Passive heat diffusion in nests with downward-facing cells: Implications for early colony development in social wasps

Sofia Bouchebti, Adi Domer, Levona Bodner, Eran Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social insects employ a variety of active and passive mechanisms for nest thermoregulation. Many social wasp species exhibit a particular nest-architecture by building their nests with cells facing downward. By using thermal imaging to characterize the heat diffusion throughout Oriental hornet nests from different angular positions, we show that the heat diffusion along the vertical gradient of nests is more efficient when the cell openings face downward than when facing sideways or upward, demonstrating the efficiency of this specific architecture in increasing the nest temperature. This passive thermoregulation mechanism could be especially important during the initial stage of the colony, when the queen is alone to rear her first brood. Among the social insects that build cells to raise their brood, we suggest that wasps can take advantage of the thermal benefits of this particular architecture of their cells as, unlike bees, they do not usually store food in them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103657
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Volume116
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Nest architecture
  • Social insects
  • Thermoregulation
  • Vespa orientalis
  • Vespinae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Passive heat diffusion in nests with downward-facing cells: Implications for early colony development in social wasps'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this