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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Baton Rouge, Louisiana » Honey Bee Lab » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325395

Research Project: Genetics and Breeding in Support of Honey Bee Health

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Title: Comparing the flight activities of workers from two stocks of honey bees (Apis mellifera) raised in gamma-irradiated combs using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology

Author
item De Guzman, Lilia
item Frake, Amanda
item Simone-finstrom, Michael

Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/2016
Publication Date: 9/25/2016
Citation: De Guzman, L.I., Frake, A.M., Simone-Finstrom, M. 2016. Comparing the flight activities of workers from two stocks of honey bees (Apis mellifera) raised in gamma-irradiated combs using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. International Congress of Entomology. https://esa.confex.com/esa/ice2016/meetingapp.cgi.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Gamma irradiation has been shown to inactivate pathogens (virus, American foulbrood and Nosema) that are harmful to honey bees. Preliminary data suggest that queens raised in mating nucleus colonies having gamma-irradiated combs outperformed queens from nucleus colonies not having irradiated combs. Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, this study aimed at comparing the flight activities of workers raised in gamma-irradiated combs. Two stocks of Apis mellifera were used. Emerging bees or bees that were chewing their way out of the cells were examined under a dissecting microscope to determine the presence or absence of Varroa. Only uninfested worker bees were used. A subsample of these bees was frozen for viral analyses. Each bee was weighed, RFID- tagged and placed in a host colony equipped with RFID reader modules to record the bees’ departure and arrival time. The following flight parameters were recorded: a) age at which a tagged bee left the hive for the first time, b) number of trips a tagged bee made every day through time, c) duration of each trip as the bees aged, d) proportion of bees that did not return in the hive, and e) bee longevity. Association among viral load, flight activities and bee survival will be discussed.