Virus-Infected Bees Practice Social Distancing


This is scientific Americans. Sixty seconds science. I'm Karen Hopkins. If there's one thing we know about viruses it's that they love to spread the novel. Corona virus is happy to use US humans as its host other viruses fancy bees but like us B.'s. Fight back in the case of one particular virus called Israeli acute paralysis. Virus study shows honeybees. Actually use a form of social distancing to prevent transmitting the infection within their own colony of course not to be outdone. The virus manipulates the bees in a way that spreads the infection to the colony. Next door move studies in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Honeybees live in large communities that contain tens of thousands of related individuals in close quarters so researchers got to wondering how can keep infections from spreading like wildfire while a graduate student. At the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana Tim good not developed an automated system for continuously tracking the behavior of thousands of individual bees and he watched what happened when he introduced infected bees into the hive. Entomologist Adam Dozo. Who worked with good Described what they saw. We found in this study that within their own Colin context when they are interacting with their nest mates usually they're sisters. Infected fees experience fewer contact behaviors fewer mouth to mouth feeding contacts than bees. Who are not infected. The researchers also saw the same sort of social avoidance when instead of infecting the bees with virus they artificially activated the bee's immune system so the behavior is driven by the virus but by the bees own immune response which Dole says make sense if honeybees are going to protect their colony in their queen from disease sick. Bees need to keep their feelers to themselves. They have to they live in these really large colonies. Where everybody's touching each other all the time. They're all closely related joke. That honeybees have been doing social distancing for millions of years at the same time beezer under no pressure to keep infections from spreading to other colonies. And that's where the virus gains the UPPERHAND. Amy Jeffrey who worked on the project. As a graduate student found that the guard bees from other colonies were actually less aggressive toward incoming infected bees than they were to uninfected bees as a result that infected beezer accepted into the colony at about twice the rate of control bees or immune stimulated B.'s. The virus it seems alters the chemicals that bees produced to communicate who they are and where they're from and so we think that One way that the virus could be gaining entry to these other colonies is by changing the bees physiology in a way to make it more acceptable to other colonies on guard bees. Let's bad news for beekeepers who tend to keep tens or even hundreds of hives right next to one another to really ripe situation for bees to be able to move between colonies relatively easily and bring pathogens and parasites along with them. Seems you gotTa Carefully Mind Your Beeswax. And keep kept colonies. Healthily socially distanced for scientific Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Karen Hopkin.

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