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Honey bees (Apis mellifera) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) are social insects that have evolved a coordinated defensive response to ensure colony survival. Their nests may contain valuable resources such as pollen and nectar that are attractive to a range of insect and mammalian intruders and need protecting. With sufficient provocation, honey bees will mobilize and sting intruders, who are likely to incur additional stings. To inspect and manage their colonies, beekeepers apply smoke to decrease the likelihood of being stung. The use of smoke is a ubiquitous beekeeping practice, but the reasons behind its efficacy remain unknown. In this study, we examined the effects of smoke on honey bee defensive behavior by assessing individual sting extension responses under smoke conditions. We applied a brief voltage to the bee, ranging from a mild to a strong perturbation, and assessed four components of the sting extension reflex using two types of smoke. We found that smoke did not influence the probability of sting extension, but it did affect whether a venom droplet was released with the stinger. The venom droplet was more likely to be released at higher voltage levels, but this effect was significantly reduced under smoke conditions. Based on these results, we propose that the venom droplet coincides with greater agitation in individual bees; and smoke reduces the probability of its release. We speculate that the venom droplet serves to amplify the sting alarm pheromone, and smoke, in its ability to reduce droplet formation, may indicate that less alarm pheromone is released.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of insect science (Online)
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Arthropods of the order Scorpiones, of which 1500 to 2000 species have been described. The most common live in tropical or subtropical areas. They are nocturnal and feed principally on insects and other arthropods. They are large arachnids but do not attack man spontaneously. They have a venomous sting. Their medical significance varies considerably and is dependent on their habits and venom potency rather than on their size. At most, the sting is equivalent to that of a hornet but certain species possess a highly toxic venom potentially fatal to humans. (From Dorland, 27th ed; Smith, Insects and Other Arthropods of Medical Importance, 1973, p417; Barnes, Invertebrate Zoology, 5th ed, p503)
Species of jellyfish, in the family Pelagiidae, order Semaeostomeae, class SCYPHOZOA. Their painful sting is caused by a venom toxic to humans.
Venoms produced by FISHES, including SHARKS and sting rays, usually delivered by spines. They contain various substances, including very labile toxins that affect the HEART specifically and all MUSCLES generally.
A mass spectrometry technique used for analysis of nonvolatile compounds such as proteins and macromolecules. The technique involves preparing electrically charged droplets from analyte molecules dissolved in solvent. The electrically charged droplets enter a vacuum chamber where the solvent is evaporated. Evaporation of solvent reduces the droplet size, thereby increasing the coulombic repulsion within the droplet. As the charged droplets get smaller, the excess charge within them causes them to disintegrate and release analyte molecules. The volatilized analyte molecules are then analyzed by mass spectrometry.
Drugs that act on adrenergic receptors or affect the life cycle of adrenergic transmitters. Included here are adrenergic agonists and antagonists and agents that affect the synthesis, storage, uptake, metabolism, or release of adrenergic transmitters.