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Ivana Tlak Gajger, Marina Kosanović, Nina Bilandžić, Marija Sedak, Bruno Čalopek
Beeswax foundations are a necessary material in intensive modern beekeeping. Heavy metals can accumulate in these foundations for decades, as it is a common beekeeping practice to recycle wax. Beeswax samples were analysed using GFAAS for As, Cd, Pb, and Hg concentrations during the production of beeswax foundations using casting technology with a prolonged cooling and sedimentation phase. Significant differences were determined in the concentrations of As, Cd, Pb (p<0.01, all), and Hg (p<0.05) between the three levels of wax in a double-walled steel casting container and comb foundations (CF) during the processing stage...
September 1, 2016: Arhiv za Higijenu Rada i Toksikologiju
Neloy Kumar Chakroborty, Randolf Menzel, Marco Schubert
Ca(2+) imaging techniques were applied to investigate the neuronal behavior of projection neurons in the honeybee antennal lobe to examine the effects of long lasting adaptation on odorant coding. Responses to 8 test odorants were measured before, during and after an odor adaptation phase. Bees were exposed to the adapting odor for 30 minutes. Test odorant responses were only recorded from a sub-population of accessible glomeruli on the antennal lobe surface. Projection neurons, the output neurons of the antennal lobes, are projecting through the lateral, mediolateral and medial antennal lobe tract to higher centers of the olfactory pathway...
October 17, 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
Hanna Zwaka, Daniel Münch, Gisela Manz, Randolf Menzel, Jürgen Rybak
In the honeybee brain, two prominent tracts - the medial and the lateral antennal lobe tract - project from the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobes (ALs), to the central brain, the mushroom bodies (MBs), and the protocerebral lobe (PL). Intracellularly stained uniglomerular projection neurons were reconstructed, registered to the 3D honeybee standard brain atlas, and then used to derive the spatial properties and quantitative morphology of the neurons of both tracts. We evaluated putative synaptic contacts of projection neurons (PNs) using confocal microscopy...
2016: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy
Anita Giglio, Anna Ammendola, Silvia Battistella, Attilio Naccarato, Alberto Pallavicini, Enrico Simeon, Antonio Tagarelli, Piero Giulio Giulianini
Honeybees have become important tools for the ecotoxicological assessment of soil, water and air metal contamination due to their extraordinary capacity to bioaccumulate toxic metals from the environment. The level of heavy metal pollution in the Trieste city was monitored using foraging bees of Apis mellifera ligustica from hives owned by beekeepers in two sites strategically located in the suburban industrial area and urban ones chosen as control. The metal concentration in foraging bees was determined by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry...
October 15, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Thomas V Vezeteu, Otilia Bobiş, Robin F A Moritz, Anja Buttstedt
Honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera) serve as attractive hosts for a variety of pathogens providing optimal temperatures, humidity, and an abundance of food. Thus, honeybees have to deal with pathogens throughout their lives and, even as larvae they are affected by severe brood diseases like the European Foulbrood caused by Melissococcus plutonius. Accordingly, it is highly adaptive that larval food jelly contains antibiotic compounds. However, although food jelly is primarily consumed by bee larvae, studies investigating the antibiotic effects of this jelly have largely concentrated on bacterial human diseases...
October 14, 2016: MicrobiologyOpen
Casey Stamereilers, Lucy LeBlanc, Diane Yost, Penny S Amy, Philippos K Tsourkas
American Foulbrood Disease, caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, is one of the most destructive diseases of the honeybee, Apis mellifera. Our group recently published the sequences of 9 new phages with the ability to infect and lyse P. larvae. Here, we characterize the genomes of these P. larvae phages, compare them to each other and to other sequenced P. larvae phages, and putatively identify protein function. The phage genomes are 38-45 kb in size and contain 68-86 genes, most of which appear to be unique to P...
July 2016: Bacteriophage
A Minami, H Matsushita, D Ieno, Y Matsuda, Y Horii, A Ishii, T Takahashi, H Kanazawa, A Wakatsuki, T Suzuki
OBJECTIVE: Royal jelly (RJ) from honeybees (Apis mellifera) has estrogenic activity. Estrogen deficiency after menopause leads to a high risk of memory impairment and depression as well as metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis. We here investigated the effect of RJ on memory impairment and depression-like behaviors in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. METHODS: OVX rats were administered with RJ for 82 days. Hippocampus-dependent spatial memory and depression-like behaviors were assessed by the Morris water maze test and the forced swimming test, respectively...
October 13, 2016: Climacteric: the Journal of the International Menopause Society
Nicola Cicero, Clara Naccari, Gaetano Cammilleri, Giuseppe Giangrosso, Antonello Cicero, Teresa Gervasi, Alessia Tropea, Ambrogina Albergamo, Vincenzo Ferrantelli
The decline of pollinating species is correlated to the extensive use of neonicotinoids against pest insects for crop protection. In this study, the concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides were determined in honeybees, honeycomb and honey samples, collected in Spring 2015 (blooming period) from different areas in Sicily (IT), to carry out an evaluation of bees products' safety and an overview of neonicotinoid contamination in beekeeping. The results obtained showed only the presence of clothianidin in bee samples and these concentrations don't represent a risk for bees' vitality and safety...
October 13, 2016: Natural Product Research
Annemarie Heiduk, Irina Brake, Michael von Tschirnhaus, Matthias Göhl, Andreas Jürgens, Steven D Johnson, Ulrich Meve, Stefan Dötterl
Four to six percent of plants, distributed over different angiosperm families, entice pollinators by deception [1]. In these systems, chemical mimicry is often used as an efficient way to exploit the olfactory preferences of animals for the purpose of attracting them as pollinators [2,3]. Here, we report a very specific type of chemical mimicry of a food source. Ceropegia sandersonii (Apocynaceae), a deceptive South African plant with pitfall flowers, mimics attacked honeybees. We identified kleptoparasitic Desmometopa flies (Milichiidae) as the main pollinators of C...
September 27, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Jan Oettler, Alexandra Schrempf
Easy maintenance, controlled mating and short generation time make Cardiocondyla obscurior an interesting model for social insect aging research. Using this ant we have begun to study the proximate genomic relationship between mating and aging. Although mating in general has a positive effect and results in fertile queens with long life but drastically reduced metabolic rates, mating can also dramatically reduce queen fitness. Here we review a decade of research on factors affecting queen aging rate and contrast these findings with studies on honeybees and solitary aging models...
August 2016: Current Opinion in Insect Science
Hiroki Kohno, Shota Suenami, Hideaki Takeuchi, Tetsuhiko Sasaki, Takeo Kubo
The European honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) is used as a model organism in studies of the molecular and neural mechanisms underlying social behaviors and/or advanced brain functions. The entire honeybee genome has been sequenced, which has further advanced molecular biologic studies of the honeybee. Functions of genes of interest, however, remain largely to be elucidated in the honeybee due to the lack of effective reverse genetic methods. Moreover, genetically modified honeybees must be maintained under restricted laboratory conditions due to legal restrictions, further complicating the application of reverse genetics to this species...
October 2016: Zoological Science
Kirsten M Ellegaard, Philipp Engel
Interactions with microbes affect many aspects of animal biology, including immune system development, nutrition and health. In vertebrates, the gut microbiota is dominated by a small subset of phyla, but the species composition within these phyla is typically not conserved. Moreover, several recent studies have shown that bacterial species in the gut are composed of a multitude of strains, which frequently co-exist in their host, and may be host-specific. However, since the study of intra-species diversity is challenging, particularly in the setting of complex, host-associated microbial communities, our current understanding of the distribution, evolution and functional relevance of intra-species diversity in the gut is scarce...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
C S Hou, B B Li, S Deng, Q Y Diao
Varroa destructor mites pose an increasing global threat to the apicultural industry and agricultural ecology; however, the issue of whether certain environmental factors reflect the level of mite infection is far from resolved. Here, a wireless sensor network (WSN) system was used to examine how V. destructor, which has vital impacts on honeybee (Apis mellifera) health and survival, affects the temperature and humidity of honeybee hives in a field experiment. This approach may facilitate early identification of V...
September 23, 2016: Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR
H Yu, T X Liu, D Wang
The complete genomic RNA of the Chinese sacbrood virus (CSBV) strain, which infects the honeybees in the Loess plateau, was sequenced and analyzed. The CSBV-SX strain contains 8705 nucleotides, which includes a single large open reading frame (99-8681 nucleotides) encoding 2860 amino acids. A novel efficient identification method was used to investigate the samples infected by CSBV. The putative amino acid sequence alignment analysis showed that, except for some normal well characterized domains such as RNA helicase, RNA protease, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domains, a calicivirus coat protein domain was identified at amino acids 493-564...
September 23, 2016: Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR
F Como, E Carnesecchi, S Volani, J L Dorne, J Richardson, A Bassan, M Pavan, E Benfenati
Ecological risk assessment of plant protection products (PPPs) requires an understanding of both the toxicity and the extent of exposure to assess risks for a range of taxa of ecological importance including target and non-target species. Non-target species such as honey bees (Apis mellifera), solitary bees and bumble bees are of utmost importance because of their vital ecological services as pollinators of wild plants and crops. To improve risk assessment of PPPs in bee species, computational models predicting the acute and chronic toxicity of a range of PPPs and contaminants can play a major role in providing structural and physico-chemical properties for the prioritisation of compounds of concern and future risk assessments...
January 2017: Chemosphere
Yu Guo, Zilong Wang, You Li, Guifeng Wei, Jiao Yuan, Yu Sun, Huan Wang, Qiuhong Qin, Zhijiang Zeng, Shaowu Zhang, Runsheng Chen
In the last decade, it has been demonstrated that brain functional asymmetry occurs not only in vertebrates but also in invertebrates. However, the mechanisms underlying functional asymmetry remain unclear. In the present study, we trained honeybees of the same parentage and age, on the proboscis extension reflex (PER) paradigm with only one antenna in use. The comparisons of gene expression between the left and right hemispheres were carried out using high throughput sequencing. Our research revealed that gene expression in the honeybee brain is also asymmetric, with more genes having higher expression in the right hemisphere than the left hemisphere...
October 5, 2016: Scientific Reports
Thomas Henneresse, Daniel Tyteca
As part of a research project on the food deception strategy in Orchis militaris (L.), the objective of this study was to identify insect visitors and potential pollinators of this orchid species in Belgium. In 2013, insects were collected over 2 d per site in five localities distributed in Southern Belgium (Wallonia). A total of 104 insects belonging to 49 species were caught. Dipterans were the most abundant visitors (50% of total specimens), followed by Hymenopterans (32%). Rhingia campestris Meigen, Bombylius venosus Mikan, Apis mellifera (L...
2016: Journal of Insect Science
Jacqueline Degen, Andreas Kirbach, Lutz Reiter, Konstantin Lehmann, Philipp Norton, Mona Storms, Miriam Koblofsky, Sarah Winter, Petya B Georgieva, Hai Nguyen, Hayfe Chamkhi, Hanno Meyer, Pawan K Singh, Gisela Manz, Uwe Greggers, Randolf Menzel
Exploration is an elementary and fundamental form of learning about the structure of the world [1-3]. Little is known about what exactly is learned when an animal seeks to become familiar with the environment. Navigating animals explore the environment for safe return to an important place (e.g., a nest site) and to travel between places [4]. Flying central-place foragers like honeybees (Apis mellifera) extend their exploration into distances from which the features of the nest cannot be directly perceived [5-10]...
September 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Takayuki Ueno, Kiyoshi Kawasaki, Takeo Kubo
Honeybee workers are engaged in various tasks related to maintaining colony activity. The tasks of the workers change according to their age (age-related division of labor). Young workers are engaged in nursing the brood (nurse bees), while older workers are engaged in foraging for nectar and pollen (foragers). The physiology of the workers changes in association with this role shift. For example, the main function of the hypopharyngeal glands (HPGs) changes from the secretion of major royal jelly proteins (MRJPs) to the secretion of carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes...
2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Stephanie D Biergans, Charles Claudianos, Judith Reinhard, C G Galizia
The activity of the epigenetic writers DNA methyltransferases (Dnmts) after olfactory reward conditioning is important for both stimulus-specific long-term memory (LTM) formation and extinction. It, however, remains unknown which components of memory formation Dnmts regulate (e.g., associative vs. non-associative) and in what context (e.g., varying training conditions). Here, we address these aspects in order to clarify the role of Dnmt-mediated DNA methylation in memory formation. We used a pharmacological Dnmt inhibitor and classical appetitive conditioning in the honeybee Apis mellifera, a well characterized model for classical conditioning...
2016: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
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