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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355516

Title: How low can they go: Does hypoxia increase survival of overwintering Bombus impatiens queens?

item DAVIS, GEORGIA STARR - North Dakota State University
item GREENLEE, KENDRA - North Dakota State University
item Rinehart, Joseph - Joe
item Yocum, George

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2018
Publication Date: 11/11/2018
Citation: Davis, G., Greenlee, K.J., Rinehart, J.P., Yocum, G.D. 2018. How low can they go: Does hypoxia increase survival of overwintering Bombus impatiens queens? [abstract]. 2018 Entomology Society of America/Entomology Society of Canada Joint Annual Meeting. Nov 11-14, 2018. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Paper No. D3251.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The common eastern bumble bee, Bombus impatiens, is a commercially managed species primarily used for pollination in greenhouses. Commercially produced B. impatiens are reared year-round, which is costly and labor-intensive. The use of cold storage methods in other insect species has been used to improve commercial production, but for bumble bees, cold storage is an uncommon practice. To determine whether cold storage is a feasible method, we will test the effects of low temperatures on B. impatiens. In addition, when hypoxia is added to low temperatures, some insects have increased survival. We investigated how hypoxia affects survival and fecundity for B. impatiens queens in cold storage. B. impatiens queens were stored in a fluctuating thermal regime (FTR) or a static thermal regime (STR) cold treatment for 45 days. During cold storage they were exposed to 5%, 10%, and 21% oxygen. We will measure survival of queens and viability of stored sperm. We predict that queens stored in a hypoxic STR treatment will have a higher rate of survival compared to a hypoxic FTR treatment. Queens stored in a normoxic STR treatment, compared to a normoxic FTR treatment, will have lower rates of survival. We expect hypoxia during FTR to be deleterious due to the increase in metabolic rate during the warm period. Understanding the effects of hypoxia during overwintering and exposure to fluctuating temperatures may help us to better understand the impacts of climate change on bumble bee populations. This research can also be used to improve commercial rearing practices.