Special Issue "Honey Bee Research in the US: Current State and Solutions to Beekeeping Problems"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Mike Simone-Finstrom

Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology ResearchUSDA Agricultural Research Service,BATON ROUGE, LA 70820, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Apis mellifera; ecophysiology; social immunity; host-parasite interactions
Guest Editor
Dr. Margarita M. López-Uribe

Department of Entomology, Center for Pollinator Research, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: evolutionary ecology of bees; pollinator health; ecoimmunology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Honey bees are the most important pollinators in agricultural systems. However, the annual mortality of colonies has dramatically increased i in the United States in recent years. Because of their economic importance and that they are amenable to managed conditions, honey bees provide a unique opportunity to investigate topics that cover a wide range of areas that focus on a mixture of applied and basic questions. The American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA) consists of members whose labs conduct research on a wide range of subjects encompassing the epigenetics, immunity, toxicology, host-parasite interactions, nutrition, management and population ecology of this model organism. In addition, these labs address key questions about how to develop better management practices that can help the beekeeping industry in the context of the multiple environmental stressors that currently affect honey bee health. This special issue will unite honey bee scholars across fields of study to show the current state of the most current research on honey bees in the US. The issue will comprise of mini-reviews on topics relating to honey bee health and colony productivity in the US by putting it in context with other broader global issues. In addition, we will have approximately 10 empirical studies from members associated with AAPA on topics of study including the full range of honey bee research.

Dr. Mike Simone-Finstrom
Dr. Margarita M. López-Uribe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Insects is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Please note that for papers submitted after 1 July 2018 an APC of 1000 CHF applies.

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • ecophysiology
  • toxicology
  • immunity
  • nutrition
  • parasites and pathogens
  • pesticides
  • physiology
  • social behavior
  • pollination
  • epigenetics
  • host-parasite interactions
  • beekeeping

Published Papers (14 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-14
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: Honey Bee Research in the US: Current State and Solutions to Beekeeping Problems
Received: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
PDF Full-text (191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important managed species for agricultural pollination across the world [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus: Honey Bee Queen–Worker Interaction and Potential Virus Transmission Pathways
Received: 24 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Queen loss or failure is an important cause of honey bee colony loss. A functional queen is essential to a colony, and the queen is predicted to be well protected by worker bees and other mechanisms of social immunity. Nevertheless, several honey bee [...] Read more.
Queen loss or failure is an important cause of honey bee colony loss. A functional queen is essential to a colony, and the queen is predicted to be well protected by worker bees and other mechanisms of social immunity. Nevertheless, several honey bee pathogens (including viruses) can infect queens. Here, we report a series of experiments to test how virus infection influences queen–worker interactions and the consequences for virus transmission. We used Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) as an experimental pathogen because it is relevant to bee health but is not omnipresent. Queens were observed spending 50% of their time with healthy workers, 32% with infected workers, and 18% without interaction. However, the overall bias toward healthy workers was not statistically significant, and there was considerable individual to individual variability. We found that physical contact between infected workers and queens leads to high queen infection in some cases, suggesting that IAPV infections also spread through close bodily contact. Across experiments, queens exhibited lower IAPV titers than surrounding workers. Thus, our results indicate that honey bee queens are better protected by individual and social immunity, but this protection is insufficient to prevent IAPV infections completely. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Larval Pollen Stress Increases Adult Susceptibility to Clothianidin in Honey Bees
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1066 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Neonicotinoid insecticides have come under scrutiny for their potential role in honey bee declines. Additionally, reduced access to forage in agricultural areas creates the potential for risk interactions with these pesticides in regions critical for honey production. In this study, we sought to [...] Read more.
Neonicotinoid insecticides have come under scrutiny for their potential role in honey bee declines. Additionally, reduced access to forage in agricultural areas creates the potential for risk interactions with these pesticides in regions critical for honey production. In this study, we sought to determine whether sufficient access to pollen during larval development could mitigate stress associated with oral clothianidin exposure in honey bee adults. An apiary was established where pollen traps deprived half of the colonies of pollen, which was then supplemented to the others. Adults were fed 0, 10, 40, 200, or 400 µg/L clothianidin in the laboratory, and larval and adult lipids and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were compared between feeding treatments. Survival at sublethal concentrations of clothianidin was significantly reduced for adult bees reared in pollen deprived colonies. Adult SOD activity was affected by clothianidin dose but not larval feeding treatment, though within the pollen-deprived cohort, SOD was greater in controls than those fed clothianidin. Larval SOD differed between field replicates, with supplemented colonies having slightly higher activity levels during a period of pollen dearth, indicating that supplementation during these periods is particularly important for mitigating oxidative stress within the hive. Larval lipids were significantly higher in supplemented colonies during a substantial pollen flow, though adult lipids were unaffected by feeding treatment. These results suggest that during periods of pollen dearth, oxidative stress and adult worker longevity will be improved by supplementing colonies with locally collected pollen. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Combined Toxicity of Insecticides and Fungicides Applied to California Almond Orchards to Honey Bee Larvae and Adults
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Beekeepers providing pollination services for California almond orchards have reported observing dead or malformed brood during and immediately after almond bloom—effects that they attribute to pesticide exposure. The objective of this study was to test commonly used insecticides and fungicides during almond bloom [...] Read more.
Beekeepers providing pollination services for California almond orchards have reported observing dead or malformed brood during and immediately after almond bloom—effects that they attribute to pesticide exposure. The objective of this study was to test commonly used insecticides and fungicides during almond bloom on honey bee larval development in a laboratory bioassay. In vitro rearing of worker honey bee larvae was performed to test the effect of three insecticides (chlorantraniliprole, diflubenzuron, and methoxyfenozide) and three fungicides (propiconazole, iprodione, and a mixture of boscalid-pyraclostrobin), applied alone or in insecticide-fungicide combinations, on larval development. Young worker larvae were fed diets contaminated with active ingredients at concentration ratios simulating a tank-mix at the maximum label rate. Overall, larvae receiving insecticide and insecticide-fungicide combinations were less likely to survive to adulthood when compared to the control or fungicide-only treatments. The insecticide chlorantraniliprole increased larval mortality when combined with the fungicides propiconazole or iprodione, but not alone; the chlorantraniliprole-propiconazole combination was also found to be highly toxic to adult workers treated topically. Diflubenzuron generally increased larval mortality, but no synergistic effect was observed when combined with fungicides. Neither methoxyfenozide nor any methoxyfenozide-fungicide combination increased mortality. Exposure to insecticides applied during almond bloom has the potential to harm honey bees and this effect may, in certain instances, be more damaging when insecticides are applied in combination with fungicides. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Initial Exposure of Wax Foundation to Agrochemicals Causes Negligible Effects on the Growth and Winter Survival of Incipient Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Colonies
Received: 15 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1097 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Widespread use of agrochemicals in the U.S. has led to nearly universal contamination of beeswax in honey bee hives. The most commonly found agrochemicals in wax include beekeeper-applied miticides containing tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos, or amitraz, and field-applied pesticides containing chlorothalonil or chlorpyrifos. Wax [...] Read more.
Widespread use of agrochemicals in the U.S. has led to nearly universal contamination of beeswax in honey bee hives. The most commonly found agrochemicals in wax include beekeeper-applied miticides containing tau-fluvalinate, coumaphos, or amitraz, and field-applied pesticides containing chlorothalonil or chlorpyrifos. Wax contaminated with these pesticides negatively affects the reproductive quality of queens and drones. However, the synergistic effects of these pesticides on the growth and survival of incipient colonies remain understudied. We established new colonies using frames with wax foundation that was pesticide free or contaminated with field-relevant concentrations of amitraz alone, a combination of tau-fluvalinate and coumaphos, or a combination of chlorothalonil and chlorpyrifos. Colony growth was assessed by estimating comb and brood production, food storage, and adult bee population during a colony’s first season. We also measured colony overwintering survival. We found no significant differences in colony growth or survivorship between colonies established on pesticide-free vs. pesticide-laden wax foundation. However, colonies that had Varroa destructor levels above 3% in the fall were more likely to die over winter than those with levels below this threshold, indicating that high Varroa infestation in the fall played a more important role than initial pesticide exposure of wax foundation in the winter survival of newly established colonies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Compound and Dose-Dependent Effects of Two Neonicotinoid Pesticides on Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Metabolic Physiology
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1012 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Use of neonicotinoid pesticides is now ubiquitous, and consequently non-targeted arthropods are exposed to their residues at sub-lethal doses. Exposure to these neurotoxins may be a major contributor to poor honey bee colony health. Few studies have explored how sub lethal exposure to [...] Read more.
Use of neonicotinoid pesticides is now ubiquitous, and consequently non-targeted arthropods are exposed to their residues at sub-lethal doses. Exposure to these neurotoxins may be a major contributor to poor honey bee colony health. Few studies have explored how sub lethal exposure to neonicotinoids affects honey bee metabolic physiology, including nutritional and energetic homeostasis, both of which are important for maintaining colony health. Reported here are results from a study of chronic oral exposure of honey bees to two sub lethal concentrations of clothianidin and imidacloprid. Neonicotinoids altered important aspects of honey bee nutritional and metabolic physiology in a compound and dose-dependent manner; both compounds at low doses reduced honey bee body weight. Low-dose clothianidin exposure resulted in bees having protein, lipids, carbohydrates, and glycogen levels similar to newly emerged bees. High-dose clothianidin exposure lowered lipids and glycogen content of bees. High-dose imidacloprid exposure resulted in bees having depressed metabolic rate. Low-dose imidacloprid exposure resulted in bees consuming low and high levels of protein and carbohydrate rich foods, respectively. Results suggest neonicotinoids interfere with honey bee endocrine neurophysiological pathways. Compound and dose-dependent effects might represent respective chemical structural differences determining an observed effect, and thresholds of compound effects on honey bee physiology. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle The Dynamics of Deformed Wing Virus Concentration and Host Defensive Gene Expression after Varroa Mite Parasitism in Honey Bees, Apis mellifera
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The synergistic interactions between the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and Deformed wing virus (DWV) lead to the reduction in lifespan of the European honey bee Apis mellifera and often have been implicated in colony losses worldwide. However, to date, the underlying processes and [...] Read more.
The synergistic interactions between the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and Deformed wing virus (DWV) lead to the reduction in lifespan of the European honey bee Apis mellifera and often have been implicated in colony losses worldwide. However, to date, the underlying processes and mechanisms that form the multipartite interaction between the bee, mite, and virus have not been fully explained. To gain a better understanding of honey bees’ defense response to Varroa mite infestation and DWV infection, the DWV titers and transcription profiles of genes originating from RNAi, immunity, wound response, and homeostatic signaling pathways were monitored over a period of eight days. With respect to DWV, we observed low viral titers at early timepoints that coincided with high levels of Toll pathway transcription factor Dorsal, and its downstream immune effector molecules Hymenoptaecin, Apidaecin, Abaecin, and Defensin 1. However, we observed a striking increase in viral titers beginning after two days that coincided with a decrease in Dorsal levels and its corresponding immune effector molecules, and the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) ligase repressor of Dorsal, PIAS3. We observed a similar expression pattern for genes expressing transcripts for the RNA interference (Dicer/Argonaute), wound/homeostatic (Janus Kinase), and tissue growth (Map kinase/Wnt) pathways. Our results demonstrate that on a whole, honey bees are able to mount an immediate, albeit, temporally limited, immune and homeostatic response to Varroa and DWV infections, after which downregulation of these pathways leaves the bee vulnerable to expansive viral replication. The critical insights into the defense response upon Varroa and DWV challenges generated in this study may serve as a solid base for future research on the development of effective and efficient disease management strategies in honey bees. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comb Irradiation Has Limited, Interactive Effects on Colony Performance or Pathogens in Bees, Varroa destructor and Wax Based on Two Honey Bee Stocks
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Parasitic mites and pathogens compromise honey bee health. Development of sustainable and integrative methods of managing these problems will minimize their detrimental impact on honey bees. Here, we aimed to determine if the combination of using mite-resistant stocks along with gamma-irradiated combs influences [...] Read more.
Parasitic mites and pathogens compromise honey bee health. Development of sustainable and integrative methods of managing these problems will minimize their detrimental impact on honey bees. Here, we aimed to determine if the combination of using mite-resistant stocks along with gamma-irradiated combs influences colony health and productivity. The major finding concerned honey bee genotype confirming that Russian honey bees are more resistant to Varroa destructor than Italian honey bees. The effect of comb irradiation was inconsistent showing a significant increase in adult bee population and amount of stored pollen in 2015, but not in 2016. The increased amount of stored pollen was probably associated with larger adult population in colonies with irradiated combs in September 2015 regardless of honey bee stock. Nevertheless, the ability of bees to collect and store more pollen in the irradiated group does not appear to compensate the negative impacts of mite parasitism on honey bees especially in the Italian bees, which consistently suffered significant colony losses during both years. Results of viral analyses of wax, newly emerged bees, and Varroa and their pupal hosts showed common detections of Deformed wing virus (DWV), Varroa destructor virus (VDV-1), Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV), and Black queen cell virus (BQCV). Wax samples had on average ~4 viruses or pathogens detected in both irradiated and non-irradiated combs. Although pathogen levels varied by month, some interesting effects of honey bee stock and irradiation treatment were notable, indicating how traits of mite resistance and alternative treatments may have additive effects. Further, this study indicates that wax may be a transmission route of viral infection. In addition, pupae and their infesting mites from Italian colonies exhibited higher levels of DWV than those from Russian colonies suggesting potential DWV resistance by Russian honey bees. CBPV levels were also reduced in mites from Russian colonies in general and in mites, mite-infested pupae, and newly emerged bees that were collected from irradiated combs. However, BQCV levels were not reduced by comb irradiation. Overall, the contribution of irradiating comb in improving honey bee health and colony survival appears to be subtle, but may be useful as part of an integrated pest management strategy with the addition of using mite-resistant stocks. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dietary Phytochemicals, Honey Bee Longevity and Pathogen Tolerance
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 23 August 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1973 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Continued loss of natural habitats with native prairies and wildflower patches is eliminating diverse sources of pollen, nectar and phytochemicals therein for foraging bees. The longstanding plant-pollinator mutualism reiterates the role of phytochemicals in sustaining plant-pollinator relationship and promoting honey bee health. We [...] Read more.
Continued loss of natural habitats with native prairies and wildflower patches is eliminating diverse sources of pollen, nectar and phytochemicals therein for foraging bees. The longstanding plant-pollinator mutualism reiterates the role of phytochemicals in sustaining plant-pollinator relationship and promoting honey bee health. We studied the effects of four phytochemicals—caffeine, gallic acid, kaempferol and p-coumaric acid, on survival and pathogen tolerance in the European honey bee, Apis mellifera (L.). We recorded longevity of worker bees that were provided ad libitum access to sugar solution supplemented with different concentrations of phytochemicals. We artificially infected worker bees with the protozoan parasite, Nosema ceranae. Infected bees were provided access to the same concentrations of the phytochemicals in the sugar solution, and their longevity and spore load at mortality were determined. Bees supplemented with dietary phytochemicals survived longer and lower concentrations were generally more beneficial. Dietary phytochemicals enabled bees to combat infection as seen by reduced spore-load at mortality. Many of the phytochemicals are plant defense compounds that pollinators have evolved to tolerate and derive benefits from. Our findings support the chemical bases of co-evolutionary interactions and reiterate the importance of diversity in floral nutrition sources to sustain healthy honey bee populations by strengthening the natural mutualistic relationships. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides: A Four-Year Nationwide Study
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (313 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pollinators, including honey bees, are responsible for the successful reproduction of more than 87% of flowering plant species: they are thus vital to ecosystem health and agricultural services world-wide. To investigate honey bee exposure to pesticides, 168 pollen samples and 142 wax comb [...] Read more.
Pollinators, including honey bees, are responsible for the successful reproduction of more than 87% of flowering plant species: they are thus vital to ecosystem health and agricultural services world-wide. To investigate honey bee exposure to pesticides, 168 pollen samples and 142 wax comb samples were collected from colonies within six stationary apiaries in six U.S. states. These samples were analyzed for evidence of pesticides. Samples were taken bi-weekly when each colony was active. Each apiary included thirty colonies, of which five randomly chosen colonies in each apiary were sampled for pollen. The pollen samples were separately pooled by apiary. There were a total of 714 detections in the collected pollen and 1008 detections in collected wax. A total of 91 different compounds were detected: of these, 79 different pesticides and metabolites were observed in the pollen and 56 were observed in the wax. In all years, insecticides were detected more frequently than were fungicides or herbicides: one third of the detected pesticides were found only in pollen. The mean (standard deviation (SD)) number of detections per pooled pollen sample varied by location from 1.1 (1.1) to 8.7 (2.1). Ten different modes of action were found across all four years and nine additional modes of action occurred in only one year. If synergy in toxicological response is a function of simultaneous occurrence of multiple distinct modes of action, then a high frequency of potential synergies was found in pollen and wax-comb samples. Because only pooled pollen samples were obtained from each apiary, and these from only five colonies per apiary per year, more data are needed to adequately evaluate the differences in pesticide exposure risk to honey bees among colonies in the same apiary and by year and location. Full article
Open AccessArticle Is the Brood Pattern within a Honey Bee Colony a Reliable Indicator of Queen Quality?
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 29 August 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3425 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Failure of the queen is often identified as a leading cause of honey bee colony mortality. However, the factors that can contribute to “queen failure” are poorly defined and often misunderstood. We studied one specific sign attributed to queen failure: poor brood pattern. [...] Read more.
Failure of the queen is often identified as a leading cause of honey bee colony mortality. However, the factors that can contribute to “queen failure” are poorly defined and often misunderstood. We studied one specific sign attributed to queen failure: poor brood pattern. In 2016 and 2017, we identified pairs of colonies with “good” and “poor” brood patterns in commercial beekeeping operations and used standard metrics to assess queen and colony health. We found no queen quality measures reliably associated with poor-brood colonies. In the second year (2017), we exchanged queens between colony pairs (n = 21): a queen from a poor-brood colony was introduced into a good-brood colony and vice versa. We observed that brood patterns of queens originally from poor-brood colonies significantly improved after placement into a good-brood colony after 21 days, suggesting factors other than the queen contributed to brood pattern. Our study challenges the notion that brood pattern alone is sufficient to judge queen quality. Our results emphasize the challenges in determining the root source for problems related to the queen when assessing honey bee colony health. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Reproductive Senescence in Drones of the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the face of high proportions of yearly colony losses, queen health and fecundity has been a major focus of industry and research. Much of the reproductive quality of the queen, though, is a function of the mating success and quality of the [...] Read more.
In the face of high proportions of yearly colony losses, queen health and fecundity has been a major focus of industry and research. Much of the reproductive quality of the queen, though, is a function of the mating success and quality of the drones (males). Many environmental factors can negatively impact drone semen quality, but little is known about factors that impact the drones’ ability to successfully mate and deliver that semen, or how widely drones vary. In our study, we observed the daily variation in honey bee drone reproductive quality over time, along with a number of morphological traits. Drones were reared in cages in bank colonies, and 20 individuals were dissected and measured daily. The number of viable spermatozoa in the seminal vesicles was zero at emergence and reached an average maximum of 7.39 ± 0.19 million around 20 days of life. Decline in spermatozoa count occurred after day 30, though viability was constant throughout life, when controlling for count. Older drones had smaller wet weights, head widths, and wing lengths. We predict that this is likely due to sampling bias due to a differential lifespan among larger, more reproductively developed drones. Our study shows that drones are more highly variable than previously suggested and that they have a significant variation in reproductive physiology as a function of age. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Beekeeping Management Practices Are Associated with Operation Size and Beekeepers’ Philosophy towards in-Hive Chemicals
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Management by beekeepers is of utmost importance for the health and survival of honey bee colonies. Beekeeping management practices vary from low to high intervention regarding the use of chemicals, hive manipulations, and supplemental feeding of colonies. In this study, we use quantitative [...] Read more.
Management by beekeepers is of utmost importance for the health and survival of honey bee colonies. Beekeeping management practices vary from low to high intervention regarding the use of chemicals, hive manipulations, and supplemental feeding of colonies. In this study, we use quantitative data from the Bee Informed Partnership’s national survey to investigate drivers of management practices among beekeepers in the United States. This is the first study to quantitatively examine these variables to objectively describe the management practices among different groups of beekeepers in the United States. We hypothesized that management practices and goals among beekeepers are different based on the beekeeper’s philosophy (as determined by their willingness to use chemicals to control pests and pathogens) and the size of the beekeeping operation. Using a multiple factor analysis, we determined that beekeepers use a continuum of management practices. However, we found that beekeepers’ willingness to use in-hive chemicals and the number of colonies in their operation are non-randomly associated with other aspects of beekeeping management practices. Specifically, the size of the beekeeping operation was associated with beekeepers’ choices of in-hive chemicals, while beekeepers’ philosophy was most strongly associated with choices of in-hive chemicals and beekeeping goals. Our results will facilitate the development of decision-making tools for beekeepers to choose management practices that are appropriate for the size of their operations and their beekeeping philosophy. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Putative Drone Copulation Factors Regulating Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Queen Reproduction and Health: A Review
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 17 October 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (650 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Honey bees are major pollinators of agricultural and non-agricultural landscapes. In recent years, honey bee colonies have exhibited high annual losses and commercial beekeepers frequently report poor queen quality and queen failure as the primary causes. Honey bee colonies are highly vulnerable to [...] Read more.
Honey bees are major pollinators of agricultural and non-agricultural landscapes. In recent years, honey bee colonies have exhibited high annual losses and commercial beekeepers frequently report poor queen quality and queen failure as the primary causes. Honey bee colonies are highly vulnerable to compromised queen fertility, as each hive is headed by one reproductive queen. Queens mate with multiple drones (male bees) during a single mating period early in life in which they obtain enough spermatozoa to fertilize their eggs for the rest of their reproductive life span. The process of mating initiates numerous behavioral, physiological, and molecular changes that shape the fertility of the queen and her influence on the colony. For example, receipt of drone semen can modulate queen ovary activation, pheromone production, and subsequent worker retinue behavior. In addition, seminal fluid is a major component of semen that is primarily derived from drone accessory glands. It also contains a complex mixture of proteins such as proteases, antioxidants, and antimicrobial proteins. Seminal fluid proteins are essential for inducing post-mating changes in other insects such as Drosophila and thus they may also impact honey bee queen fertility and health. However, the specific molecules in semen and seminal fluid that initiate post-mating changes in queens are still unidentified. Herein, we summarize the mating biology of honey bees, the changes queens undergo during and after copulation, and the role of drone semen and seminal fluid in post-mating changes in queens. We then review the effects of seminal fluid proteins in insect reproduction and potential roles for honey bee drone seminal fluid proteins in queen reproduction and health. We finish by proposing future avenues of research. Further elucidating the role of drone fertility in queen reproductive health may contribute towards reducing colony losses and advancing honey bee stock development. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Insects EISSN 2075-4450 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top