Immunocompetence of honeybees is maintained with a diverse diet.

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“The maintenance of the immune system can be costly, and a lack of
dietary protein can increase the susceptibility of organisms
to disease. However, few studies have investigated
the relationship between protein nutrition and immunity in insects.
we tested in honeybees (Apis mellifera)
whether dietary protein quantity (monofloral pollen) and diet diversity
(polyfloral pollen) can shape baseline immunocompetence
(IC) by measuring parameters of individual immunity
(haemocyte concentration, fat body content and phenoloxidase activity)
and glucose oxidase (GOX) activity, which enables
bees to sterilize colony and brood food, as a parameter of social
Protein feeding modified both individual and social
IC but increases in dietary protein quantity did not enhance IC.
diet diversity increased IC levels. In particular,
polyfloral diets induced higher GOX activity compared with monofloral
including protein-richer diets. These results
suggest a link between protein nutrition and immunity in honeybees and
the critical role of resource availability on
pollinator health.” (Alaux et al. 2010)

Journal article
Diet effects on honeybee immunocompetenceBiology LettersJanuary 21, 2010
C. Alaux, F. Ducloz, D. Crauser, Y. Le Conte

Bee decline linked to falling biodiversity

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Living System/s

Western HoneybeeApis melliferaSpecies

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