene sequence spans over 3038 bp and contains six exons separated by five introns. Seven mismatches between the mrjp1 gene sequence and two previously independently published cDNA sequences were found, but these differences do not lead to any change in the deduced amino acid sequence of MRJP1. With the aid of inverse polymerase chain reaction we obtained sequences flanking the 5' ends of other mrjp genes (mrjp2, mrjp3, mrjp4 and mrjp5). Putative promoters were predicted upstream of all mrjp genes (including mrjp1). The predicted promoters contain the TATA motif (TATATATT), highly conserved both in sequence and position. Ultraspiracle (USP) transcription factor (TF) binding sites in putative promoter regions and clusters of dead ringer TF binding sites upstream of these promoters were predicted computationally. We propose that USP, as a juvenile hormone (JH) binding TF, might possibly act as a mediator of mrjp expression in response to JH. Mrjp1's genomic locus is predicted to encode an antisense transcript, partially overlapping with five mrjp1 exons and entirely overlapping with the putative promoter and predicted transcriptional start point of mrjp1. This finding may shed light on the mechanisms of regulation of mrjps expression. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA revealed that all so far known members of mrjp gene family (mrjp1, mrjp2, mrjp3, mrjp4 and mrjp5) are present as single-copy genes per haploid honeybee genome. Although MRJPs and the yellow protein of Drosophila melanogaster share a certain degree of similarity in aa sequence and although it has been shown that they share a common evolutionary origin, neither structural similarities in the gene organization, nor significant similarities

  6. Interspecific utilisation of wax in comb building by honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepburn, H. Randall; Radloff, Sarah E.; Duangphakdee, Orawan; Phaincharoen, Mananya

    2009-06-01

    Beeswaxes of honeybee species share some homologous neutral lipids; but species-specific differences remain. We analysed behavioural variation for wax choice in honeybees, calculated the Euclidean distances for different beeswaxes and assessed the relationship of Euclidean distances to wax choice. We tested the beeswaxes of Apis mellifera capensis, Apis florea, Apis cerana and Apis dorsata and the plant and mineral waxes Japan, candelilla, bayberry and ozokerite as sheets placed in colonies of A. m. capensis, A. florea and A. cerana. A. m. capensis accepted the four beeswaxes but removed Japan and bayberry wax and ignored candelilla and ozokerite. A. cerana colonies accepted the wax of A. cerana, A. florea and A. dorsata but rejected or ignored that of A. m. capensis, the plant and mineral waxes. A. florea colonies accepted A. cerana, A. dorsata and A. florea wax but rejected that of A. m. capensis. The Euclidean distances for the beeswaxes are consistent with currently prevailing phylogenies for Apis. Despite post-speciation chemical differences in the beeswaxes, they remain largely acceptable interspecifically while the plant and mineral waxes are not chemically close enough to beeswax for their acceptance.

  7. Palaeontology: The Point of No Return in the Fossil Record of Eusociality.

    PubMed

    Rust, Jes; Wappler, Torsten

    2016-02-22

    The evolution of eusociality is one of the major transitions in the history of life, particularly in the insects. Now, fossil termites and ants from Burmese amber offer insights into early stages of eusociality in the Lower Cretaceous.

  8. Nosema spp. infections cause no energetic stress in tolerant honeybees.

    PubMed

    Kurze, Christoph; Mayack, Christopher; Hirche, Frank; Stangl, Gabriele I; Le Conte, Yves; Kryger, Per; Moritz, Robin F A

    2016-06-01

    Host-pathogen coevolution leads to reciprocal adaptations, allowing pathogens to increase host exploitation or hosts to minimise costs of infection. As pathogen resistance is often associated with considerable costs, tolerance may be an evolutionary alternative. Here, we examined the effect of two closely related and highly host dependent intracellular gut pathogens, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, on the energetic state in Nosema tolerant and sensitive honeybees facing the infection. We quantified the three major haemolymph carbohydrates fructose, glucose, and trehalose using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) as a measure for host energetic state. Trehalose levels in the haemolymph were negatively associated with N. apis infection intensity and with N. ceranae infection regardless of the infection intensity in sensitive honeybees. Nevertheless, there was no such association in Nosema spp. infected tolerant honeybees. These findings suggest that energy availability in tolerant honeybees was not compromised by the infection. This result obtained at the individual level may also have implications at the colony level where workers in spite of a Nosema infection can still perform as well as healthy bees, maintaining colony efficiency and productivity.

  9. Social Waves in Giant Honeybees Repel Hornets

    PubMed Central

    Kastberger, Gerald; Schmelzer, Evelyn; Kranner, Ilse

    2008-01-01

    Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have evolved a plethora of defence behaviors. Against predatory wasps, including hornets, they display highly coordinated Mexican wave-like cascades termed ‘shimmering’. Shimmering starts at distinct spots on the nest surface and then spreads across the nest within a split second whereby hundreds of individual bees flip their abdomens upwards. However, so far it is not known whether prey and predator interact and if shimmering has anti-predatory significance. This article reports on the complex spatial and temporal patterns of interaction between Giant honeybee and hornet exemplified in 450 filmed episodes of two A. dorsata colonies and hornets (Vespa sp.). Detailed frame-by-frame analysis showed that shimmering elicits an avoidance response from the hornets showing a strong temporal correlation with the time course of shimmering. In turn, the strength and the rate of the bees' shimmering are modulated by the hornets' flight speed and proximity. The findings suggest that shimmering creates a ‘shelter zone’ of around 50 cm that prevents predatory wasps from foraging bees directly from the nest surface. Thus shimmering appears to be a key defence strategy that supports the Giant honeybees' open-nesting life-style. PMID:18781205

  10. Social waves in giant honeybees repel hornets.

    PubMed

    Kastberger, Gerald; Schmelzer, Evelyn; Kranner, Ilse

    2008-09-10

    Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) nest in the open and have evolved a plethora of defence behaviors. Against predatory wasps, including hornets, they display highly coordinated Mexican wave-like cascades termed 'shimmering'. Shimmering starts at distinct spots on the nest surface and then spreads across the nest within a split second whereby hundreds of individual bees flip their abdomens upwards. However, so far it is not known whether prey and predator interact and if shimmering has anti-predatory significance. This article reports on the complex spatial and temporal patterns of interaction between Giant honeybee and hornet exemplified in 450 filmed episodes of two A. dorsata colonies and hornets (Vespa sp.). Detailed frame-by-frame analysis showed that shimmering elicits an avoidance response from the hornets showing a strong temporal correlation with the time course of shimmering. In turn, the strength and the rate of the bees' shimmering are modulated by the hornets' flight speed and proximity. The findings suggest that shimmering creates a 'shelter zone' of around 50 cm that prevents predatory wasps from foraging bees directly from the nest surface. Thus shimmering appears to be a key defence strategy that supports the Giant honeybees' open-nesting life-style.

  11. Haplodiploidy and the evolution of eusociality: split sex ratios.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Andy; Alpedrinha, João; West, Stuart A

    2012-02-01

    It is generally accepted that from a theoretical perspective, haplodiploidy should facilitate the evolution of eusociality. However, the "haplodiploidy hypothesis" rests on theoretical arguments that were made before recent advances in our empirical understanding of sex allocation and the route by which eusociality evolved. Here we show that several possible promoters of the haplodiploidy effect would have been unimportant on the route to eusociality, because they involve traits that evolved only after eusociality had become established. We then focus on two biological mechanisms that could have played a role: split sex ratios as a result of either queen virginity or queen replacement. We find that these mechanisms can lead haplodiploidy to facilitating the evolution of helping but that their importance varies from appreciable to negligible, depending on the assumptions. Furthermore, under certain conditions, haplodiploidy can even inhibit the evolution of helping. In contrast, we find that the level of promiscuity has a strong and consistently negative influence on selection for helping. Consequently, from a relatedness perspective, monogamy is likely to have been a more important driver of eusociality than the haplodiploidy effect.

  12. Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Venom Reinforces Viral Clearance during the Early Stage of Infection with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus through the Up-Regulation of Th1-Specific Immune Responses.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-A; Kim, Yun-Mi; Hyun, Pung-Mi; Jeon, Jong-Woon; Park, Jin-Kyu; Suh, Guk-Hyun; Jung, Bock-Gie; Lee, Bong-Joo

    2015-05-22

    Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a chronic and immunosuppressive viral disease that is responsible for substantial economic losses for the swine industry. Honeybee venom (HBV) is known to possess several beneficial biological properties, particularly, immunomodulatory effects. Therefore, this study aimed at evaluating the effects of HBV on the immune response and viral clearance during the early stage of infection with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in pigs. HBV was administered via three routes of nasal, neck, and rectal and then the pigs were inoculated with PRRSV intranasally. The CD4+/CD8+ cell ratio and levels of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-12 were significantly increased in the HBV-administered healthy pigs via nasal and rectal administration. In experimentally PRRSV-challenged pigs with virus, the viral genome load in the serum, lung, bronchial lymph nodes and tonsil was significantly decreased, as was the severity of interstitial pneumonia, in the nasal and rectal administration group. Furthermore, the levels of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-12) were significantly increased, along with up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) with HBV administration. Thus, HBV administration-especially via the nasal or rectal route-could be a suitable strategy for immune enhancement and prevention of PRRSV infection in pigs.

  13. Nosema ceranae an emergent pathogen of Apis mellifera in Chile.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Jessica; Leal, Germán; Conget, Paulette

    2012-08-01

    The microsporidian Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae have been associated with colony disorders of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana, respectively. N. apis is endemic in South America. Recently, N. ceranae has been detected in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. No report of its presence, distribution and prevalence in Chile is available. Here, we present a real-time PCR-based method that was able to discriminate between N. apis and N. ceranae. The dynamic range of this assay was 100 to 100,000 spores per honeybee. False-negative results were avoided due to the use of ACTIN gene as internal standard. False-positive results were obtained neither in experimentally nor in naturally contaminated samples. Using this method, we screened 240 beehives from the Chilean region where 42% of the total country honey production take places (Región del Biobío). Nosema spp. were detected in the four provinces and in 20 of the 26 communes of the region. Among the samples analysed, 49% were positive for N. ceranae. Their infection level ranged from 200 to more than 100,000 spores per honeybee. N. apis was not detected in this region. Hence, our data show that in Chile N. ceranae is an emergent pathogen that is been replacing N. apis. Also, they support that N. ceranae maybe the actual responsible for nosemosis in A. mellifera in South America.

  14. A SNP test to identify Africanized honeybees via proportion of 'African' ancestry.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Nadine C; Harpur, Brock A; Lim, Julianne; Rinderer, Thomas E; Allsopp, Michael H; Zayed, Amro; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2015-11-01

    The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is the world's most important pollinator and is ubiquitous in most agricultural ecosystems. Four major evolutionary lineages and at least 24 subspecies are recognized. Commercial populations are mainly derived from subspecies originating in Europe (75-95%). The Africanized honeybee is a New World hybrid of A. m. scutellata from Africa and European subspecies, with the African component making up 50-90% of the genome. Africanized honeybees are considered undesirable for bee-keeping in most countries, due to their extreme defensiveness and poor honey production. The international trade in honeybees is restricted, due in part to bans on the importation of queens (and semen) from countries where Africanized honeybees are extant. Some desirable strains from the United States of America that have been bred for traits such as resistance to the mite Varroa destructor are unfortunately excluded from export to countries such as Australia due to the presence of Africanized honeybees in the USA. This study shows that a panel of 95 single nucleotide polymorphisms, chosen to differentiate between the African, Eastern European and Western European lineages, can detect Africanized honeybees with a high degree of confidence via ancestry assignment. Our panel therefore offers a valuable tool to mitigate the risks of spreading Africanized honeybees across the globe and may enable the resumption of queen and bee semen imports from the Americas.

  15. Real World: Honeybees

    NASA Video Gallery

    Join NASA scientists and beekeepers in a citizen science project to collect important data about climate change. Learn how honeybees pollinate over 130 crops in the United States each year and what...

  16. The Brazilian Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michener, Charles D.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the unusually aggressive Brazilian honeybee, which exhibits many of the attributes of its African antecedants. Describes its abundance and distribution, behaviorial characteristics, future spread, and the potential impact of the Brazilian bee in North America. (JR)

  17. Detection of adulterated honey produced by honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies fed with different levels of commercial industrial sugar (C₃ and C₄ plants) syrups by the carbon isotope ratio analysis.

    PubMed

    Guler, Ahmet; Kocaokutgen, Hasan; Garipoglu, Ali V; Onder, Hasan; Ekinci, Deniz; Biyik, Selim

    2014-07-15

    In the present study, one hundred pure and adulterated honey samples obtained from feeding honeybee colonies with different levels (5, 20 and 100 L/colony) of various commercial sugar syrups including High Fructose Corn Syrup 85 (HFCS-85), High Fructose Corn Syrup 55 (HFCS-55), Bee Feeding Syrup (BFS), Glucose Monohydrate Sugar (GMS) and Sucrose Sugar (SS) were evaluated in terms of the δ(13)C value of honey and its protein, difference between the δ(13)C value of protein and honey (Δδ(13)C), and C4% sugar ratio. Sugar type, sugar level and the sugar type*sugar level interaction were found to be significant (P<0.001) regarding the evaluated characteristics. Adulterations could not be detected in the 5L/colony syrup level of all sugar types when the δ(13)C value of honey, Δδ(13)C (protein-honey), and C4% sugar ratio were used as criteria according to the AOAC standards. However, it was possible to detect the adulteration by using the same criteria in the honeys taken from the 20 and 100 L/colony of HFCS-85 and the 100L/colony of HFCS-55. Adulteration at low syrup level (20 L/colony) was more easily detected when the fructose content of HFCS syrup increased. As a result, the official methods (AOAC, 978.17, 1995; AOAC, 991.41, 1995; AOAC 998.12, 2005) and Internal Standard Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis could not efficiently detect the indirect adulteration of honey obtained by feeding the bee colonies with the syrups produced from C3 plants such as sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and wheat (Triticium vulgare). For this reason, it is strongly needed to develop novel methods and standards that can detect the presence and the level of indirect adulterations.

  18. Starving honeybees lose self-control.

    PubMed

    Mayack, Christopher; Naug, Dhruba

    2015-01-01

    Impulsivity, the widespread preference for a smaller and more immediate reward over a larger and more delayed reward, is known to vary across species, and the metabolic and social hypotheses present contrasting explanations for this variation. However, this presents a paradox for an animal such as the honeybee, which is highly social, yet has a high metabolic rate. We test between these two competing hypotheses by investigating the effect of hunger on impulsivity in bees isolated from their social environment. Using an olfactory conditioning assay, we trained individuals to associate a small and a large reward with or without a delay, and we tested their choice between the two rewards at different levels of starvation. We found an increase in impulsive behaviour and an associated increase in dopamine levels in the brain with increasing starvation. These results suggest that the energetic state of an individual, even in a eusocial group, is a critical driver of impulsivity, and that the social harmony of a group can be threatened when the energetic states of the group members are in conflict.

  19. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  20. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  1. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  2. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  3. 19 CFR 12.32 - Honeybees and honeybee semen.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 1 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Honeybees and honeybee semen. 12.32 Section 12.32 Customs Duties U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and...

  4. Disease associations between honeybees and bumblebees as a threat to wild pollinators.

    PubMed

    Fürst, M A; McMahon, D P; Osborne, J L; Paxton, R J; Brown, M J F

    2014-02-20

    Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) pose a risk to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, by affecting managed livestock and wildlife that provide valuable resources and ecosystem services, such as the pollination of crops. Honeybees (Apis mellifera), the prevailing managed insect crop pollinator, suffer from a range of emerging and exotic high-impact pathogens, and population maintenance requires active management by beekeepers to control them. Wild pollinators such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are in global decline, one cause of which may be pathogen spillover from managed pollinators like honeybees or commercial colonies of bumblebees. Here we use a combination of infection experiments and landscape-scale field data to show that honeybee EIDs are indeed widespread infectious agents within the pollinator assemblage. The prevalence of deformed wing virus (DWV) and the exotic parasite Nosema ceranae in honeybees and bumblebees is linked; as honeybees have higher DWV prevalence, and sympatric bumblebees and honeybees are infected by the same DWV strains, Apis is the likely source of at least one major EID in wild pollinators. Lessons learned from vertebrates highlight the need for increased pathogen control in managed bee species to maintain wild pollinators, as declines in native pollinators may be caused by interspecies pathogen transmission originating from managed pollinators.

  5. Monophyly and extensive extinction of advanced eusocial bees: insights from an unexpected Eocene diversity.

    PubMed

    Engel, M S

    2001-02-13

    Advanced eusociality sometimes is given credit for the ecological success of termites, ants, some wasps, and some bees. Comprehensive study of bees fossilized in Baltic amber has revealed an unsuspected middle Eocene (ca. 45 million years ago) diversity of eusocial bee lineages. Advanced eusociality arose once in the bees with significant post-Eocene losses in diversity, leaving today only two advanced eusocial tribes comprising less than 2% of the total bee diversity, a trend analogous to that of hominid evolution. This pattern of changing diversity contradicts notions concerning the role of eusociality for evolutionary success in insects.

  6. Development and evolution of caste dimorphism in honeybees - a modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Leimar, Olof; Hartfelder, Klaus; Laubichler, Manfred D; Page, Robert E

    2012-12-01

    The difference in phenotypes of queens and workers is a hallmark of the highly eusocial insects. The caste dimorphism is often described as a switch-controlled polyphenism, in which environmental conditions decide an individual's caste. Using theoretical modeling and empirical data from honeybees, we show that there is no discrete larval developmental switch. Instead, a combination of larval developmental plasticity and nurse worker feeding behavior make up a colony-level social and physiological system that regulates development and produces the caste dimorphism. Discrete queen and worker phenotypes are the result of discrete feeding regimes imposed by nurses, whereas a range of experimental feeding regimes produces a continuous range of phenotypes. Worker ovariole numbers are reduced through feeding-regime-mediated reduction in juvenile hormone titers, involving reduced sugar in the larval food. Based on the mechanisms identified in our analysis, we propose a scenario of the evolutionary history of honeybee development and feeding regimes.

  7. Variable virulence among isolates of Ascosphaera apis: testing the parasite-pathogen hypothesis for the evolution of polyandry in social insects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, G. M.; McGee, P. A.; Oldroyd, B. P.

    2013-03-01

    The queens of many eusocial insect species are polyandrous. The evolution of polyandry from ancestral monoandry is intriguing because polyandry undermines the kin-selected benefits of high intracolonial relatedness that are understood to have been central to the evolution of eusociality. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that polyandry evolved from monoandry in part because genetically diverse colonies better resist infection by pathogens. However, a core assumption of the "parasite-pathogen hypothesis", that there is variation in virulence among strains of pathogens, remains largely untested in vivo. Here, we demonstrate variation in virulence among isolates of Ascosphaera apis, the causative organism of chalkbrood disease in its honey bee ( Apis mellifera) host. More importantly, we show a pathogen-host genotypic interaction for resistance and pathogenicity. Our findings therefore support the parasite-parasite hypothesis as a factor in the evolution of polyandry among eusocial insects.

  8. A Test of Transitive Inferences in Free-Flying Honeybees: Unsuccessful Performance Due to Memory Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benard, Julie; Giurfa, Martin

    2004-01-01

    We asked whether honeybees, "Apis mellifera," could solve a transitive inference problem. Individual free-flying bees were conditioned with four overlapping premise pairs of five visual patterns in a multiple discrimination task (A+ vs. B-, B+ vs. C-, C+ vs. D-, D+ vs. E-, where + and - indicate sucrose reward or absence of it,…

  9. Steroid Hormone (20-Hydroxyecdysone) Modulates the Acquisition of Aversive Olfactory Memories in Pollen Forager Honeybees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geddes, Lisa H.; McQuillan, H. James; Aiken, Alastair; Vergoz, Vanina; Mercer, Alison R.

    2013-01-01

    Here, we examine effects of the steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20-E), on associative olfactory learning in the honeybee, "Apis mellifera." 20-E impaired the bees' ability to associate odors with punishment during aversive conditioning, but did not interfere with their ability to associate odors with a food reward (appetitive…

  10. 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.

  11. The risk-return trade-off between solitary and eusocial reproduction.

    PubMed

    Fu, Feng; Kocher, Sarah D; Nowak, Martin A

    2015-01-01

    Social insect colonies can be seen as a distinct form of biological organisation because they function as superorganisms. Understanding how natural selection acts on the emergence and maintenance of these colonies remains a major question in evolutionary biology and ecology. Here, we explore this by using multi-type branching processes to calculate the basic reproductive ratios and the extinction probabilities for solitary vs. eusocial reproductive strategies. We find that eusociality, albeit being hugely successful once established, is generally less stable than solitary reproduction unless large demographic advantages of eusociality arise for small colony sizes. We also demonstrate how such demographic constraints can be overcome by the presence of ecological niches that strongly favour eusociality. Our results characterise the risk-return trade-offs between solitary and eusocial reproduction, and help to explain why eusociality is taxonomically rare: eusociality is a high-risk, high-reward strategy, whereas solitary reproduction is more conservative.

  12. Shifting behaviour: epigenetic reprogramming in eusocial insects.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Solenn; Hore, Timothy A; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2012-06-01

    Epigenetic modifications are ancient and widely utilised mechanisms that have been recruited across fungi, plants and animals for diverse but fundamental biological functions, such as cell differentiation. Recently, a functional DNA methylation system was identified in the honeybee, where it appears to underlie queen and worker caste differentiation. This discovery, along with other insights into the epigenetics of social insects, allows provocative analogies to be drawn between insect caste differentiation and cellular differentiation, particularly in mammals. Developing larvae in social insect colonies are totipotent: they retain the ability to specialise as queens or workers, in a similar way to the totipotent cells of early embryos before they differentiate into specific cell lineages. Further, both differentiating cells and insect castes lose phenotypic plasticity by committing to their lineage, losing the ability to be readily reprogrammed. Hence, a comparison of the epigenetic mechanisms underlying lineage differentiation (and reprogramming) between cells and social insects is worthwhile. Here we develop a conceptual model of how loss and regain of phenotypic plasticity might be conserved for individual specialisation in both cells and societies. This framework forges a novel link between two fields of biological research, providing predictions for a unified approach to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying biological complexity.

  13. Multiple origins of eusociality among sponge-dwelling shrimps (Synalpheus).

    PubMed

    Duffy, J E; Morrison, C L; Ríos, R

    2000-04-01

    As the most extreme expression of apparent altruism in nature, eusociality has long posed a central paradox for behavioral and evolutionary ecology. Because eusociality has arisen rarely among animals, understanding the selective pressures important in early stages of its evolution remains elusive. Employing a historical approach to this problem, we used morphology and DNA sequences to reconstruct the phylogeny of 13 species of sponge-dwelling shrimps (Synalpheus) with colony organization ranging from asocial pair-bonding through eusociality. We then used phylogenetically independent contrasts to test whether sociality was associated with evidence of enhanced competitive ability, as suggested by hypotheses invoking an advantage of cooperation in crowded habitats. The molecular, morphological, and combined data each strongly supported three independent origins of monogynous, multigenerational (eusocial) colony organization within this genus. Phylogenetically independent contrasts confirmed that highly social taxa, with strong reproductive skew, have significantly higher relative abundance within the host sponge than do less social taxa, a result that was robust to uncertainty in tree topology and varying models of character change. A similar tendency for highly social species to share their sponge with fewer congener species was suggestive, but not significant. Because unoccupied habitat appears to be limiting for many sponge-dwelling shrimp species, these data are consistent with hypotheses that cooperative social groups enjoy a competitive advantage over less organized groups or individuals, where independent establishment is difficult, and that enemy pressure is of central importance in the evolution of animal sociality.

  14. Haplodiploidy and the evolution of eusociality: worker reproduction.

    PubMed

    Alpedrinha, João; West, Stuart A; Gardner, Andy

    2013-10-01

    Hamilton's haplodiploidy hypothesis suggests that the relatively higher relatedness of full sisters in haplodiploid populations promotes altruistic sib rearing and, consequently, the evolution of eusociality. This haplodiploidy effect works when some broods have a relatively female-biased sex ratio and other broods have a relatively male-biased sex ratio, termed split sex ratios. There is empirical evidence for two scenarios having potentially led to split sex ratios en route to eusociality: unmated queens and queen replacement. A recent analysis of these two scenarios has suggested that haplodiploidy can either promote or inhibit the evolution of eusociality and that the effect is usually small. However, this work made the simplifying assumptions that there is only negligible reproduction by workers and that their offspring have the same sex ratio as those produced by the queen. Here, we relax these assumptions and find that worker reproduction has a negative influence on the evolution of helping, either reducing the extent to which it is promoted or leading to it being inhibited. This is particularly so when workers are unmated and hence constrained to produce only sons, by arrhenotoky. Overall, when parameterized with empirical data, our results suggest that split sex ratios in haplodiploid species have not played an important role in facilitating the evolution of eusociality.

  15. Questioning public perception, conservation policy, and recovery actions for honeybees in North America.

    PubMed

    Colla, Sheila R; MacIvor, J Scott

    2016-09-14

    Global pollinator declines have resulted in an increasing number of policies and actions to help bee populations. In North America, there is strong public engagement, but also growing controversies over how to address declines. This is fueled by complex scientific evidence across species, habitat types, geographic regions, as well as intense lobbying by NGOs, beekeeping, agro-chemical and farming industries. Policy and conservation initiatives often focus on the Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera Linnaeus, a domesticated species not native to North America. Although losses of managed honeybee colonies are recorded annually, we argue that honeybee losses are not a conservation problem, but instead a domesticated animal management issue. By focusing attention on honeybees, policies and subsequent resources may undermine native bee conservation and have negative impacts ecologically and socially. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  16. The role of pollen in chalkbrood disease in Apis mellifera: transmission and predisposing conditions.

    PubMed

    Flores, J M; Gutiérrez, I; Espejo, R

    2005-01-01

    Chalkbrood in honeybees (Apis mellifera L. Himenoptera: Apidae) is a fungal disease caused by Ascosphaera apis (Maassen ex Claussen) Olive and Spiltoir. This disease requires the presence of fungal spores and a predisposing condition in the susceptible brood for the disease to develop. In this study we examined the role of pollen in the development of chalkbrood disease under two experimental conditions: (i) pollen combs were transferred from infected to uninfected beehives and (ii) colonies were deprived of adequate pollen supplies to feed the brood. The results of both treatments confirmed that pollen is an element that should be taken into account when controlling this honeybee disease.

  17. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials.

    PubMed

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads.

  18. Movement Analysis of Flexion and Extension of Honeybee Abdomen Based on an Adaptive Segmented Structure.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jieliang; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) curl their abdomens for daily rhythmic activities. Prior to determining this fact, people have concluded that honeybees could curl their abdomen casually. However, an intriguing but less studied feature is the possible unidirectional abdominal deformation in free-flying honeybees. A high-speed video camera was used to capture the curling and to analyze the changes in the arc length of the honeybee abdomen not only in free-flying mode but also in the fixed sample. Frozen sections and environment scanning electron microscope were used to investigate the microstructure and motion principle of honeybee abdomen and to explore the physical structure restricting its curling. An adaptive segmented structure, especially the folded intersegmental membrane (FIM), plays a dominant role in the flexion and extension of the abdomen. The structural features of FIM were utilized to mimic and exhibit movement restriction on honeybee abdomen. Combining experimental analysis and theoretical demonstration, a unidirectional bending mechanism of honeybee abdomen was revealed. Through this finding, a new perspective for aerospace vehicle design can be imitated.

  19. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays Seeds Indirectly Affect Honeybee Performance and Pathogen Susceptibility in Field Trials

    PubMed Central

    Alburaki, Mohamed; Boutin, Sébastien; Mercier, Pierre-Luc; Loublier, Yves; Chagnon, Madeleine; Derome, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were extensively monitored for their performance and health traits over a period of two years. Honeybee viruses (brood queen cell virus BQCV, deformed wing virus DWV, and Israeli acute paralysis virus IAPV) and the brain specific expression of a biomarker of host physiological stress, the Acetylcholinesterase gene AChE, were investigated using RT-qPCR. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was performed to detect pesticide residues in adult bees, honey, pollen, and corn flowers collected from the studied hives in each location. In addition, general hive conditions were assessed by monitoring colony weight and brood development. Neonicotinoids were only identified in corn flowers at low concentrations. However, honeybee colonies located in neonicotinoid treated cornfields expressed significantly higher pathogen infection than those located in untreated cornfields. AChE levels showed elevated levels among honeybees that collected corn pollen from treated fields. Positive correlations were recorded between pathogens and the treated locations. Our data suggests that neonicotinoids indirectly weaken honeybee health by inducing physiological stress and increasing pathogen loads. PMID:25993642

  20. Movement Analysis of Flexion and Extension of Honeybee Abdomen Based on an Adaptive Segmented Structure

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jieliang; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2015-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) curl their abdomens for daily rhythmic activities. Prior to determining this fact, people have concluded that honeybees could curl their abdomen casually. However, an intriguing but less studied feature is the possible unidirectional abdominal deformation in free-flying honeybees. A high-speed video camera was used to capture the curling and to analyze the changes in the arc length of the honeybee abdomen not only in free-flying mode but also in the fixed sample. Frozen sections and environment scanning electron microscope were used to investigate the microstructure and motion principle of honeybee abdomen and to explore the physical structure restricting its curling. An adaptive segmented structure, especially the folded intersegmental membrane (FIM), plays a dominant role in the flexion and extension of the abdomen. The structural features of FIM were utilized to mimic and exhibit movement restriction on honeybee abdomen. Combining experimental analysis and theoretical demonstration, a unidirectional bending mechanism of honeybee abdomen was revealed. Through this finding, a new perspective for aerospace vehicle design can be imitated. PMID:26223946

  1. Reward expectations in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Gil, Mariana

    2010-03-01

    The study of expectations of reward helps to understand rules controlling goal-directed behavior as well as decision making and planning. I shall review a series of recent studies focusing on how the food gathering behavior of honeybees depends upon reward expectations. These studies document that free-flying honeybees develop long-term expectations of reward and use them to regulate their investment of energy/time during foraging. Also, they present a laboratory procedure suitable for analysis of neural substrates of reward expectations in the honeybee brain. I discuss these findings in the context of individual and collective foraging, on the one hand, and neurobiology of learning and memory of reward.

  2. Effects of sublethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation.

    PubMed

    Balbuena, María Sol; Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Greggers, Uwe; Menzel, Randolf; Farina, Walter M

    2015-09-01

    Glyphosate (GLY) is a herbicide that is widely used in agriculture for weed control. Although reports about the impact of GLY in snails, crustaceans and amphibians exist, few studies have investigated its sublethal effects in non-target organisms such as the honeybee Apis mellifera, the main pollen vector in commercial crops. Here, we tested whether exposure to three sublethal concentrations of GLY (2.5, 5 and 10 mg l(-1): corresponding to 0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 μg per animal) affects the homeward flight path of honeybees in an open field. We performed an experiment in which forager honeybees were trained to an artificial feeder, and then captured, fed with sugar solution containing traces of GLY and released from a novel site either once or twice. Their homeward trajectories were tracked using harmonic radar technology. We found that honeybees that had been fed with solution containing 10 mg l(-1) GLY spent more time performing homeward flights than control bees or bees treated with lower concentrations. They also performed more indirect homing flights. Moreover, the proportion of direct homeward flights performed after a second release from the same site increased in control bees but not in treated bees. These results suggest that, in honeybees, exposure to levels of GLY commonly found in agricultural settings impairs the cognitive capacities needed to retrieve and integrate spatial information for a successful return to the hive. Therefore, honeybee navigation is affected by ingesting traces of the most widely used herbicide worldwide, with potential long-term negative consequences for colony foraging success.

  3. Presence of Nosema ceranae associated with honeybee queen introductions.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Irene; Cepero, Almudena; Pinto, Maria Alice; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano; De la Rúa, Pilar

    2014-04-01

    Microsporidiosis caused by Nosema species is one of the factors threatening the health of the honeybee (Apis mellifera), which is an essential element in agriculture mainly due to its pollination function. The dispersion of this pathogen may be influenced by many factors, including various aspects of beekeeping management such as introduction of queens with different origin. Herein we study the relation of the presence and distribution of Nosema spp. and the replacement of queens in honeybee populations settled on the Atlantic Canary Islands. While Nosema apis has not been detected, an increase of the presence and distribution of Nosema ceranae during the last decade has been observed in parallel with a higher frequency of foreign queens. On the other hand, a reduction of the number of N. ceranae positive colonies was observed on those islands with continued replacement of queens. We suggest that such replacement could help maintaining low rates of Nosema infection, but healthy queens native to these islands should be used in order to conserve local honeybee diversity.

  4. How natural infection by Nosema ceranae causes honeybee colony collapse.

    PubMed

    Higes, Mariano; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Botías, Cristina; Bailón, Encarna Garrido; González-Porto, Amelia V; Barrios, Laura; Del Nozal, M Jesús; Bernal, José L; Jiménez, Juan J; Palencia, Pilar García; Meana, Aránzazu

    2008-10-01

    In recent years, honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been strangely disappearing from their hives, and strong colonies have suddenly become weak and died. The precise aetiology underlying the disappearance of the bees remains a mystery. However, during the same period, Nosema ceranae, a microsporidium of the Asian bee Apis cerana, seems to have colonized A. mellifera, and it's now frequently detected all over the world in both healthy and weak honeybee colonies. For first time, we show that natural N. ceranae infection can cause the sudden collapse of bee colonies, establishing a direct correlation between N. ceranae infection and the death of honeybee colonies under field conditions. Signs of colony weakness were not evident until the queen could no longer replace the loss of the infected bees. The long asymptomatic incubation period can explain the absence of evident symptoms prior to colony collapse. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that healthy colonies near to an infected one can also become infected, and that N. ceranae infection can be controlled with a specific antibiotic, fumagillin. Moreover, the administration of 120 mg of fumagillin has proven to eliminate the infection, but it cannot avoid reinfection after 6 months. We provide Koch's postulates between N. ceranae infection and a syndrome with a long incubation period involving continuous death of adult bees, non-stop brood rearing by the bees and colony loss in winter or early spring despite the presence of sufficient remaining pollen and honey.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Genetic structure of Balearic honeybee populations based on microsatellite polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    De la Rúa, Pilar; Galián, José; Serrano, José; Moritz, Robin FA

    2003-01-01

    The genetic variation of honeybee colonies collected in 22 localities on the Balearic Islands (Spain) was analysed using eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Previous studies have demonstrated that these colonies belong either to the African or west European evolutionary lineages. These populations display low variability estimated from both the number of alleles and heterozygosity values, as expected for the honeybee island populations. Although genetic differentiation within the islands is low, significant heterozygote deficiency is present, indicating a subpopulation genetic structure. According to the genetic differentiation test, the honeybee populations of the Balearic Islands cluster into two groups: Gimnesias (Mallorca and Menorca) and Pitiusas (Ibiza and Formentera), which agrees with the biogeography postulated for this archipelago. The phylogenetic analysis suggests an Iberian origin of the Balearic honeybees, thus confirming the postulated evolutionary scenario for Apis mellifera in the Mediterranean basin. The microsatellite data from Formentera, Ibiza and Menorca show that ancestral populations are threatened by queen importations, indicating that adequate conservation measures should be developed for protecting Balearic bees. PMID:12729553

  7. Suicide as a derangement of the self-sacrificial aspect of eusociality.

    PubMed

    Joiner, Thomas E; Hom, Melanie A; Hagan, Christopher R; Silva, Caroline

    2016-04-01

    Building upon the idea that humans may be a eusocial species (i.e., rely on multigenerational and cooperative care of young, utilize division of labor for successful survival), we conjecture that suicide among humans represents a derangement of the self-sacrificial aspect of eusociality. In this article, we outline the characteristics of eusociality, particularly the self-sacrificial behavior seen among other eusocial species (e.g., insects, shrimp, mole rats). We then discuss parallels between eusocial self-sacrificial behavior in nonhumans and suicide in humans, particularly with regard to overarousal states, withdrawal phenomena, and perceptions of burdensomeness. In so doing, we make the argument that death by suicide among humans is an exemplar of psychopathology and is due to a derangement of the self-sacrificial behavioral suite found among eusocial species. Implications and future directions for research are also presented.

  8. Anatomy of the Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postiglione, Ralph

    1977-01-01

    In this insect morphology exercise, students study the external anatomy of the worker honeybee. The structures listed and illustrated are discussed in relation to their functions. A goal of the exercise is to establish the bee as a well-adapted, social insect. (MA)

  9. Eusocial evolution and the recognition systems in social insects.

    PubMed

    Krasnec, Michelle O; Breed, Michael D

    2012-01-01

    Eusocial species, animals which live in colonies with a reproductive division of labor, typically have closed societies, in which colony members are allowed entry and nonmembers, including animals of the same species, are excluded. This implies an ability to discriminate colony members ("self") from nonmembers ("nonself"). We draw analogies between this type of discrimination and MHC-mediated cellular recognition in vertebrates. Recognition of membership in eusocial colonies is typically mediated by differences in the surface chemistry between members and nonmembers and we review studies which support this hypothesis. In rare instances, visual signals mediate recognition. We highlight the need for better understanding of which surface compounds actually mediate recognition and for further work on how differences between colony members and nonmembers are perceived.

  10. An Evolutionary Dynamics Model Adapted to Eusocial Insects

    PubMed Central

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Cerdá, Xim; Bernstein, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to better understand the evolutionary processes allowing species coexistence in eusocial insect communities. We develop a mathematical model that applies adaptive dynamics theory to the evolutionary dynamics of eusocial insects, focusing on the colony as the unit of selection. The model links long-term evolutionary processes to ecological interactions among colonies and seasonal worker production within the colony. Colony population dynamics is defined by both worker production and colony reproduction. Random mutations occur in strategies, and mutant colonies enter the community. The interactions of colonies at the ecological timescale drive the evolution of strategies at the evolutionary timescale by natural selection. This model is used to study two specific traits in ants: worker body size and the degree of collective foraging. For both traits, trade-offs in competitive ability and other fitness components allows to determine conditions in which selection becomes disruptive. Our results illustrate that asymmetric competition underpins diversity in ant communities. PMID:23469162

  11. An evolutionary dynamics model adapted to eusocial insects.

    PubMed

    van Oudenhove, Louise; Cerdá, Xim; Bernstein, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    This study aims to better understand the evolutionary processes allowing species coexistence in eusocial insect communities. We develop a mathematical model that applies adaptive dynamics theory to the evolutionary dynamics of eusocial insects, focusing on the colony as the unit of selection. The model links long-term evolutionary processes to ecological interactions among colonies and seasonal worker production within the colony. Colony population dynamics is defined by both worker production and colony reproduction. Random mutations occur in strategies, and mutant colonies enter the community. The interactions of colonies at the ecological timescale drive the evolution of strategies at the evolutionary timescale by natural selection. This model is used to study two specific traits in ants: worker body size and the degree of collective foraging. For both traits, trade-offs in competitive ability and other fitness components allows to determine conditions in which selection becomes disruptive. Our results illustrate that asymmetric competition underpins diversity in ant communities.

  12. Eusocial insects as emerging models for behavioural epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Yan, Hua; Simola, Daniel F; Bonasio, Roberto; Liebig, Jürgen; Berger, Shelley L; Reinberg, Danny

    2014-10-01

    Understanding the molecular basis of how behavioural states are established, maintained and altered by environmental cues is an area of considerable and growing interest. Epigenetic processes, including methylation of DNA and post-translational modification of histones, dynamically modulate activity-dependent gene expression in neurons and can therefore have important regulatory roles in shaping behavioural responses to environmental cues. Several eusocial insect species - with their unique displays of behavioural plasticity due to age, morphology and social context - have emerged as models to investigate the genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of animal social behaviour. This Review summarizes recent studies in the epigenetics of social behaviour and offers perspectives on emerging trends and prospects for establishing genetic tools in eusocial insects.

  13. Prevalence of honeybee viruses in different regions of China and Argentina.

    PubMed

    Ding, G; Fondevila, N; Palacio, M A; Merke, J; Martinez, A; Camacho, B; Aignasse, A; Figini, E; Rodriguez, G; Lv, L; Liu, Z; Shi, W

    2016-12-01

    Honeybees are threatened by various pathogens and parasites. More than 18 viruses have been described in honeybees and many of them have been detected in China and Argentina. In China, both Apis cerana and Apis mellifera are raised. In Argentina, beekeepers raise different ecotypes of A. mellifera: European honeybees (in both temperate and subtropical regions) and Africanised honeybees (in subtropical areas only). A thorough study was carried out in both China and Argentina to analyse the current virus presence and distribution in different climatic zones and gather information on different bee species/subspecies. Adult honeybees were collected from apiaries in temperate and subtropical regions of China (including areas with exclusive populations of A. mellifera, areas where A. mellifera and A. cerana co-exist, and areas with exclusive populations of A. cerana) and Argentina. Six viruses, namely, deformed wing virus (DWV), black queen cell virus (BQCV), sacbrood virus (SBV), chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) and Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) were detected in China, both in A. cerana and in A. mellifera, while four viruses (DWV, BQCV, CBPV and ABPV) were present in Argentina. Interestingly, multiple infections were commonly found in China, with up to five different viruses co-circulating in some colonies without apparent abnormalities. In this study, no Chinese samples were positive for slow bee paralysis virus. The most prevalent viruses were BQCV (China) and DWV (Argentina). Kashmir bee virus was absent from samples analysed for both countries.

  14. Developmental Transcriptome for a Facultatively Eusocial Bee, Megalopta genalis

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Beryl M.; Wcislo, William T.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptomes provide excellent foundational resources for mechanistic and evolutionary analyses of complex traits. We present a developmental transcriptome for the facultatively eusocial bee Megalopta genalis, which represents a potential transition point in the evolution of eusociality. A de novo transcriptome assembly of Megalopta genalis was generated using paired-end Illumina sequencing and the Trinity assembler. Males and females of all life stages were aligned to this transcriptome for analysis of gene expression profiles throughout development. Gene Ontology analysis indicates that stage-specific genes are involved in ion transport, cell–cell signaling, and metabolism. A number of distinct biological processes are upregulated in each life stage, and transitions between life stages involve shifts in dominant functional processes, including shifts from transcriptional regulation in embryos to metabolism in larvae, and increased lipid metabolism in adults. We expect that this transcriptome will provide a useful resource for future analyses to better understand the molecular basis of the evolution of eusociality and, more generally, phenotypic plasticity. PMID:26276382

  15. Haplodiploidy and the evolution of eusociality: worker revolution.

    PubMed

    Alpedrinha, João; Gardner, Andy; West, Stuart A

    2014-09-01

    Hamilton suggested that inflated relatedness between sisters promotes the evolution of eusociality in haplodiploid populations. Trivers and Hare observed that for this to occur, workers have to direct helping preferentially toward the production of sisters. Building on this, they proposed two biological scenarios whereby haplodiploidy could act to promote the evolution of eusociality: (a) workers biasing the sex allocation of the queen's brood toward females and (b) workers replacing the queen's sons with their own sons. This "worker revolution," whereby the worker class seizes control of sex allocation and reproduction, is expected to lead to helping being promoted in worker-controlled colonies. Here, we use a kin-selection approach to model the two scenarios suggested by Trivers and Hare. We show that (1) worker control of sex allocation may promote helping, but this effect is likely to be weak and short lived; and (2) worker reproduction tends to inhibit rather than promote helping. Furthermore, the promotion of helping is reduced by a number of biologically likely factors, including the presence of workers increasing colony productivity, workers being unmated, and worker control of sex allocation being underpinned by many loci each having a small effect. Overall, our results suggest that haplodiploidy has had a negligible influence on the evolution of eusociality.

  16. Stable eusociality via maternal manipulation when resistance is costless

    PubMed Central

    González-Forero, Mauricio

    2015-01-01

    In many eusocial species, queens use pheromones to influence offspring to express worker phenotypes. While evidence suggests that queen pheromones are honest signals of the queen's reproductive health, here I show that queen's honest signaling can result from ancestral maternal manipulation. I develop a mathematical model to study the coevolution of maternal manipulation, offspring resistance to manipulation, and maternal resource allocation. I assume that (1) maternal manipulation causes offspring to be workers against offspring's interests; (2) offspring can resist at no direct cost, as is thought to be the case with pheromonal manipulation; and (3) the mother chooses how much resource to allocate to fertility and maternal care. In the coevolution of these traits, I find that maternal care decreases, thereby increasing the benefit that offspring obtain from help, which in the long run eliminates selection for resistance. Consequently, ancestral maternal manipulation yields stable eusociality despite costless resistance. Additionally, ancestral manipulation in the long run becomes honest signaling that induces offspring to help. These results indicate that both eusociality and its commonly associated queen honest signaling can be likely to originate from ancestral manipulation. PMID:26341103

  17. Stable eusociality via maternal manipulation when resistance is costless.

    PubMed

    González-Forero, M

    2015-12-01

    In many eusocial species, queens use pheromones to influence offspring to express worker phenotypes. Although evidence suggests that queen pheromones are honest signals of the queen's reproductive health, here I show that queen's honest signalling can result from ancestral maternal manipulation. I develop a mathematical model to study the coevolution of maternal manipulation, offspring resistance to manipulation and maternal resource allocation. I assume that (i) maternal manipulation causes offspring to be workers against offspring's interests; (ii) offspring can resist at no direct cost, as is thought to be the case with pheromonal manipulation; and (iii) the mother chooses how much resource to allocate to fertility and maternal care. In the coevolution of these traits, I find that maternal care decreases, thereby increasing the benefit that offspring obtain from help, which in the long run eliminates selection for resistance. Consequently, ancestral maternal manipulation yields stable eusociality despite costless resistance. Additionally, ancestral manipulation in the long run becomes honest signalling that induces offspring to help. These results indicate that both eusociality and its commonly associated queen honest signalling can be likely to originate from ancestral manipulation.

  18. Honeybee colony collapse due to Nosema ceranae in professional apiaries.

    PubMed

    Higes, Mariano; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Garrido-Bailón, Encarna; González-Porto, Amelia V; García-Palencia, Pilar; Meana, Aranzazu; Del Nozal, María J; Mayo, R; Bernal, José L

    2009-04-01

    Honeybee colony collapse is a sanitary and ecological worldwide problem. The features of this syndrome are an unexplained disappearance of adult bees, a lack of brood attention, reduced colony strength, and heavy winter mortality without any previous evident pathological disturbances. To date there has not been a consensus about its origins. This report describes the clinical features of two professional bee-keepers affecting by this syndrome. Anamnesis, clinical examination and analyses support that the depopulation in both cases was due to the infection by Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia), an emerging pathogen of Apis mellifera. No other significant pathogens or pesticides (neonicotinoids) were detected and the bees had not been foraging in corn or sunflower crops. The treatment with fumagillin avoided the loss of surviving weak colonies. This is the first case report of honeybee colony collapse due to N. ceranae in professional apiaries in field conditions reported worldwide.

  19. Self assessment in insects: honeybee queens know their own strength.

    PubMed

    Dietemann, Vincent; Zheng, Huo-Qing; Hepburn, Colleen; Hepburn, H Randall; Jin, Shui-Hua; Crewe, Robin M; Radloff, Sarah E; Hu, Fu-Liang; Pirk, Christian W W

    2008-01-09

    Contests mediate access to reproductive opportunities in almost all species of animals. An important aspect of the evolution of contests is the reduction of the costs incurred during intra-specific encounters to a minimum. However, escalated fights are commonly lethal in some species like the honeybee, Apis mellifera. By experimentally reducing honeybee queens' fighting abilities, we demonstrate that they refrain from engaging in lethal contests that typically characterize their reproductive dominance behavior and coexist peacefully within a colony. This suggests that weak queens exploit an alternative reproductive strategy and provides an explanation for rare occurrences of queen cohabitation in nature. Our results further indicate that self-assessment, but not mutual assessment of fighting ability occurs prior to and during the agonistic encounters.

  20. Genetic Variation in Virulence among Chalkbrood Strains Infecting Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Jensen, Annette B.; Markussen, Bo; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2011-01-01

    Ascosphaera apis causes chalkbrood in honeybees, a chronic disease that reduces the number of viable offspring in the nest. Although lethal for larvae, the disease normally has relatively low virulence at the colony level. A recent study showed that there is genetic variation for host susceptibility, but whether Ascosphaera apis strains differ in virulence is unknown. We exploited a recently modified in vitro rearing technique to infect honeybee larvae from three colonies with naturally mated queens under strictly controlled laboratory conditions, using four strains from two distinct A. apis clades. We found that both strain and colony of larval origin affected mortality rates. The strains from one clade caused 12–14% mortality while those from the other clade induced 71–92% mortality. Larvae from one colony showed significantly higher susceptibility to chalkbrood infection than larvae from the other two colonies, confirming the existence of genetic variation in susceptibility across colonies. Our results are consistent with antagonistic coevolution between a specialized fungal pathogen and its host, and suggest that beekeeping industries would benefit from more systematic monitoring of this chronic stress factor of their colonies. PMID:21966406

  1. DyninstAPI Patches

    SciTech Connect

    LeGendre, M.

    2012-04-01

    We are seeking a code review of patches against DyninstAPI 8.0. DyninstAPI is an open source binary instrumentation library from the University of Wisconsin and University of Maryland. Our patches port DyninstAPI to the BlueGene/P and BlueGene/Q systems, as well as fix DyninstAPI bugs and implement minor new features in DyninstAPI.

  2. Exposure to Sublethal Doses of Fipronil and Thiacloprid Highly Increases Mortality of Honeybees Previously Infected by Nosema ceranae

    PubMed Central

    Vidau, Cyril; Diogon, Marie; Aufauvre, Julie; Fontbonne, Régis; Viguès, Bernard; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Texier, Catherine; Biron, David G.; Blot, Nicolas; El Alaoui, Hicham; Belzunces, Luc P.; Delbac, Frédéric

    2011-01-01

    Background The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is undergoing a worldwide decline whose origin is still in debate. Studies performed for twenty years suggest that this decline may involve both infectious diseases and exposure to pesticides. Joint action of pathogens and chemicals are known to threaten several organisms but the combined effects of these stressors were poorly investigated in honeybees. Our study was designed to explore the effect of Nosema ceranae infection on honeybee sensitivity to sublethal doses of the insecticides fipronil and thiacloprid. Methodology/Finding Five days after their emergence, honeybees were divided in 6 experimental groups: (i) uninfected controls, (ii) infected with N. ceranae, (iii) uninfected and exposed to fipronil, (iv) uninfected and exposed to thiacloprid, (v) infected with N. ceranae and exposed 10 days post-infection (p.i.) to fipronil, and (vi) infected with N. ceranae and exposed 10 days p.i. to thiacloprid. Honeybee mortality and insecticide consumption were analyzed daily and the intestinal spore content was evaluated 20 days after infection. A significant increase in honeybee mortality was observed when N. ceranae-infected honeybees were exposed to sublethal doses of insecticides. Surprisingly, exposures to fipronil and thiacloprid had opposite effects on microsporidian spore production. Analysis of the honeybee detoxification system 10 days p.i. showed that N. ceranae infection induced an increase in glutathione-S-transferase activity in midgut and fat body but not in 7-ethoxycoumarin-O-deethylase activity. Conclusions/Significance After exposure to sublethal doses of fipronil or thiacloprid a higher mortality was observed in N. ceranae-infected honeybees than in uninfected ones. The synergistic effect of N. ceranae and insecticide on honeybee mortality, however, did not appear strongly linked to a decrease of the insect detoxification system. These data support the hypothesis that the combination of the increasing

  3. Juvenile hormone titres reflect social opportunities in the facultatively eusocial bee Megalopta genalis (Hymenoptera:Halictidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The evolution of eusociality is hypothesized to have involved de-coupling parental care from reproduction mediated by changes in endocrine regulation. While data for obligately eusocial insects are consistent with this hypothesis, we lack information from species representative of the transition fro...

  4. Drag reduction effects facilitated by microridges inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones.

    PubMed

    Li, Chu-Chu; Wu, Jia-Ning; Yang, Yun-Qiang; Zhu, Ren-Gao; Yan, Shao-Ze

    2016-01-21

    The mouthpart of a honeybee is a natural well-designed micropump that uses a reciprocating glossa through a temporary tube comprising a pair of galeae and labial palpi for loading nectar. The shapes and sizes of mouthparts differ among castes of honeybees, but the diversities of the functional microstructures inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones remain poorly understood. Through scanning electron microscopy, we found the dimensional difference of uniformly distributed microridges on the inner galeae walls of Apis mellifera ligustica workers and drones. Subsequently, we recorded the feeding process of live honeybees by using a specially designed high-speed camera system. Considering the microridges and kinematics of the glossa, we constructed a hydrodynamic model to calculate the friction coefficient of the mouthpart. In addition, we test the drag reduction through the dimensional variations of the microridges on the inner walls of mouthparts. Theoretical estimations of the friction coefficient with respect to dipping frequency show that inner microridges can reduce friction during the feeding process of honeybees. The effects of drag reduction regulated by specific microridges were then compared. The friction coefficients of the workers and drones were found to be 0.011±0.007 (mean±s.d.) and 0.045±0.010, respectively. These results indicate that the mouthparts of workers are more capable of drag reduction compared with those of drones. The difference was analyzed by comparing the foraging behavior of the workers and drones. Workers are equipped with well-developed hypopharyngeal, and their dipping frequency is higher than that of drones. Our research establishes a critical link between microridge dimensions and drag reduction capability during the nectar feeding of honeybees. Our results reveal that microridges inside the mouthparts of honeybee workers and drones reflect the caste-related life cycles of honeybees.

  5. Ancestral monogamy shows kin selection is key to the evolution of eusociality.

    PubMed

    Hughes, William O H; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Beekman, Madeleine; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2008-05-30

    Close relatedness has long been considered crucial to the evolution of eusociality. However, it has recently been suggested that close relatedness may be a consequence, rather than a cause, of eusociality. We tested this idea with a comparative analysis of female mating frequencies in 267 species of eusocial bees, wasps, and ants. We found that mating with a single male, which maximizes relatedness, is ancestral for all eight independent eusocial lineages that we investigated. Mating with multiple males is always derived. Furthermore, we found that high polyandry (>2 effective mates) occurs only in lineages whose workers have lost reproductive totipotency. These results provide the first evidence that monogamy was critical in the evolution of eusociality, strongly supporting the prediction of inclusive fitness theory.

  6. Discrimination of single bars by the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Horridge, G Adrian

    2003-05-01

    The bees learn to come for a reward to a very simple pattern, a black bar in a fixed position on a white background, in a Y-choice apparatus, with the targets presented in the vertical plane at a fixed range. They were trained on a number of different arrangements of a single bar on one or both targets. The trained bees were then given appropriate tests to discover what cues they had learned. A cue is an essential parameter that is recognized, not the whole pattern. At the choice point they learn exactly which way to look for consistent cues. After training on a single broad bar versus a blank target, they respond in tests to any area of black where they expect to see it, and are less able to detect it the more it has been displaced from the training position. They are more sensitive to vertical than to horizontal displacement of the bar. The cue is anything black of the right size. They do not recognize the shape or orientation of the bar. When trained to discriminate between two bars at right angles to each other, centred on the reward hole, the cue is the edge orientation at the expected places on the targets, and the bees are less able to discriminate the orientation cues the more they are displaced. When trained on a pair of broad black bars in different positions, the cues are the vertical positions of the centres. Division of the bar into squares, or making the edges stepped, removes the orientation cue but not the position cue. Addition of a large black spot or a checkerboard background to the original bar prevents discrimination, as if the spatial reference frame is disturbed. In training, or testing trained bees, parallax does not assist the discrimination of orientation.

  7. Antimicrosporidian activity of sulphated polysaccharides from algae and their potential to control honeybee nosemosis.

    PubMed

    Roussel, M; Villay, A; Delbac, F; Michaud, P; Laroche, C; Roriz, D; El Alaoui, H; Diogon, M

    2015-11-20

    Nosemosis is one of the most common and widespread diseases of adult honeybees. The causative agents, Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae, belong to microsporidia some obligate intracellular eukaryotic parasites. In this study, 10 sulphated polysaccharides from algae were evaluated for their antimicrosporidian activity. They were first shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of the mammal microsporidian model, Encephalitozoon cuniculi. The most efficient polysaccharides were then tested for their ability to inhibit the growth of Nosema ceranae in experimentally-infected adult honeybees. Two polysaccharides extracted from Porphyridium spp. did not show any toxicity in honeybees and one of them allowed a decrease of both parasite load and mortality rate due to N. ceranae infection. A decrease in parasite abundance but not in mortality rate was also observed with an iota carrageenan. Our results are promising and suggest that algal sulphated polysaccharides could be used to prevent and/or control bee nosemosis.

  8. Gene expression of ecdysteroid-regulated gene E74 of the honeybee in ovary and brain.

    PubMed

    Paul, R K; Takeuchi, H; Matsuo, Y; Kubo, T

    2005-01-01

    To facilitate studies of hormonal control in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.), a cDNA for a honeybee homologue of the ecdysteroid-regulated gene E74 (AmE74) was isolated and its expression was analysed. Northern blot analysis indicated strong expression in the adult queen abdomen, and no significant expression in the adult drone and worker abdomens. In situ hybridization demonstrated that this gene was expressed selectively in the ovary and gut in the queen abdomen. Furthermore, this gene was also expressed selectively in subsets of mushroom body interneurones in the brain of the adult worker bees. These findings suggest that AmE74 is involved in neural function as well as in reproduction in adult honeybees.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Phylogenetic analysis of Nosema ceranae isolated from European and Asian honeybees in Northern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Chen, Yanping; Pettis, Jeffery S; Scott Cornman, R; Chantawannakul, Panuwan

    2011-07-01

    Nosema ceranae was found to infect four different host species including the European honeybee (A. mellifera) and the Asian honeybees (Apis florea, A. cerana and Apis dorsata) collected from apiaries and forests in Northern Thailand. Significant sequence variation in the polar tube protein (PTP1) gene of N. ceranae was observed with N. ceranae isolates from A. mellifera and A. cerana, they clustered into the same phylogenetic lineage. N. ceranae isolates from A. dorsata and A. florea were grouped into two other distinct clades. This study provides the first elucidation of a genetic relationship among N. ceranae strains isolated from different host species and demonstrates that the N. ceranae PTP gene was shown to be a suitable and reliable marker in revealing genetic relationships within species.

  11. Regulation of genes related to immune signaling and detoxification in Apis mellifera by an inhibitor of histone deacetylation

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yee-Tung; Wu, Tsai-Chin; Yang, En-Cheng; Wu, Pei-Chi; Lin, Po-Tse; Wu, Yueh-Lung

    2017-01-01

    The western honeybee (Apis mellifera) is essential for the global economy due to its important role in ecosystems and agriculture as a pollinator of numerous flowering plants and crops. Pesticide abuse has greatly impacted honeybees and caused tremendous loss of honeybee colonies worldwide. The reasons for colony loss remain unclear, but involvement of pesticides and pathogen-pesticide interactions has been hypothesized. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) inhibit the activity of histone acetylase, which causes the hyperacetylation of histone cores and influences gene expression. In this study, sodium butyrate, an HDACi, was used as a dietary supplement for honeybees; after treatment, gene expression profiles were analyzed using quantitative PCR. The results showed that sodium butyrate up-regulated genes involved in anti-pathogen and detoxification pathways. The bioassay results showed that honeybees treated with sodium butyrate were more tolerant to imidacloprid. Additionally, sodium butyrate strengthened the immune response of honeybees to invasions of Nosema ceranae and viral infections. We also performed a bioassay in which honeybees were exposed to pesticides and pathogens. Our results provide additional data regarding the mechanism by which honeybees react to stress and the potential application of HDACis in beekeeping. PMID:28112264

  12. Regulation of genes related to immune signaling and detoxification in Apis mellifera by an inhibitor of histone deacetylation.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yee-Tung; Wu, Tsai-Chin; Yang, En-Cheng; Wu, Pei-Chi; Lin, Po-Tse; Wu, Yueh-Lung

    2017-01-23

    The western honeybee (Apis mellifera) is essential for the global economy due to its important role in ecosystems and agriculture as a pollinator of numerous flowering plants and crops. Pesticide abuse has greatly impacted honeybees and caused tremendous loss of honeybee colonies worldwide. The reasons for colony loss remain unclear, but involvement of pesticides and pathogen-pesticide interactions has been hypothesized. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) inhibit the activity of histone acetylase, which causes the hyperacetylation of histone cores and influences gene expression. In this study, sodium butyrate, an HDACi, was used as a dietary supplement for honeybees; after treatment, gene expression profiles were analyzed using quantitative PCR. The results showed that sodium butyrate up-regulated genes involved in anti-pathogen and detoxification pathways. The bioassay results showed that honeybees treated with sodium butyrate were more tolerant to imidacloprid. Additionally, sodium butyrate strengthened the immune response of honeybees to invasions of Nosema ceranae and viral infections. We also performed a bioassay in which honeybees were exposed to pesticides and pathogens. Our results provide additional data regarding the mechanism by which honeybees react to stress and the potential application of HDACis in beekeeping.

  13. Coevolution while you wait: Varroa jacobsoni, a new parasite of western honeybees.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd

    1999-08-01

    The mite Varroa jacobsoni is a brood parasite of the Asian hive bee, Apis cerana. The recent switch in host from A. cerana to the western honeybee, Apis mellifera, offers an exceptional opportunity for studying preadaptation and host-parasite relations. The fact that this host shift appears to have happened on at least two separate occasions, with differing outcomes, must be unique. At another level, the rapacious spread of this mite throughout the world is testimony to the ineffectiveness of international quarantine laws.

  14. Impaired tactile learning is related to social role in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Scheiner, Ricarda; Amdam, Gro V

    2009-04-01

    Aging is commonly accompanied by a decline in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. In social insects, aging is tightly linked to social role. The honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) offers the unique opportunity to separate chronological age from social role. In the present paper, we tested whether chronological age, social role and the duration of performing this role affect tactile learning in honeybees. We compared acquisition, retention and discrimination between foragers with short and long foraging durations and age-matched nurse bees. Our data show that chronological age is of minor importance for tactile learning, retention and discrimination whereas social role has a decisive impact. Tactile acquisition is severely impaired in bees that have foraged for more than two weeks but not in nurse bees of the same chronological age. Interestingly, neither discrimination nor retention appear to be impaired by long foraging duration. The complex associations between acquisition, discrimination and retention in bees of different social roles open up rich possibilities for future studies on the neuronal correlates of behavioural performance and underline that the honeybee has great potential as a model system in the biology of aging.

  15. Broom and honeybees in Australia: an alien liaison.

    PubMed

    Simpson, S R; Gross, C L; Silberbauer, L X

    2005-09-01

    Facilitative interactions between non-indigenous species are gaining recognition as a major driver of invasion success. Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link (Fabaceae), or Scotch broom, is a cosmopolitan invasive shrub that lacks the capacity for vegetative reproduction and is a good model to study facilitative interactions. Its success in pioneer environments is determined by constraints on its reproduction. We determined whether pollinators were required for seed set in C. scoparius at Barrington Tops, NSW, Australia, where the species has infested ca. 14,000 ha across the plateau. Field and laboratory experiments showed that C. scoparius is an obligate outcrossing species at Barrington Tops. Monitoring of plants (10.7 h) showed that the flowers of C. scoparius have to be tripped to effect seed set and the only pollinator to do this was the introduced honeybee, Apis mellifera L. Most floral visits by honeybees result in fruit set (84 %) and because fruits have many ovules (10 - 18 per ovary) a single bee on an average foraging day can effect the production of over 6000 seeds. A review of C. scoparius pollination across four continents revealed major differences in pollen quantity, which may explain differences in the efficiencies of honeybees as pollinators of C. scoparius. The incorporation of pollinator management in an integrated approach for the control of C. scoparius is discussed.

  16. A fifth major genetic group among honeybees revealed in Syria

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Apiculture has been practiced in North Africa and the Middle-East from antiquity. Several thousand years of selective breeding have left a mosaic of Apis mellifera subspecies in the Middle-East, many uniquely adapted and survived to local environmental conditions. In this study we explore the genetic diversity of A. mellifera from Syria (n = 1258), Lebanon (n = 169) and Iraq (n = 35) based on 14 short tandem repeat (STR) loci in the context of reference populations from throughout the Old World (n = 732). Results Our data suggest that the Syrian honeybee Apis mellifera syriaca occurs in both Syrian and Lebanese territories, with no significant genetic variability between respective populations from Syria and Lebanon. All studied populations clustered within a new fifth independent nuclear cluster, congruent with an mtDNA Z haplotype identified in a previous study. Syrian honeybee populations are not associated with Oriental lineage O, except for sporadic introgression into some populations close to the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Southern Syrian and Lebanese populations demonstrated high levels of genetic diversity compared to the northern populations. Conclusion This study revealed the effects of foreign queen importations on Syrian bee populations, especially for the region of Tartus, where extensive introgression of A. m. anatolica and/or A. m. caucasica alleles were identified. The policy of creating genetic conservation centers for the Syrian subspecies should take into consideration the influence of the oriental lineage O from the northern Syrian border and the large population of genetically divergent indigenous honeybees located in southern Syria. PMID:24314104

  17. Lysophosphatidylcholine acts in the constitutive immune defence against American foulbrood in adult honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike; Hernández-López, Javier; Rechberger, Gerald; Crailsheim, Karl; Schuehly, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Honeybee (Apis mellifera) imagines are resistant to the Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae (P. larvae), causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), whereas honeybee larvae show susceptibility against this pathogen only during the first 48 h of their life. It is known that midgut homogenate of adult honeybees as well as a homogenate of aged larvae exhibit strong anti-P. larvae activity. A bioactivity-guided LC-HRMS analysis of midgut homogenate resulted in the identification of 1-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (LPC) pointing to a yet unknown immune defence in adult honeybees against P. larvae. Antimicrobial activity of LPC was also demonstrated against Melissococcus plutonius, causative agent of European Foulbrood. To demonstrate an AFB-preventive effect of LPC in larvae, artificially reared larvae were supplemented with LPC to evaluate its toxicity and to assess whether, after infection with P. larvae spores, LPC supplementation prevents AFB infection. 10 μg LPC per larva applied for 3 d significantly lowered mortality due to AFB in comparison to controls. A potential delivery route of LPC to the larvae in a colony via nurse bees was assessed through a tracking experiment using fluorescent-labelled LPC. This yet undescribed and non-proteinous defense of honeybees against P. larvae may offer new perspectives for a treatment of AFB without the utilization of classic antibiotics. PMID:27480379

  18. Transcriptome Analyses of the Honeybee Response to Nosema ceranae and Insecticides

    PubMed Central

    Aufauvre, Julie; Misme-Aucouturier, Barbara; Viguès, Bernard; Texier, Catherine; Delbac, Frédéric; Blot, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are constantly exposed to a wide variety of environmental stressors such as parasites and pesticides. Among them, Nosema ceranae and neurotoxic insecticides might act in combination and lead to a higher honeybee mortality. We investigated the molecular response of honeybees exposed to N. ceranae, to insecticides (fipronil or imidacloprid), and to a combination of both stressors. Midgut transcriptional changes induced by these stressors were measured in two independent experiments combining a global RNA-Seq transcriptomic approach with the screening of the expression of selected genes by quantitative RT-PCR. Although N. ceranae-insecticide combinations induced a significant increase in honeybee mortality, we observed that they did not lead to a synergistic effect. According to gene expression profiles, chronic exposure to insecticides had no significant impact on detoxifying genes but repressed the expression of immunity-related genes. Honeybees treated with N. ceranae, alone or in combination with an insecticide, showed a strong alteration of midgut immunity together with modifications affecting cuticle coatings and trehalose metabolism. An increasing impact of treatments on gene expression profiles with time was identified suggesting an absence of stress recovery which could be linked to the higher mortality rates observed. PMID:24646894

  19. Pollination of rapeseed (Brassica napus) by Africanized honeybees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on two sowing dates.

    PubMed

    Chambó, Emerson D; De Oliveira, Newton T E; Garcia, Regina C; Duarte-Júnior, José B; Ruvolo-Takasusuki, Maria Claudia C; Toledo, Vagner A

    2014-12-01

    In this study, performed in the western part of the state of Paraná, Brazil, two self-fertile hybrid commercial rapeseed genotypes were evaluated for yield components and physiological quality using three pollination tests and spanning two sowing dates. The treatments consisted of combinations of two rapeseed genotypes (Hyola 61 and Hyola 433), three pollination tests (uncovered area, covered area without insects and covered area containing a single colony of Africanized Apis mellifera honeybees) and two sowing dates (May 25th, 2011 and June 25th, 2011). The presence of Africanized honeybees during flowering time increased the productivity of the rapeseed. Losses in the productivity of the hybrids caused by weather conditions unfavorable for rapeseed development were mitigated through cross-pollination performed by the Africanized honeybees. Weather conditions may limit the foraging activity of Africanized honeybees, causing decreased cross-pollination by potential pollinators, especially the Africanized A. mellifera honeybee. The rapeseed hybrids respond differently depending on the sowing date, and the short-cycle Hyola 433 hybrid is the most suitable hybrid for sowing under less favorable weather conditions.

  20. Experimental evidence that honeybees depress wild insect densities in a flowering crop.

    PubMed

    Lindström, Sandra A M; Herbertsson, Lina; Rundlöf, Maj; Bommarco, Riccardo; Smith, Henrik G

    2016-11-30

    While addition of managed honeybees (Apis mellifera) improves pollination of many entomophilous crops, it is unknown if it simultaneously suppresses the densities of wild insects through competition. To investigate this, we added 624 honeybee hives to 23 fields of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) over 2 years and made sure that the areas around 21 other fields were free from honeybee hives. We demonstrate that honeybee addition depresses the densities of wild insects (bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies, marchflies, other flies, and other flying and flower-visiting insects) even in a massive flower resource such as oilseed rape. The effect was independent of the complexity of the surrounding landscape, but increased with the size of the crop field, which suggests that the effect was caused by spatial displacement of wild insects. Our results have potential implications both for the pollination of crops (if displacement of wild pollinators offsets benefits achieved by adding honeybees) and for conservation of wild insects (if displacement results in negative fitness consequences).

  1. Visual attention in a complex search task differs between honeybees and bumblebees.

    PubMed

    Morawetz, Linde; Spaethe, Johannes

    2012-07-15

    Mechanisms of spatial attention are used when the amount of gathered information exceeds processing capacity. Such mechanisms have been proposed in bees, but have not yet been experimentally demonstrated. We provide evidence that selective attention influences the foraging performance of two social bee species, the honeybee Apis mellifera and the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Visual search tasks, originally developed for application in human psychology, were adapted for behavioural experiments on bees. We examined the impact of distracting visual information on search performance, which we measured as error rate and decision time. We found that bumblebees were significantly less affected by distracting objects than honeybees. Based on the results, we conclude that the search mechanism in honeybees is serial like, whereas in bumblebees it shows the characteristics of a restricted parallel-like search. Furthermore, the bees differed in their strategy to solve the speed-accuracy trade-off. Whereas bumblebees displayed slow but correct decision-making, honeybees exhibited fast and inaccurate decision-making. We propose two neuronal mechanisms of visual information processing that account for the different responses between honeybees and bumblebees, and we correlate species-specific features of the search behaviour to differences in habitat and life history.

  2. First detection of Paenibacillus larvae the causative agent of American Foulbrood in a Ugandan honeybee colony.

    PubMed

    Chemurot, Moses; Brunain, Marleen; Akol, Anne M; Descamps, Tine; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2016-01-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is a highly contagious and often lethal widely distributed pathogen of honeybees, Apis mellifera but has not been reported in eastern Africa to date. We investigated the presence of P. larvae in the eastern and western highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda by collecting brood and honey samples from 67 honeybee colonies in two sampling occasions and cultivated them for P. larvae. Also, 8 honeys imported and locally retailed in Uganda were sampled and cultivated for P. larvae. Our aim was to establish the presence and distribution of P. larvae in honeybee populations in the two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda and to determine if honeys that were locally retailed contained this lethal pathogen. One honeybee colony without clinical symptoms for P. larvae in an apiary located in a protected area of the western highlands of Uganda was found positive for P. larvae. The strain of this P. larvae was genotyped and found to be ERIC I. In order to compare its virulence with P. larvae reference strains, in vitro infection experiments were conducted with carniolan honeybee larvae from the research laboratory at Ghent University, Belgium. The results show that the virulence of the P. larvae strain found in Uganda was at least equally high. The epidemiological implication of the presence of P. larvae in a protected area is discussed.

  3. Neural organization and visual processing in the anterior optic tubercle of the honeybee brain.

    PubMed

    Mota, Theo; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Giurfa, Martin; Gronenberg, Wulfila; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2011-08-10

    The honeybee Apis mellifera represents a valuable model for studying the neural segregation and integration of visual information. Vision in honeybees has been extensively studied at the behavioral level and, to a lesser degree, at the physiological level using intracellular electrophysiological recordings of single neurons. However, our knowledge of visual processing in honeybees is still limited by the lack of functional studies of visual processing at the circuit level. Here we contribute to filling this gap by providing a neuroanatomical and neurophysiological characterization at the circuit level of a practically unstudied visual area of the bee brain, the anterior optic tubercle (AOTu). First, we analyzed the internal organization and neuronal connections of the AOTu. Second, we established a novel protocol for performing optophysiological recordings of visual circuit activity in the honeybee brain and studied the responses of AOTu interneurons during stimulation of distinct eye regions. Our neuroanatomical data show an intricate compartmentalization and connectivity of the AOTu, revealing a dorsoventral segregation of the visual input to the AOTu. Light stimuli presented in different parts of the visual field (dorsal, lateral, or ventral) induce distinct patterns of activation in AOTu output interneurons, retaining to some extent the dorsoventral input segregation revealed by our neuroanatomical data. In particular, activity patterns evoked by dorsal and ventral eye stimulation are clearly segregated into distinct AOTu subunits. Our results therefore suggest an involvement of the AOTu in the processing of dorsoventrally segregated visual information in the honeybee brain.

  4. Do the honeybee pathogens Nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus act synergistically?

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Stephen J; Hardy, Jennifer; Villalobos, Ethel; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Nikaido, Scott; Higes, Mariano

    2013-01-01

    The honeybee pathogens Nosema ceranae and deformed wing virus (DWV) cause the collapse of honeybee colonies. Therefore, it is plausible that these two pathogens act synergistically to increase colony losses, since N. ceranae causes damage to the mid-gut epithelial ventricular cells and actively suppresses the honeybees’ immune response, either of which could increase the virulence of viral pathogens within the bee. To test this hypothesis we exploited 322 Hawaiian honeybee colonies for which DWV prevalence and load is known. We determined via PCR that N. ceranae was present in 89–95% of these colonies, with no Nosema apis being detected. We found no significant difference in spore counts in colonies infected with DWV and those in which DWV was not detected, either on any of the four islands or across the entire honeybee population. Furthermore, no significant correlation between DWV loads (ΔCT levels) and N. ceranae spore counts was found, so these two pathogens are not acting synergistically. Although the Hawaiian honeybees have the highest known prevalence of N. ceranae in the world, with average number of spores been 2.7 million per bee, no acute Nosema related problems i.e. large-scale colony deaths, have been reported by Hawaiian beekeepers. PMID:23864563

  5. Comparative psychophysics of bumblebee and honeybee colour discrimination and object detection.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Adrian G; Spaethe, Johannes; Prack, Sabina

    2008-07-01

    Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) discrimination of targets with broadband reflectance spectra was tested using simultaneous viewing conditions, enabling an accurate determination of the perceptual limit of colour discrimination excluding confounds from memory coding (experiment 1). The level of colour discrimination in bumblebees, and honeybees (Apis mellifera) (based upon previous observations), exceeds predictions of models considering receptor noise in the honeybee. Bumblebee and honeybee photoreceptors are similar in spectral shape and spacing, but bumblebees exhibit significantly poorer colour discrimination in behavioural tests, suggesting possible differences in spatial or temporal signal processing. Detection of stimuli in a Y-maze was evaluated for bumblebees (experiment 2) and honeybees (experiment 3). Honeybees detected stimuli containing both green-receptor-contrast and colour contrast at a visual angle of approximately 5 degrees , whilst stimuli that contained only colour contrast were only detected at a visual angle of 15 degrees . Bumblebees were able to detect these stimuli at a visual angle of 2.3 degrees and 2.7 degrees , respectively. A comparison of the experiments suggests a tradeoff between colour discrimination and colour detection in these two species, limited by the need to pool colour signals to overcome receptor noise. We discuss the colour processing differences and possible adaptations to specific ecological habitats.

  6. Interpatch foraging in honeybees-rational decision making at secondary hubs based upon time and motivation.

    PubMed

    Najera, Daniel A; McCullough, Erin L; Jander, Rudolf

    2012-11-01

    For honeybees, Apis mellifera, the hive has been well known to function as a primary decision-making hub, a place from which foragers decide among various directions, distances, and times of day to forage efficiently. Whether foraging honeybees can make similarly complex navigational decisions from locations away from the hive is unknown. To examine whether or not such secondary decision-making hubs exist, we trained bees to forage at four different locations. Specifically, we trained honeybees to first forage to a distal site "CT" 100 m away from the hive; if food was present, they fed and then chose to go home. If food was not present, the honeybees were trained to forage to three auxiliary sites, each at a different time of the day: A in the morning, B at noon, and C in the afternoon. The foragers learned to check site CT for food first and then efficiently depart to the correct location based upon the time of day if there was no food at site CT. Thus, the honeybees were able to cognitively map motivation, time, and five different locations (Hive, CT, A, B, and C) in two spatial dimensions; these are the contents of the cognitive map used by the honeybees here. While at site CT, we verified that the honeybees could choose between 4 different directions (to A, B, C, and the Hive) and thus label it as a secondary decision-making hub. The observed decision making uncovered here is inferred to constitute genuine logical operations, involving a branched structure, based upon the premises of motivational state, and spatiotemporal knowledge.

  7. Starvation stress during larval development facilitates an adaptive response in adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Brent, Colin S; Page, Robert E; Amdam, Gro V

    2016-04-01

    Most organisms are constantly faced with environmental changes and stressors. In diverse organisms, there is an anticipatory mechanism during development that can program adult phenotypes. The adult phenotype would be adapted to the predicted environment that occurred during organism maturation. However, whether this anticipatory mechanism is present in eusocial species is questionable because eusocial organisms are largely shielded from exogenous conditions by their stable nest environment. In this study, we tested whether food deprivation during development of the honey bee (Apis mellifera), a eusocial insect model, can shift adult phenotypes to better cope with nutritional stress. After subjecting fifth instar worker larvae to short-term starvation, we measured nutrition-related morphology, starvation resistance, physiology, endocrinology and behavior in the adults. We found that the larval starvation caused adult honey bees to become more resilient toward starvation. Moreover, the adult bees were characterized by reduced ovary size, elevated glycogen stores and juvenile hormone (JH) titers, and decreased sugar sensitivity. These changes, in general, can help adult insects survive and reproduce in food-poor environments. Overall, we found for the first time support for an anticipatory mechanism in a eusocial species, the honey bee. Our results suggest that this mechanism may play a role in honey bee queen-worker differentiation and worker division of labor, both of which are related to the responses to nutritional stress.

  8. Sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera support inclusive fitness theory.

    PubMed

    Bourke, A F G

    2015-11-01

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera are a function of the relatedness asymmetry (relative relatedness to females and males) of the individuals controlling sex allocation. In monogynous ants (with one queen per colony), assuming worker control, the theory therefore predicts female-biased sex investment ratios, as found in natural populations. Recently, E.O. Wilson and M.A. Nowak criticized this explanation and presented an alternative hypothesis. The Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis proposes that, in monogynous ants, there is selection for a 1 : 1 numerical sex ratio to avoid males remaining unmated, which, given queens exceed males in size, results in a female-biased sex investment ratio. The hypothesis also asserts that, contrary to inclusive fitness theory, queens not workers control sex allocation and queen-worker conflict over sex allocation is absent. Here, I argue that the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis is flawed because it contradicts Fisher's sex ratio theory, which shows that selection on sex ratio does not maximize the number of mated offspring and that the sex ratio proposed by the hypothesis is not an equilibrium for the queen. In addition, the hypothesis is not supported by empirical evidence, as it fails to explain 'split' (bimodal) sex ratios or data showing queen and worker control and ongoing queen-worker conflict. By contrast, these phenomena match predictions of inclusive fitness theory. Hence, the Wilson-Nowak sex ratio hypothesis fails both as an alternative hypothesis for sex investment ratios in eusocial Hymenoptera and as a critique of inclusive fitness theory.

  9. Effects of Varroa destructor on temperature and humidity conditions and expression of energy metabolism genes in infested honeybee colonies.

    PubMed

    Hou, C S; Li, B B; Deng, S; Diao, Q Y

    2016-09-23

    Varroa destructor mites pose an increasing global threat to the apicultural industry and agricultural ecology; however, the issue of whether certain environmental factors reflect the level of mite infection is far from resolved. Here, a wireless sensor network (WSN) system was used to examine how V. destructor, which has vital impacts on honeybee (Apis mellifera) health and survival, affects the temperature and humidity of honeybee hives in a field experiment. This approach may facilitate early identification of V. destructor in hives, and thus enable timely remedial action. Using quantitative PCR, we also evaluated the expression of two genes, adipokinetic hormone (AKH) and adipokinetic hormone receptor (AKHR).The results showed that temperature in highly infested broods was higher than that in broods with low infestation. Moreover, mite infection in honeybee colonies was positively correlated with temperature but negatively correlated with humidity (P < 0.05). Similar to previous observations, quantitative analysis suggested that the expression levels of AKH and AKHR from honeybees with low infection were significantly higher than those from bees with high infection (P < 0.01). These results showed that the expression levels of these genes in colonies with high mite infestation were closely associated with changes in hive temperature and humidity. This study demonstrates that Varroa infection not only causes changes in temperature inside honeybee colonies, but also affects the expression of honeybee energy metabolism genes.

  10. Consequences of Nosema apis infection for male honey bees and their fertility.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yan; Baer-Imhoof, Barbara; Millar, A Harvey; Baer, Boris

    2015-06-30

    The queens of eusocial bees, ants and wasps mate only during a very short period early in life and males therefore produce ejaculates consisting of large numbers of high quality sperm. Such extreme selection for high fecundity resulted in males investing minimally into their somatic survival, including their immune system. However, if susceptible males are unable to protect their reproductive tissue from infections, they compromise queen fitness if they transfer pathogens during mating. We used the honey bee Apis mellifera and investigated the course of infection of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis. We predicted that honey bee males are susceptible but protect their reproductive tissues from infections. We investigated the effects of N. apis infections on the midgut, the accessory glands and the accessory testes and quantified the consequences of infection on male survival and fecundity. We found that N. apis is able to infect males, and as infections progressed, it significantly impacted fertility and survival in older males. Even though we confirm males to be able to minimize N. apis infections of their reproductive tissues, the parasite is present in ejaculates of older males. Consequently N. apis evolved alternative routes to successfully infect ejaculates and get sexually transmitted.

  11. Consequences of Nosema apis infection for male honey bees and their fertility

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Yan; Baer-Imhoof, Barbara; Harvey Millar, A.; Baer, Boris

    2015-01-01

    The queens of eusocial bees, ants and wasps mate only during a very short period early in life and males therefore produce ejaculates consisting of large numbers of high quality sperm. Such extreme selection for high fecundity resulted in males investing minimally into their somatic survival, including their immune system. However, if susceptible males are unable to protect their reproductive tissue from infections, they compromise queen fitness if they transfer pathogens during mating. We used the honey bee Apis mellifera and investigated the course of infection of the sexually transmitted pathogen Nosema apis. We predicted that honey bee males are susceptible but protect their reproductive tissues from infections. We investigated the effects of N. apis infections on the midgut, the accessory glands and the accessory testes and quantified the consequences of infection on male survival and fecundity. We found that N. apis is able to infect males, and as infections progressed, it significantly impacted fertility and survival in older males. Even though we confirm males to be able to minimize N. apis infections of their reproductive tissues, the parasite is present in ejaculates of older males. Consequently N. apis evolved alternative routes to successfully infect ejaculates and get sexually transmitted. PMID:26123530

  12. Ecology, not the genetics of sex determination, determines who helps in eusocial populations.

    PubMed

    Ross, Laura; Gardner, Andy; Hardy, Nate; West, Stuart A

    2013-12-02

    In eusocial species, the sex ratio of helpers varies from female only, in taxa such as the social Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps) [1], to an unbiased mixture of males and females, as in most termites [2]. Hamilton suggested that this difference owes to the haplodiploid genetics of the Hymenoptera leading to females being relatively more related to their siblings [3]. However, it has been argued that Hamilton's hypothesis does not work [4-9] and that the sex of helpers could instead be explained by variation in the ecological factors that favor eusociality [10]. Here we test these two competing hypotheses, which focus on the possible importance of different terms in Hamilton's rule [2, 11], with a comparative study across all sexual eusocial taxa. We find that the sex ratio of helpers (1) shows no significant correlation with whether species are haplodiploid or diploid and (2) shows a strong correlation with the ecological factor that had favored eusociality. Specifically, when the role of helpers is to defend the nest, both males and females help, whereas when the role of helpers is to provide brood care, then helpers are the sex or sexes that provided parental care ancestrally. More generally, our results confirm the ability of kin selection theory to explain the biology of eusocial species, independently of ploidy, and add support to the idea that haplodiploidy has been more important for shaping conflicts within eusocial societies than for explaining its origins [6, 12-19].

  13. API Global Sourcing Strategies 2010.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Shannon

    2010-09-01

    The API Global Sourcing Strategies 2010 Conference, held in Berlin, included topics covering new developments in the field of global sourcing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). This conference report highlights selected presentations on development in Eastern API markets, specifically India and China, factors influencing changes in global API sourcing, and risk mitigation in API sourcing.

  14. Does Nosema ceranae Wipe Out Nosema apis in Turkey?

    PubMed Central

    IVGIN TUNCA, Rahşan; OSKAY, Devrim; GOSTERIT, Ayhan; TEKIN, Olgay Kaan

    2016-01-01

    Background: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of the Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis among apiaries using both spore counts and multiplex PCR and the replacement of N. apis by N. ceranae in some regions of Turkey. Methods: A hundred honey bee samples were collected from 99 apiaries in 11 different locations in 2011–2012 in Turkey. Nosema infection degree from collected samples was determined using light microscope and molecular detection of Nosema spp. (N. ceranae and N. apis) was performed using specific primers by multiplex PCR. Results: N. ceranae was only found spores in sampling areas using molecular diagnosis. N. apis was not detected in whole sampling areas using both techniques. There are no Nosema spores detected in Konya one location using two techniques. The nucleotide sequences from amplification products of the Nosema infested honeybee samples were (98%) identical with the sequence of N. ceranae for many countries deposited in the GenBank database in this study. Conclusion: The present study illustrated that N. ceranae is the only spores for sampled areas in 2011–2012. The study could also indicate that N. ceranae has been replaced instead of N. apis in Turkey. In addition, the prevalence of N. ceranae and two microsporodia spores effects on honey bee colonies in Turkey were needed to determine with intensive sampling, periodically. PMID:28096862

  15. Estimating the density of honeybee colonies across their natural range to fill the gap in pollinator decline censuses.

    PubMed

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Dietemann, Vincent; Allsopp, Mike H; Costa, Cecilia; Crewe, Robin M; Dall'olio, Raffaele; DE LA Rúa, Pilar; El-Niweiri, Mogbel A A; Fries, Ingemar; Kezic, Nikola; Meusel, Michael S; Paxton, Robert J; Shaibi, Taher; Stolle, Eckart; Moritz, Robin F A

    2010-04-01

    Although pollinator declines are a global biodiversity threat, the demography of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera) has not been considered by conservationists because it is biased by the activity of beekeepers. To fill this gap in pollinator decline censuses and to provide a broad picture of the current status of honeybees across their natural range, we used microsatellite genetic markers to estimate colony densities and genetic diversity at different locations in Europe, Africa, and central Asia that had different patterns of land use. Genetic diversity and colony densities were highest in South Africa and lowest in Northern Europe and were correlated with mean annual temperature. Confounding factors not related to climate, however, are also likely to influence genetic diversity and colony densities in honeybee populations. Land use showed a significantly negative influence over genetic diversity and the density of honeybee colonies over all sampling locations. In Europe honeybees sampled in nature reserves had genetic diversity and colony densities similar to those sampled in agricultural landscapes, which suggests that the former are not wild but may have come from managed hives. Other results also support this idea: putative wild bees were rare in our European samples, and the mean estimated density of honeybee colonies on the continent closely resembled the reported mean number of managed hives. Current densities of European honeybee populations are in the same range as those found in the adverse climatic conditions of the Kalahari and Saharan deserts, which suggests that beekeeping activities do not compensate for the loss of wild colonies. Our findings highlight the importance of reconsidering the conservation status of honeybees in Europe and of regarding beekeeping not only as a profitable business for producing honey, but also as an essential component of biodiversity conservation.

  16. Native Prey and Invasive Predator Patterns of Foraging Activity: The Case of the Yellow-Legged Hornet Predation at European Honeybee Hives.

    PubMed

    Monceau, Karine; Arca, Mariangela; Leprêtre, Lisa; Mougel, Florence; Bonnard, Olivier; Silvain, Jean-François; Maher, Nevile; Arnold, Gérard; Thiéry, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective.

  17. Native Prey and Invasive Predator Patterns of Foraging Activity: The Case of the Yellow-Legged Hornet Predation at European Honeybee Hives

    PubMed Central

    Monceau, Karine; Arca, Mariangela; Leprêtre, Lisa; Mougel, Florence; Bonnard, Olivier; Silvain, Jean-François; Maher, Nevile; Arnold, Gérard; Thiéry, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to native predators, which have co-evolved with their prey, alien predators often benefit from native prey naïveté. Vespa velutina, a honeybee predator originating from Eastern China, was introduced into France just before 2004. The present study, based on video recordings of two beehives at an early stage of the invasion process, intends to analyse the alien hornet hunting behaviour on the native prey, Apis mellifera, and to understand the interaction between the activity of the predator and the prey during the day and the season. Chasing hornets spent most of their time hovering facing the hive, to catch flying honeybees returning to the hive. The predation pressure increased during the season confirming previous study based on predator trapping. The number of honeybee captures showed a maximum peak for an intermediate number of V. velutina, unrelated to honeybee activity, suggesting the occurrence of competition between hornets. The number of honeybees caught increased during midday hours while the number of hornets did not vary, suggesting an increase in their efficacy. These results suggest that the impact of V. velutina on honeybees is limited by its own biology and behaviour and did not match the pattern of activity of its prey. Also, it could have been advantageous during the invasion, limiting resource depletion and thus favouring colonisation. This lack of synchronization may also be beneficial for honeybee colonies by giving them an opportunity to increase their activity when the hornets are less effective. PMID:23823754

  18. Effects of sub-lethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation.

    PubMed

    Sol Balbuena, María; Tison, Léa; Hahn, Marie-Luise; Greggers, Uwe; Menzel, Randolf; Farina, Walter M

    2015-07-10

    Glyphosate (GLY) is a herbicide that is widely used in agriculture for weed control. Although reports about the impact of GLY in snails, crustaceans and amphibians exist, few studies have investigated its sub-lethal effects in non-target organisms such as the honeybee Apis mellifera, the main pollen vector in commercial crops. Here, we tested whether exposure to three sub-lethal concentrations of GLY (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/L corresponding to 0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 µg/animal) affects the homeward flight path of honeybees in an open field. We performed an experiment in which forager honeybees were trained to an artificial feeder, and then captured, fed with sugar solution containing GLY traces and released from a novel site (the release site, RS) either once or twice. Their homeward trajectories were tracked using harmonic radar technology. We found that honeybees that had been fed with solution containing 10 mg/L GLY spent more time performing homeward flights than control bees or bees treated with lower GLY concentrations. They also performed more indirect homing flights. Moreover, the proportion of direct homeward flights performed after a second release at the RS increased in control bees but not in treated bees. These results suggest that, in honeybees, exposure to GLY doses commonly found in agricultural settings impairs the cognitive capacities needed to retrieve and integrate spatial information for a successful return to the hive. Therefore, honeybee navigation is affected by ingesting traces of the most widely used herbicide worldwide, with potential long-term negative consequences for colony foraging success.

  19. Antioxidant supplementation can reduce the survival costs of excess amino acid intake in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Archer, C Ruth; Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W W; Oosthuizen, Vinette; Apostolides, Zeno; Nicolson, Susan W

    2014-12-01

    Over-consuming amino acids is associated with reduced survival in many species, including honeybees. The mechanisms responsible for this are unclear but one possibility is that excessive intake of amino acids increases oxidative damage. If this is the case, antioxidant supplementation may help reduce the survival costs of high amino acid intake. We tested this hypothesis in African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) using the major antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). We first determined the dose-range of EGCG that improved survival of caged honeybees fed sucrose solution. We then provided bees with eight diets that differed in their ratio of essential amino acids (EAA) to carbohydrate (C) (0:1, 1:250, 1:100, 1:75, 1:50, 1:25, 1:10, 1:5 EAA:C) and also in their EGCG dose (0.0 or 0.4 mM). We found that bees fed sucrose only solution survived better than bees fed EAA diets. Despite this, bees preferred a diet that contained intermediate ratios of EAA:C (ca. 1:25), which may represent the high demands for nitrogen of developing nurse bees. EGCG supplementation improved honeybee survival but only at an intermediate dose (0.3-0.5 mM) and in bees fed low EAA diets (1:250, 1:100 EAA:C). That EGCG counteracted the lifespan reducing effects of eating low EAA diets suggests that oxidative damage may be involved in the association between EAAs and lifespan in honeybees. However, that EGCG had no effect on survival in bees fed high EAA diets suggests that there are other physiological costs of over-consuming EAAs in honeybees.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  2. Detection of neural activity in the brains of Japanese honeybee workers during the formation of a "hot defensive bee ball".

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Kiya, Taketoshi; Kunieda, Takekazu; Ono, Masato; Yoshida, Tadaharu; Kubo, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    Anti-predator behaviors are essential to survival for most animals. The neural bases of such behaviors, however, remain largely unknown. Although honeybees commonly use their stingers to counterattack predators, the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) uses a different strategy to fight against the giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica). Instead of stinging the hornet, Japanese honeybees form a "hot defensive bee ball" by surrounding the hornet en masse, killing it with heat. The European honeybee (A. mellifera ligustica), on the other hand, does not exhibit this behavior, and their colonies are often destroyed by a hornet attack. In the present study, we attempted to analyze the neural basis of this behavior by mapping the active brain regions of Japanese honeybee workers during the formation of a hot defensive bee ball. First, we identified an A. cerana homolog (Acks = Apis cerana kakusei) of kakusei, an immediate early gene that we previously identified from A. mellifera, and showed that Acks has characteristics similar to kakusei and can be used to visualize active brain regions in A. cerana. Using Acks as a neural activity marker, we demonstrated that neural activity in the mushroom bodies, especially in Class II Kenyon cells, one subtype of mushroom body intrinsic neurons, and a restricted area between the dorsal lobes and the optic lobes was increased in the brains of Japanese honeybee workers involved in the formation of a hot defensive bee ball. In addition, workers exposed to 46°C heat also exhibited Acks expression patterns similar to those observed in the brains of workers involved in the formation of a hot defensive bee ball, suggesting that the neural activity observed in the brains of workers involved in the hot defensive bee ball mainly reflects thermal stimuli processing.

  3. A parent-of-origin effect on honeybee worker ovary size.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Allsopp, Michael H; Roth, Katherine M; Remnant, Emily J; Drewell, Robert A; Beekman, Madeleine

    2014-01-22

    Apis mellifera capensis is unique among honeybees in that unmated workers can produce pseudo-clonal female offspring via thelytokous parthenogenesis. Workers use this ability to compete among themselves and with their queen to be the mother of new queens. Males could therefore enhance their reproductive success by imprinting genes that enhance fertility in their daughter workers. This possibility sets the scene for intragenomic conflict between queens and drones over worker reproductive traits. Here, we show a strong parent-of-origin effect for ovary size (number of ovarioles) in reciprocal crosses between two honeybee subspecies, A. m. capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata. In this cross, workers with an A. m. capensis father had 30% more ovarioles than genotypically matched workers with an A. m. scutellata father. Other traits we measured (worker weight at emergence and the presence/absence of a spermatheca) are influenced more by rearing conditions than by parent-of-origin effects. Our study is the first to show a strong epigenetic (or, less likely, cytoplasmic maternal) effect for a reproductive trait in the honeybee and suggests that a search for parent-of-origin effects in other social insects may be fruitful.

  4. A new record of phoretic mites on honey bee Apis mellifera L. in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Abou Senna, F M

    1997-12-01

    Five species of mites, belonging to different families, were found infesting honeybee workers, Apis mellifera L., in different apiaries in Al-Gharbiya Governorate, Nile Delta. All the identified species except Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans (Varroidae) are new records for the phoretic bee mites in Egypt. These are Neocypholaelaps indica Evans (Ameroseiidae), Pediculochelus raulti Lavoipiere (Pediculochelidae), Tarsonemus indoapis Lindquist (Tarsonemidae) and Chaetodactylus osmiae (dufour) (Chaetodactylidae). The host parasite relationship was discussed. A brief diagnosis with diagrammatic illustrations is given.

  5. Energetics reveals physiologically distinct castes in a eusocial mammal.

    PubMed

    Scantlebury, M; Speakman, J R; Oosthuizen, M K; Roper, T J; Bennett, N C

    2006-04-06

    Eusociality, which occurs among mammals only in two species of African mole-rat, is characterized by division of labour between morphologically distinct 'castes'. In Damaraland mole-rats (Cryptomys damarensis), colony labour is divided between 'infrequent worker' and 'frequent worker' castes. Frequent workers are active year-round and together perform more than 95% of the total work of the colony, whereas infrequent workers typically perform less than 5% of the total work. Anecdotal evidence suggests that infrequent workers may act as dispersers, with dispersal being limited to comparatively rare periods when the soil is softened by moisture. Here we show that infrequent workers and queens increase their daily energy expenditure after rainfall whereas frequent workers do not. Infrequent workers are also fatter than frequent workers. We suggest that infrequent workers constitute a physiologically distinct dispersing caste, the members of which, instead of contributing to the work of the colony and helping the queen to reproduce, build up their own body reserves in preparation for dispersal and reproduction when environmental conditions are suitable.

  6. Dancing for Food: The Language of the Honeybees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    D'Agostino, Jo Beth; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Presents an activity that teaches children the language of the honeybee--and which transforms the classroom into a honeybee colony. Children mimic the foraging behavior of honeybees and learn to appreciate the importance of community effort among animals. (PR)

  7. Long-term effect of temperature on honey yield and honeybee phenology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langowska, Aleksandra; Zawilak, Michał; Sparks, Tim H.; Glazaczow, Adam; Tomkins, Peter W.; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-12-01

    There is growing concern about declines in pollinator species, and more recently reservations have been expressed about mismatch in plant-pollinator synchrony as a consequence of phenological change caused by rising temperatures. Long-term changes in honeybee Apis mellifera phenology may have major consequences for agriculture, especially the pollinator market, as well as for honey production. To date, these aspects have received only modest attention. In the current study, we examine honeybee and beekeeping activity in southern Poland for the period 1965-2010, supplemented by hive yields from a beekeeper in southern UK in the same period. We show that despite negative reports on honeybee condition, and documented climate change, the studied apiary managed to show a marked increase in honey production over the 46 year study period, as did that from the UK. The proportion of the annual yield originating from the first harvest decreased during the study period and was associated with rising temperatures in summer. Honeybee spring phenology showed strong negative relationships with temperature but no overall change through time because temperatures of key early spring months had not increased significantly. In contrast, increasing yields and an increased number of harvests (and hence a later final harvest and longer season) were detected and were related to rising temperatures in late spring and in summer.

  8. Honeybees prefer warmer nectar and less viscous nectar, regardless of sugar concentration.

    PubMed

    Nicolson, Susan W; de Veer, Leo; Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W W

    2013-09-22

    The internal temperature of flowers may be higher than air temperature, and warmer nectar could offer energetic advantages for honeybee thermoregulation, as well as being easier to drink owing to its lower viscosity. We investigated the responses of Apis mellifera scutellata (10 colonies) to warmed 10% w/w sucrose solutions, maintained at 20-35°C, independent of low air temperatures, and to 20% w/w sucrose solutions with the viscosity increased by the addition of the inert polysaccharide Tylose (up to the equivalent of 34.5% sucrose). Honeybee crop loads increased with nectar temperature, as did the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h by all bees visiting the feeders. In addition, the preference of marked honeybees shifted towards higher nectar temperatures with successive feeder visits. Crop loads were inversely proportional to the viscosity of the artificial nectar, as was the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h. Marked honeybees avoided higher nectar viscosities with successive feeder visits. Bees thus showed strong preferences for both warmer and less viscous nectar, independent of changes in its sugar concentration. Bees may benefit from foraging on nectars that are warmer than air temperature for two reasons that are not mutually exclusive: reduced thermoregulatory costs and faster ingestion times due to the lower viscosity.

  9. Inside Honeybee Hives: Impact of Natural Propolis on the Ectoparasitic Mite Varroa destructor and Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Drescher, Nora; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Neumann, Peter; Yañez, Orlando; Leonhardt, Sara D.

    2017-01-01

    Social immunity is a key factor for honeybee health, including behavioral defense strategies such as the collective use of antimicrobial plant resins (propolis). While laboratory data repeatedly show significant propolis effects, field data are scarce, especially at the colony level. Here, we investigated whether propolis, as naturally deposited in the nests, can protect honeybees against ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and associated viruses, which are currently considered the most serious biological threat to European honeybee subspecies, Apis mellifera, globally. Propolis intake of 10 field colonies was manipulated by either reducing or adding freshly collected propolis. Mite infestations, titers of deformed wing virus (DWV) and sacbrood virus (SBV), resin intake, as well as colony strength were recorded monthly from July to September 2013. We additionally examined the effect of raw propolis volatiles on mite survival in laboratory assays. Our results showed no significant effects of adding or removing propolis on mite survival and infestation levels. However, in relation to V. destructor, DWV titers increased significantly less in colonies with added propolis than in propolis-removed colonies, whereas SBV titers were similar. Colonies with added propolis were also significantly stronger than propolis-removed colonies. These findings indicate that propolis may interfere with the dynamics of V. destructor-transmitted viruses, thereby further emphasizing the importance of propolis for honeybee health. PMID:28178181

  10. Long-term effect of temperature on honey yield and honeybee phenology.

    PubMed

    Langowska, Aleksandra; Zawilak, Michał; Sparks, Tim H; Glazaczow, Adam; Tomkins, Peter W; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-12-24

    There is growing concern about declines in pollinator species, and more recently reservations have been expressed about mismatch in plant-pollinator synchrony as a consequence of phenological change caused by rising temperatures. Long-term changes in honeybee Apis mellifera phenology may have major consequences for agriculture, especially the pollinator market, as well as for honey production. To date, these aspects have received only modest attention. In the current study, we examine honeybee and beekeeping activity in southern Poland for the period 1965-2010, supplemented by hive yields from a beekeeper in southern UK in the same period. We show that despite negative reports on honeybee condition, and documented climate change, the studied apiary managed to show a marked increase in honey production over the 46 year study period, as did that from the UK. The proportion of the annual yield originating from the first harvest decreased during the study period and was associated with rising temperatures in summer. Honeybee spring phenology showed strong negative relationships with temperature but no overall change through time because temperatures of key early spring months had not increased significantly. In contrast, increasing yields and an increased number of harvests (and hence a later final harvest and longer season) were detected and were related to rising temperatures in late spring and in summer.

  11. Honeybees prefer warmer nectar and less viscous nectar, regardless of sugar concentration

    PubMed Central

    Nicolson, Susan W.; de Veer, Leo; Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W. W.

    2013-01-01

    The internal temperature of flowers may be higher than air temperature, and warmer nectar could offer energetic advantages for honeybee thermoregulation, as well as being easier to drink owing to its lower viscosity. We investigated the responses of Apis mellifera scutellata (10 colonies) to warmed 10% w/w sucrose solutions, maintained at 20–35°C, independent of low air temperatures, and to 20% w/w sucrose solutions with the viscosity increased by the addition of the inert polysaccharide Tylose (up to the equivalent of 34.5% sucrose). Honeybee crop loads increased with nectar temperature, as did the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h by all bees visiting the feeders. In addition, the preference of marked honeybees shifted towards higher nectar temperatures with successive feeder visits. Crop loads were inversely proportional to the viscosity of the artificial nectar, as was the total consumption of sucrose solutions over 2 h. Marked honeybees avoided higher nectar viscosities with successive feeder visits. Bees thus showed strong preferences for both warmer and less viscous nectar, independent of changes in its sugar concentration. Bees may benefit from foraging on nectars that are warmer than air temperature for two reasons that are not mutually exclusive: reduced thermoregulatory costs and faster ingestion times due to the lower viscosity. PMID:23902913

  12. Temporal pattern of africanization in a feral honeybee population from Texas inferred from mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Pinto, M Alice; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Patton, John C; Johnston, J Spencer

    2004-05-01

    The invasion of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) in the Americas provides a window of opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of subspecies of bees that evolved in allopatry in ecologically distinctive habitats of the Old World. We report here the results of an 11-year mitochondrial DNA survey of a feral honeybee population from southern United States (Texas). The mitochondrial haplotype (mitotype) frequencies changed radically during the 11-year study period. Prior to immigration of Africanized honeybees, the resident population was essentially of eastern and western European maternal ancestry. Three years after detection of the first Africanized swarm there was a mitotype turnover in the population from predominantly eastern European to predominantly A. m. scutellata (ancestor of Africanized honeybees). This remarkable change in the mitotype composition coincided with arrival of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which was likely responsible for severe losses experienced by colonies of European ancestry. From 1997 onward the population stabilized with most colonies of A. m. scutellata maternal origin.

  13. Visual generalization in honeybees: evidence of peak shift in color discrimination.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Harms, J; Márquez, N; Menzel, R; Vorobyev, M

    2014-04-01

    In the present study, we investigated color generalization in the honeybee Apis mellifera after differential conditioning. In particular, we evaluated the effect of varying the position of a novel color along a perceptual continuum relative to familiar colors on response biases. Honeybee foragers were differentially trained to discriminate between rewarded (S+) and unrewarded (S-) colors and tested on responses toward the former S+ when presented against a novel color. A color space based on the receptor noise-limited model was used to evaluate the relationship between colors and to characterize a perceptual continuum. When S+ was tested against a novel color occupying a locus in the color space located in the same direction from S- as S+, but further away, the bees shifted their stronger response away from S- toward the novel color. These results reveal the occurrence of peak shift in the color vision of honeybees and indicate that honeybees can learn color stimuli in relational terms based on chromatic perceptual differences.

  14. Airflow and optic flow mediate antennal positioning in flying honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Roy Khurana, Taruni; Sane, Sanjay P

    2016-01-01

    To maintain their speeds during navigation, insects rely on feedback from their visual and mechanosensory modalities. Although optic flow plays an essential role in speed determination, it is less reliable under conditions of low light or sparse landmarks. Under such conditions, insects rely on feedback from antennal mechanosensors but it is not clear how these inputs combine to elicit flight-related antennal behaviours. We here show that antennal movements of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, are governed by combined visual and antennal mechanosensory inputs. Frontal airflow, as experienced during forward flight, causes antennae to actively move forward as a sigmoidal function of absolute airspeed values. However, corresponding front-to-back optic flow causes antennae to move backward, as a linear function of relative optic flow, opposite the airspeed response. When combined, these inputs maintain antennal position in a state of dynamic equilibrium. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14449.001 PMID:27097104

  15. Honeybee society destruction by losing control of self-reproduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Peipei; Su, Beibei; He, Da-Ren

    2004-03-01

    Recently the mechanism of the damage caused by invasion of Apis mellifera capensis honeybee into the normal A. M. Scutellata colonies became interesting for scientists due to the fact that the mechanism may resemble those of cancer vicious hyperplasia, spreading of some epidemic, and turbulence of society induced by some bad society groups. For the mechanism, we suggest a new guess, which means that the losing control of self-reproduction disturbs and throws information structure of the society into confuse. We also simulate the damage process with a cellular automata based on the idea. The simulation shows that the process is equivalent to a non-equilibrium percolation phase transition. This discussion remind us that the management and monitor on the information network between society members may be a more effective way for avoiding the overflow of the destructor sub-colonies.

  16. Honeybee flight metabolic rate: does it depend upon air temperature?

    PubMed

    Woods, William A; Heinrich, Bernd; Stevenson, Robert D

    2005-03-01

    Differing conclusions have been reached as to how or whether varying heat production has a thermoregulatory function in flying honeybees Apis mellifera. We investigated the effects of air temperature on flight metabolic rate, water loss, wingbeat frequency, body segment temperatures and behavior of honeybees flying in transparent containment outdoors. For periods of voluntary, uninterrupted, self-sustaining flight, metabolic rate was independent of air temperature between 19 and 37 degrees C. Thorax temperatures (T(th)) were very stable, with a slope of thorax temperature on air temperature of 0.18. Evaporative heat loss increased from 51 mW g(-1) at 25 degrees C to 158 mW g(-1) at 37 degrees C and appeared to account for head and abdomen temperature excess falling sharply over the same air temperature range. As air temperature increased from 19 to 37 degrees C, wingbeat frequency showed a slight but significant increase, and metabolic expenditure per wingbeat showed a corresponding slight but significant decrease. Bees spent an average of 52% of the measurement period in flight, with 19 of 78 bees sustaining uninterrupted voluntary flight for periods of >1 min. The fraction of time spent flying declined as air temperature increased. As the fraction of time spent flying decreased, the slope of metabolic rate on air temperature became more steeply negative, and was significant for bees flying less than 80% of the time. In a separate experiment, there was a significant inverse relationship of metabolic rate and air temperature for bees requiring frequent or constant agitation to remain airborne, but no dependence for bees that flew with little or no agitation; bees were less likely to require agitation during outdoor than indoor measurements. A recent hypothesis explaining differences between studies in the slope of flight metabolic rate on air temperature in terms of differences in metabolic capacity and thorax temperature is supported for honeybees in voluntary

  17. Two odometers in honeybees?

    PubMed

    Dacke, M; Srinivasan, M V

    2008-10-01

    Although several studies have examined how honeybees gauge and report the distance and direction of a food source to their nestmates, relatively little is known about how this information is combined to obtain a representation of the position of the food source. In this study we manipulate the amount of celestial compass information available to the bee during flight, and analyse the encoding of spatial information in the waggle dance as well as in the navigation of the foraging bee. We find that the waggle dance encodes information about the total distance flown to the food source, even when celestial compass cues are available only for a part of the journey. This stands in contrast to how a bee gauges distance flown when it navigates back to a food source that it already knows. When bees were trained to find a feeder placed at a fixed distance in a tunnel in which celestial cues were partially occluded and then tested in a tunnel that was fully open to the sky, they searched for the feeder at a distance that corresponds closely to the distance that was flown under the open sky during the training. Thus, when navigating back to a food source, information about distance travelled is disregarded when there is no concurrent input from the celestial compass. We suggest that bees may possess two different odometers - a 'community' odometer that is used to provide information to nestmates via the dance, and a 'personal' odometer that is used by an experienced individual to return to a previously visited source.

  18. Climate rather than geography separates two European honeybee subspecies.

    PubMed

    Coroian, Cristian O; Muñoz, Irene; Schlüns, Ellen A; Paniti-Teleky, Orsolya R; Erler, Silvio; Furdui, Emilia M; Mărghitaş, Liviu A; Dezmirean, Daniel S; Schlüns, Helge; de la Rúa, Pilar; Moritz, Robin F A

    2014-05-01

    Both climatic and geographical factors play an important role for the biogeographical distribution of species. The Carpathian mountain ridge has been suggested as a natural geographical divide between the two honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera carnica and A. m. macedonica. We sampled one worker from one colony each at 138 traditional apiaries located across the Carpathians spanning from the Hungarian plains to the Danube delta. All samples were sequenced at the mitochondrial tRNA(Leu)-cox2 intergenic region and genotyped at twelve microsatellite loci. The Carpathians had only limited impact on the biogeography because both subspecies were abundant on either side of the mountain ridge. In contrast, subspecies differentiation strongly correlated with the various temperature zones in Romania. A. m. carnica is more abundant in regions with the mean average temperature below 9 °C, whereas A. m. macedonica honeybees are more frequent in regions with mean temperatures above 9 °C. This range selection may have impact on the future biogeography in the light of anticipated global climatic changes.

  19. Neonicotinoid-induced impairment of odour coding in the honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Andrione, Mara; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Antolini, Renzo; Haase, Albrecht

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides is considered one of the possible causes of honeybee (Apis mellifera) population decline. At sublethal doses, these chemicals have been shown to negatively affect a number of behaviours, including performance of olfactory learning and memory, due to their interference with acetylcholine signalling in the mushroom bodies. Here we provide evidence that neonicotinoids can affect odour coding upstream of the mushroom bodies, in the first odour processing centres of the honeybee brain, i.e. the antennal lobes (ALs). In particular, we investigated the effects of imidacloprid, the most common neonicotinoid, in the AL glomeruli via in vivo two-photon calcium imaging combined with pulsed odour stimulation. Following acute imidacloprid treatment, odour-evoked calcium response amplitude in single glomeruli decreases, and at the network level the representations of different odours are no longer separated. This demonstrates that, under neonicotinoid influence, olfactory information might reach the mushroom bodies in a form that is already incorrect. Thus, some of the impairments in olfactory learning and memory caused by neonicotinoids could, in fact, arise from the disruption in odor coding and olfactory discrimination ability of the honey bees. PMID:27905515

  20. Brood comb as a humidity buffer in honeybee nests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellis, Michael B.; Nicolson, Sue W.; Crewe, Robin M.; Dietemann, Vincent

    2010-04-01

    Adverse environmental conditions can be evaded, tolerated or modified in order for an organism to survive. During their development, some insect larvae spin cocoons which, in addition to protecting their occupants against predators, modify microclimatic conditions, thus facilitating thermoregulation or reducing evaporative water loss. Silk cocoons are spun by honeybee ( Apis mellifera) larvae and subsequently incorporated into the cell walls of the wax combs in which they develop. The accumulation of this hygroscopic silk in the thousands of cells used for brood rearing may significantly affect nest homeostasis by buffering humidity fluctuations. This study investigates the extent to which the comb may influence homeostasis by quantifying the hygroscopic capacity of the cocoons spun by honeybee larvae. When comb containing cocoons was placed at high humidity, it absorbed 11% of its own mass in water within 4 days. Newly drawn comb composed of hydrophobic wax and devoid of cocoons absorbed only 3% of its own mass. Therefore, the accumulation of cocoons in the comb may increase brood survivorship by maintaining a high and stable humidity in the cells.

  1. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P.; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M.

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3–5- and 17–19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects. PMID:27375445

  2. Odor Experiences during Preimaginal Stages Cause Behavioral and Neural Plasticity in Adult Honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Gabriela; Fagundez, Carol; Grosso, Juan P; Argibay, Pablo; Arenas, Andrés; Farina, Walter M

    2016-01-01

    In eusocial insects, experiences acquired during the development have long-term consequences on mature behavior. In the honeybee that suffers profound changes associated with metamorphosis, the effect of odor experiences at larval instars on the subsequent physiological and behavioral response is still unclear. To address the impact of preimaginal experiences on the adult honeybee, colonies containing larvae were fed scented food. The effect of the preimaginal experiences with the food odor was assessed in learning performance, memory retention and generalization in 3-5- and 17-19 day-old bees, in the regulation of their expression of synaptic-related genes and in the perception and morphology of their antennae. Three-five day old bees that experienced 1-hexanol (1-HEX) as food scent responded more to the presentation of the odor during the 1-HEX conditioning than control bees (i.e., bees reared in colonies fed unscented food). Higher levels of proboscis extension response (PER) to 1-HEX in this group also extended to HEXA, the most perceptually similar odor to the experienced one that we tested. These results were not observed for the group tested at older ages. In the brain of young adults, larval experiences triggered similar levels of neurexins (NRXs) and neuroligins (Nlgs) expression, two proteins that have been involved in synaptic formation after associative learning. At the sensory periphery, the experience did not alter the number of the olfactory sensilla placoidea, but did reduce the electrical response of the antennae to the experienced and novel odor. Our study provides a new insight into the effects of preimaginal experiences in the honeybee and the mechanisms underlying olfactory plasticity at larval stage of holometabolous insects.

  3. Multiple host shifts by the emerging honeybee parasite, Varroa jacobsoni.

    PubMed

    Roberts, J M K; Anderson, D L; Tay, W T

    2015-05-01

    Host shifts are a key mechanism of parasite evolution and responsible for the emergence of many economically important pathogens. Varroa destructor has been a major factor in global honeybee (Apis mellifera) declines since shifting hosts from the Asian honeybee (Apis cerana) > 50 years ago. Until recently, only two haplotypes of V. destructor (Korea and Japan) had successfully host shifted to A. mellifera. In 2008, the sister species V. jacobsoni was found for the first time parasitizing A. mellifera in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This recent host shift presents a serious threat to world apiculture but also provides the opportunity to examine host shifting in this system. We used 12 microsatellites to compare genetic variation of V. jacobsoni on A. mellifera in PNG with mites on A. cerana in both PNG and surrounding regions. We identified two distinct lineages of V. jacobsoni reproducing on A. mellifera in PNG. Our analysis indicated independent host shift events have occurred through small numbers of mites shifting from local A. cerana populations. Additional lineages were found in the neighbouring Papua and Solomon Islands that had partially host shifted to A. mellifera, that is producing immature offspring on drone brood only. These mites were likely in transition to full colonization of A. mellifera. Significant population structure between mites on the different hosts suggested host shifted V. jacobsoni populations may not still reproduce on A. cerana, although limited gene flow may exist. Our studies provide further insight into parasite host shift evolution and help characterize this new Varroa mite threat to A. mellifera worldwide.

  4. Trichomonascus apis sp. nov., a heterothallic yeast species from honeycomb.

    PubMed

    Péter, Gábor; Tornai-Lehoczki, Judit; Dlauchy, Dénes

    2009-06-01

    Four strains of a novel heterothallic yeast species were isolated from pollen-storing cells of a honeycomb of honeybee (Apis mellifera) in Hungary. Analysis of the D1/D2 domain of the large-subunit (26S) rRNA gene sequences placed the strains in the Trichomonascus clade. The four strains share identical D1/D2 sequences and differ by 24 substitutions and nine indels from the genetically most closely related species, Blastobotrys attinorum. The name Trichomonascus apis sp. nov. is proposed for the novel species. The carbon-source assimilation spectrum of T. apis sp. nov. is rather broad. Unlike B. attinorum, it assimilates sucrose, trehalose, d-glucuronate and succinate and does not grow at 37 degrees C, thus enabling the two taxa to be distinguished. The type and isotype strains of Trichomonascus apis are NCAIM Y.01848(T) (=CBS 10922(T) =NRRL Y-48475(T)) and NCAIM Y.01849(IT) (=CBS 10923(IT) =NRRL Y-48476(IT)), respectively.

  5. The Darwin cure for apiculture? Natural selection and managed honeybee health.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Peter; Blacquière, Tjeerd

    2017-03-01

    Recent major losses of managed honeybee, Apis mellifera, colonies at a global scale have resulted in a multitude of research efforts to identify the underlying mechanisms. Numerous factors acting singly and/or in combination have been identified, ranging from pathogens, over nutrition to pesticides. However, the role of apiculture in limiting natural selection has largely been ignored. This is unfortunate, because honeybees are more exposed to environmental stressors compared to other livestock and management can severely compromise bee health. Here, we briefly review apicultural factors that influence bee health and focus on those most likely interfering with natural selection, which offers a broad range of evolutionary applications for field practice. Despite intense breeding over centuries, natural selection appears to be much more relevant for the health of managed A. mellifera colonies than previously thought. We conclude that sustainable solutions for the apicultural sector can only be achieved by taking advantage of natural selection and not by attempting to limit it.

  6. Comparison of homeobox-containing genes of the honeybee and Drosophila.

    PubMed Central

    Walldorf, U; Fleig, R; Gehring, W J

    1989-01-01

    We report the isolation of seven homeobox-containing genes from the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Sequence analysis of all homeoboxes and some flanking sequences showed that six of seven genes are more than 90% identical to their corresponding Drosophila homologues within the homeobox and, with one exception, also in the flanking sequences. The homologues that were identified include three homeotic selector genes [Sex combs reduced (Scr), Antennapedia (Antp), and abdominal-A (abd-A); the two engrailed (en) genes; and the muscle segment homeobox (msh)]. Surprisingly, no homologue of the segmentation gene fushi tarazu was found in the honeybee. For the remaining bee gene, a Drosophila homologue is not known. This indicates that, with some exceptions, structurally homologous genes are involved in the control of bee and Drosophila development, although Hymenoptera differ significantly in their embryogenesis from Diptera and have evolved separately for some 250 million years. Images PMID:2574865

  7. Sensing the intruder: a quantitative threshold for recognition cues perception in honeybees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cappa, Federico; Bruschini, Claudia; Cipollini, Maria; Pieraccini, Giuseppe; Cervo, Rita

    2014-02-01

    The ability to discriminate among nestmates and non-nestmate is essential to defend social insect colonies from intruders. Over the years, nestmate recognition has been extensively studied in the honeybee Apis mellifera; nevertheless, the quantitative perceptual aspects at the basis of the recognition system represent an unexplored subject in this species. To test the existence of a cuticular hydrocarbons' quantitative perception threshold for nestmate recognition cues, we conducted behavioural assays by presenting different amounts of a foreign forager's chemical profile to honeybees at the entrance of their colonies. We found an increase in the explorative and aggressive responses as the amount of cues increased based on a threshold mechanism, highlighting the importance of the quantitative perceptual features for the recognition processes in A. mellifera.

  8. Invertebrate learning and memory: Fifty years of olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2012-02-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has emerged as a robust and influential model for the study of classical conditioning, thanks to the existence of a powerful Pavlovian conditioning protocol, the olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER). In 2011, the olfactory PER conditioning protocol celebrates 50 years since it was first introduced by Kimihisa Takeda in 1961. Here, we review its origins, developments, and perspectives in order to define future research avenues and necessary methodological and conceptual evolutions. We show that olfactory PER conditioning has become a versatile tool for the study of questions in extremely diverse fields in addition to the study of learning and memory and that it has allowed behavioral characterizations, not only of honeybees, but also of other insect species, for which the protocol was adapted. We celebrate, therefore, Takeda's original work and prompt colleagues to conceive and establish further robust behavioral tools for an accurate characterization of insect learning and memory at multiple levels of analysis.

  9. Spider movement, UV reflectance and size, but not spider crypsis, affect the response of honeybees to Australian crab spiders.

    PubMed

    Llandres, Ana L; Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A

    2011-02-16

    According to the crypsis hypothesis, the ability of female crab spiders to change body colour and match the colour of flowers has been selected because flower visitors are less likely to detect spiders that match the colour of the flowers used as hunting platform. However, recent findings suggest that spider crypsis plays a minor role in predator detection and some studies even showed that pollinators can become attracted to flowers harbouring Australian crab spider when the UV contrast between spider and flower increases. Here we studied the response of Apis mellifera honeybees to the presence of white or yellow Thomisus spectabilis Australian crab spiders sitting on Bidens alba inflorescences and also the response of honeybees to crab spiders that we made easily detectable painting blue their forelimbs or abdomen. To account for the visual systems of crab spider's prey, we measured the reflectance properties of the spiders and inflorescences used for the experiments. We found that honeybees did not respond to the degree of matching between spiders and inflorescences (either chromatic or achromatic contrast): they responded similarly to white and yellow spiders, to control and painted spiders. However spider UV reflection, spider size and spider movement determined honeybee behaviour: the probability that honeybees landed on spider-harbouring inflorescences was greatest when the spiders were large and had high UV reflectance or when spiders were small and reflected little UV, and honeybees were more likely to reject inflorescences if spiders moved as the bee approached the inflorescence. Our study suggests that only the large, but not the small Australian crab spiders deceive their preys by reflecting UV light, and highlights the importance of other cues that elicited an anti-predator response in honeybees.

  10. Caste determination through mating in primitively eusocial societies.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Eric R; Field, Jeremy

    2013-10-21

    Eusocial animal societies are typified by the presence of a helper (worker) caste which predominantly cares for young offspring in a social group while investing little in their own direct reproduction. A key question is what determines whether an individual becomes a worker or leaves to initiate her own reproduction. In some insects, caste is determined nutritionally during development. In others, and in vertebrate societies, adults are totipotent and the cues that determine caste are less well known. The mate limitation hypothesis (MLH) states that a female's mating status acts as a cue for caste determination: females that mate become reproductives, while those that fail to mate become workers. The MLH is consistent with empirical observations in sweat bees showing that over the course of the nesting season, there are increases in both the proportion of females that become reproductives and the frequency of males in the mating pool. We modelled a foundress's offspring sex-ratio strategy to investigate whether an increasingly male-biased operational sex-ratio over time is evolutionarily stable under the MLH. Our results indicate that such a pattern could occur if early workers were more valuable than late workers. This pattern was then more likely if male mortality was high, if worker mortality was low, if the value of a worker was high and if the period over which workers can help was short. Our results suggest that the MLH can be evolutionarily stable, but only under restrictive conditions. Manipulative experiments are now required to investigate whether mating determines caste in nature.

  11. Little effect of seasonal constraints on population genetic structure in eusocial paper wasps

    PubMed Central

    Lengronne, Thibault; Leadbeater, Ellouise; Patalano, Solenn; Dreier, Stephanie; Field, Jeremy; Sumner, Seirian; Keller, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Climate has long been suggested to affect population genetic structures of eusocial insect societies. For instance, Hamilton [Journal of Theoretical Biology 7 (1964) 17] discusses whether temperate and tropical eusocial insects may show differences in population-level genetic structure and viscosity, and how this might relate to differences in the degree of synchrony in their life cycles or modes of nest founding. Despite the importance of Hamilton's 1964 papers, this specific idea has not been tested in actual populations of wasps, probably due to the paucity of studies on tropical species. Here, we compare colony and population genetic structures in two species of primitively eusocial paper wasps with contrasting ecologies: the tropical species Polistes canadensis and the temperate species P. dominulus. Our results provide important clarifications of Hamilton's discussion. Specifically, we show that the genetic structures of the temperate and tropical species were very similar, indicating that seasonality does not greatly affect population viscosity or inbreeding. For both species, the high genetic differentiation between nests suggests strong selection at the nest level to live with relatives, whereas low population viscosity and low genetic differentiation between nest aggregations might reflect balancing selection to disperse, avoiding competition with relatives. Overall, our study suggests no prevalence of seasonal constraints of the life cycle in affecting the population genetic structure of eusocial paper wasps. These conclusions are likely to apply also to other primitively eusocial insects, such as halictine bees. They also highlight how selection for a kin structure that promotes altruism can override potential effects of ecology in eusocial insects. PMID:23145345

  12. EPA Envirofacts API

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Envirofacts integrates information from a variety of EPA's environmental databases. Each of these databases contains information about facilities that are required to report activity to a state or federal system. Using this API, you can retrieve informati

  13. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach.

    PubMed

    Danneels, Ellen L; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-10-30

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings.

  14. Honeybee Venom Proteome Profile of Queens and Winter Bees as Determined by a Mass Spectrometric Approach

    PubMed Central

    Danneels, Ellen L.; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2015-01-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings. PMID:26529016

  15. In-depth phosphoproteomic analysis of royal jelly derived from western and eastern honeybee species.

    PubMed

    Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Lu, Xiaoshan; Huo, Xinmei; Meng, Lifeng; Wu, Bin; Li, Jianke

    2014-12-05

    The proteins in royal jelly (RJ) play a pivotal role in the nutrition, immune defense, and cast determination of honeybee larvae and have a wide range of pharmacological and health-promoting functions for humans as well. Although the importance of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in protein function is known, investigation of protein phosphorylation of RJ proteins is still very limited. To this end, two complementary phosphopeptide enrichment materials (Ti(4+)-IMAC and TiO2) and high-sensitivity mass spectrometry were applied to establish a detailed phosphoproteome map and to qualitatively and quantitatively compare the phosphoproteomes of RJ produced by Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) and Apis cerana cerana (Acc). In total, 16 phosphoproteins carrying 67 phosphorylation sites were identified in RJ derived from western bees, and nine proteins phosphorylated on 71 sites were found in RJ produced by eastern honeybees. Of which, eight phosphorylated proteins were common to both RJ samples, and the same motif ([S-x-E]) was extracted, suggesting that the function of major RJ proteins as nutrients and immune agents is evolutionary preserved in both of these honeybee species. All eight overlapping phosphoproteins showed significantly higher abundance in Acc-RJ than in Aml-RJ, and the phosphorylation of Jelleine-II (an antimicrobial peptide, TPFKLSLHL) at S(6) in Acc-RJ had stronger antimicrobial properties than that at T(1) in Aml-RJ even though the overall antimicrobial activity of Jelleine-II was found to decrease after phosphorylation. The differences in phosphosites, peptide abundance, and antimicrobial activity of the phosphorylated RJ proteins indicate that the two major honeybee species employ distinct phosphorylation strategies that align with their different biological characteristics shaped by evolution. The phosphorylation of RJ proteins are potentially driven by the activity of extracellular serine/threonine protein kinase FAM20C-like protein (FAM20C

  16. Cyclic Nucleotide-Gated Channels, Calmodulin, Adenylyl Cyclase, and Calcium/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase II Are Required for Late, but Not Early, Long-Term Memory Formation in the Honeybee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Devaud, Jean-Marc; Lormant, Flore; Mizunami, Makoto; Giurfa, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Memory is a dynamic process that allows encoding, storage, and retrieval of information acquired through individual experience. In the honeybee "Apis mellifera," olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension response (PER) has shown that besides short-term memory (STM) and mid-term memory (MTM), two phases of long-term memory (LTM)…

  17. Inheritance of traits associated with reproductive potential in Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata workers.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Lyndon A; Allsopp, Michael H; Beekman, Madeleine; Wossler, Theresa C; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2008-01-01

    When workers of the thelytokous Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, come into contact with colonies of the neighboring arrhenotokous subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, they can become lethal social parasites. We examined the inheritance of 3 traits (number of ovarioles, number of basitarsal hairs, and size of spermatheca) that are thought to be associated with reproductive potential in A. m. capensis workers. To do so, we produced hybrid A. m. scutellata/A. m. capensis queens and backcrossed them to either A. m. capensis or A. m. scutellata drones. We then measured the 3 traits in parental, hybrid, and backcross offspring. We show that the 3 traits are phenotypically correlated. We also show that the expression of ovariole number, basitarsal hairs, and size of spermatheca is influenced by the genotype of the individual and the rearing environment but that the influence of the rearing environment is less important to the number of ovarioles. We hypothesize a single recessive allele (l), present at high frequency in natural A. m. capensis populations, which when homozygous causes larvae to elicit more food. This increased feeding as larvae causes resulting adult workers to develop more queen-like morphology and increased reproductive potential. The number of ovarioles, in contrast, appears to be under independent genetic control.

  18. Honeybees and nectar nicotine: deterrence and reduced survival versus potential health benefits.

    PubMed

    Köhler, Angela; Pirk, Christian W W; Nicolson, Susan W

    2012-02-01

    Secondary metabolites produced by plants for herbivore defence are often found in floral nectar, but their effect on the foraging behaviour and physiological performance of pollinators is largely unknown. Nicotine is highly toxic to most herbivores, and nicotine-based insecticides may contribute to current pollinator declines. We examined the effects of nectar nicotine on honeybee foraging choices and worker longevity. Free-flying honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) workers from six colonies were given a choice between multiple nicotine concentrations (0-1000 μM) in artificial nectar (0.15-0.63 M sucrose). The dose-dependent deterrent effect of nicotine was stronger in lower sugar concentrations, but even the highest nicotine concentrations did not completely repel honeybees, i.e., bees did not stop feeding on these diets. Nicotine in nectar acts as a partial repellent, which may keep pollinators moving between plants and enhance cross-pollination. In the second part of the study, newly emerged workers from 12 colonies were caged and fed one of four nicotine concentrations (0-300 μM) in 0.63 M sucrose for 21 days. Moderate (≤30 μM) nicotine concentrations had no significant detrimental effect, but high nicotine concentrations reduced the survival of caged workers and their nectar storage in the honey comb. In contrast, worker groups that survived poorly on sugar-only diets demonstrated increased survival on all nicotine diets. In the absence of alternative nectar sources, honeybees tolerate naturally occurring nectar nicotine concentrations; and low concentrations can even be beneficial to honeybees. However, high nicotine concentrations may have a detrimental effect on colony fitness.

  19. Improvement of identification methods for honeybee specific Lactic Acid Bacteria; future approaches

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yue O. O.; Olofsson, Tobias C.; Andersson, Anders F.; Forsgren, Eva; Vásquez, Alejandra

    2017-01-01

    Honeybees face many parasites and pathogens and consequently rely on a diverse set of individual and group-level defenses to prevent disease. The crop microbiota of Apis mellifera, composed of 13 Lactic Acid Bacterial (LAB) species within the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, form a beneficial symbiotic relationship with each other and the honeybee to protect their niche and their host. Possibly playing a vital role in honeybee health, it is important that these honeybee specific Lactic Acid Bacterial (hbs-LAB) symbionts can be correctly identified, isolated and cultured, to further investigate their health promoting properties. We have previously reported successful identification to the strain level by culture-dependent methods and we recently sequenced and annotated the genomes of the 13 hbs-LAB. However, the hitherto applied techniques are unfortunately very time consuming, expensive and not ideal when analyzing a vast quantity of samples. In addition, other researchers have constantly failed to identify the 13 hbs-LAB from honeybee samples by using inadequate media and/or molecular techniques based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing with insufficient discriminatory power. The aim of this study was to develop better and more suitable methods for the identification and cultivation of hbs-LAB. We compared currently used bacterial cultivation media and could for the first time demonstrate a significant variation in the hbs-LAB basic requirements for optimal growth. We also present a new bacterial identification approach based on amplicon sequencing of a region of the 16S rRNA gene using the Illumina platform and an error correction software that can be used to successfully differentiate and rapidly identify the 13 hbs-LAB to the strain level. PMID:28346815

  20. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Honeybee payment calculations. 760.210 Section 760.210... AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program § 760.210 Honeybee payment calculations. (a) An eligible honeybee producer...

  1. 7 CFR 760.210 - Honeybee payment calculations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 7 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Honeybee payment calculations. 760.210 Section 760.210... AGRICULTURE SPECIAL PROGRAMS INDEMNITY PAYMENT PROGRAMS Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program § 760.210 Honeybee payment calculations. (a) An eligible honeybee producer...

  2. The Magnetic Attraction of Honeybee Navigation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayres, David

    1991-01-01

    Discussed are the division of labor, defenses, genetics and evolution, communication, and navigation power of honeybees. The scientific and cross-curricular themes that can be offered using the economically important honeybee are described. Research that suggests that bees may be flying magnets is also discussed. (KR)

  3. Bacterial diversity in worker adults of Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata (Insecta: Hymenoptera) assessed using 16S rRNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Jeyaprakash, Ayyamperumal; Hoy, Marjorie A; Allsopp, Michael H

    2003-10-01

    High-fidelity PCR of 16S rRNA sequences was used to identify bacteria associated with worker adults of the honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera capensis and Apis mellifera scutellata. An expected approximately 1.5-kb DNA band, representing almost the entire length of the 16S rRNA gene, was amplified from both subspecies and cloned. Ten unique sequences were obtained: one sequence each clustered with Bifidobacterium (Gram-positive eubacteria), Lactobacillus (Gram-positive eubacteria), and Gluconacetobacter (Gram-negative alpha-proteobacteria); two sequences each clustered with Simonsiella (beta-proteobacteria) and Serratia (gamma-proteobacteria); and three sequences each clustered with Bartonella (alpha-proteobacteria). Although the sequences relating to these six bacterial genera initially were obtained from either A. m. capensis or A. m. scutellata or both, newly designed honeybee-specific 16S rRNA primers subsequently amplified all sequences from all individual workers of both subspecies. Attempts to amplify these sequences from eggs have failed. However, the wsp primers designed to amplify Wolbachia DNA from arthropods, including these bees, consistently produced a 0.6-kb DNA band from individual eggs, indicating that amplifiable bacterial DNA was present. Hence, the 10 bacteria could have been acquired orally from workers or from other substrates. This screening of 16S rRNA sequences from A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata found sequences related to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium which previously had been identified from other honeybee subspecies, as well as sequences related to Bartonella, Gluconacetobacter, Simonsiella/Neisseria, and Serratia, which have not been identified previously from honeybees.

  4. Assessing pollinators’ use of floral resource subsidies in agri-environment schemes: An illustration using Phacelia tanacetifolia and honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Stevenson, Georgia M.; Wratten, Steve D.

    2016-01-01

    Background Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) are frequently used in agriculture for pollination services because of their abundance, generalist floral preferences, ease of management and hive transport. However, their populations are declining in many countries. Agri-Environment Schemes (AES) are being implemented in agricultural systems to combat the decline in populations of pollinators and other insects. Despite AES being increasingly embedded in policy and budgets, scientific assessments of many of these schemes still are lacking, and only a few studies have examined the extent to which insect pollinators use the floral enhancements that are part of AES and on which floral components they feed (i.e., pollen and/or nectar). Methods In the present work, we used a combination of observations on honeybee foraging for nectar/pollen from the Californian annual plant Phacelia tanacetifolia in the field, collection of pollen pellets from hives, and pollen identification, to assess the value of adding phacelia to an agro-ecosystem to benefit honeybees. Results It was found that phacelia pollen was almost never taken by honeybees. The work here demonstrates that honeybees may not use the floral enhancements added to a landscape as expected and points to the need for more careful assessments of what resources are used by honeybees in AES and understanding the role, if any, which AES play in enhancing pollinator fitness. Discussion We recommend using the methodology in this paper to explore the efficacy of AES before particular flowering species are adopted more widely to give a more complete illustration of the actual efficacy of AES. PMID:27896027

  5. Vitellogenins Are New High Molecular Weight Components and Allergens (Api m 12 and Ves v 6) of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris Venom

    PubMed Central

    Blank, Simon; Seismann, Henning; McIntyre, Mareike; Ollert, Markus; Wolf, Sara; Bantleon, Frank I.; Spillner, Edzard

    2013-01-01

    Background/Objectives Anaphylaxis due to hymenoptera stings is one of the most severe clinical outcomes of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Although allergic reactions to hymenoptera stings are often considered as a general model for the underlying principles of allergic disease, venom immunotherapy is still hampered by severe systemic side effects and incomplete protection. The identification and detailed characterization of all allergens of hymenoptera venoms might result in an improvement in this field and promote the detailed understanding of the allergological mechanism. Our aim was the identification and detailed immunochemical and allergological characterization of the low abundant IgE-reactive 200 kDa proteins of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom. Methods/Principal Findings Tandem mass spectrometry-based sequencing of a 200 kDa venom protein yielded peptides that could be assigned to honeybee vitellogenin. The coding regions of the honeybee protein as well as of the homologue from yellow jacket venom were cloned from venom gland cDNA. The newly identified 200 kDa proteins share a sequence identity on protein level of 40% and belong to the family of vitellogenins, present in all oviparous animals, and are the first vitellogenins identified as components of venom. Both vitellogenins could be recombinantly produced as soluble proteins in insect cells and assessed for their specific IgE reactivity. The particular vitellogenins were recognized by approximately 40% of sera of venom-allergic patients even in the absence of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants. Conclusion With the vitellogenins of Apis mellifera and Vespula vulgaris venom a new homologous pair of venom allergens was identified and becomes available for future applications. Due to their allergenic properties the honeybee and the yellow jacket venom vitellogenin were designated as allergens Api m 12 and Ves v 6, respectively. PMID:23626765

  6. Honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) swing abdomen to dissipate residual flying energy landing on a wall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Jieliang; Huang, He; Yan, Shaoze

    2017-03-01

    Whether for insects or for aircrafts, landing is one of the indispensable links in the verification of airworthiness safety. The mechanisms by which insects achieve a fast and stable landing remain unclear. An intriguing example is provided by honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica), which use the swinging motion of their abdomen to dissipate residual flying energy and to achieve a smooth, stable, and quick landing. By using a high-speed camera, we observed that touchdown is initiated by honeybees extending their front legs or antennae and then landing softly on a wall. After touchdown, they swing the rest of their bodies until all flying energy is dissipated. We suggested a simplified model with mass-spring dampers for the body of the honeybee and revealed the mechanism of flying energy transfer and dissipation in detail. Results demonstrate that body translation and abdomen swinging help honeybees dissipate residual flying energy and orchestrate smooth landings. The initial kinetic energy of flying is transformed into the kinetic energy of the abdomen's rotary movement. Then, the kinetic energy of rotary movement is converted into thermal energy during the swinging cycle. This strategy provides more insight into the mechanism of insect flying, which further inspires better design on aerial vehicle with better landing performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  8. What physicians should know about Africanized honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Sherman, R A

    1995-01-01

    The Africanized honeybee, popularly known as the "killer bee," is already well established in Texas and has recently entered California and Arizona. As the Africanized honeybee spreads in North America, the medical community must become aware of the problems associated with this insect and ensure that sting emergencies can be handled quickly and appropriately. The major differences between Africanized and European honeybees are that the former are more irritable, they swarm more readily and frequently, they defend their hives more vehemently, and they sting more collectively. It is not the composition nor the volume of an individual bee's venom, but rather the cumulative dose of multiple stings that accounts for the morbidity and mortality associated with Africanized honeybee-sting incidents. Even nonallergic persons are susceptible to the toxic effects of these large combined venom loads. Africanized honeybee-sting victims are treated the same as victims of European honeybee stings. Authorities will prepare for the bees' arrival by expanding public awareness, teaching risk-avoidance behavior, providing for the removal of troublesome hives, and developing sting treatment protocols that can be initiated rapidly in the field or emergency departments. Health care professionals should participate in the educational efforts and in the development of needed emergency response protocols so that the effects of the Africanized honeybee will be merely a nuisance rather than a plague. PMID:8553637

  9. Phage Therapy is Effective in Protecting Honeybee Larvae from American Foulbrood Disease.

    PubMed

    Ghorbani-Nezami, Sara; LeBlanc, Lucy; Yost, Diane G; Amy, Penny S

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood disease has a major impact on honeybees (Apis melifera) worldwide. It is caused by a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. The disease can only affect larval honeybees, and the bacterial endospores are the infective unit of the disease. Antibiotics are not sufficient to combat the disease due to increasing resistance among P. larvae strains. Because of the durability and virulence of P. larvae endospores, infections spread rapidly, and beekeepers are often forced to burn beehives and equipment. To date, very little information is available on the use of bacteriophage therapy in rescuing and preventing American foulbrood disease, therefore the goal of this study was to test the efficacy of phage therapy against P. larvae infection. Out of 32 previously isolated P. larvae phages, three designated F, WA, and XIII were tested on artificially reared honeybee larvae infected with P. larvae strain NRRL B-3650 spores. The presence of P. larvae DNA in dead larvae was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification. Survival rates for phage-treated larvae were approximately the same as for larvae never infected with spores (84%), i.e., the phages had no deleterious effect on the larvae. Additionally, prophylactic treatment of larvae with phages before spore infection was more effective than administering phages after infection, although survival in both cases was higher than spores alone (45%). Further testing to determine the optimal combination and concentration of phages, and testing in actual hive conditions are needed.

  10. Phage Therapy is Effective in Protecting Honeybee Larvae from American Foulbrood Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ghorbani-Nezami, Sara; LeBlanc, Lucy; Yost, Diane G.; Amy, Penny S.

    2015-01-01

    American foulbrood disease has a major impact on honeybees (Apis melifera) worldwide. It is caused by a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. The disease can only affect larval honeybees, and the bacterial endospores are the infective unit of the disease. Antibiotics are not sufficient to combat the disease due to increasing resistance among P. larvae strains. Because of the durability and virulence of P. larvae endospores, infections spread rapidly, and beekeepers are often forced to burn beehives and equipment. To date, very little information is available on the use of bacteriophage therapy in rescuing and preventing American foulbrood disease, therefore the goal of this study was to test the efficacy of phage therapy against P. larvae infection. Out of 32 previously isolated P. larvae phages, three designated F, WA, and XIII were tested on artificially reared honeybee larvae infected with P. larvae strain NRRL B-3650 spores. The presence of P. larvae DNA in dead larvae was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification. Survival rates for phage-treated larvae were approximately the same as for larvae never infected with spores (84%), i.e., the phages had no deleterious effect on the larvae. Additionally, prophylactic treatment of larvae with phages before spore infection was more effective than administering phages after infection, although survival in both cases was higher than spores alone (45%). Further testing to determine the optimal combination and concentration of phages, and testing in actual hive conditions are needed. PMID:26136497

  11. Heat and carbon dioxide generated by honeybees jointly act to kill hornets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugahara, Michio; Sakamoto, Fumio

    2009-09-01

    We have found that giant hornets ( Vespa mandarinia japonica) are killed in less than 10 min when they are trapped in a bee ball created by the Japanese honeybees Apis cerana japonica, but their death cannot be solely accounted for by the elevated temperature in the bee ball. In controlled experiments, hornets can survive for 10 min at the temperature up to 47°C, whereas the temperature inside the bee balls does not rise higher than 45.9°C. We have found here that the CO2 concentration inside the bee ball also reaches a maximum (3.6 ± 0.2%) in the initial 0-5 min phase after bee ball formation. The lethal temperature of the hornet (45-46°C) under conditions of CO2 concentration (3.7 ± 0.44%) produced using human expiratory air is almost the same as that in the bee ball. The lethal temperature of the honeybee is 50-51°C under the same air conditions. We concluded that CO2 produced inside the bee ball by honeybees is a major factor together with the temperature involved in defense against giant hornets.

  12. Novel biopesticide based on a spider venom peptide shows no adverse effects on honeybees.

    PubMed

    Nakasu, Erich Y T; Williamson, Sally M; Edwards, Martin G; Fitches, Elaine C; Gatehouse, John A; Wright, Geraldine A; Gatehouse, Angharad M R

    2014-07-22

    Evidence is accumulating that commonly used pesticides are linked to decline of pollinator populations; adverse effects of three neonicotinoids on bees have led to bans on their use across the European Union. Developing insecticides that pose negligible risks to beneficial organisms such as honeybees is desirable and timely. One strategy is to use recombinant fusion proteins containing neuroactive peptides/proteins linked to a 'carrier' protein that confers oral toxicity. Hv1a/GNA (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin), containing an insect-specific spider venom calcium channel blocker (ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a) linked to snowdrop lectin (GNA) as a 'carrier', is an effective oral biopesticide towards various insect pests. Effects of Hv1a/GNA towards a non-target species, Apis mellifera, were assessed through a thorough early-tier risk assessment. Following feeding, honeybees internalized Hv1a/GNA, which reached the brain within 1 h after exposure. However, survival was only slightly affected by ingestion (LD50>100 µg bee(-1)) or injection of fusion protein. Bees fed acute (100 µg bee(-1)) or chronic (0.35 mg ml(-1)) doses of Hv1a/GNA and trained in an olfactory learning task had similar rates of learning and memory to no-pesticide controls. Larvae were unaffected, being able to degrade Hv1a/GNA. These tests suggest that Hv1a/GNA is unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees, indicating that atracotoxins targeting calcium channels are potential alternatives to conventional pesticides.

  13. Effects of Sublethal Doses of Imidacloprid on Young Adult Honeybee Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Mengoni Goñalons, Carolina; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Imidacloprid (IMI), a neonicotinoid used for its high selective toxicity to insects, is one of the most commonly used pesticides. However, its effect on beneficial insects such as the honeybee Apis mellifera L is still controversial. As young adult workers perform in-hive duties that are crucial for colony maintenance and survival, we aimed to assess the effect of sublethal IMI doses on honeybee behaviour during this period. Also, because this insecticide acts as a cholinergic-nicotinic agonist and these pathways take part in insect learning and memory processes; we used IMI to assess their role and the changes they suffer along early adulthood. We focused on appetitive behaviours based on the proboscis extension response. Laboratory reared adults of 2 to 10 days of age were exposed to sublethal IMI doses (0.25 or 0.50ng) administered orally or topically prior to behavioural assessment. Modification of gustatory responsiveness and impairment of learning and memory were found as a result of IMI exposure. These outcomes differed depending on age of evaluation, type of exposure and IMI dose, being the youngest bees more sensitive and the highest oral dose more toxic. Altogether, these results imply that IMI administered at levels found in agroecosystems can reduce sensitivity to reward and impair associative learning in young honeybees. Therefore, once a nectar inflow with IMI traces is distributed within the hive, it could impair in-door duties with negative consequences on colony performance. PMID:26488410

  14. Identification of Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus pentosus and Lactobacillus fermentum from honey stomach of honeybee

    PubMed Central

    Tajabadi, Naser; Mardan, Makhdzir; Saari, Nazamid; Mustafa, Shuhaimi; Bahreini, Rasoul; Manap, Mohd Yazid Abdul

    2013-01-01

    This study aimed to isolate and identify Lactobacillus in the honey stomach of honeybee Apis dorsata. Samples of honeybee were collected from A. dorsata colonies in different bee trees and Lactobacillus bacteria isolated from honey stomachs. Ninety two isolates were Gram-stained and tested for catalase reaction. By using bacterial universal primers, the 16S rDNA gene from DNA of bacterial colonies amplified with polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Forty-nine bacterial 16S rDNA gene were sequenced and entrusted in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis showed they were different phylotypes of Lactobacillus. Two of them were most closely relevant to the previously described species Lactobacillus plantarum. Other two phylotypes were identified to be closely related to Lactobacillus pentosus. However, only one phylotype was found to be distantly linked to the Lactobacillus fermentum. The outcomes of the present study indicated that L. plantarum, L. pentosus, and L. fermentum were the dominant lactobacilli in the honey stomach of honeybee A. dorsata collected during the dry season from Malaysia forest area - specifically “Melaleuca in Terengganu”. PMID:24516438

  15. Honeybees as a model for the study of visually guided flight, navigation, and biologically inspired robotics.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2011-04-01

    Research over the past century has revealed the impressive capacities of the honeybee, Apis mellifera, in relation to visual perception, flight guidance, navigation, and learning and memory. These observations, coupled with the relative ease with which these creatures can be trained, and the relative simplicity of their nervous systems, have made honeybees an attractive model in which to pursue general principles of sensorimotor function in a variety of contexts, many of which pertain not just to honeybees, but several other animal species, including humans. This review begins by describing the principles of visual guidance that underlie perception of the world in three dimensions, obstacle avoidance, control of flight speed, and orchestrating smooth landings. We then consider how navigation over long distances is accomplished, with particular reference to how bees use information from the celestial compass to determine their flight bearing, and information from the movement of the environment in their eyes to gauge how far they have flown. Finally, we illustrate how some of the principles gleaned from these studies are now being used to design novel, biologically inspired algorithms for the guidance of unmanned aerial vehicles.

  16. Odour aversion after olfactory conditioning of the sting extension reflex in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Carcaud, Julie; Roussel, Edith; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2009-03-01

    In Pavlovian conditioning, an originally neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus or CS) gains control over an animal's reflex after its association with a biologically relevant stimulus (unconditioned stimulus or US). As a consequence, a conditioned response is emitted by the animal upon further CS presentations. In such a situation, the subject exhibits a reflex response, so that whether the CS thereby acquires a positive or a negative value for the animal is difficult to assess. In honeybees, Apis mellifera, an odour (CS) can be associated either with sucrose solution (US) in the appetitive conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex (PER), or with an electric shock (US) in the aversive conditioning of the sting extension reflex (SER). The term ;aversive' may not apply to the latter as bees do not suppress SER as a consequence of learning but, on the contrary, start emitting SER to the CS. To determine whether the CS acquires a positive or a negative value in these conditioning forms, we compared the orientation behaviour of freely walking honeybees in an olfactory-cued Y-maze after training them with an odour-sucrose association (PER conditioning) or an odour-shock association (SER conditioning). We show that the same odours can acquire either a positive value when associated to sucrose, or a negative value when associated to an electric shock, as bees respectively approach or avoid the CS in the Y-maze. Importantly, these results clearly establish the aversive nature of SER conditioning in honeybees.

  17. Laurel leaf extracts for honeybee pest and disease management: antimicrobial, microsporicidal, and acaricidal activity.

    PubMed

    Damiani, Natalia; Fernández, Natalia J; Porrini, Martín P; Gende, Liesel B; Álvarez, Estefanía; Buffa, Franco; Brasesco, Constanza; Maggi, Matías D; Marcangeli, Jorge A; Eguaras, Martín J

    2014-02-01

    A diverse set of parasites and pathogens affects productivity and survival of Apis mellifera honeybees. In beekeeping, traditional control by antibiotics and molecules of synthesis has caused problems with contamination and resistant pathogens. In this research, different Laurus nobilis extracts are tested against the main honeybee pests through an integrated point of view. In vivo effects on bee survival are also evaluated. The ethanol extract showed minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 208 to 416 μg/mL, having the best antimicrobial effect on Paenibacillus larvae among all substances tested. Similarly, this leaf extract showed a significant antiparasitic activity on Varroa destructor, killing 50 % of mites 24 h after a 30-s exposure, and on Nosema ceranae, inhibiting the spore development in the midgut of adult bees ingesting 1 × 10(4) μg/mL of extract solution. Both ethanol extract and volatile extracts (essential oil, hydrolate, and its main component) did not cause lethal effects on adult honeybees. Thus, the absence of topical and oral toxicity of the ethanol extract on bees and the strong antimicrobial, microsporicidal, and miticidal effects registered in this study place this laurel extract as a promising integrated treatment of bee diseases and stimulates the search for other bioactive phytochemicals from plants.

  18. Effectiveness of tilmicosin against Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American Foulbrood disease of honeybees.

    PubMed

    Reynaldi, Francisco J; Albo, Graciela N; Alippi, Adriana M

    2008-11-25

    American Foulbrood (AFB) of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.), caused by the Gram-positive bacterium Paenibacillus larvae is one of the most serious diseases affecting the larval and pupal stages of honeybees (A. mellifera L.). The aim of the present work was to asses the response of 23 strains of P. larvae from diverse geographical origins to tilmicosin, a macrolide antibiotic developed for exclusive use in veterinary medicine, by means of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the agar diffusion test (ADT). All the strains tested were highly susceptible to tilmicosin with MIC values ranging between 0.0625 and 0.5 microg ml(-1), and with MIC(50) and MIC(90) values of 0.250 microg ml(-1). The ADT tests results for 23 P. larvae strains tested showed that all were susceptible to tilmicosin with inhibition zones around 15 microg tilmicosin disks ranging between 21 and 50mm in diameter. Oral acute toxicity of tilmicosin was evaluated and the LD(50) values obtained demonstrated that it was virtually non-toxic for adult bees and also resulted non-toxic for larvae when compared with the normal brood mortality. Dosage of 1000 mg a.i. of tilmicosin applied in a 55 g candy resulted in a total suppression of AFB clinical signs in honeybee colonies 60 days after initial treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the effectiveness of tilmicosin against P. larvae both in vitro and in vivo.

  19. Effects of Sublethal Doses of Imidacloprid on Young Adult Honeybee Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Mengoni Goñalons, Carolina; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Imidacloprid (IMI), a neonicotinoid used for its high selective toxicity to insects, is one of the most commonly used pesticides. However, its effect on beneficial insects such as the honeybee Apis mellifera L is still controversial. As young adult workers perform in-hive duties that are crucial for colony maintenance and survival, we aimed to assess the effect of sublethal IMI doses on honeybee behaviour during this period. Also, because this insecticide acts as a cholinergic-nicotinic agonist and these pathways take part in insect learning and memory processes; we used IMI to assess their role and the changes they suffer along early adulthood. We focused on appetitive behaviours based on the proboscis extension response. Laboratory reared adults of 2 to 10 days of age were exposed to sublethal IMI doses (0.25 or 0.50ng) administered orally or topically prior to behavioural assessment. Modification of gustatory responsiveness and impairment of learning and memory were found as a result of IMI exposure. These outcomes differed depending on age of evaluation, type of exposure and IMI dose, being the youngest bees more sensitive and the highest oral dose more toxic. Altogether, these results imply that IMI administered at levels found in agroecosystems can reduce sensitivity to reward and impair associative learning in young honeybees. Therefore, once a nectar inflow with IMI traces is distributed within the hive, it could impair in-door duties with negative consequences on colony performance.

  20. Genome-wide analysis of admixture and adaptation in the Africanized honeybee.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Ronald M; Wallberg, Andreas; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Lawson, Daniel J; Webster, Matthew T

    2017-04-05

    Genetic exchange by hybridization or admixture can make an important contribution to evolution, and introgression of favourable alleles can facilitate adaptation to new environments. A small number of honeybees (Apis mellifera) with African ancestry were introduced to Brazil ~60 years ago, which dispersed and hybridized with existing managed populations of European origin, quickly spreading across much of the Americas in an example of a massive biological invasion. Here we analyse whole genome sequences of 32 Africanized honeybees sampled from throughout Brazil in order to study the effect of this process on genome diversity. By comparison with ancestral populations from Europe and Africa, we infer that these samples have 84% African ancestry, with the remainder from western European populations. However, this proportion varies across the genome and we identify signals of positive selection in regions with high European ancestry proportions. These observations are largely driven by one large gene-rich 1.4-Mbp segment on chromosome 11 where European haplotypes are present at a significantly elevated frequency and likely confer an adaptive advantage in the Africanized honeybee population. This region has previously been implicated in reproductive traits and foraging behaviour in worker bees. Finally, by analysing the distribution of ancestry tract lengths in the context of the known time of the admixture event, we are able to infer an average generation time of 2.0 years. Our analysis highlights the processes by which populations of mixed genetic ancestry form and adapt to new environments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  1. Resistance of developing honeybee larvae during chronic exposure to dietary nicotine.

    PubMed

    Human, H; Archer, C R; du Rand, E E; Pirk, C W W; Nicolson, S W

    2014-10-01

    The effects of pesticides on honeybee larvae are less understood than for adult bees, even though larvae are chronically exposed to pesticide residues that accumulate in comb and food stores in the hive. We investigated how exposure to a plant alkaloid, nicotine, affects survival, growth and body composition of honeybee larvae. Larvae of Apis mellifera scutellata were reared in vitro and fed throughout development on standard diets with nicotine included at concentrations from 0 to 1000μg/100g diet. Overall mortality across all nicotine treatments was low, averaging 9.8% at the prepupal stage and 18.1% at the white-eyed pupal stage, but survival was significantly reduced by nicotine. The mass of prepupae and white-eyed pupae was not affected by nicotine. In terms of body composition, nicotine affected water content but did not influence either protein or lipid stores of white-eyed pupae. We attribute the absence of consistent negative effects of dietary nicotine to detoxification mechanisms in developing honeybees, which enable them to resist both natural and synthetic xenobiotics.

  2. Effects of erectable glossal hairs on a honeybee's nectar-drinking strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Heng; Wu, Jianing; Yan, Shaoze

    2014-06-01

    With the use of a scanning electron microscope, we observe specific microstructures of the mouthpart of the Italian bee (Apis mellifera ligustica), especially the distribution and dimensions of hairs on its glossa. Considering the erection of glossal hairs for trapping nectar modifies the viscous dipping model in analyzing the drinking strategy of a honeybee. Theoretical estimations of volume intake rates with respect to sucrose solutions of different concentrations agree with experimental data, which indicates that erectable hairs can significantly increase the ability of a bee to acquire nectar efficiently. The comparison with experimental results also indicates that a honeybee may continuously augment its pumping power, rather than keep it constant, to drink nectar with sharply increasing viscosity. Under the modified assumption of increasing working power, we introduce the rate at which working power increases with viscosity and discuss the nature-preferred nectar concentration of 35% by theoretically calculating optimal concentration maximizing energetic intake rates under varying increasing rates. Finally, the ability of the mouthparts of the honeybee to transfer viscous nectar may inspire a concept for transporting microfluidics with a wide range of viscosities.

  3. Heat and carbon dioxide generated by honeybees jointly act to kill hornets.

    PubMed

    Sugahara, Michio; Sakamoto, Fumio

    2009-09-01

    We have found that giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia japonica) are killed in less than 10 min when they are trapped in a bee ball created by the Japanese honeybees Apis cerana japonica, but their death cannot be solely accounted for by the elevated temperature in the bee ball. In controlled experiments, hornets can survive for 10 min at the temperature up to 47 degrees C, whereas the temperature inside the bee balls does not rise higher than 45.9 degrees C. We have found here that the CO2 concentration inside the bee ball also reaches a maximum (3.6 +/- 0.2%) in the initial 0-5 min phase after bee ball formation. The lethal temperature of the hornet (45-46 degrees C) under conditions of CO2 concentration (3.7 +/- 0.44%) produced using human expiratory air is almost the same as that in the bee ball. The lethal temperature of the honeybee is 50-51 degrees C under the same air conditions. We concluded that CO2 produced inside the bee ball by honeybees is a major factor together with the temperature involved in defense against giant hornets.

  4. Towards a better understanding of Apis mellifera and Varroa destructor microbiomes: introducing 'phyloh' as a novel phylogenetic diversity analysis tool.

    PubMed

    Sandionigi, A; Vicario, S; Prosdocimi, E M; Galimberti, A; Ferri, E; Bruno, A; Balech, B; Mezzasalma, V; Casiraghi, M

    2015-07-01

    The study of diversity in biological communities is an intriguing field. Huge amount of data are nowadays available (provided by the innovative DNA sequencing techniques), and management, analysis and display of results are not trivial. Here, we propose for the first time the use of phylogenetic entropy as a measure of bacterial diversity in studies of microbial community structure. We then compared our new method (i.e. the web tool phyloh) for partitioning phylogenetic diversity with the traditional approach in diversity analyses of bacteria communities. We tested phyloh to characterize microbiome in the honeybee (Apis mellifera, Insecta: Hymenoptera) and its parasitic mite varroa (Varroa destructor, Arachnida: Parasitiformes). The rationale is that the comparative analysis of honeybee and varroa microbiomes could open new perspectives concerning the role of the parasites on honeybee colonies health. Our results showed a dramatic change of the honeybee microbiome when varroa occurs, suggesting that this parasite is able to influence host microbiome. Among the different approaches used, only the entropy method, in conjunction with phylogenetic constraint as implemented in phyloh, was able to discriminate varroa microbiome from that of parasitized honeybees. In conclusion, we foresee that the use of phylogenetic entropy could become a new standard in the analyses of community structure, in particular to prove the contribution of each biological entity to the overall diversity.

  5. Monitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in bees (Apis mellifera) and honey in urban areas and wildlife reserves.

    PubMed

    Perugini, Monia; Di Serafino, Gabriella; Giacomelli, Alessandra; Medrzycki, Piotr; Sabatini, Anna Gloria; Persano Oddo, Livia; Marinelli, Enzo; Amorena, Michele

    2009-08-26

    The honeybee is a good biological indicator that quickly reflects chemical impairment of the environment by its high mortality and the presence of pollutants in its body or in beehive products. In this work the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and honey were used to detect the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in several areas with different degrees of environmental pollution. All sampling sites showed the presence of PAHs. Benzo(a)pyrene was never detected. Fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, and benzo(k)fluoranthene were the PAHs detected in bees, whereas the honey contained only phenanthrene, anthracene, and chrysene. Phenanthrene showed the highest mean values in honeybees and honey. Independent from the season and location the pattern of PAHs in honeybees and honey was dominated by the presence of the lowest molecular weight PAHs. Furthermore, the mean PAH concentrations in honey samples were lower than those reported in honeybees, and no positive correlation was found between the compounds detected in bees and those in honey.

  6. Biochemical and histological biomarkers in the midgut of Apis mellifera from polluted environment at Beheira Governorate, Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Saad, Ahmed M Abu; Kheirallah, Dalia A; El-Samad, Lamia M

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of organophosphorus (OP) pollutants on oxidative stress and ultrastructural biomarkers in the midgut of the honeybee Apis mellifera collected from three locations that differ in their extent of spraying load with OP insecticides: a weakly anthropised rural site, Bolin which is considered as a reference site; moderately spraying site, El Kaza; and a strongly anthropised urban site, Tiba with a long history of pesticide use. Results showed that high concentrations of chlorpyrifos, malathion, diazinon, chlorpyrifos-methyl, and pirimiphos-methyl were detected in midgut at locations with extensive pesticide spraying. Reduced glutathione content, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase displayed lowest activities in the heavily sprayed location (Tiba). Lipid peroxidation level in the midgut of honeybees in the sprayed locations was found to be significantly higher compared to the reference values. Meanwhile, various ultrastructural abnormalities were observed in the epithelial cells of midgut of honeybees collected from El Kaza and Tiba, included confluent and disorganized microvilli and destruction of their brush border, the cytoplasm with large vacuoles and alteration of cytoplasmic organelles including the presence of swollen mitochondria with lysis of matrices, disruption of limiting membranes, and disintegration of cristae. The nuclei with indented nuclear envelope and disorganized chromatin were observed. These investigated biomarkers indicated that the surveyed honeybees are being under stressful environmental conditions. So, we suggest using those biomarkers in the assessment of environmental quality using honeybees in future monitoring of ecotoxicological studies.

  7. What is the main driver of ageing in long-lived winter honeybees: antioxidant enzymes, innate immunity, or vitellogenin?

    PubMed

    Aurori, Cristian M; Buttstedt, Anja; Dezmirean, Daniel S; Mărghitaş, Liviu A; Moritz, Robin F A; Erler, Silvio

    2014-06-01

    To date five different theories compete in explaining the biological mechanisms of senescence or ageing in invertebrates. Physiological, genetical, and environmental mechanisms form the image of ageing in individuals and groups. Social insects, especially the honeybee Apis mellifera, present exceptional model systems to study developmentally related ageing. The extremely high phenotypic plasticity for life expectancy resulting from the female caste system provides a most useful system to study open questions with respect to ageing. Here, we used long-lived winter worker honeybees and measured transcriptional changes of 14 antioxidative enzyme, immunity, and ageing-related (insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway) genes at two time points during hibernation. Additionally, worker bees were challenged with a bacterial infection to test ageing- and infection-associated immunity changes. Gene expression levels for each group of target genes revealed that ageing had a much higher impact than the bacterial challenge, notably for immunity-related genes. Antimicrobial peptide and antioxidative enzyme genes were significantly upregulated in aged worker honeybees independent of bacterial infections. The known ageing markers vitellogenin and IlP-1 were opposed regulated with decreasing vitellogenin levels during ageing. The increased antioxidative enzyme and antimicrobial peptide gene expression may contribute to a retardation of senescence in long-lived hibernating worker honeybees.

  8. Olfactory subsystems in the honeybee: sensory supply and sex specificity.

    PubMed

    Kropf, Jan; Kelber, Christina; Bieringer, Kathrin; Rössler, Wolfgang

    2014-09-01

    The antennae of honeybee (Apis mellifera) workers and drones differ in various aspects. One striking difference is the presence of Sensilla basiconica in (female) workers and their absence in (male) drones. We investigate the axonal projection patterns of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) housed in S. basiconica in honeybee workers by using selective anterograde labeling with fluorescent tracers and confocal-microscopy analysis of axonal projections in antennal lobe glomeruli. Axons of S. basiconica-associated ORNs preferentially projected into a specific glomerular cluster in the antennal lobe, namely the sensory input-tract three (T3) cluster. T3-associated glomeruli had previously been shown to be innervated by uniglomerular projection (output) neurons of the medial antennal lobe tract (mALT). As the number of T3 glomeruli is reduced in drones, we wished to determine whether this was associated with the reduction of glomeruli innervated by medial-tract projection neurons. We retrogradely traced mALT projection neurons in drones and counted the innervated glomeruli. The number of mALT-associated glomeruli was strongly reduced in drones compared with workers. The preferential projections of S. basiconica-associated ORNs in T3 glomeruli together with the reduction of mALT-associated glomeruli support the presence of a female (worker)-specific olfactory subsystem that is partly innervated by ORNs from S. basiconica and is associated with the T3 cluster of glomeruli and mALT projection neurons. We propose that this olfactory subsystem supports parallel olfactory processing related to worker-specific olfactory tasks such as the coding of colony odors, colony pheromones and/or odorants associated with foraging on floral resources.

  9. Widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early Neolithic farmers.

    PubMed

    Roffet-Salque, Mélanie; Regert, Martine; Evershed, Richard P; Outram, Alan K; Cramp, Lucy J E; Decavallas, Orestes; Dunne, Julie; Gerbault, Pascale; Mileto, Simona; Mirabaud, Sigrid; Pääkkönen, Mirva; Smyth, Jessica; Šoberl, Lucija; Whelton, Helen L; Alday-Ruiz, Alfonso; Asplund, Henrik; Bartkowiak, Marta; Bayer-Niemeier, Eva; Belhouchet, Lotfi; Bernardini, Federico; Budja, Mihael; Cooney, Gabriel; Cubas, Miriam; Danaher, Ed M; Diniz, Mariana; Domboróczki, László; Fabbri, Cristina; González-Urquijo, Jesus E; Guilaine, Jean; Hachi, Slimane; Hartwell, Barrie N; Hofmann, Daniela; Hohle, Isabel; Ibáñez, Juan J; Karul, Necmi; Kherbouche, Farid; Kiely, Jacinta; Kotsakis, Kostas; Lueth, Friedrich; Mallory, James P; Manen, Claire; Marciniak, Arkadiusz; Maurice-Chabard, Brigitte; Mc Gonigle, Martin A; Mulazzani, Simone; Özdoğan, Mehmet; Perić, Olga S; Perić, Slaviša R; Petrasch, Jörg; Pétrequin, Anne-Marie; Pétrequin, Pierre; Poensgen, Ulrike; Pollard, C Joshua; Poplin, François; Radi, Giovanna; Stadler, Peter; Stäuble, Harald; Tasić, Nenad; Urem-Kotsou, Dushka; Vuković, Jasna B; Walsh, Fintan; Whittle, Alasdair; Wolfram, Sabine; Zapata-Peña, Lydia; Zoughlami, Jamel

    2015-11-12

    The pressures on honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations, resulting from threats by modern pesticides, parasites, predators and diseases, have raised awareness of the economic importance and critical role this insect plays in agricultural societies across the globe. However, the association of humans with A. mellifera predates post-industrial-revolution agriculture, as evidenced by the widespread presence of ancient Egyptian bee iconography dating to the Old Kingdom (approximately 2400 BC). There are also indications of Stone Age people harvesting bee products; for example, honey hunting is interpreted from rock art in a prehistoric Holocene context and a beeswax find in a pre-agriculturalist site. However, when and where the regular association of A. mellifera with agriculturalists emerged is unknown. One of the major products of A. mellifera is beeswax, which is composed of a complex suite of lipids including n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids and fatty acyl wax esters. The composition is highly constant as it is determined genetically through the insect's biochemistry. Thus, the chemical 'fingerprint' of beeswax provides a reliable basis for detecting this commodity in organic residues preserved at archaeological sites, which we now use to trace the exploitation by humans of A. mellifera temporally and spatially. Here we present secure identifications of beeswax in lipid residues preserved in pottery vessels of Neolithic Old World farmers. The geographical range of bee product exploitation is traced in Neolithic Europe, the Near East and North Africa, providing the palaeoecological range of honeybees during prehistory. Temporally, we demonstrate that bee products were exploited continuously, and probably extensively in some regions, at least from the seventh millennium cal BC, likely fulfilling a variety of technological and cultural functions. The close association of A. mellifera with Neolithic farming communities dates to the early onset of agriculture and may provide

  10. Honeybee blue- and ultraviolet-sensitive opsins: cloning, heterologous expression in Drosophila, and physiological characterization.

    PubMed

    Townson, S M; Chang, B S; Salcedo, E; Chadwell, L V; Pierce, N E; Britt, S G

    1998-04-01

    The honeybee (Apis mellifera) visual system contains three classes of retinal photoreceptor cells that are maximally sensitive to light at 440 nm (blue), 350 nm (ultraviolet), and 540 nm (green). We performed a PCR-based screen to identify the genes encoding the Apis blue- and ultraviolet (UV)-sensitive opsins. We obtained cDNAs that encode proteins having a high degree of sequence and structural similarity to other invertebrate and vertebrate visual pigments. The Apis blue opsin cDNA encodes a protein of 377 amino acids that is most closely related to other invertebrate visual pigments that are thought to be blue-sensitive. The UV opsin cDNA encodes a protein of 371 amino acids that is most closely related to the UV-sensitive Drosophila Rh3 and Rh4 opsins. To test whether these novel Apis opsin genes encode functional visual pigments and to determine their spectral properties, we expressed them in the R1-6 photoreceptor cells of blind ninaE mutant Drosophila, which lack the major opsin of the fly compound eye. We found that the expression of either the Apis blue- or UV-sensitive opsin in transgenic flies rescued the visual defect of ninaE mutants, indicating that both genes encode functional visual pigments. Spectral sensitivity measurements of these flies demonstrated that the blue and UV visual pigments are maximally sensitive to light at 439 and 353 nm, respectively. These maxima are in excellent agreement with those determined previously by single-cell recordings from Apis photoreceptor cells and provide definitive evidence that the genes described here encode visual pigments having blue and UV sensitivity.

  11. Gonadotropic effects of dopamine in isolated workers of the primitively eusocial wasp, Polistes chinensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, Ken; Yamasaki, Kazuhisa; Tsuchida, Koji; Nagao, Takashi

    2009-05-01

    In social insects, biogenic amines are thought to play regulatory roles in the transition between reproductive states in females. To determine the effect of dopamine on the reproductive development of workers in primitively eusocial societies, isolated workers of the paper wasp Polistes chinensis were supplied with oral dopamine. Ovarian development was accelerated in dopamine-fed workers as compared to control workers of the same age fed only sucrose solution. Oral dopamine increased brain levels of dopamine and its metabolite ( N-acetyldopamine). Brain levels of tyramine or octopamine were also increased by dopamine application in one of two colonies; levels of the tyramine metabolite N-acetyltyramine were unchanged. These results indicate that dopamine plays a gonadotropic role in isolated workers in the primitively eusocial wasp, similar to the gonadotropic role previously reported for juvenile hormone. This is the first study to report effects of dopamine on ovarian development in workers of the paper wasp.

  12. Endocrine uncoupling of the trade-off between reproduction and somatic maintenance in eusocial insects.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Marisa A; Flatt, Thomas

    2016-08-01

    In most animals reproduction trades off with somatic maintenance and survival. Physiologically this trade-off is mediated by hormones with opposite effects on reproduction and maintenance. In many insects, this regulation is achieved by an endocrine network that integrates insulin-like/IGF-1 signaling (IIS), juvenile hormone (JH), and the yolk precursor vitellogenin (Vg) (or, more generally, yolk proteins [YPs]). Downregulation of this network promotes maintenance and survival at the expense of reproduction. Remarkably, however, queens of highly eusocial social insects exhibit both enormous reproductive output and longevity, thus escaping the trade-off. Here we argue - based on recent evidence - that the proximate reason for why eusocial insects can decouple this trade-off is that they have evolved a different 'wiring' of the IIS-JH-Vg/YP circuit.

  13. Multifractality in individual honeybee behavior hints at colony-specific social cascades: Reanalysis of radio-frequency identification data from five different colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carver, Nicole S.; Kelty-Stephen, Damian G.

    2017-02-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) exhibit complex coordination and interaction across multiple behaviors such as swarming. This coordination among honeybees in the same colony is remarkably similar to the concept of informational cascades. The multifractal geometry of cascades suggests that multifractal measures of individual honeybee activity might carry signatures of these colony-wide coordinations. The present work reanalyzes time stamps of entrances to and exits from the hive captured by radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors reading RFID tags on individual bees. Indeed, both multifractal spectrum width for individual bees' inter-reading interval series and differences of those widths from surrogates significantly predicted not just whether the individual bee's hive had a mesh enclosure but also predicted the specific membership of individual bees in one of five colonies. The significant effects of multifractality in matching honeybee activity to type of colony and, further, matching individual honeybees to their exact home colony suggests that multifractality quantifies key features of the colony-wide interactions across many scales. This relevance of multifractality to predicting colony type or colony membership adds additional credence to the cascade metaphor for colony organization. Perhaps, multifractality provides a new tool for exploring the relationship between individual organisms and larger, more complex social behaviors.

  14. Food to some, poison to others - honeybee royal jelly and its growth inhibiting effect on European Foulbrood bacteria.

    PubMed

    Vezeteu, Thomas V; Bobiş, Otilia; Moritz, Robin F A; Buttstedt, Anja

    2017-02-01

    Honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera) serve as attractive hosts for a variety of pathogens providing optimal temperatures, humidity, and an abundance of food. Thus, honeybees have to deal with pathogens throughout their lives and, even as larvae they are affected by severe brood diseases like the European Foulbrood caused by Melissococcus plutonius. Accordingly, it is highly adaptive that larval food jelly contains antibiotic compounds. However, although food jelly is primarily consumed by bee larvae, studies investigating the antibiotic effects of this jelly have largely concentrated on bacterial human diseases. In this study, we show that royal jelly fed to queen larvae and added to the jelly of drone and worker larvae, inhibits not only the growth of European Foulbrood-associated bacteria but also its causative agent M. plutonius. This effect is shown to be caused by the main protein (major royal jelly protein 1) of royal jelly.

  15. Volatile emissions from an epiphytic fungus are semiochemicals for eusocial wasps.

    PubMed

    Davis, Thomas Seth; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Landolt, Peter J

    2012-11-01

    Microbes are ubiquitous on plant surfaces. However, interactions between epiphytic microbes and arthropods are rarely considered as a factor that affects arthropod behaviors. Here, volatile emissions from an epiphytic fungus were investigated as semiochemical attractants for two eusocial wasps. The fungus Aureobasidium pullulans was isolated from apples, and the volatile compounds emitted by fungal colonies were quantified. The attractiveness of fungal colonies and fungal volatiles to social wasps (Vespula spp.) were experimentally tested in the field. Three important findings emerged: (1) traps baited with A. pullulans caught 2750 % more wasps on average than unbaited control traps; (2) the major headspace volatiles emitted by A. pullulans were 2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, and 2-phenylethyl alcohol; and (3) a synthetic blend of fungal volatiles attracted 4,933 % more wasps on average than unbaited controls. Wasps were most attracted to 2-methyl-1-butanol. The primary wasp species attracted to fungal volatiles were the western yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica) and the German yellowjacket (V. germanica), and both species externally vectored A. pullulans. This is the first study to link microbial volatile emissions with eusocial wasp behaviors, and these experiments indicate that volatile compounds emitted by an epiphytic fungus can be responsible for wasp attraction. This work implicates epiphytic microbes as important components in the community ecology of some eusocial hymenopterans, and fungal emissions may signal suitable nutrient sources to foraging wasps. Our experiments are suggestive of a potential symbiosis, but additional studies are needed to determine if eusocial wasp-fungal associations are widespread, and whether these associations are incidental, facultative, or obligate.

  16. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    Members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Stealthy Insect Sensor Project team have been able to harness the honeybee's exceptional olfactory sense by using the bees' natural reaction to nectar, a proboscis extension reflex (sticking out their tongue)

  17. Scientists train honeybees to detect explosives

    SciTech Connect

    2008-03-21

    Members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Stealthy Insect Sensor Project team have been able to harness the honeybee's exceptional olfactory sense by using the bees' natural reaction to nectar, a proboscis extension reflex (sticking out their tongue)

  18. Training and deployment of honeybees to detect explosives and other agents of harm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodacy, Philip J.; Bender, Susan; Bromenshenk, Jerry; Henderson, Colin; Bender, Gary

    2002-08-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has been collaborating with the University of Montana's (UM) engineered honeybee colony research under DARPA's Controlled Biological and Biomimetric Systems (CBBS) program. Prior work has shown that the monitoring of contaminants that are returned to a hive by honeybees (Apis mellifera) provides a rapid, inexpensive method to assess chemical distributions and environmental impacts. Members from a single colony make many tens of thousands of foraging trips per day over areas as large as 2 km2. During these foraging trips, the insects are in direct contact with most environmental media (air, water, plants, and soil) and, in the process, encounter contaminants in gaseous, liquid and particulate form. These contaminants are carried back to the hive where analysis can be conveniently conducted. Three decades of work by UM and other investigators has demonstrated that honeybees can effectively and rapidly screen large areas for the presence of a wide array of chemical contaminants and for the effects of exposures to these chemicals. Recently, UM has been exploring how bee-based environmental measurements can be used to quantify risks to humans or ecosystems. The current DARPA program extends this work to the training of honeybees to actively search for contaminants such as the explosive residue being released by buried landmines. UM developed the methods to train bees to detect explosives and chemical agent surrogates. Sandia provided the explosives expertise, test facilities, electronics support, and state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation. We will present an overview of the training procedures, test parameters employed, and a summary of the results of field trials that were performed in Montana and at DARPA field trials in San Antonio, TX. Data showing the detection limits of the insects will be included.

  19. Behavioral and neurophysiological study of olfactory perception and learning in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sandoz, Jean Christophe

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has been a central insect model in the study of olfactory perception and learning for more than a century, starting with pioneer work by Karl von Frisch. Research on olfaction in honeybees has greatly benefited from the advent of a range of behavioral and neurophysiological paradigms in the Lab. Here I review major findings about how the honeybee brain detects, processes, and learns odors, based on behavioral, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological approaches. I first address the behavioral study of olfactory learning, from experiments on free-flying workers visiting artificial flowers to laboratory-based conditioning protocols on restrained individuals. I explain how the study of olfactory learning has allowed understanding the discrimination and generalization ability of the honeybee olfactory system, its capacity to grant special properties to olfactory mixtures as well as to retain individual component information. Next, based on the impressive amount of anatomical and immunochemical studies of the bee brain, I detail our knowledge of olfactory pathways. I then show how functional recordings of odor-evoked activity in the brain allow following the transformation of the olfactory message from the periphery until higher-order central structures. Data from extra- and intracellular electrophysiological approaches as well as from the most recent optical imaging developments are described. Lastly, I discuss results addressing how odor representation changes as a result of experience. This impressive ensemble of behavioral, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological data available in the bee make it an attractive model for future research aiming to understand olfactory perception and learning in an integrative fashion.

  20. Virion Structure of Black Queen Cell Virus, a Common Honeybee Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Spurny, Radovan; Přidal, Antonín; Pálková, Lenka; Kiem, Hoa Khanh Tran; de Miranda, Joachim R.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Viral diseases are a major threat to honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations worldwide and therefore an important factor in reliable crop pollination and food security. Black queen cell virus (BQCV) is the etiological agent of a fatal disease of honeybee queen larvae and pupae. The virus belongs to the genus Triatovirus from the family Dicistroviridae, which is part of the order Picornavirales. Here we present a crystal structure of BQCV determined to a resolution of 3.4 Å. The virion is formed by 60 copies of each of the major capsid proteins VP1, VP2, and VP3; however, there is no density corresponding to a 75-residue-long minor capsid protein VP4 encoded by the BQCV genome. We show that the VP4 subunits are present in the crystallized virions that are infectious. This aspect of the BQCV virion is similar to that of the previously characterized triatoma virus and supports the recent establishment of the separate genus Triatovirus within the family Dicistroviridae. The C terminus of VP1 and CD loops of capsid proteins VP1 and VP3 of BQCV form 34-Å-tall finger-like protrusions at the virion surface. The protrusions are larger than those of related dicistroviruses. IMPORTANCE The western honeybee is the most important pollinator of all, and it is required to sustain the agricultural production and biodiversity of wild flowering plants. However, honeybee populations worldwide are suffering from virus infections that cause colony losses. One of the most common, and least known, honeybee pathogens is black queen cell virus (BQCV), which at high titers causes queen larvae and pupae to turn black and die. Here we present the three-dimensional virion structure of BQCV, determined by X-ray crystallography. The structure of BQCV reveals large protrusions on the virion surface. Capsid protein VP1 of BQCV does not contain a hydrophobic pocket. Therefore, the BQCV virion structure provides evidence that capsid-binding antiviral compounds that can prevent the

  1. Associated particle imaging (API)

    SciTech Connect

    1998-05-01

    Associated Particle Imaging (API) is an active neutron probe technique that provides a 3-D image with elemental composition of the material under interrogation, and so occupies a unique niche in the interrogation of unknown objects. The highly penetrating nature of neutrons enables API to provide detailed information about targets of interest that are hidden from view. Due to the isotropic nature of the induced reactions, radiation detectors can be set on the same side of the object as the neutron source, so that the object can be interrogated from a single side. At the heat of the system is a small generator that produces a continuous, monoenergetic flux of neutrons. By measuring the trajectory of coincident alpha particles that are produced as part of the process, the trajectory of the neutron can be inferred. Interactions between a neutron and the material in its path often produce a gamma ray whose energy is characteristic of that material. When the gamma ray is detected, its energy is measured and combined with the trajectory information to produce a 3-D image of the composition of the object being interrogated. During the course of API development, a number of improvements have been made. A new, more rugged sealed Tube Neutron Generator (STNG) has been designed and fabricated that is less susceptible to radiation damage and better able to withstand the rigors of fielding than earlier designs. A specialized high-voltage power supply for the STNG has also been designed and built. A complete package of software has been written for the tasks of system calibration, diagnostics and data acquisition and analysis. A portable system has been built and field tested, proving that API can be taken out of the lab and into real-world situations, and that its performance in the field is equal to that in the lab.

  2. Phylogenomics Controlling for Base Compositional Bias Reveals a Single Origin of Eusociality in Corbiculate Bees.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, Jonathan; Cameron, Sydney A; Woodard, S Hollis; Fischman, Brielle J; Keller, Laurent; Praz, Christophe J

    2016-03-01

    As increasingly large molecular data sets are collected for phylogenomics, the conflicting phylogenetic signal among gene trees poses challenges to resolve some difficult nodes of the Tree of Life. Among these nodes, the phylogenetic position of the honey bees (Apini) within the corbiculate bee group remains controversial, despite its considerable importance for understanding the emergence and maintenance of eusociality. Here, we show that this controversy stems in part from pervasive phylogenetic conflicts among GC-rich gene trees. GC-rich genes typically have a high nucleotidic heterogeneity among species, which can induce topological conflicts among gene trees. When retaining only the most GC-homogeneous genes or using a nonhomogeneous model of sequence evolution, our analyses reveal a monophyletic group of the three lineages with a eusocial lifestyle (honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees). These phylogenetic relationships strongly suggest a single origin of eusociality in the corbiculate bees, with no reversal to solitary living in this group. To accurately reconstruct other important evolutionary steps across the Tree of Life, we suggest removing GC-rich and GC-heterogeneous genes from large phylogenomic data sets. Interpreted as a consequence of genome-wide variations in recombination rates, this GC effect can affect all taxa featuring GC-biased gene conversion, which is common in eukaryotes.

  3. Population genomics of eusocial insects: the costs of a vertebrate-like effective population size.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Lourenco, J; Gayral, P; Faivre, N; Weinert, L A; Ravel, S; Ballenghien, M; Cahais, V; Bernard, A; Loire, E; Keller, L; Galtier, N

    2014-03-01

    The evolution of reproductive division of labour and social life in social insects has lead to the emergence of several life-history traits and adaptations typical of larger organisms: social insect colonies can reach masses of several kilograms, they start reproducing only when they are several years old, and can live for decades. These features and the monopolization of reproduction by only one or few individuals in a colony should affect molecular evolution by reducing the effective population size. We tested this prediction by analysing genome-wide patterns of coding sequence polymorphism and divergence in eusocial vs. noneusocial insects based on newly generated RNA-seq data. We report very low amounts of genetic polymorphism and an elevated ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous changes – a marker of the effective population size – in four distinct species of eusocial insects, which were more similar to vertebrates than to solitary insects regarding molecular evolutionary processes. Moreover, the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions was positively correlated with the level of social complexity across ant species. These results are fully consistent with the hypothesis of a reduced effective population size and an increased genetic load in eusocial insects, indicating that the evolution of social life has important consequences at both the genomic and population levels.

  4. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies.

    PubMed

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G; Asher, Claire L; Jurkowski, Tomasz P; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O H; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-11-10

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity.

  5. Cooperation between non-relatives in a primitively eusocial paper wasp, Polistes dominula.

    PubMed

    Field, Jeremy; Leadbeater, Ellouise

    2016-02-05

    In cooperatively breeding vertebrates, the existence of individuals that help to raise the offspring of non-relatives is well established, but unrelated helpers are less well known in the social insects. Eusocial insect groups overwhelmingly consist of close relatives, so populations where unrelated helpers are common are intriguing. Here, we focus on Polistes dominula-the best-studied primitively eusocial wasp, and a species in which nesting with non-relatives is not only present but frequent. We address two major questions: why individuals should choose to nest with non-relatives, and why such individuals participate in the costly rearing of unrelated offspring. Polistes dominula foundresses produce more offspring of their own as subordinates than when they nest independently, providing a potential explanation for co-founding by non-relatives. There is some evidence that unrelated subordinates tailor their behaviour towards direct fitness, while the role of recognition errors in generating unrelated co-foundresses is less clear. Remarkably, the remote but potentially highly rewarding chance of inheriting the dominant position appears to strongly influence behaviour, suggesting that primitively eusocial insects may have much more in common with their social vertebrate counterparts than has commonly been thought.

  6. Cooperation between non-relatives in a primitively eusocial paper wasp, Polistes dominula

    PubMed Central

    Field, Jeremy; Leadbeater, Ellouise

    2016-01-01

    In cooperatively breeding vertebrates, the existence of individuals that help to raise the offspring of non-relatives is well established, but unrelated helpers are less well known in the social insects. Eusocial insect groups overwhelmingly consist of close relatives, so populations where unrelated helpers are common are intriguing. Here, we focus on Polistes dominula—the best-studied primitively eusocial wasp, and a species in which nesting with non-relatives is not only present but frequent. We address two major questions: why individuals should choose to nest with non-relatives, and why such individuals participate in the costly rearing of unrelated offspring. Polistes dominula foundresses produce more offspring of their own as subordinates than when they nest independently, providing a potential explanation for co-founding by non-relatives. There is some evidence that unrelated subordinates tailor their behaviour towards direct fitness, while the role of recognition errors in generating unrelated co-foundresses is less clear. Remarkably, the remote but potentially highly rewarding chance of inheriting the dominant position appears to strongly influence behaviour, suggesting that primitively eusocial insects may have much more in common with their social vertebrate counterparts than has commonly been thought. PMID:26729932

  7. Molecular signatures of plastic phenotypes in two eusocial insect species with simple societies

    PubMed Central

    Patalano, Solenn; Vlasova, Anna; Wyatt, Chris; Ewels, Philip; Camara, Francisco; Ferreira, Pedro G.; Asher, Claire L.; Jurkowski, Tomasz P.; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Bachman, Martin; González-Navarrete, Irene; Minoche, André E.; Krueger, Felix; Lowy, Ernesto; Marcet-Houben, Marina; Rodriguez-Ales, Jose Luis; Nascimento, Fabio S.; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Gabaldon, Toni; Tarver, James E.; Andrews, Simon; Himmelbauer, Heinz; Hughes, William O. H.; Guigó, Roderic; Reik, Wolf; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is important in adaptation and shapes the evolution of organisms. However, we understand little about what aspects of the genome are important in facilitating plasticity. Eusocial insect societies produce plastic phenotypes from the same genome, as reproductives (queens) and nonreproductives (workers). The greatest plasticity is found in the simple eusocial insect societies in which individuals retain the ability to switch between reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes as adults. We lack comprehensive data on the molecular basis of plastic phenotypes. Here, we sequenced genomes, microRNAs (miRNAs), and multiple transcriptomes and methylomes from individual brains in a wasp (Polistes canadensis) and an ant (Dinoponera quadriceps) that live in simple eusocial societies. In both species, we found few differences between phenotypes at the transcriptional level, with little functional specialization, and no evidence that phenotype-specific gene expression is driven by DNA methylation or miRNAs. Instead, phenotypic differentiation was defined more subtly by nonrandom transcriptional network organization, with roles in these networks for both conserved and taxon-restricted genes. The general lack of highly methylated regions or methylome patterning in both species may be an important mechanism for achieving plasticity among phenotypes during adulthood. These findings define previously unidentified hypotheses on the genomic processes that facilitate plasticity and suggest that the molecular hallmarks of social behavior are likely to differ with the level of social complexity. PMID:26483466

  8. Epigenetics as an answer to Darwin’s “special difficulty,” Part 2: natural selection of metastable epialleles in honeybee castes

    PubMed Central

    Ruden, Douglas M.; Cingolani, Pablo E.; Sen, Arko; Qu, Wen; Wang, Luan; Senut, Marie-Claude; Garfinkel, Mark D.; Sollars, Vincent E.; Lu, Xiangyi

    2015-01-01

    In a recent perspective in this journal, Herb (2014) discussed how epigenetics is a possible mechanism to circumvent Charles Darwin’s “special difficulty” in using natural selection to explain the existence of the sterile-fertile dimorphism in eusocial insects. Darwin’s classic book “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” explains how natural selection of the fittest individuals in a population can allow a species to adapt to a novel or changing environment. However, in bees and other eusocial insects, such as ants and termites, there exist two or more castes of genetically similar females, from fertile queens to multiple sub-castes of sterile workers, with vastly different phenotypes, lifespans, and behaviors. This necessitates the selection of groups (or kin) rather than individuals in the evolution of honeybee hives, but group and kin selection theories of evolution are controversial and mechanistically uncertain. Also, group selection would seem to be prohibitively inefficient because the effective population size of a colony is reduced from thousands to a single breeding queen. In this follow-up perspective, we elaborate on possible mechanisms for how a combination of both epigenetics, specifically, the selection of metastable epialleles, and genetics, the selection of mutations generated by the selected metastable epialleles, allows for a combined means for selection amongst the fertile members of a species to increase colony fitness. This “intra-caste evolution” hypothesis is a variation of the epigenetic directed genetic error hypothesis, which proposes that selected metastable epialleles increase genetic variability by directing mutations specifically to the epialleles. Natural selection of random metastable epialleles followed by a second round of natural selection of random mutations generated by the metastable epialleles would allow a way around the small effective population size of eusocial insects. PMID:25759717

  9. Structure and function of gene regulatory networks associated with worker sterility in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Sobotka, Julia A; Daley, Mark; Chandrasekaran, Sriram; Rubin, Benjamin D; Thompson, Graham J

    2016-03-01

    A characteristic of eusocial bees is a reproductive division of labor in which one or a few queens monopolize reproduction, while her worker daughters take on reproductively altruistic roles within the colony. The evolution of worker reproductive altruism involves indirect selection for the coordinated expression of genes that regulate personal reproduction, but evidence for this type of selection remains elusive. In this study, we tested whether genes coexpressed under queen-induced worker sterility show evidence of adaptive organization within a model brain transcriptional regulatory network (TRN). If so, this structured pattern would imply that indirect selection on nonreproductive workers has influenced the functional organization of genes within the network, specifically to regulate the expression of sterility. We found that literature-curated sets of candidate genes for sterility, ranging in size from 18 to 267, show strong evidence of clustering within the three-dimensional space of the TRN. This finding suggests that our candidate sets of genes for sterility form functional modules within the living bee brain's TRN. Moreover, these same gene sets colocate to a single, albeit large, region of the TRN's topology. This spatially organized and convergent pattern contrasts with a null expectation for functionally unrelated genes to be haphazardly distributed throughout the network. Our meta-genomic analysis therefore provides first evidence for a truly "social transcriptome" that may regulate the conditional expression of honeybee worker sterility.

  10. (Collection of high quality acoustical records for honeybees)

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, H.T.; Buchanan, M.E.

    1987-02-19

    High quality acoustical data records were collected for both European and Africanized honeybees under various field conditions. This data base was needed for more rigorous evaluation of a honeybee identification technique previously developed by the travelers from preliminary data sets. Laboratory-grade recording equipment was used to record sounds made by honeybees in and near their nests and during foraging flights. Recordings were obtained from European and Africanized honeybees in the same general environment. Preliminary analyses of the acoustical data base clearly support the general identification algorithm: Africanized honeybee noise has significantly higher frequency content than does European honeybee noise. As this algorithm is refined, it may result in the development of a simple field-portable device for identifying subspecies of honeybees. Further, the honeybee's acoustical signals appear to be correlated with specific colony conditions. Understanding these variations may have enormous benefit for entomologists and for the beekeeping industry.

  11. The automatic pilot of honeybees.

    PubMed Central

    Riley, J R; Greggers, U; Smith, A D; Stach, S; Reynolds, D R; Stollhoff, N; Brandt, R; Schaupp, F; Menzel, R

    2003-01-01

    Using scanning harmonic radar, we make visible for the first time the complete trajectories of "goal-vector" flights in honeybees. We demonstrate that bees captured at an established feeding station, and released elsewhere, nevertheless embark on the previously learned vector flight that would have taken them directly home from the station, had they not been artificially displaced. Almost all of the bees maintained accurate compensation for lateral wind drift, and many completed the full length of the vector flight before starting to search for their hive. Our results showed that bees tend to disregard landscape cues during these vector flights, at least initially, and rely on the "optic flow" of the ground beneath them, and their sun compass, to judge both direction and distance. PMID:14667330

  12. Prevention of Chinese sacbrood virus infection in Apis cerana using RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xuejiao; Zhang, Yi; Yan, Xun; Han, Richou

    2010-11-01

    Chinese sacbrood virus (CSBV) is the pathogen of Chinese sacbrood disease, which poses a serious threat to honeybee Apis cerana, and tends to cause bee colony and even the whole apiary collapse. Here we report on prevention of CSBV infection by feeding second instar larvae of A. cerana with specific sequences of CSBV double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Protection of the bee larvae from CSBV by ingestion of CSBV-derived dsRNA was further demonstrated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and northern blot analysis. The result provides a potential method to protect A. cerana from CSBV infection.

  13. Interactive Effects of Large- and Small-Scale Sources of Feral Honey-Bees for Sunflower in the Argentine Pampas

    PubMed Central

    Sáez, Agustín; Sabatino, Malena; Aizen, Marcelo A.

    2012-01-01

    Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha) of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated “sierras”, and narrow (3–7 m wide) strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus). We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group) at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0–10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services. PMID:22303477

  14. Interactive effects of large- and small-scale sources of feral honey-bees for sunflower in the Argentine Pampas.

    PubMed

    Sáez, Agustín; Sabatino, Malena; Aizen, Marcelo A

    2012-01-01

    Pollinators for animal pollinated crops can be provided by natural and semi-natural habitats, ranging from large vegetation remnants to small areas of non-crop land in an otherwise highly modified landscape. It is unknown, however, how different small- and large-scale habitat patches interact as pollinator sources. In the intensively managed Argentine Pampas, we studied the additive and interactive effects of large expanses (up to 2200 ha) of natural habitat, represented by untilled isolated "sierras", and narrow (3-7 m wide) strips of semi-natural habitat, represented by field margins, as pollinator sources for sunflower (Helianthus annus). We estimated visitation rates by feral honey-bees, Apis mellifera, and native flower visitors (as a group) at 1, 5, 25, 50 and 100 m from a field margin in 17 sunflower fields 0-10 km distant from the nearest sierra. Honey-bees dominated the pollinator assemblage accounting for >90% of all visits to sunflower inflorescences. Honey-bee visitation was strongly affected by proximity to the sierras decreasing by about 70% in the most isolated fields. There was also a decline in honey-bee visitation with distance from the field margin, which was apparent with increasing field isolation, but undetected in fields nearby large expanses of natural habitat. The probability of observing a native visitor decreased with isolation from the sierras, but in other respects visitation by flower visitors other than honey-bees was mostly unaffected by the habitat factors assessed in this study. Overall, we found strong hierarchical and interactive effects between the study large and small-scale pollinator sources. These results emphasize the importance of preserving natural habitats and managing actively field verges in the absence of large remnants of natural habitat for improving pollinator services.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. The Genetic Basis of Transgressive Ovary Size in Honeybee Workers

    PubMed Central

    Linksvayer, Timothy A.; Rueppell, Olav; Siegel, Adam; Kaftanoglu, Osman; Page, Robert E.; Amdam, Gro V.

    2009-01-01

    Ovarioles are the functional unit of the female insect reproductive organs and the number of ovarioles per ovary strongly influences egg-laying rate and fecundity. Social evolution in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) has resulted in queens with 200–360 total ovarioles and workers with usually 20 or less. In addition, variation in ovariole number among workers relates to worker sensory tuning, foraging behavior, and the ability to lay unfertilized male-destined eggs. To study the genetic architecture of worker ovariole number, we performed a series of crosses between Africanized and European bees that differ in worker ovariole number. Unexpectedly, these crosses produced transgressive worker phenotypes with extreme ovariole numbers that were sensitive to the social environment. We used a new selective pooled DNA interval mapping approach with two Africanized backcrosses to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying the transgressive ovary phenotype. We identified one QTL on chromosome 11 and found some evidence for another QTL on chromosome 2. Both QTL regions contain plausible functional candidate genes. The ovariole number of foragers was correlated with the sugar concentration of collected nectar, supporting previous studies showing a link between worker physiology and foraging behavior. We discuss how the phenotype of extreme worker ovariole numbers and the underlying genetic factors we identified could be linked to the development of queen traits. PMID:19620393

  17. Differential coding by two olfactory subsystems in the honeybee brain.

    PubMed

    Carcaud, Julie; Hill, Thomas; Giurfa, Martin; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe

    2012-08-01

    Sensory systems use parallel processing to extract and process different features of environmental stimuli. Parallel processing has been studied in the auditory, visual, and somatosensory systems, but equivalent research in the olfactory modality is scarce. The honeybee Apis mellifera is an interesting model for such research as its relatively simple brain contains a dual olfactory system, with a clear neural dichotomy from the periphery to higher-order centers, based on two main neuronal tracts [medial (m) and lateral (l) antenno-protocerebral tract (APT)]. The function of this dual system is as yet unknown, and attributes like odor quality and odor quantity might be separately encoded in these subsystems. We have thus studied olfactory coding at the input of both subsystems, using in vivo calcium imaging. As one of the subsystems (m-APT) has never been imaged before, a novel imaging preparation was developed to this end, and responses to a panel of aliphatic odorants at different concentrations were compared in both subsystems. Our data show a global redundancy of olfactory coding at the input of both subsystems but unravel some specificities for encoding chemical group and carbon chain length of odor molecules.

  18. Long live the wasp: adult longevity in captive colonies of the eusocial paper wasp Polistes canadensis (L.)

    PubMed Central

    Southon, Robin J.; Bell, Emily F.; Sumner, Seirian

    2015-01-01

    Insects have been used as an exemplary model in studying longevity, from extrinsic mortality pressures to intrinsic senescence. In the highly eusocial insects, great degrees of variation in lifespan exist between morphological castes in relation to extreme divisions of labour, but of particular interest are the primitively eusocial insects. These species represent the ancestral beginnings of eusociality, in which castes are flexible and based on behaviour rather than morphology. Here we present data on the longevity of the primitively eusocial Neotropical paper wasp P. canadensis, in a captive setting removed of environmental hazards. Captive Polistes canadensis had an average lifespan of 193 ± 10.5 days; although this average is shorter than most bee and ant queens, one individual lived for 506 days in the lab—longer than most recorded wasps and bees. Natal colony variation in longevity does exist between P. canadensis colonies, possibly due to nutritional and genetic factors. This study provides a foundation for future investigations on the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on longevity in primitively eusocial insects, as well as the relationship with natal group and cohort size. PMID:25825677

  19. Effects of some insecticides on longevity of the foragers honey bee worker of local honey bee race Apis mellifera jemenatica

    PubMed Central

    Aljedani, Dalal Musleh; Almehmadi, Roqaya Mohammed

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Honeybees are constantly exposed to a wide range of vital and non-vital pressures that may interact with each other and affect the health or survival of the insects. Pesticides are the main danger for the insects, and they subsequently have impacts on human and environmental health. Methods Field research was conducted in the apiary of Hada Al Sham Research Station, where the worker honeybees forager Apis mellifera jemenatica were selected to examine the effect of pesticides on workers’ longevity. We used three insecticides, i.e., deltamethrin, malathion, and abamectin, in different concentrations. The longevity of worker honeybee foragers was calculated; the honeybees were supplied with water, food, natural protein, and sugar solution laced with selected insecticide by mouth under laboratory conditions. Results The longest period of insect longevity was 15.5 days when using deltamethrin concentrate at a concentration of 1.00 ppm; the lowest longevity was two days when using abamectin at a concentration 1.00 ppm. The longevity of the unexposed forager worker honeybees was 18 days, as the variation in the intensity of the effect of the insecticide on the bees appeared with the severity of the effect diminishing in the order of abamectin followed by malathion followed by deltamethrin. Conclusion The study found that the type and concentration of the insecticides that are found in the honeybees’ food had a significant impact on the time of survival of the insects. The longevity of a worker honeybee depends on the health and safety of all of the members of the beehive, and safe alternatives to insecticides must be used because of the danger imposed by the application of insecticides on the continuity of life of the entire society depends on the life of this layer bee community. PMID:26955457

  20. Databrowser API for MCL

    SciTech Connect

    Spires, S.

    2004-07-01

    This code provides an application programming interface to the Macintosh OSX Carbon Databrowser from Macintosh Common Lisp. The Databrowser API is made available to Lisp via high level native CLOS classes and methods, obviating the need to write low-level Carbon code. This code is primarily ‘glue’ in that its job is to provide an interface between two extant software tools: Macintosh Common Lisp and the OSX Databrowser, both of which are COTS products from private vendors. The Databrowser is an extremely useful user interface widget that is provided with Apple’s OSX (and to some extent, OS9) operating systems. One Apple-sanctioned method for using the Databrowser is via an API called Carbon, which is designed for C and C++ programmers. We have translated the low-level Carbon programming interface to the Databrowser into high-level object-oriented Common Lisp calls, functions, methods. and classes to enable MCL programmers to more readily take advantage of the Databrowser from Lisp programs.