Mapping of active brain regions in Japanese honeybees that form a 'hot defensive bee ball'
Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) workers exhibit a characteristic defense behavior against giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia japonica) that invade their hives: they form a 'hot defensive bee ball' by surrounding the hornet en masse, thus killing it with heat. In this study, we used a neural activity marker gene, termed Acks (=Apis cerana kakusei), to show that a subpopulation of neurons that comprise the mushroom bodies (a higher brain center) is active in the brains of Japanese honeybee workers that form a hot defensive bee ball. Similar mushroom body neural activity was observed in the brains of workers merely exposed to high temperature in an insect cage in the laboratory, suggesting that high temperature information is processed in the brains of workers that form a hot defensive bee ball.
- Detection of Neural Activity in the Brains of Japanese Honeybee Workers during the Formation of a ‘Hot Defensive Bee Ball’
- Atsushi Ugajin, Taketoshi Kiya, Takekazu Kunieda, Masato Ono, Tadaharu Yoshida, and Kubo Takeo
- PLoS ONE 7(3): e32902. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032902