E-β-ocimene is produced by newly hatched to three-day old larvae, whereas the previously identified brood ester pheromone, a contact pheromone effecting nurses, is produced primarily by old larvae – four and five days old. “So one compound gives an opposite message to the other,” said Le Conte. “Interesting, very interesting. The signal from the very young larvae is for bees to forage because they are in need of food. When they are older, they have their food, they’re good to go and they can release the foragers.”

The significance of these pheromones to Varroa is that they act as kairomones (substances produced by one species used to the benefit of another). In sum, the mites tune in to the bees’ communication system to guide their parasitism. Handy for Varroa, brood pheromone increases up to 20 times during capping, when mites need to sense that it is time to enter the cell.

Vive La Honey Bee!

Le Conte on varroa pheromones

E-β-ocimene is produced by newly hatched to three-day old larvae, whereas the previously identified brood ester pheromone, a contact pheromone effecting nurses, is produced primarily by old larvae – four and five days old. “So one compound gives an opposite message to the other,” said Le Conte. “Interesting, very interesting. The signal from the very young larvae is for bees to forage because they are in need of food. When they are older, they have their food, they’re good to go and they can release the foragers.”

The significance of these pheromones to Varroa is that they act as kairomones (substances produced by one species used to the benefit of another). In sum, the mites tune in to the bees’ communication system to guide their parasitism. Handy for Varroa, brood pheromone increases up to 20 times during capping, when mites need to sense that it is time to enter the cell.

bees hearing

 

Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 18:21:42 -0400
From: James Fischer
Subject: Re: Do honey bees hear?

Been busy, so I am catching up.

Many people think that I am joking when I am serious, and visa-versa.

This is a good example of an absolutely true statement that was the result
of much R&D time and expense.

http://www.bee-quick.com/rpt2/calm.html

But bees certainly do hear airborne sound.

I had prototyped a handheld unit with a digital sound chip that played a
cleaned-up recording of queen piping, and it could immobilize bees on about
half a frame.

To make sure that I was not seeing an effect that was limited to my bees
alone, I spent a day at Wyatt Mangum’s shed with about a dozen of his
one-comb colonies. We tested and found a few technical issues that needed
work, but the bottom line was we could clearly vibrate the Johnston’s Organ
and make bees “freeze” in response to the queen piping without vibrating the
surface that they were on.

The effect was stroboscopic – each note in the queen piping “song”
(conveniently a number of G-sharps, followed by an A-natural) would cause
the bees to freeze for the duration of the note, and they would resume
whatever they were doing between notes as if it was a giant game of “Red
Light / Green Light”. The speaker was small, so we could move it towards
and away from the comb, and when moving it back, we would freeze MORE bees
within the larger cone of sound being produced. If we were vibrating a
comb, we would have caused more bees to freeze when we moved the speaker
CLOSER to the comb.

So bees clearly do hear airborne sound, and this can be cheaply tested with
little trouble.

While we got much better results by attaching a transducer to the top bar of
a frame to vibrate the frame, it also worked fine in a non-contact mode with
bees on surfaces that were massive sheets (6-inch thick) of foam in an
anechoic chamber. One could use plain old eggcrate foam and see the same
result.

Anyway, working out the power calculations to actually vibrate all the combs
in a brood chamber prompted an end to the project and the possible product.
Hence the “Meditational Bee Calmer”. You’d need amplifiers suitable for an
Emmerson, Lake, and Palmer concert.

 

——————————

Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 20:50:54 -0400
From: Jerry Bromenshenk
Subject: Re: Do honey bees hear?

We did something similar back in the late 90s. One of our students stumbled on it using a Dremel tool to make a notch in a frame for a temperature probe. We were going to name it after him – the Lenny Principle. But a bit of digging brought up references to people dragging a finger-nail over a surface (like on a chalkboard) to get the response.

It’s frequency related, and we could freeze bees on up to 5 frames, hold them frozen for up to two minutes. Like Jim, we induced it both by vibration of the frame(s) and by airborne sounds. We used a frequency analyzer and a sound generator, and we had the same thought about its uses as an alternative to a smoker; and we discovered the same logistical problem. Still, we had fun using it as a parlor trick with our 5-Frame Observation hive.

What always amazed me was how fast they all froze and how many bees froze – it was like throwing a switch.

Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms

Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:45:17 -0400
From: Bill Hesbach


Subject: Weaker Bee

Can anyone offer some perspective on this study?

Dave Black summary:

> This (Open Access) article published in Nature’s Scientific Reports raises an interesting perspective on the ‘natural’ tolerance of Apis cerana (the Eastern Honey bee) to Varroa destructor infections. Their experimental data suggests that rather than superior strength it might actually be a significant vulnerability that protects the colony from the mites. Young A.cerana larvae seem to be much more susceptible to varroa and much more likely to die. Their early death triggers hygienic behaviour early on, and the dead larvae and their parasites are removed quickly disrupting varroa’s ability to reproduce successfully. Just as old and diseased bees are thought to fly away to die, preventing the spread of disease, these young larvae confer a kind of social immunity with their early sacrifice.

Paul Page, Zheguang Lin, Ninat Buawangpong, Huoqing Zheng, Fuliang Hu, Peter Neumann, Panuwan Chantawannakul, Vincent Dietemann. Social apoptosis in honey bee superorganisms. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 27210 DOI: 10.1038/srep27210