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The influence of queen mandibular pheromones on worker attraction to swarm clusters and inhibition of queen rearing in the honey bee apis mellifera l



The influence of queen mandibular pheromones on worker attraction to swarm clusters and inhibition of queen rearing in the honey bee apis mellifera l



Insectes Sociaux 36(1): 15-27



In this study, we examined the role of a new, five-component synthetic blend of queen bee mandibular gland pheromone in the attraction of worker bees to artificial swarm clusters, as well as the inhibition of queen rearing. This blend, which consists of three acids: 9-keto-2 (E) - decenoic acid (90DA), and R.sbd.(.sbd.).sbd. and S.sbd.(+).sbd.9-hydroxy-2 (E) - decenoic acid (9HDA), and two aromatics : methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (HOB) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylethanol (HVA), has recently been shown to be significantly more active than any of its individual components, alone or in combinations of less than five components, in retinue formation around the queen (Slessor et al., 1988). In the current research, treatments included live queens, mandibular gland extracts, the three decenoic acids together, and the decenoic acids plus the aromatics HOB and HVA. While mandibular gland pheromones attracted workers during swarming and inhibited queen rearing, the queen always showed the strongest activity. However, the five-component blend was wlways equal to or better than the mandibular extract, suggesting that additional, non-mandibular pheromones may also be involved in these functions. The combination of the two aromatics, HOB and HVA, with the three decenoic acids, 90DA, R.sbd.(.sbd.).sbd. 9HDA, and S.sbd.(+).sbd.9HDA showed stronger activity than the decenoic acids alone. The enhanced activity of the full, five-component blend exhibited a range of effects from a slight, qualitative enhancement of cluster formation to a moderate, quantitative enhancement of queen rearing inhibition, to a strong, highly significant enhancement of retinue formation.

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Accession: 007910305

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DOI: 10.1007/bf02225877


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