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Honey Bee Inhibitory Signaling Is Tuned to Threat Severity and Can Act as a Colony Alarm Signal

Fig 1

Effects of hornet attacks upon colony foraging allocation and defense.

In both contexts, larger hornets were more dangerous. (A) The large hornet elicited the greatest colony foraging aversion (six trials/treatment/colony for a total of 54 trials). Scale bar is 1 cm. Different letters indicate significant differences (Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference [HSD] test, p < 0.05). (B) When it attacked the colony, the large hornet was balled by 6-fold more bees, and 13-fold more of these bees died (percentage dead also shown, three trials/treatment/colony for a total of 18 trials). An image of bees balling the small hornet is shown. Different letters indicate significant differences. Graphs show the mean ± 1 standard error.

Fig 1

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002423.g001