, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 1329-1338

Interfamily variation in comb wax hydrocarbons produced by honey bees

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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.