Thursday, July 01, 2010

Bees need sleep too

I keep posting information and news about bees because they are so important to our well being

All of us need them to be healthy and doing their thing for us and themselves

Wherever we are on the planet let us all get involved in their well being

In the UK a "sponsor a hive" initiative has just been started

Is there such a thing where you are?

Ever thought of doing something like this yourself?


So on to this latest study

The UK study found bees will still return to the hive to rest well before midnight, even in a 24 hour sunlight.
The research, published in the journal journal BMC Biology, proves that a "overnight break" is necessary even in the insect world.
A team from Queen Mary University of London studied bees at a research station in Northern Finland as well as taking hives from areas where there is no midnight sun in summer.
Even bees that were not used to constant daylight were back in the hive before midnight and rested until dawn.
Ralph Stelzer, one of the researchers, said it proved that even bees need to rest.
Constant daylight would seem to provide a unique opportunity for bumblebee foragers to maximise intake, and therefore colony growth, by remaining active during the entire 24-hour period.
We found that bees do not naturally take advantage of this opportunity, suggesting that there is some benefit to an 'overnight' break".
Mr Stelzer said the bees must have some way of telling the time in the absence of day/night cues, suggesting that the insects may be sensitive to light intensity and quality or changes in temperature.
Despite the light, temperatures do fall during the Arctic 'night', so it may be that the bees need to return to their nests in order to warm their brood.
Also, it has been suggested that a period of sleep helps bees to remember information gained during the day's foraging

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