Biologists have noticed that aggressive bees secrete more saturated venom

Biologists have noticed that aggressive bees secrete more saturated venom
Biologists have noticed that aggressive bees secrete more saturated venom
Anonim

The content of protein toxins in bee venom decreases in the heat, but increases when the bee becomes aggressive.

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Bee venom is the most expensive of beekeeping products: its cost ranges from tens to hundreds of dollars per gram, depending on purity and composition. The poison is used in folk and evidence-based medicine, cosmetology. It contains a cocktail of toxic protein enzymes, the exact content of which varies depending on many factors, including species and subspecies, habitat and the composition of the food that the bees receive.

Australian biologists, led by Daniela Scaccabarozzi, examined the composition of the venom of Italian bees, a subspecies of honeybees, that live in local myrtle forests. The results of the work are presented in an article published in the PLOS One magazine.

From late January to March 2020, scientists collected bee venom samples from 25 agricultural colonies in southwestern Australia, scattered up to 200 kilometers away. It was during this period that the marri trees bloom there - relatives of eucalyptus. In the composition of the venom, 99 different proteins have been identified, of which only about a third have been described so far.

Scientists have shown that the content of these proteins - and hence the quality of the poison - depends on a mass of previously unknown factors. Thus, the poison more saturated with enzymes was excreted by bees that were in aggressive excitement. And hot weather, on the contrary, reduced the production of poison. Scientists estimate that the optimum temperature for this is between 33 and 36 ° C - at least for these bees in Australia.

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