Nosema apis infection in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens.

publication date: Mar 31, 2008
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 47 (1) pp. 53 - 57
DOI
Date
March 2008
 
Article Title
 
Nosema apis infection in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens.
Author(s)
Thomas C. Webster, Etta M. Thacker, Kirk Pomper, Jeremiah Lowe, Greg Hunt
Abstract
Queen honey bees were fed Nosema apis spores in sucrose solution, returned to their hives, and examined later for N. apis infection by a polymerase chain reaction test. Eggs, larvae and pupae from the hives were also examined for infection on three observation dates during a 39 day period following the inoculation of the queens. Six of seven surviving queens developed N. apis infections in their ventriculi, but none had detectable N. apis in their ovaries. No eggs, larvae or pupae taken from the hives of Nosema inoculated queens contained detectable N. apis. These results suggest that N. apis is not transmitted vertically, unlike many other Microsporidia in other invertebrate hosts. In an effort to determine if the stress of shipping increased the susceptibility of Nosema exposed bees, another set of mated, queen honey bees was fed N. apis spores in sucrose, and the queens were then either mailed in small shipping cages, from Kentucky to Indiana and back, or kept caged for the same period in the laboratory. These queens were then dissected and their ovaries and ventriculi examined for N. apis. Of the mailed queens, all developed infection, whilst 86% of the queens not mailed became infected, but this difference was not statistically significant. N. apis was not detected in any of the ovaries of mailed queens nor of those queens not mailed.
Keywords
Apis mellifera, Nosema apis, ovary, PCR, queen honey bee, shipping queens, ventriculus, vertical transmission
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