Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Seasonal dynamics and co-occurrence patterns of honey bee pathogens revealed by high-throughput RT-qPCR analysis
Alvise, Paul D'; Seeburger, Victoria ; Gihring, Katharina ; Kieboom, Mattias ; Hasselmann, Martin - \ 2019
Ecology and Evolution 9 (2019)8. - ISSN 2045-7758 - p. 10241 - 10252.
black queen cell virus - honey bee - Nosema ceranae - pathogens

The health of the honey bee Apis mellifera is challenged by introduced parasites that interact with its inherent pathogens and cause elevated rates of colony losses. To elucidate co-occurrence, population dynamics, and synergistic interactions of honey bee pathogens, we established an array of diagnostic assays for a high-throughput qPCR platform. Assuming that interaction of pathogens requires co-occurrence within the same individual, single worker bees were analyzed instead of collective samples. Eleven viruses, four parasites, and three pathogenic bacteria were quantified in more than one thousand single bees sampled from sixteen disease-free apiaries in Southwest Germany. The most abundant viruses were black queen cell virus (84%), Lake Sinai virus 1 (42%), and deformed wing virus B (35%). Forager bees from asymptomatic colonies were infected with two different viruses in average, and simultaneous infection with four to six viruses was common (14%). Also, the intestinal parasites Nosema ceranae (96%) and Crithidia mellificae/Lotmaria passim (52%) occurred very frequently. These results indicate that low-level infections in honey bees are more common than previously assumed. All viruses showed seasonal variation, while N. ceranae did not. The foulbrood bacteria Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius were regionally distributed. Spearman's correlations and multiple regression analysis indicated possible synergistic interactions between the common pathogens, particularly for black queen cell virus. Beyond its suitability for further studies on honeybees, this targeted approach may be, due to its precision, capacity, and flexibility, a viable alternative to more expensive, sequencing-based approaches in nonmodel systems.

Comparison of Pesticide Exposure in Honey Bees (Hymenoptera : Apidae) and Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae): Implications for Risk Assessments
Gradish, Angela E. ; Steen, Jozef Van Der; Scott-Dupree, Cynthia D. ; Cabrera, Ana R. ; Cutler, G.C. ; Goulson, Dave ; Klein, Olaf ; Lehmann, David M. ; Lückmann, Johannes ; O'Neill, Bridget ; Raine, Nigel E. ; Sharma, Bibek ; Thompson, Helen - \ 2019
Environmental Entomology 48 (2019)1. - ISSN 0046-225X - p. 12 - 21.
bumble bee - honey bee - pesticide exposure - risk assessment

To date, regulatory pesticide risk assessments have relied on the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) as a surrogate test species for estimating the risk of pesticide exposure to all bee species. However, honey bees and non-Apis bees may differ in their susceptibility and exposure to pesticides. In 2017, a workshop ('Pesticide Exposure Assessment Paradigm for Non-Apis Bees') was held to assess if honey bee risk assessment frameworks are reflective of non-Apis bee pesticide exposure. In this article, we summarize the workshop discussions on bumble bees (Bombus spp.). We review the life history and foraging behavior of bumble bees and honey bees and discuss how these traits may influence routes and levels of exposure for both taxa. Overall, the major pesticide exposure routes for bumble bees and honey bees are similar; however, bumble bees face additional exposure routes (direct exposure of foraging queens and exposure of larvae and adults to soil residues). Furthermore, bumble bees may receive comparatively higher pesticide doses via contact or oral exposure. We conclude that honey bee pesticide risk assessments may not always be protective of bumble bees, especially queens, in terms of exposure. Data needed to reliably quantify pesticide exposure for bumble bees (e.g., food consumption rates, soil residue levels) are lacking. Addressing these knowledge gaps will be crucial before bumble bee exposure can be incorporated into the pesticide risk assessment process. Because bumble bees exhibit appreciable interspecific variation in colony and behavioral characteristics, data relevant to pesticide exposure should be generated for multiple species.

Wild pollinators enhance oilseed rape yield in small-holder farming systems in China
Zou, Y. ; Xiao, Haijun ; Bianchi, F.J.J.A. ; Jauker, Frank ; Luo, Shudong ; Werf, W. van der - \ 2017
ecosystem services - Canola - compensation - honey bee - pollination - pollinator diversity - wild bee
Background Insect pollinators play an important role in crop pollination, but the relative contribution of wild pollinators and honey bees to pollination is currently under debate. There is virtually no information available on the strength of pollination services and the identity of pollination service providers from Asian smallholder farming systems, where fields are small, and variation among fields is high. We established 18 winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) fields along a large geographical gradient in Jiangxi province in China. In each field, oilseed rape plants were grown in closed cages that excluded pollinators and open cages that allowed pollinator access. The pollinator community was sampled by pan traps for the entire oilseed rape blooming period. Results Oilseed rape plants from which insect pollinators were excluded had on average 38% lower seed set, 17% lower fruit set and 12% lower yield per plant, but the seeds were 17% heavier, and the caged plants had 28% more flowers and 18% higher aboveground vegetative biomass than plants with pollinator access. Oilseed rape plants thus compensate for pollination deficit by producing heavier seeds and more flowers. Regression analysis indicated that local abundance and diversity of wild pollinators were positively associated with seed set and yield/straw ratio, while honey bee abundance was not related to yield parameters. Conclusions Wild pollinator abundance and diversity contribute to oilseed rape yield by enhancing plant resource allocation to seeds rather than to above-ground biomass. This study highlights the importance of the conservation of wild pollinators to support oilseed rape production in small-holder farming systems in China.
Heritabilities and genetic correlations for honey yield, gentleness, calmness and swarming behaviour in Austrian honey bees
Brascamp, Evert ; Willam, Alfons ; Boigenzahn, Christian ; Bijma, Piter ; Veerkamp, Roel F. - \ 2016
Apidologie 47 (2016)6. - ISSN 0044-8435 - p. 739 - 748.
estimated breeding value - genetic correlation - genetic parameter - heritability - honey bee

Heritabilities and genetic correlations were estimated for honey yield and behavioural traits in Austrian honey bees using data on nearly 15,000 colonies of the bee breeders association Biene Österreich collected between 1995 and 2014. The statistical models used distinguished between the genetic effect of workers and that of the queen of the colony. Heritability estimates for worker effect were larger than those for queen effect. Genetic correlations between both effects were negative. Heritability estimates for the sum of both effects (i.e. selection criterion) were 0.27, 0.37, 0.38 and 0.06 for honey yield, gentleness, calmness and swarming behaviour, respectively, indicating that meaningful genetic improvement is possible. Genetic correlations between these traits were generally small to medium, with large standard errors, with the exception of the high genetic correlation between gentleness and calmness. The models we present here can be used to estimate breeding values in honey bees.

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