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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVE NUTRITION FOR HONEY BEE COLONIES TO STIMULATE POPULATION GROWTH, INCREASE QUEEN QUALITY, AND REDUCE THE IMPACT OF VARROA MITES Title: The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies Part-2: Factors Affecting the Microbial Community in Honey Bee Colonies

Authors
item Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria
item Alarcon Jr, Ruben
item Sammataro, Diana

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2009
Publication Date: June 20, 2009
Citation: Hoffman, G.D., Alarcon Jr, R.N., Sammataro, D. 2009. The Importance of Microbes in Nutrition and Health of Honey Bee Colonies Part-2: Factors Affecting the Microbial Community in Honey Bee Colonies. American Bee Journal 149(6):583-584.

Interpretive Summary: Underlying a healthy and vibrant honey bee colony is a community of microbes that are responsible for the vigor we see. In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of microbes in maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. The bacteria, yeasts and molds that live in a healthy colony and in the bees themselves are needed for food processing and digestion and help control the growth of pathogens. Part-2 of this series we provide information on factors that might affect the number and diversity of microbes in a colony. These include genetics of the bees, pollen types, antibiotic treatments to control colony diseases, exposure to fungicides, and feeding bees protein supplements and high fructose corn syrup. A discussion on how microbes might contribute to the phenotypic differences in lines of bees especially in population growth is included.

Technical Abstract: Honey bee colonies have innumerable symbiotic bacteria and fungi that are essential to the health of the colony. In the first part of this series, we discussed the importance of microbes in maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. The bacteria, yeasts and molds that live in a healthy colony and in the bees themselves are needed for food processing and digestion and help control the growth of pathogens. Part-2 of this series provides information on factors that might affect the number and diversity of microbes in a colony. These include genetics of the bees, pollen types, anitbiotic treatments to control colony diseases, exposure to fungicides, and supplemental feeding with protein supplements and high fructose corn syrup. A discussion on how microbes might contribute to the phenotypic differences in lines of bees especially in population growth is included.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014