The impact of the microsporidium Nosema bombi on Bombus terrestris was studied by recording mating, hibernation success, protein titre in haemolymph, weight change during hibernation, and colony founding of queens that were inoculated with N. bombi in the larval phase. Infection with N. bombi was diagnosed in 36% of B. terrestris queens exposed to N. bombi. Mating and hibernation of queens was not significantly affected by N. bombi infection but colony founding was reduced significantly. Haemolymph protein titre of N. bombi diseased queens was reduced, possibly indicating a disturbance of the metabolism. It was demonstrated that N. bombi infection was transmitted to the successive age cohorts in a colony and to the adults that were already in the colony prior to the introduction of the infection. The study showed a significant negative impact of N. bombi on B. terrestris colony development and indoor rearing.
- bumble bee