Skip to main content

Bee behavior

The insect foraging (for) gene encodes a cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) that affects foraging behavior. In Drosophila two different for alleles have been found, and the two alleles affect food-searching behavior under different ecological conditions. In the April 26 Science, Ben-Shahar et al. describe changes in for expression during bee development (Science 2002, 296:741-744). They studied the honeybee (Apis mellifera), which undergoes an age-related developmental switch from hive work to foraging, and cloned the bee for ortholog (Amfor). Ben-Shahar et al. found that foragers had elevated expression of brain Amfor; pharmacological activation of PKG activity also induced foraging activity. Amfor is highly expressed in the lamina of the optic lobes and the mushroom bodies. Thus, changes in Amfor expression and PKG activity contribute to complex behavioral features of bee society.


  1. Natural behavior polymorphism due to a cGMP-dependent protein kinase of Drosophila.

  2. Science, []

Download references


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Weitzman, J.B. Bee behavior. Genome Biol 3, spotlight-20020429-01 (2002).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Protein Kinase
  • Ecological Condition
  • Pharmacological Activation
  • Elevate Expression
  • Behavioral Feature