Investigating effects of colony nutrition on Nosema ceranae infection and persistence in honey bee colonies

Monday, November 17, 2014: 11:00 AM
A105 (Oregon Convention Center)
Cameron Jack , Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Ramesh Sagili , Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Sai Sree Uppala , Crop Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies have been reported to be infected with a relatively new species of gut pathogen called Nosema ceranae. Not much is known regarding the role of nutrition on Nosema ceranae infection. For this study, 36 cages of 250 newly emerged, Nosema-free bees were fed varying levels of protein diet. The treatments consisted of wild flower pollen and alpha cellulose in the following ratios: 1:0, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, and 0:1 respectively. There was also a control group which was fed 100% pollen and was not inoculated with Nosema. Five days after emergence and being fed water, sugar syrup and the protein treatment ad libitum, bees in each cage were inoculated with Nosema ceranae spores through mass inoculation methods. 18 days after the bees in cages were inoculated with Nosema, 30 bees were culled to analyze Nosema ceranae prevalence and intensity along with hypopharyngeal gland protein. Treatments that were inoculated with Nosema differed significantly in intensity and survival. Despite high Nosema intensities in 100% pollen and “50% pollen & 50% cellulose”, the survival of bees was significantly higher in these two treatments. Honey bees in non-inoculated control and 100% pollen treatment had significantly higher hypopharyngeal gland protein compared to other treatments.