Publications

  • Helm, B. R., Slater, G. P., Rajamohan, A., Yocum, G. D., Greenlee, K. J., & Bowsher, J. H. (2017). The geometric framework for nutrition reveals interactions between protein and carbohydrate during larval growth in honey bees. Biology open6(6), 872-880.

Geometric Framework of Nutrition-Honey Bees

Using in vitro rearing, we investigated the roles and interactions between carbohydrate and protein content on larval survival, growth, and development in A. mellifera. We applied a geometric framework to determine how these two nutritional components interact across nine artificial diets.
  • Bruckner, N. Steinhauer, K. Rennich, …..G. P. Slater, M. E. Wilson, D. vanEngelsdorp, G. R. Williams. (in prep). A national survey of managed honey bee 2017–2018 annual colony losses in the USA. Journal of Apicultural Research
Since the mass die-offs of colonies in the USA during the winter of 2006–2007, generally termed “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD), annual colony loss surveys have been conducted. These surveys gage colony losses among beekeepers of all operation sizes, recruited to participate via regional beekeeping organizations, phone calls, and postal mail. In the last three years, these surveys include summer and annual losses in addition to winter losses.
  • P. Slater, G. D. Yocum, and J. H. Bowsher. (in prep). Diet Quantity and Caste Determination in Honey bees. PNAS
In social hymenoptera, female offspring can become either reproductive queens or sterile workers. Environmental cues determine caste, and in the case of honey bees, nutrition drives queen and worker development. A qualitative substance in royal jelly is thought to drive this divergence; yet, this substance has not been found. Diet quantity regulates caste determination in many bee species; yet, studies on honey bees have focused on qualitative differences in diet. Our goal was to determine the relative contributions of diet quantity and quality to caste determination in honey bees. 
  • P. Slater J. H. Bowsher. (in prep). Eusocial Caste Determination: A meta-analysis. Insect Sociaux
This study aims to determine whether nutrition is an evolutionary conserved mechanism between simple and complex social systems. We review and synthesize published literature on caste determination in eusocial hymenoptera to answer the following questions: (1) Does nutrition determine caste in the majority of social hymenoptera? (2) Or are other environmental and/or genetic factors more prominent? (3) Do the environmental and genetic factors differ between cyclical and permanent eusocial species? (4) Is there variation between family, genus, and species in their response to common environmental cues? (5) Is there a comparative viewpoint for caste determination? 
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