Treforest, United Kingdom
Treforest, United Kingdom

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Bouga M.,Agricultural University of Athens | Alaux C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Bienkowska M.,Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture | Buchler R.,LLH Bieneninstitut Kirchhain | And 22 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2011

Here, scientists from 19 European countries, most of them collaborating in Working Group 4: "Diversity and Vitality" of COST Action FA 0803 "Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes" (COLOSS), review the methodology applied in each country for discriminating between honey bee populations. Morphometric analyses (classical and geometric) and different molecular markers have been applied. Even if the approach has been similar, however, different methodologies regarding measurements, landmarks or molecular markers may have been used, as well as different statistical procedures. There is therefore the necessity to establish common methods in all countries in order to have results that can be directly compared. This is one of the goals of WG4 of the COLOSS project. © IBRA 2011.


Pinto M.A.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Henriques D.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Chavez-Galarza J.,Polytechnic Institute of Bragança | Kryger P.,University of Aarhus | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

The recognition that the Dark European honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera, is increasingly threatened in its native range has led to the establishment of conservation programmes and protected areas throughout western Europe. Previous molecular surveys showed that, despite management strategies to preserve the genetic integrity of A. m. mellifera, protected populations had a measurable component of their gene pool derived from commercial C-lineage honey bees. Here we used both sequence data from the tRNAleu-cox2 intergenic mtDNA region and a genome-wide scan, with over 1183 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), to assess genetic diversity and introgression levels in several protected populations of A. m. mellifera, which were then compared with samples collected from unprotected populations. MtDNA analysis of the protected populations revealed a single colony bearing a foreign haplotype, whereas SNPs showed varying levels of introgression ranging from virtually zero in Norway to about 14% in Denmark. Introgression overall was higher in unprotected (30%) than in protected populations (8%), and is reflected in larger SNP diversity levels of the former, although opposite diversity levels were observed for mtDNA. These results suggest that, despite controlled breeding, some protected populations still require adjustments to the management strategies to further purge foreign alleles, which can be identified by SNPs. © IBRA 2014.


Balfour N.J.,University of Sussex | Carreck N.L.,University of Sussex | Carreck N.L.,International Bee Research Association | Blanchard H.E.,University of Sussex | Ratnieks F.L.W.,University of Sussex
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2016

Neonicotinoid insecticides have been under scrutiny in recent years due to their potential to harm bees. The European Union recently imposed a two year moratorium (2014-2015) on their application as a seed-treatment for certain bee-attractive crops. In this study we investigated the effect of mature plant size on residual neonicotinoid concentration in two widely grown, bee-attractive crops: oilseed rape (. Brassica napus) and maize (. Zea mays). Plants were collected from four commercial farms in Sussex, United Kingdom, three growing oilseed rape and one maize. All were grown from seeds treated with the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam. For both crops there was a significant negative relationship between mature plant mass and residual neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam and its metabolite clothianidin) concentrations (. p<. 0.001). Concentrations in plant tissues roughly halved with a four-fold increase in plant weight. These results indicate that agronomic practices that result in larger mature plants might have the potential to reduce the exposure of bees to neonicotinoid contamination of pollen and nectar. © 2015.


Carreck N.L.,University of Sussex | Carreck N.L.,International Bee Research Association | Ratnieks F.L.W.,University of Sussex
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

Recent laboratory based studies have demonstrated adverse sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bees and bumble bees, and these studies have been influential in leading to a European Union moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoids, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam on "bee attractive" crops. Yet so far, these same effects have not been observed in field studies. Here we review the three key dosage factors (concentration, duration and choice) relevant to field conditions, and conclude that these have probably been over estimated in many laboratory based studies. © IBRA 2014


Carreck N.L.,International Bee Research Association | Carreck N.L.,University of Sussex
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2011

The Journal of Apicultural Research (JAR) was first published in 1962 under the Editorship of Dr Eva Crane, Director of the then Bee Research Association (BRA). The journal was envisaged as an international English language medium of refereed science dealing with all kinds of bee including: honey bees, stingless bees, bumble bees and solitary bees. The international nature of this journal and its parent journal Bee World were instrumental in the change of title of BRA to International Bee Research Association (IBRA). This paper, coming at the completion of the fiftieth volume of JAR, describes the origins and history of the journal, and discusses some of the most notable papers published within its pages. © IBRA 2011.


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.


Martin S.J.,University of Salford | Ball B.V.,Rothamsted Research | Carreck N.L.,Rothamsted Research | Carreck N.L.,University of Sussex | Carreck N.L.,International Bee Research Association
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2013

The mite Varroa destructor has been associated with the collapse of millions of Apis mellifera honey bee colonies world-wide. During the past decade, a large body of research has revealed various interactions between varroa, the honey bee and various viral pathogens. One pathogen in particular, deformed wing virus (DWV), has emerged as the key pathogen involved in colony collapse. As varroa has permanently changed the viral landscape in which honey bees exist, we present a large body of data on the effects of DWV during the initial phase of varroa infestation in the UK during 1998. This provides baseline data for further comparative studies. We carried out DWV transmission studies, and observed the effects of DWV on bee longevity. As the ELISA technique used in these studies had a detection limit of ∼107 viral particles per bee, only high viral (overt) titres were detected. During the initial phase of varroa establishment, DWV was detected in 0.6% of non-infested sealed brood, but in 89% of sealed brood invaded by varroa. Once DWV was introduced into the bee's haemolymph via mite feeding on either pupae or adults, an overt virus infection was rapidly produced in 3-4 days. In sealed brood the presence of varroa was fatal for 21% of the brood, caused wing deformity in some emerging adults and significantly reduced longevity as an adult. However, adult bees that became infected after they had emerged, did not develop wing deformity nor show any reduced longevity, but acted as reservoirs of DWV infection. © IBRA 2013.


Potts S.G.,University of Reading | Roberts S.P.M.,University of Reading | Dean R.,Red Beehive Company | Marris G.,UK Environment Agency | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2010

Growing evidence indicates that European managed honey bees are in decline, but information for Europe remains patchy and localized. Here we compile data from 18 European countries to assess trends in the number of honey bee colonies and beekeepers between 1965 and 2005. We found consistent declines in colony numbers in central European countries and some increases in Mediterranean countries. Beekeeper numbers have declined in all of the European countries examined. Our data support the view that honey bees are in decline at least in some regions, which is probably closely linked to the decreasing number of beekeepers. Our data on colony numbers and beekeepers must, however, be interpreted with caution due to different approaches and socioeconomic factors in the various countries, thereby limiting their comparability. We therefore make specific recommendations for standardized methodologies to be adopted at the national and global level to assist in the future monitoring of honey bees. © IBRA 2010.


PubMed | International Bee Research Association
Type: | Journal: Pest management science | Year: 2016

Bees and agrochemicals have a long history. For example, the first volume of IBRAs journal Bee World in 1919 contains mention of poisoning of bees by spraying an orchard with lead arsenate. Bees being insects, it is self-evident that the use of insecticides to control crop pests poses a risk to them. Bee poisoning incidents became a very serious problem in the 1960s and 1970s with spraying of, in particular, oilseed rape with organophosphorus compounds. The introduction of carbamates and then especially synthetic pyrethroids reduced these problems. Data from the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme show that in recent years there have been very few poisoning incidents in the United Kingdom that can be attributed to agricultural insecticides. The introduction of neonicotinoid insecticides has, however, been very controversial. Almost as soon as they were introduced in the 1990s, French beekeepers blamed colony losses on imidacloprid used on sunflowers and maize, but restrictions on its use did not lead to a reduction in losses or to a reduction in beekeepers concerns. Acute pesticide poisoning incidents by neonicotinoids in Germany and Italy in 2008 further sealed their reputation. Despite laboratory evidence showing their harm, field experience remains equivocal, and many commercial beekeepers continue to move their colonies to oilseed rape crops for honey production. The neonicotinoid moratorium has undoubtedly led to the increased use of older insecticides, and the effect of this on bee populations is unknown and unquantified. Many beekeepers are currently confused by the conflicting evidence. 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

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