Navigation Links
Bee smart, bee healthy
Date:10/30/2008

Bumblebee colonies which are fast learners are also better able to fight off infection, according to scientists from Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Leicester.

Dr Nigel Raine from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, and Akram Alghamdi, Ezio Rosato and Eamonn Mallon from the University of Leicester tested the learning performance and immune responses of bumblebees from twelve colonies.

The team tested the ability of 180 bees to learn that yellow flowers provided the biggest nectar rewards, and to ignore blue flowers. To test the evolutionary relationship between learning and immunity, they also took workers from the same colonies and tested their immune response against bacterial infection.

Like humans, bees' ability to learn appears reduced when they are ill. The prediction was that good learners would be worse at fighting infections but surprisingly, this was not the case.

Writing in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, the team reports a positive relationship between a bumblebee colony's learning performance and their immune response, as Dr Raine explains: "Bees from fast learning colonies are not only the best nectar collectors, but also better able to fight infections. These colonies are probably much better equipped to thrive under difficult conditions."

The team expected that immunity is likely to be a really important trait in social species (like bumblebees, honeybees and ants) that have high-contact rates with closely related individuals leading to a greater chance of infection. There were big differences between colonies in how well they could fight off a bacterial infection, but these differences did not affect learning performance as previous studies had predicted.

The team found a positive correlation between the ability of a colony's workers to learn and the strength of their immune response, so there was no evidence for an evolutionary trade-off between these traits. Dr Raine adds: "Once again the humble bee is proving more complex than most people thought. These essential pollinators learn many things in short their life and fight off a range of infections to survive."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sian Halkyard
s.halkyard@yahoo.co.uk
079-009-6175
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NSF awards Stevens team $1 million for research on smart, bacteria-repellent nanohydrogels
2. Healthy Minds Across America features 48 public forums on mental health research, Sept. 14
3. Case Western Reserve University study looks at keeping migrant workers children healthy
4. Dartmouth researchers identify an important gene for a healthy, nutritious plant
5. Healthy sterols may pose health risk
6. Healthy or diseased?
7. Caloric intake negatively influences healthy adults sleep patterns
8. Fat intake negatively influences the sleep pattern in healthy adults
9. Study finds healthy intestinal bacteria within chicken eggs
10. Healthy parents provide clues to survival of young haddock on Georges Bank
11. Crop management strategies key to a healthy Gulf, planet
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... April 24, 2017 Janice Kephart ... with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today ... without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive ... , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, ... now, all refugee applications are suspended by until ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... UBM,s Advanced Design and Manufacturing event in ... and evolving technology through its 3D Printing and Smart ... the expo portion of the event and feature a ... on trending topics within 3D printing and smart manufacturing. ... will take place June 13-15, 2017 at the Jacob K. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... States (PRWEB) , ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... for venous leg ulcers is now being assessed in clinical trials in the ... trial please talk to your nurse or physician or find your nearest participating ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Dr. Greg Leyer, Chief ... NV on September 27th. His presentation is at 12:10pm in the Probiotics Resource Center, ... present at SupplySide West and discuss how probiotics have shown impressive data in areas ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... Each relaunch of the portal includes new features that facilitate streamlined and compliant ... seek to remain at the forefront of medical advancements, they rely on efficiencies ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Today, BioPharma Institute, a ... the addition of 5 new courses to its prospectus. These include the eagerly-awaited ... CFR Part 11 on Electronic Records and Electronic Signatures (Part 11 of Title ...
Breaking Biology Technology: