Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 164, Issue 4, pp 423–431

Magnetic field effects on activity and ageing in honeybees

  • Hermann Martin
  • Herbert Korall
  • Barbara Förster
Article

Summary

Artificial magnetic fields (MF) influence physiological processes in bees.
  1. 1.

    An inhomogeneous, static magnetic field (IMF) reduces the flying activity of bees and increases their life span by more than 60%.

     
  2. 2.

    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.

     
  3. 3.

    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.

     
  4. 4.

    There was no correlation between the content of lipofuscin and the chronological age.

     
  5. 5.

    Flying activity is also reduced by horizontal magnetic fields (0.40–1.45 Oe).

     
  6. 6.

    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

A

activity of bees, i.e. visits per bee and day

COMP

compensated earth's magnetic field

EMF

earth's magnetic field

IMF

inhomogeneous static magnetic field

LL

continuous light conditions

LD

light-dark interval, in h

MET

Middle European Time

MF

magnetic field

Oe

Oersted, i.e. unit of the magnetic field force (1 Oe=79.6 A/m)

Oepp

Oe peak-peak

¯x

mean

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Martin
    • 1
  • Herbert Korall
    • 1
  • Barbara Förster
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut II der UniversitätWürzburgFederal Republic of Germany

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