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The influence of queen mandibular pheromones on worker attraction to swarm clusters and inhibition of queen rearing in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)

Influence des phéromones mandibulaires de la reine sur l'attraction des ouvrières et l'inhibition de la production des reines chez l'abeille domestique (Apis mellifera L.)

Summary

In this study, we examined the role of a new, five-component synthetic blend of queen bee mandibular gland pheromone in the attraction of worker bees to artificial swarm clusters, as well as the inhibition of queen rearing. This blend, which consists of three acids: 9-keto-2 (E)-decenoic acid (9ODA), andR-(−)- andS-(+)-9-hydroxy-2 (E)-decenoic acid (9HDA), and two aromatics: methylp-hydroxybenzoate (HOB) and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylethanol (HVA), has recently been shown to be significantly more active than any of its individual components, alone or in combinations of less than five components, in retinue formation around the queen (Slessor et al., 1988). In the current research, treatments included live queens, mandibular gland extracts, the three decenoic acids together, and the decenoic acids plus the aromatics HOB and HVA. While mandibular gland pheromones attracted workers during swarming and inhibited queen rearing, the queen always showed the strongest activity. However, the five-component blend was always equal to or better than the mandibular extract, suggesting that additional, non-mandibular pheromones may also be involved in these functions. The combination of the two aromatics, HOB and HVA, with the three decenoic acids, 9ODA,R-(−)-9HDA, andS-(+)-9HDA, showed stronger activity than the decenoic acids alone. The enhanced activity of the full, five-component blend exhibited a range of effects from a slight, qualitative enhancement of cluster formation to a moderate, quantitative enhancement of queen rearing inhibition, to a strong, highly significant enhancement of retinue formation.

Resume

Nous avons examiné l'attractivité d'un nouveau mélange synthétique fait à partir de cinq composés phéromonaux de la glande mandibulaire chez la reine d'abeille domestique sur l'attraction d'ouvrières durant l'essaimage ainsi que l'inhibition de la production des cellules royales. Le mélange est constitué de trois acides: 9-kéto-2 (E)-acide décénoiques (9ODA), etR-(−)- etS-(+)-9 hydroxy-2 (E)-acide décénoique (9HDA), et des deux aromatiques:p-hydroxyzenzoate méthyle (HOB) et 4-hydroxy-3-méthoxyphényléthanol (HVA). Il est significativement plus actif que ne le sont les composés unitaires pris séparément ou en combinaisons de moins de cinq dans la formation de la suite royale (Slessor et al., 1988). Nos expériences ont inclus les traitements suivants: reines vivantes, extraits de glande mandibulaire, combinaison des trois acides décénoiques et des acides décénoiques avec les aromatiques HOB et HVA. Tandis que les phéromones de la glande mandibulaire attiraient les ouvrières durant l'essaimage et inhibaient la production des cellules royales, la reine était toujours la plus active. Cependant, l'effet du mélange des cinq composés a toujours été comparable ou supérieur à celui de l'extrait mandibulaire, suggérant que des phéromones non-mandibulaires additionnelles peuvent aussi être impliquées dans ces fonctions. La combinaison des deux aromatiques, HOB et HVA, avec les trois acides décénoiques, 9ODA,R-(−)-9HDA, etS-(+)-9HDA, a engendré une activité plus forte que les acides décénoiques seuls. L'élévation d'activité du mélange complet de cinq composés a produit des effets allant d'une faible augmentation qualitative de la formation du groupe à une élévation quantitative modérée de l'inhibition de la production des cellules royales et jusqu'à une forte augmentation quantitative de la formation de la suite royale.

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Winston, M.L., Slessor, K.N., Willis, L.G. et al. The influence of queen mandibular pheromones on worker attraction to swarm clusters and inhibition of queen rearing in the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). Ins. Soc 36, 15–27 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02225877

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Keywords

  • Apis Mellifera
  • Mandibular Gland
  • Strong Activity
  • Gland Extract
  • Queen Mandibular Pheromone