Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont

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Researchers have unraveled the neuro-molecular mechanism of defense by honey bees when exposed to the sting alarm pheromone that they release in the face of a threat.
The team of researchers led by Prof. Martin Giurfa from the Universite de Toulouse in Toulouse, France has found that smelling isoamyl acetate, the main component in the alarm pheromone, increases the level of serotonin and dopamine in their brains, which, in turn, increases the stinging behaviour in bees and thus repels a threat. By itself, the alarm pheromone does not behave as a stimulus but increases the likelihood of bees guarding the hive to repel a threat by stinging.