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UCR's Douglas Altshuler to receive the 2006 George A. Bartholomew Award
Douglas Altshuler, an assistant professor of biology at UC Riverside who studies flying animals, has been selected to receive the 2006 George A. Bartholomew Award (2006-09-12)

Symbiotic fungus does not depend on fungus-farming ants for reproduction, researchers say
Fungus-farming ants around the world cultivate essentially the same fungus and are not as critical to the reproduction of the fungi as previously believed, biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered. (2006-06-27)

Honeybee decision-making ability rivals any department committee
When 10,000 honeybees fly the coop to hunt for a new home, they have a unique method of deciding which site is right. And their technique, says Cornell biologist Thomas Seeley, includes coalition building until a quorum develops. (2006-04-20)

Value of services performed by insects tops $57 billion in US
Think twice before you blithely swat, stomp, curse or ignore insects, says Cornell University entomologist John Losey, who co-authored a study that shows the dollar value of some of those insect services is more than $57 billion in the United States annually. The research appears in the journal BioScience today (April 1). (2006-04-01)

Primates harvest bee nests in Ugandan reserve
In the first study of native African honeybees and honey-making stingless bees in the same habitat, humans and chimpanzees are the primary bee nest predators. (2006-02-28)

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Articles in the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology include: Honeybees may transmit viruses to offspring, Slugs may spread E. coli to vegetables and Epstein-Barr virus found in breast cancer tissue may affect treatment. (2006-01-19)

Work on microbes earns honors for two dental researchers
Two University of Rochester Medical Center scientists who study ways to stop the microbes that cause cavities have been awarded international prizes for their research. (2006-01-17)

Team led by Carnegie Mellon University scientist finds first evidence of a living memory trace
An international team of scientists for the first time has detected a memory trace in a living animal after it has encountered a single, new stimulus. The research, done with honeybees sensing new odors, allows neuroscientists to peer within the living brain and explore short-term memory as never before, according to scientist Roberto Fernández Galán, a leading author on the report who is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Carnegie Mellon University. (2005-11-14)

Bumblebee see, bumblebee do
Just as travelers figure out which restaurant is good by the numbers of cars in the parking lot, bumblebees decide which flowers to visit by seeing which ones already have bee visitors. The finding is the first demonstration that insects can learn by just watching the behavior of other insects. (2005-08-31)

Penn Robotics Lab receives $5 million grant to develop robot swarms from MARS
University of Pennsylvania engineers have received a $5 million grant from the Department of Defense to develop large-scale (2005-05-17)

Waggle dance controversy resolved by radar records of bee flight paths
In the 1960s, Nobel Prize winning zoologist, Karl von Frisch, proposed that honeybees use dance (the (2005-05-12)

Radar tracking reveals that butterflies follow decisive flight paths
The charming meanderings of butterflies are not as random as they appear, according to new research. Scientists at Rothamsted Research in the UK have found that their seemingly irresolute flutterings are in fact decisive flight paths and have opened a new window on the flight behaviour of these important pollinating species. (2005-04-05)

Carrots of color
In a Texas A&M University processing room, yellow carrots were stacked up against maroon, red and orange carrots for strenuous tests to see which would make it to the next step in breeding. Dr. Leonard Pike, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station plant breeder, appreciates the novelty of colored carrots, but he's also interested in the phytochemicals packed in each carrot. He hopes to breed one carrot with all the good compounds, regardless of color. (2005-03-29)

Symbiotic bacteria protect hunting wasps from fungal infestation
Researchers have discovered a fascinating symbiotic relationship between a wasp species and a newly discovered bacterial species - a relationship that potentially sheds light on how bacteria can be successfully utilized by higher organisms in defensive mechanisms against other microbes. In the new work, researchers show that a solitary ground-nesting wasp, the European beewolf, harbors Streptomyces bacteria in unique structures within its antennae and that females utilize these bacterial symbionts to protect the wasp larvae against pathogenic fungi. (2005-03-07)

Insects, viruses could hold key for better human teamwork in disasters
In a new and novel study, scientists are looking to nature -- specifically, to ants, bees and viruses -- for ways to improve human collaboration during disaster relief efforts. At the center of the scientists' sights are a sub-group of their own species -- specifically, civil engineers, who historically have had a limited role in such efforts, especially those involving critical physical infrastructures. (2005-03-01)

Cracking the olfactory code in bees
In the premier open-access journal PLoS Biology, a study shows that training thousands of bees uncovers the chemical characteristics they use to discriminate between odors and reveals how the perception of odor correlates with specific neural activity in their brain. (2005-02-21)

Honeybees defy dino-killing 'nuclear winter'
The humble tropical honeybee may challenge the idea that a post-asteroid impact (2004-11-05)

The insect police: Why social insects punish cheating comrades
Workers of social insects prevent other workers laying eggs to increase colony efficiency and not - as traditionally thought - purely because workers are more related to the queen of the colony. (2004-08-23)

Children with serious insect-sting allergies should get shots to avoid life-threatening reactions
Children who have severe allergic reactions when stung by bees, wasps and other insects should receive venom immunotherapy, or allergy shots, to reduce the chance of future life-threatening reactions if a repeat sting should occur, said an allergist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. (2004-08-11)

Despite darkness, nocturnal bees learn visual landmarks while foraging at night
Day-active bees, such as the fabled honeybee, are well known for using visual landmarks to locate a favoured patch of flowers and to find their way back to their hive. Researchers have now found that nocturnal bees can do the same thing, despite experiencing light intensities that are more than 100 million times dimmer than daylight. The new findings, reported by a team led by Eric Warrant of the University of Lund, Sweden, advance our understanding of the visual powers of nocturnal animals. (2004-08-09)

Wasps' brains enlarge as they perform more demanding jobs
Scientists have know for some time that some social insects undergo dramatic behavioral changes as they mature, and now a research team has found that the brains of a wasp species correspondingly enlarge as the creatures engage in more complex tasks. (2004-03-15)

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
These topics are in the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology: Virus may cause aggression in honeybees; New solar unit successful at disinfecting water; Sourdough bread tolerated by celiac sprue patients. (2004-02-17)

Pew report finds GM insects may offer benefits, but clear regulatory oversight is lacking
Researchers are using biotechnology to develop genetically modified insects for a wide variety of purposes, including fighting insect-borne diseases like malaria and controlling destructive insect agricultural pests, but the federal government lacks a clear regulatory framework for reviewing environmental safety and other issues associated with GM insects, according to Bugs in the System? Issues in the Science and Regulation of Genetically Modified Insects, a new report released by the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. (2004-01-22)

Study of bees by UC San Diego biologist provides insight into evolution of bee communication
A team of biologists working in Brazil may have found the clues to resolving the longstanding mystery of why some species of bees, such as honey bees, communicate the location of food with dances in their hives and why other bees simply leave scent trails from the food source to the nest. (2003-09-22)

Honeybee gene find ends 150-year search
The genetic signal that makes a honeybee male or female has been identified by researchers in Germany, the U.S. and Norway. The finding, published in the August 22 issue of the journal Cell, shows how male bees can have no father, a scientific puzzle going back over 150 years and the explanation for why bees, ants and wasps often form colonial societies. It could also make it easier to breed honeybees. (2003-08-21)

Body clocks keep migrating monarchs on course, Science study shows
During their winter migration to Mexico, monarch butterflies depend on an internal clock to help them navigate in relation to the sun, scientists have found. (2003-05-22)

UCR entomologists report bee-dancing brings more food to honeybee colonies
P. Kirk Visscher, professor of entomology at UCR, reports in Nature that under natural foraging conditions the communication of distance and direction in the dance language can increase the food collection of honeybee colonies. The study also confirms that bees use this directional information in locating the food sources advertised in the dance. The study provides insights that may be of use in manipulating foraging behavior of honeybees for pollination of crops. (2002-12-13)

Facial markings help paper wasps identify each other
Paper wasps all look the same, right? Wrong. One wasp can recognize another through facial and abdominal markings, all but displacing the scientific dogma that insects carry out identification and communication only by pheromones, says a Cornell behaviorist. (2002-10-31)

Had your morning coffee? Thank a killer bee
Debunking the widely held belief that the self-pollinating shrub that produces the Arabica coffee bean has no use for insects, David W. Roubik of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has demonstrated that pollination - particularly by non-native African honeybees - dramatically boosts the yield from coffee plants. The research emphasizes the importance of shade-grown coffee - not only to improve the flavor of the beverage, but also to maintain the habitat for naturalized honeybees and other pollinators. (2002-06-12)

Gene plays key evolutionary role in food-gathering behaviors
A new discovery in the brain of honeybees has researchers at three institutions suggesting that the gene they studied has played a key evolutionary role in the changes of food-gathering behaviors in many creatures. (2002-04-25)

USDA establishes Honeybee Genetics and IPM Center
A $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems will establish a Honeybee Genetics and Integrated Pest Management Center at Cornell University to deal with the continuing threat from deadly parasitic mites and Africanized honeybees. (2002-01-11)

Protein tied to Alzheimer's also plays key role in honeybees
A protein targeted by drug treatments in some patients with Alzheimer's disease also appears to play an important role in honeybees (Apis melifera), researchers say. (2001-09-28)

A sticky situation for ants and bees: UMass biologist looks at how these insects adhere to various surfaces
University of Massachusetts biologist Elizabeth Brainerd is part of a team that recently completed a study on how certain types of ants and bees are able to walk on vertical surfaces - or even upside-down. (2001-09-27)

Dentists abuzz over cavity-prevention potential of honeybee product
Dentists have discovered that a substance that Brazilian honeybees make to protect their hives might prove to be a potent anti-cavity agent. In laboratory tests, the most potent version of propolis, a sticky material like glue that bees make to hold their hives together, cut the cavity rate in rats by about 60 percent, and nearly stopped the activity of a key enzyme that forms dental plaque. (2001-08-29)

Of gallflies, bees, mosquitoes, and butterflies: researchers to discuss insects
The Ecological Society of America is proud to host its 86th Annual Meeting this year in Madison, Wisconsin from August 5-10. Over 3,000 scientists will attend and more than 1500 scientific presentations will be given during the week. Below is a sampling of some of the papers which will be presented on insects. (2001-08-05)

Two bees or not two bees? Researchers take first look at the genetic differences between queen and worker honeybees
For the first time scientists have been able to examine the genetic processes that decide whether a juvenile bee is destined for life as a worker or as a queen. By stringing together a series of images that describe which genes are active, researchers have been able to picture exactly how hormones triggered by environmental and nutritional influences cause larvae to activate the genes necessary to fulfil their destiny. (2001-01-08)

Wireless technology spins off to serve private sector
A wireless communication technology capable of tracking items ranging from honeybees to soldiers will be the foundation of a new company launched today. The startup company, called Wave ID, will license proprietary technology developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and will be financed partially by Battelle, which operates the laboratory for the Department of Energy. (2000-11-28)

Biological clock gene in bees found to have another function
A gene associated with the biological clock in many organisms is more active in the brains of older honeybees, especially foragers whose jobs are outside the hive. University of Illinois researchers suggest that there are molecular connections occurring in the brain that influence the division of labor and the biological clocks of social insects. (2000-07-02)

'Pathfinder' bees use optical odometers, suggesting microsurveillance technologies, Science author says
Honeybees rely on visual cues to gauge the distance to a food source, and new information about their (2000-02-03)

Bees wearing reflectors help scientists track insects' training flights
Like aviators in training, honey bees preparing to forage learn their skills in a series of pre-flights to learn the landscape before undertaking new missions, say Illinois and UK scientists who used harmonic radar to track bees wearing ultra-light reflectors. (2000-02-02)

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