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Article

The Effect of Foraging on Bumble Bees, Bombus terrestris, Reared under Laboratory Conditions

1
Department of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlarska 2, 611 37 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Research Institute for Fodder Crops, Ltd. Troubsko, Zahradni 1, 664 41 Troubsko, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(5), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11050321
Received: 7 March 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 21 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives on Honeybee Health)
Bumble bees are important pollinators broadly used by farmers in greenhouses and under conditions in which honeybee pollination is limited. As such, bumble bees are increasingly being reared for commercial purposes, which brings into question whether individuals reared under laboratory conditions are fully capable of physiological adaptation to field conditions. To understand the changes in bumble bee organism caused by foraging, we compared the fundamental physiological and immunological parameters of Bombus terrestris workers reared under constant optimal laboratory conditions with workers from sister colonies that were allowed to forage for two weeks in the field. Nutritional status and immune response were further determined in wild foragers of B. terrestris that lived under the constant influence of natural stressors. Both wild and laboratory-reared workers subjected to the field conditions had a lower protein concentration in the hemolymph and increased antimicrobial activity, the detection of which was limited in the non-foragers. However, in most of the tested parameters, specifically the level of carbohydrates, antioxidants, total hemocyte concentration in the hemolymph and melanization response, we did not observe any significant differences between bumble bee workers produced in the laboratory and wild animals, nor between foragers and non-foragers. Our results show that bumble bees reared under laboratory conditions can mount a sufficient immune response to potential pathogens and cope with differential food availability in the field, similarly to the wild bumble bee workers. View Full-Text
Keywords: bumble bee; foraging; laboratory rearing; nutrients; immunity; physiology bumble bee; foraging; laboratory rearing; nutrients; immunity; physiology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dobeš, P.; Kunc, M.; Hurychová, J.; Votavová, A.; Komzáková, O.; Hyršl, P. The Effect of Foraging on Bumble Bees, Bombus terrestris, Reared under Laboratory Conditions. Insects 2020, 11, 321. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11050321

AMA Style

Dobeš P, Kunc M, Hurychová J, Votavová A, Komzáková O, Hyršl P. The Effect of Foraging on Bumble Bees, Bombus terrestris, Reared under Laboratory Conditions. Insects. 2020; 11(5):321. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11050321

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dobeš, Pavel, Martin Kunc, Jana Hurychová, Alena Votavová, Olga Komzáková, and Pavel Hyršl. 2020. "The Effect of Foraging on Bumble Bees, Bombus terrestris, Reared under Laboratory Conditions" Insects 11, no. 5: 321. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11050321

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