Publication details

Honey bee immunity: Its modulation by dietary supplements and probiotics

Authors

DOBEŠ Pavel VOJTEK Libor HRONCOVÁ Zuzana TYL Jan KILLER Jiří ČERNOCH Peter HYRŠL Pavel

Year of publication 2016
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Citation
Description Honey bees are important pollinators that are used by human for several thousand years. The immune system of honey bees can be divided to cellular and humoral branch that are complemented by highly developed social behaviour of bees. The activity of some immune factors is low in honey bees compared to other insects which is supposed to be caused just by social immunity. We tried to improve immunocompetence of honey bees by feeding them by selected plant extracts from Echinacea sp. and Leuzea sp., plant alkaloid sanguinarine and by administration of probiotic bacterial strains (Lactobacillus apis, L. melliventris and Gilliamella apicola isolated from gut of honey bees). To evaluate the health condition of treated honey bees we followed several physiological and immune parameters including protein concentration, antimicrobial activity, phenoloxidase activity and antioxidant capacity of hemolymph. We detected high variability in some of the followed parameters and confirmed lower antimicrobial activity of honey bee hemolymph compared to other insects. Furthermore, after treatment with tested compounds the honey bee larvae were collected and subjected to nematobacterial infection to confirm immunostimulatory effect of tested substances. We observed better survival rates upon probiotics and sanguinarine treatment of honey bees suggesting that they are suitable supplements for improvement of honey bee health. On the other hand, no significant effect on resistance was observed after feeding the plant extracts. Our research is supported by grant from the Ministry of Agriculture of Czech Republic (project no. QJ1210047) and Technology Agency of Czech Republic (project no. TA04020318).
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