Grow-Slow Potion: Pheromone keeps bee youngsters youthful

11:35am, December 1, 2004

After more than 10 years of searching, researchers have identified a compound produced by the senior workers in a honeybee colony that prolongs the time that teenage bees stay home babysitting.

Honeybee workers spend their first few weeks as young adults tending the colony's brood and then shift jobs to foraging for food outside the colony. Studies had predicted that established foragers pass along a pheromone that slows their younger sisters' career change, according to Gene E. Robinson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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