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Wasps and bumble bees heat up, fly faster with protein-rich food
Date:7/10/2008

bees, the team reports (http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/PDF/07-08HotBees.pdf in the July 15 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology. For each additional 25 percent measure of pollen, the bees raised their temperature by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.7 degrees Fahrenheit) relative to the temperature of the room. They stayed nearly as warm on their return to the nest.

"That is information other bees could potentially use," said Nieh. "Bees are very sensitive to hot spots in the colony."

Bumble bees, but not wasps, will recruit other foragers to help exploit a valuable find; bees in the nest may judge the temperature of returning foragers, which they jostle, perhaps to determine whether they should seek the same source of pollen.

"It may be that a thermal signal has evolved. For that they would first need the basic phenomenon of heating up," said Nieh, who studies the evolution of communication in bees. "Over evolutionary time, it could become a signal that bees recognize."


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Contact: Susan Brown
sdbrown@ucsd.edu
858-246-0161
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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