Monday, December 11, 2006

The unforgotten contributor: Drones and deformed wing virus

Abby Kalkstein,, Diana Cox-Foster,, and Nancy Ostiguy, Pennsylvania State University, Entomology, 501 ASI, University Park, PA

This study investigates the reproductive physiology of the male Honey bee (Apis mellifera). We are interested in the impact of viruses, especially Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), on drone reproductive fitness. Drones were collected in central Pennsylvania during the summer of 2006 from colonies with known viral titers. Each drone was weighed and dissected to determine sexual maturity. The head thorax region was reserved for viral detection and the seminal vesicles were used for sperm counts. Sperm was analyzed using SYBR-14 and Propidium iodide to determine total number of sperm as well as number of live versus dead cells. Virus levels were determined using Real Time PCR. Immune parameters, including GLD, were determined.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (European honey bee)