Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Social bees mark dangerous flowers with chemical signals

Date:
March 14, 2013
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Scientists already knew that some social bee species warn their conspecifics when detecting the presence of a predator near their hive, which in turn causes an attack response to the possible predator. Researchers have now demonstrated that they also use chemical signals to mark those flowers where they have previously been attacked.

Researchers have now demonstrated that bees can use chemical signals to mark those flowers where they have previously been attacked.
Credit: Ana L. Llandres

Scientists already knew that some social bee species warn their conspecifics when detecting the presence of a predator near their hive, which in turn causes an attack response to the possible predator. Researchers at the University of Tours (France) in collaboration with the Experimental Station of Arid Zones of Almeria (Spain) have now demonstrated that they also use chemical signals to mark those flowers where they have previously been attacked.

Related Articles


Researchers at the University of Tours (France) and the Experimental Station of Arid Zones of Almeria (EEZA-CSIC) conducted an experiment to study whether bees are capable of using evasive chemical signals to mark those flowers where they have previously been attacked. For this purpose, they simulated a predator attack and observed whether the bees advised the rest of their conspecifics of the danger of gathering nectar at a certain plant.

"Evasive alarm pheromones provoke an escape response in insects that visit a particular flower and until now, we were not sure of the role that these pheromones played in social bees. Our results indicate that, unlike solitary bees, social bees use this type of alert system on flowers to warn their conspecifics of the presence of a nearby predator," as explained by Ana L. Llandres from the University of Tours and lead author of the study published in the 'Animal Behaviour' journal.

In order to determine whether social and solitary bees responded to these olfactory alarm signals, an experiment was performed using individuals from both types and from different countries: Australia, China, Spain and Singapore.

In some plants the predator attack was simulated by trapping the bees with pincers whereas in other cases control plants were used in which no attack took place.

"Solitary bees responded similarly in the case of flowers that had been attacked by control predators and control flowers. However, social bees responded very differently," explains L. Llandres. "Despite approaching both types of flower, the probability of landing on control flowers was much higher." The scientists also detected that the probability of social bees rejecting flowers was much greater if a predator attack had been previously simulated.

This study supports the idea that the sociability of bees is linked to the evolution of warning signals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana L. Llandres, Francisco G. Gonzálvez, Miguel A. Rodríguez-Gironés. Social but not solitary bees reject dangerous flowers where a conspecific has recently been attacked. Animal Behaviour, 2013; 85 (1): 97 DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.10.012

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Social bees mark dangerous flowers with chemical signals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314085103.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2013, March 14). Social bees mark dangerous flowers with chemical signals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314085103.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Social bees mark dangerous flowers with chemical signals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314085103.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

Raw: Baby Okapi Born at Houston Zoo

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) — The Houston Zoo released video of a male baby okapi. Okapis, also known as the "forest giraffe", are native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Video is mute from source. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Mysterious Glow Worms Found in the Amazon

Buzz60 (Nov. 20, 2014) — Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer teamed up with entomologist Aaron Pomerantz and others to investigate a predatory glow worm found in the Amazon. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins