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Bee Behaviour

Honey Bees Can Reverse Brain Aging - Arizona University Study

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Pune, July 5, 2012 (Thanks to Arun Subramanian, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA for the news alert): "Many animals are characterized by declining brain function at advanced ages, including honeybees (Apis mellifera),"say the authors of a research article* in an online edition of the journal Experimental Gerontology dated May 21, 2012. "Variation in honeybee social development, moreover," the authors continue, "results in individual differences in the progression of aging that may be accelerated, delayed, and sometimes reversed by changes in behavior.

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Waggle Dance Effective in Recruiting Foragers and Collection of Food

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Pune, May 3, 2012: Honey bees use a combination of sounds, scents and gestures in their waggle dance to convey information about the location, quality and quantity of food to other nest-mates in the hive. Researchers from the University of Arizona, University of Notre-Dame, Indiana and Carl Hayden Bee Laboratory, USDA, Arizona in the USA have shown1 that waggle dancing Apis mellifera bees produce semiochemicals, that helped in worker recruitment.

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Honey Bees Affected by Anesthesia, like Humans!

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Pune, April 30, 2012 (Thanks to Bhaskar S. Manda, Chicago for the news alert): In an interesting study* on the effects of anesthesia on honey bees, a team of researchers from universities and institutions in New Zealand, Israel and Germany found that the bees treated with isoflurane delayed their post-anesthesia searches and in general showed effects like jet-lag in humans after long air travel. Following is the news released on April 19, 2012 by the Faculty of Medical and Health Services, University of Auckland, New Zealand on the study. See also the article in the Science Now of Science Magazine dated April 16, 2012.

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It is in the Genes! - They Control Honey Bee Scouts' Behavior of Seeking New Food Sources

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Chennai, March 10, 2012: In an investigation conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Wellesley College, Wellesley, and at the Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, researchers found 'molecular underpinnings' of 'novelty-seeking behavior' among honey bees 'in their tendency to scout for food sources and nest sites'. The researchers say: 'food scouts showed extensive differences in brain gene expression relative to other foragers'. In a research article* published in the latest issue of Science, they report their interesting findings of differences in genes corresponding to the differences in behavior among honey bee foragers. Following is the News on the subject, released by the News Bureau of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Honey Bees Mimic Primate Brain Neurons While Making Decisions

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Chennai, December 10, 2011: A honey bee colony "has to make decisions constantly," said Dr. Thomas Seeley, Professor and Chairman in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, during an interview (Podcast dated December 9, 2011) by Sarah Crespi, Senior Web Editor, Science Magazine, talking about the research being undertaken by his team at the Cornell University. He clarified further: "Every day, for example, it has to make the decision of where its foragers should go foraging - which patches of flowers are the best ones? ... It also has to make other decisions, such as whether or not to build more combs, which is the infrastructure in which the whole colony functions. And a key feature of all these decisions, is the fact that they are distributed, or it's a collective, decision-making. ... these are decisions that have to be worked out collectively by the worker bees in a honey bee colony."

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