POLLEN NUTRITION, PESTICIDES, AND PATHOGENS: INTERACTIVE EFFECTS ON HONEY BEE HEALTH
MetadataShow full item record
While a variety of stressors influence honey bee (Apis mellifera) health, it is the additive and interactive effects of these factors on bee health that have been driving modern research. We devised a set of two experiments to test the effects of multiple stressors on honey bee health. First, we grew sunflowers to test the effects of drought stress and seed treatment on sunflower pollen. We fed the pollen collected from these sunflowers to cohorts of bees that were either infected or uninfected with the microsporidian pathogen Nosema ceranae to find that drought stressed pollen leads to increased mortality in infected bees. Next, we fed 37 experimental pollen diets of different floral varieties and pesticide loads to honey bees infected with N. ceranae, but we were unable to find a connection between diet variety and pesticide exposure on bee health.