Yves Le Conte

Yves Le Conte
French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) | INRAE · Abeilles et Environnement Avignon

PhD, HDR
Senior Scientist

About

439
Publications
195,174
Reads
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12,452
Citations
Citations since 2017
146 Research Items
7433 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,500
Additional affiliations
January 1991 - present
French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE)
Position
  • Research Director
January 1990 - October 2015
French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE)
Position
  • Research Director

Publications

Publications (439)
Article
Global pollinator declines threaten food production and natural ecosystems. The drivers of declines are complicated and driven by numerous factors such as pesticide use, loss of habitat, rising pathogens due to commercial bee keeping and climate change. Halting and reversing pollinator declines will require a multidisciplinary approach and internat...
Article
Full-text available
Nosema ceranae is a highly prevalent intracellular parasite of honey bees’ midgut worldwide. This Microsporidium was monitored during a long-term study to evaluate the infection at apiary and intra-colony levels in six apiaries in four Mediterranean countries (France, Israel, Portugal, and Spain). Parameters on colony strength, honey production, be...
Article
Full-text available
Toxicological studies in honeybees have long shown that a single pesticide dose or concentration does not necessarily induce a single response. Inter-individual differences in pesticide sensitivity and/or the level of exposure (e.g., ingestion of pesticide-contaminated matrices) may explain this variability in risk posed by a pesticide. Therefore,...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Eusocial insects are crucial to many ecosystems, and particularly the honeybee (Apis mellifera). One approach to facilitate their study in molecular genetics, is to consider whole-colony genotyping by combining DNA of multiple individuals in a single pool sequencing experiment. Cheap and fast, this technique comes with the drawback of...
Article
Invasive parasites are major threats to biodiversity. The honey bee ectoparasite, Varroa destructor, has shifted host and spread almost globally several decades ago. This pest is generally considered to be the main global threat to Western honey bees, Apis mellifera, although the damages it causes are not equivalent in all its new host's population...
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...
Preprint
To ensure the optimal development of brood, a honeybee colony needs to regulate its temperature within a certain range of values (thermoregulation), regardless of environmental changes in biotic and abiotic factors. While the set of behavioural and physiological responses implemented by honeybees to regulate the brood temperature has been well stud...
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
Бюхлер Р., Узунов А., Ильясов Р. А., Коста С., Мейкснер М., Ле Конте И., Мондет Ф., Ковачич М., Андонов С., Каррек Н. Л., Димитров Л., Бассо, Б., Биенковска М., Далл’Олио Р., Хатджина Ф., Вирц У. Проект EURBEST: тестирование пчел на устойчивость к клещу варроа // Пчеловодство. ‒ 2022. № 2. ‒ C. 62-64. (Büchler R., Uzunov A., Ilyasov R. A., Costa C....
Article
Full-text available
EurBeST — A Pilot Study Testing Varroa-resistant Bees Under Commercial Beekeeping Conditions.
Conference Paper
Eusocial insects, especially the honeybee (Apis mellifera), are major contributors to many ecosystems and face high levels of biotic and abiotic stress. Living in colonies the unit of interest, for phenotyping, is generally the group, making pool sequencing a relevant genomic tool for estimating genetic contributions. However, due to the multi-male...
Article
In this study, we gathered sequence data from the tRNAleu-cox2 intergenic mitochondrial (mtDNA) region concurrently with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from 91 loci of nuclear DNA (ncDNA). The data was obtained from 156 colonies sampled in six apiaries from four countries. The full dataset was analysed and discussed for genetic patterns...
Article
Within the context of climate change, winter temperatures at high latitudes are predicted to rise faster than summer temperatures. This phenomenon is expected to negatively affect the diapause performance and survival of insects, since they largely rely on low temperatures to lower their metabolism and preserve energy. However, some insects like ho...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Eusocial insects play a central role in many ecosystems, and particularly the important pollinator honeybee ( Apis mellifera ). One approach to facilitate their study in molecular genetics, is to consider whole colonies as single individuals by combining DNA of multiple individuals in a single pool sequencing experiment. Such a technique...
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...
Article
Full-text available
A reduction in floral resource abundance and diversity is generally observed in agro-ecosystems, along with widespread exposure to pesticides. Therefore, a better understanding on how the availability and quality of pollen diets can modulate honeybee sensitivity to pesticides is required. For that purpose, we evaluated the toxicity of acute exposur...
Article
Pesticide risk-assessment guidelines for honeybees (Apis mellifera) generally require determining the acute toxicity of a chemical over the short-term through fix-duration tests. However, potential long-lasting or delayed effects resulting from an acute exposure (e.g. a single dose) are often overlooked, although the modification of a developmental...
Article
Full-text available
The invasive mite Varroa destructor is identified as the main biotic cause of European honey bee colony losses in many regions, leading to systematic treatments of colonies every year in order to prevent colonies from collapsing. However, some colonies have been reported to survive in the absence of treatment. The ability of honey bee colonies to s...
Article
Full-text available
With a growing number of parasites and pathogens experiencing large-scale range expansions, monitoring diversity in immune genes of host populations has never been so important because it can inform on the adaptive potential to resist the invaders. Population surveys of immune genes are becoming common in many organisms, yet they are missing in the...
Article
Full-text available
The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is unarguably the leading cause of honeybee (Apis mellifera) mortality worldwide through its role as a vector for lethal viruses, in particular, strains of the Deformed wing virus (DWV) and Acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) complexes. Several honeybee populations across Europe have well-documented adaptatio...
Article
Full-text available
Citizen Science contributes significantly to the conservation of biodiversity, but its application to honey bee research has remained minimal. Even though certain European honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations are known to naturally survive Varroa destructor infestations, it is unclear how widespread or common such populations are. Such colonies a...
Article
Full-text available
European foulbrood (EFB), caused by Melissococcus plutonius, is a globally distributed bacterial brood disease affecting Apis mellifera larvae. There is some evidence, even if under debate, that spreading of the disease within the colony is prevented by worker bees performing hygienic behaviour, including detection and removal of infected larvae. O...
Article
Full-text available
RNA viruses play a significant role in the current high losses of pollinators. Although many studies have focused on the epidemiology of western honey bee (Apis mellifera) viruses at the colony level, the dynamics of virus infection within colonies remains poorly explored. In this study, the two main variants of the ubiquitous honey bee virus DWV a...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) through genome‐wide association studies (GWAS) is a powerful method for unravelling the genetic background of selected traits and improving early‐stage predictions. In honey bees (Apis mellifera), past genetic analyses have particularly focused on individual queens and workers. In this study, we u...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species events related to globalization are increasing, resulting in parasitic outbreaks. Understanding of host defense mechanisms is needed to predict and mitigate against the consequences of parasite invasion. Using the honey bee Apis mellifera and the mite Varroa destructor, as a host–parasite model, we provide a comprehensive study of...
Article
Full-text available
Cell recapping is a behavioural trait of honeybees (Apis mellifera) where cells with developing pupae are uncapped, inspected, and then recapped, without removing the pupae. The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor, unarguably the most destructive pest in apiculture world-wide, invades the cells of developing pupae to feed and reproduce. Honeybees...
Article
The growing gap between new evidence of pesticide toxicity in honeybees and conventional toxicological assays recommended by regulatory test guidelines emphasizes the need to complement current lethal endpoints with sublethal endpoints. In this context, behavioral and reproductive performances have received growing interest since the 2000s, likely...
Article
Full-text available
Viruses are known to contribute to bee population decline. Possible spillover is suspected from the co-occurrence of viruses in wild bees and honey bees. In order to study the risk of virus transmission between wild and managed bee species sharing the same floral resource, we tried to maximize the possible cross-infections using Phacelia tanacetifo...
Conference Paper
Characterizing the genetic diversity of populations allows to better understand their demographic history and their adaptation to selective pressures. Social insects, such as honeybee, live in colonies which ultimately are the relevant evolutionary and selective units for such species. However, performing large scale genetic analyses of honeybees i...
Article
Full-text available
Comparative studies of genetic diversity and population structure can shed light on the ecological and evolutionary factors governing host-parasite interactions. Even though invasive parasites are considered of major biological importance, little is known about their adaptative potential when infesting the new hosts. Here, the genetic diversificati...
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
Assessing the various anthropogenic pressures imposed on honeybees requires characterizing the patterns and drivers of natural mortality. Using automated lifelong individual monitoring devices, we monitored worker bees in different geographical, seasonal and colony contexts creating a broad range of hive conditions. We measured their life-history t...
Article
Assessing the various anthropogenic pressures imposed on honeybees requires characterizing the patterns and drivers of natural mortality. Using automated lifelong individual monitoring devices, we monitored worker bees in different geographical, seasonal and colony contexts creating a broad range of hive conditions. We measured their life-history t...
Article
Full-text available
In the current context of worldwide honey bee colony losses, among which the varroa mite plays a major role, the hope to improve honey bee health lies in part in the breeding of varroa resistant colonies. To do so, methods used to evaluate varroa resistance need better understanding. Repeatability and correlations between traits such as mite non-re...
Preprint
In the current context of worldwide honey bee colony losses, among which the varroa mite plays a major role, hope to improve honey bee health lies in part in the breeding of varroa resistant colonies. To do so, methods used to evaluate varroa resistance need better understanding. Repeatability and correlations between traits such as Mite Non-Reprod...
Article
Full-text available
In this work, we disclose a non-invasive method for the monitoring and predicting of the swarming process within honeybee colonies, using vibro-acoustic information. Two machine learning algorithms are presented for the prediction of swarming, based on vibration data recorded using accelerometers placed in the heart of honeybee hives. Both algorith...
Article
Full-text available
Since its migration from the Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) to the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor has emerged as a major issue for beekeeping worldwide. Due to a short history of coevolution, the host–parasite relationship between A. mellifera and V. destructor is unbalanced, with honey bees suffering i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Division of labour is a key aspect of distributed systems, such as swarm robotics or multi-agent systems. Inspired by social insects known for their task allocation capabilities, most of the models rely on two assumptions: 1) each task is associated with a stimulus, and 2) the execution of this task lowers that stimulus. In short, the stimulus is a...
Article
Full-text available
The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the most significant pathological threat to the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, leading to the death of most colonies if left untreated. An alternative approach to chemical treatments is to selectively enhance heritable honey bee traits of resistance or tolerance to the mite through breeding programs,...
Article
Full-text available
The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is the most significant pathological threat to the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, leading to the death of most colonies if left untreated. An alternative approach to chemical treatments is to selectively enhance heritable honey bee traits of resistance or tolerance to the mite through breeding programs,...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to multiple stress factors is believed to contribute to honey bee colony decline. However, little is known about how co-exposure to stress factors can alter the survival and behavior of free-living honey bees in colony conditions. We therefore studied the potential interaction between a neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam, and a highly p...
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
The Asian yellow-legged hornet Vespa velutina nigrithorax, a major predator of honeybees, is spreading in Europe in part due to a lack of efficient control methods. In this study, as a first step to identify biological control agents, we characterized viral RNA sequences present in asymptomatic or symptomatic hornets. Among 19 detected viruses, the...
Article
Honey bees play a critical role in the maintenance of plant biodiversity and sustainability of food webs. In the last few decades, bees have been subjected to biotic and abiotic threats causing various colony disorders. Therefore, monitoring solutions to help beekeepers to improve bee health are necessary. MALDI mass spectrometry profiling has emer...
Conference Paper
Varroa destructor is probably the most serious cause of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) losses on a global level. However, the presence of untreated survivor populations in many different regions support the idea of selecting resistant stock. Recently, the European Commission requested a study on the present status of breeding activities regard...
Article
Full-text available
The western honeybee Apis mellifera exhibits a diverse set of adaptations in response to infestations by its most virulent disease-causing agent, the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. In this study, we investigated the effect of honeybee pupae genotype on the expression of four host and parasite traits that are associated with the reproductive...
Preprint
Full-text available
It was brought to our attention that a preprint version of a refutation to our paper titled “Rapid parallel evolution overcomes global honey bee parasite” was posted through PeerJ recently. This is our formal response to the refutation, which can be found through this link: https://peerj.com/preprints/27938/ Here we have broken down the arguments o...
Conference Paper
The mite Varroa destructor is known for causing devastating colony losses in the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. While chemical treatments are currently the norm in many countries, the most sustainable solution against this pest is to select and breed varroa-resistant honey bees. However, this solution is impeded by the difficulty to evaluate th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Characterising the genetic diversity of populations allows to better understand their demographic history and their adaptation to selective pressures. In honey bees, this characterisation is facilitated by a relatively small genome size, but is hindered by the fact that often the unit of observation and sampling is the colony rather than a single i...
Book
Chemical communication is a fascinating aspect of social insect biology and the honeybee is probably one of the most extensively studied model in chemical ecology. Honeybees use pheromones to communicate between individuals and to regulate the development and social interactions of the colony as well. More than 50 chemical compounds have been ident...
Book
The communication in social insets, particularly honeybees, is regulated by a complex language mediated by chemical signals, mostly pheromones. Those can be highly volatile, with low molecular weights and fast diffusion in air or less volatile, heavier, adsorbed on the surface of the body and passed through direct body contact or during food transf...
Book
Varroa destructor is probably the most serious cause of European honey bee ( Apis mellifera ) losses on a global level. However, the presence of untreated survivor populations in many different regions support the idea of selecting resistant stock. Recently, the European Commission requested a study on the present status of breeding activities rega...
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
Full-text available
Co-exposure to pesticides and viruses is likely to occur in honey bee colonies. Pesticides can be present in pollen, nectar, and persist in stored food (honey and bee bread), and viruses can be highly prevalent in honey bee colonies. Therefore, the present study describes the influence of chronic co-exposure to thiamethoxam and Chronic bee paralysi...
Article
Full-text available
The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is the most severe biotic threat to honeybees (Apis mellifera) globally, usually causing colony death within a few years without treatments. While it is known that a few A. mellifera populations survive mite infestations by means of natural selection, the possible role of mite adaptations remains unclear....
Article
Compared to the queen or the workers, the biology of honey bee Apis mellifera L. drones is poorly known. Available information on drone activity is based mainly on direct observations during a limited period of time and for a restricted time of the day. Complete registers of the flight activity of honey bee drones are lacking. We studied the activi...