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Thread: Bees sleep...

  1. #1
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    Default Bees sleep...

    When asked if bees sleep, I didn't have a good answer...

    One can be found here:

    http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/211/18/3028
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Why wouldn't bees sleep?
    What doesn't sleep?

    That said, books I have read say they do.

    But again, why wouldn't they?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    I don't recall reading that bees sleep, and when asked about it my first reaction is to do a little research instead of simply replying "of course!"

    A little google search will provide links to both answers.

    A study that Thomas Selley was involved with is noteworthy in my opinion.

    I believe there may be a number of things that rest but don't sleep.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Thanks for posting that interesting study. I've occasionally heard that honey bees don't sleep. (I think it was by people prone to give their hives a whack at night and put an ear to the side.)

    So it is clear that honey bees do sleep, but, perchance, to dream?

    Wayne

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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I don't recall reading that bees sleep, and when asked about it my first reaction is to do a little research instead of simply replying "of course!"

    A little google search will provide links to both answers.

    A study that Thomas Selley was involved with is noteworthy in my opinion.

    I believe there may be a number of things that rest but don't sleep.
    Sorry if my answer seemed to be sharp - I did not mean for it to come across that way.
    But I did recall reading that bees sleep so I did not need to research it.
    Besides, since bees can't close their eyes only some study devised by men could try to prove if they are "resting" or "sleeping". And as is proven so often the test are very fallible and is easily interpreted as one wishes it to be.

    My post was based on 2 things.
    1) That I had read that bees sleep (though as I say this doesn't automatically make it so).
    2) Whether people want to call it "rest" or "sleep" is subjective to their own views.

    I see it as only logical that they sleep. All things rest (or sleep depending on the rules you set for sleep).

    Again I didn't mean my post to come across as being sharp,
    Mike

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    I have opened hives before without smoking and have seen bees head first in cells. It was evident that they were not moving nor was their abdomen pulsating but yet they appeared to be alive.
    De Colores,
    Ken

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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Quote Originally Posted by USCBeeMan View Post
    I have opened hives before without smoking and have seen bees head first in cells. It was evident that they were not moving nor was their abdomen pulsating but yet they appeared to be alive.
    We had a OH over winter and saw the same. Also many bees in different positions that would not move for long periods and then become active.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I don't recall reading that bees sleep,
    I found "sleep" mentioned in my 1983 ABC/XYZ book... and it may be the only book of my collection that does.

    I'd be interested in knowing which books cover the topic of bees sleeping.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Ted Hooper mentions it in passing in his Guide to Bees and Honey (1976).
    It probably isn't mentioned much since I doubt even "scientists" care to waist to much time on it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Impossible to answer. Sleep in mammals generally is detected by closed eyes, which bees don't do. Inactive is more accurate.

    published reports showing that approximately half of the bees in a colony at a given time are working while the rest are either inactive or patrolling, with a bias toward inactivity

    A Self‐Organizing Model for Task Allocation via Frequent Task Quitting and Random Walks in the Honeybee
    Brian R. Johnson

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    I"m closing my eyes right now, and I am not sleeping. And I'm a mammal.

    There are definitions of sleep in humans, that are based on objective measurements determined by EEG readings.

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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    Quote Originally Posted by arthur View Post
    There are definitions of sleep in humans, that are based on objective measurements determined by EEG readings.
    Its hard to find those sticky conductive electrode pads small enough to attach to a bee.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    changed my mind - I don't want to know the answer.
    Last edited by MikeJ; 05-19-2010 at 02:16 PM. Reason: question will prove out. No need to ask

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    I have a hive that beards every night (and strangely only at night), anyway, I can and have stood beside the hive and watched the beard without thumping on them to wake them up. I can tell you with all certainty that unless bees also sleepwalk, those bees weren't asleep. But I can not say whether or not any bees on the inside are asleep or not. Also, there is a streetlight about a hundred to 150 feet from the hive which casts light on the entrance, so maybe that keeps the bees on the outside from sleeping.

    Also, if I put my stethescope up to the hive at night without thumping on it, I can hear the bees crawling around... though I'm not sure if I'm just hearing the bees that are bearded or bees inside the hive.

    I've always assumed that bees don't sleep but do rest, but I have no source to back that up.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    The accepted standard to define sleep is a pattern of coordinated changes in the EMG, EEG, and EOG. This pattern has been identified only in mammals and birds. Clearly, recording mass CNS activity in an attempt to identify patterns similar to the state-related EEG changes found in birds and mammals cannot logically be expected to produce interpretable results in invertebrates or even in vertebrates without a cortex.

    In 1984, Campbell and Tobler reviewed over 100 studies in over 150 species seeking evidence for sleep from invertebrates to primates, using behavioral criteria. Using these criteria to review previous laboratory and field studies, the authors concluded that there is evidence for sleep-like states in 19 species of fish, 16 reptiles, and nine amphibians, as well as several invertebrates (cockroach, bee, octopus).

    Honeybees and cockroaches have been extensively studied. Both of these insects exhibited spontaneous circadian periods of inactivity that could last for hours. During the inactive periods, these insects relaxed their postures, even dropping the antennae, head and body onto the floor of the container. When stimulated during the rest state, the insects were relatively unresponsive.

    Throughout evolution, serotonin appears to play a role in modulating state-related sensory input and motor activity levels. We have also seen that this neurotransmitter facilitates the acquisition of learning in invertebrate systems. Does serotonin play a conserved role in modulating sensory input to promote sleep in synchrony with circadian systems and facilitate neural plasticity by this means?

    Joan C. Hendricks. 2000. The need for a simple animal model to understand sleep. Progress in Neurobiology

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bees sleep...

    I thousands of bees would ever all sleep at once - I think if you imagine it as a large hotel. Anyone who has stayed in one knows all the guests don't sleep when you do.

    I see one of my previous comments was incorrect.

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