Achievement of thermal stability by varying metabolic heat production in flying honeybees

Jon Harrison, Jennifer Fewell, Stephen P. Roberts, H. Glenn Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermoregulation of the thorax allows endothermic insects to achieve power outputs during flight that are among the highest in the animal kingdom. Flying endothermic insects, including the honeybee Apis mellifera, are believed to thermoregulate almost exclusively by varying heat loss. Here it is shown that a rise in air temperature from 20° to 40°C causes large decreases in metabolic heat production and wing-beat frequency in honeybees during hovering, agitated, or loaded flight. Thus, variation in heat production may be the primary mechanism for achieving thermal stability in flying honeybees, and this mechanism may occur commonly in endothermic insects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-90
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume274
Issue number5284
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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