Differences in learning performance and related behaviors across three honey bee subspecies from Turkey

Erdem, Babür
In this thesis we studied learning performance in 3 subspecies of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), Carniolan honey bee (A. m. carnica), Syrian honey bee (A. m. syriaca), and Caucasian honey bee (A. m. caucasica). These subspecies are found in remote corners of Turkey and apparently morphologically and genetically diverged from each other. Previous studies have illustrated differences in foraging and defense behavior across these subspecies. Also, numerous examples of behavioral differences across species or subspecies of honey bees, as well as relationships between behavior and learning are found in the scientific literature. Thus, we hypothesize that differences in learning performance may also be found between Syrian, Carniolan, and Caucasian honey bees. To investigate this, we used two discriminant learning assays. One is the Electric Shock Avoidance (ESA) conditioning assay, which uses aversive conditioning with color learning. The other is called the Proboscis Extension Response (PER) conditioning assay and uses appetitive conditioning with odor learning. In addition, to support our results, we monitored daily locomotor activities of honey bees and conducted a starvation study. The results of ESA conditioning assay suggested that the Caucasian honey bee may have higher discriminant learning performance than the Syrian honey bee and the Carniolan honey bee. Meanwhile, the Syrian honey bee may have impairment in discrimination according to the results of the PER conditioning assay. Overall, these three subspecies appear to have significant differences in learning performance, which we argue may be linked with their natural habitats and foraging behavior.


Prevalence of pathogens and other associated microorganisms in Turkish honeybee subspecies and differential responses to nosema ceranae infection
Tozkar, Cansu Özge; Kence, Aykut; Department of Biology (2015)
Honey bees face numerous biotic threats from viruses to bacteria, fungi, protists, and mites. Here we describe a thorough analysis of microbes harbored by worker honey bees collected from field colonies in geographically distinct regions of Turkey. Turkey is one of the World’s most important centers of apiculture, harboring 5 subspecies of Apis mellifera L., approximately 20% of the honey bee subspecies in the world. We use deep ILLUMINA-based RNA sequencing to capture RNA species for the honey bee and a sa...
Genetic diversity of honey bee populations in Turkey based on microsatellite markers : a comparison between migratory versus stationary apiaries and isolated regions versus regions open to migratory beekeeping
Kükrer, Mert; Kence, Aykut; Department of Biology (2013)
The honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) is a globally significant species of apparent economic and ecological importance. Recent reports from Spain, Italy and Greece point to an intense admixture of honey bee populations signified by a loss of population structure. This is mostly attributed to migratory beekeeping practices and replacement of queens or colonies with commercial ones that are usually from non-native races or hybrids of different subspecies. These two practices are also heavily carried out in parts ...
Changes in total protein profiles of barley cultivars in response to toxic boron concentration
Mahboobi, H; Yucel, M; Öktem, Hüseyin Avni (2000-01-01)
In this study, ten-day-old seedlings of barley {Hordeum vulgare L. cultivar Anadolu [boron (B)-tolerant] and Hamidiye (B-sensitive)} were used. Boron-treated plants were grown on H3BO3 solution (final concentration of 10 mM) for five days. Control plants received no B treatment during this period. Total protein patterns were obtained by analysis of total protein extract from root and leaf tissues of control and B-treated plants using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by silver staining. The prote...
Determination and comparison of genetic variation in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations of Turkey by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA and microsatellite analyses
Ivgin Tunca, Rahşan; Kence, Meral; Department of Biology (2009)
We analyzed a total of 760 worker bees, two samples per colony, 390 colonies in 26 provinces in Turkey to determine and compare the genetic variation of Turkish honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations using 10 primers for RAPD and 6 microsatellite loci. Mean gene diversity levels ranged from 0.035 (Sanlıurfa) to 0.175 (Antalya) for RAPD and 0.449 (Muğla) to 0.739 (Artvin) for microsatellite markers. Private band patterns and alleles, pairwise FST values support that the Anatolian honey bees belong to C li...
Morphometric and genetic variability of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations from northern Iran
Kence, Meral; Farhoud, Houmen Jabbari; Tunca, Rahsan Ivgin (Informa UK Limited, 2009-01-01)
Samples from seven honey bee populations; five Apis mellifera meda from Iran and two from Turkey, one belonging to A. m. meda and one to A. m. caucasica, were investigated using morphometric, mtDNA, and microsatellite analyses. Morphometric analysis revealed three distinct clusters. The first included all Iranian populations, whilst the second and third contained the meda and caucasica bees from Turkey. No variation was observed in the DraI restriction of COI-COII intergenic region in mitochondrial DNA, yie...
Citation Formats
B. Erdem, “Differences in learning performance and related behaviors across three honey bee subspecies from Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2018.