Featured Publications

Slater, G. P., Yocum, G. D., Bowsher, J. H.(2020) Diet quantity influences caste determination in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Proceedings of the Royal Society. 287(1927)

In species that care for their young, provisioning has profound effects on offspring fitness. Provisioning is important in honeybees because nutritional cues determine whether a female becomes a reproductive queen or sterile worker. A qualitative difference between the larval diets of queens and workers is thought to drive this divergence; however, no single compound seems to be responsible. Diet quantity may have a role during honeybee caste determination yet has never been formally studied. Our goal was to determine the relative contributions of diet quantity and quality to queen development. Larvae were reared in vitro on nine diets varying in the amount of royal jelly and sugars, which were fed to larvae in eight different quantities. For the middle diet, an ad libitum quantity treatment was included. Once adults eclosed, the queenliness was determined using principal component analysis on seven morphological measurements. We found that larvae fed an ad libitum quantity of diet were indistinguishable from commercially reared queens, and that queenliness was independent of the proportion of protein and carbohydrate in the diet. Neither protein nor carbohydrate content had a significant influence on the first principle component 1 (PC1), which explained 64.4% of the difference between queens and workers. Instead, the total quantity of diet explained a significant amount of the variation in PC1. Large amounts of diet in the final instar were capable of inducing queen traits, contrary to the received wisdom that queen determination can only occur in the third instar. These results indicate that total diet quantity fed to larvae may regulate the difference between queen and worker castes in honeybees.

Wilson, E. S., Murphy, C. E., Rinehart, J. P., Yocum, G. D., Bowsher, J., H. (2020) Microclimate temperatures impact nesting preference in Megachile rotundata. Environmental Entomology.49(2), 296–303

The temperature of the nest influences fitness in cavity-nesting bees. Females may choose nest cavities that mitigate their offspring’s exposure to stressful temperatures. This study aims to understand how cavity temperature impacts the nesting preference of the solitary bee Megachile rotundata (Fabricius) under field conditions. We designed and 3D printed nest boxes that measured the temperatures of 432 cavities. Nest boxes were four-sided with cavity entrances facing northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest. Nest boxes were placed along an alfalfa field in Fargo, ND and were observed daily for completed nests. Our study found that cavity temperature varied by direction the cavity faced and by the position of the cavity within the nest box. The southwest sides recorded the highest maximum temperatures while the northeast sides recorded the lowest maximum temperatures. Nesting females filled cavities on the north-facing sides faster than cavities on the south-facing sides. The bees preferred to nest in cavities with lower average temperatures during foraging hours, and cavities that faced to the north. The direction the cavity faced was associated with the number of offspring per nest. The southwest-facing cavities had fewer offspring than nests on the northeast side. Our study indicates that the nesting box acts as a microclimate, with temperature varying by position and direction of the cavity. Variation in cavity temperature affected where females chose to nest, but not their reproductive investment.

Full Publication List

Slater, G. P., Yocum, G. D., Bowsher, J. H. Diet quantity influences caste determination in honey bees (Apis mellifera). Proceedings of the Royal Society. 287(1927) DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2020.0614  

Wilson, E. S., Murphy, C. E., Rinehart, J. P., Yocum, G. D., Bowsher, J., H. (2020) Microclimate temperatures impact nesting preference in Megachile rotundata. Environmental Entomology.49(2), 296–303.  DOI:10.1093/ee/nvaa012

Melicher, D., Torson, A. S., Anderson, T. J., Yocum, G. D., Rinehart, J. P., Bowsher, J. H. (2019). Immediate Transcriptional Response to a Temperature Pulse under a Fluctuating Thermal Regime. Integrative and comparative biology, 59(2), 320-337. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icz096.  

Torson, A. S., Yocum, G. D., Rinehart, J. P., Nash, S. A., Bowsher, J. H. (2019). Fluctuating thermal regimes prevent chill injury but do not change patterns of oxidative stress in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata. Journal of insect physiology, 118, 103935. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2019.103935.  

Yocum, G. D., Rinehart, J. P., Rajamohan, A., Bowsher, J. H., Yeater, K. M., Greenlee, K. (2019). Thermoprofile Parameters Affect Survival of Megachile rotundata During Exposure to Low-Temperatures. Integrative and comparative biology, 59(4), 1089-1102. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icz126.  

Melicher, D., Wilson, E. S., Bowsher, J. H., Peterson, S. S., Yocum, G. D., Rinehart, J. P. (2019). Long-Distance Transportation Causes Temperature Stress in the Honey Bee, Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae). ENVIRONMENTAL ENTOMOLOGY, 48(3), 691-701. DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvz027.  

Corby-Harris, V., Bowsher, J. H., Carr-Markell, M., Carroll, M. J., Centrella, M., Cook, S. C., Couvillion, M., DeGrandi-Hoffman, G., Dolezal, A., Jones, J. C., Mogren, C. L., Otto, C. R. V., Lau, P., Rangel, J., Schurch, R., St. Claire, A. (2018). Emerging Themes from the ESA Symposium Entitled “Pollinator Nutrition: Lessons from Bees at Individual to Landscape Levels”. Bee World.  10.1080/0005772X.2018.1535951

Melicher, D., Su KFY, Meier, R., Bowsher, J. H. (2018). Comparative analysis reveals the complex role of histoblast nest size in the evolution of novel insect abdominal appendages in Sepsidae (Diptera). BMC evolutionary biology, 18(1), 151.  

Yocum, G. D., Childers, A. K., Rinehart, J. P., Rajamohan, A., Pitts-Singer, T. L., Greenlee, K., Bowsher, J. H. (2018). Environmental history impacts gene expression during diapause development in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata. The Journal of experimental biology, 221(Pt 13).   

Royauté, R., Wilson, E. S., Helm, B., Mallinger, R. E., Prasifka, J., Greenlee, K., Bowsher, J. H. (2018). Phenotypic integration in an extended phenotype: among-individual variation in nest-building traits of the alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata). Journal of evolutionary biology, 31(7), 944-956.

Helm, B., Payne, S., Rinehart, J. P., Yocum, G. D., Bowsher, J. H., Greenlee, K. (2018). Micro-computed tomography of pupal metamorphosis in the solitary bee Megachile rotundata. Arthropod structure & development. 47(5):521-528. doi: 10.1016/j.asd.2018.05.001

Schoville, S. D., Chen, Y. H., Andersson, M. N., Benoit, J. B., Bhandari, A., Bowsher, J. H., Brevik, K., Cappelle, K., Chen, M. M., Childers, A. K., Childers, C., Christiaens, O., Clements, J., Didion, E. M., Elpidina, E. N., Engsontia, P., Friedrich, M., García-Robles, I., Gibbs, R. A., Goswami, C., Grapputo, A., Gruden, K., Grynberg, M., Henrissat, B., Jennings, E. C., Jones, J. W., Kalsi, M., Khan, S. A., Kumar, A., Li, F., Lombard, V., Ma, X., Martynov, A., Miller, N. J., Mitchell, R. F., Munoz-Torres, M., Muszewska, A., Oppert, B., Palli, S. R., Panfilio, K. A., Pauchet, Y., Perkin, L. C., Petek, M., Poelchau, M. F., Record, É., Rinehart, J. P., Robertson, H. M., Rosendale, A. J., Ruiz-Arroyo, V. M., Smagghe, G., Szendrei, Z., Thomas GWC, Torson, A. S., Vargas Jentzsch, I. M., Weirauch, M. T., Yates, A. D., Yocum, G. D., Yoon, J. S., Richards, S. (2018). A model species for agricultural pest genomics: the genome of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Scientific reports, 8(1), 1931.

Helm, B., Rinehart, J., Yocum, G., Greenlee, K., J. H. Bowsher. 2017. Metamorphosis is induced by food absence rather than a critical weight in the solitary bee, Osmia lignaria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(41), 10924-10929.

Torson, A. S., Yocum, G. D., Rinehart, J. P., Nash, S. A., Kvidera, K. M., J. H. Bowsher. 2017. Physiological responses to fluctuating temperatures are characterized by distinct transcriptional profiles in a solitary bee. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 220(18), 3372-3380.

Helm, B. R., G. Slater, A. Rajamohan, G. D. Yocum, K. J. Greenlee, and J. H. Bowsher. 2017. The geometric framework for nutrition reveals interactions between proteins and carbohydrates during larval growth in honeybees. Biology Open, 6(6), 872-880

Duane D McKenna, Erin D. Scully, Yannick Pauchet, Kelli Hoover, Roy Kirsch, Scott M Geib, Robert F. Mitchell, Robert M. Waterhouse, Seung-Joon Ahn, Deanna Arsala, Anna Bennett, …J. H. Bowsher…Richard A Gibbs, Stephen Richards. 2016. The Asian Longhorned Beetle Genome Reveals Insights into the Genomics of Invasiveness and the Evolutionary Success of Beetles on Plants. Genome Biology, 17(1), 227.

Rinehart, J. P., George D. Yocum, W. P. Kemp, and J. H. Bowsher. 2016.Optimizing fluctuating thermal regime storage of developing Megachile rotundata. Journal of Economic Entomology, 109(3), 993–1000. DOI:

Herath, B., N. A. Dochtermann, J. I. Johnson, Z. Leonard, J. H. Bowsher. 2015. Female selection on bristle length has the ability to drive the evolution of male abdominal appendages in the sepsid fly Themira biloba. Journal of Evolutionary biology. 10.1111/jeb.12755

Torson, A. S., G. D. Yocum, J. P. Rinehart, W. P. Kemp, J. H. Bowsher. 2015. Transcriptional responses to fluctuating thermal regimes underpinning differences in survival in the solitary bee Megachile rotundata. Journal of Experimental Biology 218: 1060-1068 doi:10.1242/jeb.113829

Nakajima, M., C. L. Boggs, F. S. Chew, A. Cummings, J. H. Bowsher. 2014. Dynamics and structure of a native Pieris population in the presence of a non-native, toxic larval host plant. Journal of the Lepidopterist Society. 68(3): 175-184

Abdelrahman, H., J. P. Rinehart, G. D. Yocum, K. J. Greenlee, B. R. Helm, W. P. Kemp, C. H. Schulz and J. H. Bowsher. 2014. Extended hypoxia in the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, increases survival but causes sub-lethal effects. Journal of Insect Physiology. 64: 81-98.

Melicher D., A. S. Torson, I. Dworkin and J. H. Bowsher. 2014. A pipeline for the de novo assembly of the Themira biloba (Sepsidae: Diptera) transcriptome using a multiple k-mer length approach. BMC Genomics 18:188 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-188.

Bowsher, J H, Y. Ang, T. Ferderer and R. Meier. 2013. Deciphering the evolutionary history and developmental mechanisms of a complex sexual ornament: the abdominal appendages of Sepsidae (Diptera). Evolution. 67:4, 1069-1080 doi:10.1111/evo.12006

Bowsher, J. H. and H. F. Nijhout. 2009. Partial co-option of the appendage patterning pathway in the development of abdominal appendages in the sepsid Themira biloba. Development, Genes, and Evolution 219: 577-587.

Fouquet, A., D. Green, B. Waldman, J. H. Bowsher, K. P. McBride and N. J. Gemmell. 2010. Phylogeography of Leiopelma hochstetteri reveals strong genetic structure and suggests new conservation priorities. Conservation Genetics, May 6 Published online.

Bowsher, J. H., G. A. Wray and E. Abouheif. 2007. Growth and patterning are evolutionarily dissociated in the vestigial wing discs of workers of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. Journal of Experimental Zoology 308B(6): 769-776.

Bowsher, J. H. and H. F. Nijhout. 2007. Evolution of novel abdominal appendages in a sepsid fly from histoblasts, not imaginal discs. Evolution and Development 9(4):347-354.

Gemmell, N. J., J. H. Bowsher and K. P. Gomas. 2003. The genetic affinities of Hochstetter’s frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri) populations in the Bay of Plenty. A report commissioned by the New Zealand Department of Conservation

Cartwright, P., J. H. Bowsher and L. W. Buss. 1999.  Expression of a Hox gene, Cnox-2, and the division of labor in a colonial hydroid.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96:2183-2186.