Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 567–574 | Cite as

Nasonov pheromone of the honeybee.Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

IV. Comparative electroantennogram responses
  • I. H. Williams
  • J. A. Pickett
  • A. P. Martin


Electroantennogram (EAG) responses from worker honeybee antennae were obtained for each Nasonov component. Response amplitudes to 10 μg of components correlated well with reported relative abilities to attract foragers in the field. EAG responses of worker, queen, and drone antennae to natural pheromone were consistently greater than to synthetic pheromone, a difference only partly explained by enzymic conversion of geraniol to (E)-citral during preparation of natural extracts.

Key words

Honeybee Apis mellifera Hymenoptera Apidae electro-antennography Nasonov pheromone multicomponent pheromone enzymic oxidation behavior foraging 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beetsma, J., andSchoonhoven, L.M. 1966. Some chemosensory aspects of the social relations between the queen and the worker in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)Proc. K. Ned. Akad. Wet. Ser. C 69:645–647.Google Scholar
  2. Esslen, J., andKaissling, K.-E. 1976. Zahl und Verteilung antennaler Sensillen bei der Honigbiene (Apis mellifera L.).Zoomorphologie 83:227–251.Google Scholar
  3. Free, J.B., andWilliams, I.H. 1970. Exposure of the Nasonov gland by honeybees (Apis mellifera) collecting water.Behavior 37:286–290.Google Scholar
  4. Free, J.B., andWilliams, I.H. 1972. The role of the Nasonov gland pheromone in crop communication by honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)Behaviour 41:314–318.Google Scholar
  5. Frisch, K. von 1923. Über die “Sprache” der Bienen.Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Allg. Zool. Physiol. 40:1–186.Google Scholar
  6. Kaissling, K.-E., andRenner, M. 1968. Antennale Rezeptoren für Queen Substance und Sterzelduft bei der Honigbiene.Z. Vgl. Physiol. 59:357–361.Google Scholar
  7. McIndoo, N.E. 1914. The scent producing organ of the honeybee.Proc. Soc. Natl. Sci. Phil. 66:542–555.Google Scholar
  8. Pickett, J.A., Williams, I.H., Martin, A.P., andSmith, M.C. 1980. Nasonov pheromone of the honey bee,Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Part I Chemical characterization.J. Chem. Ecol. 6:425–434.Google Scholar
  9. Pickett, J.A., Williams, I.H., Smith, M.C., andMartin, A.P. 1981. Nasonov pheromone of the honey bee,Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Part III. Regulation of pheromone composition and production.J. Chem. Ecol. 7:543–554.Google Scholar
  10. Pickett, J.A., Williams, I.H. andMartin, A.P. 1982. (Z)-11-Eicosen-1-ol, an important new pheromonal component from the sting of the honey bee,Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae).J. Chem. Ecol. 8:163–175.Google Scholar
  11. Pringle, J.W.S. 1938. Proprioceptors in insects. I A new type of mechanical receptor from the palps of the cockroach.J. Exp. Biol. 15:101–113.Google Scholar
  12. Vareschi, E. 1971. Duftunterscheidung bei der Honigbiene—Einzelzell-Ableitungen und Verhaltenreaktionen.Z. Vgl. Physiol. 75:143–173.Google Scholar
  13. Williams, I.H., Pickett, J.A., andMartin, A.P. 1981. Nasonov pheromone of the honey bee,Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Part II. Bioassay of the components using foragers.J. Chem. Ecol. 7:225–237.Google Scholar
  14. Zoubarev, A. 1883. A propos d'un organ de l'abeille non encore d'ecrit.Bull. Apic. 5:215.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. H. Williams
    • 1
  • J. A. Pickett
    • 1
  • A. P. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Rothamsted Experimental StationHarpendenEngland

Personalised recommendations