Eva Crane Memorial Award 2011

publication date: Aug 31, 2012
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Eva Crane Memorial Award 2011.

The annual Eva Crane Memorial Prize is awarded to the best, most innovative and scientifically exciting, article published in the Journal of Apicultural Research each year as judged by the current international panel of Editors. The winning paper for 2011 is the original research article “Nosema ceranae  development in Apis mellifera: influence of diet and infective inoculum” by Martín Porrini, Edgardo Sarlo, Sandra Medici, Paula Garrido, Darío Porrini, Damiani Natalia and Martín Eguaras of the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina.

The Science.

To investigate the effect of the nutritional condition of the honey bee on the development of Nosema ceranae under laboratory conditions, newly emerged bees were confined and fed on three ad libitum diets: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) + fresh bee bread; HFCS + a commercial mixture of amino acid and vitamin, and HFCS. On day 7 post-emergence, bees from each diet treatment were individually infected with several rates of spores of N. ceranae. At intervals, bee midguts were removed to individually quantify the spores developed. The results indicate that the parasite multiplies successfully regardless of the inoculum given or the nutritional status of its host. When bees are fed on pollen, however, the parasite develops quickly, exhibiting significantly higher intensities than under other treatments. The longevity of infected bees fed on the same diet was not affected by the degree of parasitism, but by the quality of the ad libitum diet administered. The data demonstrate a parasite development that depends on host-condition. This should be considered when designing experiments to evaluate the development and virulence of this pathogen.

The researchers

Martín Porrini received a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences at the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina in 2008. He is currently a PhD student, working on a CONICET scholarship finding alternative substances for the control of Nosema. The aim of his laboratory and field research is to develop products mainly of natural origin which affect the environment as little as possible, and take into account interactions between the parasite, the drug molecules and the physiological status of the host. His research focuses not only on improvements in hive production, but also learning about how these organisms respond to environmental factors.

Over the last twenty years, The Arthropods Laboratory, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, directed by Dr Martín Eguaras, has been doing research on a number of beekeeping problems. From the outset, researches, mostly funded by the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET),  have focused on increasing knowledge to provide practical solutions for beekeepers, as well as initiating research in different new lines of work that contribute to basic science too. The results obtained, about diverse topics related to bee health, have been disseminated in books, scientific journals, protocols and other reference works. Dr Eguaras is convinced that it is possible to incorporate a programme of Integrated Pest Management in productive beekeeping, and recently there has been much progress in areas such as bee physiology and immunity, bioindicators, mite resistance, pesticide residue analysis, and control strategies for the principal pests and pathogens that threaten honey bees. In a country such as Argentina, with different needs and varying resources, the group has developed an ambitious programme of extension work, providing a wide range of courses, promoting the link between the producers and scientists, and providing technical and scientific advice to several national and international institutions.

Areas of research at the Arthropods Laboratory include: monitoring and control of Varroosis (Dr Jorge Marcangeli, Dr Sergio Ruffinengo, Dr Matias Maggi, Dr Natalia Damiani, and Gustavo Velis); monitoring and control of American foulbrood (Dr Liesel Gende, Dr Sandra Fuselli and Natalia Fernandez); monitoring and control of Nosemosis (Dr Gabriel Sarlo and Martin Porrini); residues in hive products Dr Sandra Medici); bee physiology and nutrition (Dr Gabriel Sarlo, Melisa Garrido, Peter (Pedro) Negri, Dr Sandra Medici, Dr Natalia Damiani), and pollination (Leonardo De Feudis and  Fiorella Del Piano). Areas in development include: the study of probiotics in beekeeping and their relationship with bee health and disease tolerance; the use of bees as environmental biomonitors including the determination of heavy metals and pesticides; and computer simulation of honey bee colonies (Mario Migueles).


PORRINI, M P; SARLO, E G; MEDICI, S K; GARRIDO, P M; PORRINI, D P; DAMIANI, N; EGUARAS, M J (2011) Nosema ceranae development in Apis mellifera: Influence of diet and infective inoculum. Journal of Apicultural Research 50(1): 35-41. http://dx.doi.org/10/3896/IBRA.

EC Award 2011

Researchers at the Arthropods Laboratory, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata.
Top row, L to R: Eguaras, Ruffinengo, Marcángeli, Maggi, Sarlo;
Middle row, L to R: Damiani, Gende, Porrini M., Garrido, De Feudis, Fernández;
Bottom row, L to R: Porrini D., Medici, Negri, Migueles, Fuselli.