Both, Robert Lu and Prabashi Wickramasinghe are awarded the prestigious AGES scholarship for their excellence as graduate students! Congratulations: Well deserved!
In a new study, we show that eggs of queens in small colonies are not only larger but also qualitatively better than eggs produced by queens in big colonies. The superior eggs give larvae a head start. Under natural conditions, larvae that start small but grow up in large colonies can compensate by growing faster and end up similarly-sized as adult workers that grow from big eggs in small colonies. However, when small eggs are transferred into small colonies, they do not catch up and emerge as smaller adults.
Alex and I put our best efforts into writing a comprehensive review of the social aspects of honey bee foraging. What should have been quite straightforward proved more challenging than anticipated. Thank you to the editor anyway for giving us the opportunity to contribute to the book entitled “The Foraging Behavior of the Honey Bee“. We hope that it will be useful!
My personal beginnings of honey bee research were devoted to understanding the transitioning of honey bee workers from in-hive tasks to outside foraging. With our collaborators from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, we have just published another analysis of this phenomenon at the proteome level. Using a novel antibody array as a proteomic tool that should be useful more generally, we report that Major Royal Jelly Proteins are involved, adding to the complex regulation of this life history transition and adding to the complex pleiotropy of MRJPs.
The variation in maternal provisioning in honey bees continues to amaze me and in our newest eLife publication, we report on some of the causation of this reproductive plasticity.
Our new collaborative work with the group of Victoria Soroker of the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel is showing that selection for hygienic behavior in honey bees has multiple benefits. Not only is social immunity enhanced, but this also translates into lower Varroa mite loads and better individual immunity.
On behalf of our undergraduate students Dawit and Tianna, we would like to express our great appreciation of the support by the Alberta Beekeepers Commission. Both, Dawit and Tianna, received ABC bursaries to further their studies of honey bees!
In my first large in-person conference since the COVID pandemic, our lab was well represented, co-organizing a symposium, and contributing 3 talks and 1 poster presentation! Lots of social insect discussion and fun in San Diego as well…
Congratulations to Prashant for graduating with his PhD! We all wish him the best for a bright path into the future!
Kaira termed this the UBO (Unhealthy Brood Odor) assay and it performs quite well in predicting the Varroa mite levels, hygienic removal of mites from brood cells under field conditions, and colony winter survival. Take a look at the paper in the Journal of Insect Science.