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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #433665

Research Project: Development of Biological Disease Models to Stress in Honey Bees

Location: Bee Research Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21000-290-06-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2017
End Date: Mar 14, 2019

To 1) conduct careful controlled studies of pathogen infection of naïve worker honey bees to identify a consistent infection model, 2) test for impacts of chemical or parasite stress on the susceptibility of bees to infection, and 3) propose a universal model system for researchers and regulators to assess the impacts of stress on honey bee infection.

Newly emerged honey bee workers from diverse genetic backgrounds will be cultured in plastic cup cages. These bees will be exposed to wither a controlled viral stock (Deformed wing virus) or an endemic bacterial pathogen of honey bees (Serratia sp.). Through highly replicated experiments, doses of these infectious agents will be established such that they consistently cause infection in bees and show moderate lethality after ten days (LD30 dosage). With this baseline, bees will then be challenged with a range of chemical stresses to determine whom these stresses impact pathogen loads. The acaricide coumaphos will be used as a constant at does that can impact bee disease levels.