Magnetic field effects on activity and ageing in honeybees
- Cite this article as:
- Martin, H., Korall, H. & Förster, B. J. Comp. Physiol. (1989) 164: 423. doi:10.1007/BF00610436
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An inhomogeneous, static magnetic field (IMF) reduces the flying activity of bees and increases their life span by more than 60%.
The content of the ageing pigment lipofuscin in brain and, to a lesser extent, in thorax muscles increases with the physiological age. The content of lipofuscin of the thorax muscle is only 1/5 that of the brain.
Despite their increased chronological age (60–74%) brain lipofuscin of bees under conditions of an inhomogeneous, static magnetic field is slightly reduced compared with bees in natural earth's magnetic field (EMF) conditions. No effects could be registered in the muscle lipofuscin of the thorax.
There was no correlation between the content of lipofuscin and the chronological age.
Flying activity is also reduced by horizontal magnetic fields (0.40–1.45 Oe).
Dance tempo is reduced in compensated EMF and amplified static magnetic fields (0.84 Oe). Dance tempo is drastically reduced if compensation of the EMF is followed by application of a 5 Hz magnetic field with 1.04 Oepp, directed E-W.
Abbreviations, symbols and terms
activity of bees, i.e. visits per bee and day
compensated earth's magnetic field
earth's magnetic field
inhomogeneous static magnetic field
continuous light conditions
light-dark interval, in h
Middle European Time
Oersted, i.e. unit of the magnetic field force (1 Oe=79.6 A/m)