International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Study on synthetic acaricides and Nosema ceranae as drivers of pheromone and cuticular hydrocarbon alterations in honey bees

Author(s):
Paula Melisa Garrido, Martín Pablo Porrini , Paula Melisa Garrido , María Laura Umpiérrez , Leonardo Pablo Porrini , Antonella Cuniolo , Belén Davyt , Andrés González , Martín Javier Eguaras , Carmen Rossini
Institution(s):
Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata-CONICET; Centro de Investigación en Abejas Sociales (CIAS), Dto. de Biología, CONICET, UNMDP, Funes 3350 (7600), Mar del Plata, Argentina. ; Centro de Investigación en Abejas Sociales (CIAS), Dto. de Biología, CONICET, UNMDP, Mar del Plata, Argentina. ; Laboratorio de Ecología Química, Facultad de Química, UdelaR, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Centro de Investigación en Abejas Sociales (CIAS), Dto. de Biología, CONICET, UNMDP, FMar del Plata, Argentina. ; Centro de Investigación en Abejas Sociales (CIAS), Dto. de Biología, UNMDP, Mar del Plata, Argentina ; Laboratorio de Ecología Química, Facultad de Química, UdelaR, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Laboratorio de Ecología Química, Facultad de Química, UdelaR, Montevideo, Uruguay ; Centro de Investigación en Abejas Sociales (CIAS), Dto. de Biología, UNMDP, Mar del Plata, Argentina. ; Laboratorio de Ecología Química, Facultad de Química, UdelaR, Montevideo, Uruguay
Homeostasis in honey bee colonies depend largely on semiochemicals which are social key regulators in Apis mellifera. Exotic and natural pathogens, agricultural and veterinary treatments pesticides introduced in the colony environment contaminate bees and hive products. However, studies of the effects of this residuals on honeybee pheromones are scarce. In-hive acaricides and the gut parasite, Nosema ceranae, may alter different semiochemicals such as cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC), which are involved in social recognition and ethyl oleate (EO) which plays a role as primer pheromone in honeybees. Here we test the effect of four acaricides, commonly applied to treat varroosis, on survival, rate of food consumption, CHC and EO on Nosema ceranae-infected and uninfected bees. Different sublethal concentrations of amitraz, coumaphos, fluvalinate and flumethrin were administered in syrup. Whole-body extracts were analyzed by GCMS. Quantification was conducted using arachidic acid methyl ester and tridecane as internal standard for EO and normalizing the total area in the case of CHC. Nosema ceranae infection showed to decrease EO production affecting also survival rates, meanwhile acaricides, showed no significant effect. No synergic effect was found in infected bees that received coumaphos. As for the CHC, we found no changes in relation to the health status or consumption of acaricides, indicating absence of alteration on communication and social recognition cues. It cannot be ruled out that the concentrations here tested may have been not enough to trigger some effects, therefore, further experiments including higher doses and the study of the combined effect of two or more acaricides could yield different results. Nevertheless, beyond differences found with previous works, having determined significant alterations in EO production as a response to N. ceranae infection is an interesting clue to deeper understand the effects of the disease on colony functioning.
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