Vale JO, Acosta-Avalos D. Magnetosensitivity in the Stingless Bee Tetragonisca angustula: Magnetic Inclination Can Alter the Choice of the Flying Departure Angle From the Nest. Bioelectromagnetics. 2020 Dec 16. doi: 10.1002/bem.22312. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33326627.
It is known that animals are sensitive to the geomagnetic field. In the case of insects, magnetoreception has been reported in several ant species and in some bees and wasps. One study showed that the stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula is able to sense the modification of the magnetic field inclination. The aim of the present manuscript is to continue that study in T. angustula, analyzing the nest arrival and departure angles in the presence of magnetic fields generated by magnets. The bees flying to and from the nest were recorded and the flying trajectories were obtained by analyzing the video frame by frame. The magnetic field was generated by 6, 9, or 12 magnets contained inside an Eppendorf tube and fixed near the nest. Our results show that T. angustula bees are sensitive to magnetic fields because the departure angles are influenced by the magnets. It was observed that these bees are sensitive to the polarization of the magnetic field vector that influences the choice of flying up or down, and this sensitivity has a window until about 80 μT (about four times the local geomagnetic field), with the magnetic field information for higher magnetic field intensities being ignored by the bees. © 2020 Bioelectromagnetics Society.
© 2020 Bioelectromagnetics Society.