Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compound Safely Quells Bee-Killing Chalkbrood

Date:
March 11, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
From rabbits to horses to cows, many animals love alfalfa. America's premier pollinator of that crop, the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), is vulnerable to a deadly fungal disease called chalkbrood. But the bees might be best protected from chalkbrood if their leafy nests are sprayed with an iprodione fungicide.

An alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) on an alfalfa flower. This bee is widely used for pollination by alfalfa seed growers. ARS scientists in Logan, Utah, are always on the lookout for wild bees that can be recruited to help the honey bee with the huge job of pollinating the nation’s crops.
Credit: Photo by Peggy Greb

From rabbits to horses to cows, many animals love alfalfa. America's premier pollinator of that crop, the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata), is vulnerable to a deadly fungal disease called chalkbrood. But the bees might be best protected from chalkbrood if their leafy nests are sprayed with an iprodione fungicide, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist Rosalind R. James.

Caused by the Ascosphaera aggregata fungus, chalkbrood kills bees while they're larvae—wormlike young that hatch from eggs laid in nests by female bees.

Healthy larvae spin cocoons within those nests, and later emerge as young bees.

But chalkbrood-infected larvae may die before cocooning, according to James. She leads the ARS Pollinating Insect Biology, Management and Systematics Research Unit in Logan, Utah.

Microscopic spheres, called fungal spores, on dead larvae serve as potent reservoirs of the disease. A healthy female alfalfa leafcutting bee may—after emerging from her cocoon and nest in spring—inadvertently pick up some of those spores. If she spreads them to nests that she makes for her eggs, she may doom her young.

James worked with alfalfa seedgrowers in Washington to determine how to best protect alfalfa leafcutting bees from chalkbrood. The disease is so pervasive in the United States that these seedgrowers buy at least 50 percent of their alfalfa leafcutting bees each year from Canada, where chalkbrood is less prevalent.

In experiments, James sprayed an iprodione fungicide on the leafcutting bees' nests in spring, shortly before the adult bees left their cocoons and nests. The treatment reduced the incidence of chalkbrood in the bees' next generation by up to 50 percent, with no measurable loss of young, James reported.

Now, James and her colleagues are looking for fungicides that may be even more effective.

The research is part of ongoing studies to discover more ways to safeguard wild bees, so they can help America's harried honey bees with pollination chores.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Compound Safely Quells Bee-Killing Chalkbrood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307082022.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, March 11). Compound Safely Quells Bee-Killing Chalkbrood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307082022.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Compound Safely Quells Bee-Killing Chalkbrood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080307082022.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins