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Open AccessArticle

Oxidative Stress, Endoparasite Prevalence and Social Immunity in Bee Colonies Kept Traditionally vs. Those Kept for Commercial Purposes

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar oslobodjenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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Department of Economics and Statistics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar oslobodjenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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Department of Animal Source Foods Science and Technology, Institute for Animal Husbandry, Autoput 16, 11080 Belgrade–Zemun, Serbia
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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar oslobodjenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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Department of Animal Husbandry and Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar oslobodjenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(5), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11050266
Received: 20 March 2020 / Revised: 13 April 2020 / Accepted: 13 April 2020 / Published: 27 April 2020
Commercially and traditionally managed bees were compared for oxidative stress (superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and malondialdehyde (MDA)), the prevalence of parasites (Lotmaria passim, Crithidia mellificae and Nosema ceranae/apis) and social immunity (glucose oxidase gene expression). The research was conducted on Pester plateau (Serbia—the Balkan Peninsula), on seemingly healthy colonies. Significant differences in CAT, GST and SOD activities (p < 0.01), and MDA concentrations (p < 0.002) were detected between commercial and traditional colonies. In the former, the prevalence of both L. passim and N. ceranae was significantly (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) higher. For the first time, L. passim was detected in honey bee brood. In commercial colonies, the prevalence of L. passim was significantly (p < 0.01) lower in brood than in adult bees, whilst in traditionally kept colonies the prevalence in adult bees and brood did not differ significantly. In commercially kept colonies, the GOX gene expression level was significantly (p < 0.01) higher, which probably results from their increased need to strengthen their social immunity. Commercially kept colonies were under higher oxidative stress, had higher parasite burdens and higher GOX gene transcript levels. It may be assumed that anthropogenic influence contributed to these differences, but further investigations are necessary to confirm that. View Full-Text
Keywords: Apis mellifera; Lotmaria passim; Nosema ceranae; commercial beekeeping; traditional beekeeping Apis mellifera; Lotmaria passim; Nosema ceranae; commercial beekeeping; traditional beekeeping
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Taric, E.; Glavinic, U.; Vejnovic, B.; Stanojkovic, A.; Aleksic, N.; Dimitrijevic, V.; Stanimirovic, Z. Oxidative Stress, Endoparasite Prevalence and Social Immunity in Bee Colonies Kept Traditionally vs. Those Kept for Commercial Purposes. Insects 2020, 11, 266.

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