Wimps or warriors? Honey bee larvae absorb the social culture of the hive, study finds

October 29, 2015, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois entomology professor Gene Robinson and his colleagues found that honey bee larvae raised in aggressive hives are more likely to be aggressive themselves when they emerge as adults. Credit: L. Brian Stauffer

Even as larvae, honey bees are tuned in to the social culture of the hive, becoming more or less aggressive depending on who raises them, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.

"We are interested in the general issue of how social information gets under the skin, and we decided to take a chance and ask about very young that are weeks away from adulthood," said University of Illinois entomology professor and Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology director Gene Robinson, who led the research with postdoctoral researcher Clare Rittschof and Pennsylvania State University professor Christina Grozinger.

"In a previous study, we cross-fostered adult bees from gentle colonies into more aggressive colonies and vice versa, and then we measured their brain gene expression," Robinson said. "We found that the bees had a complex pattern of gene expression, partly influenced by their own personal genetic identity and partly influenced by the environment of the colony they were living in. This led us to wonder when they become so sensitive to their social environment."

In the new study, the researchers again cross-fostered bees, but this time as in order to manipulate the bees' experiences. The larvae were from a variety of queens, with sister larvae divided between high- and low-aggression colonies.

The larvae were removed from their foster hives and put into a neutral laboratory environment one day before they emerged as adults. The researchers tested their aggressiveness by exposing them to an intruder bee.

They were surprised to see that the bees retained the social information they had acquired as larvae. Those raised in aggressive colonies were 10 to 15 percent more aggressive than those raised in the gentler colonies.

Watch a video of honey bees responding to an intruder.
"Even sisters born of the same queen but reared in different colonies differed in aggression, demonstrating the potency of this environmental effect," Robinson said.

The finding was surprising in part because bee larvae undergo metamorphosis, which radically changes the structure of their bodies and brains.

"It's hard to imagine what elements of the brain are influenced during the larval period that then survive the massive reorganization of the brain to bias behavior in this way," Robinson said.

The aggressive honey bees also had more robust immune responses than their gentler counterparts, the team found.

"We challenged them with pesticides and found that the aggressive bees were more resistant to pesticide," Grozinger said. "That's surprising considering what we know from vertebrates, where stress in early life leads to a diminishment of resilience. With the bees, we saw an increase in resilience."

This finding also suggests that the effects of the social environment on young bees could extend beyond brain function and behavior, Robinson said.

The researchers don't yet know how the is being transmitted to the larvae. They tested whether the bees differed in size, which would suggest that they had been fed differently, but found no size differences between aggressive and gentle bees.

"Adult honey bees are well known for their sociality, their communication skills and their ability to adjust their behavior in response to the needs of the hive," Rittschof said.

"In mammals, including humans, the effects of early life social interactions often persist throughout adulthood despite additional social experiences," she said. "A similar pattern in honey bees has broad implications for our understanding of social behavior within the hive and in comparison with other species."

Explore further: These social bees farm and eat fungus or die

More information: Clare C. Rittschof et al. Early-life experience affects honey bee aggression and resilience to immune challenge, Scientific Reports (2015). DOI: 10.1038/srep15572

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JVK
1 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2015
Re: "A similar pattern in honey bees has broad implications for our understanding of social behavior within the hive and in comparison with other species."

Across species examples are offered for comparison in: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model http://www.ncbi.n...24693353

Excerpt: "The honeybee already serves as a model organism for studying human immunity, disease resistance, allergic reaction, circadian rhythms, antibiotic resistance, the development of the brain and behavior, mental health, longevity, diseases of the X chromosome, learning and memory, as well as conditioned responses to sensory stimuli (Kohl, 2012)."
Vietvet
5 / 5 (2) Oct 30, 2015


Across species examples are offered for comparison in: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model http://www.ncbi.n...24693353

JVK's model destroyed:
http://www.ncbi.n...4049134/

JVK "the fact that final causes, design, and purpose exist in nature in the context of creation, not neo-Darwinism."

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

JVK
1 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2015
Excerpt: "It's hard to imagine what elements of the brain are influenced during the larval period that then survive the massive reorganization of the brain to bias behavior in this way," Robinson said.

In "Organizational and activational effects of hormones on insect behavior" Robinson said: "The development of species-typical and sex-specific adult behaviors in vertebrate animals is influenced by gonadal steroid hormones, non-gonadal hormones, and non-hormonal factors working on the underlying neural circuitry (reviewed in Diamond et al., 1996; Kawata, 1995; Schlinger, 1998)." http://www.ncbi.n...10980296

Diamond et al., (1996) is our review of RNA-mediated hormone-organized and hormone-activated behaviors with a section on molecular epigenetics that now links everything known about biophysically constrained protein folding from microbes to man via their nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled behaviors. http://www.ncbi.n.../9047261
JVK
1 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2015
Re:
JVK's model destroyed...


Only a biologically uninformed science idiot would continue to claim that another validation of the honeybee model organism link from microbes to man be considered in the context of another biologically uninformed science idiot's criticisms of my published works.

Biologically uninformed science idiots do not destroy models that link top-down causation to morphological and behavioral phenotypes in all living genera via the conserved molecular mechanisms of biophysically constrained RNA-mediated cell type differentiation,

The only thing a biologically uniformed science idiot can do when faced with a detailed model of cause and effect is complain that it is a refutation of neo-Darwinian pseudoscientific nonsense.

I wrote: "Members of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) recently organized and held an ecological epigenetics symposium (January, 2013)."

See also: All in the (bigger) family (2015)
JVK
1 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2015
Re: See also: All in the (bigger) family (2015) My comment to Science published at 2:54 pm on 1/29/15 http://comments.s...6219.220

The 2015 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) presenters may not recognize how much progress has been made since the 2013 ecological epigenetics symposium.
....
Links across species from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in organized genomes appear to have their origins in the conserved molecular mechanisms of RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated protein folding.
....
Apparently, they've learned that the same set of microRNAs controls expression of the genes for rate-limiting enzymes that control the hormone production of different hormones in insects and crustaceans.

Why were they left with any questions about how crustaceans and insects could all be part of one big family?
...
--------
Summary: What questions are left for serious scientists?
JVK
1 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2015
http://dx.doi.org...rep15572

Excerpt:"Across animal species, aggression can be either positively or negatively associated with other fitness and health traits, presumably due to variation in the evolutionary drivers shaping aggression and associated phenotypes."

My comment: What "evolutionary drivers" do they presume shape aggression and associated phenotypes across animal species?

Serious scientists attributed nothing to "evolutionary drivers" and they report behavioral development in terms that link what is known about biologically-based cause and effect.

See for example: Mechanisms of stress in the brain http://www.nature...086.html

Excerpt: "The epigenetic mechanisms controlling BDNF expression are influenced by maternal separation early in life, which, in turn, leads to changes in BDNF expression and
epigenetic regulation via histone acetylation and methylation over the life course..."
JVK
1 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2015
Re: "...epigenetic regulation via histone acetylation and methylation over the life course..."

See also: The neurobiological basis of human aggression: A review on genetic and epigenetic mechanisms http://dx.doi.org....b.32388

Excerpt: "...from a genetic perspective, the aminergic systems are likely to regulate both reactive and proactive aggression, whereas the endocrine pathways seem to be more involved in regulation of reactive aggression through modulation of impulsivity. Epigenetic studies on aggression have associated non-genetic risk factors with modifications of the stress response and the immune system. Finally, we point to the urgent need for further genome-wide analyses and the integration of genetic and epigenetic information to understand individual differences in reactive and proactive AB [aggressive behavior].

Once again we see that aggressive behavior is not due to "evolutionary drivers" and that serious scientists do not make such claims.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Oct 31, 2015
Once again we see that aggressive behavior is not due to "evolutionary drivers" and that serious scientists do not make such claims
@jk
1- the link you gave was for human aggression: Humans are highly complex
we may well have certain evolutionary influences that are similar to bee's, but that is like comparing Apples to firetrucks based upon color alone

2- the linked study is paywalled and thus the conclusions are not available for reading. neither are the methods, etc.
thus your link can only be judged on the abstract alone, and that leaves out far too much information

lastly
3- considering your history of being a chronic liar combined with your absolute failure to comprehend scientific studies (100% failure to date) any claim you make re: studies must be viewed as suspect (especially when you can't link whole studies) until compared to or validated by the authors

JVK
1 / 5 (3) Oct 31, 2015
like comparing Apples to firetrucks based upon color alone


For comparison, which do you think "evolved?"
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2015
For comparison, which do you think "evolved?"
1- this is OT and irrelevant
2- This depends upon your use of the word "evolved"

the apple has evolved into what it is today: this is scientific fact
we can see this in the Theory of Evolution: you know, that scientific Theory which is not only substantiated by empirical evidence but also validated by secondary sources (unlike your claims)

however, you can also claim that firetrucks evolved over time as well due to human technological advancement: from fire-brigade bucket lines and the horse drawn hand-pumped cart to steam engines to modern petrol based engines

Therefore, you will have to be much more specific about your question and which use of "evolved" you want to discuss, as both are relevant on a science/technology site

JVK
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
If you claim that apples and firetrucks evolve, it is up to you to tell us more about your use of the term "evolution" and its meaning in different contexts.

Ben Carson's campaign manager can then take your claims and compare the claims of PZ Myers and all his other idiot minions to the claims of serious scientists who understand how biologically-based nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated cell type differentiation occurs. Others can then ask biologically uninformed science idiots to explain cell type differentiation to them in terms that neo-Darwinian theorists might understand in the context of the evolution of firetrucks.

Indeed, some apples and firetrucks are red. Why do you think that you can claim that all of them evolved?
JVK
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
http://www.ncbi.n...26507253 This study represents the first effort to integrate DNA sequence variants, gene expression, and methylation in a social insect to advance our understanding of their relationships in the context of causality.

The ridiculous claim that this is the "first effort" can be placed into the context of any or all of my publications during the past two decades, which now link nutrient-dependent microRNAs to protection from virus-driven genomic entropy (all pathology) via amino acid substitutions that stabilize organized genomes in all living genera.

See also:
http://jeb.biolog...abstract The microRNAs identified in this study provide a starting point for functional tests of specific microRNAs and their targets as we build a more comprehensive understanding of the regulation of complex social behaviors.

With few exceptions, academics strive to be first or to provide a starting point [cont]
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
The ridiculous claim that this is the "first effort"


The difference being you wrote a glorified review article whereas they actually did sequencing and experiments and studied what they wrote about.

Just because you mentioned a broad topic years ago doesn't mean you studied the fine minutia of it.
JVK
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
[cont]

Academics who place their careers first prevent scientific progress by pretending to ignore the fact that they are often at least one generation behind the data available to them in the context of the atoms to ecosystems models that have been developed at the same time pseudoscientists have continued to cling to their ridiculous theories about mutations and evolution of apples and/or Captain Stumpy's firetrucks.

Nutrient-dependent microRNAs link energy-dependent base pair changes to RNA-mediated events, which include gene duplication and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all genera. If they did not, Ben Carson would be betting his election chances on something that was not already known to all serious scientists. Instead, like some other creationists all over the world, he may be waiting to shove the facts down the throats of the most vocal atheists to silence them once and for all.

We shall see.
JVK
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
Just because you mentioned a broad topic years ago doesn't mean you studied the fine minutia of it.


Agreed. But that is not what I did in my book or in our 1996 review or in this invited review. All of my published and unpublished works attest to the fact that I linked atoms to ecosystems and the fact that you are a biologically uninformed science idiot who still knows nothing about RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all living genera.

Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems
http://figshare.c...s/994281

...they actually did sequencing and experiments and studied what they wrote about.


That's great! Where did they get their ideas about what to study or how to design their experiments? From evolutionary theorists, or from my model?
JVK
1 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
NeuroTribes, Steve Silberman on a haunting history and new hope for autistic people http://blogs.plos...-people/

Excerpt: "Kanner's success in constraining the definition of autism left many autistic people without support or services for decades. And as Silberman details, Kanner might have been the first autism researcher to channel interpretation to fulfill deep ambition, but he was by no means the last. As the 20th century closed and the 21st century dawned, autism clearly became a path to public attention for academic journals, researchers, and a news media increasingly hungry for readers."

Given what is already known about the link from a single nutrient-dependent amino acid substitution to changes in the brain during life history transitions, and the attacks by atheists on Ben Carson's beliefs, he is virtually guaranteed to become our next US President.
anonymous_9001
5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2015
That's great! Where did they get their ideas about what to study or how to design their experiments? From evolutionary theorists, or from my model?


Not from you, narcissist.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 03, 2015
If you claim that apples and firetrucks evolve, it is up to you to tell us more about your use of the term "evolution" and its meaning in different contexts
@jk
1- if you would have read the post, you would see that i DID exactly that WRT firetrucks and "evolve"

2- WRT "evolve" in the Theory of Evolution, since i know you don't know how to use a dictionary or other means of finding definitions except to poll fanatical religious sites: http://www.thefre...m/evolve

definition 2 of the vb. as well as 2 of v.tr.
(it even annotates the connection to biology as well as the Theory of Evolution)
Perhaps you can get someone from your mensa group who is able to read to explain that to you?
Why do you think that you can claim that all of them evolved?
ROTFLMFAO
YOU DIDN'T READ THE POST!

do you know how stupid that makes you look?
NICE... and you say you are mensa?
learn to read, princess!

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