(University of California, Riverside) Research indicates that a queen bumble bee’s diet can impact how quickly her brood develops, or whether she’s able to live through hibernation. A new study from Dr. Hollis Woodard and her team at UC Riverside demonstrates that without adequate sugar, the queen’s fat body, which functions like a human liver, does not correctly produce the enzymes required for healthy metabolism and detoxification from pesticides.
(Phys.org/University of Sussex) A queen honey bee might mate with ten to twenty males. But a queen of stingless bees found in tropical countries like Brazil normally only mate with one male. According to this new paper, that may be to reduce the chance of execution.
(UC Riverside) “Our study is the first to look at diet during this stage where queen bumbles are trying to start a nest, and to show that the diets they have access to impact how quickly they can transition to having helpers.” And without a variety of pollens available, the queens are constrained to fewer options, some of which appear to be bad for them.
(University of Bristol) “It’s not just how much nectar there is that matters, but what time of year that nectar is available. If a bumble bee queen comes out of hibernation in March and finds nothing to eat, it doesn’t matter how much nectar there is in summer, because she won’t be alive.”