Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

Biologists discover sophisticated 'alarm' signals in honey bees

RATE THIS! +10
Posted in Science on 30th Mar, 2016 10:42 AM by AlexMuller

Bees can use sophisticated signals to warn others about the level of danger from predators attacking foragers or the nest, according to a new study. Biologists at UC San Diego and in China found that an Asian species of honey bee can produce different types of vibrational signals when attacked by giant Asian hornets.

 
These signals have different effects depending upon type of danger and the context. A bee delivers a stop signal by giving another bee a brief, vibrational pulse, usually through a head-butt.
 
"Surprisingly, this signal encodes the level of danger in its vibrational frequency, its pitch, and the danger context through the duration of each pulse," said James Nieh, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the research team.
 
Six years ago, Nieh discovered that foragers of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, when attacked at a food source, will return to the nest and deliver stop signals to nestmates recruiting for the dangerous food source. These signals were known to inhibit recruitment, the famous waggle dance of the honey bee, but researchers did not know what triggered stop signals.
 
"Stop signals are usually delivered by a sender butting her head into a recipient. Understanding that these signals can be triggered by danger and reduce recruitment for dangerous food therefore made sense," explained Nieh.
 
Nieh next wanted to find out if other honey bee species also used stop signals. He and his collaborators at the Chinese Academy of Science and Eastern Bee Research Institute in Yunnan Province conducted their experiments at Yunnan Agricultural University using the Asian honey bee, Apis cerana, which occurs throughout southern and eastern Asia, from India to China and Japan.
 
The scientists said this honey bee species is an excellent model for studying the effects of predator threats because A. cerana is attacked by multiple species of giant hornets, which pose a threat according to hornet body size. They studied the world's largest hornet, the "yak-killer" Vespa mandarinia and a smaller, but still formidable hornet, Vespa velutina. Both hornet species are natural enemies of A. cerana.
 
These hornets attack foraging bees and bee nests, and the scientists therefore set up their experiments to see if bees would produce stop signals in both situations.
 
"We hypothesized that bigger predators would pose a bigger threat and would change stop signaling, perhaps by producing more signals when attacked by a large predator," Nieh said. "However, we were very surprised to find that these Asian bees not only produced more stop signals, they also produced different kinds of stop signals."
 
Attacked foragers reduced their waggle dancing and produced stop signals that increased in pitch according to predator size. The larger and more dangerous predator triggered higher pitched stop signals that were more effective at stopping waggle dancing than the lower pitched stop signals triggered by the smaller and less dangerous predator.
 
In addition, guard bees and returning foragers attacked at the nest entrance produced longer duration stop signals to warn nestmates about the imminent danger outside.
 
"Our experiments showed that these different types of stop signals elicited different and appropriate responses. Bees attacked at food sources by bigger hornets produced a kind of stop signal that more effectively inhibited recruitment," said Nieh. "Bees attacked at the nest entrance produced another kind of stop signal that inhibited foragers from exiting the nest and being exposed to the danger outside."
 
According to Nieh, "this is the first demonstration of such sophisticated inhibitory signaling or alarm signaling in an insect." Previously, such referential alarm signals had only been reported in vertebrates like birds and primates.

Tags: beehoney beebiologyinsectresearchanimalnature

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-12-26
+0
nina scrive:>Non c'è visita al blog di Rosi che non sia seguita da una sbirciatina alle tue pagine, ogni volta con la speranza di qualche nuova scoperta golosa. Ammaliata dal colore e dalla raznafitezfa non posso che restare incantata davanti alle magnifiche torte, ma è in ricette come questa che trovo rifugio Elinotteblu, cosa augurarti? Di essere felice? Un caldo abbraccio a te e Federica Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2017-10-20 00:53:07
    Google DeepMind: AI becomes more alien..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-10-20 00:47:37
    Bigelow and ULA plan expandable B330 orbital lunar space.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-10-20 00:40:34
    'Handful of changes' make cells into cancer..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-10-20 00:34:02
    Halloween Novelty contact lenses 'can cause sight loss'.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-10-19 01:17:17
    Bots are transforming personal banking around the world..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me