Host-Parasite Co-Evolution in Real-Time: Changes in Honey Bee Resistance Mechanisms and Mite Reproductive Strategies

Moro, Arrigo; Blacquière, Tjeerd; Panziera, Delphine; Dietemann, Vincent; Neumann, Peter (2021). Host-Parasite Co-Evolution in Real-Time: Changes in Honey Bee Resistance Mechanisms and Mite Reproductive Strategies. Insects, 12(2), p. 120. MDPI 10.3390/insects12020120

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Parasitic mites, Varroa destructor, are a major threat for Western honey bees, Apismellifera, colonies globally. Nevertheless, some honey bee populations can survive infestations with this mite, probably due to behaviors that suppress parasite reproduction. However, possible changes in mites associated with these surviving bees and the potential variations of bee behavior over time are poorly understood. Here, we show that mites can change their reproduction when associated with surviving hosts and that the bee behaviors suppressing mite reproduction can vary over time. In a fully-crossed field experiment on Dutch surviving colonies (Amsterdam Water Dunes (AWD) selection), worker brood cell recapping and varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) performed by bees and mite reproductive parameters were investigated. Neither recapping nor VSH were significantly expressed even though a previous study showed VSH in these AWD bees. A larger proportion of mites that co-evolved with AWD surviving bees reproduced compared to mites in routinely treated colonies, but had lower fecundity. Overall, our study suggests that honeybee colonies can survive infestations with these mites by not yet understood means and shows for the first time adaptive changes in the reproduction of their coevolved mites.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

UniBE Contributor:

Moro, Arrigo and Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

2075-4450

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Papach

Date Deposited:

24 Mar 2021 11:58

Last Modified:

24 Mar 2021 12:07

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/insects12020120

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/153506

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/153506

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