3 years ago

Resin foraging dynamics in Varroa destructor-infested hives: a case of medication of kin?

Giannella Piluzza, Alberto Satta, Ignazio Floris, Franco Buffa, Simonetta Bullitta, Luca Ruiu, Panagiotis Theodorou, Michelina Pusceddu
Social insects have evolved colony behavioral, physiological, and organizational adaptations (social immunity) to reduce the risks of parasitization and/or disease transmission. The collection of resin from various plants and its use in the hive as propolis is a clear example of behavioral defense. For Apis mellifera, an increased propolis content in the hive may correspond to variations in the microbial load of the colony and to a downregulation of an individual bee's immune response. However, many aspects of such antimicrobial mechanism still need to be clarified. Assuming that bacterial and fungal infection mechanisms differ from the action of a parasite, we studied the resin collection dynamics in Varroa destructor-infested honeybee colonies. Comparative experiments involving hives with different mite infestation levels were conducted in order to assess the amount of resin collected and propolis quality within the hive, over a 2-year period (2014 and 2015). Our study demonstrates that when A. mellifera colonies are under stress because of Varroa infestation, an increase in the number of resin foragers is recorded, even if a general intensification of the foraging activity is not observed. A reduction in the total polyphenolic content in propolis produced in infested versus uninfested hives was also noticed. Considering that different propolis types show varying levels of inhibition against a variety of honey bee pathogens in vitro, it would be very important to study the effects against Varroa of two diverse types of propolis: from Varroa-free and from Varroa-infested hives.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1744-7917.12515

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.