The widespread decline of honey bees globally has serious consequences for ecosystems and agriculture. Bees are the major insect pollinators, and thus mitigating their declines is of major importance to global food security. Recent findings, during a high resolution diagnostic radioentomology study, indicated that honey bees show preferences when storing food and when feeding other bees. If this is indeed the case, then honey bees might also preferentially spread pathogen/medication, which is in the food, to other bees within their hive. Here we show that bees from certain hives show preferences while feeding other bees and that bees from other hives do not. The simple, new method developed for assessing food and pathogen transmission in bees will help beekeepers to select and breed bees that have a higher propensity for spreading pathogen/medication within a hive. Therefore, the beekeepers’ own selection and breeding programs will help mitigate global bee declines, at the grass roots level.
- diagnostic radioentomology
- honey bees