Next Article in Journal
Survival and Infectivity of the Insect-Parasitic Nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Poinar in Solutions Containing Four Different Turfgrass Soil Surfactants
Next Article in Special Issue
Effects of Flight on Gene Expression and Aging in the Honey Bee Brain and Flight Muscle
Previous Article in Journal
Seasonal Abundance of Aphids and Aphidophagous Insects in Pecan
Previous Article in Special Issue
Unconventional Cadherin Localization in Honey Bee Gonads Revealed Through Domain-Specific Apis mellifera E- and N-Cadherin Antibodies Indicates Alternative Functions
Insects 2012, 3(4), 1271-1298; doi:10.3390/insects3041271

General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee

1,* , 2,3
Received: 27 September 2012 / Revised: 9 November 2012 / Accepted: 20 November 2012 / Published: 11 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Honey Bee)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [807 KB, 12 December 2012; original version 11 December 2012]   |   Browse Figures


The biological concept of stress originated in mammals, where a “General Adaptation Syndrome” describes a set of common integrated physiological responses to diverse noxious agents. Physiological mechanisms of stress in mammals have been extensively investigated through diverse behavioral and physiological studies. One of the main elements of the stress response pathway is the endocrine hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which underlies the “fight-or-flight” response via a hormonal cascade of catecholamines and corticoid hormones. Physiological responses to stress have been studied more recently in insects: they involve biogenic amines (octopamine, dopamine), neuropeptides (allatostatin, corazonin) and metabolic hormones (adipokinetic hormone, diuretic hormone). Here, we review elements of the physiological stress response that are or may be specific to honey bees, given the economical and ecological impact of this species. This review proposes a hypothetical integrated honey bee stress pathway somewhat analogous to the mammalian HPA, involving the brain and, particularly, the neurohemal organ corpora cardiaca and peripheral targets, including energy storage organs (fat body and crop). We discuss how this system can organize rapid coordinated changes in metabolic activity and arousal, in response to adverse environmental stimuli. We highlight physiological elements of the general stress responses that are specific to honey bees, and the areas in which we lack information to stimulate more research into how this fascinating and vital insect responds to stress.
Keywords: honey bee; Apis mellifera; stress; corpora cardiaca; dopamine; octopamine; allatostatin; corazonin; adipokinetic hormone; diuretic hormone honey bee; Apis mellifera; stress; corpora cardiaca; dopamine; octopamine; allatostatin; corazonin; adipokinetic hormone; diuretic hormone
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
MDPI and ACS Style

Even, N.; Devaud, J.-M.; Barron, A.B. General Stress Responses in the Honey Bee. Insects 2012, 3, 1271-1298.

View more citation formats

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


Cited By

[Return to top]
Insects EISSN 2075-4450 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert