Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1329–1338

Interfamily variation in comb wax hydrocarbons produced by honey bees


  • Michael D. Breed
    • Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic BiologyThe University of Colorado
  • Robert E. PageJr.
    • Department of EntomologyThe University of California, Davis
  • Bruce E. Hibbard
    • Department of EntomologyColorado State University
  • Louis B. Bjostad
    • Department of EntomologyColorado State University

DOI: 10.1007/BF02027565

Cite this article as:
Breed, M.D., Page, R.E., Hibbard, B.E. et al. J Chem Ecol (1995) 21: 1329. doi:10.1007/BF02027565


The hydrocarbons of honeybee comb wax vary significantly between colonies. This variation is explained in part by genetic (familial) differences among colonies. Even though significant differences in wax hydrocarbons exist among families, there is a high level of consistency within and among families in a correlation analysis, indicating structural constancy in comb wax. The significance of these results in interpreting the potential role of comb wax in the nestmate recognition system of the honeybee is discussed.

Key Words

Honeybeecomb waxhydrocarbons
Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995