[permaculture] Fwd: Newly Named Bacteria Help Honey Bee Larvae Thrive

Lawrence London lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Wed May 6 17:45:00 EDT 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
Date: Wed, May 6, 2015 at 8:05 AM
Subject: Newly Named Bacteria Help Honey Bee Larvae Thrive
To: ARS News subscriber <lflj at bellsouth.net>


ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at
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  *Read the magazine story
<http://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2015/may/honeybee/> to find out more.*

[image: Photo: Honey bee larvae in artificial cells on the right; capped
artificial cells on the left where larvae become pupae. Link to photo
information] <http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/may15/d3441-2.htm>
ARS scientists have recently found new species of bacteria that appears to
help honey bee larvae survive better, in laboratory studies. *Click the
image for more information about it.*

[image: For further reading]


   Research Shows Honey Bee Diseases Can Strike in All Seasons
   - Survey Reports Fewer Winter Honey Bee Losses

   - Disinfecting Honey Comb with Ozone

 *Newly Named Bacteria Help Honey Bee Larvae Thrive*

By Kim Kaplan <http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/contacts.htm#Kim>
May 6, 2015

U.S. Department of Agriculture
<http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome> (USDA) scientists have
identified a bacterium that appears to give honey bee larvae a better
chance of surviving to become pupae.

Molecular biologist Vanessa Corby-Harris
<http://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/people/people.htm?personid=46565> and
microbial ecologist Kirk E. Anderson
<http://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/people/people.htm?personid=44500> at the Carl
Hayden Bee Research Center
<http://ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=20-22-05-00> in Tucson,
Arizona, have named the new species *Parasaccharibacter apium. *The bee
research center is part of the Agricultural Research Service
<http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/main.htm>, USDA’s chief intramural scientific
research agency.

Honey bees have been under nearly constant and growing pressures from a
whole host of stressors—diseases, poor nutrition, sublethal effects of
pesticides and many others, especially for the last 30 years. It has been
known that a number of different bacteria live within adult bees and in the
hive, and scientists have been studying if and how these bacteria help deal
with some of these stresses.

This is the first bacteria found to offer a benefit to bee larvae. In
laboratory experiments, bee larvae fed *P. apium *had about an average of
30 percent better survival compared to those fed a sterile control.

How *P. apium* confers this survival advantage to the larvae is not yet
known, according to Corby-Harris.

So far, the researchers have found *P. apium* only in honey bees and their
hives. While *P. apium* found in honey bee hives is a distinct and new
species from any previously identified, it has very close, naturally
occurring relatives found in the nectar of many flowers, including cactus
flowers, daisies, thistles and apple blossoms.

The genome of *P. apium* has been sequenced and they are beginning to
dissect the functional properties that distinguish flower-living
Acetobacteraceaefrom those that have coevolved with the honey bee hive.
Pinpointing these ecological differences will be key to understanding the
function of *P. apium* in honey bee hives, Anderson explained.

With minimal sampling effort, *P. apium* was found in nearly every one of
the healthy managed bee colonies examined by the researchers. A future
study will explore the abundance of *P. apium* in weak or struggling
managed bee colonies.

While the mechanism by which the bacteria benefit the larvae remains to be
studied, the importance is clear enough that Corby-Harris and Anderson are
already field testing its use along with a number of other bacteria that
may benefit the pollination and honey-production industry as potential
management tools.

Read more <http://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2015/may/honeybee/> about this
research in the May 2015 issue of *AgResearch* magazine.


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Lawrence F. London
lfljvenaura at gmail.com
Ello: @ecoponderosa <https://ello.co/ecoponderosa>

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