Insects play an essential role in the functioning of the entire ecosystem, and pollination is one of those primary ecological functions. For more than a decade, a large number of honey bee colonies have become extinct worldwide. This loss in honey bee colonies is caused by multiple stressors. Environmental stress, nutritional stress, exposure to pesticides, including neonicotinoids, pathogens, etc. have been key reasons behind the rapid decline in the honey bee population.
So what exactly is affecting the growth of honey bees and how to stop it? So to gain deeper knowledge about this, scientists worldwide are taking help of the next-generation sequencing to assess the stressors that are affecting the bees.
This is a rising field of research that could drastically change the manner in which honey bee health is surveyed. Scientists have first examined Bombus terricola or the honey bee with yellow bands, a local to North America, in agrarian and non-horticultural regions. This strategy is totally new and permits researchers to test for undetectable stressors influencing honey bees.
In the same way as other pollinators, the yellow-banded honey bee has encountered a significant decrease in recent years, undermining food security and the dependability of regular biological systems.
The corresponding author of the study, Faculty of Science Professor Amro Zayed, director of the Centre for Bee Ecology Evolution and Conservation (BEEc) at York said, “This next-generation sequencing is an absolutely better approach to contemplate why honey bees population is decreasing, which could change the entire conservation science. We are constantly examining the bee tissues to find out the signs of the stressors that are influencing this honey bee. I think this strategy will truly be a game-changer without a doubt. With a solitary study report, we can have a clear idea about things we've discussed for quite a long time—microbes and pesticides—on account of Bombus terricola," says Faculty of Science Professor Amro Zayed, head of the Center for Bee Ecology Evolution and Conservation (BEEc) at York and relating creator of the investigation.
As well as sequencing the RNA of 30 yellow-banded working bees, the scientists additionally utilized the succession information to straightforwardly look for microorganisms tainting the honey bees. The group discovered five microorganisms in the midsections of working drones, three of which are normal in observed bees and honey bee colonies. This supports the hypothesis that the overflow of microbes from business operations can influence the soundness of wild honey bees.
What astounded the scientists, including Associate Professor Sheila Colla of the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change and previous York science graduate student Nadia Tsvetkov, is the manner by which the innovation worked.
"Honey bee illnesses are key dangers and this innovation can assist us with distinguishing infections and stressors rapidly so we don't end up losing species in the manner in which we did earlier in the times of rusty-patched honey bees, where the issue was possibly identified when it was past the point where it is possible to do anything about it in Canada," says Colla. "The rusty-patched honey bee hasn't been seen in Canada since 2009."
Honey bees are significant pollinators, on the grounds that their capacity to "buzz", fertilize (vibrate the plants to deliver pollen) and endure cooler temperatures, makes them basic pollinators for specific plants and various regions.
Growing the extent of protection genomic studies will assist with seeing how numerous stressors impact the soundness of other honey bee populaces. According to Mr. Basem Barry, founder of Geohoney, this is a great strategy adopted by the scientists to help honey bees is growing and living healthier life.