Marla S. Spivak

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Honey bees, Apis mellifera, which perform hygienic behavior, quickly detect, uncap and remove diseased brood from the nest. This behavior, performed by bees 15-20 days old and prior to foraging, is likely mediated by olfactory cues. Because the neuromodulator octopamine (OA) plays a pivotal role in olfactory-based behaviors of honey bees, we examined(More)
In this review, we provide a current reference on disease resistance in insect societies. We start with the genetics of immunity in the context of behavioral and physiological processes and scale up levels of biological organization until we reach populations. A significant component of this review focuses on Apis mellifera and its role as a model system(More)
Social immunity, which describes how individual behaviors of group members effectively reduce disease and parasite transmission at the colony level, is an emerging field in social insect biology. An understudied, but significant behavioral disease resistance mechanism in honey bees is their collection and use of plant resins. Honey bees harvest resins with(More)
Through the use of proboscis-extension reflex conditioning, we demonstrate that honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) bred for hygienic behavior (a behavioral mechanism of disease resistance) are able to discriminate between odors of healthy and diseased brood at a lower stimulus level than bees from a non-hygienic line. Electroantennogram recordings confirmed(More)
Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies bred for hygienic behavior were tested in a large field trial to determine if they were able to resist the parasitic mite Varroa destructor better than unselected colonies of"Starline" stock. Colonies bred for hygienic behavior are able to detect, uncap, and remove experimentally infested brood from the nest, although(More)
Diverse animals have evolved an ability to collect antimicrobial compounds from the environment as a means of reducing infection risk. Honey bees battle an extensive assemblage of pathogens with both individual and "social" defenses. We determined if the collection of resins, complex plant secretions with diverse antimicrobial properties, acts as a(More)
Honey bees are attacked by numerous parasites and pathogens toward which they present a variety of individual and group-level defenses. In this review, we briefly introduce the many pathogens and parasites afflicting honey bees, highlighting the biology of specific taxonomic groups mainly as they relate to virulence and possible defenses. Second, we(More)
Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) is a widespread RNA virus of honey bees that has been linked with colony losses. Here we describe the transmission, prevalence, and genetic traits of this virus, along with host transcriptional responses to infections. Further, we present RNAi-based strategies for limiting an important mechanism used by IAPV to subvert(More)
Persistent exposure to mite pests, poor nutrition, pesticides, and pathogens threaten honey bee survival. In healthy colonies, the interaction of the yolk precursor protein, vitellogenin (Vg), and endocrine factor, juvenile hormone (JH), functions as a pacemaker driving the sequence of behaviors that workers perform throughout their lives. Young bees(More)