Ashley N. Mortensen's research while affiliated with University of Florida and other places

Publications (29)

Article
Los insectos exhiben varios niveles de organización social. Muchas especies viven en grupos durante una parte de sus vidas, pero no todos estos grupos son verdaderamente sociales. Por ejemplo, las abejas chimenea, Anthophora abrupta, viven en grupos durante períodos de tiempo, no obstante, son abejas solitarias. Las abejas chimenea hembras construy...
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Western honey bees, Apis mellifera L.,(hereafter “honey bee”) are among the most widespread organisms in the world,as their association with humans has led to their dispersal from their native range in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to every continent except Antarctica (Crane,2013). They are economically important because of their role as poll...
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The Varroa destructor mite, a devastating pest of western honey bees, can threaten a honey bee colony’s survival if it is left uncontrolled. This 8-page fact sheet written by Cameron Jack, Nathan Sperry, Ashley N. Mortensen, and Jamie Ellis and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department explains how to monitor honey bee colonies...
Article
The environment in which an individual western honey bee (Apis mellifera) develops can have a major effect on its body condition and size. Artificial rearing of honey bee larvae is a popular tool used to assess the risks that numerous potential stressors, including pesticides and pathogens, pose to developing honey bees. We conducted a study compar...
Article
Beekeepers commonly supplement honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies' nutrition with commercial pollen and nectar substitutes in an effort to encourage growth and reduce colony losses. However, there is a broad lack of understanding regarding the extent to which supplemental protein feeding affects honey bee colony health. We conducted a field stu...
Article
Chlorothalonil is a broad-spectrum fungicide and diflubenzuron is an insect growth regulator used to control many insect larvae feeding on agricultural, forest and ornamental plants. Honey bee larvae may be exposed to both via contaminated pollen, in the form of beebread, added to their diet by their adult nurse sisters. In this study, we determine...
Article
Varroa is an external parasitic mite of honey bees and is a vector of multiple viruses that can severely weaken or cause the failure of western honey bee colonies if untreated. Effective Varroa control is dependent upon a thorough understanding of Varroa biology, including how Varroa move between host colonies. Here, we highlight that drone (male)...
Article
Rearing honey bee, Apis mellifera L., larvae in vitro is a popular risk assessment tool because many uncontrollable factors (e.g., weather conditions, food availability) that bias field studies can be eliminated in the laboratory. However, modern in vitro rearing techniques suffer variable survival rates and OECD guidelines specify a minimum of 70%...
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BACKGROUND The effects of chronic exposure to two neonicotinoids (clothianidin and imidacloprid) and two organophosphates (chlorpyrifos and dimethoate) on survival, developmental rate and larval weight of honey bee larvae reared in vitro were determined. Diets containing chemicals were fed to larvae with the range of concentrations for each compoun...
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Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are obligate eusocial organisms and receive intensive parental care from their nestmates during larval and pupal development. The importance of the juvenile environment to adult behavior has been well documented in vertebrate species. However, the extent to which the developmental environment may affect adult behavior...
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The effects of chronic exposure to common acaricides on Apis mellifera survival, developmental rate and larval weight were tested in the laboratory. Larvae were reared in vitro and fed a diet containing amitraz: 1.5, 11, 25 and 46 mg/L; coumaphos: 1.8, 6, 8 and 25 mg/L; or fluvalinate: 0.1, 1, 2.4 and 6 mg/L. The dependent variables were compared f...
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Background: The reported high loss rates of managed honey bee colonies has been attributed to diverse stressors including pesticides. Honey bee larvae can be exposed to pesticides in contaminated nectar, pollen and wax. Due to the difficulties of rearing larvae in vitro, research focusing on adult bee exposure to pesticides is more common than tha...
Article
The in vitro rearing of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) has become an increasingly important method in honey bee research in general, and in pesticide risk assessment specifically. Authorities from the European Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United States Environmental Protection Agency are requesting data on p...
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African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) dramatically changed the South American beekeeping industry as they rapidly spread through the Americas following their introduction into Brazil. In the present study, we aimed to determine if the management of European-derived honey bees (A. mellifera sspp.) could reduce the relative abundance of Afri...
Data
Collection site, molecular profile, and maternal group assignment information for individual drones. Data are the name of the DCA in which the drones were caught (DCA ID), the distance of that DCA from a managed European honey bee apiary (DCA Location), the ID number of each drone (Bee ID), the fragment lengths of the allele present at each microsa...
Article
Nosema are single-celled fungal parasites that infect various animal hosts. One species, Nosema ceranae, has become the dominant microsporidian infection in western honey bee colonies. When honey bees ingest Nosema spores, many eventually starve to death because the spores replicate in the stomach and hijack the bee’s nutrition. The risk of Nosema...
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Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Varroa) is a damaging pest of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, in North America, Europe, and Asia. However, Varroa infestations have not produced equivalent colony losses of African subspecies of honey bee throughout Africa and parts of the Americas. We surveyed the Varroa infestation rates (number of Var...
Article
This EDIS publication is an alternate version of a page published first on the Featured Creatures website. The Featured Creatures collection provides in-depth profiles of insects, nematodes, arachnids and other organisms relevant to Florida. These profiles are intended for the use of interested laypersons with some knowledge of biology as well as a...
Article
A honey bee colony is a superorganism, which means that together its members function like a single animal. Bees within a colony work together like the cells in a human body. They warm the colony in the winter by vibrating their wings to generate heat and cool it in the summer by ferrying in droplets of water and fanning air over them. Worker bees...
Article
Tracheal mites are parasites of the western honey bee and negatively impact the health and productivity of an infested colony. This 6-page fact sheet details the method of dissecting honey bees in order to diagnose tracheal mites. Written by John Bonkowski, Ashley N. Mortensen, and James D Ellis, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and...
Article
The zombie fly is primarily a parasitoid of bumble bees and wasps in North America. In 2012, Dr. John Hafernik and his colleagus at San Francisco State University discovered that Apocephalus borealis also parasitizes honey bees. Parasitized honey bees show zombie-like behavior by leaving their hives at night and are often attracted to nearby lights...
Article
Ripiphoridae are a family of unusual parasitic beetles that are thought to be related to tumbling flower beetles and blister beetles. They parasitize bees and wasps, roaches, and wood-boring beetles, but specific hosts for many ripiphorid species are unknown. Their secretive life cycle makes an assessment of their economic and ecological impact ver...
Article
Readily identifiable phenotypic markers, such as color, are useful research tools in an array of disciplines. In the western honey bee, Apis mellifera L., a recessive phenotype know as cordovan (cd, Mackensen 1951; Laidlaw et al. 1953) has been used in numerous genetic and behavior studies. These include studies on the spatial dynamics of the matin...
Article
Honey bees throughout the world are exposed to numerous pests, parasites, and pathogens. One such parasite is Tropilaelaps spp. Delfinado & Baker, an ectoparasitic mite that feeds on the hemolymph of developing honey bees. Four species of Tropilaelaps have been identified and characterized. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Ashley N. Mortensen,...
Article
Usurpation, or colony take over, of European-derived, western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies by African-derived honey bee, A.m. scutellata, swarms is poorly understood in the Americas. The frequency and impact of such usurpation events are not known, and some believe usurpation behavior is an important contributor to the predominance of Afr...
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Greater (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae, Galleria mellonella) and Lesser (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae, Achroia grisella) wax moths are ubiquitous pests of honey bee colonies globally. The economic importance of wax moths has led to a number of investigations on wax moth life history, biology, behaviour, ecology, molecular biology, physiology, and control. Despi...

Citations

... Although pesticide manufacturers aim to produce effective compounds with low toxicity on ecologically-important animals such as the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), commercial beekeepers report losses of colonies coinciding with pesticide applications on blooming crops that are visited by forager bees (Ricke et al. 2021). Although honey bees are faced with a myriad of biotic stressors (Boncristiani et al. 2021), abiotic ones like insecticides are often considered one of the main contributors to honey bee colony losses worldwide (Goulson et al. 2015;Sanchez-Bayo et al. 2016;Singla et al. 2021). The importance of honey bee toxicology has encouraged researchers around the world to evaluate the impacts of pesticides on honey bees and to find solutions for minimizing their risk. ...
... Arbulo et al. (2011) obtuvieron valores de 8,4 ± 0,65 mm en sus mediciones de proboscis de ejemplares silvestres de B. pauloensis en Uruguay. Esta diferencia de longitud de proboscis entre los abejorros comerciales y una población natural podría deberse a presión de selección en el proceso de domesticación (Mortensen et al., 2019). ...
... In the study conducted by Ahmed et al. (2021), it was determined that feeding with pollen substituted diet increased the number of bee frames and brood area, while it was determined that the consumption amount was higher compared with the control [50]. Contrary to our findings, Mortensen et al. (2019) reported that there is no change depending on the presence and source of protein [51]. It is also reported that the protein supplements given to colonies during the winter period cannot reduce the winter loss [2]. ...
... In bumblebees, exposure to field-relevant levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil negatively affected the colony success of Bombus impatiens in caged settings (Bernauer et al., 2015). At the individual level, effects of fungicides (e.g., captan, chlorothalonil, iprodione, picoxystrobin) include increased mortality of brood (larvae) and adults in both honey bees (Dai et al., 2018;Domingues et al., 2017;Fisher et al., 2017;Ladurner et al., 2005;Mussen et al., 2004) and solitary bees (Ladurner et al., 2005(Ladurner et al., , 2008, disruptions of feeding behaviour (Degrandi-Hoffman et al., 2015) and nest recognition (Artz and Pitts-Singer, 2015), and a reduction of sperm viability in honey bee drones (Fisher and Rangel, 2018). Fungicides may also have synergistic effects when combined with other insecticides or acaricides (miticides), thereby enhancing their toxicity to bees (Biddinger et al., 2013;Iwasa et al., 2004;Tosi & Nieh, 2019), or may increase the susceptibility of honey bees and bumblebees to pathogens (Glavinic et al., 2019;McArt et al., 2017b;Paris et al., 2020;Pettis et al., 2013). ...
... Additionally, mites can be introduced into foreign colonies by beekeepers when they transfer supplies and bees between hives (Fig. 3). Studies have also found mites on drones collected at drone congregation areas, or 'DCAs' (Mortensen et al. 2018, Galindo-Cardona et al. 2020. Moreover, Galindo-Cardona et al. (2020) showed that drones returning from mating flights could drift into neighboring colonies, spreading mites throughout the apiary. ...
... Various studies have been conducted to determine the exposure effects of pesticides on adult honey bees, therefore, standard methods for investigating the effects of pesticides on adult bees have been well investigated both in vivo and in vitro [15,16]. Nevertheless, in contrast to controllable laboratory conditions, field experiments in hives are impacted by numerous uncontrollable factors such as season, colony genetic variation, climate, and resource availability [17][18][19]. Because of these uncontrolled variables, the in vitro procedure of rearing honey-bee larvae has been proposed to evaluate the toxicity of pesticides on honey-bee broods (larvae, pupae, and adults) [11]. ...
... They detected changes in the metabolome, proteome or phytosterol composition in royal jelly of colonies treated with pesticides. In contrast, others did not detect any significant negative effects on larval development driven by pesticide exposure (Dai et al., 2019;Wood et al., 2020). All of them considered concentrations of pesticides at field relevant levels. ...
... Developmental effects are likely to be particularly relevant in social insects because the age-based division of labor is a developmental process that is both plastic and is accompanied by several important changes in cognitive traits (Ben-Shahar et al., 2000;Cabirol et al., 2018). In honeybees, several studies show the influence of birth weight and early social experience on sucrose responsiveness and associative learning (Pankiw et al., 2004;Scheiner, 2012;Arenas et al., 2013;Mortensen and Ellis, 2018;Tsvetkov et al., 2019) but we lack the knowledge about similar effects on other cognitive traits. The use of social information can be shaped by resource unpredictability during development, pre-natal stress leading to copying behavior in adulthood and post-natal stress leading to the opposite effect (Boogert et al., 2013). ...
... This ultimately requires increasing doses or alternating the application of different compounds. As a result, these substances accumulate in beeswax and can cause residues in honey and other bee products at levels that may even affect larvae and adults (Dai et al., 2018;Mullin et al., 2010). ...
... If there is erythritol residue on the mouth parts of nurse bees, in pollen or honey, honey bee larvae could be exposed to the erythritol. In contrast to other studies that have tested other insecticides for toxicity to laboratory-reared honey bee larvae (Doublet et al. 2015, Dai et al. 2017, Grillone et al. 2017, we tested erythritol formulations in established 10-frame standard Langstroth hives. Due to the complexity of cooperative brood care within a honey bee hive, our methods did not investigate the assimilation of erythritol or sucralose residues into hypopharyngeal or mandibular glands or consider varying food demands or size between young and old larvae. ...