Hive Body Modification

I was wondering if it was possible to alter the human body so that hive insects could inhabit part of the body?
personally i would think creating a sub-dermal/trans-dermal hive cavity on a shoulder would by the best way to do this, I was wondering also if one was capable of creating this "hive-space" if one could modify there body to create a hormone that attracts a said insect to the body, calling it their home and if possible a hormone of danger(Similar to a Queen releasing a hormone that the hive is under attack)  or if not produced from the body organically possible artificially? I think it would be more of a interesting project in term of symbiosis and modification of the body required. im not so much concerned of they "why would you do that", but rather the if its possible, how would it be done?


  • It would be easy to do with lice.
  • This sounds terrifying
  • Get stung by a wasp and get the venom. You'll attract tons of other wasps. No guarantee they will like you though.
  • edited October 2016
    1. Cut off blood circulation to your limb of choice.
    2. Fall asleep next to an anthill and allow sufficient time for ants to colonize in dead limb.
    3. ???
    4. Profit

    On a serious note, you cant implant them because the insects will need air. If you'd like insects to crawl around your insides, just place a glass with your insect of choice inside on your shoulder and force the bug to escape by digging through your skin.
  • blout fly. you could always get one of them to burrow into you.
  • .... ....
  • PERHAPS you are born a century early my friend. there are things we CAN do and things that so far are only possible in X-men movies. i think this is one of those...   wait. is this a joke?
  • What about the likes of thread worms or pin worms? We evolved with a certain amount of parasites living symbiotically inside us, notably worms and we have grown accustomed to certain byproducts they excrete and give off. All of a sudden these are now unwanted, unclean etc etc, but interestingly they can be beneficial in some ways

  • can i ask WHY you want to do this and, what use this would have. what applications would having a colony of ants in your arm be useful.
  • Yea other than scaring the hell out of people I can't imagine it being functional, maybe born a hundred late lol

    But I got pinworms as a kid from a sandbox so I am kinda bias..

    Actually glowing tardigrades in my foreskin could be cool...
  • @actii Now THATS what I call functional!
  • Methinks you've seen too much naruto.. 
    That being aside the point, a huge problem would be that you'll somehow need to protect the symbiotic colony from invading insects.
    And you'd be royally screwed if the colony mutated or got replaced by another species, as species that would compete for that kinda enviroment also most likely would be parasitic.
  • Years ago, I started trying to write a science fiction story where the main character got infected with a type of algae.  That algae provided food and oxygen from light.

    I can't think of any good that could come from insects living inside your body but maybe some single celled life like bacteria or algae could be some use.  Something that fed on wastes produced by the body (maybe carbon dioxide?) and excreted something the body can use like sugar or oxygen might be possible.
  • Well, algae i've kinda mentioned before, and i think thats much easier. Perhaps doable.
    They arent usually that aggressive, and can be tuned to survive in lungs (the kinda that dont really need sunlight) and can be the kind that survive by being semiparasitic and thus attach to gills/flesh.

    Thought a bit more about it, and it might be possible to tweak the acidity and such that they can survive in.. Then they cant grow much further into the body as the blood has other values of such things.
  • What about looking at bacteria that would allow us to break down and extract nutrients from cellulose? Not quite hive but possibly beneficial? Although cellulose does help the intestine work.
  • edited October 2016
    So now mods are censoring posts on the DL? lmao!

    Awww Im sorry I offended someone for suggesting the fantasy of turning oneself into a walking beehive is not within the realm of possibility.
  • edited October 2016
    @ the algae idea: An intriguing idea. Not sure if that's possible though. Do we have something like that in nature (chordate / plant symbiosis)?
  • Lots of symbiosis in nature.

    The idea of using bacteria to extract nutrients from cellulose sounds like a good idea for making food or fuel from wastes.  I'm not sure if it could be incorporated into the body (stomach) to allow someone to eat cellulose directly.
  • My only concern with the cellulose idea is its use as fibre to make your...ehhmmm....movements solid. It did get me thinking though along the lines of if something like Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes could be used to combat cyanide poisoning with a bit of tinkering
  • Lichen is prob worth looking into..... deja vou...
  • In Miss Perigrines Home for Peculiar Children, one of the children has a stomach full of bees. Sounds painful, but proves worthwhile. His bees summon more bees and all the bees overwhelme the baddies. Everyone is happy, except Huge, (bee boy). Because now all his bees are dead, one life, one sting, one death.

    But Huge still has, Henry. A one winged bee, who eventually does die. I cried for Henry.

    Read the first two books, refuse to see the movie, untill I've read the third.
  • edited February 2017
    I've been interested in the idea myself since the introduction of the power in Bioshock,  the way it seems to work is that the larva are rapidly grown and burst from sacs covering the arm. While being one of the more disgusting looking ones due to the fact they're crawling on your skin,  it appears to be relatively painless in all 3 forms(Bioshock 1,2 an 2`s mp) ,  suggesting it's either creating a new layer of skin or the layer of skin is not too far down that it causes pain. From there I guess the character is in tune mentally with the Bees/wasp os they go wherever you point without any hint of pheromones being tossed. However they'd probably have a ridiculously short life of a few minutes. I'd expect that level of energy expenditure creating and forcefully growing a dozen or more small created to be notably draining. As for possible,  I'd say it'd need a lot more research to see if we could even get to the point of making insect eggs develop from our bodies.

    [Mod note: Your font formatting got pretty janky and hard to read, so I reset it all to plain text ]
  • edited February 2017
    Honestly, I don't see a videogame representation of fantasy power being an ideal indicator of how the nervous system's gonna respond to sudden boils filled with live insects? I mean, if even a liquid filled blister hurts, I don't have high hopes for insects somehow birthed from subcutaneous human flesh. The lifespan of your millions of insectoid children might be the least of your worries.

    Lets start with the subcutaneous situation first. Skin can and does often handle expanding and contracting rapidly,  but its certainly not painless. After said growth has been there for a while, its less of an issue. But stretching skin does tax the body pretty hard. Ask anyone whose jumped up their lobe gauge size to the point of blowout. It's easy to do if you're not careful. Blisters are the next thing that come to mind, and likewise that's not a painless sitch.
  • edited February 2017
    @BirdMachine. Yes, it is an unrealistic idea it'd be complete painless, but I feel it'd be more comfortable and less painful then attempting to make a sub-dermal/trans-dermal hive where you have insects living inside you doing who knows what to your muscle and skin tissue and nerve endings in terms of stretching (not even getting into burrowing). I'd however rather keep going with the subcutaneous incubation route in general if I were attempting this in a lab.

    Apologies to mod who reformed my last post, I was attempting to post on my phone. I ran into an issue that kept happening that wiped the whole field each time I went to edit a spelling mistake, so I had to transfer it to and from another application and guess that messed up formatting.
  • Er, let's think about the logistics for a second. The actual caloric energy required to rapidly grow and mature a swarm of insects is not insignificant. Further, where do they come from? That's not even digging into box of worms that is actually trying to meaningfully communicate with them. It'd be an engineering/surgical nightmare to get it installed, too. 

    As for the idea in general, I'm highly highly skeptical that there's a will for this sort of thing in most circles. It's certainly not practical, and any theoretical benefits to be gained are pretty heavily outweighed by social ostracization. Way better off pursuing something more practically useful or less off-putting than an insect hive in your body.
  • @ TTT Yeah, I was thinking about that & was thinking of putting it up there but since you asked/pondered. Yeah the calorie & water in take would be notably increased, so you'd need to make sure the person getting this done knows that first.  I'd go about it lab growing a functional reproductive system of a queen bee or ant modify it so it's hermaphroditic(some insects are so you may want to start with them) & the ovum produced are fast growing (so you don't have to wait for them to grow normally like an ant/bee does and they'll die quickly after). Of course this will take decades to crack even with focused research (as you pointed out there's little to none known) but if you could get this all done, you'd then have to make a way to splice it onto a mammal. I'd suggest mice first much like the thymus experiment and ear experiment (the one from Tokyo, not the one from the 90s). If you can get that to work then go from there in a similar fashion until human trails can be done. While the end result will be a single sub-dermal, you could then potentially implant/graft on several (I'd stick strictly with forearm if I was being implanted as it's a good surface area and can be easily protected and checked) so you have a notable amount. I'll admit total fantasy currently and possibly always but that's how I'd approach it.

    Though that also gives me an idea that is more appealing and would catch interest(more then making either version of the living hive body idea) : an transplant-able enlarged Spider's silk gland that's designed for a live stock sized animals...maybe larger. This would catch the biomedical development and fashion industry's eye on the potential of having harvest-able spider-like silk from a larger source. Also just maybe a few wealthy people who'd like to spin a web(, any size)... Now there's some hurdles on this but I feel like especially since we know the thymus gland can be implanted to a mouse successfully we just need to push further.
  • Can we please add a scifi/fantasy section for discussions? It would be great to have a repository of things that won't be possible for a long time if ever... *end sarcasm*
  • Yeah... I think its bad to kill off threads and tear people down though. What we need is a flow chart. There used to be a simple one around..there are two threads going right now that need this.. Basically, oh you want arm bees? Fine. Step one is finding the most basic reasons we can't do this. In this case, the person should look into immunology and parasitology. Wed need to find a way to have this insect person, arm bees probably won't happen.. But is there something worthwhile here? Its ok to brainstorm..
  • The super speed strength thread is similar.. Pick a modality. Drug? Implant? There are drugs already so start researching. If you want a mechanical implant then pick where you want to contribute. Are you going to start with the coating issue? Or bone interfacing? Working on a better battery? Or do you think the nervous system interface is a better place to start?
  • I guess.. What are the different approaches to grinding? I'm usually working the opposite direction honestly.. Oh, so lithium does yaddah yaddah in the cns? Cool. So is there something else that does it better? Is this useful to us? How can it be useful. Going the other direction though is plausible. I want to fly. How? Generating huge amounts of thrust? Or via aerodynamics? Thrust solution.. Can we make an adequately dense energy unit? Aerodynamic solution.. Can I bind wings to bone well enough? Etc. If I were to run with this thought process is eventually get down to something actionable. I guess that's what we should focus on? Cool. Arm Bees. I'm down. So where do we start?

    Xenografts in this case. Fascinating stuff.
This discussion has been closed.