In the last year Axel’s lab started to study the social life of the giant honey bee, Apis dorsata. Everyone in Bangalore and India knows that bee that likes to nest in trees in rural areas but prefers balconies and water towers in the cities. Many people are afraid of them and it is allowed to call pest management to kill the colonies. However, these bees are important for pollinating our fruits and food plants. So, instead of killing them we need to conserve them for our own well-being. For the conservation we need to understand their life and biology. We are still at the beginning. In his talk, Axel will present what his students and he have learned in the last years about this honey bee. This bee’s life is as fascinating as that of elephants and tigers.
About The Speaker:
Axel Brockmann obtained his PhD at the Brain Research Institute, University of Bremen, Germany on anatomical studies on the olfactory system of honey bees. He then was part of the Department of Behavioral Physiology and Sociobiology, headed by Prof. Bert Hoelldobler. At that time the Department was one of the world leaders in the study of social insects focusing on ants and honey bees where he performed behavioural experiments on pheromone communication and dance behaviour. Then Prof. Brockmann worked in the lab of Prof. Gene E. Robinson, University of Illinois where he performed studies on the molecular underpinnings of dance behaviour. Since 2012 he is Associate Professor at NCBS where the lab studies molecular mechanisms underlying dance behaviour and time-memory and started in recent years comparative studies on Asian honey bees.