By: Sue Boo
Fat bodies comprise about 60% of the total body weight of a honey bee larva . Nursing bees have a lower fat percentage than larvae; however they contain higher volumes of fat bodies in comparison to forager bees. As nursing bees transition into forager bees, they metabolize these fat bodies. Forager bees are lighter due to the loss of these fat body reserves, allowing for ease of flight. Instead of relying upon fat bodies, foragers can sustain themselves by utilizing the pollen and nectar they collect as a food source.
Preliminary research on these questions showed that there have been minimal studies done on the topic of whether or not these chemicals are stored in honey bee fat bodies. There was also a lack of procedural protocols on how to extract lipids from these fat bodies for analysis, which led to this semester’s project. Our goals include finding an appropriate procedure for extracting lipids from honey bee fat bodies, analyzing extracted fat bodies to determine if there are potential chemicals stored and if so, which chemicals are stored. This project could then lead to figuring out how these toxins affect honey bees.
1. Internal Anatomy of Honey Bees. (n.d.). insects.tamu.edu. Retrieved from https://insects.tamu.edu/continuing_ed/bee_biology/lectures/password/Internal_Anatomy_of_Honey_Bees_PN.pdf
2. Bishop, G. (1961, January 1). Growth rates of honey bee larva. Digital documents Archive in agronomy science. Retrieved from https://w3.avignon.inra.fr/dspace/handle/2174/454
3. Xu, X., & Gao, Y. (2013, January 1). Isolation and characterization of proteins and lipids from honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) queen larvae and royal jelly. Food Research International. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996913003967
4. Singh, R., & Singh, P. (1995, January 1). Amino Acid and Lipid Spectra of larvae of honey bee (Apis cerana Fabr) feeding on mustard pollen. Apidologie. Retrieved from http://www.apidologie.org/articles/apido/pdf/1996/01/Apidologie_0044-8435_1996_27_1_ART0003.pdf