Researchers from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Paris-Sud, Cyprus University of Technology, and the University of Athens have conducted a breakthrough research proving that honeybees actually bite prey too small to be stung.
The bees use their mandibles to bite their enemies or victims and then secrete 2-heptanone to paralyze them for up to nine minutes. This substance was recognized by the team of experts as an alarm-pheromone which is secreted in order to tag the area for the bees either to come back again or attract others of the kind.
The biologists of the research study suggested that the finding could lead honeybee research to new directions, while the secretive 2-heptanone extracted from the honeybee could prove useful as a local anesthetic in both human and veterinary medicine. UK-based supplier of honeybee health products VITA has already praised the interesting findings and patented the use of the substance as a compound of local anaesthetics.
According to Alexandros Papachristoforou from Aristotle University, one of the team’s members, the finding was of chance since the research focused on wax moths and how their larvae consuming wax and pollen, often destroying honeycomb, can be controlled. When exposed to 2-heptanone, the moths were paralyzed from one to nine minutes. Now what is left is for the anaesthetic substance to pass all pre-clinical and clinical tests before it can be used for medical causes.