Major(s)

Animal Ecology

Mentor(s)

Amy Toth

Department

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Location

Memorial Union 3558

Session Title

4.E: Honey Bee Biology

Start Date

14-4-2015 1:10 PM

End Date

14-4-2015 2:00 PM

Description

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are extremely important worldwide pollinators, but have been in decline in recent years. Researchers have tied these losses to several environmental stressors, including landscape use (lack of forage), pests and pathogens, and pesticide exposure. Two of the most problematic issues are viral pathogens and pollen nutrition. Pollen is the primary nutritional source for bees and monoculture crop systems have led to a substandard diversity of pollen which can negatively affect bee health. Despite studies on these factors individually, the interaction of honey bee nutritional stress and viruses is poorly understood. We studied this interaction using a semi-field experiment in which we manipulated small “nucleus” bee hives by experimentally controlling their diet and infecting them with viruses to learn how these factors affect their survival and foraging activity. Our findings will provide a better understanding on how these stressors affect honey bee health and foraging behavior.

Included in

Entomology Commons

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Apr 14th, 1:10 PM Apr 14th, 2:00 PM

The effects of nutritional stress and viruses on honey bee survival and foraging behavior.

Memorial Union 3558

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are extremely important worldwide pollinators, but have been in decline in recent years. Researchers have tied these losses to several environmental stressors, including landscape use (lack of forage), pests and pathogens, and pesticide exposure. Two of the most problematic issues are viral pathogens and pollen nutrition. Pollen is the primary nutritional source for bees and monoculture crop systems have led to a substandard diversity of pollen which can negatively affect bee health. Despite studies on these factors individually, the interaction of honey bee nutritional stress and viruses is poorly understood. We studied this interaction using a semi-field experiment in which we manipulated small “nucleus” bee hives by experimentally controlling their diet and infecting them with viruses to learn how these factors affect their survival and foraging activity. Our findings will provide a better understanding on how these stressors affect honey bee health and foraging behavior.