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A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1585100
Czech Republic
01/08/2012 09:28 AM
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A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis
Honey bee colonies are subject to numerous pathogens and parasites. Interaction among multiple pathogens and parasites is the proposed cause for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a syndrome characterized by worker bees abandoning their hive. Here we provide the first documentation that the phorid fly Apocephalus borealis, previously known to parasitize bumble bees, also infects and eventually kills honey bees and may pose an emerging threat to North American apiculture. Parasitized honey bees show hive abandonment behavior, leaving their hives at night and dying shortly thereafter. On average, seven days later up to 13 phorid larvae emerge from each dead bee and pupate away from the bee. Using DNA barcoding, we confirmed that phorids that emerged from honey bees and bumble bees were the same species. Microarray analyses of honey bees from infected hives revealed that these bees are often infected with deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae. Larvae and adult phorids also tested positive for these pathogens, implicating the fly as a potential vector or reservoir of these honey bee pathogens. Phorid parasitism may affect hive viability since 77% of sites sampled in the San Francisco Bay Area were infected by the fly and microarray analyses detected phorids in commercial hives in South Dakota and California's Central Valley. Understanding details of phorid infection may shed light on similar hive abandonment behaviors seen in CCD.

[link to www.plosone.org]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 965043
United States
01/08/2012 11:36 AM
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Re: A New Threat to Honey Bees, the Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis
A few years back I read a newspaper article about some college professor using phorrids against fire ants. Something backfired?





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