Iowa Honey Queen
September and October
Rain, more rain, and surprise, surprise rain. That was the story of the end of my summer and the reason I wasn’t able to get an article in to the buzz in August for the September issue and I lumped two months into one article. My dad experienced some flooding and needed help, add all my fair and back to school preparations to that and you have yourself a concoction that would make any honey queen pull her hair out! But fortunately I survived and get to continue on with my reign.
At state fair I got to meet a lot of new people and take lots of photographs, I even got to sign autographs and one little girl wanted me to take her to my castle! I have to say the best part of honey queen is sometimes the little kids and the things they say. It wouldn’t be right if fair went perfectly smooth for me and I ran into no problems, so naturally with my luck I caught the 24 hour stomach flu right at the end and spent one day sleeping and the next few trying to smile and keep from passing out. But in all I would call the Iowa State Fair a complete success!
For the month of September I will attending Old Threshers in Mount Pleasant with Phil Ebert, and by the time you read this that event should be over, but none the less I’m sure it will be fun and I will get to talk to a lot of people about honeybees. The only other event I currently have scheduled is on October 2nd and 3rd at Living History Farms rolling candles with kids.
Now that I’m back to school I am keeping plenty busy, I currently have a credit load of 21 credits and am in the process of finding a job. I don’t want that to deter you from scheduling me though! Often times all I need is a little advanced warning so I can get my professors to let me out of class, so don’t assume I can’t make it, just contact me with any event you might have and I will sweet talk them into excusing me!!
I want to keep this short and sweet, but I have one other pitch I need to get in real quick. I encourage any young lady that meets the requirements for honey queen to give it a try! Besides the skills you build on and the people you meet, you also get to travel the state and see things you never thought were in Iowa and get to learn so much about beekeeping! If you have any questions about being queen or the process feel free to contact me or the queen chairs.
I hope everyone is ready for fall! Remember to stay safe during harvest!
Making Bees Less Busy:
Social Environment Changes Internal Clocks
Study suggests honey bees' circadian rhythms depend on contact with young
Honey bees removed from their usual roles in the hive quickly and drastically changed their biological rhythms, according to a study in the Sept. 15 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The changes were evident in both the bees' behavior and in their internal clocks. These findings indicate that social environment has a significant effect on the physiology and behavior of animals. In people, disturbances to the biological clock are known to cause problems for shift workers and new parents and for contributing to mood disorders.
Circadian rhythm, the body's "internal clock," regulates daily functions. A few "clock genes" control many actions, including the time of sleeping, eating and drinking, temperature regulation, and hormone fluctuations. However, exactly how that clock is affected by—and affects—social interactions with other animals is unknown.
Senior author Guy Bloch, PhD, and his colleagues from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, chose to study bees in part because of their complex social environment. One role in bee society is the "nurse": bees that are busy at all times caring for larvae. This continuous activity is different from other bees and animals, whose levels rise and fall throughout the day.
Bloch and his team thought that changing the nurse bees' social environment might alter their activity levels, so they separated them from their larvae. The researchers found that the bees' cellular rhythms and behavior completely changed, matching a more typical circadian cycle.
"Our findings show that circadian rhythms of honey bees are altered by signals from the brood that are transferred by close or direct contact," Bloch said. "This flexibility in the bees' clock is striking, given that humans and most other animals studied cannot sustain long periods of around-the-clock activity without deterioration in performance and an increase in disease."
The results suggest that the bees' internal clocks were shaped by certain social cues. Jürgen Tautz, PhD, of the Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg in Germany, an expert in honey bee biology who was unaffiliated with the study, said it is a wonderful example of the tightly regulated interactions between genes and behavior in a bee colony. "The presence or absence of larvae switched the genes 'on' or 'off,' which guaranteed the adaptive behavior of the bees," Tautz said.
Because bees and mammals' circadian clocks are similarly organized, the question is whether the clocks of other animals also strongly depend on their social environments. The next step is to find just how social exchanges influence gene expressions. Further research into this question may have implications for individuals who suffer from disturbances in their behavioral, sleeping, and waking cycles. Research into how these rhythms may be altered and even stabilized might identify new treatment options.
Content Provided by
National Science Foundation
Where Discoveries Begin