The repellent scent-mark of the honeybee Apis mellifera tigustica and its role as communication cue during foraging
Received: 02 March 1992 Revised: 12 June 1992 Accepted: 27 July 1992 DOI:
10.1007/BF01338832 Cite this article as: Giurfa, M. Ins. Soc (1993) 40: 59. doi:10.1007/BF01338832 Summary
Experimental evidence for flower-marking in honeybees (
Apis mellifera ligustica), using pairs of workers from the same colony foraging on an artificial patch of flowers, is reported. Workers marked artificial flowers with scent and strongly rejected all flowers they had recently visited. The same rejection behavior, in a lower although significant proportion, was observed when bees visited flowers just abandoned by the other individual of the pair. The repellent nature of this scent-mark was demonstrated with the use of an air extractor connected to the patch of artificial flowers. When the apparatus was turned on, the rejection behavior disappeared and bees accepted both flowers just abandoned by themselves and flowers just abandoned by the other bee. Differences in the response level of bees to their own marks or to the partner's marks suggest that the repellent scent-mark applied by a bee during foraging would basically be a self-use signal, although it certainly has value in communicating with other workers. Key words Apis mellifera ligustica scent-marking communication pheromone foraging References
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