Creating a buzz in animal behaviour.
At NTU, our research is listening in new ways and hearing nature’s answers to our questions.
By placing ultra-sensitive vibrational sensors into the hearts of beehives, our researchers have discovered that queen bees ‘toot’ loudly to let worker bees know they need to protect a new mobile queen from rivals.
Held captive in their queen cells by the workers to prevent infighting, the rival ‘virgin queens’ then respond to this tooting with a ‘quack’ – which researchers say is the signal to the colony that they are ready and waiting to replace the queen as soon as she leaves.
The non-invasive investigation also heard clues which may help to predict honeybee swarming and shed new light on the reasons for the queen bees ‘piping’ in the hive.
This fascinating work has reimagined research in the area of honeybee swarming. It has also demonstrated the complexity and the beauty of chemical and acoustical communication among honeybees and given us greater insight into their ability to coherently behave as a colony.
This research area was expanded upon for a submission to the Engineering Unit of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, where 98% of the research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.
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Helping surgeons prepare for life-saving operations.
Creating the homes of the future.
Fighting to make women’s safety everyone’s responsibility
Using future tech to protect the past.
Transforming a regular craft into a remarkable revolution.
Feeding the growing population without further harming our fragile planet.
Rethinking how individuals interact in our online world.
Understanding language, dialect, and their role in building our sense of self.
Cracking the cancer code.