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Why bees fly away

Posted by jmontague on 07 Oct 2010 at 19:18 GMT

I saw the write up on this study in 10/7 NYT, and it occurred to me that infected and dying bees might fly away from their colonies to die, not because they're insane, but rather because they somehow recognize that they're ill, and don't want to further infect or damage the rest of the colony. This idea might fit with some of the bees' communication and societal coordination capabilities, and might suggest some new areas for further research.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Why bees fly away

beeresearch replied to jmontague on 23 Feb 2011 at 00:30 GMT

I agree, this was a misquote by NYT. I don't remember ever saying bees go insane. Some investigators speculate that bees forget how to find their way home. A simpler explanation might be that sick bees fly out, are too weakened to return, die in the field.

Competing interests declared: Corresponding Author