Document Detail

Physiological state influences the social interactions of two honeybee nest mates.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22427864     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Physiological state profoundly influences the expression of the behaviour of individuals and can affect social interactions between animals. How physiological state influences food sharing and social behaviour in social insects is poorly understood. Here, we examined the social interactions and food sharing behaviour of honeybees with the aim of developing the honeybee as a model for understanding how an individual's state influences its social interactions. The state of individual honeybees was manipulated by either starving donor bees or feeding them sucrose or low doses of ethanol to examine how a change in hunger or inebriation state affected the social behaviours exhibited by two closely-related nestmates. Using a lab-based assay for measuring individual motor behaviour and social behaviour, we found that behaviours such as antennation, willingness to engage in trophallaxis, and mandible opening were affected by both hunger and ethanol intoxication. Inebriated bees were more likely to exhibit mandible opening, which may represent a form of aggression, than bees fed sucrose alone. However, intoxicated bees were as willing to engage in trophallaxis as the sucrose-fed bees. The effects of ethanol on social behaviors were dose-dependent, with higher doses of ethanol producing larger effects on behaviour. Hungry donor bees, on the other hand, were more likely to engage in begging for food and less likely to antennate and to display mandible opening. We also found that when nestmates received food from donors previously fed ethanol, they began to display evidence of inebriation, indicating that ethanol can be retained in the crop for several hours and that it can be transferred between honeybee nestmates during trophallaxis.
Geraldine A Wright; Joshua L Lillvis; Helen J Bray; Julie A Mustard
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-03-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-03-19     Completed Date:  2012-08-20     Revised Date:  2013-06-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e32677     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Alcoholic Intoxication
Bees / physiology*
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Ethanol / toxicity
Feeding Behavior / drug effects,  physiology*
Linear Models
Social Behavior*
Reg. No./Substance:

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