Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 113–121

Suppression of queen rearing in European and Africanized honey beesApis mellifera L. by synthetic queen mandibular gland pheromone

  • J. S. Pettis
  • M. L. Winston
  • A. M. Collins
Research Articles

Summary

Queen rearing is suppressed in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) by pheromones, particularly the queen's mandibular gland pheromone. In this study we compared this pheromonally-based inhibition between temperate and tropically-evolved honey bees. Colonies of European and Africanized bees were exposed to synthetic queen mandibular gland pheromone (QMP) for ten days following removal of resident queens, and their queen rearing responses were examined. Queen rearing was suppressed similarly in both European and Africanized honey bees with the addition of synthetic QMP, indicating that QMP acts on workers of both races in a comparable fashion. QMP completely suppressed queen cell production for two days, but by day six, cells containing queen larvae were present in all treated colonies, indicating that other signals play a role in the suppression of queen rearing. In queenless control colonies not treated with QMP, Africanized bees reared 30% fewer queens than Europeans, possibly due to racial differences in response to feedback from developing queens and/or their cells. Queen development rate was faster in Africanized colonies, or they selected older larvae to initiate cells, as only 1 % of queen cells were unsealed after 10 days compared with 12% unsealed cells in European colonies.

Key words

Apis mellifera queen pheromone queen rearing monogyny Africanized 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Boch, R., 1979. Queen substance pheromone produced by immature queen honeybees.J. Apic. Research. 18:12–15.Google Scholar
  2. Butler, C. G. and D. A. Gibbons, 1958. The inhibition of queen rearing by feeding queenless worker honeybees (A. mellifera) with an extract of “queen substance”.J. Insect. Physiol. 2:61–64.Google Scholar
  3. Burgett, M. and I. Burikam, 1985. Number of adult honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) occupying a comb: A standard for estimating colony populations.J. Econ. Entomol. 78:1154–1156.Google Scholar
  4. Engels, W. A. Adler, P. Rosenkranz, G. Lubke and W. Francke, 1993. Dose-dependent inhibition of emergency queen rearing by synthetic 9-ODA in the honey bee,Apis mellifera carnica.J. Comp. Physiol. B 163:363–366.Google Scholar
  5. Fell, R. D. and R. A. Morse, 1984. Emergency queen cell production in the honey bee colony.Ins. Soc. 31:221–237.Google Scholar
  6. Fletcher, D. J. C. and G. D. Tribe, 1977. Natural emergency queen rearing by the African beeApis mellifera adansonii and its relevance for successful queen production by beekeepers, I. In African bees: Taxonomy, Biology, and Economic Use.Proc. Apimondia Inter. Symp., Pretoria, S. Africa, Ed. D. J. C. Fletcher, pp. 132–140.Google Scholar
  7. Harbo, J. R., A. B. Bolten, T. E. Rinderer and A. M. Collins, 1981. Development periods for eggs of Africanized and European honey bees.J. Apic. Res. 20:156–159.Google Scholar
  8. Keller, L. and P. Nonacs, 1993. The role of queen pheromones in social insects: queen control or queen signal?Anim. Behav. 45:787–794.Google Scholar
  9. Kerr, W. E., 1967. The history of the introduction of Africanized bees to Brazil.S. Afr. Bee J. 39:3–5.Google Scholar
  10. Naumann, K., M. L. Winston, K. N. Slessor, G. D. Prestwich and F. X. Webster, 1991. The production and transmission of honey bee queen (Apismellifera L.) mandibular gland pheromone.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 29:321–332.Google Scholar
  11. Naumann, K., M. L. Winston and K. N. Slessor, 1993. Movement of honey bee queen (Apismellifera L.) mandibular gland pheromone in populous and unpopulous colonies.J. Ins. Beh. 6:211–223.Google Scholar
  12. Otis, G. W., 1980. The swarming biology and population dynamics of the Africanized honey bee.PhD Dissertation. Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, 197 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Otis, G. W., 1991. Population biology of the Africanized honey bee. In: (eds. M. Spivak, D. J. C. Fletcher and M. D. Breed)The “African” Honey Bee. Westview Press Inc., Boulder CO, 411 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Pettis, J., H. Higo and M. Winston, 1994. Queen rearing suppression in the honey bee — secondary signals from young brood. Proc. of 12th Congress IUSSI, Univ. Paris Nord 283.Google Scholar
  15. Punnett, E. N. and M. L. Winston, 1983. Events following qeen removal in colonies of European-derived honey bee races (Apis mellifera).Ins. Soc. 30:376–383.Google Scholar
  16. Rinderer, T. E., S. M. Buco, W. L. Rubink, H. V. Daly, A. Stelzer, R. M. Rigio and C. Bautista, 1993. Morphometric identification of Africanized and European honey bees using large reference populations.Apidologie (in press).Google Scholar
  17. SAS 1988:SAS Stat User's Guide version 6.03 edition. SAS Institute Inc. Gary, N. C., 978 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Seeley, T. D., 1979. Queen substance dispersal by messenger workers honeybee colonies.Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 5:391–415.Google Scholar
  19. Seeley, T. D., 1985.Honeybee Ecology. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, N. J., 159 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Slessor, K. N., L.-A. Kaminski, G. G. S. King, J. H. Borden and M. L. Winston, 1988. Semiochemical basis of the retinue response to queen honey bees.Nature 332:354–356.Google Scholar
  21. Winston, M. L., 1979. Events following queen removal in colonies of Africanized honeybees in South America.Ins. Soc. 26:373–381.Google Scholar
  22. Winston, M. L., 1987.The Biology of the Honey Bee. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 224 pp.Google Scholar
  23. Winston, M. L., 1992a. Semiochemicals and insect sociality. In: (eds. B. D. Roitberg and M. B. Isman,Insect Chemical Ecology. Chapman and Hall, New York, NY, 351 pp.Google Scholar
  24. Winston, M. L., 1992b.Killer Bees. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 146 pp.Google Scholar
  25. Winston, M. I., 1992c. The Africanized honeybee.Ann. Rev. Entomol. 37:173–193.Google Scholar
  26. Winston, M. L. and K. N. Slessor, 1993. An essence of royalty: honey bee queen pheromone.American Scientist 80:374–385.Google Scholar
  27. Winston, M. L., K. N. Slessor, L. G. Willis, K. Naumann, H. A. Higo, M. H. Wyborn and L.-A. Kaminski, 1989. The influence of queen mandibular gland pheromone on worker attraction to swarm clusters and the inhibition of queen rearing in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.).Ins. Soc. 36:15–27.Google Scholar
  28. Winston, M. L., H. A. Higo and K. N. Slessor, 1990. Effect of various dosages of queen mandibular gland pheromone on the inhibition of queen rearing in the honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae).Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 83:234–238.Google Scholar
  29. Zar, J. H., 1984.Biostatistical Analysis, 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 476 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Pettis
    • 1
  • M. L. Winston
    • 1
  • A. M. Collins
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.USDA, ARS, SARL Honey Bee Research UnitWeslacoUSA

Personalised recommendations