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STUDIES ON PESTS AND DISEASES OF BUMBLE BEE, Bombus haemorrhoidalis Smith

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2015
RANA, B.S.
Ph.D

ABSTRACT The present investigations entitled “Studies on pests and diseases of bumble bee, Bombus haemorrhoidalis Smith” were carried out in the Department of Entomology, Dr. Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan (HP) during August 2011 to August 2014. The objectives were to rear the bumble bee colonies for one cycle. The pests and diseases were also studied along with their molecular identification. Under Nauni conditions, B. haemorrhoidalis was reared for one cycle. It was for the first time in the country that bumble bee rearing was achieved throughout the year. Spring foraging queens were collected from medicinal, vegetable and ornamental plants. Queen started wax secretion after 7.9±0.74 days of confinement and first batch of workers was emerged after 28.1±1.00 days after egg laying. Total period of emergence was 36.0±0.84 days. Bumble bee queen consumed more pollen (0.76g) than workers (0.54g) and drones (0.24g). The developmental period from egg to adult was 32.96, 26.41 and 30.60days for queen, drone and worker, respectively. Under laboratory conditions, its queen, worker and drone had an average longevity of 294, 54 and 39 days, respectively. Queen to drone production ratio was ranged 1:5 to 1:6. The queens showed single (single drone) and multiple matings (2-3 drones). Queens mated for 36.63 minutes in single mating while in multiple mating, the total duration was 39.24 minutes (5.75-20.08 minutes/drone). When colonies (10-25 workers/colony) were shifted from the incubator to the field, these survived till December. B. haemorrhoidalis queens do not undergo obligatory hibernation as they reared the colonies in winters under controlled conditions. Different pests: Nosema bombi (Nosema), Physocephala tibialis (conopid fly), Aphomia sociella (Bee moth), Sphaerularia bombi (Nematode), Parasitus fucorum (mites) and Aethina tumida (beetles) were recorded. Nosema is a disease of all castes of bumble bees caused by Nosema bombi. The infection was ranged between 16.71-24.95%. Conopid fly parasitized all castes and infested 13.47-22.87% bumble bee foragers. Bee moth destroyed nests by feeding on wax cells, pollen and sometimes brood also. The damage was ranged between 31.19-73.79% by this moth. Nematodes mostly affected queens and the infestation was recorded to be 0.93- 1.88%. Similarly, beetles infested 1.34-7.37% nests by feeding on pollen and wax cells. Honey bee and ants robbers also destroyed the field established colonies. Queen bees were found to be bigger in size than drone and workers. RAPD-PCR profiles showed a banding pattern of expected size between 300-700bp for B. haemorrhoidalis while for B. rufofaciatus, it was recorded at 300-1000bp. Similarly, conopid fly DNA showed banding at 200-700bp region. While in Aphomia sociella, the bands were observed at 300-1000bp region. The genome of B. haemorrhoidalis and B. rufofaciatus was 62% similar. Nest activity was higher in natural nests than artificially field established nests. Bumble bee foragers outnumbered honey bees and other insect pollinators on Pepper, Kemuk and Kiwi crop. Pollination efficiency of bumble bee was more (21.0) as compared to honey bees (12.0) and other pollinators (5.0) in brinjal. Chromosomal studies revealed n=18 (haploid chromosomes) in males while 2n=36 for females of B. haemorrhoidalis

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