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Creators/Authors contains: "Ortiz-Alvarado, Yarira"

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  1. Abstract

    In temperate climates, honey bees rely on stored carbohydrates to sustain them throughout the winter. In nature, honey serves as the bees’ source of carbohydrates, but when managed, beekeepers often harvest honey and replace it with cheaper, artificial feed. The effects of alternative carbohydrate sources on colony survival, strength, and individual bee metabolic health are poorly understood. We assessed the impacts of carbohydrate diets (honey, sucrose syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and invert syrup) on colony winter survival, population size, and worker bee nutritional state (i.e., fat content and gene expression of overwintered bees and emerging callow bees). We observed a nonsignificant trend for greater survival and larger adult population size among colonies overwintered on honey compared to the artificial feeds, with colonies fed high-fructose corn syrup performing particularly poorly. These trends were mirrored in individual bee physiology, with bees from colonies fed honey having significantly larger fat bodies than those from colonies fed high-fructose corn syrup. For bees fed honey or sucrose, we also observed gene expression profiles consistent with a higher nutritional state, associated with physiologically younger individuals. That is, there was significantly higher expression of vitellogenin and insulin-like peptide 2 and lower expression of insulin-like peptide 1 and juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase in the brains of bees that consumed honey or sucrose syrup relative to those that consumed invert syrup or high-fructose corn syrup. These findings further our understanding of the physiological implications of carbohydrate nutrition in honey bees and have applied implications for colony management.

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  2. Abstract

    Honey bees, as many species of social insects, display a division of labor among colony members based on behavioral specializations related to age. Adult worker honey bees perform a series of tasks in the hive when they are young (such as brood care or nursing) and at ca. 2–3 wk of age, shift to foraging for nectar and pollen outside the hive. The transition to foraging involves changes in metabolism and neuroendocrine activities. These changes are associated with a suite of developmental genes. It was recently demonstrated that antibiotics influence behavioral development by accelerating or delaying the onset of foraging depending on timing of antibiotic exposure. To understand the mechanisms of these changes, we conducted a study on the effects of antibiotics on expression of candidate genes known to regulate behavioral development. We demonstrate a delay in the typical changes in gene expression over the lifetime of the individuals that were exposed to antibiotics during immature stage and adulthood. Additionally, we show an acceleration in the typical changes in gene expression on individuals that were expose to antibiotics only during immature stage. These results show that timing of antibiotic exposure alter the typical regulation of behavioral development by metabolic and neuroendocrine processes.

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  3. null (Ed.)
    Recurrent honey bee losses make it critical to understand the impact of human interventions, such as antibiotics use in apiculture. Antibiotics are used to prevent or treat bacterial infections in colonies. However, little is known about their effects on honey bee development. We studied the effect of two commercial beekeeping antibiotics on the bee physiology and behavior throughout development. Our results show that antibiotic treatments have an effect on amount of lipids and rate of behavioral development. Lipid amount in treated bees was higher than those not treated. Also, the timing of antibiotic treatment had distinct effects for the age of onset of behaviors starting with cleaning, then nursing and lastly foraging. Bees treated during larva-pupa stages demonstrated an accelerated behavioral development and loss of lipids, while bees treated from larva to adulthood had a delay in behavioral development and loss of lipids. The effects were shared across the two antibiotics tested, TerramycinR (oxytetracycline) and TylanR (tylosin tartrate). These results on effects of antibiotic treatments suggest a role of microbiota in the interaction between the fat body and brain that is important for honey bee behavioral development. 
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