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  • Study identifies chemical in diet that determines a honey bee’s caste

    Nurse bees feed larvae destined to be workers not only royal jelly, which queen-destined larvae are fed, but also beebread, or processed pollen (seen here). Beebread contains p-coumaric acid, which alters gene expression and contributes to the honey bees’ developmental fate.

    Photo by Terry Harrison, U. of I. beekeeper


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  • Editor’s notes:

    To reach May Berenbaum, email

    To reach Mary Schuler, call 217-333-8784; email

    The paper “A dietary phytochemical alters caste determination gene expression in honey bees” is available from