BEES HAVE A QUEEN AND WORK BY CONSENSUS
"Bee Inspired is an intimate book; you'll be captivated, caught in its spell.
It feels as if you are there in the garden exploring, tiny game-hunting with Betsy,
peering through the lens of her camera. Here we find the rare talent of crisp,
clean writing, along with an eye for composing and taking many of the best
anywhere color photos of bees foraging at blossoms."
Dr. Stephen Buchmann, Co-author, The Forgotten Pollinators and Letters From the Hive
|bright orange pollen|
|She has a book on Lady Bugs too|
Honeybees, as it turns out, are nothing like the mindless, self-sacrificing drones that people will one day turn into once Netflix perfects its instant-streaming brain chip — they can actually be quite outgoing or even, according to a personality study conducted by entomologists at the University of Illinois, a little lazy.
Researchers measured the bee brain's capacity for "thrill" or "novelty-seeking," a trait that insects surprisingly share with humans and other vertebrates. Honeybees that were more likely to get their kicks out of far-flung adventures to flowers all the way on the other side of the yard exhibited distinct gene activity in the molecular pathways associated with thrill-seeking in humans.
Moreover, the research suggests that honeybee communities, previously believed to be rigid colonies of productive, entirely task-minded creatures (bees are communists), are comprised of bees that perform their tasks based on their own peculiar whims. What this means is that bees have personalities, ...
Entomologist Gene Robinson, director of the study, and two colleagues observed the honeybee novelty-seeking trait in two of a colony's most important extroverted tasks: scouting new nesting sites and searching for food. When a colony outgrows its hive, it must find a bigger place to live, and so it sends nest scouts on meandering real estate searches.
These nest scouts, in turn, are 3.4 times more likely than their stolid peers to become food scouts, according to Robinson, who adds that such a reliable behavioral tendency constitutes a "personality trait." The study found that at the molecular level, novelty-seeking bees expressed genes that were linked to proteins and hormones thought to be responsible for novelty-seeking in vertebrates and found that, by blocking dopamine in outgoing bees, they could decrease novelty-seeking activity. Concludes Robinson,
Our results say that novelty-seeking in humans and other vertebrates has parallels in an insect. One can see the same sort of consistent behavioral differences and molecular underpinnings.So much for the purported simplicity of the animal kingdom....
Robinson and his team studies two behaviors that looked like novelty seeking: scouting for new nest sites and scouting for food. When a colony outgrows its living quarters, the swarm must hunt for a new home.
Around five percent of the swarm goes hunting for new lodgings. These “nest scouts” are around 3.4 times more likely than their peers to also become food scouts, researchers discovered.
“There is a gold standard for personality research and that is if you show the same tendency in different contexts, then that can be called a personality trait,” Robinson said.
In order to understand the molecular basis for these differences, Robinson and his colleagues used whole-genome microarray analysis to look for differences in the activity of thousands of genes in the brains the thrill-seeking and non thrill-seeking bees. They found thousands of differences in gene activity.
In humans and animals, thrill-seeking behavior is thought to be linked to how the brain’s reward system responds. In bees, researchers found lots of differently expressed genes that were linked to proteins and hormones that are linked to novelty-seeking in vertebrates
Betsy Seeton :
bees have. I enjoy spending time with individual bees. I also
like watching two or three bees interact. Sometimes they
have little arguments it seems, but usually not for long.
Honeybee Democracy: A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, Honeybee Democracy brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley's pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.
Honeybees make decisions collectively--and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making.
In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together--as a swirling cloud of bees--to their new home.
Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader's influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.
An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.
Solitary bees comprise the majority of bees, yet they are unsung heroes of our pollinator world, generally having a far lower profile than either honey or bumblebees.
Yet they are outstanding pollinators, and only during recent years, are they beginning to get the recognition they deserve.
Despite their name, some species do live in a type of social group, with bees building nests close to each other and giving the appearance of a sort of colony.
Many species can easily be mistaken for wasps, hover flies, or even honey bees.
The largest bee in the world is believed to be a Solitary bee – Megachile Pluto, a type of leafcutter bee. However, some are very tiny at just a few millimetres long and at first glance may appear to be merely little black flies!
Here is information about some of the most common species:
I am a solitary bee buzz buz buzzzzzzzz
|From Bee Inspired|
You are standing in the apiary among the hives. The sun is warm and the earth fragrant. Bees are all around you. Their wings reflect the sun. Their hum becomes a voice whispering;
The journey is forever.