Kentucky State University

Poster Title

A Study of Nosema Pathogens in Honey Bees with Molecular Methods

Institution

Kentucky State University

Abstract

Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis are microsporidian pathogens which infect honey bees. The spores embed themselves into the digestive tract of the bees and have been shown to weaken the bees and cause a decrease in colony size. The two pathogens are similar in many ways, however they have many differences as well. N. apis has been around for a long time, while N. ceranae pathogen is a newly emerging pathogen. It seems that N. ceranae spreads faster and has become more prevalent in the honeybee community. It is hard to identify these two pathogens simply with infecting symptoms and microscopic observation. Thus, we used molecular methods, more specifically, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to identify them in the digestive tract of bees. We tested the bee hives at Kentucky State University Research Farm to see if they are infected. We also analyzed how the pathogens were transferred throughout bee populations, and the effects of diet/nutrition in this process.

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A Study of Nosema Pathogens in Honey Bees with Molecular Methods

Nosema ceranae and Nosema apis are microsporidian pathogens which infect honey bees. The spores embed themselves into the digestive tract of the bees and have been shown to weaken the bees and cause a decrease in colony size. The two pathogens are similar in many ways, however they have many differences as well. N. apis has been around for a long time, while N. ceranae pathogen is a newly emerging pathogen. It seems that N. ceranae spreads faster and has become more prevalent in the honeybee community. It is hard to identify these two pathogens simply with infecting symptoms and microscopic observation. Thus, we used molecular methods, more specifically, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to identify them in the digestive tract of bees. We tested the bee hives at Kentucky State University Research Farm to see if they are infected. We also analyzed how the pathogens were transferred throughout bee populations, and the effects of diet/nutrition in this process.