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Too young for field work

By now you’ve probably heard about the newly published study, “Rapid behavioral maturation accelerates failure of stressed honey bee colonies¹.” In my opinion, this is the first paper suggesting a possible cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD) that actually makes sense. The scientists doing the research used transmitters to learn about the behavior of bee […] Read more

Wednesday wordphile: vitellogenin

The protein vitellogenin has long been known to play an important role in colony health. It is known to regulate queen bee and forager life span, and it affects social behavior, immunity, and stress response. Previous research has shown that worker bees with suppressed vitellogenin levels forage earlier, prefer foraging for nectar, and live shorter […] Read more

Wednesday wordphile: precocious foraging

Precocious foraging describes a situation where “underage” bees are required to take up foraging duty. Precocious foraging may result from any situation that causes a large percentage of the field force to die, including pesticide kills, disease, predation, or shortened lifespans due to chemical exposure. When large number of nurse bees are re-assigned to the […] Read more