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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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Honey Bee Vitellogenin Contributes to the Bee's Health and Lifespan

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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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Dr. Lucy King Gets UNEP/CMS Thesis Award for Bee Solution to Reduce Human-Animal Conflicts

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Chennai, November 30, 2011: The African honey bee, Apis mellifera scutellata causes fear in the African elephants, Loxodonta africana which flee the disturbed bees and produce alarm sounds to warn other elephants of the imminent danger. According to the University of Oxford news dated April 27, 2010, a team of scientists from Oxford University, Save the Elephants, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, made the discovery as part of an ongoing study of elephants in Kenya. The reported their results in the journal PLoS ONE1.

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Integrative Taxonomy Helps Discover New Species of Sweat Bees From North America

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Chennai, November 25, 2011: Integrative taxonomic approach utilizing the DNA barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 in conjunction with traditional morphological approaches is increasingly used to identify insect species. Jason Gibbs of the York University, Toronto, Canada used this approach to differentiate species within Lasioglossum (Dialictus) tegulare group1. He could identify five distinct species in this group, earlier recognized as a single species.

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Honey Bees Forage on Sweet Residual Liquids in Disposed Paper Cups

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Chennai, November 24, 2011: Nowadays any news that mention 'colony collapse disorder in honey bees' attracts media attention. This is because of the increasing awareness of the importance of honey bees and other pollinators for agricultural production.

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