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Adriana Schatton, Ezequiel Mendoza, Kathrin Grube, Constance Scharff
Mutations in the transcription factors FOXP1, FOXP2 and FOXP4 affect human cognition, including language. The FoxP gene locus is evolutionarily ancient and highly conserved in its DNA-binding domain. In Drosophila melanogaster FoxP has been implicated in courtship behavior, decision making and specific types of motor-learning. Because honeybees (Apis mellifera, Am) excel at navigation and symbolic dance communication, they are a particularly suitable insect species to investigate a potential link between neural FoxP expression and cognition...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Comparative Neurology
Antoine Lecocq, Amelia A Green, Érika Cristina Pinheiro De Castro, Carl Erik Olsen, Annette B Jensen, Mika Zagrobelny
Honeybees ( Apis mellifera ) pollinate flowers and collect nectar from many important crops. White clover ( Trifolium repens ) is widely grown as a temperate forage crop, and requires honeybee pollination for seed set. In this study, using a quantitative LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) assay, we show that the cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin are present in the leaves, sepals, petals, anthers, and nectar of T. repens . Cyanogenic glucosides are generally thought to be defense compounds, releasing toxic hydrogen cyanide upon degradation...
March 13, 2018: Insects
Andreagiovanni Reina, Thomas Bose, Vito Trianni, James A R Marshall
Through theoretical analysis, we show how a superorganism may react to stimulus variations according to psychophysical laws observed in humans and other animals. We investigate an empirically-motivated honeybee house-hunting model, which describes a value-sensitive decision process over potential nest-sites, at the level of the colony. In this study, we show how colony decision time increases with the number of available nests, in agreement with the Hick-Hyman law of psychophysics, and decreases with mean nest quality, in agreement with Piéron's law...
March 12, 2018: Scientific Reports
Jiangong Jiang, Dicheng Ma, Nan Zou, Xin Yu, Zhengqun Zhang, Feng Liu, Wei Mu
Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) have recently been recognized as co-factors in the decline of honeybee colonies because most neonicotinoids are systemic and can transfer into the pollen and nectar of many pollinated crops. In this study, we collected pollen, nectar and leaves from a cotton crop treated with imidacloprid and thiamethoxam to measure the residue levels of these two NIs at different application doses during the flowering period. Then, the residual data were used to assess the risk posed by the systemic insecticides to honeybees following mandated methods published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and a highly toxic risk to honeybees was highlighted...
February 27, 2018: Chemosphere
Jane Ludvigsen, Gro V Amdam, Knut Rudi, Trine M L'Abée-Lund
Use of antibiotics in medicine and farming contributes to increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in diverse environments. The ability of antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) to transfer between bacteria genera contributes to this spread. It is difficult to directly link antibiotic exposure to the spread of ARG in a natural environment where environmental settings and study populations cannot be fully controlled. We used managed honeybees in environments with contrasting streptomycin exposure (USA: high exposure, Norway: low exposure) and mapped the prevalence and spread of transferrable streptomycin resistance genes...
March 8, 2018: Microbial Ecology
Oussama Medjeber, Kahina Touri, Hayet Rafa, Zineb Djeraba, Mourad Belkhelfa, Amira Fatima Boutaleb, Amina Arroul-Lammali, Houda Belguendouz, Chafia Touil-Boukoffa
Celiac Disease (CeD) is a chronic immune-mediated enteropathy, in which dietary gluten induces an inflammatory reaction, predominantly in the duodenum. Propolis is a resinous hive product, collected by honeybees from various plant sources. Propolis is well-known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immunomodulatory effects, due to its major compounds, polyphenols and flavonoids. The aim of our study was to assess the ex vivo effect of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) upon the activity and expression of iNOS, along with IFN-γ and IL-10 production in Algerian Celiac patients...
March 7, 2018: Inflammopharmacology
Martin F Strube-Bloss, Wolfgang Rössler
Flowers attract pollinating insects like honeybees by sophisticated compositions of olfactory and visual cues. Using honeybees as a model to study olfactory-visual integration at the neuronal level, we focused on mushroom body (MB) output neurons (MBON). From a neuronal circuit perspective, MBONs represent a prominent level of sensory-modality convergence in the insect brain. We established an experimental design allowing electrophysiological characterization of olfactory, visual, as well as olfactory-visual induced activation of individual MBONs...
February 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Osama S Mahdi, Nathan A Fisher
Paenibacillus larvae is a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium and the causative agent of American foulbrood disease (AFB), a highly contagious, fatal disease affecting managed honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies. As the etiological agent of American foulbrood disease, P. larvae is the most economically significant bacterial pathogen infecting honeybees. This unit includes protocols for the in vitro growth and laboratory maintenance of P. larvae. © 2018 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
February 22, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Osama S Mahdi, Nathan A Fisher
Endospores are metabolically dormant cells formed by a variety of Gram-positive bacteria within the phylum Firmicutes in response to nutrient limiting or otherwise unfavorable growth conditions. American foulbrood disease (AFB) is a serious disease of honeybees that is caused by the introduction of Paenibacillus larvae endospores into a honeybee colony. Progression to fulminant disease and eventual collapse of the colony requires multiple rounds of endospore germination, vegetative replication, endospore formation, and subsequent spread within the colony...
February 22, 2018: Current Protocols in Microbiology
Emmanuel O Olawode, Roman Tandlich, Garth Cambray
Honey is the natural sweet substance produced by honeybee from nectar or honeydew, exhibiting several nutritional and health benefits. It contains a complex mixture of compounds in different proportions, with sugars being the main component. The physicochemical characteristics of ten honeys were evaluated; represented by five, three, and two from South Africa, Slovakia, and Zambia, respectively. The range of values for the pH (3.75-4.38), electrical conductivity (99-659 µS/cm), and moisture content (14.2-17...
March 5, 2018: Molecules: a Journal of Synthetic Chemistry and Natural Product Chemistry
Eduardo G P Fox, Xu Meng, Lei Wang, Li Chen, YongYue Lu
A straightforward method for extracting aculeate arthropod venoms by centrifugation is described, based on adapting a glass insert containing metal mesh or glass wool in a centrifuge tube. Venom apparatuses are centrifuged for 30 s intervals at ≈2000-6000 g, materials being dislodged between cycles. Venom from fire ants, honeybees, and a social wasp were extracted within minutes. The method is suited for small-scale bioassays and allows for faithful descriptions of unmodified toxin cocktails.
March 3, 2018: Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
Soon-Hee Kim, Hee-Sook Park, Moon Ju Hong, Haeng Jeon Hur, Dae Young Kwon, Myung-Sunny Kim
SCOPE: This study investigated the effects of caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), a bioactive component of honeybee hives, on the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome (MetS) by comparing the efficacy of CAPE intake at the beginning of obesity and after obesity. The functional mechanism of CAPE was also investigated. METHODS AND RESULTS: C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) containing 0.05% CAPE (HFD+C) for 12 weeks (HFD+C(Pre) group) or received HFD+C for 6 weeks after consuming the HFD for 6 weeks (HFD+C(Post) group)...
March 5, 2018: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
Qingyun Diao, Beibei Li, Hongxia Zhao, Yanyan Wu, Rui Guo, Pingli Dai, Dafu Chen, Qiang Wang, Chunsheng Hou
Though honeybee populations have not yet been reported to be largely lost in China, many stressors that affect the health of honeybees have been confirmed. Honeybees inevitably come into contact with environmental stressors that are not intended to target honeybees, such as pesticides. Although large-scale losses of honeybee colonies are thought to be associated with viruses, these viruses usually lead to covert infections and to not cause acute damage if the bees do not encounter outside stressors. To reveal the potential relationship between acute pesticides and viruses, we applied different doses of imidacloprid to adult bees that were primarily infected with low levels (4...
February 27, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Suvimol Somwongin, Panuwan Chantawannakul, Wantida Chaiyana
Pharmacological effects of bee venom has been reported, however, it has been restricted to the bee venom collected from European honey bee (Apis mellifera). The aim of the present study was to compare the antioxidant activities and irritation properties of venoms collected from four different Apis species in Thailand, which includes Apis cerena (Asian cavity nesting honeybee), Apis florea (dwarf honeybee), Apis dorsata (giant honeybee), and A. mellifera. Melittin content of each bee venom extracts was investigated by using high-performance liquid chromatography...
February 27, 2018: Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
Kazuyoshi Takeda, Katashi Nagamatsu, Ko Okumura
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Propolis, a resinous material collected from numerous plants by honeybees, has historically been used as a health-promoting food. Recently, due to its potential anti-tumor effects, use of propolis has been proposed as an adjuvant therapy to chemotherapy; however, the effects of propolis on immune responses remain unclear. AIM OF THE STUDY: In this study, we examined the effects of the oral ingestion of propolis on natural killer (NK) cell activity, which is important in immune surveillance against cancer and viral infections...
February 26, 2018: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Xinqiang Xi, Yuran Dong, Xingjun Tian, Haigen Xu, Qingping Zhou, Karl J Niklas, Shucun Sun
Flowering plants interact simultaneously with mutualistic pollinators and antagonistic herbivores such that plant-mediated interactions between pollinators and herbivores must exist. Although the effects of herbivores on pollinator behavior have been investigated extensively, the effect of pollinators on herbivore performance has seldom been explored. We hypothesized that insect pollinators could improve the survival and growth of pre-dispersal seed predators by increasing seed production. We tested this hypothesis along three transects radiating from well-established apiaries in an alpine meadow by supplementing pollination in sites close to and distant from apiaries and subsequently examining seed production of the dominant nectariferous plant species Saussurea nigrescens (Asteraceae) and the performance of three dominant pre-dispersal seed predators (tephritid fly species)...
March 1, 2018: Oecologia
Emily J Bailes, Kaitlin R Deutsch, Judit Bagi, Lucila Rondissone, Mark J F Brown, Owen T Lewis
Global declines of insect pollinators jeopardize the delivery of pollination services in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. The importance of infectious diseases has been documented in honeybees, but there is little information on the extent to which these diseases are shared with other pollinator orders. Here, we establish for the first time the presence of three important bee viruses in hoverfly pollinators (Diptera: Syrphidae): black queen cell virus (BQCV), sacbrood virus (SBV) and deformed wing virus strain B (DWV-B)...
February 2018: Biology Letters
Thierry Hoinville, Rüdiger Wehner
In the last decades, desert ants have become model organisms for the study of insect navigation. In finding their way, they use two major navigational routines: path integration using a celestial compass and landmark guidance based on sets of panoramic views of the terrestrial environment. It has been claimed that this information would enable the insect to acquire and use a centralized cognitive map of its foraging terrain. Here, we present a decentralized architecture, in which the concurrently operating path integration and landmark guidance routines contribute optimally to the directions to be steered, with "optimal" meaning maximizing the certainty (reliability) of the combined information...
February 26, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Meagan A Simons, Adam R Smith
Social insect foragers may specialize on certain resource types. Specialization on pollen or nectar among honeybee foragers is hypothesized to result from associations between reproductive physiology and sensory tuning that evolved in ancestral solitary bees (the Reproductive Ground-Plan Hypothesis; RGPH). However, the two non-honeybee species studied showed no association between specialization and ovary activation. Here we investigate the bumblebee B. impatiens because it has the most extensively studied pollen/nectar specialization of any bumblebee...
2018: PeerJ
Zheguang Lin, Yao Qin, Paul Page, Shuai Wang, Li Li, Zhengsheng Wen, Fuliang Hu, Peter Neumann, Huoqing Zheng, Vincent Dietemann
The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor , shifted host from the eastern honeybee, Apis cerana , to the western honeybee, Apis mellifera . Whereas the original host survives infestations by this parasite, they are lethal to colonies of its new host. Here, we investigated a population of A. cerana naturally infested by the V. destructor Korea haplotype that gave rise to the globally invasive mite lineage. Our aim was to better characterize traits that allow for the survival of the original host to infestations by this particular mite haplotype...
February 2018: Ecology and Evolution
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