Hellenic Institute of Apiculture

Moudania, Greece

Hellenic Institute of Apiculture

Moudania, Greece

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Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Costa C.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Buchler R.,Bee Institute | Uzunov A.,Faculty for Agricultural Science and Food | And 21 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

Adaptation of honey bees to their environment is expressed by the annual development pattern of the colony, the balance with food sources and the host - parasite balance, all of which interact among each other with changes in the environment. In the present study, we analyse the development patterns over a period of two years in colonies belonging to 16 different genotypes and placed in areas grouped within six environmental clusters across Europe. The colonies were maintained with no chemical treatment against varroa mites. The aim of the study was to investigate the presence of genotype - environment interactions and their effects on colony development, which we use in this study as a measure of their vitality. We found that colonies placed in Southern Europe tend to have lower adult bee populations compared to colonies placed in colder conditions, while the brood population tends to be smaller in the North, thus reflecting the shorter longevity of bees in warmer climates and the shorter brood rearing period in the North. We found that both genotype and environment significantly affect colony development, and that specific adaptations exist, especially in terms of adult bee population and overwintering ability. © IBRA 2014 .


Francis R.M.,University of Aarhus | Kryger P.,University of Aarhus | Meixner M.,Bee Institute | Bouga M.,Agricultural University of Athens | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

The COLOSS GEI (Genotype-Environment Interactions) Experiment was setup to further our understanding of recent honey bee colony losses. The main objective of the GEI experiment was to understand the effects of environmental factors on the vitality of European honey bee genotypes. This paper aims to describe the genetic background and population allocation of the bees used in this experiment. Two wing morphometric and two genetic methods were employed to discriminate bee populations. Classical morphometry of 11 angles on the wings were carried out on 350 bees. Geometric morphometry on 19 wing landmarks was carried out on 381 individuals. DNA microsatellite analysis was carried out on 315 individuals using 24 loci. Allozyme analysis was performed on 90 individuals using six enzyme systems. DNA microsatellite markers produced the best discrimination between the subspecies (Apis mellifera carnica, A. m. ligustica, A. m. macedonica, A. m. mellifera and A. m. siciliana) used in the experiment. Morphometric methods generally showed an intermediate level of discrimination, usually best separating A. m. siciliana and A. m. ligustica from the remaining populations. Allozyme markers lack power to discriminate at the level of individual bees, and given our sample size, also fail to differentiate subspecies. Based on DNA microsatellites, about 69% of the individuals were assigned to the same subspecies as originally declared, and 17% were found to belong to a different subspecies. Fourteen percent of the samples were found to be of mixed origin and could not be assigned to any subspecies with certainty. We further discuss the caveats of the methods and details of the sampled bees, their origins and breeding programmes in their respective locations. © IBRA 2014.


Buchler R.,Bee Institute | Costa C.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Andonov S.,Faculty for Agricultural Science and Food | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

The survival and performance of 597 honey bee colonies, representing five subspecies and 16 different genotypes, were comparatively studied in 20 apiaries across Europe. Started in October 2009, 15.7% of the colonies survived without any therapeutic treatment against diseases until spring 2012. The survival duration was strongly affected by environmental factors (apiary effects) and, to a lesser degree, by the genotypes and origin of queens. Varroa was identified as a main cause of losses (38.4%), followed by queen problems (16.9%) and Nosema infection (7.3%). On average, colonies with queens from local origin survived 83 days longer compared to non-local origins (p < 0.001). This result demonstrates strong genotype by environment interactions. Consequently, the conservation of bee diversity and the support of local breeding activities must be prioritised in order to prevent colony losses, to optimize a sustainable productivity and to enable a continuous adaptation to environmental changes. © IBRA 2014.


Meixner M.D.,LLH Bieneninstitut Kirchhain | Costa C.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Kryger P.,University of Aarhus | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2010

Beekeepers in Europe, North America and other parts of the world have repeatedly been afflicted by elevated and sometimes unexplained colony losses. Multiple factors have been considered in connection with increased winter losses. In addition to national programmes investigating possible causes for increased honey bee mortality, scientists collaborate at an international level on different aspects of bee health within the COLOSS network. Within this network, Working Group 4 explores aspects of genetic diversity in relation to the vitality and health of honey bee populations. In this paper, we briefly review the genetic diversity of honey bees in Europe, discuss the effects of beekeeping and selective breeding on honey bee populations under the aspect of genetic diversity and bee health, and review the current status of EU legislation with respect to protection of native bee populations. We introduce and discuss recent approaches in honey bee selective breeding to improve disease resistance by introducing traits related to colony vitality. Finally, we present the aims of WG4 within the COLOSS network and briefly introduce our experimental approach. © 2010 IBRA.


Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Papaefthimiou C.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Charistos L.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Dogaroglu T.,Muǧla University | And 4 more authors.
Apidologie | Year: 2013

Most studies that have shown negative sublethal effects of the pesticide imidacloprid on honeybees concern behavioral effects; only a few concern physiological effects. Therefore, we investigated sublethal effects of imidacloprid on the development of the hypopharyngeal glands (HPGs) and respiratory rhythm in honeybees fed under laboratory conditions. We introduced newly emerged honeybees into wooden mesh-sided cages and provided sugar solution and pollen pastry ad libitum. Imidacloprid was administered in the food: 2 μg/kg in the sugar solution and 3 μg/kg in the pollen pastry. The acini, the lobes of the HPGs of imidacloprid-treated honeybees, were 14.5 % smaller in diameter in 9-day-old honeybees and 16.3 % smaller in 14-day-old honeybees than in the same-aged untreated honeybees; the difference was significant for both age groups. Imidacloprid also significantly affected the bursting pattern of abdominal ventilation movements (AVM) by causing a 59.4 % increase in the inter-burst interval and a 56.99 % decrease in the mean duration of AVM bursts. At the same time, the quantity of food consumed (sugar solution and pollen pastry) per honeybee per day was the same for both treated and untreated honeybees. © 2013 INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France.


Ivanova E.,Plovdiv University | Bouga M.,Agricultural University of Athens | Staykova T.,Plovdiv University | Mladenovic M.,University of Belgrade | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2012

The genetic variability of honey bee populations, representing Apis mellifera macedonica, Apis mellifera cecropia and Apis mellifera carnica subspecies from the Balkan Peninsula countries of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, was studied using alloenzymic analysis of six enzyme systems (MDH-1, ME, EST-3, ALP, PGM and HK) corresponding to 6 loci. All loci were found to be polymorphic in most of the populations studied. The observed heterozygosity was found to range from 0.161 to 0.276. Allele frequencies of all loci were used to estimate Nei's (1972) genetic distance, which was found to range between 0.001 and 0.101 among the populations studied. UPGMA and neighbourjoining phylogenetic trees obtained by genetic distance matrix methods show that the honey bee populations from Bulgaria and Greece were clustered together, as were those from Serbia and Montenegro.


Charistos L.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Bouga M.,Agricultural University of Athens | Mladenovic M.,University of Belgrade | Maistros A.D.,MELETITIKI S.E.M H Ltd
Journal of Apicultural Science | Year: 2014

Honey bees collected from 32 different localities in Greece were studied based on the geometric morphometrics approach using the coordinates of 19 landmarks located at wing vein intersections. Procrustes analysis, principal component analysis, and Canonical variate analysis (CVA) detected population variability among the studied samples. According to the Principal component analysis (PCA) of pooled data from each locality, the most differentiated populations were the populations from the Aegean island localities Astypalaia, Chios, and Kythira. However, the populations with the most distant according to the canonical variate analysis performed on all measurements were the populations from Heraklion and Chania (both from Crete island). These results can be used as a starting point for the use of geometric morphometrics in the discrimination of honey bee populations in Greece and the establishment of conservation areas for local honey bee populations.


Carreck N.L.,International Bee Research Association | Carreck N.L.,University of Sussex | Andree M.,University of California Cooperative Extension | Brent C.S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2013

An understanding of the anatomy and functions of internal and external structures is fundamental to many studies on the honey bee Apis mellifera. Similarly, proficiency in dissection techniques is vital for many more complex procedures. In this paper, which is a prelude to the other papers of the COLOSS BEEBOOK, we outline basic honey bee anatomy and basic dissection techniques. © IBRA 2013.


Ozkirim A.,Hacettepe University | Celemli O.G.,Hacettepe University | Schiesser A.,Hacettepe University | Charistos L.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

Propolis has a long history of use in traditional medicine dating back to at least 300 BC, and has been reported to have a broad spectrum of biological activities. Since most studies have to date focused on medical uses of propolis, its antimicrobial activity against honey bee diseases has been little studied. One of the aims of this study was therefore to investigate the potential use of propolis in honey bee health, especially against American foulbrood, which causes much damage in the beekeeping industry. The second aim was to reveal the different antimicrobial activities of propolis collected from different geographical areas from the neighbouring countries of Greece and Turkey. Propolis samples collected from several regions of Greece and Turkey were investigated for their in vitro antimicrobial activities against Paenibacillus larvae. Eighteen ethanol extracts of propolis (EEP), (nine from Greece and nine from Turkey) were tested for antimicrobial activities against ten P. larvae isolates. The results showed that all P. larvae strains were susceptible to propolis extracts from both Greece and Turkey Furthermore 50% concentrations of EEP caused significantly wider inhibition zones (P=0.05) around the discs. Comparisons of the content, and locations and botanical origins of EEPs from Greece and Turkey showed that the kind of vegetation is more important factor than geographic location for their antimicrobial activity. This is the first comprehensive study concerning the antimicrobial activity of propolis samples collected from a wide area around the Aegean Sea. © IBRA 2014


Celemli O.G.,Hacettepe University | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Charistos L.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Schiesser A.,Hacettepe University | Ozkirim A.,Hacettepe University
Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences | Year: 2013

We aimed to determine the differences and similarities between Greek and Turkish propolis with respect to their chemical composition given that the two countries have many similarities in fl oral biodiversity. We observed that: a) Greek propolis is different from the European-type propolis, having a high terpene content; therefore we can definitely characterize it as a Mediterranean type; b) the Turkish propolis collected along the coast line of the Aegean Sea is similiar to the examined Greek propolis; c) the remaining Turkish samples, originating from the European part of Turkey, were found to be similiar to the European-type propolis, having a high fl avonoid content. Finally, especially two compounds, β-elemene and totarol, were found in Greek samples in quite high amounts that are thought to have important biological properties. © 2013 Verlag der Zeitschrift für Naturforschung, Tübingen.

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