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Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

Torres DJ, Ricoy UM, Roybal S - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes.Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al.We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Physical Science, Northern New Mexico College, Espanola, NM, USA.

ABSTRACT
Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Effect of exponent α on survival rate of larvae.
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pone.0130966.g001: Effect of exponent α on survival rate of larvae.

Mentions: Finally an adequate larvae bee to nurse ratio must be maintained. Nurse bees are young hive bees responsible for feeding larvae which require a constant supply of proteins and carbohydrates [30]. Larvae are first fed nurse hive bee jelly that is produced by their hypopharyngeal glands followed by a combination of nectar and predigested protein-rich pollen [31, 32]. Consequently our model assumes the larvae survival rate will decrease if the colony lacks sufficient nurse bees. Define the hive to larvae ratioRLH≡HL.(8)Furthermore define to be a healthy ratio. Schmickl et al. [13] use a value of , based on data from Eischen et al. [33]. We assume the ratio accounts for the actual portion of the hive bee caste that are nursing bees. Older hive bees are also responsible for honeycomb construction which house larvae. The survival of the larvae is reduced by rαSlarvaereduce=Slarvaerα(9)when wherer=RLH(RLH)healthy.(10)An exponent α < 1 minimizes the impact of reduced nurses. We use α = .25. Fig 1 plots rα versus r for different values of α.


Modeling Honey Bee Populations.

Torres DJ, Ricoy UM, Roybal S - PLoS ONE (2015)

Effect of exponent α on survival rate of larvae.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493160&req=5

pone.0130966.g001: Effect of exponent α on survival rate of larvae.
Mentions: Finally an adequate larvae bee to nurse ratio must be maintained. Nurse bees are young hive bees responsible for feeding larvae which require a constant supply of proteins and carbohydrates [30]. Larvae are first fed nurse hive bee jelly that is produced by their hypopharyngeal glands followed by a combination of nectar and predigested protein-rich pollen [31, 32]. Consequently our model assumes the larvae survival rate will decrease if the colony lacks sufficient nurse bees. Define the hive to larvae ratioRLH≡HL.(8)Furthermore define to be a healthy ratio. Schmickl et al. [13] use a value of , based on data from Eischen et al. [33]. We assume the ratio accounts for the actual portion of the hive bee caste that are nursing bees. Older hive bees are also responsible for honeycomb construction which house larvae. The survival of the larvae is reduced by rαSlarvaereduce=Slarvaerα(9)when wherer=RLH(RLH)healthy.(10)An exponent α < 1 minimizes the impact of reduced nurses. We use α = .25. Fig 1 plots rα versus r for different values of α.

Bottom Line: Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes.Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al.We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Physical Science, Northern New Mexico College, Espanola, NM, USA.

ABSTRACT
Eusocial honey bee populations (Apis mellifera) employ an age stratification organization of egg, larvae, pupae, hive bees and foraging bees. Understanding the recent decline in honey bee colonies hinges on understanding the factors that impact each of these different age castes. We first perform an analysis of steady state bee populations given mortality rates within each bee caste and find that the honey bee colony is highly susceptible to hive and pupae mortality rates. Subsequently, we study transient bee population dynamics by building upon the modeling foundation established by Schmickl and Crailsheim and Khoury et al. Our transient model based on differential equations accounts for the effects of pheromones in slowing the maturation of hive bees to foraging bees, the increased mortality of larvae in the absence of sufficient hive bees, and the effects of food scarcity. We also conduct sensitivity studies and show the effects of parameter variations on the colony population.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus