Honey Bee Behavioral Physiology Laboratory


Welcome to the Honey Bee Behavioral Physiology Lab!

We investigate the role of genetics, environmental, and developmental context in the plasticity and ecological physiology of behavior using the honey bee.  The complexity of social interactions in the honey bee model system rivals that of even primate societies and, due to the long association between humans and bees, colonies are easier to keep and manipulate. With the sequencing of the honey bee genome we can ask truly systems level questions, combining genetic, molecular, endocrine, neural, developmental, behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary levels of analysis.

Our research examines the effects of genetic lineage, gene expression, metabolic physiology, and endocrinology on behavioral development and behavioral performance, as well as the effects of behavioral performance on endocrine, metabolic, and molecular physiology.

During their adult lives, honey bees move through a series of behaviorally defined life history stages in an age-related fashion. For the first 2-3 weeks, worker bees perform tasks inside the hive such as brood care and hive maintenance prior to transitioning to tasks outside the hive, becoming the bees commonly seen at flowers foraging for nectar and pollen. Depending on the social environment honey bees can move more quickly or more slowly through these behavioral stages.

Prospective Students
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School of Life Sciences

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Mailing Address
University of Nevada Las Vegas
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 454004
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-4004

Telephone 1.702.895.0440

Email michelle.elekonich@unlv.edu

Last modified: 03/12/09