Publication details

Effect of longevity and parasitism on immune and physiological parameters of the honey bee



Year of publication 2023
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Recently, honey bees and their conservation are becoming increasingly popular among scientists and the public due to the weakening of bee colonies and resulting collapses with immense ecological and economic impacts. In our laboratory, we have long been dedicated to determining the physiological and immune parameters of the honey bee (Apis mellifera). While studying bee longevity, we determined the physiological and immune differences between short- (summer) and long-living (winter) bee populations. We identified total protein concentration, vitellogenin level and antimicrobial activity as significantly distinct parameters between the two populations. Furthermore, we also observed season-dependent differences in the dynamics of the immune response to bacterial pathogens. It has been clearly shown that the winter population of bees has an immune system set up primarily to use humoral immunity and has a higher capacity for antimicrobial response, while summer bees rely more on cellular immunity. Parasitism by Varroa destructor currently belongs to the most severe problem of bee colonies. During a several-year experiment, we focused on summer and winter populations of worker bees originating from standard-treated bee colonies and from colonies not treated with acaricides, in which we also distinguished parasitized newly emerged bees from those that did not come into contact with mites. Using an omics-based approach, we got a comprehensive view of the changes in parasitised bees, involving their transcriptomic response, changes in protein, and low-molecular-weight metabolites. Results of these analyses combined with previously collected data on seasonal changes in honey bee immunity help us to identify the causes of bees’ deteriorated health and ways to prevent it. Our research is supported by The Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic (QK1910286, QK21010088).
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info