Organisms constantly monitor and respond to changes in their environment (both external and internal) so as to maintain themselves under the most favorable conditions for growth and reproduction. The structures that receive these environmental cues are sense cells, and the cues are always forms of energy, for example, light, heat, kinetic (as in mechanoreception and sound reception), and potential (as in chemoreception, the sense of smell and taste) (Dethier, 1963). The sensory structures use the energy to do work, namely, to generate a message that can be conducted to a decoding area, the central nervous system, so that an appropriate response can be initiated. The message is, of course, in the form of a nerve impulse. Sensory structures are generally specialized so as to respond to only one energy form and are usually surrounded by accessory structures that modify the incident energy.

As Dethier (1963) noted, the small size and exoskeleton of insects have had marked influence on their sensory and nervous systems. Smallness and, therefore, short neural pathways provide for a very rapid response to stimuli. However, it also means that there are relatively few axons and, therefore, a limited number of responses to a given stimulus. This has led to a situation in insects where stimulation of a single sense cell may trigger a series of responses. Further, almost all insect sense cells are primary sense cells, that is, they not only receive the stimulus but initiate and transmit information to the central nervous system; in other words, they are true neurons. In contrast, in vertebrates, almost all sensory systems include both a specialized (secondary) sense cell and a sensory neuron that transmits information to the central nervous system. The cuticle provides protection and support by virtue ofits rigid, inert nature, yet sense cells must beable to respond to very subtle (minute) energy changes in the environment. Thus, only where the cuticle is sufficiently "weakened" (thinner and more flexible) will the energy change be sufficient to stimulate the cell. An insect, therefore, must strike a balance between safety and sensitivity. In contrast to mammalian skin, which has millions of generally distributed sensory structures, the surface of an insect has only a few thousand such structures, and most of these are restricted to particular regions of the body.

Two broad morphological types of sense cells are recognizable (Dethier, 1963; French, 1988), those associated with cuticle (and therefore including invaginations of the body wall) (Type I neurons) and those that are never associated with cuticle and lie on the inner

374 side of the integument, on the wall of the gut, or alongside muscles or connective tissue where they function as proprioceptors (Type II neurons) (Section 2.2). A Type I neuron and its associated cells are derived embryonically from the same epidermal cell. They and the associated cuticle form the sensillum (sense organ). All types of sensilla, with the possible exception of the ommatidia of the compound eye, are homologous and derived from cuticular hairs.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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