Chennai, April 17, 2012: Mattila and other researchers have recently shown that colonies with genetically diverse populations of workers, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, are healthier than colonies with genetically uniform worker bee populations (see news dated March 14, 2012 in this site). A latest study* on the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata) colonies in China published on April 12, 2012 in the journal PLoS ONE demonstrates a similar trend in this bee species.
Multiple Mating Queen Bees Help Maintain Genetic Diversity in Apis dorsata
Soldier Workers Discovered in Brazil's Jatai Stingless Bees
Chennai, January 11, 2012: A team of scientists from the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, University of Sussex (LASI) and the University of São Paulo discovered distinct soldier bees among workers of the stingless bee, Tetragonisca angustula that is commonly found in Brazil. The research leading to this discovery is published in a paper* in the online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. Following is the press release News relating to this discovery from the University of Sussex.
Alternative Model for the Origin and Evolution of Eusociality Suggested
Chennai, December 27, 2011: Prof. James Hunt, presently at the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA, writing about his research interests (see here), says: '... the worker and gyne castes among the brood of a Polistes colony are based on the underlying physiology of non-diapause and diapause as is found widely among insects. ... Polistes offspring do not "choose" to work in order to maximize their inclusive fitness. Instead they are products of their ontogeny combined with the social context into which they emerge, and their behaviors have the consequence of enhancing the fitness of the colony queen that laid the eggs that now are the larvae they care for. Inclusive fitness had nothing whatsoever to do with the origin of such sociality.'
Bees and Plants, They Pollinate, Keep Pace with Climate Change
Chennai, December 15, 2011: Following is the news story dated December 12, 2011 issued by the Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, based on the findings of a team of researchers from universities and a museum in the USA and Canada on the climate change and its effect on bees and bee pollinated plants. The study is published* in the December 5, 2011 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Honey Bee Vitellogenin Contributes to the Bee's Health and Lifespan
Chennai, December 1, 2011: In honey bee workers, vitellogenin is known to influence hormone signaling, food-related behavior, immunity, stress resistance and longevity. Giving details of the research work being undertaken at the Amdam Lab, Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Dr. Gro Amdam explains: "the regulatory action of juenile hormone on vitellogenin activity is inverted in honey bees, and we have found that this vitellogenin has functions not identified in other species. First, the worker caste is charactrerized by a positive feedback loop in which vitellogenin affects the hormonal control system to suppress the systemic juvenile hormone level. Second, this vitellogenin can prolong life also as a scavenger of free radicals, thereby protecting the bee against oxidative stress damage (as established marker of aging). As vitellogenin levels primarily are functions of the bees'social roles, this relationship suggests that honey bee aging is best explained by social function rather than by chronological age."
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