James D. Ellis's research while affiliated with University of Florida and other places

Publications (180)

Article
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Beekeeping is a cornerstone activity that has led to the human-mediated, global spread of western honey bees ( Apis mellifera L.) outside their native range of Europe, western Asia, and Africa. The exportation/importation of honey bees (i.e., transfer of honey bees or germplasm between countries) is regulated at the national level in many countries...
Article
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Nosema ceranae is a unicellular microsporidian causing ventricular cell lysis in host Apis spe-cies. We hypothesized that the gut microbiota of honey bees, A. cerana, A. dorsata, A. florea, and A. mellifera, is disrupted by N. ceranae infection. Correspondingly, we investigated the impact of N. ceranae infection on gut populations of Bifidobacteriu...
Article
Seventy five percent of the world's food crops benefit from insect pollination. Hence, there has been increased interest in how global change drivers impact this critical ecosystem service. Because standardized data on crop pollination are rarely available, we are limited in our capacity to understand the variation in pollination benefits to crop y...
Article
The purpose of this publication is to provide a 4-H project book that discusses honey bees and their importance to our nation’s agriculture. The intent is to introduce the world of honey bees to youth ages 8 to 12, with or without any previous beekeeping background or knowledge. This book consists of six sections that familiarize youth with the hon...
Article
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The risk of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) exposure to pesticide residues while foraging for nectar and pollen is commonly explored in the context of agroecosystems. However, pesticides are also used in urban and suburban areas for vegetation management, vector control, and the management of ornamental plants in public and private landscapes. The ex...
Article
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The traits of two subspecies of western honey bees, Apis mellifera scutellata and A.m. capensis, endemic to the Republic of South Africa (RSA), are of biological and commercial relevance. Nevertheless, the genetic basis of important phenotypes found in these subspe-cies remains poorly understood. We performed a genome wide association study on thre...
Article
Western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) need good nutrition to combat multiple stressors. Beekeepers often feed artificial protein diets (i.e. pollen substitutes) when their colonies lack natural pollen resources. However, it is unclear whether pollen substitutes improve honey bee colony strength and health during pollen dearths and when no pollen s...
Article
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Western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) collect pollen from flowers as their source of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Beekeepers feed pollen substitutes to their honey bee colonies to mitigate a lack of natural pollen resources in the environment. Despite their widespread use, it is unclear if pollen substitutes are beneficial to colony healt...
Article
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The BEEBOOK project arose from discussions at early COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee COlony LOSSes) meetings. The vision was, and still is, to develop a definitive inventory of standard techniques and methods in honey bee research to ensure that studies performed by different laboratories around the world would be directly comparable. The manual, ti...
Article
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Beekeepers need sustainable control options to treat Nosema ceranae infection in colonies of western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) they manage. Propolis is a natural product derived from plant resins and contains chemical compounds with potential antimicrobial activity against N. ceranae. Here, we determined the efficacy of propolis from A. mellif...
Article
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Varroa destructor is among the greatest biological threats to western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) health worldwide. Beekeepers routinely use chemical treatments to control this parasite, though overuse and mismanagement of these treatments have led to widespread resistance in Varroa populations. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecologically...
Article
BACKGROUND Varroa destructor is among the greatest threats to honey bee health worldwide. Acaricides used to control Varroa are becoming increasingly ineffective due to resistance issues, prompting the need for new compounds that can be used for control purposes. Ideally, such compounds would exhibit high toxicity to Varroa while maintaining relati...
Article
A real-time qPCR assay was designed to detect African-derived subspecies of western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). The probes targeted the same region of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene used in previous restriction enzyme assays. Using samples from 16 A. mellifera subspecies representing four lineages, we evaluated the efficacy of this assay t...
Article
Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman (Parasitiformes: Varroidae) is an ectoparasitic pest of the western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.; Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies. The ability to study all life stages of the mite in a laboratory setting requires one to rear the mite in vitro. This is a crucial step for the advancement in research studies, and the...
Article
Commercial beekeepers need healthy, productive honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies, even when the landscape lacks adequate pollen forage to sustain the colonies. As a result, many commercial beekeepers spend significant money and labor on the use of pollen substitutes in their colonies. However, there is little consensus in the literature about...
Article
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The health of western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) is constantly affected by Nosema ceranae, a microsporidian threat to colonies worldwide. We extracted propolis, a natural product exhibiting antimicrobial properties, from honey bee hives, fed it to worker bees before or after infection with N. ceranae, and determined its ability to protect bees...
Article
The genus Apis, the honey bee, is represented by nine species and contains three subgenera: Megapis, Micrapis, and Apis. Apis species within a subgenus can be difficult to distinguish from one another, emphasizing the need for a versatile diagnostic tool that can be used to identify the species efficiently and accurately. We photographed 8756 wings...
Article
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Knowledge regarding the honey bee pathogens borne by invasive bee pests remains scarce. This investigation aimed to assess the presence in Aethina tumida (small hive beetle, SHB) adults of honey bee pathogens belonging to the following groups: i) bacteria (Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius), ii) trypanosomatids (Lotmaria passim and C...
Article
Oxalic acid (OA) is a natural compound that has been used to control the honey bee (Apis mellifera) pest Varroa destructor. One method of OA application gaining popularity among beekeepers in the US involves vaporizing OA crystals with heat inside a closed hive. Herein, we tested different doses of OA applied via vaporization to determine the most...
Article
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Aethina tumida Murray (small hive beetle, SHB) is an invasive pest of Apis mellifera L. colonies, and is attracted to honey bee colony odors and pheromones. This work aims to investigate A. tumida odorant binding proteins (Atum_OBPs) from adult individuals , to improve the knowledge on the molecular basis of olfaction and, thus, contribute to the d...
Article
Some plant essential oil constituents, such as monoterpenoids and phenylpropanoids, are promising insecticides in some situations and for certain insect pests. They vary in their toxicity, depending on the target insect. Moths (Lepidoptera) appear susceptible to these compounds, making them of promise for use against greater wax moths (Galleria mel...
Article
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The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, is an invasive pest that has spread globally. Western honey bees, Apis mellifera Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Apidae), are considered the most important host and infestations can lead to collapse of colonies. Larvae feed on honey, pollen, and brood inside the hive and leave the hive as postfeeding wandering l...
Article
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The COLOSS BEEBOOK project arose from discussions at meetings of the COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee COlony LOSSes; www.coloss.org) association, which was established in 2008 to explore all possible reasons for honey bee colony losses (Williams et al., 2012). Those unfamiliar with the concept of the COLOSS BEEBOOK are welcome to consult the introdu...
Article
Greater wax moths (GWM, Galleria mellonella L.) are important pests of Western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. The larval moths feed on wax combs, cast honey bee larval skins, pollen, and some honey, leaving behind a destroyed comb containing moth silk and frass. We used standard protocols to determine how GWM larva consumption of wax comb...
Article
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Apis mellifera anatoliaca had a mitochondrial genome that was 16,256 bp long, with 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and an AT-rich control region. The phylogenetic tree showed that A. m. anatoliaca was closely related to other subspecies found in Turkey, A. m. caucasica and A. m. meda.
Article
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Large-scale agriculture has led to a loss of overall biodiversity and ecosystem services (e.g., biological control) within farmland. Native wildflower plantings have been used to restore ecosystem services and increase conservation measures within agricultural areas. In this study, we examined spider (Araneae) communities within small wildflower pl...
Article
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The parasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman continues to devastate western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies throughout most of the world where they are managed. The development of a method to rear Varroa in vitro would allow for year-round Varroa research, rapidly advancing our progress towards controlling the mite. We created t...
Article
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The small hive beetle (SHB, Aethina tumida) is an invasive honey bee pest. It has been introduced into many countries worldwide and it will continue to spread. The lifecycle of the SHB is divided between a feeding and reproduction phase inside honey bee colonies and a pupation phase in the soil, surrounding colonies. Once larvae have achieved their...
Article
Pesticide exposure is regarded as a contributing factor to the high gross loss rates of managed colonies of Apis mellifera. Pesticides enter the hive through contaminated nectar and pollen carried by returning forager honey bees or placed in the hive by beekeepers when managing hive pests. We used an in vitro rearing method to characterize the effe...
Article
A successful Integrated Pest Management approach to Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman control in managed colonies of western honey bees Apis mellifera Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) must be an improvement over conventional control methods and include cost-effective treatments that can be readily employed by beekeepers. Herein, we tested the ef...
Article
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The complete mitochondrial genome of Apis mellifera simensis was 16,523 bp long. The 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNAs, and 22 tRNAs resembled other Apis mitogenomes. The location of this Apis subspecies in our phylogenetic tree supported the hypothesis that this subspecies is distinct, and is most closely related to A. m. scutellata and A. m. mon...
Article
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The Spanish honey bee Apis mellifera iberiensis, had a mitochondrial genome of 16,560 bp. It consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and an AT-rich control region. The sample was from Portugal and its mitogenome resembled those of the African (A)-lineage honey bee subspecies. It was most closely related to other North A...
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The mitochondrial genome of Apis mellifera ruttneri consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNAs, 22 tRNAs, an AT-rich control region, and was 16,577 bp long. The phylogenetic analyses suggested that A. m. ruttneri was closely related to two North African subspecies: A. m. sahariensis and A. m. intermissa.
Article
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The mitochondrial genome of a worker Apis mellifera jemenitica was 16,623 bp. It consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, two ribosomal RNAs and a control region. Phylogenetic analyses suggest a close relationship between A. m. jemenitica, A. m. lamarckii and A. m. syriaca.
Article
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The complete mitochondrial genome of the West African honey bee Apis mellifera adansonii consisted of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and a control region. It was 16,466 bp and consisted of 84.7% AT nucleotides. This subspecies had a similar mitogenome to those of other southern African honey bees, namely A....
Article
There are two endemic subspecies of western honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) in the Republic of South Africa (RSA), A.m. capensis and A.m. scutellata. They have traditionally been identified using morphometric characteristics, but geometric morphometric data from honey bee wings are easier to collect, possibly making them a useful alternative for ide...
Article
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Apis mellifera scutellata and A.m. capensis, two native subspecies of western honey bees in the Republic of South Africa (RSA), are important to beekeepers in their native region because beekeepers use these bees for honey production and pollination purposes. Additionally, both bees are important invasive pests outside of their native ranges. Recen...
Article
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Intensive agriculture has led to a reduction of overall biodiversity and ecosystem services such as pollination and biological control. To offset these economic losses, many farmers are planting native wildflowers to enhance flowering plant diversity and augment pollinator and other beneficial arthropod populations on their farms. In this study, we...
Poster
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This poster was presented at the Apimondia 2019 in Montreal. Opinions and discussions are welcome, but the poster won't be changed anymore as it was already presented. To those of you who wanted the file of the chapter on the same topic: we're not allowed to share it, I'm sorry. By some reason, I can't send messages with the decline.
Article
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The complete mitochondrial genome of the endemic Malagasy honey bee Apis mellifera unicolor is 16,373 bp and comprises 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and a control region. The mitochondrial genome closely resembles mitogenomes of other published Apis mellifera subspecies, and the phylogenetic analysis sugge...
Article
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Sequencing the mitochondrial genome of the Carniolan honey bee, Apis mellifera carnica, revealed 16,358 bp, consisting of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and a control region. Phylogenetic analysis supported a close relationship to another south-eastern European (C-lineage) honey bee, A. m. ligustica.
Article
Bumble bees are commonly used to provide pollination services within crop fields and greenhouses, with Bombus impatiens Cresson; Hymenoptera: Apidae, a bee native to the eastern United States, being the only managed bumble bee available commercially in the United States. Although many researchers have explored managed bumble bees' ability to pollin...
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For honey bees (Apis mellifera), colony maintenance and growth are highly dependent on worker foragers obtaining sufficient resources from flowering plants year round. Despite the importance of floral diversity for proper bee nutrition, urban development has drastically altered resource availability and diversity for these important pollinators. Th...
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
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus Thunb.) is an important economic crop with 29.6 million tons produced worldwide. However, few native bees and other pollinators have been documented to visit watermelon flowers and the contribution of these insects to watermelon pollination has yet to be determined. We examined 40 commercial watermelon fields from 2013...
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The COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee Colony Losses) network was founded in 2008 as a consequence of the heavy and frequent losses of honey bee colonies experienced in many regions of the world (Neumann & Carreck, 2010). The network has many accomplishments, with the COLOSS BEEBOOK being among those. The COLOSS BEEBOOK was developed to provide honey...
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Approximately 70% of the 30 000 known bee (Hymenoptera) species and most flower-visiting, solitary wasps (Hymenoptera) nest in the ground. However, nesting behaviours of most ground-nesting bees and wasps are poorly understood. Habitat loss, including nesting habitat, threatens populations of ground-nesting bees and wasps. Most ground-nesting bee a...
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The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is the greatest single driver of the global honey bee health decline. Better understanding of the association of this parasite and its host is critical to developing sustainable management practices. Our work shows that this parasite is not consuming hemolymph, as has been the accepted view, but damages host bee...
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Pollinators, including honey bees, are responsible for the successful reproduction of more than 87% of flowering plant species: they are thus vital to ecosystem health and agricultural services world-wide. To investigate honey bee exposure to pesticides, 168 pollen samples and 142 wax comb samples were collected from colonies within six stationary...
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...
Poster
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Greater wax moth (GWM) Galleria mellonella (L.), a voracious pest of field-based honey bee colonies and stored combs. It is known to cause major losses and to transmit viral pathogens. Virulence of six entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) (i.e. Steinernema carpocapsae, S. riobrave, S. xueshanense, S. diaprepesi, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and H. in...
Article
Climate, plant communities, and timing of floral resources differ significantly across Florida, which means that management of European honey bee colonies in Florida differs as well. This 8-page fact sheet written by James D. Ellis, Mary C. Bammer, and William H. Kern and published by Department of Entomology and Nematology outlines a management ca...
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
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Backgrounds: Apis mellifera scutellata and A.m. capensis (the Cape honey bee) are western honey bee subspecies indigenous to the Republic of South Africa (RSA). Both bees are important for biological and economic reasons. First, A.m. scutellata is the invasive "African honey bee" of the Americas and exhibits a number of traits that beekeepers cons...
Article
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In order to investigate the possible infection of Nosema ceranae in small hive beetle (SHB), Aethina tumida, in 2017, beetle specimens were sampled in Gainesville (Florida). By Real-Time PCR (qPCR), using previously developed primers based on the 16S rRNA gene, N. ceranae was detected in 7 out of 10 SHB specimens, proving that the microsporidia can...
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%...
Article
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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...
Article
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The greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella Linnaeus) and lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella Fabricius) are major pests of honey bee colonies in Florida. The best defense against wax moths in living colonies is keeping colonies otherwise strong, free of diseases and pests, and queenright. Controlling wax moths in stored combs and equipment, however, c...