Publications’ Abstracts

  1. Tsirakoglou, V; Thrasyvoulou, A;Hatjina, F(1997)Techniques to increase the attractiveness of kiwi flowers to honey bees. Acta Horticulturae 444: 439-443

[Directing honey bees onto kiwifruit flowers to ensure better pollination was attempted by: a) spraying the chemical attractant Bee-here™ on kiwifruit trees; b) weeding of several wild plant species that are self-sown around kiwifruit orchards c) feeding sugar syrup to honey bee colonies and d) removing pollen stores from honey bee colonies. Visitation of honey bees to kiwifruit flowers was evaluated by estimating the amount and type of pollen collected from honey bee colonies and direct observation on kiwifruit vines. Removing pollen stores from honey bee colonies increased significantly (by 28.5%) the collection of kiwifruit pollen. Feeding sugar syrup and weeding wild plants did not seem to affect kiwifruit pollen collection. Counts of bees on kiwifruit were made before and 4, 24, 72, 96 and 120 h after spraying with Bee-here™. The treatment showed no difference to controls (sprayed with water)]

  1. Hatjina F. (1998) Hive-entrance fittings as a simple and cost-effective way to increase cross-pollination by honey bees. Bee World 79(2): 71-80

[An approach for improved honey bee cross-pollination of crops involves the use of hive-entrance fittings for enhancing pollen transfer between self-incompatible cultivars of fruit or nut trees, or seed crops. Hive-entrance fittings include pollen dispensers and pollen transfer devices]

  1. Hatjina, F.; Free, JB; Paxton, RJ (1998) Hive-entrance pollen transfer devices to increase the cross-pollination potential of honey bees. I. Examination of six materials. Journal of Apicultural Research 37(4): 231-237

[We evaluated the use of a simple device, attached to the front of the hive entrance, and lined with material, to increase the pollen on the bodies of honey bees departing their colony. The so-called ‘hive-entrance pollen transfer device’ is designed to facilitate bee to-bee pollen transfer at the hive entrance. Six types of material were used to line the hive-entrance pollen transfer devices in the summer of 1992. The ability of each material to increase the pollen on bees’ bodies was compared twice by measuring the amount (absolute number), richness (number of pollen ‘types’) and diversity (expressed as the Shannon Diversity Index) of pollen on bees departing their hive either with or without a pollen transfer device. Of the six materials tested, woollen fabric and felt fabric appeared to be the most efficient in increasing the amount of pollen, the richness and, for the felt, diversity too. By increasing the pollen on bees departing their colony, hive-entrance pollen transfer devices increase the ‘foreign’ pollen adhering to honey bees departing their colony and, thereby, they potentially increase the cross-pollination value of a colony’s workforce]

  1. Hatjina, F.; Free, JB; Paxton, RJ (1999) Hive-entrance pollen transfer devices to increase the cross-pollination potential of honey bees. II. Examination of three materials and pollen viability. Journal of Apicultural Research 38(1-2): 3-9

[The cross-pollination potential of honey bees (Apis mellifera) may be improved by increasing the foreign pollen on bees’ bodies through an enhancement of bee-to-bee pollen transfer in the hive. To do so, we fitted a simple device, which we call a hive-entrance pollen transfer device, at the hive entrance. The device was lined with three materials which were tested for their efficiency in increasing pollen grain numbers and pollen richness on the bodies of honey bees departing their colony in the summer of 1993. Of the three materials, woolen fabric and felt fabric increased significantly the total number of pollen grains on bees by an average of 84% and 131%, respectively. The effect of fine nylon bristles on pollen grain numbers, though positive (14% increase), was only marginally significant relative to control colonies. Felt fabric performed better than woollen fabric and fine nylon bristles in increasing significantly pollen richness on departing bees (by 64%, 25% and 28%, respectively). Germination of pollen sampled from the bodies of bees departing a colony with a hive-entrance pollen transfer device lined with fine bristles and a control colony was found to be similar, and not significantly different from pollen sampled from the bodies of pollen collectors entering the same colonies. Among bees’ body areas, proboscidial fossae carried pollen with the highest germination rate. Corbicular pollen had almost twice as high a germination as that from proboscidial fossae. Pollen from woollen fabric, felt fabric and fine bristle materials lining a hive entrance pollen transfer device had an equally high germinability]

  1. Tsirakoglou V.; Hatjina F. ; Bladenopoulos K.; Thrasyvoulou A. (1999) A study of improving honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) pollination efficiency. Geotechnical Scientific Issues, 3/1999, volume 10, series 1: 310-317

  1. Tsellios D., Palassopoulou M., Kostarelou M., Hatjina F., Manikis I., Thrasyvoulou A. (2001) Identification of sugars in unifloral types of Greek honeys. Agricultural research 24(2): 73-80

  1. Hatjina F, A. Gregorc, Ch. Papaefthimiou, N. Pappas, S. Zacharioudakis, A. Thrasyvoulou and G.Theophilidis (2004). Differences in the morphology of prothoracic and propodeal spiracles in three strains of Apis mellifera. Possible relation to resistance against Acarapis woodi . Journal of Apicultural Research43(3): 101-109

[The prothoracic and propodeal spiracles of three honey bee strains used commercially in Greece (from N Greece, N Italy and Slovenia) were examined with a light microscope in order to detect possible morphological differences between the strains. This is an attempt to explain the apparent resistance against Acarapis woodi shown by the Greek Macedonian (N Greece) strain but not by the others. The propodeal spiracles of honey bees from N Greece and N Italy were examined, in addition, using a scanning electron microscope. Certain dimensions, like the length and the area of aperture in the prothoracic spiracle, were found to be significantly larger in honey bees from N Italy and Slovenia compared with the honey bees from N Greece. The length of aperture was found to be 648 μm in the honey bees from N Greece, while it was 13% larger in the honey bees from N Italy and 10% larger in the honey bees from Slovenia; the area of the aperture was found to be 103000 μm2 in the honey bees from N Greece, while it was 26% larger in the honey bees from N Italy and 27% larger in the honey bees from Slovenia. The dimensions of the propodeal spiracle were found to be similar between the strains examined. The fact that the prothoracic spiracle of honey bees from N Greece was significantly smaller compared to other honey bee groups (from N Italy and Slovenia), is discussed as a possible mechanism for resistance developed by this strain against Acarapis woodi]

  1. F. Hatjina, L. Haristos (2005). Indirect effects of oxalic acid administered by trickling method on honey bee brood. Journal of Apicultural Research 44(4): 172-174

[The effects of oxalic acid administered by the trickling method on brood development of honey bee colonies were evaluated (a) by observing the development of marked cells of young (< 3 days old) and old (> 3 days old) larvae, and (b) by measuring the area of open brood for several weeks post application. Oxalic acid, dissolved in a 50% sugar solution, with an end concentration of 3% w/v oxalic acid, was applied twice by the trickling method during summer to 10 colonies. A high percentage of young (12.6% and 9.5%) and old honey bee larvae (10.6% and 5.6%) were removed from their cells after the first and second oxalic acid applications, respectively. The surface of the open brood area was also reduced by 17.5% after the two oxalic acid applications and stayed low for about two months. For the same period of time the open brood area in 10 control colonies increased by 34.5%. The two oxalic acid applications removed 60 ± 12% of varroa mites adhering to adult honey bees, while the natural fall of mites measured in control colonies (for a period of 40 days) was 32 ± 4%. Combining the detrimental effect on brood development with the low relative effectiveness on varroa removal, oxalic acid application by the trickling method when open brood is present is not as safe as has been regarded in the past. Consideration needs to be given to the use of different sugar and oxalic acid concentrations in the treatment solution in order to minimize its adverse effects on open honey bee brood]

  1. Y. Ben-Dov; S. Gounari, M.B. Kaydan; F Hatjina (2006). Phenacoccus yerushalmi BenDov newly recorded from Greece and Turkey (Hem., Coccoidea, Pseudococcidae) Bulletin de la Societe entomologique de France, 111(1), 2006

  1. Klee, J., Besana, A. M., Genersch, E., Gisder, S., Nanetti, A., Tam, D. Q., Chinh, T. X., Puerta, F., Ruz, J. M., Kryger, P., Message, D., Hatjina, F., Korpela, S.,Fries, I. & Paxton, R. J. (2007). Widespread dispersal of the microsporidian Nosema ceranae, an emergent pathogen of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 96, 1-10

[The economically most important honey bee species, Apis mellifera, was formerly considered to be parasitized by one microsporidium, Nosema apis. Recently, Higes et al. (2006) and Huang et al. (2007) used 16S (SSU) rRNA gene sequences to demonstrate the presence of Nosema ceranae in A. mellifera from Spain and Taiwan respectively. We developed a rapid method to differentiate between N. apis and N. ceranae based on PCR-RFLPs of partial SSU rRNA. The reliability of the method was confirmed by sequencing 29 isolates from across the world (N = 9 isolates gave N. apis RFLPs and sequences, N = 20 isolates gave N. ceranae RFLPs and sequences; 100% correct classification). We then employed the method to analyze N = 115 isolates from across the world. Our data, combined with N = 36 additional published sequences demonstrate that (i) N. ceranae most likely jumped host to A. mellifera, probably within the last decade, (ii) that host colonies and individuals may be co-infected by both microsporidia, and that (iii) N. ceranae is now a parasite of A. mellifera across most of the world. The rapid, long-distance dispersal of N. ceranae is likely due to transport of infected honey bees by commercial or hobbyist beekeepers. We discuss the implications of this emergent pathogen for worldwide beekeeping]

  1. Fani Hatjina, Maria Bouga (2009) Portrait of Marchalina hellenica Gennadius (Hemiptera: Margarodidae), the main producing insect of pine honeydew- Biology, genetic variability and honey production. Uludag Bee Journal , November 2009, p. 162-167,

[Marchalina hellenica is the main honeydew producing insect of pine trees. It is endemic to Greece and Turkey and introduced to the Italian island of Ischia. It has one generation per year and the adult females appear on the trees only after mid March. Studies on the genetic structure of the insect show that the low genetic variability may be due to the fact that it can not be dispersed long distances in correlation with the parthenogenetic reproduction. The amount of honeydew produced by the insect varies over the year and mainly depends on the size and age of the nymphs]

  1. F. Hatjina, M. Bouga, A. Karatasou, A. Kontothanasi, L. Charistos, C. Emmanouil, N. Emmanouil, AD. Maistros (2010) Pilot survey of honey bee colony losses in Greece (2007 & 2008)Journal of Apicultural Research –Special Edition 49(1): 116-118

[Inordertomonitorandunderstandthehoneybeecolonylossesextendandthepossiblecausesinthecountry, apilotquestionnairesurveywasfirstcontactedinspringsummer 2007 andagaininspringsummer 2008. During 2007, the questionnaires were sent by regular post to area representatives and were given as a hard copy to beekeepers. Only 166 questionnaires were filled in and returned, a number which represents only 1% of the registered beekeepers and 2% of the existing colonies. Questionnaires originated from 13 out of the 52 geographic areas of Greece and represented small to medium scale beekeepers (owning from a few to 300 colonies). Average winter colony losses were between 10-12%. Other losses were also reported due to the use of plant protection products especially from apiaries close to cotton, tobacco, corn and citrus cultivations, and they were approximately between 3-5%. No residue analysis was performed on honey bees or honey/ pollen samples to identify the suspected substances.]

  1. MD. Meixner, C. Costa, P. Kryger, F. Hatjina, M. Bouga, E. Ivanova, R. Büchler (2010) The role of genetic diversity and vitality in colony losses Journal of Apicultural Research –Special Edition 49(1) :85-92

[Beekeepers in Europe, North America and other parts of the world have repeatedly been afflicted by elevated and sometimes unexplained colony losses. Multiple factors have been considered in connection with increased winter losses. In addition to national programs investigating possible causes for increased honey bee mortality, within the Coloss network scientists collaborate on an international level on different aspects of bee health. Within this network, working group 4 explores aspects of genetic diversity on the vitality and health of honey bee populations. In this paper, we briefly review the genetic diversity of honey bees in Europe, discuss the effects of beekeeping and selective breeding on honey bee populations under the aspect of genetic diversity and bee health, and review the current status of EU legislation with respect to protection of native bee populations. We introduce and discuss recent approaches in honey bee selective breeding to improve disease resistance by introducing traits related to colony vitality. Finally, we present the aims of WG4 within the Coloss network and briefly introduce our experimental approach.]

  1. Bouga M., Evangelou V., Lykoudis D., Cakmak I. and Hatjina F (2011).Genetic Structure of Marchalina hellenica (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) Populations from Turkey: Preliminary mtDNA Sequencing Data.Biochemical Genetics 49 (11): 683-694.

[Marchalina hellenica (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Margarodidae) is a scale insect which contributes greatly to the production of pine honey in Turkey and Greece via the honey dew excreted when the insect is feeding on the pine trees. There is no information for the genetic structure of M. hellenicaalthough it is an insect of primary economic importance. Preliminary data were obtained based on sequencing analysis of 12s rDNA and COI mtDNA gene segments on samples from 4 different areas of Turkey. The statistical process included also sequences of 12s rDNA gene segment from Greek samples available in GenBank. No variability was detected concerning COI mtDNA gene segment analysis, although 13 different haplotypes were revealed based on 12s rDNA gene segment and the most distant population was the one from Mudanya-Bursa Province (Turkey). Further research is necessary in order to obtain more information on genetic structure and variability of M. hellenica populations from the two neighbouring countries]

  1. F. Hatjina, G. Tsoktouridis, M. Bouga, Charistos, V. Evangelou, D. Avtzis, I. Meeus, M. Brunain, G. Smagghe, Dirk C. de Graaf (2011). Polar tube protein gene diversity among Nosema ceranae strains derived from a Greek honey bee health study. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology108: 131–134.

[Honey bee samples from 54 apiaries originating from 37 geographic locations of Greece were screened for Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae. Furthermore 15 samples coming from 12 geographic locations were screened also for Paenibacillus larvae and Melissococcus plutonius and seven honey bee virus species, for the first time on a nation-wide level. There was a tendency in finding proportionally higher spore counts in samples from apiaries that suffered important colony losses. P. larvae bacteria were identified in two samples and each of the tested bee viruses could be detected in at least one of the examined samples, with IAPV, CBPV and SBV being the least abundant and BQCV and DWV being the most abundant. In the study we focused on polymorphism of a N. ceranae gene encoding a polar tube protein (PTP) as similar genes were proven to be highly polymorphic in the microsporidian parasites Encephalitozoon cuniculi and Encephalitozoon hellem. The polymorphism observed in the PTP gene sequences from a single sample (bee hive) was unexpected and can thus be considered to be a major obstacle for genotyping]

  1. F. Hatjina (2012) Greek Honey Bee Queen Quality Certification. Bee World, 89: 18-20

  1. Cecilia Costa, Ralph Büchler, Stefan Berg; Malgorzata Bienkowska, Maria Bouga, Dragan Bubalo, Leonidas Charistos, Yves Le Conte, Maja Drazic, Winfried Dyrba, Janja Fillipi, Fani Hatjina, Evgeniya Ivanova, Nikola Kezic, Hirsula Kiprjanovska, Michalis Kokinis, Seppo Korpela, Per Kryger, Marco Lodesani, Marina Meixner, Beata Panasiuk, Hermann Pechhacker, Plamen Petrov, Eugenia Oliveri, Lauri Ruottinen, Aleksandar Uzunov, Giacomo Vaccari, Jerzy Wilde (2012) A Europe-wide experiment for assessing the impact of genotype-environment interactions on the vitality of honey bee colonies: methodology. Journal of Apicultural Science,56(1), 147-158

[An international experiment to estimate the importance of genotype-environment interactions on vitality and performance of honey bees and on colony losses was run between July 2009 and March 2012. Altogether 621 bee colonies, involving 16 different genetic origins of European honey bees, were tested in 21 locations spread in 11 countries. The genetic strains belonged to the subspecies A. m. carnica, A. m. ligustica, A. m. macedonica, A. m. mellifera, A. m. siciliana. At each location, the local strain of bees was tested together with at least two “foreign” origins, with a minimum starting number of 10 colonies per origin. The common test protocol for all the colonies took into account colony survival, bee population in spring, summer and autumn, honey production, pollen collection, swarming, gentleness, hygienic behaviour, Varroa destructor infestation, Nosema spp. infection and viruses. Data collection was performed according to uniform methods. No chemical treatments against Varroa or other diseases were applied during the experiment. This article describes the details of the experiment set-up and the work protocol]

  1. Evgeniya Ivanova, Maria Bouga, Teodora Staykova, Mica Mladenovic, Sladjan Rasic, Leonidas Charistos, Fani Hatjina, Plamen Petrov (2012) Study on genetic variability of honey bees from Balkan Peninsula based on alloenzymic data Journal of Apicultural Research 51(4): 329-335

[The genetic variability of honey bee populations from eleven different regions of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro has been studied using alloenzymic analysis of six enzymic systems (MDH-1, ME, EST-3, ALP, PGM and HK) corresponding to 6 loci. All loci were found to be polymorphic in most of the populations studied. Four alleles were detected at Mdh-1 locus (MDH65, MDH80, MDH100 and MDH125), three alleles at ME locus (ME 90, ME 100 and ME106), six alleles – at EST-3 locus (EST 80, EST88, EST94, EST100, EST105 and EST118), three alleles – at ALP locus (ALP80, ALP90 and ALP100), two alleles at PGM locus (PGM100 and PGM114) and four alleles at HK locus (HK87, HK100, HK110 and HK120). There was found, that ME100 allele was fixed in the Serbian populations and EST100 allele – in one of the Greek populations studied. The observed and expected heterozygosities (Ho and He) ranged from 0.161 to 0.276 and 0.222 to 0.335, respectively. Allele frequencies of all loci were used to estimate Nei’s (1972) genetic distance, which was found to range between 0.001 (between one Serbian and one Montenegro population) and 0.101 (between one Serbian and one Greek population). The estimated mean FST value from allozyme data was 0.094. Neighbor-Joining phylogenetic tree and UPGMA dendrogram were obtained by genetic distance matrix methods. Populations studied are grouped in two clades: The populations from Bulgaria and Greece were clustered in the first clade and these from Serbia and Montenegro – in the second one]

  1. Fani Hatjina, Chrisovalantis Papaefthimiou, Leonidas Charistos, Taylan Dogaroglu, Maria Bouga, Christina Emmanouil, Gerard Arnold (2013) Sublethal doses of imidacloprid decreased size of hypopharyngeal glands and respiratory rhythm of honeybees in vivo. Apidologie(accepted)

[Most studies that have shown negative sublethal effects of the pesticide imidacloprid on honeybees concern behavioral effects; only a few concern physiological effects. Therefore, we investigated sublethal effects of imidacloprid on the development of the hypopharyngeal glands (HPGs) and respiratory rhythm in honeybees fed under laboratory conditions. We introduced newly-emerged honeybees into wooden mesh-sided cages and provided sugar solution and pollen pastry ad libitum. Imidacloprid was administered in the food: 2 µg/kg in the sugar solution and 3 µg/kg in the pollen pastry. The acini, the lobes of the HPGs of imidacloprid‑treated honeybees, were 14.5% smaller in diameter in 9-day-old honeybees and 16.3% smaller in 14-day-old honeybees than in the same-aged untreated honeybees; the difference was significant for both age groups. Imidacloprid also significantly affected the bursting pattern of abdominal ventilation movements (AVM) by causing a 59.4 % increase in the inter-burst interval and a 56.99% decrease in the mean duration of AVM bursts. At the same time, the quantity of food consumed (sugar solution and pollen pastry) per honeybee per day was the same for both treated and untreated honeybees]

  1. Fani Hatjina, Malgorzata Bieńkowska,Leonidas Charistos,Robert Chlebo, Cecilia Costa, Maja Dražić, Janja Filipi, Aleš Gregorc, Evgeniya Neshova Ivanova, Nikola Kezic, Jan Kopernicky, Per Kryger, Marco Lodesani, Vesna Lokar, Mica Mladenovic, Beata Panasiuk, Plamen Pavlov Petrov, Slađan Rašić, Maja Ivana Smodis Skerl,Flemming Vejsnæs, Jerzy Wilde (2013) Examples of different methodology used to access the quality characteristics of honey bee queens. Journal of Apicultural Research(accepted)

[“Quality” is a qualitative term that when used in relation to queens and drones infers to certain quantitative physical and/or behavioural characteristics. It is generally believed that a queen with “high quality” should have the following physical characteristics: high weight, high number of ovarioles, large size of spermatheca, high number of spermatozoa, and be free from pests and diseases. Body size and reproductive performance are also known to be correlated in both male and female insects. Here we have described the most common and well known biological, anatomical, physiological, behavioural and performance characteristics: the live weight of the unfertilised queen after emergence (Bulgaria), the live weight of the fertilised queen after emergence (Bulgaria, Italy), the diameter/ volume of spermatheca (Bulgaria, Greece, Slovenia), the number of ovarioles (Greece, Italy, Slovenia), the weight of ovaries (Slovenia), the number of spermatozoa in spermatheca (Greece in future, Italy, Poland, Slovenia), brood appearance (Bulgaria, Greece), the egg laying ability/ fecundity (Bulgaria), the brood production, (Croatia, Serbia), the population production (Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia), the honey production (Croatia, Serbia, Slovakia), the hygienic behaviour (Croatia, Denmark, Serbia, Slovakia), the defence behaviour (Croatia, Denmark), the calmness/ sitting on the comb behaviour (Croatia, Denmark), the swarming behaviour (Croatia, Denmark). From the examples and the original data presented, has been shown that, the data of the above characteristics fitted well with the findings in the literature and in general it supports the argument that “a high quality queen should have the following physical characteristics: high weight, high number of ovarioles, large size of spermatheca, high number of spermatozoa, and be free from pests and diseases”. Especially for the weight of the queen, the number of ovarioles, the volume of the spermatheca and the number of spermatozoa, data per country proved its own accuracy by repetition through the years. We also have reported that when queens were inseminated with the total amount of 8 μl of semen using 2 µl in 4 sequences, the queens had a significantly higher number of spermatozoa in their spermatheca and empty oviducts than queens inseminated with the same quantity of semen at once or 6 μl semen, an important new contribution towards the insemination procedure (Poland). Furthermore, we had an inside view of the sanitary conditions of the colony: a) through the health status of the queen (Nosema plus Virus analysis) (Slovenia) and b) evaluating the Nosema load, of worker bees (Denmark) and the Nosema load of the queens (Greece).

The presented data shows a positive tread in the correlation between the biological/ physiological characteristics and the performance. It is therefore, the first step to summarize this type of diverse data for such an important issue. The knowledge acquired can be used to fill in the existed gaps in the systems of each country in order to facilitate standardization of methodology for comparable results. We also believe that is possible that the biological/ physical characteristics of the queens can be used as a quick and accurate methodology under the luck of the full evaluation of a breeding scheme. Putting together all the aspects of performed results of the work will give valuable insights into the factors influencing the colony phenotype and will contribute in establishing the most appropriate behavioural and physiological standards for the queens appeared in the beekeeping industry].