Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Journal or Book Title
Royal Society Open Science
Honeybee population declines have been linked to multiple stressors, including reduced diet diversity and increased exposure to understudied viral pathogens. Despite interest in these factors, few experimental studies have explored the interaction between diet diversity and viral infection in honeybees. Here, we used a mixture of laboratory cage and small semi-field nucleus hive experiments to determine how these factors interact. In laboratory experiments, we found that high-quality diets (polyfloral pollen and high-quality single-source pollen) have the potential to reduce mortality in the face of infection with Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV). There was a significant interaction between diet and virus infection on mortality, even in the presence of high virus titres, suggesting that good diets can help bees tolerate virus infection. Further, we found that extreme stress in the form of pollen starvation in conjunction with IAPV infection increase exiting behaviour from small experimental hives. Finally, we showed that higher-quality pollen diets have significantly higher iron and calcium content, suggesting micronutrient deficiencies could be an under-explored area of bee nutrition.
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Dolezal, Adam G.; Carrillo-Tripp, Jimena; Judd, Timothy M.; Miller, W. Allen; Bonning, Bryony C.; and Toth, Amy L., "Interacting stressors matter: diet quality and virus infection in honeybee health" (2019). Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications. 332.