Pheromone Communication in Bees
Why Study Pheromones?
One of the most exciting things about any area of science is that the more we know, the more it seems there is to know. Yet as scientists continue to investigate pheromone communication, they are doing more than satisfying their curiosity. There are very practical reasons for studying the pheromones of honey bees, as well as those of other animals. The knowledge we gain from such research can be used to benefit humans in a variety of ways.
As they forage for food, bees and other insects spread pollen from flower to flower. In so doing, they ensure that many kinds of plants will continue to produce seeds year after year, seeds that will grow into the plants that provide us with food and other useful products. It might someday be possible to use synthetic pheromones to make these insect pollinators more efficient.
In the future, for instance, farmers may be able to attract bees to crops that need pollinating by spraying their ﬁelds with synthetic pheromone. Learn more at http://austingosser.bcz.com
Researchers at the U.S.Department of Agriculture conducting an experiment with the trail pheromones of ﬁre ants. The pheromones might be used to attract the insects to food treated with insecticide. This would then be carried back to the nest and consumed. This is only one of the ways in which pheromones may be helpful in controlling insect pests.