Blog

The Buzz of Bees

October 22nd, 2015

The Buzz of Bees

Researchers at Tel Aviv University and Penn State have found that the signaling between insect groups like bees, wasps, and ants is more complicated than previously believed. They had assumed that these insect groups communicated through the use of pheromones, but are now finding that the use of these chemicals must have evolved in very different ways for each species. While the females of these groups can reproduce, they do not lay their own eggs, and instead help raise the offspring created by their queen. It is now believed that the queens give off pheromones that inhibit the other insects in their group from reproducing. The pheromone c25, given off by queen bumblebees, causes the insects to absorb the eggs they produce back into their body, a process called ovary regression.

However, researchers studied the similar chemicals c23 and c27 in other bee species and found that the chemicals do not affect those females’ ability to lay eggs. They now believe that chemical signals given off by the queens probably varies among the different species. What they thought was a simple mechanism exhibited throughout these social species is actually much more complicated.

Do you ever watch bees and wonder what makes them coordinate and work together?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

No Comments »

Categories

Archives

October 2015
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031