Nectar-Living Microbes Influence Pollinator’s Foraging Preference

Hear that honey bee buzzing toward a flower? It's not just the nectar that she's scented. Nectar-living microbes release scents or volatile compounds, too, and can influence a pollinator's foraging preference, according to newly published research led by UC Davis community ecologist Rachel Vannette. The groundbreaking research, published in the current edition of New Phytologist journal, shows that nectar-inhabiting species of bacteria and fungi …

Clemson, UNCG Researchers Test Honey Bee
Response to Eclipse Totality

By T. DeLene Beeland CLEMSON, South Carolina — About two miles from the Clemson University campus, where 50,000 people gathered to gaze skyward during the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse, bee researcher Jennifer Tsuruda kept her eyes focused earthward to see how honey bees behaved when nighttime darkness momentarily interrupted afternoon sun. The lives of honey bees are intertwined with the sun. They …

Pollen Stays on Bee Bodies Right Where Flowers
Need it For Pollination

Ungroomed sites correspond with flower pollen-sacs and stigmas PLOS After grooming, bees still have pollen on body parts that match the position of flower pollen-sacs and stigmas, according to a study published September 6, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Petra Wester from Heinrich-Heine-University, Germany, and colleagues. Flowers depend on pollen for pollination, and flower-visiting bees collect large quantities of pollen …

Study Finds Parallels Between Unresponsive Honey Bees, Human Autism

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Honey bees that consistently fail to respond to obvious social cues share something fundamental with autistic humans, researchers report in a new study. Genes most closely associated with autism spectrum disorders in humans are regulated differently in unresponsive honey bees than in their more responsive nest mates, the study found. The findings, reported in …

Climate Change Threatens Domestic Bee Species

University of Würzburg There are around 550 different bee species in Germany. Most of them are solitary bees. They don't live in large beehives like the honeybee, but each female bee often builds multiple nests and feeds her offspring alone. Solitary bees use their short lifespan of a few weeks exclusively to reproduce and to provide food for their brood to …

Simulated Honey Bees Can Use Simple Brain Circuits for Complex Learning

Bees lacking insect equivalent of the cerebral cortex may still be able to learn odors     Honey bees may not need key brain structures known as mushroom bodies in order to learn complex associations between odors and rewards, according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology. The new findings surprised the research team because mushroom bodies are thought to be essential for …

Pollinator Extinctions Alter Structure of Ecological Networks

Field experiments show how removing a pollinator species disrupts foraging patterns Emory Health Sciences The absence of a single dominant bumblebee species from an ecosystem disrupts foraging patterns among a broad range of remaining pollinators in the system -- from other bees to butterflies, beetles and more, field experiments show. Biology Letters published the research, which may have implications for the survival of …

Bee Antennae Offer Links Between the Evolution of Social Behavior and Communication

Princeton University As bees' social behavior evolved, their complex chemical communication systems evolved in concert, according to a study published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. An international team of researchers, including those from Princeton University, reported that a certain species of bees, called halictid bees, have more sensorial machinery compared with related solitary species. The difference …