Limits...
Linking Measures of Colony and Individual Honey Bee Health to Survival among Apiaries Exposed to Varying Agricultural Land Use.

Smart M, Pettis J, Rice N, Browning Z, Spivak M - PLoS ONE (2016)

Bottom Line: We previously characterized and quantified the influence of land use on survival and productivity of colonies positioned in six apiaries and found that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more land in uncultivated forage experienced greater annual survival, and generally more honey production.At the individual bee level, expression of vitellogenin, defensin1, and lysozyme2 were important markers of overwinter survival.This study is a novel first step toward identifying pertinent physiological responses in honey bees that result from their positioning near varying landscape features in intensive agricultural environments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Minnesota, Department of Entomology, St. Paul, MN, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
We previously characterized and quantified the influence of land use on survival and productivity of colonies positioned in six apiaries and found that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more land in uncultivated forage experienced greater annual survival, and generally more honey production. Here, detailed metrics of honey bee health were assessed over three years in colonies positioned in the same six apiaries. The colonies were located in North Dakota during the summer months and were transported to California for almond pollination every winter. Our aim was to identify relationships among measures of colony and individual bee health that impacted and predicted overwintering survival of colonies. We tested the hypothesis that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more favorable land use conditions would experience improved health. We modeled colony and individual bee health indices at a critical time point (autumn, prior to overwintering) and related them to eventual spring survival for California almond pollination. Colony measures that predicted overwintering apiary survival included the amount of pollen collected, brood production, and Varroa destructor mite levels. At the individual bee level, expression of vitellogenin, defensin1, and lysozyme2 were important markers of overwinter survival. This study is a novel first step toward identifying pertinent physiological responses in honey bees that result from their positioning near varying landscape features in intensive agricultural environments.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

Levels of Varroa destructor in September shown as percent mite infestation per 100 adult bees.N = 24 colonies per site, letters denote significant differences among sites within each year.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4814072&req=5

pone.0152685.g004: Levels of Varroa destructor in September shown as percent mite infestation per 100 adult bees.N = 24 colonies per site, letters denote significant differences among sites within each year.

Mentions: Varroa mites were controlled by the beekeeper using the miticide amitraz twice per year. No apiary site consistently had colonies with the lowest or highest Varroa mite levels over time; i.e. there was an interaction in mite levels between site and date (S3 Fig). Infestation rate (mean number mites per 100 adult bees) generally increased over the course of the summer after treatment each May. In 2010 and 2011, mean mite levels never exceeded 1 mite/100 bees, while in 2012, mite levels were slightly higher but remained under 3 mites/100 bees. For the month of September (the time point for statistical modeling) an interaction occurred between site and year (Fig 4: F10,393 = 7.01, p<0.0001). Autumn mite treatment, coupled with the seasonal decline in colony brood-rearing, led to decreased Varroa infestation levels through January. By March, Varroa levels had increased before treatments were applied in May of each year (S3 Fig).


Linking Measures of Colony and Individual Honey Bee Health to Survival among Apiaries Exposed to Varying Agricultural Land Use.

Smart M, Pettis J, Rice N, Browning Z, Spivak M - PLoS ONE (2016)

Levels of Varroa destructor in September shown as percent mite infestation per 100 adult bees.N = 24 colonies per site, letters denote significant differences among sites within each year.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4814072&req=5

pone.0152685.g004: Levels of Varroa destructor in September shown as percent mite infestation per 100 adult bees.N = 24 colonies per site, letters denote significant differences among sites within each year.
Mentions: Varroa mites were controlled by the beekeeper using the miticide amitraz twice per year. No apiary site consistently had colonies with the lowest or highest Varroa mite levels over time; i.e. there was an interaction in mite levels between site and date (S3 Fig). Infestation rate (mean number mites per 100 adult bees) generally increased over the course of the summer after treatment each May. In 2010 and 2011, mean mite levels never exceeded 1 mite/100 bees, while in 2012, mite levels were slightly higher but remained under 3 mites/100 bees. For the month of September (the time point for statistical modeling) an interaction occurred between site and year (Fig 4: F10,393 = 7.01, p<0.0001). Autumn mite treatment, coupled with the seasonal decline in colony brood-rearing, led to decreased Varroa infestation levels through January. By March, Varroa levels had increased before treatments were applied in May of each year (S3 Fig).

Bottom Line: We previously characterized and quantified the influence of land use on survival and productivity of colonies positioned in six apiaries and found that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more land in uncultivated forage experienced greater annual survival, and generally more honey production.At the individual bee level, expression of vitellogenin, defensin1, and lysozyme2 were important markers of overwinter survival.This study is a novel first step toward identifying pertinent physiological responses in honey bees that result from their positioning near varying landscape features in intensive agricultural environments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Minnesota, Department of Entomology, St. Paul, MN, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
We previously characterized and quantified the influence of land use on survival and productivity of colonies positioned in six apiaries and found that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more land in uncultivated forage experienced greater annual survival, and generally more honey production. Here, detailed metrics of honey bee health were assessed over three years in colonies positioned in the same six apiaries. The colonies were located in North Dakota during the summer months and were transported to California for almond pollination every winter. Our aim was to identify relationships among measures of colony and individual bee health that impacted and predicted overwintering survival of colonies. We tested the hypothesis that colonies in apiaries surrounded by more favorable land use conditions would experience improved health. We modeled colony and individual bee health indices at a critical time point (autumn, prior to overwintering) and related them to eventual spring survival for California almond pollination. Colony measures that predicted overwintering apiary survival included the amount of pollen collected, brood production, and Varroa destructor mite levels. At the individual bee level, expression of vitellogenin, defensin1, and lysozyme2 were important markers of overwinter survival. This study is a novel first step toward identifying pertinent physiological responses in honey bees that result from their positioning near varying landscape features in intensive agricultural environments.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus