Can bees tell time of the day?June 29th, 2010 - 5:15 pm ICT by ANI
London, June 29 (ANI): Despite constant daylight of the Arctic summer, bumblebees stick to a working routine and return to their nests well before midnight - suggesting that they can tell the time in the absence of day/night cues, according to a new study.
Ralph Stelzer and Lars Chittka from Queen Mary University of London, UK, observed “Constant daylight would seem to provide a unique opportunity for bumblebee foragers to maximise intake, and therefore colony growth, by remaining active during the entire 24-hour period. We found that bees do not naturally take advantage of this opportunity, suggesting that there is some benefit to an ‘overnight’ break”.
The researchers believe that that the insects may be sensitive to light intensity and quality or changes in temperature - allowing them to ‘tell the time’.
“Despite the light, temperatures do fall during the Arctic ‘night’, so it may be that the bees need to return to their nests in order to warm their brood. Also, it has been suggested that a period of sleep helps bees to remember information gained during the day’s foraging,” said the researchers.
The study has been published in the open access journal BMC Biology. (ANI)
- Even midnight sun won't convince bees to work nights - Jun 29, 2010
- Exotic winter-flowering plants keep bees busy during cold months - Mar 05, 2010
- Bees see world five times faster than humans - Apr 20, 2010
- How 'bees see world' - Dec 11, 2010
- Bumblebees use flower scent to guide each other towards food - Oct 25, 2008
- 'Older bees provide clues to fighting dementia' - Jul 05, 2012
- How body clock synchronizes to day and night cycle - Nov 12, 2010
- Bumblebees use floral scents to locate food - Oct 25, 2008
- Scientists unveil unique 'soldier' bee - Jan 11, 2012
- Warm-up exercise helps tiny shrews survive icy waters - Jul 05, 2012
- Bumblebees prefer striped flowers: Study - Oct 12, 2010
- Some honey bees tend to take risks - Mar 11, 2012
- Lover's lane for birds discovered in Arctic - Mar 11, 2011
- Intense light reduces heart attack risks - Apr 26, 2012
- Proposed plan for day-night Test cricket a waste of time: Rodney Hogg - Jan 26, 2010
Tags: arctic night, arctic summer, bees, bmc, brood, bumblebee, bumblebees, cues, foragers, insects, june 29, lars, light intensity, london uk, open access, queen mary university, queen mary university of london, stelzer, time of the day, university of london