Birds, Bees and Other Critters Have Scruples,
and For Good Reason

Psychologists find examples of conscientiousness, such as working hard, paying attention to detail and striving to do the right thing, throughout the animal kingdom University of California - Berkeley   Humans are not the only species to show a strong work ethic and scruples. UC Berkeley researchers have found evidence of conscientiousness in insects, reptiles, birds, fish and other critters. In reviewing nearly …

Stingless Bees Have Specialized Guards to Defend
Their Colonies, Study Reveals

The emergence of colonies with individuals more robust and larger than other workers coincided with the appearance of "robber bees" Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo   Like ants and termites, several species of stingless bees have specialized guards or soldiers to defend their colonies from attacks by natural enemies. The differentiation of these guardian bees, which are more robust, …

Nicotine Enhances Bees’ Activity

Queen Mary University of London Nicotine-laced nectar can speed up a bumblebee's ability to learn flower colours, according to scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The researchers used artificial flowers in a tightly-monitored flight arena in the laboratory to mimic how flowering plants use animals as pollen carriers and reward pollinators with sugars found in floral nectar. The team sought …

Birds vs. Bees: Study Helps Explain How Flowers Evolved to Get Pollinators to Specialize

Work by Robert J. Gegear at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) shows that flowers that were thought to have evolved to lure hummingbirds, actually have combinations of traits that discourage wasteful visits by bumblebees. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, Mass. - Ecologists who study flowering plants have long believed that flowers evolved with particular sets of characteristics--unique combinations of colors, shapes, and orientations, for …

Honey Bees Have Sharper Eyesight Than We Thought

University of Adelaide Research conducted at the University of Adelaide has discovered that bees have much better vision than was previously known, offering new insights into the lives of honey bees, and new opportunities for translating this knowledge into fields such as robot vision. The findings come from "eye tests" given to western honey bees (also known as European honey bees, Apis …

Nest entrance of the stingless bee, Geniotrigona thoracica, is from Malaysia

Social Bees Have Kept Their Gut Microbes for 80 Million Years

About 80 million years ago, a group of bees began exhibiting social behavior, which includes raising young together, sharing food resources and defending their colony. Today, their descendants--honey bees, stingless bees and bumble bees--carry stowaways from their ancient ancestors: five species of gut bacteria that have evolved along with the host bees. These bacteria, living in the guts of social bees, …

Honey bee covered in commercial pollen

Hair Spacing Keeps Honey Bees Clean During Pollination

Researchers quantify the cleaning process Georgia Institute of Technology With honey bee colony health wavering and researchers trying to find technological ways of pollinating plants in the future, a new Georgia Tech study has looked at how the insects do their job and manage to stay clean. According to the study, a honey bee can carry up to 30 percent of …