Science News About Ant and Other Social Insect Research
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Hasselmann and Beye, 10.1073/pnas.0307147101: Martin Hasselmann and Martin Beye from the Martin-Luther University in Halle, Germany analyzed the sequence differences within and between honey bee populations of the sex determining locus csd (complementary sex determiner). With their findings they imply a new understanding of both the function of the multiallelic mechanism and the adaptive processes on the level of nucleotide sequences. In addition, with their first csd sequence data they believe now to have a notable basis for the avoidance of diploid males in bee selection programs by "allele-assisted breeding." This certainly will be of economic interest for bee keepers.
Friday, March 26, 2004
Apidologie: "Information flow and regulation of foraging activity in bumble bees (Bombus spp.)", by A. Dornhaus and L. Chittka.
Apidologie: In their review, R. Scheiner, R.E. Page and J. Erber are interested in the relationships between sensory responses of bees and behavior. They show that differences in the responsiveness of bees on sucrose seem to correlate with different behavioral roles. This seems to support the so called "response threshold model" for explaining the division of labor. Additionally, they explain how the responsiveness of individuals to task-related stimuli seems to cause foraging roles and via this mechanism bee colonies are grouping their individuals into the different task forces.
Apidologie: "The vibration signal, modulatory communication and the organization of labor in honey bees, Apis mellifera" by S.S. Schneider and L.A. Lewis
Apidologie: "In recent years, renewed attention has been paid to the mechanisms of group decision making that underlie the nest-site selection process in honey bees. Tom Seeley and Kirk Visscher review the results of these new investigations."
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Monday, March 22, 2004
Google Alert - Browse View German article on the findings of Hoelldobler and Co-Workers from Wuerzburg, Germany ond the mechanism how harvester ants do mark their foraging trails: by this, the article states, mass confrontations between nests are avoided, which would be likely as their choice for attractive meals is less abundant due to the arid environments they are living in.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
PNAS: Endler, A., Liebig, J. et al. 101 (9): 2945 In colonies of the Florida Carpenter ant, Camponotus floridanus, the queen monopolizes reproduction. As long as she is present, workers are reluctant in producing own eggs. Until now is has been unknown how birth-control did function in ant societies. Scientiest of the Biocenter at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, now solved this mystery: the queen writes her royal egg-laying interdiction directly onto the eggs...