Covert deformed wing virus infections have long-term deleterious effects on honeybee foraging and survival

Benaets, K, Van Geystelen, A, Cardoen, D, De Smet, L, de Graaf, D, Schoofs, L, Larmuseau, L, Brettell, LE, Martin, SJ and Wenseleers, T 2017, 'Covert deformed wing virus infections have long-term deleterious effects on honeybee foraging and survival' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences .

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Abstract

Several studies have suggested that covert stressors can contribute to bee colony declines. Here we provide a novel case study and show using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology that covert deformed wing virus (DWV) infections in adult honeybee workers seriously impact longterm foraging and survival under natural foraging conditions. In particular, our experiments show that adult workers injected with low doses of DWV experienced increased mortality rates, that DWV caused workers to start foraging at a premature age, and that the virus reduced the workers’ total activity span as foragers. Altogether, these results demonstrate that covert deformed wing virus infections have strongly deleterious effects on honey bee foraging and survival. These results are consistent with previous studies that suggested DWV to be an important contributor to the ongoing bee declines in Europe and the US. Overall, our study underlines the strong impact that covert pathogen infections can have on individual and group-level performance in bees.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 0962-8452
Related URLs:
Funders: FWO – Vlaanderen, IWT (PhD fellowship of K.B.).
Depositing User: SJ Martin
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 08:58
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 02:25
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/41282

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