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Clever Bees increase social distances when pests threaten

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honeybee on sedum 310

We could learn from the honeybee. Researchers at UCL have evidence that honeybees increase social distancing when the hive is under threat from parasites.

They reduce the amount of foraging dancing and grooming increases, along with distancing . Clever bees, and very interesting research from UCL. 

It is a fascinating bit of research which involved studying the behaviour of two colonies of bees one with, and one without, the parasite threat to consider how their behaviour differed.


Co-author Dr Alessandro Cini (UCL Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, UCL Biosciences) said: “Here we have provided the first evidence that honeybees modify their social interactions and how they move around their hive in response to a common parasite.

“Honeybees are a social animal, as they benefit from dividing up responsibilities and interactions such as mutual grooming, but when those social activities can increase the risk of infection, the bees appear to have evolved to balance the risks and benefits by adopting social distancing.”

Read more about the study.




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