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The effect of Pristine fungicide on honey bee (Apis mellifera) taste and responsiveness to sucrose

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Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have experienced substantial losses due to colony collapse disorder (CCD) since the first officially reported cases in 2006. Many factors have been implicated in CCD,

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have experienced substantial losses due to colony collapse disorder (CCD) since the first officially reported cases in 2006. Many factors have been implicated in CCD, including pests, pathogens, malnutrition, and pesticide use, but no correlation has been found between a single factor and the occurrence of CCD. Fungicides have received less research attention compared to insecticides, despite the fact that fungicide application coincides with bloom and the presence of bees. Pristine fungicide is widely used in agriculture and is commonly found as a residue in hives. Several studies have concluded that Pristine can be used without harming bees, but reports of brood loss following Pristine application continue to surface across the country. The primary objectives of this study were to determine whether Pristine causes an aversive gustatory response in bees and whether consumption of an acute dose affects responsiveness to sucrose. An awareness of how foragers interact with contaminated food is useful to understand the likelihood that Pristine is ingested and how that may affect bees' ability to evaluate floral resources. Our results indicated that Pristine has no significant effect on gustatory response or sucrose responsiveness. There was no significant difference between bee responses to Pristine contaminated sucrose and sucrose alone, and no significant effect of Pristine on sucrose responsiveness. These results indicate that honey bees do not have a gustatory aversion to Pristine. A lack of aversion means that honey bees will continue collecting contaminated resources and dispersing them throughout the colony where it can affect brood and clean food stores.

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  • 2015-05

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Urban Apiculture: An Exploration of City Beekeeping and Colony Collapse Disorder

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This paper explores two areas of study: Colony Collapse Disorder and urban apiculture--the practice of keeping bees in urban areas. Additionally, this paper discusses the ways in which Colony Collapse

This paper explores two areas of study: Colony Collapse Disorder and urban apiculture--the practice of keeping bees in urban areas. Additionally, this paper discusses the ways in which Colony Collapse Disorder has encouraged an increase in urban beekeeping, and the possible role of urban apiculture as a means of combatting the negative effects of Colony Collapse Disorder. The symptoms, history, and possible causes of Colony Collapse Disorder are presented, as well as the important role that honey bees play in human agriculture. Following the discussion of Colony Collapse Disorder is a description of my urban beekeeping apprenticeship at Desert Marigold School where I kept bees, researched various hives, attended a beekeeping workshop in Tucson, and eventually built a hive and established a colony with my mentor. This paper includes a guide to beekeeping basics, as well as a guide to starting a hive based upon the lessons learned during my apprenticeship.

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  • 2015-05

Mathematical Modeling of Honeybee Population Dynamics

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Honeybees are important pollinators worldwide and pollinate about one-third of the food we consume. Recently though, honeybee colonies have been under increasing stress due to changing environments, pesticides, mites,

Honeybees are important pollinators worldwide and pollinate about one-third of the food we consume. Recently though, honeybee colonies have been under increasing stress due to changing environments, pesticides, mites, and viruses, which has increased the incidence of
colony collapse. This paper aims to understand how these different factors contribute to the decline of honeybee populations by using two separate approaches: data analysis and mathematical modeling. The data analysis examines the relative impacts of mites, pollen, mites, and viruses on honeybee populations and colony collapse. From the data, low initial bee populations lead to collapse in September while mites and viruses can lead to collapse in December. Feeding bee colonies also has a mixed effect, where it increases both bee and mite populations. For the model, we focus on the population dynamics of the honeybee-mite interaction. Using a system of delay differential equations with five population components, we find that bee colonies can collapse from mites, coexist with mites, and survive without them. As long as bees produce more pupa than the death rate of pupa and mites produce enough phoretic mites compared to their death rates, bees and mites can coexist. Thus, it is possible for honeybee colonies to withstand mites, but if the parasitism is too large, the colony will collapse. Provided
this equilibrium exists, the addition of mites leads to the colony moving to the interior equilibrium. Additionally, population oscillations are persistent if they occur and are connected to the interior equilibrium. Certain parameter values destabilize bee populations, leading to large
oscillations and even collapse. From these parameters, we can develop approaches that can help us prevent honeybee colony collapse before it occurs.

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  • 2019-05