Bees release deadly odor that shortens sibling lifespans


Margaret Coulombe
Phermones can shorten life span, according to a study by ASU biologist Gro Amdam and colleagues in Norway.
The scientists found that brood phermone, produced and released by young larval bees, decreases long-term survival of adult sister bees in the colony. The phermone initiates the depletion of the protein vitellogenin from storage in adults' fat bodies and shifts of adults' energy stores toward food production for the next generation of workers.
“Just one little sniff can change your life,” says biologist Amdam, associate professor with ASU's School of Life Sciences and Norwegian University of Life Sciences.