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Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome.

Bromenshenk JJ, Henderson CB, Seccomb RA, Welch PM, Debnam SE, Firth DR - Biosensors (Basel) (2015)

Bottom Line: Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle.In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals.In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Bee Alert Technology, Inc., 91 Campus Drive, PMB# 2604, Missoula, MT 59801, USA. beeresearch@aol.com.

ABSTRACT
This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%-80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

(a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of honey bee sonograms in response to exposure to a variety of chemicals, published in the patent disclosure [94]; (b) PCA of honey bee sonograms relative to infestation rates of varroa mites [95].
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biosensors-05-00678-f010: (a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of honey bee sonograms in response to exposure to a variety of chemicals, published in the patent disclosure [94]; (b) PCA of honey bee sonograms relative to infestation rates of varroa mites [95].

Mentions: Recently, we have just completed another USDA SBIR I project focused on the detection of acute and chronic exposures of bee colonies to pesticides, especially the neonicotinoid pesticides. Preliminary data reveals that while honey bee colonies tend to become noisier when exposed to many of the older organic insecticides, colonies become quieter when exposed to neonicotinoids [96]. Our most significant finding across all of these studies is that not only are the sounds that bee colonies produce altered when the bees are exposed to different stressors, but the colony sounds change in ways which can delineate the type of chemical, pest, and disease (Figure 9a,b and Figure 10a,b) [94,95,96].


Bees as Biosensors: Chemosensory Ability, Honey Bee Monitoring Systems, and Emergent Sensor Technologies Derived from the Pollinator Syndrome.

Bromenshenk JJ, Henderson CB, Seccomb RA, Welch PM, Debnam SE, Firth DR - Biosensors (Basel) (2015)

(a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of honey bee sonograms in response to exposure to a variety of chemicals, published in the patent disclosure [94]; (b) PCA of honey bee sonograms relative to infestation rates of varroa mites [95].
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4697140&req=5

biosensors-05-00678-f010: (a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of honey bee sonograms in response to exposure to a variety of chemicals, published in the patent disclosure [94]; (b) PCA of honey bee sonograms relative to infestation rates of varroa mites [95].
Mentions: Recently, we have just completed another USDA SBIR I project focused on the detection of acute and chronic exposures of bee colonies to pesticides, especially the neonicotinoid pesticides. Preliminary data reveals that while honey bee colonies tend to become noisier when exposed to many of the older organic insecticides, colonies become quieter when exposed to neonicotinoids [96]. Our most significant finding across all of these studies is that not only are the sounds that bee colonies produce altered when the bees are exposed to different stressors, but the colony sounds change in ways which can delineate the type of chemical, pest, and disease (Figure 9a,b and Figure 10a,b) [94,95,96].

Bottom Line: Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle.In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals.In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Bee Alert Technology, Inc., 91 Campus Drive, PMB# 2604, Missoula, MT 59801, USA. beeresearch@aol.com.

ABSTRACT
This review focuses on critical milestones in the development path for the use of bees, mainly honey bees and bumble bees, as sentinels and biosensors. These keystone species comprise the most abundant pollinators of agro-ecosystems. Pollinating 70%-80% of flowering terrestrial plants, bees and other insects propel the reproduction and survival of plants and themselves, as well as improve the quantity and quality of seeds, nuts, and fruits that feed birds, wildlife, and us. Flowers provide insects with energy, nutrients, and shelter, while pollinators are essential to global ecosystem productivity and stability. A rich and diverse milieu of chemical signals establishes and maintains this intimate partnership. Observations of bee odor search behavior extend back to Aristotle. In the past two decades great strides have been made in methods and instrumentation for the study and exploitation of bee search behavior and for examining intra-organismal chemical communication signals. In particular, bees can be trained to search for and localize sources for a variety of chemicals, which when coupled with emerging tracking and mapping technologies create novel potential for research, as well as bee and crop management.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus