Bee Science & Health ABRC Proceedings, Part I Abstracts from January 2015

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  1. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    From Kelley Beekeeping • Issue 59, July 2015 - available with customer sign-up, and well worth the trouble:

    Bee Science & Health ABRC Proceedings, Part I Abstracts from January 2015

    American Bee Research Conference took place in Arizona this past January 2015. As part of an effort to introduce beekeepers to the science behind bee health, we have permission to reprint the abstracts for Kelley Beekeeping readership. Don’t be afraid of the jargon- if a term is unfamiliar, you can always look it up. The abstract proceedings are divided into three parts. Part II will be published in the August 2015 KB issue; and part III will be published in the September 2015 KB issue.

    1. Ahumada, F. - VARROA TREATMENTS: EFFICACY AND ECONOMIC IMPACT AgScience Consulting, 2102 E. Blacklidge Dr, Tucson, AZ, 85719. E-mail: fabiana@agscience-
    Varroa destructor continues to be a threat for the beekeeping industry despite the efforts by beekeepers to control it. Commercial and hobbyist beekeepers suffer tremendous colony losses throughout the year due to mite infestation. The repeated application and misuse of a variety of acaricides over the years led the mites to become resistant to these products and chemical residues have been found in brood combs as well as in apiculture products (Mullin,C.A et al; PLoS One 5: (3) e9754). The high levels of miticides and agrochemicals found in honey bee colonies have been suspected to cause honey bee losses as well as affecting brood development and adult longevity (Wu, J.Y et al; PLoS One 6: (2) e9754). Residues of such control agents in hives and their negative effects on bee health have become an important issue and need to be taken in consideration when making management decisions for Varroa control treatments. The current field study was set up in Monterey County, CA and Mr. Gene Brandi provided forty-eight full size colonies. Pre-treatment mite population and colony strength were measured in all colonies. A set of twelve colonies with equalized mite levels was randomly assigned to each treatment group. Apiguard, Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) and Apivar were applied following manufacturer’s instructions. Any adverse post-treatment effect on bees and/or brood was noted. All queens were marked at the beginning of the study and its presence was accounted for on every colony inspection. Queens were replaced as needed but subject to availability. Mite levels were monitored from March through November 2014 and treatments were applied in Spring and Fall. The results show that mite levels started to increase in June achieving its highest peak in August. At this time, the first set of fall treatments were applied followed by consecutive treatments in late fall to reduce mite levels before the winter season. Mite levels in Apivar colonies remained low over time but increased in November. Mite levels in Apiguard and MAQS were higher than Apivar needing additional treatments. From March through November, Apivar colonies received 3 treatments, MAQS colonies 4 treatments and Apiguard colonies 5 treatments. Colony size was recorded and the number of frames of bees and brood was similar among the treatments and no adverse treatment effect on colony size was observed. Colony losses were recorded for all treatments and the highest percentage was observed in September especially in MAQS colonies. Queen losses were also recorded and the highest percentage was observed in June on MAQS and Apivar colonies. Queen losses for Apiguard remained low until October where a second peak was observed in all treatments except for MAQS colonies. It needs to be mentioned that MAQS colonies received half of the recommended dose of 2 pads/colony due to the beekeeper’s colony configuration.
    Since this is an ongoing field study, the results obtained so far should be considered as preliminary, and further conclusive data will be presented later at the conclusion of the study on June 2015.
    A complete statistical analysis will be performed at the end of the study to determine the efficacy on mite levels and the economic impact. This Varroa treatment comparison study and the complete economic impact evaluation will provide beekeepers with a detailed analysis of the cost of each treatment and help them make decisions about cost-effective treatments for their operation.

    2. Andino, G.a, Gribskov, M.b, Anderson, D.c, Roberts, J.c, Hunt, G.a - SURVEY OF VIRUSES IN VARROA JACOBSONI MITES REPRODUCING IN APIS CERANA AND APIS MELLIFERA HOSTS aDepartment of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. bDepartment of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. cCSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

    3. Borba, R. and Spivak, M. – EFFECTIVENESS OF A PROPOLIS ENVELOPE IN REDUCING AMERICAN FOULBROOD SYMPTOMS IN HONEY BEE COLONIES University of Minnesota, 1980 Folwell Ave. 219 Hodson Hall. St. Paul – MN 55117. Email:
    Honey bees have immune defenses as individuals and as a colony (e.g., social immunity and social immunization). Social immunity describes colony level anti-parasitic and anti-pathogenic protection characterized by collective defensive behaviors, spatial organization, and regulation of contact among nestmates (Cremer and Sixt, 2009. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 364(1513), 129-142). Social immunization is a behavioral defense that promotes colony health by protecting naïve individuals through social contact with infected individuals.
    One form of social immunity in honey bees is the collection and deposition of antimicrobial plant resins in the nest as a form of cement, called propolis. The presence of propolis on the inner walls of the nest, a propolis envelope, acts as an external antimicrobial layer that enshrouds the colony, which benefits individual bee immune defenses (Simone et al., 2009. Evolution, 63(11), 3016-3022.). The individual and social immunity benefits derived from propolis stem from the diverse composition of resins, each with their own complex mixtures of antimicrobial compounds. Colonies experimentally provided with a propolis envelope had significantly lower levels of a fungal pathogen, Ascosphaera apis, as compared to colonies without the propolis envelope (Simone-Finstrom and Spivak 2012. PloS one, 7(3), e34601). In this study, we tested whether clinical symptoms of American foulbrood (AFB), caused by the bacterial pathogen Paenibacillus larvae, were reduced in bee colonies with a natural propolis envelope compared to colonies without the envelope. We also tested the effect of this bacterial infection on the immune response of individual bees. Our results indicated that colonies with a propolis envelope were able to significantly reduce the levels of AFB infection two months after the appearance of the first clinical symptoms (F1,57 = 5.43; P = 0.001). Additionally, bees from colonies with a propolis envelope mounted a stronger immune response after challenge with P. larvae, as indicated by significantly higher transcript levels of the antimicrobial peptides hymenoptaecin and apidaecin (F1,147 = 12.31; P = 0.0006 and F1,146 = 15.10; P = 0.0002, respectively).
    We also tested if honey bees use social immunization as a behavioral defense, as do carpenter ants. Carpenter ant workers infected with a bacterial pathogen increased the frequency of trophallaxis with naïve nestmates sharing droplets of physiological immune elements (Hamilton et al., 2011. Biology letters 7.1: 89-92.). As a result, the naïve ant nestmates acquired some resistance to the pathogen and showed higher immune system activity upon subsequent contact with the pathogen, which increased individual and colony survivorship (Hamilton et al., 2011). Here, we tested the antimicrobial activity of larval food in colonies with and without a propolis envelope, and infected or not with AFB. The larval food in colonies with AFB infection had significantly higher antimicrobial activity against P. larvae compared to the two other treatments without AFB infection. Larval food from colonies without AFB infection and without a propolis envelope had the lowest inhibition of P. larvae while food from colonies without AFB infection and with a propolis envelope had intermediate levels of inhibition (F3,321 = 9.26; P < 0.0001). Thus, honey bees may display social immunization through feeding larvae food that is high in antimicrobial activity when the colony has symptoms of AFB. The source of the antimicrobial compounds put in larval food (from propolis, or from glandular secretions) requires further study.

    4. Brutscher, L., Daughenbaugh, K., Cavigli, I., Garcia, E., Martin, M. and Flenniken, M. – HONEY BEE PATHOGENS AND COLONY HEALTH Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Institute on Ecosystems, Montana State University, Bozeman MT
    Honey bees are important pollinators of numerous crops (global economic value over $200 billion annually) and plant species that enhance the biodiversity of both agricultural and non-agricultural landscapes. Since 2006, honey bee populations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe have experienced high annual losses. To investigate the role of pathogens (viruses, bacteria, microsporidia, and a trypanosomatid) on honey bee health we longitudinally monitored honey bee colony health, using colony size as a proxy for health, and pathogen incidence (pathogen-specific PCR) and abundance (qPCR) in commercially-managed honey bee colonies. We determined that overall pathogen incidence in weak and strong colonies did not vary significantly, but that in some operations pathogen abundance (i.e., LSV2, BQCV, DWV) was greater in weak colonies. The majority of honey bee pathogens are (+)ssRNA viruses, which include the Lake Sinai viruses. LSVs were the most prevalent and abundant pathogens detected in bee samples obtained from colonies in Montana and California (2012-2014). To better understand the transmission and pathogenesis of LSVs we performed PCR, strand-specific PCR, and qPCR of individual dissected bees, and mites. We detected a greater abundance of LSV2 in the bee gut and abdomen as compared to the head and thorax, and detected LSV2 in Varroa destructor mites. Together these results suggest that LSVs can be transmitted horizontally and that mites serve as vectors of LSVs. The prevalence and abundance of the LSV virus group underscores the importance of ongoing studies aimed at characterizing this virus group, and understanding virus-host interactions.
    This research is supported by Project Apis m., Montana Department of Agriculture; MSU Institute on Ecosystems (IoE), NIH Idea Program Grant GM110732, Montana State Beekeepers Association, and USDA-NIFA Multi-State-Research Project NC-1173.

    5. Carroll, M.J., Saunders, M., Goodall, C., Brown, N. - EFFECTS OF POLLEN DEPRIVATION ON QMP PHEROMONE COMMUNICATION AND QUEEN RETENTION Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, USDA-ARS, 2000 E. Allen Rd., Tucson, AZ 85719
    Honey bee queens signal their presence and reproductive viability to workers through release of Queen Mandibular Pheromone (QMP), a non-volatile pheromone mixture that is removed from the queen’s body by retinue workers and maintains queenright status. Queens with weak or altered QMP signal profiles are often replaced by supersedure. We examined the effects of pollen deprivation on QMP emissions and queen retention during the end of a prolonged dearth period. We employed a novel, non-destructive method to measure emissions of QMP from the queen to attending retinue workers such that QMP emissions could be measured repeatedly from the same queen. Queens from pollen-deprived colonies experienced higher rates of supersedure attempts and smaller retinues than queens from pollen-fed colonies. QMP emissions of pollen-deprived queens were altered during colony pollen deprivation, with generally lower component emissions than observed from pollen-fed queens. In particular, pollen-deprived queens released lower amounts of HVA, a QMP component that is much lower in poorly-mated or virgin queens. The changes in QMP profiles may be due to reduced QMP production by pollen-deprived queens or altered interactions with the workers that disperse QMP pheromone to the colony as a whole.

    6. Corby-Harris, V., Snyder, L., Meador, C., Naldo, R., and Anderson, K.E. - PROBIOTIC USE OF ACETOBACTERACAE ALPHA 2.2 (PARASACCHARIBACTER APIUM) FOR IMPROVING HONEY BEE COLONY HEALTH Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, USDA-ARS, Tucson, Arizona
    Healthy honeycomb.

    7. DeGrandi-Hoffman, G.a, Ahumada, F.b, Zazueta, V.a, Chambers, M.a, Hidalgo, G.a - THE MIGRATION OF VARROA MITES AMONG HONEY BEE COLONIES AND THE EFFECTS ON MITE POPULATION GROWTH aCarl Hayden Bee Research Center, USDA-ARS, Tucson, AZ 85719 bAgScience Consulting LLC, Tucson, AZ, USA
    We conducted a study on Varroa population growth in colonies established in May from packages. The colonies received miticide treatments, and mite numbers were kept at < 1-2 mites per 100 bees through August. However, by October mite populations ranged from 6.3 to 15.0 mites per 100 bees. We tracked Varroa and colony population growth from colony establishment in May to October and compared actual values to predictions from the VARROAPOP population dynamics model (DeGrandi- Hoffman and Curry, 2004 Int J Acarol 30:259–274). Though colony size and mite numbers did not differ from model predictions through the summer, in October mite numbers far exceeded predictions based on mite reproduction alone (DeGrandi-Hoffman et al. 2014, Exp Appl Acarol 64:171–186). One explanation for this rapid growth in Varroa populations is mite migration into colonies.
    Others have reported migration of Varroa into colonies on foragers with phoretic mites drifting among colonies in apiaries or robbing colonies weakened by high Varroa populations (Sakofski et al. 1990, J. Invertebr Pathol 103:S96–S119; Kraus and Page 1995, Apidologie 26:149–157; Delaplane and Hood 1999, Apidologie 30:383–395; Kralj and Fuchs 2006, Apidologie 37:577–587; Frey et al. 201, J Apic Res 50:138–144; Frey and Rosenkrantz 2014, Econ. Entomol. 107(2): 508-515). The increase in mite numbers we detected in the late summer and fall could have been due to mite migration especially since mite numbers in colonies were low when they were established and increased little during the summer.
    The purpose of the study reported here was to measure Varroa migration in summer and fall and evaluate its contribution to colony mite populations. In Europe, mite migration is reported to be low in spring, and then increase considerably during late summer through October (Frey and Rosenkrantz 2014, Econ. Entomol. 107(2): 508-515). Our colonies were started from packages in April. Initial mite counts using alcohol washes estimated phoretic populations to be 0.03 ± 0.02 mites per 100 bees. By November, estimates of phoretic mites increased to 4.3 ± 0.72 mites per 100 bees. Predictions from VARROAPOP estimated mite population to be about 1 mite per 100 bees in November. We consistently detected foragers with Varroa entering and leaving colonies beginning in September and continuing through November with a greater likelihood occurring in the afternoon. These mites could have contributed to the greater than expected mite population growth.

    8. Downey, D.a, Rusert, L.a, Thomas, D.b, Danka, B.c – DEVELOPING VARROA-RESISTANT STOCK IN HAWAII BY COMBINING VSH GERMPLASM AND RECURRENT SELECTION N A COMMERCIAL HONEY PRODUCTION OPERATION aHawaii Department of Agriculture, Hilo, HI bHawaii Island Honey Company, Hilo, HI cUSDA-ARS Baton Rouge, LA
    Kelley Beekeeping • Issue 59, July 2015 9
    Bee Science continued

    9. Downey, D.a, Chun, S.a, Follett, P.b – RADIOBIOLOGY OF AETHINA TUMIDA AND PROSPECTS FOR MANAGEMENT USING STERILE INSECT RELEASES aHawaii Department of Agriculture, Hilo, HI bUSDA-ARS, U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Hilo, HI
    10. Drummond, F.a, Eitzer, B.b, Evans, J.D.c & Leblanc, L.d – EFFECT OF EXPOSURE IN HONEYBEES TO THE STEROL INHIBITING FUNGICIDE, PROPICONAZOLE, ON FLOWERS OF LOWBUSH BLUEBERRY aSchool of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA (email: frank., bThe Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 123 Huntington St., New Haven, CT 06504, USA, cUSDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA, dSchool of Food and Agriculture, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
    A field experiment conducted over a three-year period (2011 - 2013) was designed to assess honeybee colony level effects of propiconazole exposure when foragers visited contaminated wild blueberry flowers. This experiment was a whole field experiment (paired isolated fields: 1 field treated, 1 field not treated) testing residues of propiconazole on flowers under typical pest management applications. In all years, isolated non-sprayed fields and isolated treated fields were selected to place a set of newly established colonies (range 10-20 colonies per field in a year) in each field throughout bloom (period of 1 month). Colonies were monitored every 2-4 weeks both during and after bloom throughout the spring and summer. Propiconazole concentrations in pollen and flowers, colony worker population, brood population, queen presence and health, queen egg laying rate, larval survival, worker longevity, hypopharyngeal gland size, and evidence of disease (molecular markers and dissections) and parasitic mite prevalence were measured. We found that honeybee health affects of the commonly used fungicide, propiconazole, were not entirely consistent among years. Negative effects on bee health were documented. We found that exposure of honeybee foragers to residues on flowers does not reduce colony strength of worker or capped brood populations, nor colony overwintering success. Queen laying and brood survival also does not appear to be affected by exposure to sub-lethal doses of this fungicide. We did find evidence in all three years to suggest that workers reared as larvae during bloom (when contaminated pollen was brought into the hive) resulted in young nurse bees whose longevity is reduced, that neuroendocrine gland morphology is impacted, and that propiconazole residues are repellent to foraging bees
  2. cabeetal

    cabeetal New Member

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    really great post, many thanks