Bees have “nervously” checked out of a new pollinator-friendly state of mind, as the threat of extinction looms.
In a recent study published in Nature Communications, the authors describe how the honeybees in North America are experiencing “buzzing and excitement” as the state of the honeybee is threatened.
“Bees are looking for a way out,” lead author Rebecca Dutton of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill told Bloomberg Businessweek.
“We’re going to get this hive back, it’s going to be a big success story.”
The researchers looked at the bees in North Carolina to determine how they are feeling about extinction, how they think about the future, and what they think is going to happen to bees in the future.
The study looked at 6,200 bees in six colonies.
The bees that were surveyed were placed in one of three conditions: they were kept in a hive that was protected from pests, they were exposed to pollen and nectar from pollen and other plants, or they were placed on a field with an artificial field.
The researchers found that the bees were happier and more active on the field compared to their natural surroundings.
This suggests that honeybees are more anxious when the bees are in a safe environment.
“If the bees feel safe, then they will be more productive and they’ll produce more pollen and pollen is good for bees,” said Dutton.
“They have the most positive impact on the bees.”
The bee colony in question is in North Charleston, South Carolina, near the state’s border with Virginia.
While the researchers didn’t specifically measure how happy the bees felt, they did find that they were more anxious around the hive when they were not in the hive.
“There’s a lot of anxiety about bees and their future,” Dutton said.
“People are afraid that honeybee colonies will disappear.
This is an indicator that bees are actually being more anxious about extinction.”
The bees are also feeling anxious around each other, which suggests that bees need each other to survive.
“When we see these bee colonies in distress, the honey bees are very much like family members,” Ducker said.
The team also found that honey bees have evolved to work with different kinds of plants and their own natural environment.
The most important thing, she said, is to keep bees healthy.
“I think the key here is not to make honeybees feel bad, but to make them feel more secure.”
Scientists are hoping to learn more about the stress that honeykeepers are facing as a result of their pollinator problem.
The next step will be to look at how honeybees react to their own genetic makeup, which could give scientists insight into the health of individual bees.
The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the American Honey Institute.
The article originally appeared on Bloomberg BusinessWeek.