A recent article in "The Guardian" a week or so ago discusses the chemical influences that motivate bees to take on roles or tasks at certain ages while other bees adopt other roles at those same ages. They refer to these as "reversible chemical tags". Beekeepers have known of the "reversible" part as bees who follow a swarm have altered their abilities regardless of age to take on tasks such as wax building and tending brood, etc.. that they normally had left behind as they grew older. While the "discovery" of such reversible chemical tags is interesting, I am curious as to what triggers these tags into effect. Is it pre-determined in a bees DNA? Is it triggered by the presence or perhaps more likely a lack of presence of particular pheromones inside the hive? I wonder.