A team of scientists from Arizona State University recently discovered honeybee behaviour may be more complex than first thought, with reversible genetic tags playing a significant role. In flowering season, for example, young nurse bees immediately took on the role of foragers. The switch is much more than just a job change. It can even be seen in the bee’s epigenetic tags. Because these tags also exist in humans, scientists hope to translate their honeybee research into potential treatments for conditions like depression, learning disabilities and more.
For this important feature article, Popular Science came to me to create a two-page illustration and accompanying graphics. The main illustration had to serve not only as a visual anchor for the story, but also had to present important information about the various roles of bees within the hive. Accompanying infographics explained the science behind this genetic switch that took place within the bees’ brains.