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Measurement of the threshold sensitivity of honeybees to weak, extremely low-frequency magnetic fields

Kirschvink, Joseph L. and Padmanabha, S. and Boyce, C. K. and Oglesby, J. (1997) Measurement of the threshold sensitivity of honeybees to weak, extremely low-frequency magnetic fields. Journal of Experimental Biology, 200 (9). pp. 1363-1368. ISSN 0022-0949.

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Experiments reported previously demonstrate that free-flying honeybees are able to detect static intensity fluctuations as weak as 26 nT against the background, earth-strength magnetic field. We report here an extension of this work to weak, alternating fields at frequencies of 10 and 60 Hz. Our results indicate that the sensitivity of the honeybee magnetoreception system decreases rapidly with increasing frequency. At 60 Hz, alternating field strengths above 100 µT are required to elicit discrimination. These results are consistent with biophysical predictions of a magnetite-based magnetoreceptor.

Item Type:Article
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Kirschvink, Joseph L.0000-0001-9486-6689
Additional Information:Copyright © 1997 by Company of Biologists. Accepted 24 February 1997. We thank Dr M.M. Walker and Professor M.E. Bitterman for their advice and suggestions for the replication of their threshold conditioning experiments. This work was sponsored by EPRI contract WO4307-03 and is contribution 5788 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Electric Power Research InstituteWO4307-03
Subject Keywords:magnetoreception, honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica, biogenic magnetite, threshold sensitivity
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Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences Contribution5788
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:KIRjeb97
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11642
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:15 Sep 2008 05:47
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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