BIEB 166 Lecture 26 (WI13)

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Biol/Ecology, Behavior, & Evol
BIEB 166
James Nieh

Lecture 26 CASE STUDY: HONEY BEE STINGING Key stimulus Alarm pheromone 1. Mandibular glands - 2-heptanone 2. Sting gland - Isopentyl acetate ○ Slight banana odor - Considered to elicit aggression and stinging Innate releasing mechanism - Stimulates aggression and stinging Fixed action pattern - Complex sequence - No subunits - Runs to completion - Pattern is invariant Stinging 1. Bee buzzes around the animal - As a warning 2. Lands on the animal 3. Applies sting - Unique to honeybees 4. Flies away with sting embedded in animal - Leaving part of the body in the animal 5. Sting poison gland continues to pump toxins into the animal while the bee buzzes around the animal - As a distraction from the stinger 6. Sting also releases alarm pheromone, which attracts other bees to sting - Venom sac 7. Bee dies - Its sacrifice is beneficial to the colony Tinbergen’s 4 questions: Why does a stinging honeybee die after stinging? Proximate 1. Causation - She dies because part of her internal body organs are pulled out with the stinger ○ Venom gland and the stinger are the parts of the body organs ○ Only females have stingers 2. Development - She dies because the stinging apparatus developed as an integral part of her internal organs - The longer time to sting removal, larger area of sting weal Ultimate 1. Function - She dies because she can produce a much stronger deterrent effect ○ Leaving the sting with poison gland still pumping away while, with her last effort, she buzzes around, distracting the animal from the stinger 2. Evolutionary history - In evolutionary history, honey bee colonies with such self-sacrificing workers were able to defend themselves more effectively against predators and the genes for this altruism spread ○ Workers within a colony are closely related to each other and to the queen - Since the worker does not reproduce, her life is not important - The colonies ability to successfully rear reproductive is important ○ The sacrifice of her life has a net benefit rather than a net cost - The queen is also female, the have a sting - The queen is also female, the have a sting ○ They sting their rivals ○ When honeybees are created inside the nest, the first honeybee queen to emerge will go to kill all of the rivals that are still inside the queen cells ○ The stinger goes in and comes out ○ Looks different Motivation - Stinging motivation is controlled by her proximity to the nest - Close to hive, likely to sting ○ Because the sacrifice of the worker’s life only makes sense if she protecting the interests of the colony, worker’s will not sting unprovoked unless the animal is close to the colony - Out in the field, away from the colony, the worker’s strategy is to escape ○ The colony is not being threatened ○ She can live to continue gathering more food resources - If the bee can smell the alarm pheromones, they are more likely to sting even they're far from their nests - If the animal swats or sits on the bee, she has an automatic response to sting Africanized “killer bees” - The bees have a much broader radius of what they consider to be “too close to the nest” - In the field, far away from the nest, these bees are just as likely to sting as regular honeybees Nature vs. nurture - Stinging behavior, like most fixed action patterns, is largely genetically based ○ Closed behavioral program Learning - Associative learning ○ 2 events are associated, the second reinforcing the first Predator - In order for the
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