Logo IMG


From Society to Genes with the Honey Bee

A combination of environmental, genetic, hormonal and neurobiological factors determine a bee's progression through a series of life stages

Gene Robinson


Work in the author's laboratory has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture. The author thanks his colleagues, postdoctoral associates, technician and graduate and undergraduate students for their contributions, and in particular Professors Susan Fahrbach and Robert Page for outstanding collaboration and stimulating camaraderie over the years.


  • Capaldi, E. A., S. E. Fahrbach and G. E. Robinson. In press. Neuroethology of spatial learning: The birds and the bees. Annual Review of Psychology.
  • Fahrbach, S. E., D. Moore, E. A. Capaldi, S. M. Farris and G. E. Robinson. In press. Experience-expectant plasticity in the mushroom bodies of the honey bee. Learning and Memory. [CrossRef]
  • Giray, T., and G. E. Robinson. 1994. Effects of intracolony variability in behavioral development on plasticity of divison of labor in honey bee colonies. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 35:13–20. [CrossRef]
  • Huang, Z.-Y., E. Plettner and G. E. Robinson. In press. Effects of social environment and worker mandibular glands on endocrine-mediated behavioral development in honey bees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A.
  • Huang, Z.-Y., and G. E. Robinson. 1992. Colony behavioral integration in honey bees: worker-worker interactions mediate plasticity in hormonally regulated division of labor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 89:11726–11729.
  • Huang, Z.-Y., and G. E. Robinson. 1996. Regulation of division of labor in honey bees via colony age demography. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 39:147–158. [CrossRef]
  • Moore, D., I. M. Cheeseman, J. E. Angel, S. E. Fahrbach and G. E. Robinson. In press. Integration of circadian rhythms and division of labor in the honey bee colony. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
  • Pankiw, T., Z.-Y. Huang, G. E. Robinson and M. L. Winston. In press. Effects of queen mandibular pheromone on behavioural ontogeny and juvenile hormone titres in honey bees. Journal of Insect Physiology. [CrossRef]
  • Robinson, G. E. In press. Integrative animal behaviour and sociogenomics. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
  • Robinson, G. E. 1992. The regulation of division of labor in insect societies. Annual Review of Entomology 37:637–665.
  • Robinson, G. E., S. E. Fahrbach and M. L. Winston. 1997. Insect societies and the molecular biology of social behavior. BioEssays 19:1099–1108.
  • Robinson, G. E., and R. E. Page. 1988. Genetic determination of guarding and undertaking in honey-bee colonies. Nature 333:356–358. [CrossRef]
  • Robinson, G. E., R. E. Page, C. Strambi and A. Strambi. 1989. Hormonal and genetic control of behavioral integration in honey bee colonies. Science 246:109–112.
  • Schulz, D. J., Z.-Y. Huang and G. E. Robinson. 1998. Effects of colony food shortage on behavioral development in honey bees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 42:295–303. [CrossRef]
  • Sullivan, J. P., O. Jassim, G. E. Robinson and S. E. Fahrbach. 1996. Foraging behavior and mushroom bodies in allatectomized honey bees. Society for Neuroscience Abstract 22:1144.
  • Taylor, D. J., G. E. Robinson, B. J. Logan, R. Laverty and A. R. Mercer. 1992. Changes in brain amine levels associated with the morphological and behavioural development of the worker honey bee. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 170:715–721.
  • Withers, G. S., S. E. Fahrbach and G. E. Robinson. 1993. Selective neuroanatomical plasticity and division of labour in the honey bee (Apis mellifera). Nature 364:238–240. [CrossRef]
  • Withers, G. S., S. E. Fahrbach and G.E. Robinson. 1995. Effects of experience on the organization of the mushroom bodies of the honey bee brain. Journal of Neurobiology 26:130–144.

comments powered by Disqus


Subscribe to American Scientist