Scientists see if bees 'are what they eat'

May 08, 2013
Scientists see if bees ‘are what they eat’

(Phys.org) —In a paper published today in the peer-reviewed science journal PLoS ONE, researchers have presented a new model to explore how changes in food availability might influence honeybee colony growth.

Dr Andrew Barron, Macquarie University with David Khoury and Dr Mary Myerscough, The University of Sydney have developed a model that predicts complex interactions between food availability and forager death rates in shaping a colony's fate.

"Honeybees are increasingly in demand as pollinators for various key agricultural , but globally their populations are in decline, and colony failure rates have increased.

It is imperative that we understand exactly how colonies respond to forger deaths," says Dr Andrew Barron, Macquarie University.

With the current debate over the impact of pesticides on around the world, the researches say their model has particular significance.

"Our model will add to an increased understanding of the how changes in the environment – both natural and by human intervention – are really effecting ," says Dr Barron.

Explore further: Biomarker could provide early warning of kidney disease in cats

More information: Khoury, D.  Modelling food and population dynamics in honey bee colonies, The Public Library of Science ONE, 7 May 2013. dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059084

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Solving the mystery of the vanishing bees

Apr 19, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- As scientists continue to be baffled over the recent decline in bee populations around the world, a new model developed by Dr Andrew Barron at Macquarie University in collaboration with David ...

Antibiotic dangers trap bees in a Catch 22

Nov 02, 2011

Honey bees are trapped in a Catch 22 where antibiotics used to protect them from bacterial illnesses ravaging hives are making them die from commonly used pesticides, some of which are used to ward-off bee-killing ...

Honeybees entomb to protect from pesticides

Apr 08, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- With the drastic rise in the disappearance of honeybee colonies throughout the world in recent years there has become a large focus on the study of honeybees and the effects of pesticides ...

A cure for honey bee colony collapse?

Apr 14, 2009

For the first time, scientists have isolated the parasite Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) from professional apiaries suffering from honey bee colony depopulation syndrome. They then went on to treat the infection with comple ...

A superorganism in trouble

May 23, 2008

In a time of global warming and catastrophic failure of bee colonies around the world, the new book "The Buzz about Bees" by Juergen Tautz is a timely call for an appreciation of the intricacy of the sociophysiological and ...

Recommended for you

Rare new species of plant: Stachys caroliniana

19 minutes ago

The exclusive club of explorers who have discovered a rare new species of life isn't restricted to globetrotters traveling to remote locations like the Amazon rainforests, Madagascar or the woodlands of the ...

Mysterious glowworm found in Peruvian rainforest

3 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer has discovered what appears to be a new type of bioluminescent larvae. He told members of the press recently that he was walking near a camp in the Peruvian ...

The unknown crocodiles

4 hours ago

Just a few years ago, crocodilians – crocodiles, alligators and their less-known relatives – were mostly thought of as slow, lazy, and outright stupid animals. You may have thought something like that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.