Final Paper on Bees - Abstract Thermoregulation, or the...

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Abstract Thermoregulation, or the policing of internal temperatures of organisms or colonies by those organisms, is often needed to control the changing temperatures due to the changing environment. Honey bees, Apis Mellifera , must use a variety of methods to maintain a safe temperature within the hive, using techniques such as wing fanning, shielding, and the spreading of evaporative fluid to keep the hive cool during hotter periods (Heinrich 1980, 1985). This study used a brood comb and honey comb from the same hive and conducted a 70-minute experiment to determine the difference in the number of bees wing fanning between the two combs. A 35-minute heating period was used and there was a clear difference in the combs, with the brood comb (3.71 ± 1.71 bees, n = 7) experiencing a greater number of bees wing fanning than the honey comb (2.00 ± 12.83 bees, n = 7) did. The increase in the number of bees wing fanning in both combs over the 35 minute heating period illustrates how wing fanning is used as a thermoregulation technique in honey bees, but the greater number of bees wing fanning in the brood comb in this period indicates that there is a greater need for thermoregulation within the brood comb when compared to honey comb. Introduction Thermoregulation can be found in many types of insects, especially those that rely on flying. The internal temperature of these organisms often parallels ambient temperatures in the absence of mitigating conditions. Since ambient temperatures can frequently exceed an organism’s physiological tolerance levels or reach levels at which the organism is prevented from functioning normally, it is crucial that the organism maintain an optimum temperature. When temperatures rise above tolerance levels, reactions times to stimulus for these organisms can slow down, the ability to find food or defend themselves can be hindered, and their reproductive success can be decreased. Therefore, the changing of ambient temperatures often causes organisms such as insects to resort to behaviors that
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help to regulate their own internal temperatures as well as keep the temperature within a colony in a safe range. Honeybees, or Apis Mellifera , are a species of insect that rely on a constant temperature within the hive to increase survival. Honeybees must maintain a certain temperature throughout the year and use a variety of methods to cool down the hive, including wing fanning, shielding, and the spreading of evaporative fluid (Heinrich 1980, 1985). The mechanism of wing fanning will be the primary basis of this study. To decrease the temperature of the hive, the bees will buzz their wings to
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This lab report was uploaded on 02/06/2008 for the course BIO 2210 taught by Professor Seeley during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Final Paper on Bees - Abstract Thermoregulation, or the...

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