Stressed Out Bees That Grow Up Too Fast May Hold Clue To Colony Collapse

February 10, 2015 | Bucky Turco

According to a new study, the massive decline in honeybee populations can be explained by young bees that are forced to work at too young of an age. Typically, a bee isn’t required to get a job until it’s 2-3 weeks old, but researchers from Queen Mary University of London say that in colonies where shit’s falling apart, the fledgling insects are forced to get off their tiny bee asses and start foraging. Unfortunately, as ambitious as these twerps are, they’re not ready for primetime and many die on their first flight and a cycle of death and decline ensues. Science Daily reports:

They found that any stress leading to chronic forager death of the normally older bees led to an increasingly young foraging force. This younger foraging population lead to poorer performance and quicker deaths of foragers and dramatically accelerated the decline of the colony much like observations of CCD seen around the world.

Dr. Andrew Barron of Macquarie University told Discovery that foraging ain’t easy and that it would be best if young bees didn’t take on that responsibility until they’ve lived a little: “[I]t makes sense for the society if bees only go out foraging once they’ve made other contributions to the society.”

(Photo: USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab)