Cecilia Costa

Cecilia Costa
Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of the Agricultural Economy · Agriculture and Environment Research Centre

PhD

About

118
Publications
83,508
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,744
Citations
Citations since 2017
45 Research Items
1894 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
March 2001 - present
Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (118)
Article
Full-text available
There is growing evidence that pesticides may be among the causes of worldwide bee declines, which has resulted in repeated calls for their increased scrutiny in regulatory assessments. One recurring concern is that the current frameworks may be biased towards assessing risks to the honey bee. This paradigm requires extrapolating toxicity informati...
Article
Full-text available
Today, as never before, the beekeeping community is at a crossroads to define the long-term strategy on how to match the challenges evoked by the tiny enemy called Varroa destructor. From the ocean of options for varroa control, two main ideas clash: the pragmatic therapeutic action, with all the chemical arsenal at its disposal, and the idealistic...
Article
Full-text available
To provide a complete portrayal of the multiple factors negatively impacting insects in agricultural landscapes it is necessary to assess the concurrent incidence, magnitude, and interactions among multiple stressors over substantial biogeographical scales. Trans-national ecological field investigations with wide-ranging stakeholders typically enco...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bee subspecies originate from specific geographic areas in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and beekeepers interested in specific phenotypes have imported genetic material to regions outside of their original range for use either in pure lines or controlled crosses. Moreover, imported drones are present in the environment and mate naturall...
Article
Full-text available
We assembled the mitogenome of Apis mellifera siciliana, which was previously identified as African by the tRNA-leu-cox2 intergenic region. The mitogenome is 16,590 bp long. The gene content and organization are identical to other A. mellifera mitogenomes, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, and 2 ribosomal RNA genes. Phyloge...
Article
Full-text available
Four models based on convolutional neural networks were used to investigate whether image recognition techniques applied to honey bee wings could be used to discriminate among honey bee subspecies. A dataset consisting of 9887 wing images belonging to 7 subspecies and one hybrid was analysed with ResNet 50, MobileNet V2, Inception Net V3, and Incep...
Article
Full-text available
Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are involved in cellular energy metabolism and have been shown to undergo adaptive evolution in organisms with increased energy-consuming activities. The genetically selected high royal jelly-producing bees (RJBs, Apis mellifera ligustica ) in China can produce 10 times more royal jelly, a highly nutritional and...
Article
Full-text available
With 2,000 species currently recorded in Europe, bees are a highly diversified and efficient group of pollinating insects. They obtain their nutrients from nectar and pollen of flowers. However, the chemical composition of these resources, especially of pollen (e.g., protein, lipid, amino acids, fatty acids, or sterol content), is highly variable a...
Article
Full-text available
EurBeST — A Pilot Study Testing Varroa-resistant Bees Under Commercial Beekeeping Conditions.
Article
Full-text available
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been increasingly used for the improvement of the environ-mental performance of products and services, including agro-food chains. Pollination by hon-eybees can be regarded as one of the functions of an apicultural system and is of utmost im-portance for both natural ecosystems and agriculture. Furthermore, the beeke...
Preprint
Full-text available
Honey bee subspecies originate from specific geographic areas in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The interest of beekeepers in specific phenotypes has led them to import subspecies to regions outside of their original range. The resulting admixture complicates population genetics analyses and populations stratification can be a major problem fo...
Method
Full-text available
EURBEST KSIĄŻKA METOD OCENY PSZCZELARZE PROWADZĄCY OCENĘ STACJONARNĄ PT Uzunov et., 2021
Method
Full-text available
EURBEST KSIĄŻKA METOD OCENY PSZCZELARZE PROWADZĄCY OCENĘ TERENOWĄ Uzunov et al., 2021
Article
Full-text available
Honey bee mating is difficult to control as it occurs in flight, several kilometers away from the hive of origin of both queens and drones. In recent years, there has been an increase in the introduction into Italy of queen bees and swarms originating from interracial crossings (especially those known as “Buckfast”), or belonging to non-native subs...
Data
Single page summary of Vanderplank et al (2021) - contains a QR code for accessing the paper
Article
Full-text available
Current global change substantially threatens pollinators, which directly impacts the pollination services underpinning the stability, structure and functioning of ecosystems. Among these threats, many synergistic drivers such as habitat destruction and fragmentation, increasing use of agrochemicals, decreasing resource diversity as well as climate...
Article
Full-text available
Assessment of colony infestation by Varroa destructor is a crucial part of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) applied to beekeeping. Natural mite fall, quantified by counting the mites on sticky sheets, is considered a reference method to estimate varroa infestation level in honey bee colonies. However, in recent years, alternative methods that c...
Article
Full-text available
At the end of the last glaciation, Apis mellifera was established in northern Europe. In Italy, Apis melliferaligustica adapted to the mild climate and to the rich floristic biodiversity. Today, with the spread of Varroa destructor and with the increasing use of pesticides in agriculture, the Ligustica subspecies is increasingly dependent on human...
Article
Full-text available
Background With numerous endemic subspecies representing four of its five evolutionary lineages, Europe holds a large fraction of Apis mellifera genetic diversity. This diversity and the natural distribution range have been altered by anthropogenic factors. The conservation of this natural heritage relies on the availability of accurate tools for s...
Article
Full-text available
Developing resistance to the varroa mite in honey bees is a major goal for apicultural science and practice, the development of selection strategies and the availability of resistant stock. Here we present an extended literature review and survey of resistant populations and selection programs in the EU and elsewhere, including expert interviews. W...
Article
Full-text available
In the fight against the Varroa destructor mite, selective breeding of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations that are resistant to the parasitic mite stands as a sustainable solution. Selection initiatives indicate that using the suppressed mite reproduction (SMR) trait as a selection criterion is a suitable tool to breed such resistant bee pop...
Conference Paper
Throughout western Europe, the endemic honeybee subspecies Apis mellifera mellifera, the black bee, has gradually been replaced in many beekeeper operations by other subspecies and hybrids of A. m. ligustica, A. m. carnica, A.m. caucasica, (C-type bees) and A. m. mellifera (M-type bees), which were found to be more efficient producers of honey or r...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Genetic improvement of honey bees is more difficult compared to other livestock, due to the very different reproductive behavior. Estimation of breeding values requires specific adjustment and the use of sires in the pedigree is only possible when mating of queens and drones is strictly controlled. In the breeding program of the Nation...
Article
Meiotic recombination is an essential component of eukaryotic sexual reproduction, but its frequency varies within and between genomes. Although it is well established that honey bees have a high recombination rate with about 20 cM/Mbp, the proximate and ultimate causes of this exceptional rate are poorly understood. Here, we describe six linkage m...
Conference Paper
Nowadays the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) is present worldwide, wherever beekeeping is possible, though its native habitat spreads out across Europe, Africa and parts of Western Asia. About 26 different subspecies evolved through time, each adapted by natural selection to cope with the local environmental conditions. During the past 2 centuri...
Book
Honeybee is native from Africa, Europe and western Asia and its presence elsewhere in the world is due to human imports. In New Caledonia, importation of Western-Europe M lineage honeybees from France started in the 19th century and these black honeybees were dominant until the late 1980’s when an American foulbrood infestation decimated the coloni...
Article
The beekeeper plays a key role in maintaining the health status of managed honey bee colonies and ensuring their productivity. However, a clear overview on the main actions carried out by beekeepers and their role for the successful management of honey bees is only partially addressed. In this study, we aim at providing: i) a generalized conceptual...
Article
The tRNAleu-COX2 intergenic region of the mitochondrial DNA has been used for assessing diversity in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations worldwide. However, differential mutation rates in different partitions of the mitogenome may produce incongruent results. In this study, we sequenced 123 mitogenomes of 7 subspecies from lineages A, M, and...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bees are pollinators that play a key-role in plant biodiversity conservation and crop production. This unique insect species has been managed in hives by beekeepers for millennia, even though such a peculiar animal production system never resulted in the domestication of the western honey bee. The western honey bee was originally distributed...
Poster
Full-text available
Beekeeping is an important sector of the European agriculture generating employment and increasing incomes in rural areas. The role of the beekeeper is considered fundamental for maintaining the health status of a managed honey bee colony and, if intended, ensure its productivity. Several monitoring projects highlighted the direct and/or indirect r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In honey bees, colonies are made up of many individuals that belong to different castes and generations and are interdependent on functioning of the super-organism. The challenge in honey bee breeding program is estimation of non-genetic and genetic effects. In Italian breeding program mating the queens are with unknown drones. Using 4003 records f...
Article
Honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health is compromised by complex interactions between multiple stressors, among which pesticides play a major role. To better understand the extent of honey bee colonies' exposure to pesticides in time and space, we conducted a survey by collecting corbicular pollen from returning honey bee foragers in 53 Italian apiar...
Method
Full-text available
Method of screening for suppressed mite reprodcution (SMR) and recapping of brood cells (REC) in European honey bees developed by members of Research Network for Sustainable Bee Breeding (RNSBB).
Article
Full-text available
The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Acari: Mesostigmata) is the most challenging honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pest for beekeepers worldwide. Studies involving the use of entomopathogenic fungi for control of mite populations have shown that there is potential for their use, but there are several obstacles to their direct appli...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Neonicotinoids have been among the most frequently used insecticides in the cultivation of several crops and orchards. Till 2012, imidacloprid represented 41.5% of the whole neonicotinoid market and thiamethoxam was the second biggest neonicotinoid, followed by clothianidin. However, almost two years ago, a decision was made by the EC parliament to...
Article
Full-text available
Background The aim of this work was to provide an overview of prevalence and level of acaricides in beeswax used in Italy in the past ten years, by analysing 1319 beeswax samples processed by the certified laboratory of the Italian bee research institute. Results The proportion of samples positive to at least one active ingredient decreased betwee...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The genetic variability of the A. m. sicula and ligustica are today evaluated by nuclear and mitochondrial markers. The aim of this work was to create a reference database to classify individuals of unknown origin as belonging to one of the two subspecies or hybrids. The DNA was extracted from the legs of 54 samples of A. m. ligustica and 209 of A....
Article
Full-text available
The honey bee Apis mellifera, of which there are currently 28 identified subspecies and numerous ecotypes, have been evolving and adapting to a wide range of environments for hundreds of thousands of years within their native range of Europe, Africa and Asia. Honey bees have been widely dispersed over the past several hundred years and are now also...
Article
Full-text available
The development of resistance in honeybee pests and diseases means that conventional drug treatments are becoming less effective. Also, chemical residues in bee products are a serious problem for beekeepers. The main diseases that affect honeybees worldwide and for which chemical treatments are used are the bacterial infections American (AFB) and E...
Article
Full-text available
The Western honeybees Apis mellifera carnica and A. m. ligustica are closely related subspecies living in neighbouring regions. Metabolism and the upper lethal thermal limits are crucial physiological traits, adapted in the evolutionary process to environment and climate conditions. We investigated whether samples from these two ecotypes differ in...
Conference Paper
cecilia.costa@entecra.it The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of genotype-environment interactions on the survival, performance and disease susceptibility of honey bee colonies headed by queens originating from several areas in Europe. We included 16 different genotypes from different backgrounds (some from breeding programs with s...
Article
Full-text available
The term “quality” in relation to queens and drones refers to certain quantitative physical and / or behavioural characters. It is generally believed that a high quality queen should have the following physical characteristics: high live weight; high number of ovarioles; large size of spermatheca; high number of spermatozoa in spermatheca; and be f...
Article
Full-text available
The COLOSS GEI (Genotype-Environment Interactions) Experiment was setup to further our understanding of recent honey bee colony losses. The main objective of the GEI experiment was to understand the effects of environmental factors on the vitality of European honey bee genotypes. This paper aims to describe the genetic background and population all...
Article
Full-text available
The survival and performance of 597 honey bee colonies, representing five subspecies and 16 different genotypes, were comparatively studied in 20 apiaries across Europe. Started in October 2009, 15.7% of the colonies survived without any therapeutic treatment against diseases until spring 2012. The survival duration was strongly affected by environ...
Article
Full-text available
An international collaborative experiment was run from 2009 to 2012 (Costa et al., 2012) with the aim of understanding genotype-environment effects on survival and health status of honey bee colonies headed by queens of different European origins that were tested in various locations under differing environmental conditions. No chemical treatment a...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptation of honey bees to their environment is expressed by the annual development pattern of the colony, the balance with food sources and the host -parasite balance, all of which interact among each other with changes in the environment. In the present study, we analyse the development patterns over a period of two years in colonies belonging t...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bee colonies exhibit a wide range of variation in their behaviour, depending on their genetic origin and environmental factors. The COLOSS Genotype-Environment Interactions Experiment gave us the opportunity to investigate the phenotypic expression of the swarming, defensive and hygienic behaviour of 16 genotypes from five different honey bee...
Article
Full-text available
Although knowledge about honey bee geographic and genetic diversity has increased tremendously in recent decades, the adaptation of honey bees to their local environment has not been well studied. The current demand for high economic performance of bee colonies with desirable behavioural characteristics contributes to changing the natural diversity...
Article
Full-text available
Diseases are known to be one of the major contributors to colony losses. Within a Europe-wide experiment on genotype - environment interactions, an initial 621 colonies were set up and maintained from 2009 to 2012. The colonies were monitored to investigate the occurrence and levels of key pathogens. These included the mite Varroa destructor (mites...