Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite–host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee

Please place treatment free research here. There's a lot of research spread around the Internet that is related to treatment free beekeeping. This forum is an effort to try and consolidate some of this, especially new research as it becomes available.
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ExpatBeekeeper
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Multitrophic interaction facilitates parasite–host relationship between an invasive beetle and the honey bee

Postby ExpatBeekeeper » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:33 pm

This is relatively old research from 2007, but I tend to find myself informing people of it often so I'll post it here....

Abstract
Colony defense by honey bees, Apis mellifera, is associated with stinging and mass attack, fueled by the release of alarm pheromones. Thus, alarm pheromones are critically important to survival of honey bee colonies. Here we report that in the parasitic relationship between the European honey bee and the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, the honey bee's alarm pheromones serve a negative function because they are potent attractants for the beetle. Furthermore, we discovered that the beetles from both Africa and the United States vector a strain of Kodamaea ohmeri yeast, which produces these same honey bee alarm pheromones when grown on pollen in hives. The beetle is not a pest of African honey bees because African bees have evolved effective methods to mitigate beetle infestation. However, European honey bees, faced with disease and pest management stresses different from those experienced by African bees, are unable to effectively inhibit beetle infestation. Therefore, the environment of the European honey bee colony provides optimal conditions to promote the unique bee–beetle–yeast–pollen multitrophic interaction that facilitates effective infestation of hives at the expense of the European honey bee.

PNAS-2007-Torto-8374-8.pdf
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