Detection and characterization of Kodamaea ohmeri associated with small hive beetle Aethina tumida infesting honey bee hives
Nicole D Benda, Drion Boucias, Baldwyn Torto and Peter Teal
Honey bee colony infestation by the small hive beetle (SHB) is associated with fermentation of hive materials. Pollen, beetles, and robbing bees (ten of each) were collected from hives infested with SHB in both Florida and Kenya. Plating of homogenized bodies of beetles and bees and comb swabs resulted in smooth cream-colored yeast colonies that formed pseudomycelial cells as they aged. Fatty acid profiles of yeast isolates from Florida and Kenya most closely matched the profiles of Candida krusei and C. sake, respectively. The DNA sequence of the 28S and 5.8S-ITS2 of both the Florida and Kenya isolates were, however, 99-100 % homologous to Kodamaea ohmeri. The ITS1 region differed between the two geographic strains. The two strains produced similar volatile profiles which were attractive to SHB and contained compounds also found in honey bee alarm pheromone.