The impact of winter feed type on intestinal microbiota and parasites in honey bees
- 364 Downloads
The intestinal microbiota of honey bees consists of only few bacterial species and may have effects on health and pathogen resilience. Honey is usually harvested and replaced by sugar syrup. We hypothesized that replacing honey may change the composition of the intestinal microbiota, and therefore compromise pathogen resilience. Fifteen colonies were fed with wheat starch syrup, sucrose syrup, or blossom honey. 16S-based bacterial community analysis was performed on three individuals per hive in summer and winter, and Nosema ceranae and Crithidia/Lotmaria levels were assessed by qPCR. Seasonal differences in the intestinal microbiota and N. ceranae were found; however, microbiota and parasite levels were very similar between the feed types. Rhizobiales and Bifidobacteria were found to be increased in the bees that had received honey or wheat starch syrup, as compared to sucrose syrup. In conclusion, intestinal microbiota and parasites were found to be largely unaffected by the winter feed type.
Keywordshoney syrup microbiota Nosema Crithidia
We thank Daniel Pfauth for his help with the bee hives.
MH, PR, SN, PD conceived and designed the study; PD, AS, FB conducted experiments; SN, MB, AS, MC, PD analyzed data; PD, MH wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This study was supported by a grant of the Ministry of Rural Development and Consumer Protection Baden-Württemberg to Peter Rosenkranz and Martin Hasselmann (MicroBee project). Sven Nahnsen and Marius Cosmin Codrea acknowledge funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (core facility initiative, KO-2313/6-1 and KO-2313/6-2, institutional strategy of the University of Tuebingen, ZUK 63).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Cariveau, D. P., Elijah Powell, J., Koch, H., Winfree, R., Moran, N. A. (2014) Variation in gut microbial communities and its association with pathogen infection in wild bumble bees (Bombus). ISME J. 8 (12), 1–11Google Scholar
- Engel, P., Stepanauskas, R., Moran, N. A. (2014) Hidden diversity in honey bee gut symbionts detected by single-cell genomics. PLoS Genet. 10 (9)Google Scholar
- Herbig, A., Maixner, F., Bos, K. I., Krause, J., Huson, D. H. (2016) MALT: fast alignment and analysis of metagenomic DNA sequence data applied to the Tyrolean Iceman. bioRxivGoogle Scholar
- Jiang, H., Lei, R., Ding, S., Zhu, S. (2014) Skewer: a fast and accurate adapter trimmer for next-generation sequencing paired-end reads. BMC Bioinformatics 15 (182), 1–12Google Scholar
- Kwong, W. K., Medina, L. A., Koch, H., Sing, K., Jia, E., Soh, Y., Ascher, J. S., Jaffé, R., Moran, N. A. (2017) Dynamic microbiome evolution in social bees. Sci. Adv. 3 (e1600513), 1–17Google Scholar
- Schluter, J., Foster, K. R. (2012) The evolution of mutualism in gut microbiota via host epithelial selection. PLoS Biol. 10 (11)Google Scholar
- Segers, F. H. I. D., Ke, L., Kosoy, M., Engel, P. (2017) Genomic changes associated with the evolutionary transition of an insect gut symbiont into a blood-borne pathogen. ISME J. in press, 1–13Google Scholar
- vanEngelsdorp, D., Evans, J. D., Saegerman, C., Mullin, C., Haubruge, E., et al. (2009) Colony collapse disorder: a descriptive study. PLoS One 4 (8)Google Scholar
- Vásquez, A., Forsgren, E., Fries, I., Paxton, R. J., Flaberg, E., Szekely, L., Olofsson, T. C. (2012) Symbionts as major modulators of insect health: lactic acid bacteria and honeybees. PLoS One 7 (3)Google Scholar
- Wheeler, M. M., Robinson, G. E. (2014) Diet-dependent gene expression in honey bees: honey vs. sucrose or high fructose corn syrup. Sci. Rep. 4 (5726), 1–5Google Scholar