May’s issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols saw the publication of the final two species from Volume I of our “Emerging Model Organisms” series. These articles have been collected and made available as a laboratory manual. June’s issue brings us the first species from Volume II, the Honeybee (Apis mellifera).

Because of their obviously important role in pollination, a great deal of recent research has gone into investigating diseases which affect honeybees, such as Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees also exhibit remarkable social behavior, complex learning and memory and language skills, making them an excellent system for neuroscience research into these topics. The haplo-diploid sex determination system of bees is also of great interest. The sequenced genome of honeybees has allowed for comparisons with other species, with some surprising results. The genes underlying circadian rhythms in bees are much more like those in mouse than those found in Drosophila. The same goes for DNA methylation in gene regulation, where bees, like mammals but unlike Drosophila, methylate DNA on CpG residues.

Protocols are provided for Fixation and Storage of Honeybee Tissues, Whole-Mount In Situ Hybridization of Honeybee Tissues, In Situ Hybridization of Sectioned Honeybee Tissues, Immunohistochemistry on Honeybee Embryos, and RNA Interference (RNAi) in Honeybee Embryos.

Each month’s issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols will feature new (and newly revisited) model organisms, and the next set will be collected in Volume II of the manual series, out some time early next year.