Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 184, Issue 5, pp 481–488

Biogenic amines and division of labor in honey bee colonies: behaviorally related changes in the antennal lobes and age-related changes in the mushroom bodies

  • D. J. Schulz
  • G. E. Robinson

DOI: 10.1007/s003590050348

Cite this article as:
Schulz, D. & Robinson, G. J Comp Physiol A (1999) 184: 481. doi:10.1007/s003590050348


Levels of the biogenic amines dopamine, serotonin, and octopamine were measured in different brain regions of adult worker honey bees as a function of age-related division of labor, using social manipulations to unlink age and behavioral state. In the antennal lobes, foragers had higher levels of all three amines than nurses, regardless of age. Differences were larger for octopamine than serotonin or dopamine. In the mushroom bodies, older bees had higher levels of all three amines than younger bees, regardless of behavioral state. These correlative results suggest that increases in octopamine in the antennal lobes may be particularly important in the control of age-related division of labor in honey bees.

Key wordsApis melliferaBehavioural developmentDivision of laborDopamineSerotoninOctopamine

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Schulz
    • 1
  • G. E. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA e-mail: Tel.: +1-217-333-6843; Fax: +1-217-244-3499US