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Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins. 2012 Mar;4(1):39-46. doi: 10.1007/s12602-011-9089-0.

Beneficial Effects of Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis Mori2, a Honey-Associated Strain, on Honeybee Colony Performance.

Author information

1
Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Química (INIQUI), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Salta, Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina.
2
Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina.
3
Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Química (INIQUI), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Salta, Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina. audisio@unsa.edu.ar.
4
INIQUI-CONICET (Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Química), Universidad Nacional de Salta (UNSa), Av. Bolivia 5150, A4402FDC, Salta, Argentina. audisio@unsa.edu.ar.

Abstract

A Bacillus spp. strain isolated from a honey sample in Morillos (Salta, Argentina) was phylogenetically characterized as B. subtilis subsp. subtilis Mori2. The strain was administered to bee colonies as a monoculture in one litre of sugarcane syrup (125 g/L) at a final concentration of 10(5) spores/mL to evaluate the bee colony performance. The treated colony was monitored, and any changes were compared with the control hives. All conditions were identical (weather, nourishment and supervision), except for the Bacillus spore supplement. The new nourishment, which was administered monthly from May to December 2010, was accepted by the bees and consumed within ca. 24-48 h. Photograph records and statistic analyses revealed significant differences in the open and operculated brood areas between the treated and control groups. The status of the colony improved after the second administration of the Bacillus spores until the end of the experiment. A higher number of bees were counted in the treated groups (26% more than the control) with respect to the initial number. Furthermore, at the time of harvest, honey storage in the treated hives was 17% higher than in the control hives. In addition, spore counts of both Nosema sp. and Varroa sp. foretica in treated hives were lower than in the control hives. These results with experimental hives would indicate that B. subtilis subsp. subtilis Mori2 favoured the performance of bees; firstly, because the micro-organism stimulated the queen's egg laying, translating into a higher number of bees and consequently more honey. Secondly, because it reduced the prevalence of two important bee diseases worldwide: nosemosis and varroosis.

KEYWORDS:

Apis mellifera; Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis; Colony performance; Probiotic

PMID:
26781735
DOI:
10.1007/s12602-011-9089-0

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