Michael Breed headshot
Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1977 • Professor

Ramaley C170

Prof. Breed is not accepting new graduate students.

Research Interests

Social behavior in insects, kin recognition system of honey bees, nest defense in honey bees, and social biology of the giant tropical ant. Kin recognition studies are designed to examine the various factors--queen, workers, nesting material, and food--that go into recognition of nestmates, to demonstrate how these factors are integrated, their fitness outcomes, and their genetic basis. Nest defense is an interesting but relatively unexplored issue in honey bee biology. Studies have focused on the role of the guard bees in initiating defense responses. The giant tropical ant is a good model for the adaptation of a social insect to its environment. These studies, conducted in Costa Rica, have dealt with division of labor and recruitment

Selected Publications

Breed , M. D., D. B. Williams, and A. Queral. 2002. Demand for task performance and workforce replacement: Undertakers in honeybee, Apis mellifera, colonies. Journal of Insect Behavior 15: 319-329.

Breed , M. D. 2002. Allometry in the giant tropical ant, Paraponera clavata. Insectes Sociaux 49: 125-128.

Breed M. D., E. M. Stocker, L. K. Baumgartner, and S. A. Vargas. 2002. Time-place learning and the ecology of recruitment in a stingless bee, Trigona amalthea (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Apidologie 33: 251-258.

Pearce, A. N., Z.-Y. Huang, and M. D. Breed . 2001. Genetic and endocrine correlations of aggressive behavior in honey bees. Journal of Insect Physiology 47: 1243-1247.

Wager, B. R. and M. D. Breed . 2000. Does honey bee sting alarm pheromone give orientation information to defensive bees? Ann. Ent. Soc. Am. 93:1329-1332.

Breed , M. D., T.P. McGlynn, E. M. Stocker and A. N. Klein 1999. Thief workers and variation in nestmate recognition behavior in a ponerine ant, Ectatomma ruidum. Insectes Sociaux. 46:327-331.

Breed , M. D., T. McGlynn, E. Stocker, M. Sanctuary, R. Cruz. 1999. Meliponine bees: distribution and abundance in a tropical wet forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 15:765-777.

Breed . M. D. 1999. How do animals communicate? Quarterly Review of Biology. 74:205-207. (lead book review)

Breed , M. D. 1998. Chemical cues in kin recognition: Criteria for identification, experimental approaches, and the honey bee as an example. In Chemical communication in social insects, R. K. Vander Meer, M. L. Winston, K. E. Espelie and M. D. Breed , eds. Westview Press: Boulder, pp. 57-78.

Breed , M. D., Leger, E. A., Pearce, A. N., Wang, Y. J. 1998. Comb wax effects on the ontogeny of honey bee nestmate recognition. Anim. Behav. 55:13-20.

Breed , M. D. 1998. Recognition pheromones on the honey bee. Bioscience. 48:463-470.

Bowden, R. M., Williamson, S., Breed , M. D. 1998. Floral oils: Their effect on nestmate recognition in the Honey Bee,Apis mellifera. Insectes Sociaux. 45:209-214.

Cunard, S. J. and Breed , M. D. 1998. Post-stinging behavior of worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 91:754-757.