Seminal Fluid of Male Honey Bees Can Destroy the Fungal Spores of Nosema

Bee Craft B-kids FB post   1/21/16

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New research by scientists at Western Australia's Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBR) have discovered that the seminal fluid of male honey bees can destroy the fungal spores of one of the most wide-spread bee pathogens - Nosema.

The fungal pathogen Nosema apis is frequently found in bee colonies, and when hives come under stress, from bad weather or hunger, it can spread, leading to complete colony collapse.

To study the interaction between seminal fluid and pathogens the scientists collected around 200 drones, placing them in a cage for 10 minutes before inducing ejaculation by gassing them with chloroform, they then squeezed the fluid from the drones with a pipette.

Fungal spores were collected from hives known to be infected with Nosema. Pure seminal fluid was capable of killing most of the spores within five minutes, although diluted samples of seminal fluid were still highly effective.

In the long term, researchers at CIBR are hopeful they can extend the research to some of the most threatening bee diseases and the Varroa mite.

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