Navigation Links
Live-in domestics: Mites as maids in tropical rainforest sweat bee nests
Date:4/20/2009

Mites not only inhabit the dust bunnies under the bed, they also occupy the nests of tropical sweat bees where they keep fungi in check. Bees and their young are healthier when mites live-in, report researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and the University of Texas at Austin. Mutually beneficial cleaning relationships have been documented for shrimps and fish that eat parasites on larger fish, but this is the first confirmation of a cleaning relationship between two different species on land.

Tropical sweat bees in the genus Megalopta tunnel into rotten wood, excavating cells for their young that they feed with nectar and pollen. Researchers working at field sites throughout Panama noticed that sweat-bee nests sometimes housed mites and that more young bees died in nests that did not contain mites than in nests that did.

"The mutualistic nature of bee-mite symbioses was hypothesized repeatedly but had never been demonstrated empirically," said Natalia Biani, short-term fellow in Staff Scientist William Wcislo's lab at STRI and graduate student in professor Ulrich Mueller's lab at the University of Texas, Austin.

Biani placed the contents of the brood cells in water and plated the liquid on Petri dishes in order to count the number of fungal colonies from nests with and without mites. "When we took away the mites, the bee nests got dirtier. When we added mites, fungus counts went down. It is pretty clear that the mites clean up the cells where the young are growing," Biani said. In return, the mites receive a clean, dry home, fungus to eat and free bee rides to new nests.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
703-487-3770 x8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Did termites help Katrina destroy New Orleans floodwalls?
2. Biological control of tropical weeds using arthropods
3. AAAS Symposium: Emerging threats to tropical, temperate and ocean ecosystems
4. Scientists use lasers to measure changes to tropical forests
5. Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model
6. Princeton-led team finds secret ingredient for the health of tropical rainforests
7. Tropical forest carbon monitoring gets big boost
8. Smithsonian puts tropical eastern Pacific shore fishes online
9. Smithsonian puts tropical Eastern-Pacific shore fishes online
10. Latin American Science Initiative Puts Tropical Rainforest Diversity Online
11. Academy participates in project to discover drugs, biofuels in tropical seas
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Live-in domestics: Mites as maids in tropical rainforest sweat bee nests
(Date:5/16/2017)... N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, ... provider of online age and identity verification solutions, announced ... K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, ... Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... -- Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, ... which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ... will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/14/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 ... ... for poorly characterized and performing antibodies. Key researchers in the antibody community have ... proper characterization and consistency for antibodies in the laboratory. , The ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... Aug. 11, 2017  Market researcher Kalorama ... Times article regarding the telemedicine market.  The ... Kalorama Information.  The article, "Heart and ...  used information from Kalorama Information,s Remote ... Telemedicine Market  (Sleep, Diabetes, Vital Signs ...
(Date:8/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 11, 2017 , ... ... food production, and, in particular, more natural alternatives to synthetic ingredients,” said Matt ... of Third Wave, with the established manufacturing presence and know-how of Biorigin will ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... The era ... clinic is here. The team at Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. utilized a cardiosphere-derived stem-like ... studies. , Dr. Travis Antes, head of analytical development at Capricor Therapeutics ...
Breaking Biology Technology: