Navigation Links
Pheromone increases foraging honey bees, leads to healthier hives
Date:2/11/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. The application of a naturally occurring pheromone to honey bee test colonies increases colony growth resulting in stronger hives overall, according to a new study conducted by scientists at Oregon State University and Texas A&M University.

The study, which appeared this week in the journal, PLoS ONE, comes amid national concern over the existence of honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) a combination of events that result in the death of a bee colony. The causes behind CCD remain unknown, but researchers are focusing on four possible contributing factors: disease, pests, environmental conditions and nutrition.

According to Ramesh Sagili, coauthor on the study, "Division of labor associated with brood rearing in the honey bee: how does it translate to colony fitness?" resiliency to CCD may be increased through better hive management and the use of optimal dose of brood pheromone -- a chemical released by honey bee larvae that communicates the presence of larvae in the colony to adult bees. The optimal dose of brood pheromone that can stimulate colony growth may vary depending on the colony size, time of application and several other factors.

The number of larvae present in the hive affects the ratio of adult foraging bees to non-foragers in favor of foragers, said Sagili. In the study, when low levels of brood pheromone were introduced to experimental hives foragers collected more pollen, said Sagili.

Nectar is a carbohydrate source for both adults and larvae, while pollen is the primary source of protein. Nurse bees utilize pollen to produce brood food that is provisioned to the growing larvae in the colony. More pollen is equitable to better overall nutrition, one of the areas of concern in the appearance of CCD.

"The low brood pheromone treatment triggered higher pollen collection in the study," said Sagili, who holds an OSU Extension Service appointment and studies honey bee health, nutrition, pheromone biology and pollination in OSU's Department of Horticulture. "Colonies exposed to low levels of synthetic brood pheromone exhibited higher foraging populations, a decrease in the age of first foraging and greater foraging effort. The result is increased colony growth an indicator of colony fitness."

The researchers also treated colonies with high levels of brood pheromone. They found the higher treatments were ineffective in increasing the number of foraging bees present in the colony, and in changing the amount of pollen an individual bee brought back to the hive.

"It's logical to assume that a higher dose of pheromone would result in higher pollen collection within the colonies as it would signify more larvae to rear," said Sagili. "Our results did not support that assumption."

An upper threshold for the pheromone may exist and when that threshold is reached a negative feedback might kick in, said Sagili. Colonies may try to balance the ratio of adults to larvae, and that in turn may lead to higher number of adults remaining in the nest for brood care and less bees foraging for resources.

Brood pheromone is not currently used in commercial bee keeping, however its application in research may result in the uncovering of mechanisms related to the division of labor, foraging strategies and colony fitness.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ramesh Sagili
sagilir@hort.oregonstate.edu
541-737-5460
Oregon State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Chloride increases response to pheromones and odors in mouse sensory neurons
2. Squid pheromone sparks extreme aggression on contact
3. Exercise increases brain growth factor and receptors, prevents stem cell drop in middle age
4. European ancestry increases breast cancer risk among Latinas
5. Long-term use of diabetes drugs by women significantly increases risk of fractures
6. Sweetened beverage consumption increases in the US
7. Gene mutation increases drug toxicity, rejection risk in pediatric kidney transplants
8. Indoor air pollution increases asthma symptoms
9. Lower increases in global temps could lead to greater impacts than previously thought, study finds
10. Agent Orange exposure increases veterans risk of aggressive recurrence of prostate cancer
11. Researchers identify a molecule that increases the risk of cardiac insufficiency
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 19, 2017 Sensory ... experience and security for consumer electronics, and ... processing systems and cybersecurity solutions, today announced a ... and financial institutions worldwide to bolster security of ... end-to-end secure user authentication platforms they offer, innerCore ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... -- In vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies were very active in ... Kalorama Information expects that trend to continue – though ... uncertainty in reimbursement and healthcare reform in ... acquisitions landscape. Instead of looking to buy technology, the ... of their home country and also to increase their ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017 MedNet Solutions , ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is proud ... year for the organization in terms of corporate ... eClinical products and services. The company,s exceptional achievements ... of iMedNet ™ ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 19, 2017 ... ... advanced software solutions for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), today announced the ... omic data analysis and interpretation for the rapidly evolving field of precision ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... delivery of product vigilance software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and ... is a fully 21 CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide product ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and GAITHERSBURG, Md. ... MKT: PIP) and Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics ... of a definitive agreement for the merger of ... current investors include Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle ... be a fully-integrated and diversified immunotherapeutics company with ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Calif. , Jan. 19, 2017  ArmaGen, ... Mathias Schmidt , Ph.D., as chief executive officer, ... of directors. Dr. Schmidt brings to ArmaGen more than ... the research and development of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. ... executive with the diverse experience and skillset necessary ...
Breaking Biology Technology: