Bees Using Thermoregulation to Combat Infection

Graphs: Bees Using Thermoregulation to Combat Infection

Caption: Higher temperatures enhance survival of infected bees. This figure demonstrates that bees infected with the protozoan Nosema apis survive as long as uninfected control bees if they are kept at a higher temperature. This suggests that a honeybee colony, which has extraordinary thermoregulatory capabilities, can enhance COLONY temperature to combat an infection. The fact that the fever has to be generated collectively by a tighter than normal clustering of individual bees is what makes the phenomenon very interesting.
The y axis is proportion of bees surviving to the ages given on x axis. So, if you start with 100 one-day old bees, survival at age 1 is 1 and then if you keep computing what proportion of the original group is surviving across the next few days/weeks, you have the curve what is in the figure. (I've modified the axes a bit to make it more clear).

Background image: Densely packed bees in the colony

Source: Dhruba Naug, Ohio State University

Credit: Scott Camazine & Dhruba Naug

Websites: N/A
NSF funded: Yes (Brian H. Smith is the PI at Ohio State.)
NSF Permitted Use: YES (Internal use only)

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