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You are here: Research & Tech

Research & Technology

Original contributions from Beekeeping Times members.

Bees Perceive Flower Colours at Super Speeds

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Pune, March 23, 2010 (source: News release by Media Centre, Queen Mary University of London dated March 17, 2010):

Bumblebee on Verbascum nigrum. Photo courtesy: amandabhslater, July 28, 2008, Creative CommonsBees in general and honeybees in particular are considered cost and time efficient animals processing information in their miniature brain, several times smaller than the human brain. According to Dr. Adrian Dyer, a vision scientist at the Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, seeking to understand the comparative physiology of vision, bees use their ultraviolet, blue and green colour vision to efficiently find flowers in complex environments.

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Male-Male Sperm Competition Negated by Queen Spermathecal Gland Secretions

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Pune, March 19, 2010 (source: Science at the Smithsonian news dated March 18, 2010; EurekAlert Public Release dated March 18, 2010; Media Statement, The University of Western Australia, dated March 16, 2010): Honey bee queens receive up to 6 million sperm from multiple matings during their mating flights. As a result of such polyandrous matings, there is a competition between the ejaculates for their individual survival and reproductive fitness. This is made possible by the interaction of specific proteins in the seminal fluid. The queens on the other hand require that all the sperm received by them remain viable for several years for their own reproductive success.

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Insect Societies like Honey Bees are Superorganisms – Theory

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Pune, January 25, 2010 (sources: Brandon Keim in Wired Science News, February 14, 2008; news item by Rachael Rettner, LiveScience dated January 19, 2010; University of Florida News dated January 19, 2010; John Pastor, University of Florida in EurekAlert Public Release News dated January 18, 2010): Evolution of highly social insect groups, such as ants, bees and wasps has been a subject of great interest. Several evolutionary biologists explain the origin of eusocial organization by the theory of kin selection – a strategy adopted by some individuals in the society, that favours the reproductive success of their close relatives. In the honey bee colony the sterile workers forego their reproductive function and assist their mother, the queen bee, in the production of additional offspring.

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Bee-Inspired Development of Small-scale Mobile Robotic Devices by Harvard Research Team

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Pune, August 20, 2009 (source: Michael Patrick Rutter, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Press Release dated August 12, 2009; Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard news dated August 12, 2009; Medical News Today, August 14, 2009): Honey bees and flies are being increasingly studied to understand the biological principles of their navigation and other behavioural features, in order to mimic them for designing and developing artificial mechanical devices.
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Melittin Incorporated Nanoparticles can Kill Tumor Cells

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Pune, August 19, 2009 (sources: Arun, S.'s e-mail alert of CNN Health news dated August 18, 2009; Public Release news by Diane Duke Williams in EurekAlert dated August 10, 2009; Daily Mail, UK, news dated August 19, 2009): Research on various aspects of nanoparticles is currently an area of intense scientific interest, mainly because of its potential applications in fields like electronics and biomedicine. Nanoscale particles are being tried, among others, in drug delivery systems in the field of nanomedicine. Neelesh Soman and eight other researchers of the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA have recently used molecularly targeted nanocarriers to deliver the cytolytic peptide melittin specifically to tumor cells in mice in order to find out if melittin particles can reduce tumor growth. This research is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation*, onlline technical advance issue. Following is the public release news by EurekAlert dated August 10, 2009 on the subject.

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