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Constanza Brasesco, Liesel Gende, Pedro Negri, Nicolás Szawarski, Azucena Iglesias, Martín Eguaras, Sergio Ruffinengo and Matías Maggi

Abstract

Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman, 2000) causes the most important parasitosis of beekeeping in the world. For this reason, prevention is needed to avoid colony death. The most typical treatments involve synthetic acaricides. However, the use of these acaricides results in the emergence of resistant populations of mites to these products and in the appearances of drug residues in products of the hives. Compounds of essential oils have emerged as an alternative to traditional acaricides; however the toxicity produced by these mixtures is currently poorly explored. The aim of this work was to assess, by means of in vitro tests with adult bees, how acaricidal action and toxic interactions in a binary mixture of essential oil compounds (Thymol, Phellandrene, Eucalyptol, Cinnamaldehyde, Myrcene, and Carvacrol) affect V. destructor. Calculations of LC50 ’s of the individual compounds on A. mellifera and V. destructor made clear that the toxic effect of each compound is different for both species. Thymol and Phellandrene turned out to be lethal for mites at lower concentrations than for bees. The binary mixture of these two substances presented a different toxicity than one produced by each pure compound, as it was highly selective for mites in bioassays at 24 hours through complete exposure to both A. mellifera and V. destructor. These results make such formulations optimal substances to be considered as alternative controls for the parasitosis.

Open access

María de la Paz Moliné, Natalia Jorgelina Fernández, Sandra Karina Medici, Diana Fasce and Liesel Brenda Gende

Abstract

In recent years, microwave heating has become a common method for pasteurization and sterilization of food. Honey is a sweet substance produced by worker honeybees from nectar of flowers. The major microbial contaminants include moulds and yeasts, as well as the spore-forming bacteria, being their counts indicative of honeys’ commercial quality and safety. Paenibacillus larvae is also of interest since it causes American foulbrood (AFB) in honeybee larvae. The main quality factors that are used in the honey international trade are moisture, hydroxymethylfurfural content (HMF), and enzymatic indices. Moreover, honey exhibits several thermal events, the most important being the glass transition temperature (Tg). The aim of this work was to evaluate microwave effect (800 watts during 45 and 90 seconds) on microbial content in particular over P. larvae spores retained in honey, and on physicochemical and thermal properties. Microwave promoted a decrease of microbial count with time of exposure, including P. larvae. Moisture content diminished after treatment, while Tg increased linearly, and acidity decremented in the majority of cases. Honeys darkened and HMF exceeded the permissible value. Diastase and glucose-oxidase enzymes were totally inactivated by microwave treatment.

Open access

Natalia Damiani, Martín P. Porrini, Juan P. Lancia, Estefanía Álvarez, Paula M. Garrido, Enzo Domínguez, Liesel B. Gende and Martín J. Eguaras

Abstract

Honey bees collect resin from various plant species and transform it into propolis that is incorporated into the nest. The role of resins in the bee health field is poorly understood. The aim was to evaluate the effects of forced consumption of propolis on the physiological condition and short-term survival of Apis mellifera worker bees. It was tested if the number of circulating hemocytes in hemolymph, the abdominal fat bodies and the hypopharyngeal glands development were affected by the feeding with propolis extracts in laboratory conditions during the warm and the cold seasons. Propolis added to sugar candy was consumed by workers for fourteen days without affecting the bee survival. The number of circulating hemocytes in hemolymph remained constant despite the differential diet during the experiment. However, the development of fat bodies and hypopharyngeal glands was altered by propolis ingestion. The abdominal fat body development in winter bees diminished after fourteen days of propolis consumption, while it increased in summer bees. The hypopharyngeal gland development decreased for the assayed period in workers from both seasons. Our results encourage us to continue exploring this research field and learn how long-term forced ingestion of a plant-derived compound, a non-nutritive substance, can modify physiological bee parameters. A broader understanding of the multiple roles of propolis in the health of the honey bee colonies could be obtained by studying the ways in which it is processed and metabolized and the effect that generates in another physiological responses.