Bees are essential to our business. We spend plenty of time taking care of the bees and using the honey they provide us to bring to you in our extraordinary products. Recently, a story was written about unlocking the genetic code of these insects. The article, which was published in BBC news Science and environment section describes how researches claim to have unlocked the genetic secrets of honey bees’ high sensitivity to environmental change.
“”Honey bees live in complex societies comprising tens of thousands of individuals,” explained study co-author Paul Hurd from Queen Mary, University of London.”
Many people know the basic structure of how a hive works. A queen bee is used for reproduction while hundreds of honey bee collect pollen, find food in flowers and nurse the larvae in the hive. However, more information is developing and being found on how and why the bees are chosen the way they are.
“The type of food the larvae is fed dictates the developmental outcome – larvae destined to become workers are fed a pollen and nectar diet, and those destined to become queens are fed royal jelly.
“This difference in feeding is maintained over the entire lifetime of the worker or queen bee.”
So what difference does this make? The finding suggests that there is a change in the “histone code,” a process that changes protein genetics within the cells’ nuclei, rather than changes already locked into the DNA. “The report marks the first time such effects had been recorded in honey bees.”
It’s an interesting development and could lead to finding out why problems like colony collapse disorders occur. You can find out more about the story by clicking here for the full-length article.