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October 03, 2019 - Independent

Bumblebee parents miss out on sleep while caring for young, study finds

Bumblebee parents miss out on sleep while caring for young, study finds
BumblebeesFile Photo / © Photabulous!

It’s not just human parents that feel chronically exhausted due to lack of sleep while looking after their young, new research suggests.

Scientists say worker bees also get less sleep when they’re caring for larvae – even if they’re looking after offspring that are not their own. Certain chemicals produced by the pupae could be causing their carers to be able to function on less sleep, according to the study published in Current Biology. Scientists found nurse bees not only sacrificed their shuteye to look after the larvae, they continued to sleep less when the brood moved on to their pupal stage and no longer needed to be fed.

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