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:4/5/2017)... YORK , April 5, 2017 Today ... is announcing that the server component of the HYPR ... known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that empowers ... HYPR has already secured over 15 million ... makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites and ...
(Date:3/30/2017)...  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... developing health and wellness apps that provide a unique, ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and ... in the genomics, tech and health industries are sending ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... India , March 28, 2017 ... IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software ... Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach USD ... between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... Washington, and WASHINGTON, DC, USA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 ... ... driver of the economy as well as an enabler of life-saving medical and other ... for optics and photonics . They joined others in the scientific community today in ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... A recent survey conducted by the Weed ... to control weed in 12 categories of broadleaf crops, fruits and vegetables, while common ... the U.S. and Canada participated in the 2016 survey, the second conducted by WSSA. ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... in San Diego, California, this August will feature high-level speakers on quantum ... vehicles. , SPIE Optics and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent ... can cause diverse pathologies ranging from food poisoning and catheter infections to gum disease ... in the tens of billions of dollars per year, there is currently a paucity ...
Breaking Biology Technology: