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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. Transcriptome differences in the hypopharyngeal gland between Western Honeybees (Apis mellifera) and Eastern Honeybees (Apis cerana).

    PubMed

    Liu, Hao; Wang, Zi-Long; Tian, Liu-Qing; Qin, Qiu-Hong; Wu, Xiao-Bo; Yan, Wei-Yu; Zeng, Zhi-Jiang

    2014-08-30

    Apis mellifera and Apis cerana are two sibling species of Apidae. Apis cerana is adept at collecting sporadic nectar in mountain and forest region and exhibits stiffer hardiness and acarid resistance as a result of natural selection, whereas Apis mellifera has the advantage of producing royal jelly. To identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that affect the development of hypopharyngeal gland (HG) and/or the secretion of royal jelly between these two honeybee species, we performed a digital gene expression (DGE) analysis of the HGs of these two species at three developmental stages (newly emerged worker, nurse and forager). Twelve DGE-tag libraries were constructed and sequenced using the total RNA extracted from the HGs of newly emerged workers, nurses, and foragers of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana. Finally, a total of 1482 genes in Apis mellifera and 1313 in Apis cerana were found to exhibit an expression difference among the three developmental stages. A total of 1417 DEGs were identified between these two species. Of these, 623, 1072, and 462 genes showed an expression difference at the newly emerged worker, nurse, and forager stages, respectively. The nurse stage exhibited the highest number of DEGs between these two species and most of these were found to be up-regulated in Apis mellifera. These results suggest that the higher yield of royal jelly in Apis mellifera may be due to the higher expression level of these DEGs. In this study, we investigated the DEGs between the HGs of two sibling honeybee species (Apis mellifera and Apis cerana). Our results indicated that the gene expression difference was associated with the difference in the royal jelly yield between these two species. These results provide an important clue for clarifying the mechanisms underlying hypopharyngeal gland development and the production of royal jelly.

  4. Magnetoreception System in Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Chin-Yuan; Ko, Fu-Yao; Li, Chia-Wei; Fann, Kuni; Lue, Juh-Tzeng

    2007-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) undergo iron biomineralization, providing the basis for magnetoreception. We showed earlier the presence of superparamagnetic magnetite in iron granules formed in honeybees, and subscribed to the notion that external magnetic fields may cause expansion or contraction of the superparamagnetic particles in an orientation-specific manner, relaying the signal via cytoskeleton (Hsu and Li 1994). In this study, we established a size-density purification procedure, with which quantitative amount of iron granules was obtained from honey bee trophocytes and characterized; the density of iron granules was determined to be 1.25 g/cm3. While we confirmed the presence of superparamagnetic magnetite in the iron granules, we observed changes in the size of the magnetic granules in the trophycytes upon applying additional magnetic field to the cells. A concomitant release of calcium ion was observed by confocal microscope. This size fluctuation triggered the increase of intracellular Ca+2 , which was inhibited by colchicines and latrunculin B, known to be blockers for microtubule and microfilament syntheses, respectively. The associated cytoskeleton may thus relay the magnetosignal, initiating a neural response. A model for the mechanism of magnetoreception in honeybees is proposed, which may be applicable to most, if not all, magnetotactic organisms. PMID:17460762

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Presence of Nosema ceranae in honeybees (Apis mellifera) in Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Invernizzi, Ciro; Abud, Carolina; Tomasco, Ivanna H; Harriet, Jorge; Ramallo, Gustavo; Campá, Juan; Katz, Helena; Gardiol, Gabriela; Mendoza, Yamandú

    2009-06-01

    The microsporidium Nosema ceranae is an emergent pathogen of European honeybees Apis mellifera. Using a PCR-RFLP diagnosis, 29 samples of infected honeybees obtained in 2007-2008 (N=26), 2004 (N=2) and before 1990 (N=1) were analyzed for the presence of Nosema apis and N. ceranae. Only N. ceranae was found in all samples, indicating that this species dispersed to Uruguay (and likely the region) at some time before 1990. The presence of N. ceranae in Uruguay is not associated with an increase of Nosemosis, and its role in colony loss seems to be irrelevant.

  9. 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

  10. Primary cell culture method for the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Ju, Hyunhee; Ghil, Sungho

    2015-10-01

    Honeybees are among the most important pollinators in nature, and honeybee-associated products are useful in various areas, including the food industry. However, honeybees may be infected by various types of pathogens. The study of honeybee-associated diseases would greatly benefit from a successful cell culture system, but although some honeybee cell culture techniques have been introduced, these methods have not yet been fully established. Here, we describe a primary cell culture method for the honeybee, Apis mellifera. We isolated, sterilized, and seeded egg cells into non-coated cell culture dishes to generate cell aggregates. After approximately 10 d, aggregates were dissociated and seeded to cell culture dishes. Cell passages were continuously performed, with sub-culturing every 3-4 d. The cells expressed non-adherent phenotypes. Their growth increased with the passage number when they were cultured in growth medium based on L-15 insect medium but not Schneider's insect medium. Finally, polymerase chain reaction confirmed that the cells originated from A. mellifera. Our results suggest that the culturing methods described herein are appropriate for isolating primary cells from honeybee eggs. These methods could thus facilitate the study of honeybee-associated pathogenesis, development, and toxicology.

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [Local honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera L.) populations in the Urals].

    PubMed

    Il'iasov, R A; Petukhov, A V; Poskriakov, A V; Nikolaenko, A G

    2007-06-01

    The COI-COII intergenic region of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was studied in local honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera) L. populations from the Middle and Southern Urals. Analysis of bee colonies in these regions revealed apiaries enriched in families descending from A. m. mellifera in the maternal lineage. These results confirm the suggestion of preservation of A. m. mellifera refuges in the Urals and provide grounds for work on the preservation of the gene pool of this bee variety, valuable for all Russia.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Asexually produced Cape honeybee queens (Apis mellifera capensis) reproduce sexually.

    PubMed

    Beekman, Madeleine; Allsopp, Michael H; Lim, Julianne; Goudie, Frances; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2011-01-01

    Unmated workers of the Cape honeybee Apis mellifera capensis can produce female offspring including daughter queens. As worker-laid queens are produced asexually, we wondered whether these asexually produced individuals reproduce asexually or sexually. We sampled 11 colonies headed by queens known to be the clonal offspring of workers and genotyped 23 worker offspring from each queen at 5 microsatellite loci. Without exception, asexually produced queens produced female worker offspring sexually. In addition, we report the replacement of a queen by her asexually produced granddaughter, with this asexually produced queen also producing offspring sexually. Hence, once a female larva is raised as a queen, mating and sexual reproduction appears to be obligatory in this subspecies, despite the fact that worker-laid queens are derived from asexual lineages.

  11. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Pathogens and parasites threaten the health and well-being of honeybees, key pollinators of agricultural crops and flowers worldwide. We conducted a nationwide survey to determine the occurrence and prevalence of pathogens and parasites in Chinese populations of the Asian honeybee species, Apis cer...

  13. 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.

  14. Contrasting Sex-and Caste-Dependent piRNA Profiles in the Transposon Depleted Haplodiploid Honeybee Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weiwen; Ying, Hua; Maleszka, Ryszard; Forêt, Sylvain

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Protecting genome integrity against transposable elements is achieved by intricate molecular mechanisms involving PIWI proteins, their associated small RNAs (piRNAs), and epigenetic modifiers such as DNA methylation. Eusocial bees, in particular the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera, have one of the lowest contents of transposable elements in the animal kingdom, and, unlike other animals with a functional DNA methylation system, appear not to methylate their transposons. This raises the question of whether the PIWI machinery has been retained in this species. Using comparative genomics, mass spectrometry, and expressional profiling, we present seminal evidence that the piRNA system is conserved in honeybees. We show that honey bee piRNAs contain a 2'-O-methyl modification at the 3' end, and have a bias towards a 5' terminal U, which are signature features of their biogenesis. Both piRNA repertoire and expression levels are greater in reproductive individuals than in sterile workers. Haploid males, where the detrimental effects of transposons are dominant, have the greatest piRNA levels, but surprisingly, the highest expression of transposons. These results show that even in a transposon-depleted species, the piRNA system is required to guard the vulnerable haploid genome and reproductive castes against transposon-associated genomic instability. This also suggests that dosage plays an important role in the regulation of transposons and piRNAs expression in haplo-diploid systems. PMID:28472327

  15. Spiroplasma apis, a new species from the honey-bee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Mouches, C; Bové, J M; Tully, J G; Rose, D L; McCoy, R E; Carle-Junca, P; Garnier, M; Saillard, C

    1983-01-01

    Two spiroplasma strains (B31 and B39) recovered from diseased honey-bees (Apis mellifera) in southwestern France were similar in biochemical, serological and pathological properties. The organisms grew at 30 degrees C, required cholesterol for growth, fermented glucose, catabolized arginine and produced a film and spot reaction. The two spiroplasmas were serologically indistinguishable but were related to serogroup IV spiroplasmas, which had been previously isolated from flower surfaces and from insects. The isolates were distinct from the three previously established species of Spiroplasma and from other presently known serogroups. The G + C content of the DNA from strain B31 was 30 +/- 1 mol %. Both B31 and B39 strains were associated with a lethal infection ("May disease") of the honey-bee. On the basis of the characterization presented here, it is proposed that these spiroplasmal pathogens of bees and allied strains be classified as a new species, Spiroplasma apis, the type strain of which is B31 (ATCC 33834).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 the

  17. 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

  18. Effects of age and nutritional state on the expression of gustatory receptors in the honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Wakeling, Luisa A.; Ford, Dianne; Wright, Geraldine A.

    2017-01-01

    Gustatory receptors (Grs) expressed in insect taste neurons signal the presence of carbohydrates, sugar alcohols, CO2, bitter compounds and oviposition stimulants. The honeybee (Apis mellifera) has one of the smallest Gr gene sets (12 Gr genes) of any insect whose genome has been sequenced. Honeybees live in eusocial colonies with a division of labour and perform age-dependent behavioural tasks, primarily food collection. Here, we used RT-qPCR to quantify Gr mRNA in honeybees at two ages (newly-emerged and foraging-age adults) to examine the relationship between age-related physiology and expression of Gr genes. We measured the Gr mRNAs in the taste organs and also the brain and gut. The mRNA of all Gr genes was detected in all tissues analysed but showed plasticity in relative expression across tissues and in relation to age. Overall, Gr gene expression was higher in the taste organs than in the internal tissues but did not show an overall age-dependent difference. In contrast Gr gene expression in brain was generally higher in foragers, which may indicate greater reliance on internal nutrient sensing. Expression of the candidate sugar receptors AmGr1, AmGr2 and AmGr3 in forager brain was affected by the types of sugars bees fed on. The levels of expression in the brain were greater for AmGr1 but lower for AmGr2 and AmGr3 when bees were fed with glucose and fructose compared with sucrose. Additionally, AmGr3 mRNA was increased in starved bees compared to bees provided ad libitum sucrose. Thus, expression of these Grs in forager brain reflects both the satiety state of the bee (AmGr3) and the type of sugar on which the bee has fed. PMID:28403157

  19. `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.

  20. Relatedness among honeybees (Apis mellifera) of a drone congregation

    PubMed Central

    Baudry, E.; Solignac, M.; Garnery, L.; Gries, M.; Cornuet, J.-M.; Koeniger, N.

    1998-01-01

    The honeybee (Apis mellifera) queen mates during nuptial flights, in the so-called drone congregation area where many males from surrounding colonies gather. Using 20 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci, we studied a sample of 142 drones captured in a congregation close to Oberursel (Germany). A parentage test based on lod score showed that this sample contained one group of four brothers, six groups of three brothers, 20 groups of two brothers and 80 singletons. These values are very close to a Poisson distribution. Therefore, colonies were apparently equally represented in the drone congregation, and calculations showed that the congregation comprised males that originated from about 240 different colonies. This figure is surprisingly high. Considering the density of colonies around the congregation area and the average flight range of males, it suggests that most colonies within the recruitment perimeter delegated drones to the congregation with an equal probability, resulting in an almost perfect panmixis. Consequently, the relatedness between a queen and her mates, and hence the inbreeding coefficient of the progeny, should be minimized. The relatedness among the drones mated to the same queen is also very low, maximizing the genetic diversity among the different patrilines of a colony.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Varying degrees of Apis mellifera ligustica introgression in protected populations of the black honeybee, Apis mellifera mellifera, in northwest Europe.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Annette B; Palmer, Kellie A; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Pedersen, Bo V

    2005-01-01

    The natural distribution of honeybee subspecies in Europe has been significantly affected by human activities during the last century. Non-native subspecies of honeybees have been introduced and propagated, so that native black honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera) populations lost their identity by gene-flow or went extinct. After previous studies investigated the remaining gene-pools of native honeybees in France and Spain, we here assess the genetic composition of eight northwest European populations of the black honeybee, using both mitochondrial (restriction fragment length polymorphisms of the intergenic transfer RNAleu-COII region) and nuclear (11 microsatellite loci) markers. Both data sets show that A. m. mellifera populations still exist in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, England, Scotland and Ireland, but that they are threatened by gene flow from commercial honeybees. Both Bayesian admixture analysis of the microsatellite data and DraI-RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) analysis of the intergenic region indicated that gene-flow had hardly occurred in some populations, whereas almost 10% introgression was observed in other populations. The most introgressed population was found on the Danish Island of Laeso, which is the last remaining native Danish population of A. m. mellifera and the only one of the eight investigated populations that is protected by law. We discuss how individual admixture analysis can be used to monitor the restoration of honeybee populations that suffer from unwanted hybridization with non-native subspecies.

  6. 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.

  7. Proteomic analysis of royal jelly from three strains of western honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Li, Jianke; Wang, Ting; Zhang, Zhaohui; Pan, Yinghong

    2007-10-17

    To compare the protein complement of royal jelly (RJ) from high RJ producing honeybees ( Apis mellifera L.), a strain of A. mellifera artificially selected for increased RJ production from Italian honeybees in China for more than two decades was compared to those of native Italian honeybees ( A. mellifera L.) and Carnica honeybees ( A. mellifera C.); the protein in RJ from these three strains of honeybees was partially identified by using a combination of two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS), and a protein engine identification tool applied to the honeybee genome. The results showed that 152, 157, and 137 proteins were detected in the three species of RJ; among which 57, 57, 51 high abundant proteins ere identified, respectively. Most identifited spots, 45, 45, 41, were assigned to major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs). Remarkable differences were found in the heterogeneity of the MRJPs, in particular, MRJP3. Also, 3-glucose oxidase, 1-peroxiredoxin (PRDX), and 1-glutathione S-transferase (GST) S1 were identified in three RJ samples. Furthermore, during the determination of the peptides mass fingerprinting (PMF) of each spot, for the first time, PRDX and GST S1 proteins have been identified in RJ. Thus, the results suggest that the protein complement of high RJ producing honeybees is not different compared to native Italian honeybees, while a difference remains between Carnica honeybees.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  11. An abbreviated SNP panel for ancestry assignment of honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This paper examines whether an abbreviated panel of 37 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has the same power as a larger and more expensive panel of 95 SNPs to assign ancestry of honeybees (Apis mellifera) to three ancestral lineages. We selected 37 SNPs from the original 95 SNP panel using alle...

  12. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of cold narcosis on memory acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan-Mei; Fu, Yu; He, Jing; Wang, Jian-Hong

    2014-03-01

    In learning and memory studies on honeybees (Apis mellifera), cold-induced narcosis has been widely used to temporarily immobilize honeybees. In this study, we investigated the effects of cold narcosis on the associative memories in honeybees by using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm. Severe impairments in memory acquisition was found when cold narcosis was performed 30 min, instead of 1 h before training. Locomotor activities were reduced when honeybees were tested 15 min, instead of 30 min after cold narcosis. These results indicate that cold narcosis impairs locomotor activities, as well as memory acquisition in a time-dependent manner, but by comparison no such effects on memory retrieval have yet been observed.[0].

  18. Effects of cold narcosis on memory acquisition, consolidation and retrieval in honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    CHEN, Yan-Mei; FU, Yu; HE, Jing; WANG, Jian-Hong

    2014-01-01

    In learning and memory studies on honeybees (Apis mellifera), cold-induced narcosis has been widely used to temporarily immobilize honeybees. In this study, we investigated the effects of cold narcosis on the associative memories in honeybees by using the proboscis extension response (PER) paradigm. Severeimpairments in memory acquisitionwas found when cold narcosis was performed 30 min, instead of 1 h before training. Locomotor activities were reduced when honeybees were tested 15 min, instead of 30 min after cold narcosis. These results indicate that cold narcosis impairs locomotor activities, as well as memory acquisition in a time-dependent manner, but by comparison no such effects on memory retrieval have yet been observed.[0] PMID:24668654

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Spatial and temporal variation of metal concentrations in adult honeybees (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    van der Steen, Jozef J M; de Kraker, Joop; Grotenhuis, Tim

    2012-07-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) have great potential for detecting and monitoring environmental pollution, given their wide-ranging foraging behaviour. Previous studies have demonstrated that concentrations of metals in adult honeybees were significantly higher at polluted than at control locations. These studies focused at a limited range of heavy metals and highly contrasting locations, and sampling was rarely repeated over a prolonged period. In our study, the potential of honeybees to detect and monitor metal pollution was further explored by measuring the concentration in adult honeybees of a wide range of trace metals, nine of which were not studied before, at three locations in the Netherlands over a 3-month period. The specific objective of the study was to assess the spatial and temporal variation in concentration in adult honeybees of Al, As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, Sr, Ti, V and Zn. In the period of July-September 2006, replicated samples were taken at 2-week intervals from commercial-type bee hives. The metal concentration in micrograms per gram honeybee was determined by inductive coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. Significant differences in concentration between sampling dates per location were found for Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn Sr, Ti and V, and significant differences in average concentration between locations were found for Co, Sr and V. The results indicate that honeybees can serve to detect temporal and spatial patterns in environmental metal concentrations, even at relatively low levels of pollution.

  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. Nosema neumanni n. sp. (Microsporidia, Nosematidae), a new microsporidian parasite of honeybees, Apis mellifera in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Chemurot, Moses; De Smet, Lina; Brunain, Marleen; De Rycke, Riet; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2017-07-19

    The microsporidium Nosema neumanni n. sp., a new parasite of the honeybee Apis mellifera is described based on its ultra-structural and molecular characteristics. Structures resembling microsporidian spores were found by microscopic examination of honeybees from Uganda. Molecular confirmation failed when PCR primers specific for Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae were used, but was successful with primers covering the whole family of Nosematidae. We performed transmission electron microscopy and found typical microsporidian spores which were smaller (length: 2.36±0.14μm and width: 1.78±0.06μm; n=6) and had fewer polar filament coils (10-12) when compared to those of known species infecting honeybees. The entire 16S SSU rRNA region was amplified, cloned and sequenced and was found to be unique with the highest resemblance (97% identity) to N. apis. The incidence of N. neumanni n. sp. in Ugandan honeybees was found to be much higher than of the two other Nosema species. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Honeybee glands as possible infection reservoirs of Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis in naturally infected forager bees.

    PubMed

    Copley, T R; Jabaji, S H

    2012-01-01

    To determine whether Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis are present in different gland tissues of honeybee, Apis mellifera L. and to monitor spore presence and quantity in these glands in naturally infected hives from July 2009 to July 2010 in Quebec, Canada. Nosema spp. were quantified using duplex quantitative real-time PCR in the thoracic salivary, hypopharyngeal, mandibular glands, and venom sac and glands of A. mellifera over a period of 8 months. Both Nosema species were present in all the glands as single or mixed species; however, N. apis was not present as single-species detections in the salivary glands (see Table 2). Nosema ceranae was more prevalent throughout the 8 months. Significant correlative relationships were established for N. ceranae and N. apis levels in the honeybee glands and those found within the intestines of forager honeybees. Overall, the seasonality of N. ceranae and N. apis in the different glands tightly followed the seasonal patterns in the honeybee guts. Nosema ceranae and N. apis are not tissue specific, and honeybee glands have potential to become a useful indicator of the extent of disease in the colony and may represent a potential infection reservoir. First report of spore load quantification of Nosema spp. in different honeybee glands. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2011 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  10. 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.

  11. The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization.

    PubMed

    Sadd, Ben M; Barribeau, Seth M; Bloch, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C; Dearden, Peter; Elsik, Christine G; Gadau, Jürgen; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J P; Hasselmann, Martin; Lozier, Jeffrey D; Robertson, Hugh M; Smagghe, Guy; Stolle, Eckart; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Waterhouse, Robert M; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Klasberg, Steffen; Bennett, Anna K; Câmara, Francisco; Guigó, Roderic; Hoff, Katharina; Mariotti, Marco; Munoz-Torres, Monica; Murphy, Terence; Santesmasses, Didac; Amdam, Gro V; Beckers, Matthew; Beye, Martin; Biewer, Matthias; Bitondi, Márcia M G; Blaxter, Mark L; Bourke, Andrew F G; Brown, Mark J F; Buechel, Severine D; Cameron, Rossanah; Cappelle, Kaat; Carolan, James C; Christiaens, Olivier; Ciborowski, Kate L; Clarke, David F; Colgan, Thomas J; Collins, David H; Cridge, Andrew G; Dalmay, Tamas; Dreier, Stephanie; du Plessis, Louis; Duncan, Elizabeth; Erler, Silvio; Evans, Jay; Falcon, Tiago; Flores, Kevin; Freitas, Flávia C P; Fuchikawa, Taro; Gempe, Tanja; Hartfelder, Klaus; Hauser, Frank; Helbing, Sophie; Humann, Fernanda C; Irvine, Frano; Jermiin, Lars S; Johnson, Claire E; Johnson, Reed M; Jones, Andrew K; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko; Kidner, Jonathan H; Koch, Vasco; Köhler, Arian; Kraus, F Bernhard; Lattorff, H Michael G; Leask, Megan; Lockett, Gabrielle A; Mallon, Eamonn B; Antonio, David S Marco; Marxer, Monika; Meeus, Ivan; Moritz, Robin F A; Nair, Ajay; Näpflin, Kathrin; Nissen, Inga; Niu, Jinzhi; Nunes, Francis M F; Oakeshott, John G; Osborne, Amy; Otte, Marianne; Pinheiro, Daniel G; Rossié, Nina; Rueppell, Olav; Santos, Carolina G; Schmid-Hempel, Regula; Schmitt, Björn D; Schulte, Christina; Simões, Zilá L P; Soares, Michelle P M; Swevers, Luc; Winnebeck, Eva C; Wolschin, Florian; Yu, Na; Zdobnov, Evgeny M; Aqrawi, Peshtewani K; Blankenburg, Kerstin P; Coyle, Marcus; Francisco, Liezl; Hernandez, Alvaro G; Holder, Michael; Hudson, Matthew E; Jackson, LaRonda; Jayaseelan, Joy; Joshi, Vandita; Kovar, Christie; Lee, Sandra L; Mata, Robert; Mathew, Tittu; Newsham, Irene F; Ngo, Robin; Okwuonu, Geoffrey; Pham, Christopher; Pu, Ling-Ling; Saada, Nehad; Santibanez, Jireh; Simmons, DeNard; Thornton, Rebecca; Venkat, Aarti; Walden, Kimberly K O; Wu, Yuan-Qing; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; Asher, Claire; Blommaert, Julie; Chipman, Ariel D; Chittka, Lars; Fouks, Bertrand; Liu, Jisheng; O'Neill, Meaghan P; Sumner, Seirian; Puiu, Daniela; Qu, Jiaxin; Salzberg, Steven L; Scherer, Steven E; Muzny, Donna M; Richards, Stephen; Robinson, Gene E; Gibbs, Richard A; Schmid-Hempel, Paul; Worley, Kim C

    2015-04-24

    The shift from solitary to social behavior is one of the major evolutionary transitions. Primitively eusocial bumblebees are uniquely placed to illuminate the evolution of highly eusocial insect societies. Bumblebees are also invaluable natural and agricultural pollinators, and there is widespread concern over recent population declines in some species. High-quality genomic data will inform key aspects of bumblebee biology, including susceptibility to implicated population viability threats. We report the high quality draft genome sequences of Bombus terrestris and Bombus impatiens, two ecologically dominant bumblebees and widely utilized study species. Comparing these new genomes to those of the highly eusocial honeybee Apis mellifera and other Hymenoptera, we identify deeply conserved similarities, as well as novelties key to the biology of these organisms. Some honeybee genome features thought to underpin advanced eusociality are also present in bumblebees, indicating an earlier evolution in the bee lineage. Xenobiotic detoxification and immune genes are similarly depauperate in bumblebees and honeybees, and multiple categories of genes linked to social organization, including development and behavior, show high conservation. Key differences identified include a bias in bumblebee chemoreception towards gustation from olfaction, and striking differences in microRNAs, potentially responsible for gene regulation underlying social and other traits. These two bumblebee genomes provide a foundation for post-genomic research on these key pollinators and insect societies. Overall, gene repertoires suggest that the route to advanced eusociality in bees was mediated by many small changes in many genes and processes, and not by notable expansion or depauperation.

  12. 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

  13. Production of Knockout Mutants by CRISPR/Cas9 in the European Honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Hiroki; Suenami, Shota; Takeuchi, Hideaki; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Kubo, Takeo

    2016-10-01

    The European honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) is used as a model organism in studies of the molecular and neural mechanisms underlying social behaviors and/or advanced brain functions. The entire honeybee genome has been sequenced, which has further advanced molecular biologic studies of the honeybee. Functions of genes of interest, however, remain largely to be elucidated in the honeybee due to the lack of effective reverse genetic methods. Moreover, genetically modified honeybees must be maintained under restricted laboratory conditions due to legal restrictions, further complicating the application of reverse genetics to this species. Here we applied CRISPR/Cas9 to the honeybee to develop an effective reverse genetic method. We targeted major royal jelly protein 1 (mrjp1) for genome editing, because this gene is predominantly expressed in adult workers and its mutation is not expected to affect normal development. By injecting sgRNA and Cas9 mRNA into 57 fertilized embryos collected within 3 h after oviposition, we successfully created six queens, one of which produced genome-edited male offspring. Of the 161 males produced, genotyping demonstrated that the genome was edited in 20 males. All of the processes necessary for producing these genome-edited queens and males were performed in the laboratory. Therefore, we developed essential techniques to create knockout honeybees by CRISPR/Cas9. Our findings also suggested that mrjp1 is dispensable for normal male development, at least till the pupal stage. This new technology could pave the way for future functional analyses of candidate genes involved in honeybee social behaviors.

  14. Three-dimensional model of the honeybee venom allergen Api m 7: structural and functional insights.

    PubMed

    Georgieva, Dessislava; Greunke, Kerstin; Betzel, Christian

    2010-06-01

    Api m 7 is one of the major protease allergens of the honeybee venom. It consists of a serine protease-like (SPL) and a CUB domain. The knowledge about the structure and function of Api m 7 is limited mainly to its amino acid sequence. Three-dimensional models of the two structural domains were constructed using their amino acid sequences and the crystallographic coordinates of prophenoloxidase-activating factor (PPAF-II) as a template for the SPL domain and the coordinates of porcine spermadhesin PSP-II for the CUB domain. The structural organization of Api m 7 suggests that the CUB domain is involved in interactions with natural substrates while the SPL domain probably activates zymogens. IgE epitopes and antigenic sites were predicted. Api m 7 shows structural and functional similarity to the members of the PPAF-II family. Possible substrates, function and evolution of the enzyme are discussed in the paper.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Proteomic analysis of honeybee worker (Apis mellifera) hypopharyngeal gland development

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Hypopharyngeal glands (HG) of honeybee workers play an important role in honeybee nutrition and caste differentiation. Previous research mainly focused on age-dependent morphological, physiological, biochemical and genomic characters of the HG. Here proteomics and biochemical network analysis were used to follow protein changes during the HG development. Results A total of 87, 76, 85, 74, 71, and 55 proteins were unambiguously identified on day 1, 3, 6, 12, 15 and 20, respectively. These proteins were major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs), metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, cytoskeleton, development regulation, antioxidant, molecule transporter, regulation of transcription/translation, proteins with folding functions. The most interesting is that MRJP's that have been detected in the HG of the newly emerged worker bees. The MRJP's expression is at peak level from 6-12 days, was validated by western blot analysis of MRJP1, 2 and 3. Moreover, 35 key node proteins were found in the biochemical networks of the HG. Conclusions HG secretes RJ at peak level within 6-12 days, but the worker bee can secrete royal jelly (RJ) since birth, which is a new finding. Several key node proteins play an important role in the biochemical networks of the developing HG. This provides us some target proteins when genetically manipulating honeybees. PMID:20043834

  3. [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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Sun angle time windows for absconding by the dwarf honeybee, Apis florea.

    PubMed

    Duangphakdee, Orawan; Radloff, Sarah E; Pirk, Christian W W; Hepburn, Randall

    2009-11-01

    In Asia, the red dwarf honeybee, Apis florea, is notorious for its absconding habit. Interestingly, such colonies show a bimodal frequency distribution about a noonday lull throughout the year. Because slight errors in reading the relative position of the sun near its zenith results in very large orientation errors in the waggle dances of other honeybees in the tropics, we postulated that the frequency distribution of absconding in the red dwarf honeybee relative to local clock time could be explained in similar fashion. The frequency distribution of absconding by the red dwarf honeybee with respect to time was found to be bimodal with a pronounced lull at noonday, which in turn is related to the altitude angle of the sun. So, these bees largely avoid flying off between 12:00h and 13:00h on the one hand and that their preferred departure angle of the sun is between 55 degrees and 65 degrees on the other. Given the difficulties of taking an accurate reading of the sun at angles +/-6 degrees of the sun's zenith (resulting in a 1h loss around noon) and the 2h required to reach consensus over the final direction to be flown, the bees are simply left with two time windows, morning and afternoon, in which to abscond and, indeed some 90% of the red dwarf honeybee colonies do so. The noonday lull is not associated with high temperatures for any given day. Absconding is not inhibited by high temperatures.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Prevalence of Parasites and Pathogens in Asian Honeybees Apis cerana in China

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23144838

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. Classical conditioning of proboscis extension in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Bitterman, M E; Menzel, R; Fietz, A; Schäfer, S

    1983-06-01

    Extension of the proboscis was conditioned in restrained honeybees with odor as the conditioned stimulus (CS) and sucrose solution--delivered to the antenna (to elicit extension of the proboscis) and then to the proboscis itself--as the unconditioned stimulus (US). In a first series of experiments, acquisition was found to be very rapid, both in massed and in spaced trials; its associative basis was established by differential conditioning and by an explicitly unpaired control procedure (which produced marked resistance to acquisition in subsequent paired training); and both extinction and spontaneous recovery in massed trials were demonstrated. In a series of experiments on the nature of the US, eliminating the proboscis component was found to lower the asymptotic level of performance, whereas eliminating the antennal component was without effect; reducing the concentration of sucrose from 20% to 7% slowed acquisition but did not lower the asymptotic level of performance; and second-order conditioning was demonstrated. In a series of experiments on the role of the US, an omission contingency designed to eliminate adventitious response-reinforcer contiguity was found to have no adverse effect on acquisition. In a series of experiments designed to analyze the resistance to acquisition found after explicitly unpaired training in the first experiments, no significant effect was found of prior exposure either to the CS alone or to the US alone, although the unpaired procedure again produced substantial resistance that was shown to be due to inhibition rather than to inattention; extinction after paired training was found to be facilitated by unpaired presentations of the US. The relation between these results for honeybees and those of analogous experiments with vertebrates is considered.

  15. 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.

  16. Hyperalgesic and edematogenic effects of Secapin-2, a peptide isolated from Africanized honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom.

    PubMed

    Mourelle, D; Brigatte, P; Bringanti, L D B; De Souza, B M; Arcuri, H A; Gomes, P C; Baptista-Saidemberg, N B; Ruggiero Neto, J; Palma, M S

    2014-09-01

    Honeybee stings are a severe public health problem. Bee venom contains a series of active components, including enzymes, peptides, and biogenic amines. The local reactions observed after envenoming include a typical inflammatory response and pain. Honeybee venom contains some well-known polycationic peptides, such as Melittin, Apamin, MCD peptide, Cardiopep, and Tertiapin. Secapin in honeybee venom was described 38 years ago, yet almost nothing is known about its action. A novel, variant form of this peptide was isolated from the venom of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera). This novel peptide, named Secapin-2, is 25 amino acid residues long. Conformational analyses using circular dichroism and molecular dynamics simulations revealed a secondary structure rich in strands and turns, stabilized by an intramolecular disulfide bridge. Biological assays indicated that Secapin-2 did not induce hemolysis, mast cell degranulation or chemotactic activities. However, Secapin-2 caused potent dose-related hyperalgesic and edematogenic responses in experimental animals. To evaluate the roles of prostanoids and lipid mediators in the hyperalgesia and edema induced by this peptide, Indomethacin and Zileuton were used to inhibit the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways, respectively. The results showed that Zileuton partially blocked the hyperalgesia induced by Secapin-2 and decreased the edematogenic response. In contrast, Indomethacin did not interfere with these phenomena. Zafirlukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist, blocked the Secapin-2 induced hyperalgesia and edematogenic response. These results indicate that Secapin-2 induces inflammation and pain through the lipoxygenase pathway in both phenomena. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. Behavioural Pharmacology in Classical Conditioning of the Proboscis Extension Response in Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Antemann, Victoria; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2011-01-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are well known for their communication and orientation skills and for their impressive learning capability1,2. Because the survival of a honeybee colony depends on the exploitation of food sources, forager bees learn and memorize variable flower sites as well as their profitability. Forager bees can be easily trained in natural settings where they forage at a feeding site and learn the related signals such as odor or color. Appetitive associative learning can also be studied under controlled conditions in the laboratory by conditioning the proboscis extension response (PER) of individually harnessed honeybees3,4. This learning paradigm enables the study of the neuronal and molecular mechanisms that underlie learning and memory formation in a simple and highly reliable way5-12. A behavioral pharmacology approach is used to study molecular mechanisms. Drugs are injected systemically to interfere with the function of specific molecules during or after learning and memory formation13-16. Here we demonstrate how to train harnessed honeybees in PER conditioning and how to apply drugs systemically by injection into the bee flight muscle. PMID:21304470

  19. Patterns of chromatic information processing in the lobula of the honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Yang, En-Cheng; Lin, Hsiao-Chun; Hung, Yu-Shan

    2004-10-01

    The honeybee, Apis mellifera L., is one of the living creatures that has its colour vision proven through behavioural tests. Previous studies of honeybee colour vision has emphasized the relationship between the spectral sensitivities of photoreceptors and colour discrimination behaviour. The current understanding of the neural mechanisms of bee colour vision is, however, rather limited. The present study surveyed the patterns of chromatic information processing of visual neurons in the lobula of the honeybee, using intracellular recording stimulated by three light-emitting diodes, whose emission spectra approximately match the spectral sensitivity peaks of the honeybee. The recorded visual neurons can be divided into two groups: non-colour opponent cells and colour opponent cells. The non-colour opponent cells comprise six types of broad-band neurons and four response types of narrow-band neurons. The former might detect brightness of the environment or function as chromatic input channels, and the latter might supply specific chromatic input. Amongst the colour opponent cells, the principal neural mechanism of colour vision, eight response types were recorded. The receptive fields of these neurons were not centre surround as observed in primates. Some recorded neurons with tonic post-stimulus responses were observed, however, suggesting temporal defined spectral opponency may be part of the colour-coding mechanisms.

  20. 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.

  1. A Comparative Study of Relational Learning Capacity in Honeybees (Apis mellifera) and Stingless Bees (Melipona rufiventris)

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Antonio Mauricio; de Souza, Deisy das Graças; Reinhard, Judith

    2012-01-01

    Background Learning of arbitrary relations is the capacity to acquire knowledge about associations between events or stimuli that do not share any similarities, and use this knowledge to make behavioural choices. This capacity is well documented in humans and vertebrates, and there is some evidence it exists in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). However, little is known about whether the ability for relational learning extends to other invertebrates, although many insects have been shown to possess excellent learning capacities in spite of their small brains. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a symbolic matching-to-sample procedure, we show that the honeybee Apis mellifera rapidly learns arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, reaching 68.2% correct choice for pattern-colour relations and 73.3% for colour-pattern relations. However, Apis mellifera does not transfer this knowledge to the symmetrical relations when the stimulus order is reversed. A second bee species, the stingless bee Melipona rufiventris from Brazil, seems unable to learn the same arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, although it exhibits excellent discrimination learning. Conclusions/Significance Our results confirm that the capacity for learning arbitrary relations is not limited to vertebrates, but even insects with small brains can perform this learning task. Interestingly, it seems to be a species-specific ability. The disparity in relational learning performance between the two bee species we tested may be linked to their specific foraging and recruitment strategies, which evolved in adaptation to different environments. PMID:23251542

  2. A comparative study of relational learning capacity in honeybees (Apis mellifera) and stingless bees (Melipona rufiventris).

    PubMed

    Moreno, Antonio Mauricio; de Souza, Deisy das Graças; Reinhard, Judith

    2012-01-01

    Learning of arbitrary relations is the capacity to acquire knowledge about associations between events or stimuli that do not share any similarities, and use this knowledge to make behavioural choices. This capacity is well documented in humans and vertebrates, and there is some evidence it exists in the honeybee (Apis mellifera). However, little is known about whether the ability for relational learning extends to other invertebrates, although many insects have been shown to possess excellent learning capacities in spite of their small brains. Using a symbolic matching-to-sample procedure, we show that the honeybee Apis mellifera rapidly learns arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, reaching 68.2% correct choice for pattern-colour relations and 73.3% for colour-pattern relations. However, Apis mellifera does not transfer this knowledge to the symmetrical relations when the stimulus order is reversed. A second bee species, the stingless bee Melipona rufiventris from Brazil, seems unable to learn the same arbitrary relations between colours and patterns, although it exhibits excellent discrimination learning. Our results confirm that the capacity for learning arbitrary relations is not limited to vertebrates, but even insects with small brains can perform this learning task. Interestingly, it seems to be a species-specific ability. The disparity in relational learning performance between the two bee species we tested may be linked to their specific foraging and recruitment strategies, which evolved in adaptation to different environments.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Prevalence of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae in honeybee (Apis mellifera) apiaries in Central Italy.

    PubMed

    Papini, Roberto; Mancianti, Francesca; Canovai, Roberto; Cosci, Francesca; Rocchigiani, Guido; Benelli, Giovanni; Canale, Angelo

    2017-07-01

    Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis are microsporidia which play an important role in the epidemiology of honeybee microsporidiosis worldwide. Nosemiasis reduces honeybee population size and causes significant losses in honey production. To the best of our knowledge, limited information is available about the prevalence of nosemiasis in Italy. In this research, we determined the occurrence of Nosema infection in Central Italy. Thirty-eight seemingly healthy apiaries (2 to 4 hives each) were randomly selected and screened from April to September 2014 (n = 11) or from May to September 2015 (n = 27). The apiaries were located in six areas of Central Italy, including Lucca (n = 11), Massa Carrara (n = 9), Pisa (n = 9), Leghorn (n = 7), Florence (n = 1), and Prato (n = 1) provinces. Light microscopy was carried out according to current OIE recommendations to screen the presence of microsporidiosis in adult worker honeybees. Since the morphological characteristics of N. ceranae and N. apis spores are similar and can hardly be distinguished by optical microscopy, all samples were also screened by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (M-PCR) assay based on 16S rRNA-gene-targeted species-specific primers to differentiate N. ceranae from N. apis. Furthermore, PCR-positive samples were also sequenced to confirm the species of amplified Nosema DNA. Notably, Nosema spores were detected in samples from 24 out of 38 (63.2%, 95% CI: 47.8-78.5%) apiaries. Positivity rates in single provinces were 10/11, 8/9, 3/9, 1/7, or 1/1 (n = 2). A full agreement (Cohen's Kappa = 1) was assessed between microscopy and M-PCR. Based on M-PCR and DNA sequencing results, only N. ceranae was found. Overall, our results highlighted that N. ceranae infection occurs frequently in the cohort of honeybee populations that was examined despite the lack of clinical signs. These findings suggest that colony disease outbreaks might result from environmental factors that lead to higher

  7. 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.

  8. [Analysis of the Genetic Structure of Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Populations].

    PubMed

    Kaskinova, M D; Ilyasov, R A; Poskryakov, A V; Nikolenko, A G

    2015-10-01

    The genetic structure of honeybee populations from the southern part of Bashkortostan was assessed based on an analysis of mtDNA (COI-COII locus) and five nuclear DNA microsatellite loci (Ap243, 4A110, A8, A113, and A28). The data indicate that the examined populations experience a deficit of heterozygotes despite intense interpedigree hybridization. It is suggested that there is a boundary between the population of Apis mellifera mellifera L. and the hybrid zone in the examined region.

  9. 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.

  10. Function and distribution of 5-HT2 receptors in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    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. 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 Ca(2+) imaging experiments. Quantitative PCR was applied to explore the expression patterns of receptor mRNAs. 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 Ca(2+) 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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. An integrated proteomics reveals pathological mechanism of honeybee (Apis cerena) sacbrood disease.

    PubMed

    Han, Bin; Zhang, Lan; Feng, Mao; Fang, Yu; Li, Jianke

    2013-04-05

    Viral diseases of honeybees are a major challenge for the global beekeeping industry. Chinese indigenous honeybee (Apis cerana cerana, Acc) is one of the major Asian honeybee species and has a dominant population with more than 3 million colonies. However, Acc is frequently threatened by a viral disease caused by Chinese sacbrood virus (CSBV), which leads to fatal infections and eventually loss of the entire colony. Nevertheless, knowledge on the pathological mechanism of this deadly disease is still unknown. Here, an integrated gel-based and label-free liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based proteomic strategy was employed to unravel the molecular event that triggers this disease, by analysis of proteomics and phosphoproteomics alterations between healthy and CSBV infected worker larvae. There were 180 proteins and 19 phosphoproteins which altered their expressions after the viral infection, of which 142 proteins and 12 phosphoproteins were down-regulated in the sick larvae, while only 38 proteins and 7 phosphoproteins were up-regulated. The infected worker larvae were significantly affected by the pathways of carbohydrate and energy metabolism, development, protein metabolism, cytoskeleton, and protein folding, which were important for supporting organ generation and tissue development. Because of abnormal metabolism of these pathways, the sick larvae fail to pupate and eventually death occurs. Our data, for the first time, comprehensively decipher the molecular underpinnings of the viral infection of the Acc and are potentially helpful for sacbrood disease diagnosis and medicinal development for the prevention of this deadly viral disease.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Identification of major royal jelly proteins in the brain of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Peixoto, Leonardo Gomes; Calábria, Luciana Karen; Garcia, Liudy; Capparelli, Fausto Emílio; Goulart, Luiz Ricardo; de Sousa, Marcelo Valle; Espindola, Foued Salmen

    2009-08-01

    The consumption of royal jelly (RJ) determines the differences between castes and behavioral development in the honeybee Apis mellifera. However, it is not known whether the proteins of RJ are related to these differences, or which proteins are responsible for the changes. To understand the functions of RJ proteins that are present in other tissues of the bee, in addition to hypopharyngeal gland, we used a polyclonal antibody anti-MRJP1 to investigate the presence of this protein in nervous system of honeybee. This study showed the presence of three polypeptides (p57, p70 and p128) in specific tissues of bee brain. Mushroom body, optic lobe and antennal lobe neuropils all contained proteins recognized by anti-MRJP1. Proteomic analysis showed that the three polypeptides are correlated with proteins of the MRJP family. p57 is correlated with MRJP1, p70 with MRJP3, while p128 may be an oligomeric form or a new polypeptide. Immunostaining of the brain and hypopharyngeal gland revealed differential expression of MRJPs in various brain regions and in different honeybee castes and subcastes. The identification and localization of these MRJPs contribute to the elucidation of the biological roles of this protein family.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Bacterial community associated with worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) affected by European foulbrood.

    PubMed

    Erban, Tomas; Ledvinka, Ondrej; Kamler, Martin; Hortova, Bronislava; Nesvorna, Marta; Tyl, Jan; Titera, Dalibor; Markovic, Martin; Hubert, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Melissococcus plutonius is an entomopathogenic bacterium that causes European foulbrood (EFB), a honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) disease that necessitates quarantine in some countries. In Czechia, positive evidence of EFB was absent for almost 40 years, until an outbreak in the Krkonose Mountains National Park in 2015. This occurrence of EFB gave us the opportunity to study the epizootiology of EFB by focusing on the microbiome of honeybee workers, which act as vectors of honeybee diseases within and between colonies. The study included worker bees collected from brood combs of colonies (i) with no signs of EFB (EFB0), (ii) without clinical symptoms but located at an apiary showing clinical signs of EFB (EFB1), and (iii) with clinical symptoms of EFB (EFB2). In total, 49 samples from 27 honeybee colonies were included in the dataset evaluated in this study. Each biological sample consisted of 10 surface-sterilized worker bees processed for DNA extraction. All subjects were analyzed using conventional PCR and by metabarcoding analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene V1-V3 region, as performed through Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing. The bees from EFB2 colonies with clinical symptoms exhibited a 75-fold-higher incidence of M. plutonius than those from EFB1 asymptomatic colonies. Melissococcus plutonius was identified in all EFB1 colonies as well as in some of the control colonies. The proportions of Fructobacillus fructosus, Lactobacillus kunkeei, Gilliamella apicola, Frischella perrara, and Bifidobacterium coryneforme were higher in EFB2 than in EFB1, whereas Lactobacillus mellis was significantly higher in EFB2 than in EFB0. Snodgrassella alvi and L. melliventris, L. helsingborgensis and, L. kullabergensis exhibited higher proportion in EFB1 than in EFB2 and EFB0. The occurrence of Bartonella apis and Commensalibacter intestini were higher in EFB0 than in EFB2 and EFB1. Enterococcus faecalis incidence was highest in EFB2. High-throughput Illumina sequencing permitted

  5. 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.

  6. [Research on morphological genetic marker of honeybee (Apis melli fera ligustica) in royal jelly production performance].

    PubMed

    Su, Song-Kun; Chen, Sheng-Lu

    2003-11-01

    The lengths of hypopharyngeal glands (HG) from the left and right side were determined in 19 workers of honeybee(Apis mellifera ligustica). There were no significant differences (P<0.05) in length between the left and the right in one worker's hypopharyngeal gland. Three hundred and thirty workers were collected from eleven colonies of "ZND No.1" Italian honeybee(Apis mellifera ligustica) respectively. Head weight, body weight, ratio between head weight and body weight,bursa number and length of hypopharyngeal gland(HG)were tested in these samples. Royal jelly productions were determined during the flowing period of rape and Chinese milk retch from March 30 to April 26 in Chun'an County of Zhejiang Province in 2001. The correlation analysis between royal jelly production and head weight, ratio between head weight and body weight, bursa number of HG,and length of HG were conducted. The correlation coefficient between royal jelly production and length of HG was the largest. The correlation coefficient between royal jelly production and bursa number was the second. It was suggested that the length of HG could be used as one of genetic markers for the production performance of royal jelly.

  7. 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.

  8. Extreme Recombination Frequencies Shape Genome Variation and Evolution in the Honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Wallberg, Andreas; Glémin, Sylvain; Webster, Matthew T.

    2015-01-01

    Meiotic recombination is a fundamental cellular process, with important consequences for evolution and genome integrity. However, we know little about how recombination rates vary across the genomes of most species and the molecular and evolutionary determinants of this variation. The honeybee, Apis mellifera, has extremely high rates of meiotic recombination, although the evolutionary causes and consequences of this are unclear. Here we use patterns of linkage disequilibrium in whole genome resequencing data from 30 diploid honeybees to construct a fine-scale map of rates of crossing over in the genome. We find that, in contrast to vertebrate genomes, the recombination landscape is not strongly punctate. Crossover rates strongly correlate with levels of genetic variation, but not divergence, which indicates a pervasive impact of selection on the genome. Germ-line methylated genes have reduced crossover rate, which could indicate a role of methylation in suppressing recombination. Controlling for the effects of methylation, we do not infer a strong association between gene expression patterns and recombination. The site frequency spectrum is strongly skewed from neutral expectations in honeybees: rare variants are dominated by AT-biased mutations, whereas GC-biased mutations are found at higher frequencies, indicative of a major influence of GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), which we infer to generate an allele fixation bias 5 – 50 times the genomic average estimated in humans. We uncover further evidence that this repair bias specifically affects transitions and favours fixation of CpG sites. Recombination, via gBGC, therefore appears to have profound consequences on genome evolution in honeybees and interferes with the process of natural selection. These findings have important implications for our understanding of the forces driving molecular evolution. PMID:25902173

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Mechanisms of thermal stability during flight in the honeybee apis mellifera

    PubMed

    Roberts; Harrison

    1999-06-01

    Thermoregulation of the thorax allows honeybees (Apis mellifera) to maintain the flight muscle temperatures necessary to meet the power requirements for flight and to remain active outside the hive across a wide range of air temperatures (Ta). To determine the heat-exchange pathways through which flying honeybees achieve thermal stability, we measured body temperatures and rates of carbon dioxide production and water vapor loss between Ta values of 21 and 45 degrees C for honeybees flying in a respirometry chamber. Body temperatures were not significantly affected by continuous flight duration in the respirometer, indicating that flying bees were at thermal equilibrium. Thorax temperatures (Tth) during flight were relatively stable, with a slope of Tth on Ta of 0.39. Metabolic heat production, calculated from rates of carbon dioxide production, decreased linearly by 43 % as Ta rose from 21 to 45 degrees C. Evaporative heat loss increased nonlinearly by over sevenfold, with evaporation rising rapidly at Ta values above 33 degrees C. At Ta values above 43 degrees C, head temperature dropped below Ta by approximately 1-2 degrees C, indicating that substantial evaporation from the head was occurring at very high Ta values. The water flux of flying honeybees was positive at Ta values below 31 degrees C, but increasingly negative at higher Ta values. At all Ta values, flying honeybees experienced a net radiative heat loss. Since the honeybees were in thermal equilibrium, convective heat loss was calculated as the amount of heat necessary to balance metabolic heat gain against evaporative and radiative heat loss. Convective heat loss decreased strongly as Ta rose because of the decrease in the elevation of body temperature above Ta rather than the variation in the convection coefficient. In conclusion, variation in metabolic heat production is the dominant mechanism of maintaining thermal stability during flight between Ta values of 21 and 33 degrees C, but variations in

  12. Antimicrobial activity of plant extracts against the honeybee pathogens, Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis and their topical toxicity to Apis mellifera adults.

    PubMed

    Chaimanee, Veeranan; Thongtue, Ubonwan; Sornmai, Nantaporn; Songsri, Sineenard; Pettis, Jeffery S

    2017-09-04

    To explore alternative non-chemical control measures against two honeybee pathogens, Paenibacillus larvae and Ascosphaera apis, thirty-seven plant species were screened for antimicrobial activity. The activity of selected plant extracts was screened using a in vitro disk diffusion assay and the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined by the broth microdilution method. The results showed that thirty-six plant extracts had some antibacterial activity on P. larvae by disk diffusion assay. Chromolaena odorata showed the greatest antibacterial activity against P. larvae (MIC 16-64 μg/ml). Out of 37 tested plants, only seven species, Amomum krervanh, Allium sativum, Cinnamomum spp., Piper betle, Piper ribesioides, Piper sarmentosum and Syzygium aromaticum had inhibitory effects on A. apis (MICs of 32-64 μg/ml). The results demonstrated that promising plant extracts were not toxic to adult bees at the concentrations used in this study. The results demonstrate the potential antimicrobial activity of natural products against honeybee diseases caused by P. larvae and A. apis. Chromolaena odorata in particular showed high bioactivity against P. larvae. Further study is recommended to develop these non-chemical treatments against American foulbrood and chalkbrood in honeybees. This work proposes new natural products for the control of American foulbrood and chalkbrood in honeybees. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Asiatic cavity-nesting honeybee Apis cerana (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Tan, Hong-Wei; Liu, Guo-Hua; Dong, Xia; Lin, Rui-Qing; Song, Hui-Qun; Huang, Si-Yang; Yuan, Zi-Guo; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2011-01-01

    In the present study, we determined the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence of Apis cerana, the Asiatic cavity-nesting honeybee. We present here an analysis of features of its gene content and genome organization in comparison with Apis mellifera to assess the variation within the genus Apis and among main groups of Hymenoptera. The size of the entire mt genome of A. cerana is 15,895 bp, containing 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes and one control region. These genes are transcribed from both strands and have a nucleotide composition high in A and T. The contents of A+T of the complete genomes are 83.96% for A. cerana. The AT bias had a significant effect on both the codon usage pattern and amino acid composition of proteins. There are a total of 3672 codons in all 13 protein-coding genes, excluding termination codons. The most frequently used amino acid is Leu (15.52%), followed by Ile (12.85%), Phe (10.10%), Ser (9.15%) and Met (8.96%). Intergenic regions in the mt genome of A. cerana are 705 bp in total. The order and orientation of the gene arrangement pattern is identical to that of A. mellifera, except for the position of the tRNA-Ser(AGN) gene. Phylogenetic analyses using concatenated amino acid sequences of 13 protein-coding genes, with three different computational algorithms (NJ, MP and ML), all revealed two distinct groups with high statistical support, indicating that A. cerana and A. mellifera are two separate species, consistent with results of previous morphological and molecular studies. The complete mtDNA sequence of A. cerana provides additional genetic markers for studying population genetics, systematics and phylogeographics of honeybees.

  14. Molecular mechanisms underlying formation of long-term reward memories and extinction memories in the honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    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 flower's characteristic features with a reward in a way that resembles olfactory appetitive classical conditioning, a learning paradigm that is used to study mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation in the honeybee. Due to a plethora of studies on appetitive classical conditioning and phenomena related to it, the honeybee is one of the best characterized invertebrate model organisms from a learning psychological point of view. Moreover, classical conditioning and associated behavioral phenomena are surprisingly similar in honeybees and vertebrates, suggesting a convergence of underlying neuronal processes, including the molecular mechanisms that contribute to them. Here I review current thinking on the molecular mechanisms underlying long-term memory (LTM) formation in honeybees following classical conditioning and extinction, demonstrating that an in-depth analysis of the molecular mechanisms of classical conditioning in honeybees might add to our understanding of associative learning in honeybees and vertebrates. PMID:25225299

  15. Molecular mechanisms underlying formation of long-term reward memories and extinction memories in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-10-01

    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 flower's characteristic features with a reward in a way that resembles olfactory appetitive classical conditioning, a learning paradigm that is used to study mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation in the honeybee. Due to a plethora of studies on appetitive classical conditioning and phenomena related to it, the honeybee is one of the best characterized invertebrate model organisms from a learning psychological point of view. Moreover, classical conditioning and associated behavioral phenomena are surprisingly similar in honeybees and vertebrates, suggesting a convergence of underlying neuronal processes, including the molecular mechanisms that contribute to them. Here I review current thinking on the molecular mechanisms underlying long-term memory (LTM) formation in honeybees following classical conditioning and extinction, demonstrating that an in-depth analysis of the molecular mechanisms of classical conditioning in honeybees might add to our understanding of associative learning in honeybees and vertebrates. © 2014 Eisenhardt; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. IgE recognition of chimeric isoforms of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom allergen Api m 10 evaluated by protein array technology.

    PubMed

    Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; De Smet, Lina; Rafei-Shamsabadi, David; Blank, Simon; Spillner, Edzard; Ebo, Didier G; Devreese, Bart; Jakob, Thilo; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-02-01

    Api m 10 has recently been established as novel major allergen that is recognized by more than 60% of honeybee venom (HBV) allergic patients. Previous studies suggest Api m 10 protein heterogeneity which may have implications for diagnosis and immunotherapy of HBV allergy. In the present study, RT-PCR revealed the expression of at least nine additional Api m 10 transcript isoforms by the venom glands. Two distinct mechanisms are responsible for the generation of these isoforms: while the previously known variant 2 is produced by an alternative splicing event, novel identified isoforms are intragenic chimeric transcripts. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the identification of chimeric transcripts generated by the honeybee. By a retrospective proteomic analysis we found evidence for the presence of several of these isoforms in the venom proteome. Additionally, we analyzed IgE reactivity to different isoforms by protein array technology using sera from HBV allergic patients, which revealed that IgE recognition of Api m 10 is both isoform- and patient-specific. While it was previously demonstrated that the majority of HBV allergic patients display IgE reactivity to variant 2, our study also shows that some patients lacking IgE antibodies for variant 2 display IgE reactivity to two of the novel identified Api m 10 variants, i.e. variants 3 and 4. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Octopamine Underlies the Counter-Regulatory Response to a Glucose Deficit in Honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Buckemüller, Christina; Siehler, Oliver; Göbel, Josefine; Zeumer, Richard; Ölschläger, Anja; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2017-01-01

    An animal's internal state is a critical parameter required for adaptation to a given environment. An important aspect of an animal's internal state is the energy state that is adjusted to the needs of an animal by energy homeostasis. Glucose is one essential source of energy, especially for the brain. A shortage of glucose therefore triggers a complex response to restore the animal's glucose supply. This counter-regulatory response to a glucose deficit includes metabolic responses like the mobilization of glucose from internal glucose stores and behavioral responses like increased foraging and a rapid intake of food. In mammals, the catecholamines adrenalin and noradrenalin take part in mediating these counter-regulatory responses to a glucose deficit. One candidate molecule that might play a role in these processes in insects is octopamine (OA). It is an invertebrate biogenic amine and has been suggested to derive from an ancestral pathway shared with adrenalin and noradrenalin. Thus, it could be hypothesized that OA plays a role in the insect's counter-regulatory response to a glucose deficit. Here we tested this hypothesis in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), an insect that, as an adult, mainly feeds on carbohydrates and uses these as its main source of energy. We investigated alterations of the hemolymph glucose concentration, survival, and feeding behavior after starvation and examined the impact of OA on these processes in pharmacological experiments. We demonstrate an involvement of OA in these three processes in honeybees and conclude there is an involvement of OA in regulating a bee's metabolic, physiological, and behavioral response following a phase of prolonged glucose deficit. Thus, OA in honeybees acts similarly to adrenalin and noradrenalin in mammals in regulating an animal's counter-regulatory response.

  7. Octopamine Underlies the Counter-Regulatory Response to a Glucose Deficit in Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Buckemüller, Christina; Siehler, Oliver; Göbel, Josefine; Zeumer, Richard; Ölschläger, Anja; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2017-01-01

    An animal’s internal state is a critical parameter required for adaptation to a given environment. An important aspect of an animal’s internal state is the energy state that is adjusted to the needs of an animal by energy homeostasis. Glucose is one essential source of energy, especially for the brain. A shortage of glucose therefore triggers a complex response to restore the animal’s glucose supply. This counter-regulatory response to a glucose deficit includes metabolic responses like the mobilization of glucose from internal glucose stores and behavioral responses like increased foraging and a rapid intake of food. In mammals, the catecholamines adrenalin and noradrenalin take part in mediating these counter-regulatory responses to a glucose deficit. One candidate molecule that might play a role in these processes in insects is octopamine (OA). It is an invertebrate biogenic amine and has been suggested to derive from an ancestral pathway shared with adrenalin and noradrenalin. Thus, it could be hypothesized that OA plays a role in the insect’s counter-regulatory response to a glucose deficit. Here we tested this hypothesis in the honeybee (Apis mellifera), an insect that, as an adult, mainly feeds on carbohydrates and uses these as its main source of energy. We investigated alterations of the hemolymph glucose concentration, survival, and feeding behavior after starvation and examined the impact of OA on these processes in pharmacological experiments. We demonstrate an involvement of OA in these three processes in honeybees and conclude there is an involvement of OA in regulating a bee’s metabolic, physiological, and behavioral response following a phase of prolonged glucose deficit. Thus, OA in honeybees acts similarly to adrenalin and noradrenalin in mammals in regulating an animal’s counter-regulatory response. PMID:28912693

  8. CpG Methylation in the Hexamerin 110 Gene in the European Honeybee, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Takashi; Furukawa, Seiichi; Nakamura, Jun; Sasaki, Masami; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The European honeybee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), has a full set of machinery for functional CpG methylation of its genome. A recent study demonstrated that DNA methylation in the honeybee is involved in caste differentiation. In this study, the expression and methylation of the hexamerin 110 gene (Hex110), which encodes a storage protein, was analyzed. High levels of the Hex110 transcript were expressed in both worker and queen larvae. Low levels of this transcript were also detected in adult fat bodies, and the expression level was higher in the queen than in the worker. Bisulfite sequencing revealed that the Hex110 gene is overall methylated at a low level, with a limited number of CpG sites methylated at relatively high levels. These highly methylated sites were exclusively located in the exon regions. The average methylation rate of the Hex110 gene was higher in the adult stage than in the larval stage. Furthermore, several CpG sites were differentially methylated between the worker and queen larvae. These observations suggest that the methylation of the Hex110 gene is regulated at the developmental stage and in a caste-dependent manner. PMID:21870982

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Involvement of phosphorylated Apis mellifera CREB in gating a honeybee's behavioral response to an external stimulus

    PubMed Central

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

    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 abundance of the phosphorylated honeybee CREB homolog (pAmCREB) in the central brain and in a subpopulation of mushroom body neurons. We hypothesize that these high pAmCREB levels are related to learning and memory formation. Here, we tested this hypothesis by analyzing brain pAmCREB levels in classically conditioned bees and bees experiencing unpaired presentations of conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US). We demonstrate that both behavioral protocols display differences in memory formation but do not alter the level of pAmCREB in bee brains directly after training. Nevertheless, we report that bees responding to the CS during unpaired stimulus presentations exhibit higher levels of pAmCREB than nonresponding bees. In addition, Trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that is thought to enhance histone acetylation by CREB-binding protein, increases the bees’ CS responsiveness. We conclude that pAmCREB is involved in gating a bee's behavioral response driven by an external stimulus. PMID:27084927

  14. 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.

  15. Changes in cellular degradation activity in young and old worker honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chin-Yuan; Chuang, Yu-Lung; Chan, Yu-Pei

    2014-02-01

    The trophocytes and fat cells of honeybees (Apis mellifera) have been used in cellular senescence studies, but the changes of cellular degradation activity with aging in workers are unknown. In this study, cellular degradation activity was evaluated in the trophocytes and fat cells of young and old workers reared in a field hive. The results showed the following: (1) 20S proteosome activity decreased with aging, whereas its expression increased with aging; (2) the expression of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) and the 70 kD heat shock cognate protein (Hsc70) decreased with aging; (3) the size and number of autophagic vacuoles decreased with aging; (4) p62/SQSTM1 and polyubiquitin aggregate expression decreased with aging; (5) lysosomal efficiency decreased with aging; and (6) molecular target of rapamycin (mTOR) expression increased with aging. These results indicate that young workers have higher levels of cellular degradation activity than old workers and that aging results in a decline in the cellular degradation activity in worker honeybees. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. One retrieval trial induces reconsolidation in an appetitive learning paradigm in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Stollhoff, Nicola; Menzel, Randolf; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2008-05-01

    Combining memory retrieval with the application of a protein synthesis-inhibitor leads to an amnestic effect that is referred to as the reconsolidation phenomenon. Several behavioural studies demonstrate that only a few or weak retrieval trials (that do not result in significant extinction) lead to this phenomenon. In contrast, many trials (that result in significant extinction) combined with a protein synthesis inhibitor result in an inhibition of the extinction memory. Based on these findings it was suggested that extinction is the boundary condition for reconsolidation: when extinction is induced the consolidation of the extinction memory is the dominant process. Recently we were not able to confirm this hypothesis in the honeybee (Apis mellifera): we did not find the reconsolidation phenomenon after one retrieval trial, but demonstrated reconsolidation after five retrieval trials that led to extinction. To exclude that this observation resembles a special case in insects we here wanted to know if one retrieval trial induces reconsolidation as it has been demonstrated before in many other species. To do so we used experimental parameters that had been used before to demonstrate consolidation in the honeybee with the exception that this time the protein synthesis-inhibitor was applied 1 h after one memory retrieval instead after acquisition. We thereby demonstrate the reconsolidation phenomenon after one retrieval trial but only when using the doubled dose of protein synthesis-inhibitor that has been used to inhibit consolidation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Systemic spread and propagation of a plant-pathogenic virus in European honeybees, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Li, Ji Lian; Cornman, R Scott; Evans, Jay D; Pettis, Jeffery S; Zhao, Yan; Murphy, Charles; Peng, Wen Jun; Wu, Jie; Hamilton, Michele; Boncristiani, Humberto F; Zhou, Liang; Hammond, John; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-01-21

    Emerging and reemerging diseases that result from pathogen host shifts are a threat to the health of humans and their domesticates. RNA viruses have extremely high mutation rates and thus represent a significant source of these infectious diseases. In the present study, we showed that a plant-pathogenic RNA virus, tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), could replicate and produce virions in honeybees, Apis mellifera, resulting in infections that were found throughout the entire body. Additionally, we showed that TRSV-infected individuals were continually present in some monitored colonies. While intracellular life cycle, species-level genetic variation, and pathogenesis of the virus in honeybee hosts remain to be determined, the increasing prevalence of TRSV in conjunction with other bee viruses from spring toward winter in infected colonies was associated with gradual decline of host populations and winter colony collapse, suggesting the negative impact of the virus on colony survival. Furthermore, we showed that TRSV was also found in ectoparasitic Varroa mites that feed on bee hemolymph, but in those instances the virus was restricted to the gastric cecum of Varroa mites, suggesting that Varroa mites may facilitate the spread of TRSV in bees but do not experience systemic invasion. Finally, our phylogenetic analysis revealed that TRSV isolates from bees, bee pollen, and Varroa mites clustered together, forming a monophyletic clade. The tree topology indicated that the TRSVs from arthropod hosts shared a common ancestor with those from plant hosts and subsequently evolved as a distinct lineage after transkingdom host alteration. This study represents a unique example of viruses with host ranges spanning both the plant and animal kingdoms. Pathogen host shifts represent a major source of new infectious diseases. Here we provide evidence that a pollen-borne plant virus, tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), also replicates in honeybees and that the virus systemically invades and

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A worldwide survey of genome sequence variation provides insight into the evolutionary history of the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Wallberg, Andreas; Han, Fan; Wellhagen, Gustaf; Dahle, Bjørn; Kawata, Masakado; Haddad, Nizar; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Allsopp, Mike H; Kandemir, Irfan; De la Rúa, Pilar; Pirk, Christian W; Webster, Matthew T

    2014-10-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera has major ecological and economic importance. We analyze patterns of genetic variation at 8.3 million SNPs, identified by sequencing 140 honeybee genomes from a worldwide sample of 14 populations at a combined total depth of 634×. These data provide insight into the evolutionary history and genetic basis of local adaptation in this species. We find evidence that population sizes have fluctuated greatly, mirroring historical fluctuations in climate, although contemporary populations have high genetic diversity, indicating the absence of domestication bottlenecks. Levels of genetic variation are strongly shaped by natural selection and are highly correlated with patterns of gene expression and DNA methylation. We identify genomic signatures of local adaptation, which are enriched in genes expressed in workers and in immune system- and sperm motility-related genes that might underlie geographic variation in reproduction, dispersal and disease resistance. This study provides a framework for future investigations into responses to pathogens and climate change in honeybees.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-03

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. [Polymorphism of locus COI-COII of mitochondrial DNA in the honeybee Apis mellifera L. from southern Ural region].

    PubMed

    Nikolenko, A G; Poskriakov, A V

    2002-04-01

    In spite of high biodiversity within the honeybee species Apis mellifera L., only one geographical race, the dark-colored forest honeybee A. m. mellifera, is uniquely adapted to severe environmental conditions of Eurasian forest and forest-steppe zones. Within the vast range of this race, only single isolates remain, where the dark forest honeybee is purebred. The Bashkir population is supposed to be one of these isolates. Molecular-genetic assessment of the state of the gene pool of this population revealed that southern honeybee races were introduced into the Bashkortostan Republic with great intensity, which was above the assimilation capacity of the population. The main part of the former range of the Bashkir population represents a hybrid zone with approximately equal ratio between gene pools of local and introduced honeybees. Our studies provide the possibility to single out one extant reserve of A. m. mellifera, Burzyanskii raion, in which the proportion of local bees in the gene pool is 0.98.

  13. Agonistic interactions between the honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) and the European wasp (Vespula germanica) reveal context-dependent defense strategies

    PubMed Central

    Pusceddu, Michelina; Floris, Ignazio; Buffa, Franco; Salaris, Emanuele

    2017-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships between sympatric species allow the evolution of defense behaviors, such as honeybee colonies defending their nests against predatory wasps. We investigated the predator–prey relationship between the honeybee (Apis mellifera ligustica) and the European wasp (Vespula germanica) by evaluating the effectiveness of attack and defense behaviors, which have coevolved in these sympatric species, as well as the actual damage and disturbance caused to the colonies under attack. Attack and defense behaviors were recorded in front of the hive to observe attacks at the hive entrance (68 attacks in 279 h) and at ground level on isolated and weakened honeybees close to the hive (465 attacks in 32 h). We found that V. germanica attacked the hive entrance infrequently due to the low success rate of this strategy and instead preferred a specialized attack method targeting adult honeybees at ground level, demonstrating opportunistic scavenger behavior. Individual honeybees usually responded effectively to an attack by recruiting an average of two nestmates, causing the wasp to flee, whereas collective balling behavior was only observed on four occasions. V. germanica does not appear to disrupt the foraging activity of the colonies under attack. We found that agonistic events supported by other nestmates were typically the most intense ones, involving physical combat and prolonged attacks at the entrance to the hive. These observations support the hypothesis that A. mellifera ligustica can adapt its behavior to match the severity of the threat and the context of the attack. PMID:28678826

  14. Systemic Spread and Propagation of a Plant-Pathogenic Virus in European Honeybees, Apis mellifera

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ji Lian; Cornman, R. Scott; Evans, Jay D.; Pettis, Jeffery S.; Zhao, Yan; Murphy, Charles; Peng, Wen Jun; Wu, Jie; Hamilton, Michele; Boncristiani, Humberto F.; Zhou, Liang; Hammond, John; Chen, Yan Ping

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Emerging and reemerging diseases that result from pathogen host shifts are a threat to the health of humans and their domesticates. RNA viruses have extremely high mutation rates and thus represent a significant source of these infectious diseases. In the present study, we showed that a plant-pathogenic RNA virus, tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), could replicate and produce virions in honeybees, Apis mellifera, resulting in infections that were found throughout the entire body. Additionally, we showed that TRSV-infected individuals were continually present in some monitored colonies. While intracellular life cycle, species-level genetic variation, and pathogenesis of the virus in honeybee hosts remain to be determined, the increasing prevalence of TRSV in conjunction with other bee viruses from spring toward winter in infected colonies was associated with gradual decline of host populations and winter colony collapse, suggesting the negative impact of the virus on colony survival. Furthermore, we showed that TRSV was also found in ectoparasitic Varroa mites that feed on bee hemolymph, but in those instances the virus was restricted to the gastric cecum of Varroa mites, suggesting that Varroa mites may facilitate the spread of TRSV in bees but do not experience systemic invasion. Finally, our phylogenetic analysis revealed that TRSV isolates from bees, bee pollen, and Varroa mites clustered together, forming a monophyletic clade. The tree topology indicated that the TRSVs from arthropod hosts shared a common ancestor with those from plant hosts and subsequently evolved as a distinct lineage after transkingdom host alteration. This study represents a unique example of viruses with host ranges spanning both the plant and animal kingdoms. PMID:24449751

  15. 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

  16. Economics of comb wax salvage by the red dwarf honeybee, Apis florea.

    PubMed

    Pirk, Christian W W; Crous, Kendall L; Duangphakdee, Orawan; Radloff, Sarah E; Hepburn, Randall

    2011-04-01

    Colonies of Apis florea, which only abscond a short distance, usually return to salvage old nest wax; but, those colonies, and all other honeybee species which go considerably further, do not. Wax salvage would clearly be counter-productive unless the energy input/energy yield threshold was a profitable one. There are two possible trade-offs in this scenario, the trade-off between the energy expended to recover the wax (recovering hypothesis) as against that of replacing the wax by new secretion (replacing hypothesis). In order to compare the two hypotheses, the fuel costs involved in salvaging wax on one return trip, the average flower handling time, flight time and relative values for substituting the salvaged wax with nectar were calculated. Moreover, the energy value of the wax was determined. Net energy gains for salvaged wax were calculated. The energy value of the salvaged wax was 42.7 J/mg, thus too high to be the limiting factor since salvaging costs are only 642.76 mJ/mg (recovering hypothesis). The recovery costs (642.76 mJ/mg) only fall below the replacement costs for absconding distance below 115 m thus supporting the replacing hypothesis. This energetic trade-off between replacing and recycling plus the small absconding range of A. florea might explain why A. florea is probably the only honeybee species known to salvage wax and it parsimoniously explains the underlying reasons why A. florea only salvages wax from the old nest if the new nesting site is less than 100-200 m away-energetically, it pays off to recycle.

  17. 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.

  18. Four quantitative trait loci that influence worker sterility in the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Oxley, Peter R; Thompson, Graham J; Oldroyd, Benjamin P

    2008-07-01

    The all-female worker caste of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is effectively barren in that workers refrain from laying eggs in the presence of a fecund queen. The mechanism by which workers switch off their ovaries in queenright colonies is pheromonally cued, but there is genetically based variation among individuals: some workers have high thresholds for ovary activation, while for others the response threshold is lower. Genetic variation for threshold response by workers to ovary-suppressing cues is most evident in "anarchist" colonies in which mutant patrilines have a proportion of workers that activate their ovaries and lay eggs, despite the presence of a queen. In this study we use a selected anarchist line to create a backcross queenright colony that segregated for high and low levels of ovary activation. We used 191 informative microsatellite loci, covering all 16 linkage groups to identify QTL for ovary activation and test the hypothesis that anarchy is recessively inherited. We reject this hypothesis, but identify four QTL that together explain approximately 25% of the phenotypic variance for ovary activation in our mapping population. They provide the first molecular evidence for the existence of quantitative loci that influence selfish cheating behavior in a social animal.

  19. 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

  20. Mitochondrial DNA diversity and genetic differentiation of the honeybee (Apis cerana) in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Songram, Onuma; Sittipraneed, Siriporn; Klinbunga, Sirawut

    2006-06-01

    Genetic diversity of the honeybee (Apis cerana) in Thailand collected from north, northeast, the central region, peninsular Thailand, and Samui Island (n = 181) was examined by PCR-RFLP of ATPase6-ATPase8. Interestingly, 78 individuals (43.09%) of the southern-latitude bees exhibited length heteroplasmy of the PCR product. The gel-eluted ATPase6-ATPase8 (825 bp) of each bee was restricted with TaqI, SspI, and VspI, respectively. Eight mitotypes were generated and revealed biogeographic differentiation between conspecific samples of A. cerana. AAA, ACA, AAD, BAA, ADA, and ABA were found only in the north-to-central samples (north, northeast, and central region); BBB and BBC were found in the southern-latitude bees; and BBC was restrictively found in the Samui sample. Large genetic distances were observed between each of the north-to-central samples and peninsular Thailand and Samui samples, but lower levels of genetic distance were found within each region. Geographic heterogeneity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Thai A. cerana could be genetically differentiated into northern Thailand, peninsular Thailand, and Samui Island populations.

  1. Immunoprophylactic Effects of Administering Honeybee (Apis melifera) Venom Spray against Salmonella Gallinarum in Broiler Chicks

    PubMed Central

    JUNG, Bock-Gie; LEE, Jin-A; PARK, Seong-Beom; HYUN, Pung-Mi; PARK, Jin-Kyu; SUH, Guk-Hyun; LEE, Bong-Joo

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Antibiotics continue to be used as growth promoters in the poultry industry. Honeybee (Apis melifera) venom (HBV) possesses a number of beneficial biological activities, particularly for regulating the immune system. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the immunoprophylactic effects of HBV against Salmonella Gallinarum in broiler chicks as an initial step towards developing eco-friendly alternatives to reduce antibiotic use. HBV was administered using a spray technique. HBV improved body weight gain, particularly in the presence of infection. Moreover, HBV enhanced antibody production activity against formalin-killed S. Gallinarum. The CD4+:CD8+ T lymphocyte ratio, relative mRNA expression levels of interleukin-18 and interferon-γ, and serum lysozyme activity also increased following HBV administration before the infection period as well as during infection. HBV reinforced bacterial clearance and increased survivability against S. Gallinarum. Corresponding pathological analyses demonstrated that the HBV-sprayed group displayed mild and less severe abnormal changes compared with those in the control group. It was presumed that the prophylactic effects of HBV against S. Gallinarum were associated with its non-specific immune response stimulating activity. Thus, HBV may provide an alternative to reduce antibiotic use in the poultry industry. PMID:23719751

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Contribution of lipids in honeybee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly to health.

    PubMed

    Li, Xing'an; Huang, Chaoqun; Xue, Yunbo

    2013-02-01

    Honeybee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly (RJ) has a long history in human medicine because of its health-protecting properties. To develop a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of lipids in RJ, this article reviews the available literature on lipid compounds identified from RJ extracts and in vitro pharmacological effects of 10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid in RJ and other closely related compounds, some of which are also identified as lipid compounds in RJ. Overall, the lipids in RJ are composed of mostly (aliphatic) fatty acids, almost all of which are present as free fatty acids and scarcely any as esters. Most fatty acids in RJ are medium-chain fatty acids, whether hydroxylated in terminal and/or internal positions, terminated with mono- or dicarboxylic acid groups, and saturated or monounsaturated at the 2-position. Besides these fatty acids, lipids in RJ contain sterols in minor amounts. Lipids in RJ are useful as preventive and supportive medicines with functionalities that include potential inhibitors of cancer growth, immune system modulators, alternative therapies for menopause, skin-aging protectors, neurogenesis inducers, and more. Taken together, the evidence suggests that health-protecting properties of RJ can be, in part, ascribed to actions of lipids in RJ.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26774061

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. Ethanol self-administration in free-flying honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) in an operant conditioning protocol.

    PubMed

    Sokolowski, Michel B C; Abramson, Charles I; Craig, David Philip Arthur

    2012-09-01

    This study examines the effect of ethanol (EtOH) on continuous reinforcement schedules in the free-flying honeybee (Apis mellifera L.). As fermented nectars may be encountered naturally in the environment, we designed an experiment combining the tools of laboratory research with minimal disturbance to the natural life of honeybees. Twenty-five honeybees were trained to fly from their colonies to a fully automated operant chamber with head poking as the operant response. Load size, intervisit interval, and interresponse times (IRTs) served as the dependent variables and were monitored over the course of a daily training session consisting of many visits. Experimental bees were tested using an ABA design in which sucrose only was administered during condition A and a 5% EtOH sucrose solution was administered during condition B. Control bees received sucrose solution only. Most bees continued to forage after EtOH introduction. EtOH significantly reduced the load size and the intervisit interval with no significant effect on IRTs. However, a look on individual data shows large individual differences suggesting the existence of different kinds of behavioral phenotypes linked to EtOH consumption and effects. Our results contribute to the study of EtOH consumption as a normal phenomenon in an ecological context and open the door to schedule-controlled drug self-administration studies in honeybees. Copyright © 2012 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  14. Hovering flight in the honeybee Apis mellifera: kinematic mechanisms for varying aerodynamic forces.

    PubMed

    Vance, Jason T; Altshuler, Douglas L; Dickson, William B; Dickinson, Michael H; Roberts, Stephen P

    2014-01-01

    During hovering flight, animals can increase the wing velocity and therefore the net aerodynamic force per stroke by increasing wingbeat frequency, wing stroke amplitude, or both. The magnitude and orientation of aerodynamic forces are also influenced by the geometric angle of attack, timing of wing rotation, wing contact, and pattern of deviation from the primary stroke plane. Most of the kinematic data available for flying animals are average values for wing stroke amplitude and wingbeat frequency because these features are relatively easy to measure, but it is frequently suggested that the more subtle and difficult-to-measure features of wing kinematics can explain variation in force production for different flight behaviors. Here, we test this hypothesis with multicamera high-speed recording and digitization of wing kinematics of honeybees (Apis mellifera) hovering and ascending in air and hovering in a hypodense gas (heliox: 21% O2, 79% He). Bees employed low stroke amplitudes (86.7° ± 7.9°) and high wingbeat frequencies (226.8 ± 12.8 Hz) when hovering in air. When ascending in air or hovering in heliox, bees increased stroke amplitude by 30%-45%, which yielded a much higher wing tip velocity relative to that during simple hovering in air. Across the three flight conditions, there were no statistical differences in the amplitude of wing stroke deviation, minimum and stroke-averaged geometric angle of attack, maximum wing rotation velocity, or even wingbeat frequency. We employed a quasi-steady aerodynamic model to estimate the effects of wing tip velocity and geometric angle of attack on lift and drag. Lift forces were sensitive to variation in wing tip velocity, whereas drag was sensitive to both variation in wing tip velocity and angle of attack. Bees utilized kinematic patterns that did not maximize lift production but rather maintained lift-to-drag ratio. Thus, our data indicate that, at least for honeybees, the overall time course of wing angles is

  15. Quantitative analysis of risk sensitivity in honeybees (Apis mellifera) with variability in concentration and amount of reward.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, M S

    2000-04-01

    Free-flying honeybees (Apis mellifera) were trained in a series of experiments designed to look for evidence of risk sensitivity in foraging for sucrose solution. The suitability of the choice method used was established in 3 preliminary experiments with differences in concentration, amount, and probability of reward. Of 5 subsequent experiments in which 2 alternatives provided the same mean concentration of sucrose solution with different variance, 3 showed risk indifference, and 2 showed risk aversion (preference for consistent reward). Of 2 final experiments in which the alternatives provided the same mean amount of sucrose solution with different variance, both showed risk aversion. Performance could be simulated quantitatively with a simple choice model developed by P. A. Couvillon and M. E. Bitterman (1991) to account for the results of a wide range of previous experiments on discriminative learning in honeybees.

  16. 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Fertility and reproductive rate of Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, in native and exotic honeybee, Apis mellifera L., colonies under Saudi Arabia conditions.

    PubMed

    Alattal, Yehya; AlGhamdi, Ahmad; Single, Arif; Ansari, Mohammad Javed; Alkathiri, Hussien

    2017-07-01

    Varroa mite is the most destructive pest to bee colonies worldwide. In Saudi Arabia, preliminary data indicated high infestation levels in the exotic honeybee colonies; such as Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera ligustica, compared to native honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera jemenitica, which may imply higher tolerance to Varroasis. In this study, fertility and reproductive rate of Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, in capped brood cells of the native honeybee subspecies were investigated and compared with an exotic honeybee subspecies, A. m. carnica. Mite fertility was almost alike (87.5% and 89.4%) in the native and craniolan colonies respectively. Similarly, results did not show significant differences in reproduction rate between both subspecies (F = 0.66, Pr > F = 0.42). Number of adult Varroa daughters per fertile mother mite was 2.0 and 2.1 for native and craniolan honeybee subspecies respectively. This may indicate that mechanisms of keeping low infestation rates in the native honeybee colonies are not associated with Varroa reproduction. Therefore, potential factors of keeping lower Varroa infestation rates in native honey bee subspecies should be further investigated.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Typing of Melissococcus plutonius isolated from European and Japanese honeybees suggests spread of sequence types across borders and between different Apis species.

    PubMed

    Takamatsu, Daisuke; Morinishi, Keiko; Arai, Rie; Sakamoto, Aya; Okura, Masatoshi; Osaki, Makoto

    2014-06-25

    Melissococcus plutonius is an important pathogen of honeybee larvae and causes European foulbrood (EFB) not only in European honeybees (Apis mellifera) but also in other native honeybees. We recently confirmed the first EFB case in Japanese native honeybees (Apis cerana japonica) and isolated M. plutonius from this case. In this study, to obtain a better understanding of the ecology of M. plutonius and the epidemiology of EFB, we analyzed M. plutonius isolates that originated from European and Japanese honeybees in Japan using an existing multilocus sequence typing scheme. These analyzed Japanese isolates were resolved into six sequence types (STs), three of which were novel STs. Among these six STs, ST3 and ST12 were the two most common and found in isolates from both European and Japanese honeybees (or their environment). Moreover, these two STs were identified not only in Japan but also in other countries, suggesting the spread of some STs across borders and different honeybee species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of abamectin and deltamethrin to the foragers honeybee workers of Apis mellifera jemenatica (Hymenoptera: Apidae) under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Aljedani, Dalal Musleh

    2017-07-01

    This study aimed at evaluating the toxicity of some insecticides (abamectin and deltamethrin) on the lethal time (LT50) and midgut of foragers honeybee workers of Apis mellifera jemenatica were studied under laboratory conditions. The bees were provided with water, food, natural protein and sugar solution with insecticide (concentration: 2.50 ppm deltamethrin and 0.1 ppm abamectin). The control group was not treated with any kind of insecticides. The mortality was assessed at 1, 2, 4, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hour (h) after insecticides treatment and period to calculate the value of lethal time (LT50). But the samples the histology study of midgut collected after 24 h were conducted by Scanning Electron Microscope. The results showed the effects of insecticides on the current results show that abamectin has an adverse effect on honeybees, there is a clear impact on the lethal time (LT50) was the abamectin faster in the death of honeybee workers compared to deltamethrin. Where have reached to abamectin (LT50 = 21.026) h, deltamethrin (LT50 = 72.011) h. However, abamectin also effects on cytotoxic midgut cells that may cause digestive disorders in the midgut, epithelial tissue is formed during morphological alterations when digestive cells die. The extends into the internal cavity, and at the top, there is epithelial cell striated border that has many holes and curves, abamectin seems to have crushed the layers of muscle. Through the current results can say abamectin most toxicity on honeybees colony health and vitality, especially foragers honeybee workers.

  2. 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

  3. Short- and long-term memories formed upon backward conditioning in honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Felsenberg, Johannes; Plath, Jenny Aino; Lorang, Steven; Morgenstern, Laura; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2014-01-01

    In classical conditioning, the temporal sequence of stimulus presentations is critical for the association between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). In forward conditioning, the CS precedes the US and is learned as a predictor for the US. Thus it acquires properties to elicit a behavioral response, defined as excitatory properties. In backward conditioning, the US precedes the CS. The CS might be learned as a predictor for the cessation of the US acquiring inhibitory properties that inhibit a behavioral response. Interestingly, behavior after backward conditioning is controlled by both excitatory and inhibitory properties of the CS, but the underlying mechanisms determining which of these opposing properties control behavior upon retrieval is poorly understood. We performed conditioning experiments in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) to investigate the CS properties that control behavior at different time points after backward conditioning. The CS properties, as characterized by the retardation or enhancement of subsequent acquisition, were examined 30 min and 24 h after backward conditioning. We found that 30 min after backward conditioning, the CS acquired an inhibitory property during backward conditioning depending on the intertrial interval, the number of trials, and the odor used as the CS. One day after backward conditioning, we observed significant retardation of acquisition. In addition, we demonstrated an enhanced, generalized odor response in the backward conditioned group compared to untreated animals. These results indicate that two long-lasting opposing memories have been formed in parallel: one about the excitatory properties of the CS and one about the inhibitory properties of the CS. PMID:24353291

  4. A microsatellite-based linkage map of the honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed Central

    Solignac, Michel; Vautrin, Dominique; Baudry, Emmanuelle; Mougel, Florence; Loiseau, Anne; Cornuet, Jean-Marie

    2004-01-01

    A linkage map for the honeybee (Apis mellifera) was constructed mainly from the progeny of two hybrid queens (A. m. ligustica x A. m. mellifera). A total of 541 loci were mapped; 474 were microsatellite loci; a few were additional bands produced during PCRs, one of the two rDNA loci (using ITS), the MDH locus, and three sex-linked markers (Q and FB loci and one RAPD band). Twenty-four linkage groups were estimated of which 5 were minute (between 7.1 and 22.8 cM) and 19 were major groups (>76.5 cM). The number of major linkage groups exceeded by three the number of chromosomes of the complement (n = 16). The sum of the lengths of all linkage groups amounts to 4061 cM to which must be added at least 320 cM to link groups in excess, making a total of at least 4381 cM. The length of the largest linkage group I was 630 cM. The average density of markers was 7.5 cM and the average resolution was about one marker every 300 kb. For most of the large groups, the centromeric region was determined genetically, as described in (accompanying article in this issue), using half-tetrad analysis of thelytokous parthenogens in which diploid restoration occurs through central fusion. Several cases of segregation distortion that appreared to result from deleterious recessives were discovered. A low positive interference was also detected. PMID:15166152

  5. [Physiological effects of hypoxia in developing and adult honeybees Apis mellifera L].

    PubMed

    Es'kov, E K; Es'kova, M D

    2011-01-01

    The effect of hypoxia on activity of metabolism was studied in developing and adult honeybees. The feedback was established between the O2 deficit in the gas medium and its consumption by honeybees. An elevation of temperature within the limits of vital diapason for development of honeybees activated O2 consumption regardless of the hypoxia level. A prolonged action of hypoxia on the O2 physiological state was revealed. There was shown the existence of convergent similarity between the effect of O2 deficit on honeybees and on homoiothermal animals.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. Honeybee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae), leaf damage on Alnus species in Uganda: a blessing or curse in agroforestry?

    PubMed

    Nyeko, P; Edwards-Jones, G; Day, R K

    2002-10-01

    It is a dictum that Apis mellifera Linnaeus is innocuous in agricultural ecosystems. This study provides the first record of A. mellifera as a significant defoliator of Alnus species. Careful field observations coupled with microscopic examination provided convincing evidence implicating A. mellifera as the cause of leaf perforation on Alnus species in Uganda. Apis mellifera was observed foraging selectively on young Alnus leaves and buds in search of a sticky substance, apparently propolis. In so doing, the bee created wounds that enlarged and caused tattering of Alnus leaves as they matured. Biological surveys indicated that the damage was prevalent and occurred widely, particularly on Alnus acuminata Kunth in Uganda. Incidence of the Apis mellifera damage on Alnus acuminata peaked in the dry season, with up to 90% of leaves emerging per shoot per month damaged, and was lowest in the wet months during peak leaf emergence. Apis mellifera leaf damage was consistently higher on Alnus acuminata than A. nepalensis D. Don., on saplings than mature trees, and on sun exposed than shaded leaves. The activity of honeybees may be detrimental to the productivity of Alnus, yet the substance for which the insect forages on Alnus is a resource with potential economic importance.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. High-throughput sequencing identification of genes involved with Varroa destructor resistance in the eastern honeybee, Apis cerana.

    PubMed

    Ji, T; Yin, L; Liu, Z; Shen, F; Shen, J

    2014-10-31

    Varroa destructor is the greatest threat to the honeybee Apis mellifera worldwide, while it rarely causes serious harm to its native host, the Eastern honeybee Apis cerana. The genetic mechanisms underlying the resistance of A. cerana to Varroa remain unclear. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanism of resistance to Varroa may provide useful insights for reducing this disease in other organisms. In this study, the transcriptomes of two A. cerana colonies were sequenced using the Illumina Solexa sequencing method. One colony was highly affected by mites, whereas the other colony displayed strong resistance to V. destructor. We determined differences in gene expression in the two colonies after challenging the colonies with V. destructor. After de novo transcriptome assembly, we obtained 91,172 unigenes for A. cerana and found that 288 differentially expressed genes varied by more than 15-fold. A total of 277 unigenes were present at higher levels in the non-affected colony. Genes involved in resistance to Varroa included unigenes related to skeletal muscle movement, olfactory sensitivity, and transcription factors. This suggests that hygienic behavior and grooming behavior may play important roles in the resistance to Varroa.

  12. 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

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

    2013-11-01

    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. © 2013 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  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. Enzymatic biomarkers as tools to assess environmental quality: a case study of exposure of the honeybee Apis mellifera to insecticides.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Stephan M; Belzunces, Luc P; Carvalho, Geraldo A; Brunet, Jean-Luc; Badiou-Beneteau, Alexandra

    2013-09-01

    The present study was intended to evaluate the responses of enzymes in the honeybee Apis mellifera after exposure to deltamethrin, fipronil, and spinosad and their use as biomarkers. After determination of the median lethal doses (LD50), honeybees were exposed at doses of 5.07 ng/bee and 2.53 ng/bee for deltamethrin, 0.58 ng/bee and 0.29 ng/bee for fipronil, and 4.71 ng/bee and 2.36 ng/bee for spinosad (equivalent to 1/10th [LD50/10] and 1/20th [LD50/20] of the LD50, respectively). The responses of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterases (CaEs-1-3), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were assessed. The results showed that deltamethrin, fipronil, and spinosad modulated these biomarkers differentially. For the enzyme involved in the defense against oxidative stress, fipronil and spinosad induced CAT activity. For the remaining enzymes, 3 response profiles were identified. First, exposure to deltamethrin induced slight effects and modulated only CaE-1 and CaE-2, with opposite effects. Second, spinosad exhibited an induction profile for most of the biomarkers, except AChE. Third, fipronil did not modulate AChE, CaE-2, or GST, increased CAT and CaE-1, and decreased ALP. Thus, this set of honeybee biomarkers appears to be a promising tool to evaluate environmental and honeybee health, and it could generate fingerprints to characterize exposures to pesticides. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  15. High-performance liquid chromatography combined with intrinsic fluorescence detection to analyse melittin in individual honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom sac.

    PubMed

    Dong, Jiangtao; Ying, Bihua; Huang, Shaokang; Ma, Shuangqin; Long, Peng; Tu, Xijuan; Yang, Wenchao; Wu, Zhenhong; Chen, Wenbin; Miao, Xiaoqing

    2015-10-01

    Melittin is the major toxin peptide in bee venom, which has diverse biological effects. In the present study, melittin was separated by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography, and was then detected using intrinsic fluorescence signal of tryptophan residue. The accuracy, linearity, limit of quantitation (LOQ), intra-day and inter-day precision of the method were carefully validated in this study. Results indicate that the intrinsic fluorescence signal of melittin has linear range from 0.04μg/mL to 20μg/mL with LOQ of 0.04μg/mL. The recovery range of spiked samples is between 81.93% and 105.25%. The precision results are expressed as relative standard deviation (RSD), which is in the range of 2.1-7.4% for intra-day precision and 6.2-10.8% for inter-day precision. Because of the large linear dynamic range and the high sensitivity, intrinsic fluorescence detection (IFD) can be used for analyzing melittin contents in individual venom sac of honeybee (Apis mellifera). The detected contents of melittin in individual bee venom sac are 0.18±0.25μg for one-day old honeybees (n=30), and 114.98±43.51μg for 25-day old (n=30) honeybees, respectively. Results indicate that there is large bee-to-bee difference in melittin contents. The developed method can be useful for discovering the melittin related honeybee biology information, which might be covered in the complex samples. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Microsatellite analysis of royal jelly producing traits of Italian honeybee (Apis mellifera Liguatica).

    PubMed

    Chen, Sheng-Lu; Li, Jian-Ke; Zhong, Bo-Xiong; Su, Song-Kun

    2005-10-01

    Genetic variations at 10 microsatellite loci were surveyed to determine the evolutionary relationships and molecular characteristics of three different honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) populations from Italy and China, i. e., native Italian (Ee), Chinese-Italian (Eb) and selected high royal jelly producing bees (Ea). A total of 96 alleles,an average of 9.6 alleles per locus,were scored in Ee,Eb and Ea bees at 10 loci. Out of which 48 (5%) were different. This indicated a high degree of polymorphism and ever, some genetic differentiation among the three populations due to artificial selection and geographical isolation. The polymorphic information contents (PIC) and heterozyosity of the three populations at 10 loci were 0.57, 0.50, 0.57, and 0.60, 0.57, 0.61, for Ee, Eb, Ea populations respectively, neither of which were different. This indicated same gene diversity within the three populations. The genetic distance was shorter between Ee and Eb bees as well as between Eb and Ea bees. Whereas that between Ee and Eb bees was longer. Further analysis indicated that the allele frequency of seven alleles at six loci (159 bp at A29,100 bp and 104 bp at A24; 110 bp at A7; 126 bp at A43, 221 bp at A14 and 221 bp at A113) increased going from Ee to Eb to Ea bees. Paired tests showed significant higher allele frequency between Ea and Eb bees,as well as between Ea and Eb bees. This indicates that these seven alleles are likely molecular markers of the high royal jelly producing bees. In addition,the allele frequency of four alleles at four loci (106 bp at A24,140 bp at A43;215 bp at A113 and 219 bp at A14) decreased going from Ea bees to Eb to Ee. Paired tests indicated significant lower allele frequency between Ea and Ee bees,as well as between Ea and Eb bees. Those four alleles may be the genetic markers for low royal jelly production.

  17. 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

  18. Varroa destructor is an effective vector of Israeli acute paralysis virus in the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Di Prisco, Gennaro; Pennacchio, Francesco; Caprio, Emilio; Boncristiani, Humberto F; Evans, Jay D; Chen, Yanping

    2011-01-01

    The Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a significant marker of honeybee colony collapse disorder (CCD). In the present work, we provide the first evidence that Varroa destructor is IAPV replication-competent and capable of vectoring IAPV in honeybees. The honeybees became infected with IAPV after exposure to Varroa mites that carried the virus. The copy number of IAPV in bees was positively correlated with the density of Varroa mites and time period of exposure to Varroa mites. Further, we showed that the mite-virus association could possibly reduce host immunity and therefore promote elevated levels of virus replication. This study defines an active role of Varroa mites in IAPV transmission and sheds light on the epidemiology of IAPV infection in honeybees.

  19. The microsporidian parasites Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis are widespread in honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies across Scotland.

    PubMed

    Bollan, Karen A; Hothersall, J Daniel; Moffat, Christopher; Durkacz, John; Saranzewa, Nastja; Wright, Geraldine A; Raine, Nigel E; Highet, Fiona; Connolly, Christopher N

    2013-02-01

    Nosema ceranae is spreading into areas where Nosema apis already exists. N. ceranae has been reported to cause an asymptomatic infection that may lead, ultimately, to colony collapse. It is thought that there may be a temperature barrier to its infiltration into countries in colder climates. In this study, 71 colonies from Scottish Beekeeper's Association members have been screened for the presence of N. apis and N. ceranae across Scotland. We find that only 11 of the 71 colonies tested positive for spores by microscopy. However, 70.4 % of colonies screened by PCR revealed the presence of both N. ceranae and N. apis, with only 4.2 or 7 % having either strain alone and 18.3 % being Nosema free. A range of geographically separated colonies testing positive for N. ceranae were sequenced to confirm their identity. All nine sequences confirmed the presence of N. ceranae and indicated the presence of a single new variant. Furthermore, two of the spore-containing colonies had only N. ceranae present, and these exhibited the presence of smaller spores that could be distinguished from N. apis by the analysis of average spore size. Differential quantification of the PCR product revealed N. ceranae to be the dominant species in all seven samples tested. In conclusion, N. ceranae is widespread in Scotland where it exists in combination with the endemic N. apis. A single variant, identical to that found in France (DQ374655) except for the addition of a single nucleotide polymorphism, is present in Scotland.

  20. A selective sweep in a microsporidian parasite Nosema-tolerant honeybee population, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Huang, Q; Lattorff, H M G; Kryger, P; Le Conte, Y; Moritz, R F A

    2014-04-01

    Nosema is a microsporidian parasite of the honeybee, which infects the epithelial cells of the gut. In Denmark, honeybee colonies have been selectively bred for the absence of Nosema over decades, resulting in a breeding line that is tolerant toward Nosema infections. As the tolerance toward the Nosema infection is a result of artificial selection, we screened chromosome 14 for a selective sweep with microsatellite markers, where a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) had been identified to be involved in the reduction in Nosema spores in the honeybees. By comparing the genetic variability of 10 colonies of the selected honeybee strain with a population sample from 22 unselected colonies, a selective sweep was revealed within the previously identified QTL region. The genetic variability of the swept loci was not only reduced in relation to the flanking markers on chromosome 14 within the selected strain but also significantly reduced compared with the same region in the unselected honeybees. This confirmed the results of the previous QTL mapping for reduced Nosema infections. The success of the selective breeding may have driven the selective sweep found in our study. © 2013 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  1. On the front line: quantitative virus dynamics in honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies along a new expansion front of the parasite Varroa destructor.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. [Metabotropic glutamate receptors in the mechanisms of plasticity of central nervous system of the honeybee Apis mellifera].

    PubMed

    Ryzhova, I V; Zachepilo, T G; Chesnokova, E G; Lopatina, N G

    2010-01-01

    Localization of metabotropic glutamate receptors (MGR) in head ganglion of honeybee Apis mellifera, and mechanisms of participation of activated MGR in CNS plasticity are investigated by means of complex approach using immunochemical, electrophysiological and behavioral methods. Influense of MGR activation on GABAergic system and ionotropic glutamate receptors (IGR) of AMPA- and NMDA-subtypes in studied. MGRa are revealed in lateral and medial calices of mushroom bodies. The inhibiting influence of MGR on AMPA- and NMDA receptors is shown using method of conditioned reflex. Previous activation of MGR neutralizes the inhibiting effect of GABA. Modulating role of heterogeneous MGR population in mechanisms of CNS plasticity on the level of glutamate-ergic synapse, and at interaction with GABAergic system is discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Comparative study on the dynamics and performances of Apis mellifera jemenitica and imported hybrid honeybee colonies in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al-Ghamdi, Ahmad A; Adgaba, Nuru; Tadesse, Yilma; Getachew, Awraris; Al-Maktary, Anwer A

    2017-07-01

    The aims of this study were to assess the seasonal population dynamics and evaluate the performance of Apis mellifera jemenitica (local bee) and introduced hybrid honeybee colonies in the lowlands and highlands of southwestern Saudi Arabia. Data regarding the performance and population dynamics parameters such as brood and adult bee population, amounts of stored pollen and nectar were gathered from the two races (25 colonies of each) for one year (April 2013 through March 2014), and statistically tested. The results indicated that at low lands, local bee colonies maintained relatively high brood and adult bee populations (P < 0.05) than introduced honeybee colonies and produced more (P < 0.05) honey. The local bee colonies were able to hoard three times more (P < 0.05) pollen and built more (P < 0.05) queen cells than introduced bees in both the low and highland areas. The annual survival rate of local bee colonies was almost double (P < 0.05) than that of introduced honeybee colonies. Moreover, local bees had greater (P < 0.05) adult bee and brood populations than imported, throughout the year. The relatively good performance of local colonies could be due to their long year's adaptation to cope with resource scarcity and unpredictable environmental conditions of the regions. The possible reasons for the dwindling of the imported hybrid colonies could be due to continuing to exhibit adaptive characteristics of their original that might not fit well with the new environment.

  7. Quality versus quantity: Foraging decisions in the honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) feeding on wildflower nectar and fruit juice.

    PubMed

    Shackleton, Kyle; Balfour, Nicholas J; Al Toufailia, Hasan; Gaioski, Roberto; de Matos Barbosa, Marcela; Silva, Carina A de S; Bento, José M S; Alves, Denise A; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2016-10-01

    Foraging animals must often decide among resources which vary in quality and quantity. Nectar is a resource that exists along a continuum of quality in terms of sugar concentration and is the primary energy source for bees. Alternative sugar sources exist, including fruit juice, which generally has lower energetic value than nectar. We observed many honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) foraging on juice from fallen guava (Psidium guajava) fruit near others foraging on nectar. To investigate whether fruit and nectar offered contrasting benefits of quality and quantity, we compared honeybee foraging performance on P. guajava fruit versus two wildflowers growing within 50 m, Richardia brasiliensis and Tridax procumbens. Bees gained weight significantly faster on fruit, 2.72 mg/min, than on either flower (0.17 and 0.12 mg/min, respectively). However, the crop sugar concentration of fruit foragers was significantly lower than for either flower (12.4% vs. 37.0% and 22.7%, respectively). Fruit foragers also spent the most time handling and the least time flying, suggesting that fruit juice was energetically inexpensive to collect. We interpret honeybee foraging decisions in the context of existing foraging models and consider how nest-patch distance may be a key factor for central place foragers choosing between resources of contrasting quality and quantity. We also discuss how dilute solutions, such as fruit juice, can help maintain colony sugar-water balance. These results show the benefits of feeding on resources with contrasting quality and quantity and that even low-quality resources have value.

  8. The Effects of Fat Body Tyramine Level on Gustatory Responsiveness of Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Differ between Behavioral Castes.

    PubMed

    Scheiner, Ricarda; Entler, Brian V; Barron, Andrew B; Scholl, Christina; Thamm, Markus

    2017-01-01

    Division of labor is a hallmark of social insects. In the honeybee (Apis mellifera) each sterile female worker performs a series of social tasks. The most drastic changes in behavior occur when a nurse bee, who takes care of the brood and the queen in the hive, transitions to foraging behavior. Foragers provision the colony with pollen, nectar or water. Nurse bees and foragers differ in numerous behaviors, including responsiveness to gustatory stimuli. Differences in gustatory responsiveness, in turn, might be involved in regulating division of labor through differential sensory response thresholds. Biogenic amines are important modulators of behavior. Tyramine and octopamine have been shown to increase gustatory responsiveness in honeybees when injected into the thorax, thereby possibly triggering social organization. So far, most of the experiments investigating the role of amines on gustatory responsiveness have focused on the brain. The potential role of the fat body in regulating sensory responsiveness and division of labor has large been neglected. We here investigated the role of the fat body in modulating gustatory responsiveness through tyramine signaling in different social roles of honeybees. We quantified levels of tyramine, tyramine receptor gene expression and the effect of elevating fat body tyramine titers on gustatory responsiveness in both nurse bees and foragers. Our data suggest that elevating the tyramine titer in the fat body pharmacologically increases gustatory responsiveness in foragers, but not in nurse bees. This differential effect of tyramine on gustatory responsiveness correlates with a higher natural gustatory responsiveness of foragers, with a higher tyramine receptor (Amtar1) mRNA expression in fat bodies of foragers and with lower baseline tyramine titers in fat bodies of foragers compared to those of nurse bees. We suggest that differential tyramine signaling in the fat body has an important role in the plasticity of division of

  9. The Effects of Fat Body Tyramine Level on Gustatory Responsiveness of Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Differ between Behavioral Castes

    PubMed Central

    Scheiner, Ricarda; Entler, Brian V.; Barron, Andrew B.; Scholl, Christina; Thamm, Markus

    2017-01-01

    Division of labor is a hallmark of social insects. In the honeybee (Apis mellifera) each sterile female worker performs a series of social tasks. The most drastic changes in behavior occur when a nurse bee, who takes care of the brood and the queen in the hive, transitions to foraging behavior. Foragers provision the colony with pollen, nectar or water. Nurse bees and foragers differ in numerous behaviors, including responsiveness to gustatory stimuli. Differences in gustatory responsiveness, in turn, might be involved in regulating division of labor through differential sensory response thresholds. Biogenic amines are important modulators of behavior. Tyramine and octopamine have been shown to increase gustatory responsiveness in honeybees when injected into the thorax, thereby possibly triggering social organization. So far, most of the experiments investigating the role of amines on gustatory responsiveness have focused on the brain. The potential role of the fat body in regulating sensory responsiveness and division of labor has large been neglected. We here investigated the role of the fat body in modulating gustatory responsiveness through tyramine signaling in different social roles of honeybees. We quantified levels of tyramine, tyramine receptor gene expression and the effect of elevating fat body tyramine titers on gustatory responsiveness in both nurse bees and foragers. Our data suggest that elevating the tyramine titer in the fat body pharmacologically increases gustatory responsiveness in foragers, but not in nurse bees. This differential effect of tyramine on gustatory responsiveness correlates with a higher natural gustatory responsiveness of foragers, with a higher tyramine receptor (Amtar1) mRNA expression in fat bodies of foragers and with lower baseline tyramine titers in fat bodies of foragers compared to those of nurse bees. We suggest that differential tyramine signaling in the fat body has an important role in the plasticity of division of

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

    2017-03-01

    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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Identification and localization of proteins associated with biomineralization in the iron deposition vesicles of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chin-Yuan; Chan, Yu-Pei

    2011-04-26

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) form superparamagnetic magnetite to act as a magnetoreceptor for magnetoreception. Biomineralization of superparamagnetic magnetite occurs in the iron deposition vesicles of trophocytes. Even though magnetite has been demonstrated, the mechanism of magnetite biomineralization is unknown. In this study, proteins in the iron granules and iron deposition vesicles of trophocytes were purified and identified by mass spectrometry. Antibodies against such proteins were produced. The major proteins include actin, myosin, ferritin 2, and ATP synthase. Immunolabeling and co-immunoprecipitation studies suggest that iron is stored in ferritin 2 for the purpose of forming 7.5-nm diameter iron particles and that actin-myosin-ferritin 2 may serve as a transporter system. This system, along with calcium and ATP, conveys the iron particles (ferritin) to the center of iron deposition vesicles for iron granules formation. These proteins and reactants are included in iron deposition vesicles during the formation of iron deposition vesicles from the fusion of smooth endoplasmic reticulum. A hypothetical model for magnetite biomineralization in iron deposition vesicles is proposed for honeybees.

  16. 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.

  17. Paratransgenesis feasibility in the honeybee (Apis mellifera) using Fructobacillus fructosus commensal.

    PubMed

    Maddaloni, M; Hoffman, C; Pascual, D W

    2014-12-01

    To establish the molecular tools for honeybee paratransgenesis. Commensal bacteria were isolated from two honeybees. Based on 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis, some isolates were identified as Fructobacillus fructosus, Lactobacillus kunkeei, Gilliamella apicola, Acinetobacter spp, Arthrobacter spp and Pseudomonas spp. Rolling circle and theta replicons were successfully introduced into F. fructosus and Lact. kunkeei. Green fluorescent protein was expressed into both species. The 7·3 Kb Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363 operon encoding a cluster of five genes involved in the metabolism of galactose via the Leloir pathway was functionally expressed into a non-galactose-fermenting strain of F. fructosus enabling it to grow on galactose as a sole carbon source. Fructophilic lactic acid bacteria, F. fructosus and Lact. kunkeei, are amenable to extensive genetic manipulations. This is the first study demonstrating the feasibility of genetically engineering honeybee commensals, thus establishing the tools necessary for honeybee paratransgenesis. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Use of honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) as bioindicators for assessment and source appointment of metal pollution.

    PubMed

    Zarić, Nenad M; Ilijević, Konstantin; Stanisavljević, Ljubiša; Gržetić, Ivan

    2017-09-21

    The ability of honeybees to collect particulate matter (PM) on their bodies makes them outstanding bioindicators. In this study, two cities, Pančevo (PA) and Vršac (VS), South Banat district, Vojvodina, Serbia, were covered with two sampling sites each. The aims of this study were to determine concentrations of Al, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Na, Ni, Sr, and Zn in the bodies of honeybees during July and September of 2013, 2014, and 2015 and to analyze their spatial and temporal variations and sources of analyzed elements, as well as to assess pollution levels in the two cities. Significant temporal differences were found for Al, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Na, Ni, and Zn. Trend of reduction in metal concentrations in bodies of honeybees during the years was observed. Statistically significant spatial variations were observed for Al, Ba, and Sr, with higher concentrations in VS. PCA and CA analyses were used for the first time to assess sources of metals found in honeybees. These analyses showed two sources of metals. Co, Cd, Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, and partly Cu were contributed to anthropogenic sources, while Ca, Al, Mg, Cr, Ba, Sr, and Ni were contributed to natural sources.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Evaluation of different glycoforms of honeybee venom major allergen phospholipase A2 (Api m 1) produced in insect cells.

    PubMed

    Blank, Simon; Michel, Yvonne; Seismann, Henning; Plum, Melanie; Greunke, Kerstin; Grunwald, Thomas; Bredehorst, Reinhard; Ollert, Markus; Braren, Ingke; Spillner, Edzard

    2011-04-01

    Allergic reactions to hymenoptera stings are one of the major reasons for IgE-mediated anaphylaxis. However, proper diagnosis using venom extracts is severely affected by molecular cross-reactivity. In this study recombinant honeybee venom major allergen phospholipase A2 (Api m 1) was produced for the first time in insect cells. Using baculovirus infection of different insect cell lines allergen versions providing a varying degree of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants as well as a non glycosylated variant could be obtained as secreted soluble proteins in high yields. The resulting molecules were analyzed for their glycosylation and proved to show advantageous properties regarding cross-reactivity in sIgE-based assays. Additionally, in contrast to the enzymatically active native protein the inactivated allergen did not induce IgE-independent effector cell activation. Thus, insect cell-derived recombinant Api m 1 with defined CCD phenotypes might provide further insights into hymenoptera venom IgE reactivities and contribute to an improved diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy.

  6. Lactobacillus apis sp. nov., from the stomach of honeybees (Apis mellifera), having an in vitro inhibitory effect on the causative agents of American and European foulbrood.

    PubMed

    Killer, J; Dubná, S; Sedláček, I; Švec, P

    2014-01-01

    A taxonomic study was performed on Gram-stain-positive, catalase-negative and regular rod-shaped bacterial strains R4B(T) and R4C, isolated from the stomachs of honeybees. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that the phylogenetic position of the novel strains was within the genus Lactobacillus; the highest sequence similarity to R4B(T) was shown by Lactobacillus acidophilus BCRC 10695(T) (93.6 %). Lower sequence similarities were found to other obligately homofermentative lactobacilli. A PCR-DGGE method could detect the sequence of the 16S rRNA gene of strain R4B(T) at different developmental stages of honeybees occurring in two different locations in the Czech Republic. The distinctiveness of the strains from other lactobacilli was also confirmed by analysis of sequences of other phylogenetic markers applicable to the taxonomy of the genus Lactobacillus, ribotyping and rep-PCR analysis. The DNA G+C content of strain R4B(T) was 41.3 mol%. The predominant cellular fatty acids of strain R4B(T) were C18 : 1ω9c, summed C19 : 1ω6c/C19 : 0 cyclo ω10c, C16 : 0, summed C18 : 1ω7c/C18 : 1ω6c and summed C16 : 1ω7c/C16 : 1ω6c. The major polar lipids of strain R4B(T) were glycolipids, lipids and phospholipids. Phenotypic and phylogenetic characteristics also confirmed the independent status of the strains at the species level. Interestingly, strain R4B(T) was able to inhibit growth in vitro of Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae (causal agent of American foulbrood in honeybees) and Melissococcus plutonius (causal agent of European foulbrood). The name Lactobacillus apis sp. nov. is proposed for this novel taxon; the type strain is R4B(T) ( = CCM 8403(T) = LMG 26964(T)).

  7. 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. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mitochondrial proteins differential expression during honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) queen and worker larvae caste determination.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-02

    Despite their similar genetic makeup, honeybee (A. mellifera) queens and workers show alternative morphologies driven by nutritional difference during the larval stage. Although much research have been done to investigate the causes of honeybee caste polymorphism, information at subcellular protein levels is limited. We analyzed queen- and worker-destined larvae mitochondrial proteome at three early developmental stages using combinations of differential centrifugation, two-dimensional electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, and quantitative real time PCR. In total, 67, 69, and 97 protein spots were reproducibly identified as mitochondrial proteins at 72, 96, and 120 h, respectively. There were significant qualitative and quantitative protein expression differences between the two castes at three developmental stages. In general, the queen-destined larvae up-regulated large proportions of proteins at all of the developmental stages and, in particular, 95% at 72 h. An overwhelming majority of the queen larvae up-regulated proteins were physiometabolic-enriched proteins (metabolism of carbohydrate and energy, amino acid, and fatty acid) and involved in protein folding, and this was further verified by functional enrichment and biological interaction network analyses as a direct link with metabolic rates and cellular responses to hormones. Although wide-ranging mitochondrial proteomes participate to shape the metabolic, physiologic, and anatomic differences between the two castes at 72 h, physiometabolic-enriched proteins were found as the major modulators of the profound marking of this caste differentiation. Owing to nutritional difference, prospective queen larvae showed enhanced growth, and this was manifested through the overexpression of metabolic enzymes. Differently from similar studies targeting the causes of honeybee caste polymorphism, this subcellular level study provides an in-depth insight into mitochondrial proteins-mediated caste

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Phosphoproteomic Analysis of Protein Phosphorylation Networks in the Hypopharyngeal Gland of Honeybee Workers (Apis mellifera ligustica).

    PubMed

    Qi, Yuping; Fan, Pei; Hao, Yue; Han, Bin; Fang, Yu; Feng, Mao; Cui, Ziyou; Li, Jianke

    2015-11-06

    The hypopharyngeal gland (HG) in honeybee workers changes functions according to physiological age in the bee colony from producing royal jelly (RJ) in nurse bees to digestive enzymes in foragers. The same set of secretory cells expresses different genes or proteins to create these age-dependent changes; however, it is unknown precisely how the phosphorylation network regulates physiological differences across the development of the adult worker HG. We employed high-accuracy mass-spectrometry-based proteomics to survey phosphoproteome changes in the newly emerged, nurse, and forager bees. Overall, 941, 1322, and 1196 phosphorylation sites matching 1007, 1353, and 1199 phosphopeptides from 549, 720, and 698 phosphoproteins were identified in the three ages of the HG, respectively. Specialized, interconnected phosphorylation networks within each age were found by comparing protein abundance and phosphorylation levels. This illustrates that many proteins are regulated by phosphorylation independent of their expression levels. Furthermore, proteins in key biological processes and pathways were dynamically phosphorylated with age development, including the centrosome cycle, mitotic spindle elongation, macromolecular complex disassembly, and ribosome, indicating that phosphorylation tunes protein activity to optimize cellular behavior of the HG over time. Moreover, complementary protein and phosphoprotein expression is required to support the unique physiology of secretory activity in the HG. This reported data set of the honeybee phosphoproteome significantly improves our understanding of a range of regulatory mechanisms controlling a variety of cellular processes and will serve as a valuable resource for those studying the honeybee and other insects.

  15. The genetic architecture of sucrose responsiveness in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.).

    PubMed

    Rueppell, Olav; Chandra, Sathees B C; Pankiw, Tanya; Fondrk, M Kim; Beye, Martin; Hunt, Greg; Page, Robert E

    2006-01-01

    One of the best examples of a natural behavioral syndrome is the pollen-hoarding syndrome in honeybees that ties together multiple behavioral phenotypes, ranging from foraging behavior to behavioral ontogeny and learning performance. A central behavioral factor is the bees' responsiveness to sucrose, measured as their proboscis extension reflex. This study examines the genetics of this trait in diploid worker and haploid male honeybees (drones) to learn more about the genetic architecture of the overall behavioral syndrome, using original strains selected for pollen-hoarding behavior. We show that a significant proportion of the phenotypic variability is determined by genotype in males and workers. Second, our data present overwhelming evidence for pleiotropic effects of previously identified quantitative trait loci for foraging behavior (pln-QTL) and epistatic interactions among them. Furthermore, we report on three genomic QTL scans (two reciprocal worker backcrosses and one drone hybrid population) derived from our selection strains. We present at least one significant and two putative new QTL directly affecting the sucrose response of honeybees. Thus, this study demonstrates the modular genetic architecture of behavioral syndromes in general, and elucidates the genetic architecture of the pollen-hoarding behavioral syndrome in particular. Understanding this behavioral syndrome is important for understanding the division of labor in social insects and social evolution itself.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  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. How to join a wave: decision-making processes in shimmering behavior of Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata).

    PubMed

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Hoetzl, Thomas; Weiss, Sara E; Maurer, Michael; Kranner, Ilse

    2012-01-01

    Shimmering is a collective defence behaviour in Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) whereby individual bees flip their abdomen upwards, producing Mexican wave-like patterns on the nest surface. Bucket bridging has been used to explain the spread of information in a chain of members including three testable concepts: first, linearity assumes that individual "agent bees" that participate in the wave will be affected preferentially from the side of wave origin. The directed-trigger hypothesis addresses the coincidence of the individual property of trigger direction with the collective property of wave direction. Second, continuity describes the transfer of information without being stopped, delayed or re-routed. The active-neighbours hypothesis assumes coincidence between the direction of the majority of shimmering-active neighbours and the trigger direction of the agents. Third, the graduality hypothesis refers to the interaction between an agent and her active neighbours, assuming a proportional relationship in the strength of abdomen flipping of the agent and her previously active neighbours. Shimmering waves provoked by dummy wasps were recorded with high-resolution video cameras. Individual bees were identified by 3D-image analysis, and their strength of abdominal flipping was assessed by pixel-based luminance changes in sequential frames. For each agent, the directedness of wave propagation was based on wave direction, trigger direction, and the direction of the majority of shimmering-active neighbours. The data supported the bucket bridging hypothesis, but only for a small proportion of agents: linearity was confirmed for 2.5%, continuity for 11.3% and graduality for 0.4% of surface bees (but in 2.6% of those agents with high wave-strength levels). The complimentary part of 90% of surface bees did not conform to bucket bridging. This fuzziness is discussed in terms of self-organisation and evolutionary adaptedness in Giant honeybee colonies to respond to rapidly

  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. How to Join a Wave: Decision-Making Processes in Shimmering Behavior of Giant Honeybees (Apis dorsata)

    PubMed Central

    Kastberger, Gerald; Weihmann, Frank; Hoetzl, Thomas; Weiss, Sara E.; Maurer, Michael; Kranner, Ilse

    2012-01-01

    Shimmering is a collective defence behaviour in Giant honeybees (Apis dorsata) whereby individual bees flip their abdomen upwards, producing Mexican wave-like patterns on the nest surface. Bucket bridging has been used to explain the spread of information in a chain of members including three testable concepts: first, linearity assumes that individual “agent bees” that participate in the wave will be affected preferentially from the side of wave origin. The directed-trigger hypothesis addresses the coincidence of the individual property of trigger direction with the collective property of wave direction. Second, continuity describes the transfer of information without being stopped, delayed or re-routed. The active-neighbours hypothesis assumes coincidence between the direction of the majority of shimmering-active neighbours and the trigger direction of the agents. Third, the graduality hypothesis refers to the interaction between an agent and her active neighbours, assuming a proportional relationship in the strength of abdomen flipping of the agent and her previously active neighbours. Shimmering waves provoked by dummy wasps were recorded with high-resolution video cameras. Individual bees were identified by 3D-image analysis, and their strength of abdominal flipping was assessed by pixel-based luminance changes in sequential frames. For each agent, the directedness of wave propagation was based on wave direction, trigger direction, and the direction of the majority of shimmering-active neighbours. The data supported the bucket bridging hypothesis, but only for a small proportion of agents: linearity was confirmed for 2.5%, continuity for 11.3% and graduality for 0.4% of surface bees (but in 2.6% of those agents with high wave-strength levels). The complimentary part of 90% of surface bees did not conform to bucket bridging. This fuzziness is discussed in terms of self-organisation and evolutionary adaptedness in Giant honeybee colonies to respond to rapidly

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) Learn Color Discriminations via Differential Conditioning Independent of Long Wavelength (Green) Photoreceptor Modulation

    PubMed Central

    Wijesekara Witharanage, Randika; Rosa, Marcello G. P.

    2012-01-01

    Background Recent studies on colour discrimination suggest that experience is an important factor in how a visual system processes spectral signals. In insects it has been shown that differential conditioning is important for processing fine colour discriminations. However, the visual system of many insects, including the honeybee, has a complex set of neural pathways, in which input from the long wavelength sensitive (‘green’) photoreceptor may be processed either as an independent achromatic signal or as part of a trichromatic opponent-colour system. Thus, a potential confound of colour learning in insects is the possibility that modulation of the ‘green’ photoreceptor could underlie observations. Methodology/Principal Findings We tested honeybee vision using light emitting diodes centered on 414 and 424 nm wavelengths, which limit activation to the short-wavelength-sensitive (‘UV’) and medium-wavelength-sensitive (‘blue’) photoreceptors. The absolute irradiance spectra of stimuli was measured and modelled at both receptor and colour processing levels, and stimuli were then presented to the bees in a Y-maze at a large visual angle (26°), to ensure chromatic processing. Sixteen bees were trained over 50 trials, using either appetitive differential conditioning (N = 8), or aversive-appetitive differential conditioning (N = 8). In both cases the bees slowly learned to discriminate between the target and distractor with significantly better accuracy than would be expected by chance. Control experiments confirmed that changing stimulus intensity in transfers tests does not significantly affect bee performance, and it was possible to replicate previous findings that bees do not learn similar colour stimuli with absolute conditioning. Conclusion Our data indicate that honeybee colour vision can be tuned to relatively small spectral differences, independent of ‘green’ photoreceptor contrast and brightness cues. We thus show that colour vision

  10. Adult honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) abandon hemocytic, but not phenoloxidase-based immunity.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Martin R; Brockmann, Axel; Pirk, Christian W W; Stanley, David W; Tautz, Jürgen

    2008-02-01

    Hemocytes and the (prophenol-) phenoloxidase system constitute the immediate innate immune system in insects. These components of insect immunity are present at any post-embryonic life stage without previous infection. Differences between individuals and species in these immune parameters can reflect differences in infection risk, life expectancy, and biological function. In honeybees which show an age-related division of labor within the worker caste, previous studies demonstrated that foragers show a strongly reduced number of hemoctyes compared to the younger nurse bees. This loss of immune competence has been regarded advantageous with respect to an already high mortality rate due to foraging and to redistribution of energy costs at the colony level. Based on the idea that abandoning hemocytes in all adults would be a reasonably direct regulatory mechanism, we posed the hypothesis that abandoning hemocytic immunity is not restricted to worker honeybees. We tested our hypotheses by performing a comprehensive analysis of hemocyte number and phenoloxidase (PO)-activity levels in immunologically naive workers, queens, and drones. We found that in all three adult phenotypes hemocyte number is dramatically reduced in early adult life. In contrast, we found that the dynamics of PO-activity levels have sex and caste-specific characteristics. In workers, PO activity reached a plateau within the first week of adult life, and in queens enzyme levels continuously increased with age and reached levels twice as high as those found in workers. PO-activity levels slightly declined with age in drones. These data support our hypothesis, from which we infer that the previously reported reduction of hemocyte in foragers is not worker specific but represents a general phenomenon occurring in all honeybee adult phenotypes.

  11. The overlearning-extinction effect and successive negative contrast in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Couvillon, P A; Bitterman, M E

    1984-03-01

    In three experiments with free-flying honeybees, the previously discovered overlearning-extinction effect was replicated under different conditions and shown to depend on magnitude of reinforcement: The effect appeared in training with a 50% sucrose solution but not with a 20% solution. The results prompted a fourth experiment in which successive negative contrast was demonstrated: The animals were disturbed to find the 20% solution on a distinctive target that always before had been baited with the 50% solution. The conclusion is that the overlearning-extinction effect is an instance of contrast and can be understood in terms of frustration engendered by unrealized anticipation of reinforcement.

  12. A demonstration of virtual reality in free-flying honeybees: Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Abramson, C I; Buckbee, D A; Edwards, S; Bowe, K

    1996-01-01

    Two experiments are reported on virtual reality illusion in free-flying honeybees. In the first experiment, subjects are trained on a simultaneous discrimination between two colored targets, one of which contains a sucrose reward. The ability to be influenced by a virtual reality illusion was assessed during an extinction test in which the training stimuli were a mirage of those used during acquisition. The results indicate that the bees consistently attempt to land on the previously rewarded color despite the fact that it is not there. In a second experiment, bees were unable to discriminate between two simultaneously presented, identically colored targets--one of which was real, the other a mirage.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. Partial unilateral lesions of the mushroom bodies affect olfactory learning in honeybees Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Komischke, Bernhard; Sandoz, Jean-Christophe; Malun, Dagmar; Giurfa, Martin

    2005-01-01

    The mushroom bodies (MBs) are central structures in the insect brain that have been associated with olfactory learning and memory. Here we used hydroxyurea (HU) to treat honeybee larvae and induce partial MB ablations at the adult stage. We studied olfactory learning in honeybees with unilateral loss of the median calyces of their MBs and compared their ability to solve different forms of olfactory discrimination. When odorants were delivered in a side-specific manner, ablated bees could not solve either discrimination of the unambiguous problem (Paradigm 1: A+, B- on one antenna, C+, D- on the other; A+B-/C+D-) whereas they could solve at least one of both discriminations of the ambiguous problem (Paradigm 2: A+B-/A-B+), namely that proposed to their intact brain side. Non-ablated bees could learn side-specific discriminations on both brain sides. When odorants were delivered simultaneously to both antennae (Paradigm 3: A+B-C+D-), HU-ablated bees learned slower than HU-normal bees. Thus, in all three paradigms, the unilateral loss of a median calyx affected olfactory learning. We propose that the MBs are required for solving elemental olfactory tasks whose complexity is increased by the number of stimuli involved and that MB ablations could have an effect on the inhibition of information exchange between brain hemispheres.

  17. 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.

  18. Responses to sugar and sugar receptor gene expression in different social roles of the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Değirmenci, Laura; Thamm, Markus; Scheiner, Ricarda

    2017-09-19

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are well-known for their sophisticated division of labor with each bee performing sequentially a series of social tasks. Colony organization is largely based on age-dependent division of labor. While bees perform several tasks inside the hive such as caring for brood ("nursing"), cleaning or sealing brood cells or producing honey, older bees leave to colony to collect pollen (proteins) and nectar (carbohydrates) as foragers. The most pronounced behavioral transition occurs when nurse bees become foragers. For both social roles, the detection and evaluation of sugars is decisive for optimal task performance. Nurse bees rely on their gustatory senses to prepare brood food, while foragers evaluate a nectar source before starting to collect food from it. To test whether social organization is related to differential sensing of sugars we compared the taste of nurse bees and foragers for different sugars. Searching for molecular correlates for differences in sugar perception, we further quantified expression of gustatory receptor genes in both behavioral groups. Our results demonstrate that nurse bees and foragers perceive and evaluate different sugars differently. Both groups, however, prefer sucrose over fructose. At least part of the taste differences between social roles could be related to a differential expression of taste receptors in the antennae and brain. Our results suggest that differential expression of sugar receptor genes might be involved in regulating division of labor through nutrition-related signaling pathways. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Proboscis Conditioning Experiments with Honeybees, Apis Mellifera Caucasica, with Butyric Acid and DEET Mixture as Conditioned and Unconditioned Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:20879917

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Microspectrophotometry of single rhabdoms in the retina of the honeybee drone (Apis mellifera male)

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    The relative absorption spectra of the bistable photopigment of single rhabdoms from the dorsal region of the retina of the honeybee drone were obtained using slices of retina fixed in glutaraldehyde; less accurate measurements on unfixed tissue gave difference spectra that were similar to those for fixed retinae. The method used was based on measurements of absorbance changes during saturating adaptations of the visual pigment to different monochromatic lights. It is similar to previous methods based on measurements of difference spectra amplitudes, but is simpler to use and more accurate. The predominant pigment has states that absorb maximally at 446 (rhodopsin) and 505 nm (metarhodopsin). In addition, there is a small amount of another pigment whose two states absorb maximally at approximately 340 (UV) and 460 nm. PMID:6644268

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

    PubMed

    Gil, Mariana; Farina, Walter Marcelo

    2002-07-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Response characteristics of vibration-sensitive interneurons related to Johnston's organ in the honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Ai, Hiroyuki; Rybak, Jürgen; Menzel, Randolf; Itoh, Tsunao

    2009-07-10

    Honeybees detect airborne vibration by means of Johnston's organ (JO), located in the pedicel of each antenna. In this study we identified two types of vibration-sensitive interneurons with arborizations in the primary sensory area of the JO, namely, the dorsal lobe-interneuron 1 (DL-Int-1) and dorsal lobe-interneuron 2 (DL-Int-2) using intracellular recordings combined with intracellular staining. For visualizing overlapping areas between the JO sensory terminals and the branches of these identified interneurons, the three-dimensional images of the individual neurons were registered into the standard atlas of the honeybee brain (Brandt et al. [2005] J Comp Neurol 492:1-19). Both DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2 overlapped with the central terminal area of receptor neurons of the JO in the DL. For DL-Int-1 an on-off phasic excitation was elicited by vibrational stimuli applied to the JO when the spontaneous spike frequency was low, whereas tonic inhibition was induced when it was high. Moreover, current injection into a DL-Int-1 led to changes of the response pattern from on-off phasic excitation to tonic inhibition, in response to the vibratory stimulation. Although the vibration usually induced on-off phasic excitation in DL-Int-1, vibration applied immediately after odor stimulation induced tonic inhibition in it. DL-Int-2 responded to vibration stimuli applied to the JO by a tonic burst and were most sensitive to 265 Hz vibration, which is coincident with the strongest frequency of airborne vibrations arising during the waggle dance. These results suggest that DL-Int-1 and DL-Int-2 are related to coding of the duration of the vibration as sensed by the JO. Copyright 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Genes involved in convergent evolution of eusociality in bees.

    PubMed

    Woodard, S Hollis; Fischman, Brielle J; Venkat, Aarti; Hudson, Matt E; Varala, Kranthi; Cameron, Sydney A; Clark, Andrew G; Robinson, Gene E

    2011-05-03

    Eusociality has arisen independently at least 11 times in insects. Despite this convergence, there are striking differences among eusocial lifestyles, ranging from species living in small colonies with overt conflict over reproduction to species in which colonies contain hundreds of thousands of highly specialized sterile workers produced by one or a few queens. Although the evolution of eusociality has been intensively studied, the genetic changes involved in the evolution of eusociality are relatively unknown. We examined patterns of molecular evolution across three independent origins of eusociality by sequencing transcriptomes of nine socially diverse bee species and combining these data with genome sequence from the honey bee Apis mellifera to generate orthologous sequence alignments for 3,647 genes. We found a shared set of 212 genes with a molecular signature of accelerated evolution across all eusocial lineages studied, as well as unique sets of 173 and 218 genes with a signature of accelerated evolution specific to either highly or primitively eusocial lineages, respectively. These results demonstrate that convergent evolution can involve a mosaic pattern of molecular changes in both shared and lineage-specific sets of genes. Genes involved in signal transduction, gland development, and carbohydrate metabolism are among the most prominent rapidly evolving genes in eusocial lineages. These findings provide a starting point for linking specific genetic changes to the evolution of eusociality.

  14. Genes involved in convergent evolution of eusociality in bees

    PubMed Central

    Woodard, S. Hollis; Fischman, Brielle J.; Venkat, Aarti; Hudson, Matt E.; Varala, Kranthi; Cameron, Sydney A.; Clark, Andrew G.; Robinson, Gene E.

    2011-01-01

    Eusociality has arisen independently at least 11 times in insects. Despite this convergence, there are striking differences among eusocial lifestyles, ranging from species living in small colonies with overt conflict over reproduction to species in which colonies contain hundreds of thousands of highly specialized sterile workers produced by one or a few queens. Although the evolution of eusociality has been intensively studied, the genetic changes involved in the evolution of eusociality are relatively unknown. We examined patterns of molecular evolution across three independent origins of eusociality by sequencing transcriptomes of nine socially diverse bee species and combining these data with genome sequence from the honey bee Apis mellifera to generate orthologous sequence alignments for 3,647 genes. We found a shared set of 212 genes with a molecular signature of accelerated evolution across all eusocial lineages studied, as well as unique sets of 173 and 218 genes with a signature of accelerated evolution specific to either highly or primitively eusocial lineages, respectively. These results demonstrate that convergent evolution can involve a mosaic pattern of molecular changes in both shared and lineage-specific sets of genes. Genes involved in signal transduction, gland development, and carbohydrate metabolism are among the most prominent rapidly evolving genes in eusocial lineages. These findings provide a starting point for linking specific genetic changes to the evolution of eusociality. PMID:21482769

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Screening of biological activities present in honeybee (Apis mellifera) royal jelly.

    PubMed

    Salazar-Olivo, L A; Paz-González, V

    2005-08-01

    Bioactivities present in three honeybee royal jelly (RJ) protein fractions were screened for diverse in vitro model systems. RJCP, a RJ crude protein extract, stimulated cell growth of Tn-5B1-4 insect cells inducing 6.5 population doublings per mg of protein added to culture medium, meanwhile fetal bovine serum, the usual growth supplement, gave rise only to 2.55 population doublings. RJCP, as well as the fractions RJP30 and RJP60 obtained by precipitation with ammonium sulfate, also affected Tn-5B1-4 cell shape and stimulated adhesion of these cells to the substrate. RJP30 also increased the percent of mature adipocytes in cultures of 3T3-F442A murine preadipocytes twofold with respect to insulin treatment, without inducing additional cell growth of confluent preadipocytes. Fractions RJCP and RJP60 showed similar capacity as that of insulin to stimulate the formation of mature 3T3 adipocytes. Fraction RJP30 also was cytotoxic for HeLa human cervicouterine carcinoma cells, diminishing 2.5-fold the initial cell density after seven days of treatment. Our results show the presence of diverse bioactivities in RJ affecting cell growth, cell differentiation and cell survival of insect, murine, and human cancer cells.

  20. Walking patterns induced by learned odors in the honeybee, Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Toshiya; Haupt, S Shuichi; Ikeno, Hidetoshi; Ai, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    The odor localization strategy induced by odors learned via differential conditioning of the proboscis extension response was investigated in honeybees. In response to reward-associated but not non-reward-associated odors, learners walked longer paths than non-learners and control bees. When orange odor reward association was learned, the path length and the body turn angles were small during odor stimulation and greatly increased after stimulation ceased. In response to orange odor, bees walked locally with alternate left and right turns during odor stimulation to search for the reward-associated odor source. After odor stimulation, bees walked long paths with large turn angles to explore the odor plume. For clove odor, learning-related modulations of locomotion were less pronounced, presumably due to a spontaneous preference for orange in the tested population of bees. This study is the first to describe how an odor-reward association modulates odor-induced walking in bees. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. 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.

  2. An Alarm Pheromone Modulates Appetitive Olfactory Learning in the Honeybee (Apis Mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Urlacher, Elodie; Francés, Bernard; Giurfa, Martin; Devaud, Jean-Marc

    2010-01-01

    In honeybees, associative learning is embedded in a social context as bees possess a highly complex social organization in which communication among individuals is mediated by dance behavior informing about food sources, and by a high variety of pheromones that maintain the social links between individuals of a hive. Proboscis extension response conditioning is a case of appetitive learning, in which harnessed bees learn to associate odor stimuli with sucrose reward in the laboratory. Despite its recurrent use as a tool for uncovering the behavioral, cellular, and molecular bases underlying associative learning, the question of whether social signals (pheromones) affect appetitive learning has not been addressed in this experimental framework. This situation contrasts with reports underlining that foraging activity of bees is modulated by alarm pheromones released in the presence of a potential danger. Here, we show that appetitive learning is impaired by the sting alarm pheromone (SAP) which, when released by guards, recruits foragers to defend the hive. This effect is mimicked by the main component of SAP, isopentyl acetate, is dose-dependent and lasts up to 24 h. Learning impairment is specific to alarm signal exposure and is independent of the odorant used for conditioning. Our results suggest that learning impairment may be a response to the biological significance of SAP as an alarm signal, which would detract bees from responding to any appetitive stimuli in a situation in which such responses would be of secondary importance. PMID:20838475

  3. 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

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. How does the mite Varroa destructor kill the honeybee Apis mellifera? Alteration of cuticular hydrcarbons and water loss in infested honeybees.

    PubMed

    Annoscia, Desiderato; Del Piccolo, Fabio; Nazzi, Francesco

    2012-12-01

    Several factors threaten the health of honeybees; among them the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and the Deformed Wing Virus play a major role. Recently, the dangerous interplay between the mite and the virus was studied in detail and the transition, triggered by mite feeding, from a benign covert infection to a devastating viral outbreak, characterized by an intense viral replication, associated with some characteristic symptoms, was described. In order to gain insight into the events preceding that crucial transition we carried out standardized lab experiments aiming at studying the effects of parasitization in asymptomatic bees to establish a relationship between such effects and bee mortality. It appears that parasitization alters the capacity of the honeybee to regulate water exchange; this, in turn, has severe effects on bee survival. These results are discussed in light of possible novel strategies aiming at mitigating the impact of the parasite on honeybee health. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-22

    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.

  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. Virulence and polar tube protein genetic diversity of Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) field isolates from Northern and Southern Europe in honeybees (Apis mellifera iberiensis).

    PubMed

    Van der Zee, Romee; Gómez-Moracho, Tamara; Pisa, Lennard; Sagastume, Soledad; García-Palencia, Pilar; Maside, Xulio; Bartolomé, Carolina; Martín-Hernández, Raquel; Higes, Mariano

    2014-08-01

    Infection of honeybees by the microsporidian Nosema ceranae is considered to be one of the factors underlying the increased colony losses and decreased honey production seen in recent years. However, these effects appear to differ in function of the climatic zone, the distinct beekeeping practices and the honeybee species employed. Here, we compared the response of Apis mellifera iberiensis worker bees to experimental infection with field isolates of N. ceranae from an Oceanic climate zone in Northern Europe (Netherlands) and from a Mediterranean region of Southern Europe (Spain). We found a notable but non-significant trend (P = 0.097) towards higher honeybee survival for bees infected with N. ceranae from the Netherlands, although no differences were found between the two isolates in terms of anatomopathological lesions in infected ventricular cells or the morphology of the mature and immature stages of the parasite. In addition, the population genetic survey of the N. ceranae PTP3 locus revealed high levels of genetic diversity within each isolate, evidence for meiotic recombination, and no signs of differentiation between the Dutch and Spanish populations. A cross-infection study is needed to further explore the differences in virulence observed between the two N. ceranae populations in field conditions. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. Expression pattern of empty-spiracles, a conserved head-patterning gene, in honeybee (Apis mellifera) embryos.

    PubMed

    Dearden, Peter K

    2014-07-01

    Empty-spiracle class homeodomain proteins have similar roles in anterior and head development in many animal species. We have identified a honeybee empty-spiracles gene and examined its expression in honeybee ovaries and embryos. The expression of honeybee empty-spiracles in embryos is similar to that reported for Drosophila and Tribolium, implying broad conservation of the role of this gene in insect embryogenesis. We also identify expression in somatic and germ-line cells of the ovary, not previously seen in other insect species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Eusociality: origin and consequences.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Edward O; Hölldobler, Bert

    2005-09-20

    In this new assessment of the empirical evidence, an alternative to the standard model is proposed: group selection is the strong binding force in eusocial evolution; individual selection, the strong dissolutive force; and kin selection (narrowly defined), either a weak binding or weak dissolutive force, according to circumstance. Close kinship may be more a consequence of eusociality than a factor promoting its origin. A point of no return to the solitary state exists, as a rule when workers become anatomically differentiated. Eusociality has been rare in evolution, evidently due to the scarcity of environmental pressures adequate to tip the balance among countervailing forces in favor of group selection. Eusociality in ants and termites in the irreversible stage is the key to their ecological dominance and has (at least in ants) shaped some features of internal phylogeny. Their colonies are consistently superior to solitary and preeusocial competitors, due to the altruistic behavior among nestmates and their ability to organize coordinated action by pheromonal communication.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-16

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Cabrera Cordon, A R; Shirk, P D; Duehl, A J; Evans, J D; Teal, P E A

    2013-02-01

    Transcript levels of vitellogenins (Vgs) in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman), were variably induced by interactions between the developing honeybee, Apis mellifera L, as a food source and the capped honeybee cell environment. Transcripts for two Vgs of varroa mites were sequenced and putative Vg protein products characterized. Sequence analysis of VdVg1 and VdVg2 proteins showed that each had greater similarity with Vg1 and Vg2 proteins from ticks, respectively, than between themselves and were grouped separately by phylogenetic analyses. This suggests there was a duplication of the ancestral acarine Vg gene prior to the divergence of the mites and ticks. Low levels of transcript were detected in immature mites, males and phoretic females. Following cell invasion by phoretic females, VdVg1 and VdVg2 transcript levels were up-regulated after cell capping to a maximum at the time of partial cocoon formation by the honeybee. During oviposition the two transcripts were differentially expressed with higher levels of VdVg2 being observed. A bioassay based on assessing the transcript levels was established. Increases in VdVg1 and VdVg2 transcripts were induced experimentally in phoretic females when they were placed inside a cell containing an early metamorphosing last instar bee but not when exposed to the metamorphosing bee alone. The variable response of Vg expression to the food source as well as environmental cues within the capped cell demonstrates that perturbation of host-parasite interactions may provide avenues to disrupt the reproductive cycle of the varroa mites and prevent varroasis. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  9. Bacteria in the gut of Japanese honeybee, Apis cerana japonica, and their antagonistic effect against Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American foulbrood.

    PubMed

    Yoshiyama, Mikio; Kimura, Kiyoshi

    2009-10-01

    We assessed the complexity of bacterial communities occurring in the digestive tract of the Japanese honeybee, Apis cerana japonica, using histological and 16S rRNA gene sequence analyzes. Both Gram-positive and -negative bacteria were observed, and the number of gut bacteria was higher in old larvae compared with young larvae. A total of 35 clones were obtained by a culture-dependent method, and 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that the bacterial population in the gut of Japanese honeybee was diverse, including the phyla firmicutes, actinobacteria, and alpha-, beta-, and gammaproteobacteria. Further investigation by in vitro inhibition assays was carried out to determine the ability of an isolate to inhibit Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American foulbrood. Out of 35 isolates, seven showed strong inhibitory activity against P. larvae. Most of the antagonistic bacteria belonged to Bacillus species, suggesting that the bacterial isolates obtained in this study appear to be potential candidates for the biological control of P. larvae.

  10. 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. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  11. [Sudden die-off of honeybee colonies].

    PubMed

    Muz, Mustafa N

    2008-01-01

    Apis mellifera is used for honeybee keeping all over Turkey. Recently, honeybees have been suddenly disappearing for no apparent reason. It is presumed that some viral and parasitic honeybee pathogens are responsible for this. No medical research has been conducted to determine the pathologic causes of the sudden die-off of the honeybee colonies in Turkey as yet. This is of urgent importance for future of the honeybee industry.

  12. 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.

  13. Flow cytometry as a rapid and reliable method to quantify sperm viability in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Paynter, Ellen; Baer-Imhoof, Barbara; Linden, Matthew; Lee-Pullen, Tracey; Heel, Kathy; Rigby, Paul; Baer, Boris

    2014-05-01

    An important measure of male quality is sperm viability; i.e., the percentage of live sperm within an ejaculate, as this provides an accurate measure of the number of sperm potentially available for egg fertilization. Sperm viability is often determined by fluorescence microscopy using dyes that differentially stain viable and nonviable sperm, but the technique has a number of limitations. Here, a flow cytometry (FCM) method was developed, which allows the rapid determination of honeybee sperm viability, facilitating high throughput analyses. Using samples with known sperm viabilities, it was found that data obtained from FCM were more accurate and less variable compared with data obtained for the same samples using fluorescence microscopy. It was also found that a previously reported additional population of honeybee sperm found in datasets using FCM is caused by freeze-thawing samples. In conclusion, the method described here allows to quantify sperm viability of honeybees quickly and with high accuracy. This will be of great value for future scientific research and could also be of value to guide future bee breeding programs, given the agricultural importance of honeybees as pollinators. © 2014 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  14. 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. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Suenami, Shota; Paul, Rajib Kumar; Takeuchi, Hideaki; 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.

  17. Oxidative Stress and Anti-Oxidant Enzyme Activities in the Trophocytes and Fat Cells of Queen Honeybees (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Yu-Shan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Trophocytes and fat cells of queen honeybees have been used for delayed cellular senescence studies, but their oxidative stress and anti-oxidant enzyme activities with advancing age are unknown. In this study, we assayed reactive oxygen species (ROS) and anti-oxidant enzymes in the trophocytes and fat cells of young and old queens. Young queens had lower ROS levels, lower superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities, and higher thioredoxin reductase (TR) activity compared to old queens. These results show that oxidative stress and anti-oxidant enzyme activities in trophocytes and fat cells increase with advancing age in queens and suggest that an increase in oxidative stress and a consequent increase in stress defense mechanisms are associated with the longevity of queen honeybees. PMID:23738955

  18. Exploring the hidden honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom proteome by integrating a combinatorial peptide ligand library approach with FTMS.

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-17

    At present, 30 compounds have been described in the venom of the honeybee, and 16 of them were confirmed by mass spectrometry. Previous studies typically combined 2-D PAGE with MALDI-TOF/TOF MS, a technology which now appears to lack sensitivity to detect additional venom compounds. Here, we report an in-depth study of the honeybee venom proteome using a combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment to enrich for minor components followed by shotgun LC-FT-ICR MS analysis. This strategy revealed an unexpectedly rich venom composition: in total 102 proteins and peptides were found, with 83 of them never described in bee venom samples before. Based on their predicted function and subcellular location, the proteins could be divided into two groups. A group of 33 putative toxins is proposed to contribute to venom activity by exerting toxic functions or by playing a role in social immunity. The other group, considered as venom trace molecules, appears to be secreted for their functions in the extracellular space, or is unintentionally secreted by the venom gland cells due to insufficient protein recycling or co-secretion with other compounds. In conclusion, our approach allowed to explore the hidden honeybee venom proteome and extended the list of potential venom allergens. This study dug deeper into the complex honeybee venom proteome than ever before by applying a highly performing sample pretreatment and mass spectrometric technology. We present putative biological functions for all identified compounds, largely extending our knowledge of the venom toxicity. In addition, this study offers a long list of potential new venom allergens. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Components of the dorsal-ventral pathway also contribute to anterior-posterior patterning in honeybee embryos (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background A key early step in embryogenesis is the establishment of the major body axes; the dorsal-ventral (DV) and anterior-posterior (AP) axes. Determination of these axes in some insects requires the function of different sets of signalling pathways for each axis. Patterning across the DV axis requires interaction between the Toll and Dpp/TGF-β pathways, whereas patterning across the AP axis requires gradients of bicoid/orthodenticle proteins and the actions of a hierarchy of gene transcription factors. We examined the expression and function of Toll and Dpp signalling during honeybee embryogenesis to assess to the role of these genes in DV patterning. Results Pathway components that are required for dorsal specification in Drosophila are expressed in an AP-restricted pattern in the honeybee embryo, including Dpp and its receptor Tkv. Components of the Toll pathway are expressed in a more conserved pattern along the ventral axis of the embryo. Late-stage embryos from RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of Toll and Dpp pathways had both DV and AP patterning defects, confirmed by staining with Am-sna, Am-zen, Am-eve, and Am-twi at earlier stages. We also identified two orthologues of dorsal in the honeybee genome, with one being expressed during embryogenesis and having a minor role in axis patterning, as determined by RNAi and the other expressed during oogenesis. Conclusions We found that early acting pathways (Toll and Dpp) are involved not only in DV patterning but also AP patterning in honeybee embryogenesis. Changes to the expression patterns and function of these genes may reflect evolutionary changes in the placement of the extra-embryonic membranes during embryogenesis with respect to the AP and DV axes. PMID:24620747

  20. Proteome and phosphoproteome analysis of honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom collected from electrical stimulation and manual extraction of the venom gland

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Honeybee venom is a complicated defensive toxin that has a wide range of pharmacologically active compounds. Some of these compounds are useful for human therapeutics. There are two major forms of honeybee venom used in pharmacological applications: manually (or reservoir disrupting) extracted glandular venom (GV), and venom extracted through the use of electrical stimulation (ESV). A proteome comparison of these two venom forms and an understanding of the phosphorylation status of ESV, are still very limited. Here, the proteomes of GV and ESV were compared using both gel-based and gel-free proteomics approaches and the phosphoproteome of ESV was determined through the use of TiO2 enrichment. Results Of the 43 proteins identified in GV, < 40% were venom toxins, and > 60% of the proteins were non-toxic proteins resulting from contamination by gland tissue damage during extraction and bee death. Of the 17 proteins identified in ESV, 14 proteins (>80%) were venom toxic proteins and most of them were found in higher abundance than in GV. Moreover, two novel proteins (dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 11-like and histone H2B.3-like) and three novel phosphorylation sites (icarapin (S43), phospholipase A-2 (T145), and apamin (T23)) were identified. Conclusions Our data demonstrate that venom extracted manually is different from venom extracted using ESV, and these differences may be important in their use as pharmacological agents. ESV may be more efficient than GV as a potential pharmacological source because of its higher venom protein content, production efficiency, and without the need to kill honeybee. The three newly identified phosphorylated venom proteins in ESV may elicit a different immune response through the specific recognition of antigenic determinants. The two novel venom proteins extend our proteome coverage of honeybee venom. PMID:24199871

  1. Colony adaptive response to simulated heat waves and consequences at the individual level in honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Bordier, Célia; Dechatre, Hélène; Suchail, Séverine; Peruzzi, Mathilde; Soubeyrand, Samuel; Pioz, Maryline; Pélissier, Michel; Crauser, Didier; Conte, Yves Le; Alaux, Cédric

    2017-06-19

    Since climate change is expected to bring more severe and frequent extreme weather events such as heat waves, assessing the physiological and behavioural sensitivity of organisms to temperature becomes a priority. We therefore investigated the responses of honeybees, an important insect pollinator, to simulated heat waves (SHW). Honeybees are known to maintain strict brood thermoregulation, but the consequences at the colony and individual levels remain poorly understood. For the first time, we quantified and modelled colony real-time activity and found a 70% increase in foraging activity with SHW, which was likely due to the recruitment of previously inactive bees. Pollen and nectar foraging was not impacted, but an increase in water foragers was observed at the expense of empty bees. Contrary to individual energetic resources, vitellogenin levels increased with SHW, probably to protect bees against oxidative stress. Finally, though immune functions were not altered, we observed a significant decrease in deformed wing virus loads with SHW. In conclusion, we demonstrated that honeybees could remarkably adapt to heat waves without a cost at the individual level and on resource flow. However, the recruitment of backup foraging forces might be costly by lowering the colony buffering capacity against additional environmental pressures.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Eusociality: Origin and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Edward O.; Hölldobler, Bert

    2005-01-01

    In this new assessment of the empirical evidence, an alternative to the standard model is proposed: group selection is the strong binding force in eusocial evolution; individual selection, the strong dissolutive force; and kin selection (narrowly defined), either a weak binding or weak dissolutive force, according to circumstance. Close kinship may be more a consequence of eusociality than a factor promoting its origin. A point of no return to the solitary state exists, as a rule when workers become anatomically differentiated. Eusociality has been rare in evolution, evidently due to the scarcity of environmental pressures adequate to tip the balance among countervailing forces in favor of group selection. Eusociality in ants and termites in the irreversible stage is the key to their ecological dominance and has (at least in ants) shaped some features of internal phylogeny. Their colonies are consistently superior to solitary and preeusocial competitors, due to the altruistic behavior among nestmates and their ability to organize coordinated action by pheromonal communication. PMID:16157878

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Quantitative Real-Time Reverse Transcription-PCR Analysis of Deformed Wing Virus Infection in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Y. P.; Higgins, J. A.; Feldlaufer, M. F.

    2005-01-01

    Deformed wing virus (DWV) can cause wing deformity and premature death in adult honeybees, although like many other bee viruses, DWV generally persists as a latent infection with no apparent symptoms. Using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and Southern hybridization, we detected DWV in all life stages of honeybees, including adults with and without deformed wings. We also found DWV in the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, suggesting that this mite may be involved in the transmission of DWV. However, the detection of the virus in life stages not normally associated with mite parasitism (i.e., eggs and larvae) suggests that there are other modes of transmission. The levels of DWV in different life stages of bees were investigated by using TaqMan real-time quantitative RT-PCR. The amounts of virus varied significantly in these different stages, and the highest levels occurred in pupae and in adult worker bees with deformed wings. The variability in virus titer may reflect the different abilities of bees to resist DWV infection and replication. The epidemiology of DWV is discussed, and factors such as mite infestation, malnutrition, and climate are also considered. PMID:15640219

  15. The influence of hybridization between African and European honeybees, Apis mellifera, on asymmetries in wing size and shape.

    PubMed

    Schneider, S S; Leamy, L J; Lewis, L A; DeGrandi-Hoffman, G

    2003-10-01

    We examined the possible role of hybridization in the invasion process of the African honeybee by testing two hypotheses regarding fluctuating asymmetry (FA), a measure of developmental stability, in wing characteristics: (1) FA should be higher in hybrid versus parental genotypes of African and European races; (2) FA should be lower in African bees compared to hybrid and European workers. Parental and reciprocal hybrid worker genotypes were cross fostered in common-hive rearing environments. We did not find greater FA for wing size and shape in the hybrids compared to both parental types. However, we did find significantly lower FA of shape in the African workers compared to the European and hybrid workers, suggesting that European bees and their hybrids may have compromised fitness relative to African bees. We also found that the two hybrid genotypes significantly differed in overall wing size and shape. If these differences affect wing aerodynamics, then the paternity of hybrids may influence worker performance and could potentially contribute to the loss of European matrilines. Hybridization had few consistent effects on directional asymmetry for wing size and shape. Genotypic factors played a far greater role in determining the effect of hybridization on wing morphology than did differences in rearing environment. Thus, African bees may have lower FA for wing shape (and by inference greater developmental stability) relative to European and hybrid workers, which may contribute to the ability of African bees to displace European honeybee races in invaded regions.

  16. A Survey of Imidacloprid Levels in Water Sources Potentially Frequented by Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in the Eastern USA.

    PubMed

    Johnson, J D; Pettis, J S

    2014-01-01

    Imidacloprid, a water-soluble neonicotinoid pesticide used globally in many applications, has been the subject of numerous studies (1) to determine its sublethal effects (5-100 ppb, LD50 ∼200 ppb) on honeybees. This study was undertaken to determine, by ELISA assay, the presence of imidacloprid in water sources potentially frequented by honeybees in urban, suburban, and rural environments across the state of Maryland. Eighteen sites (six samples/site) were chosen which spanned diverse habitats including golf courses, nursery, livestock and crop farms, residential neighborhoods, and cityscapes. Hives were present either at or within 0.5 miles of each site. Imidacloprid was quantifiable in 8 % of the samples at sublethal levels (7-131 ppb). They were not clustered at any one type of site. Results for 13 % of the samples were at the threshold of detection; all others were below the detection limit of the assay (<0.2 ppb).

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2017-07-01

    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. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Peptide amidation in an invertebrate: purification, characterization, and inhibition of peptidylglycine alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase from the heads of honeybees (Apis mellifera).

    PubMed

    Zabriskie, T M; Klinge, M; Szymanski, C M; Cheng, H; Vederas, J C

    1994-01-01

    Peptidylglycine alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase (PHM), an enzyme involved in formation of neuropeptides with a C-terminal amide functionality in mammals and amphibians, was isolated from the head of an invertebrate, the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and purified 220-fold in 1% overall yield. The bee PHM has a molecular weight of 71,000, is membrane associated but can be solubilized with a detergent (n-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside), and cross-reacts with rabbit antibodies generated toward bacterially expressed rat PHM. In the presence of copper, oxygen, and ascorbic acid, the enzyme hydroxylates model tripeptides such as dansyl-L-Phe-L-Phe-Gly on the methylene carbon of the glycine residue with retention of configuration. Using this tripeptide as substrate, the Km is 1.7 microM and the Vmax is 2.3 nmol.micrograms-1.h-1. Treatment of the insect PHM with D-Phe-L-Phe-D-vinylglycine, a substrate analogue and mechanism-based inactivator of PHM from pig pituitary, results in irreversible loss of activity. The diastereomeric analogue, D-Phe-L-Phe-L-vinylglycine, is only a competitive inhibitor (IC50 = 320 microM).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Fine Scale Analysis of Crossover and Non-Crossover and Detection of Recombination Sequence Motifs in the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

    PubMed Central

    Bessoltane, Nadia; Toffano-Nioche, Claire; Solignac, Michel; Mougel, Florence

    2012-01-01

    Background Meiotic exchanges are non-uniformly distributed across the genome of most studied organisms. This uneven distribution suggests that recombination is initiated by specific signals and/or regulations. Some of these signals were recently identified in humans and mice. However, it is unclear whether or not sequence signals are also involved in chromosomal recombination of insects. Methodology We analyzed recombination frequencies in the honeybee, in which genome sequencing provided a large amount of SNPs spread over the entire set of chromosomes. As the genome sequences were obtained from a pool of haploid males, which were the progeny of a single queen, an oocyte method (study of recombination on haploid males that develop from unfertilized eggs and hence are the direct reflect of female gametes haplotypes) was developed to detect recombined pairs of SNP sites. Sequences were further compared between recombinant and non-recombinant fragments to detect recombination-specific motifs. Conclusions Recombination events between adjacent SNP sites were detected at an average distance of 92 bp and revealed the existence of high rates of recombination events. This study also shows the presence of conversion without crossover (i. e. non-crossover) events, the number of which largely outnumbers that of crossover events. Furthermore the comparison of sequences that have undergone recombination with sequences that have not, led to the discovery of sequence motifs (CGCA, GCCGC, CCGCA), which may correspond to recombination signals. PMID:22567142

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. Intraspecific queen parasitism in a highly eusocial bee.

    PubMed

    Wenseleers, Tom; Alves, Denise A; Francoy, Tiago M; Billen, Johan; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L

    2011-04-23

    Insect societies are well-known for their advanced cooperation, but their colonies are also vulnerable to reproductive parasitism. Here, we present a novel example of an intraspecific social parasitism in a highly eusocial bee, the stingless bee Melipona scutellaris. In particular, we provide genetic evidence which shows that, upon loss of the mother queen, many colonies are invaded by unrelated queens that fly in from unrelated hives nearby. The reasons for the occurrence of this surprising form of social parasitism may be linked to the fact that unlike honeybees, Melipona bees produce new queens in great excess of colony needs, and that this exerts much greater selection on queens to seek alternative reproductive options, such as by taking over other nests. Overall, our results are the first to demonstrate that queens in highly eusocial bees can found colonies not only via supersedure or swarming, but also by infiltrating and taking over other unrelated nests.

  18. 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.

  19. Cloning, structural characterization and expression analysis of a novel lipid storage droplet protein-1 (LSD-1) gene in Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana).

    PubMed

    Liu, Li; Gong, Zhihong; Guo, Xingqi; Xu, Baohua

    2012-03-01

    Lipid storage droplet 1 (LSD-1), a PAT family protein located around lipid droplets in insects, is intimately linked to lipid droplets formation and lipid metabolism. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and rosiglitazone (Rosi) have previously been shown to modulate the expression of several PAT family proteins through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ). In the present study, we isolated and characterized a novel LSD-1 gene, referred to AccLSD-1, from Chinese honeybee (Apis cerana cerana). Sequence analysis indicated that the central region of LSD-1 protein had significant sequence similarity and a typical LSD-1 gene was composed of 8 exons and 7 introns. Interestingly, the first intron of AccLSD-1 including several PPARγ-response elements (PPREs) was located in 5' UTR. Analysis of 5'-flanking region of AccLSD-1 revealed a number of putative cis-acting elements, including three PPREs. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that AccLSD-1 expressed ubiquitously from feeding larva to adult, and its expression level was highest at brown-eyed pupae (Pb) stage. The effect of CLA, Rosi and combination on AccLSD-1 expressions indicated 1% CLA and 0.5 mg/ml Rosi were considered as the suitable diets for rearing adult workers in laboratory, and AccLSD-1 was down-regulated by CLA whereas up-regulated by Rosi. Furthermore, the combination of CLA and Rosi remarkly rescued the suppression of AccLSD-1 expression by CLA alone. These results suggest that AccLSD-1 is associated with A. cerana cerana development, especially during pupal metamorphosis, and can be regulated by CLA or Rosi possibly via activating PPARγ.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Eusociality in history.

    PubMed

    Betzig, Laura

    2014-03-01

    For more than 100,000 years, H. sapiens lived as foragers, in small family groups with low reproductive variance. A minority of men were able to father children by two or three women; and a majority of men and women were able to breed. But after the origin of farming around 10,000 years ago, reproductive variance increased. In civilizations which began in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China, and then moved on to Greece and Rome, kings collected thousands of women, whose children were supported and guarded by thousands of eunuchs. Just a few hundred years ago, that trend reversed. Obligate sterility ended, and reproductive variance declined. For H. sapiens, as for other organisms, eusociality seems to be an effect of ecological constraints. Civilizations rose up in lake and river valleys, hemmed in by mountains and deserts. Egalitarianism became an option after empty habitats opened up.

  11. 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

  12. Honeybee viruses in Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Antúnez, Karina; D'Alessandro, Bruno; Corbella, Eduardo; Ramallo, Gustavo; Zunino, Pablo

    2006-09-01

    Mortality of honeybees is a serious problem that beekeepers have to face periodically in Uruguay and worldwide. The presence of RNA viruses, in addition to other pathogens may be one of its possible causes. In this work, we detected Chronic bee paralysis virus, Acute bee paralysis virus, Black queen cell virus, Sacbrood virus and Deformed wing virus in samples of Uruguayan honeybees with or without Varroa destructor and Nosema apis. The detection of viruses in different provinces, simultaneous co-infection of colonies by several viruses and the fact that 96% of the samples were infected with one or more virus, indicates they are widely spread in the region.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Application of the combination index (CI)-isobologram equation to research the toxicological interactions of clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran in honeybee, Apis mellifera.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanmei; Liu, Sihong; Zhang, Hui; Gu, Yanping; Li, Xuesheng; He, Mingyuan; Tan, Huihua

    2017-10-01

    Due to complex pest control scenarios and the needs of agricultural production, different neonicotinoids may be used in certain agricultural applications. Consequently, honeybees may be exposed to these substances through distribution throughout plant tissues via the vascular system through several pathways, such as surface water, the exudates excreted from plants, and air pollution via drift of dust as well as contaminated pollen and nectar. In the current study, the single and combined toxicity of clothianidin, dinotefuran, and thiamethoxam to honeybees was examined after 48 h exposure by the acute oral method and combination index (CI)-isobologram equation. At the 48 h interval, our results showed that 1) the order of toxicities for the single insecticides was ranked as clothianidin > thiamethoxam > dinotefuran and that 2) all binary and ternary combinations showed synergism or additive effect at the effect (fa) 0.5. Therefore, our results not only provided meaningful guidelines in evaluating the safety risk of the mixtures of the three neonicotinoids towards honeybees but also suggested that there is a significant interest in the study of mixture toxicities of neonicotinoids against honeybees because risk assessment of neonicotinoids against honeybees conducted only in individual insecticides may underestimate the realistic toxicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Chimeric honeybees (Apis mellifera) produced by transplantation of embryonic cells into pre-gastrula stage embryos and detection of chimerism by use of microsatellite markers.

    PubMed

    Bergem, M; Norberg, K; Roseth, A; Meuwissen, T; Lien, S; Aamodt, R H

    2006-04-01

    The production of chimeras, by use of cell transplantation, has proved to be highly valuable in studies of development by providing insights into cell fate, differentiation, and developmental potential. So far, chimeric honeybees have been created by nuclear transfer technologies. We have developed protocols to produce chimeric honeybees by use of cell transplantation. Embryonic cells were transplanted between pre-gastrula stage embryos (32-34 hr after oviposition) and hatched larvae were reared in vitro for 4 days. Chimeric individuals were detected by use of microsatellite analysis and a conservative estimation approach. 4.8% of embryos, posteriorly injected with embryonic cells, developed into chimeric honeybee larvae. By injection of cells pre-stained with fluorescent cell tracer dye, we studied the integration of transplanted cells in the developing embryos. Number of injected cells varied from 0 to 50 and cells remained and multiplied mainly in the area of injection.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. In Situ Hybridization Analysis of the Expression of Futsch, Tau, and MESK2 Homologues in the Brain of the European Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

    PubMed Central

    Kaneko, Kumi; Nakaoka, Takayoshi; Paul, Rajib Kumar; Fujiyuki, Tomoko; Shirai, Kenichi; Wakamoto, Akiko; Tsuboko, Satomi; Takeuchi, Hideaki; Kubo, Takeo

    2010-01-01

    Background The importance of visual sense in Hymenopteran social behavior is suggested by the existence of a Hymenopteran insect-specific neural circuit related to visual processing and the fact that worker honeybee brain changes morphologically according to its foraging experience. To analyze molecular and neural bases that underlie the visual abilities of the honeybees, we used a cDNA microarray to search for gene(s) expressed in a neural cell-type preferential manner in a visual center of the honeybee brain, the optic lobes (OLs). Methodology/Principal Findings Expression analysis of candidate genes using in situ hybridization revealed two genes expressed in a neural cell-type preferential manner in the OLs. One is a homologue of Drosophila futsch, which encodes a microtubule-associated protein and is preferentially expressed in the monopolar cells in the lamina of the OLs. The gene for another microtubule-associated protein, tau, which functionally overlaps with futsch, was also preferentially expressed in the monopolar cells, strongly suggesting the functional importance of these two microtubule-associated proteins in monopolar cells. The other gene encoded a homologue of Misexpression Suppressor of Dominant-negative Kinase Suppressor of Ras 2 (MESK2), which might activate Ras/MAPK-signaling in Drosophila. MESK2 was expressed preferentially in a subclass of neurons located in the ventral region between the lamina and medulla neuropil in the OLs, suggesting that this subclass is a novel OL neuron type characterized by MESK2-expression. These three genes exhibited similar expression patterns in the worker, drone, and queen brains, suggesting that they function similarly irrespective of the honeybee sex or caste. Conclusions Here we identified genes that are expressed in a monopolar cell (Amfutsch and Amtau) or ventral medulla-preferential manner (AmMESK2) in insect OLs. These genes may aid in visualizing neurites of monopolar cells and ventral medulla cells, as

  9. Prevalence and Phylogeny of Kakugo Virus, a Novel Insect Picorna-Like Virus That Infects the Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.), under Various Colony Conditions▿

    PubMed Central

    Fujiyuki, Tomoko; Ohka, Seii; Takeuchi, Hideaki; Ono, Masato; Nomoto, Akio; Kubo, Takeo

    2006-01-01

    We previously identified a novel insect picorna-like virus, termed Kakugo virus (KV), from the brains of aggressive worker honeybees that had counterattacked a giant hornet. To survey the prevalence of KV in worker populations engaged in various labors, we quantified KV genomic RNA. KV was detected specifically from aggressive workers in some colonies, while it was also detected from other worker populations in other colonies where the amount of KV detected in the workers was relatively high, suggesting that KV can infect various worker populations in the honeybee colonies. To investigate whether the KV strains detected were identical, phylogenetic analysis was performed. There was less than a 2% difference in the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) sequences between KV strains from aggressive workers and those from other worker populations, suggesting that all of the viruses detected were virtually the same KV. We also found that some of the KV-infected colonies were parasitized by Varroa mites, and the sequences of the KV strains detected from the mites were the same as those detected from the workers of the same colonies, suggesting that the mites mediate KV prevalence in the honeybee colonies. KV strains had approximately 6% and 15% sequence differences in the RdRp region from deformed wing virus and Varroa destructor virus 1, respectively, suggesting that KV represents a viral strain closely related to, but distinct from, these two viruses. PMID:16971448

  10. 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.

  11. Systemic RNA-interference in the honeybee Apis mellifera: tissue dependent uptake of fluorescent siRNA after intra-abdominal application observed by laser-scanning microscopy.

    PubMed

    Jarosch, A; Moritz, R F A

    2011-07-01

    RNA interference has been successfully used in adult honeybees, but there are only few reports about abdominal application of dsRNA/siRNA which have reached more distant tissues than the fat body. We studied systemic RNAi in honeybees by injecting fluorescent siRNA of the ubiquitously expressed honeybee homologue of the Glycerol-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (amGpdh) into the abdomens of adult bees and followed them by laser scanning microscopy and qPCR. The fat body was the sole tissue emitting fluorescence and showing a decreased gene expression, whereas the siRNA had apparently not reached the other tissues. Therefore, we conclude that certain genes in other tissues than the fat body cannot be easily reached by injecting siRNA into the body cavity. In particular, the lack of amGpdh knock down in ovaries after amGpdh dsRNA injection, supports that in some cases it may be particularly difficult to interfere with gene expression in ovaries by intra-abdominal injection. In these cases alternative inhibition techniques may be required to achieve an organismic non-lethal disruption of transcription. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Disruption of oxidative balance in the gut of the western honeybee Apis mellifera exposed to the intracellular parasite Nosema ceranae and to the insecticide fipronil.

    PubMed

    Paris, Laurianne; Roussel, Michaël; Pereira, Bruno; Delbac, Frédéric; Diogon, Marie

    2017-07-24

    The causes underlying the increased mortality of honeybee colonies remain unclear and may involve multiple stressors acting together, including both pathogens and pesticides. Previous studies suggested that infection by the gut parasite Nosema ceranae combined with chronic exposure to sublethal doses of the insecticide fipronil generated an increase in oxidative stress in the midgut of honeybees. To explore the impact of these two stressors on oxidative balance, we experimentally infected bees with N. ceranae and/or chronically exposed to fipronil at low doses for 22 days, and we measured soluble reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ROS damage by quantifying both protein and lipid oxidation in the midgut. Our results revealed a disruption of the oxidative balance, with a decrease in both the amount of ROS and ROS damage in the presence of the parasite alone. However, protein oxidation was significantly increased in the N. ceranae/fipronil combination, revealing an increase in oxidative damage and suggesting higher fipronil toxicity in infected bees. Furthermore, our results highlighted a temporal order in the appearance of oxidation events in the intestinal cells and revealed that all samples tended to undergo protein oxidation during ageing, regardless of treatment. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Expression analysis of Egr-1 ortholog in metamorphic brain of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.): Possible evolutionary conservation of roles of Egr in eye development in vertebrates and insects.

    PubMed

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Watanabe, Takayuki; Uchiyama, Hironobu; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Yajima, Shunsuke; Ono, Masato

    2016-09-16

    Specific genes quickly transcribed after extracellular stimuli without de novo protein synthesis are known as immediate early genes (IEGs) and are thought to contribute to learning and memory processes in the mature nervous system of vertebrates. A recent study revealed that the homolog of Early growth response protein-1 (Egr-1), which is one of the best-characterized vertebrate IEGs, shared similar properties as a neural activity-dependent gene in the adult brain of insects. With regard to the roles of vertebrate Egr-1 in neural development, the contribution to the development and growth of visual systems has been reported. However, in insects, the expression dynamics of the Egr-1 homologous gene during neural development remains poorly understood. Our expression analysis demonstrated that AmEgr, a honeybee homolog of Egr-1, was transiently upregulated in the developing brain during the early to mid pupal stages. In situ hybridization and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunohistochemistry revealed that AmEgr was mainly expressed in post-mitotic cells in optic lobes, the primary visual center of the insect brain. These findings suggest the evolutionarily conserved role of Egr homologs in the development of visual systems in vertebrates and insects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 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)

  2. Only full-sibling families evolved eusociality.

    PubMed

    Boomsma, Jacobus J; Beekman, Madeleine; Cornwallis, Charlie K; Griffin, Ashleigh S; Holman, Luke; Hughes, William O H; Keller, Laurent; Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Ratnieks, Francis L W

    2011-03-24

    Arising from M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita & E. O. Wilson 466, 1057-1062 (2010); Nowak et al. reply. The paper by Nowak et al. has the evolution of eusociality as its title, but it is mostly about something else. It argues against inclusive fitness theory and offers an alternative modelling approach that is claimed to be more fundamental and general, but which, we believe, has no practical biological meaning for the evolution of eusociality. Nowak et al. overlook the robust empirical observation that eusociality has only arisen in clades where mothers are associated with their full-sibling offspring; that is, in families where the average relatedness of offspring to siblings is as high as to their own offspring, independent of population structure or ploidy. We believe that this omission makes the paper largely irrelevant for understanding the evolution of eusociality.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Change in the mode of gene expression of the hypopharyngeal gland cells with an age-dependent role change of the worker honeybee Apis mellifera L.

    PubMed

    Ohashi, K; Natori, S; Kubo, T

    1997-11-01

    Major proteins synthesized in the hypopharyngeal gland of the worker honeybee change from bee-milk proteins to alpha-glucosidase in accordance with the age-dependent role change of the worker bee. Previously, we showed that the gene for alpha-glucosidase is expressed specifically in the forager-bee gland [Ohashi, K., Sawata, M., Takeuchi, H., Natori, S. & Kubo, T. (1996) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 221, 380-385]. Here, we describe the isolation and analysis of cDNAs for two bee-milk 56-kDa and 64-kDa proteins. The 56-kDa protein was a glycoprotein which shared 63.2% and 56.9% amino acid sequence identities with proteins encoded by cDNA for royal-jelly-related protein 57-1 (pRJP57-1) and pRJP57-2. The 64-kDa protein cDNA was identical to pRJP57-1. Thus, these bee-milk proteins seem to form a structurally related protein family. The gene for the 64-kDa protein/RJP57-1 was expressed specifically in the nurse-bee gland, whereas that for the 56-kDa protein was expressed in both the nurse-bee and forager-bee glands. mRNAs for the 56-kDa and 64-kDa proteins were detected by in situ hybridization in a whole acinus of the nurse-bee gland, whereas mRNAs for the 56-kDa protein and alpha-glucosidase were detected in that of the forager-bee gland. Therefore, the individual secretory cells of the acinus of the hypopharyngeal gland were shown to express these genes differently with the age-dependent role change of the worker bee.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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 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

  11. At the brink of eusociality: transcriptomic correlates of worker behaviour in a small carpenter bee.

    PubMed

    Rehan, Sandra M; Berens, Ali J; Toth, Amy L

    2014-12-17

    There is great interest in understanding the genomic underpinnings of social evolution, in particular, the evolution of eusociality (caste-containing societies with non-reproductives that care for siblings). Subsociality is a key precursor for the evolution of eusociality and characterized by prolonged parental care and parent-offspring interaction. Here, we provide the first transcriptomic data for the small carpenter bee, Ceratina calcarata. This species is of special interest because it is subsocial and in the same family as the highly eusocial honey bee, Apis mellifera. In addition, some C. calcarata females demonstrate alloparental care without reproduction, which provides a unique opportunity to study worker behaviour in a non-eusocial species. We uncovered similar gene expression patterns related to maternal care and sibling care in different groups of females. This agrees with the maternal heterochrony hypothesis, specifically, that changes in timing of offspring care gene expression are related to worker behaviour in incipient insect societies. In addition, we also detected some similarity to caste-related gene expression patterns in highly eusocial honey bees, and uncovered large lifetime changes in gene expression that accompany shifts in reproductive and maternal care behaviour. For Ceratina calcarata, we found that transcript expression profiles were most similar between sibling care and maternal care females. The maternal care behaviour exhibited post-reproductively by Ceratina mothers is concordant in terms of transcript expression with the alloparental care exhibited by workers. In line with theoretical predictions, our data are consistent with the maternal heterochrony hypothesis for the evolutionary development of worker behaviour in subsocial bees.

  12. Trans-generational immune priming in honeybees.

    PubMed

    Hernández López, Javier; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Crailsheim, Karl; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike

    2014-06-22

    Maternal immune experience acquired during pathogen exposure and passed on to progeny to enhance resistance to infection is called trans-generational immune priming (TgIP). In eusocial insects like honeybees, TgIP would result in a significant improvement of health at individual and colony level. Demonstrated in invertebrates other than honeybees, TgIP has not yet been fully elucidated in terms of intensity and molecular mechanisms underlying this response. Here, we immune-stimulated honeybee queens with Paenibacillus larvae (Pl), a spore-forming bacterium causing American Foulbrood, the most deadly bee brood disease worldwide. Subsequently, offspring of stimulated queens were exposed to spores of Pl and mortality rates were measured to evaluate maternal transfer of immunity. Our data substantiate the existence of TgIP effects in honeybees by direct evaluation of offspring resistance to bacterial infection. A further aspect of this study was to investigate a potential correlation between immune priming responses and prohaemocytes-haemocyte differentiation processes in larvae. The results point out that a priming effect triggers differentiation of prohaemocytes to haemocytes. However, the mechanisms underlying TgIP responses are still elusive and require future investigation.

  13. Trans-generational immune priming in honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Hernández López, Javier; Schuehly, Wolfgang; Crailsheim, Karl; Riessberger-Gallé, Ulrike

    2014-01-01

    Maternal immune experience acquired during pathogen exposure and passed on to progeny to enhance resistance to infection is called trans-generational immune priming (TgIP). In eusocial insects like honeybees, TgIP would result in a significant improvement of health at individual and colony level. Demonstrated in invertebrates other than honeybees, TgIP has not yet been fully elucidated in terms of intensity and molecular mechanisms underlying this response. Here, we immune-stimulated honeybee queens with Paenibacillus larvae (Pl), a spore-forming bacterium causing American Foulbrood, the most deadly bee brood disease worldwide. Subsequently, offspring of stimulated queens were exposed to spores of Pl and mortality rates were measured to evaluate maternal transfer of immunity. Our data substantiate the existence of TgIP effects in honeybees by direct evaluation of offspring resistance to bacterial infection. A further aspect of this study was to investigate a potential correlation between immune priming responses and prohaemocytes–haemocyte differentiation processes in larvae. The results point out that a priming effect triggers differentiation of prohaemocytes to haemocytes. However, the mechanisms underlying TgIP responses are still elusive and require future investigation. PMID:24789904

  14. Potential distribution dataset of honeybees in Indian Ocean Islands: Case study of Zanzibar Island.

    PubMed

    Mwalusepo, Sizah; Muli, Eliud; Nkoba, Kiatoko; Nguku, Everlyn; Kilonzo, Joseph; Abdel-Rahman, Elfatih M; Landmann, Tobias; Fakih, Asha; Raina, Suresh

    2017-10-01

    Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are principal insect pollinators, whose worldwide distribution and abundance is known to largely depend on climatic conditions. However, the presence records dataset on potential distribution of honeybees in Indian Ocean Islands remain less documented. Presence records in shape format and probability of occurrence of honeybees with different temperature change scenarios is provided in this article across Zanzibar Island. Maximum entropy (Maxent) package was used to analyse the potential distribution of honeybees. The dataset provides information on the current and future distribution of the honey bees in Zanzibar Island. The dataset is of great importance for improving stakeholders understanding of the role of temperature change on the spatial distribution of honeybees.

  15. Proteomic analysis in the Dufour’s gland of Africanized Apis mellifera workers (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The colony of eusocial bee Apis mellifera has a reproductive queen and sterile workers performing tasks such as brood care and foraging. Chemical communication plays a crucial role in the maintenance of sociability in bees with many compounds released by the exocrine glands. The Dufour’s gland is a non-paired gland associated with the sting apparatus with important functions in the communication between members of the colony, releasing volatile chemicals that influence workers roles and tasks. However, the protein content in this gland is not well studied. This study identified differentially expressed proteins in the Dufour’s glands of nurse and forager workers of A. mellifera through 2D-gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. A total of 131 spots showed different expression between nurse and forager bees, and 28 proteins were identified. The identified proteins were categorized into different functions groups including protein, carbohydrate, energy and lipid metabolisms, cytoskeleton-associated proteins, detoxification, homeostasis, cell communication, constitutive and allergen. This study provides new insights of the protein content in the Dufour’s gland contributing to a more complete understanding of the biological functions of this gland in honeybees. PMID:28542566

  16. Antimicrobial Peptide Evolution in the Asiatic Honey Bee Apis cerana

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Peng; Shi, Min; Chen, Xue-xin

    2009-01-01

    The Asiatic honeybee, Apis cerana Fabricius, is an important honeybee species in Asian countries. It is still found in the wild, but is also one of the few bee species that can be domesticated. It has acquired some genetic advantages and significantly different biological characteristics compared with other Apis species. However, it has been less studied, and over the past two decades, has become a threatened species in China. We designed primers for the sequences of the four antimicrobial peptide cDNA gene families (abaecin, defensin, apidaecin, and hymenoptaecin) of the Western honeybee, Apis mellifera L. and identified all the antimicrobial peptide cDNA genes in the Asiatic honeybee for the first time. All the sequences were amplified by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In all, 29 different defensin cDNA genes coding 7 different defensin peptides, 11 different abaecin cDNA genes coding 2 different abaecin peptides, 13 different apidaecin cDNA genes coding 4 apidaecin peptides and 34 different hymenoptaecin cDNA genes coding 13 different hymenoptaecin peptides were cloned and identified from the Asiatic honeybee adult workers. Detailed comparison of these four antimicrobial peptide gene families with those of the Western honeybee revealed that there are many similarities in the quantity and amino acid components of peptides in the abaecin, defensin and apidaecin families, while many more hymenoptaecin peptides are found in the Asiatic honeybee than those in the Western honeybee (13 versus 1). The results indicated that the Asiatic honeybee adult generated more variable antimicrobial peptides, especially hymenoptaecin peptides than the Western honeybee when stimulated by pathogens or injury. This suggests that, compared to the Western honeybee that has a longer history of domestication, selection on the Asiatic honeybee has favored the generation of more variable antimicrobial peptides as protection against pathogens. PMID:19156201

  17. The putative serine protease inhibitor Api m 6 from Apis mellifera venom: recombinant and structural evaluation.

    PubMed

    Michel, Y; McIntyre, M; Ginglinger, H; Ollert, M; Cifuentes, L; Blank, S; Spillner, E

    2012-01-01

    Immunoglobulin (Ig) E-mediated reactions to honeybee venom can cause severe anaphylaxis, sometimes with fatal consequences. Detailed knowledge of the allergic potential of all venom components is necessary to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment of allergy and to gain a better understanding of the allergological mechanisms of insect venoms. Our objective was to undertake an immunochemical and structural evaluation of the putative low-molecular-weight serine protease inhibitor Api m 6, a component of honeybee venom. We recombinantly produced Api m 6 as a soluble protein in Escherichia coli and in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) insect cells.We also assessed specific IgE reactivity of venom-sensitized patients with 2 prokaryotically produced Api m 6 variants using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Moreover, we built a structural model ofApi m 6 and compared it with other protease inhibitor structures to gain insights into the function of Api m 6. In a population of 31 honeybee venom-allergic patients, 26% showed specific IgE reactivity with prokaryotically produced Api m 6, showing it to be a minor but relevant allergen. Molecular modeling of Api m 6 revealed a typical fold of canonical protease inhibitors, supporting the putative function of this venom allergen. Although Api m 6 has a highly variant surface charge, its epitope distribution appears to be similar to that of related proteins. Api m 6 is a honeybee venom component with IgE-sensitizing potential in a fraction of venom-allergic patients. Recombinant Api m 6 can help elucidate individual component-resolved reactivity profiles and increase our understanding of immune responses to low-molecular-weight allergens

  18. Identification of kakusei, a nuclear non-coding RNA, as an immediate early gene from the honeybee, and its application for neuroethological study.

    PubMed

    Kiya, Taketoshi; Ugajin, Atsushi; Kunieda, Takekazu; Kubo, Takeo

    2012-11-22

    The honeybee is a social insect that exhibits various social behaviors. To elucidate the neural basis of honeybee behavior, we detected neural activity in freely-moving honeybee workers using an immediate early gene (IEG) that is expressed in a neural activity-dependent manner. In European honeybees (Apis mellifera), we identified a novel nuclear non-coding RNA, termed kakusei, as the first insect IEG, and revealed the neural activity pattern in foragers. In addition, we isolated a homologue of kakusei, termed Acks, from the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana), and detected active neurons in workers fighting with the giant hornet.

  19. Identification of kakusei, a Nuclear Non-Coding RNA, as an Immediate Early Gene from the Honeybee, and Its Application for Neuroethological Study

    PubMed Central

    Kiya, Taketoshi; Ugajin, Atsushi; Kunieda, Takekazu; Kubo, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    The honeybee is a social insect that exhibits various social behaviors. To elucidate the neural basis of honeybee behavior, we detected neural activity in freely-moving honeybee workers using an immediate early gene (IEG) that is expressed in a neural activity-dependent manner. In European honeybees (Apis mellifera), we identified a novel nuclear non-coding RNA, termed kakusei, as the first insect IEG, and revealed the neural activity pattern in foragers. In addition, we isolated a homologue of kakusei, termed Acks, from the Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana), and detected active neurons in workers fighting with the giant hornet. PMID:23443077

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Reinstatement in honeybees is context-dependent.

    PubMed

    Plath, Jenny Aino; Felsenberg, Johannes; Eisenhardt, Dorothea

    2012-10-17

    During extinction animals experience that the previously learned association between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) no longer holds true. Accordingly, the conditioned response (CR) to the CS decreases. This decrease of the CR can be reversed by presentation of the US alone following extinction, a phenomenon termed reinstatement. Reinstatement and two additional phenomena, spontaneous recovery and renewal, indicate that the original CS-US association is not lost through extinction but can be reactivated through different processes. In honeybees (Apis mellifera), spontaneous recovery, i.e., the time-dependent return of the CR, has been demonstrated, suggesting that also in these insects the original CS-US association is not lost during extinction. To support this notion, we ask whether honeybees show reinstatement after extinction. In vertebrates reinstatement is context-dependent, so we examined whether the same holds true for honeybees. We demonstrate reinstatement in restrained honeybees and show that reinstatement is context-dependent. Furthermore, we show that an alteration of the color of light illuminating the experimental setup suffices to indicate a contextual change. We conclude that in honeybees the initially formed CS-US memory is not lost after extinction. Rather, honeybees might learn about the context during extinction. This enables them to adequately retrieve one of the two opposing memories about the CS that have been formed after extinction.

  4. Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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. © 2014 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Magnetoreception in Eusocial Insects: An Update

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  6. Lifetime monogamy and the evolution of eusociality

    PubMed Central

    Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2009-01-01

    All evidence currently available indicates that obligatory sterile eusocial castes only arose via the association of lifetime monogamous parents and offspring. This is consistent with Hamilton's rule (brs > roc), but implies that relatedness cancels out of the equation because average relatedness to siblings (rs) and offspring (ro) are both predictably 0.5. This equality implies that any infinitesimally small benefit of helping at the maternal nest (b), relative to the cost in personal reproduction (c) that persists throughout the lifespan of entire cohorts of helpers suffices to establish permanent eusociality, so that group benefits can increase gradually during, but mostly after the transition. The monogamy window can be conceptualized as a singularity comparable with the single zygote commitment of gametes in eukaryotes. The increase of colony size in ants, bees, wasps and termites is thus analogous to the evolution of multicellularity. Focusing on lifetime monogamy as a universal precondition for the evolution of obligate eusociality simplifies the theory and may help to resolve controversies about levels of selection and targets of adaptation. The monogamy window underlines that cooperative breeding and eusociality are different domains of social evolution, characterized by different sectors of parameter space for Hamilton's rule. PMID:19805427

  7. Reply to conclusive evidence of replication of a plant virus in honeybees is lacking

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This reply provides clarifications regarding comment “Conclusive Evidence of Replication of a Plant Virus in Honeybees Is Lacking” about our paper “Systemic Spread and Propagation of a Plant-Pathogenic Virus in European Honeybees, Apis mellifera” [mBio 2014, 5(1):e00898-13]. The strand-specific rea...

  8. Relatedness, Conflict, and the Evolution of Eusociality

    PubMed Central

    Queller, David C.

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25799485

  9. 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.

  10. Recent and simultaneous origins of eusociality in halictid bees

    PubMed Central

    Brady, Seán G; Sipes, Sedonia; Pearson, Adam; Danforth, Bryan N

    2006-01-01

    Eusocial organisms are characterized by cooperative brood care, generation overlap and reproductive division of labour. Traits associated with eusociality are most developed in ants, termites, paper wasps and corbiculate bees; the fossil record indicates that each of these advanced eusocial taxa evolved in the Late Cretaceous or earlier (greater than 65 Myr ago). Halictid bees also include a large and diverse number of eusocial members, but, in contrast to advanced eusocial taxa, they are characterized by substantial intra- and inter-specific variation in social behaviour, which may be indicative of more recent eusocial evolution. To test this hypothesis, we used over 2400 bp of DNA sequence data gathered from three protein-coding nuclear genes (opsin, wingless and EF-1a) to infer the phylogeny of eusocial halictid lineages and their relatives. Results from relaxed molecular clock dating techniques that utilize a combination of molecular and fossil data indicate that the three independent origins of eusociality in halictid bees occurred within a narrow time frame between approximately 20 and 22 Myr ago. This relatively recent evolution helps to explain the pronounced levels of social variation observed within these bees. The three origins of eusociality appear to be temporally correlated with a period of global warming, suggesting that climate may have had an important role in the evolution and maintenance of eusociality in these bees. PMID:16769636

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  17. Concurrent infestations by Aethina tumida and Varroa destructor alters thermoregulation in Apis mellifera winter clusters

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, and the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, are parasites of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Both parasites overwinter in honeybee colonies. The efficacy of thermoregulation might be reduced in beetle and mite infested clusters, due to altered activity of host...

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Alternatives to Honeybees for Pollinating Clover (Trifolium L.) Germplasm Accessions

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Our mission is to increase seed of perennial clover (Trifolium L.) species housed in the USDA, ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) germplasm collection. Each season we grow out 100-125 accessions of clover in Prosser, Washington. Historically, honeybees (Apis mellifera L) have been used as po...

  1. Corneal honeybee sting.

    PubMed

    Al-Towerki, Abdul-Elah

    2003-10-01

    To report a rare case of corneal honeybee sting. The corneal honeybee stinger was removed under slit-lamp guidance using a 27-gauge needle. Corneal edema resolved by 90% the next day after removal of the honeybee stinger without using topical steroids. The patient's condition improved significantly after removal of the corneal honeybee stinger, and corneal edema disappeared. The patient was evaluated in 1 week and then 3 months with permanent mild central corneal opacity.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. 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... TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and honeybee semen. (a) Honeybees from any country may be imported into the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture for...

  4. 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... TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and honeybee semen. (a) Honeybees from any country may be imported into the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture for...

  5. 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... TREASURY SPECIAL CLASSES OF MERCHANDISE Wild Animals, Birds, and Insects § 12.32 Honeybees and honeybee semen. (a) Honeybees from any country may be imported into the U.S. by the Department of Agriculture for...

  6. 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. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  7. 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

  8. Effect of temperature on the biotic potential of honeybee microsporidia.

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

    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 degrees C were similar, but a higher proportion of immature stages of N. ceranae than of N. apis were seen. At 25 and 37 degrees 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2