Advertisement

Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 411–468 | Cite as

Das Duftorgan der Honigbiene und die physiologische Bedeutung ihres Lockstoffes

  • Max Renner
Article

Summary

The scent organ of the honeybee was discovered by Nassonoff in 1883 (Nassonoff or Nasanov gland). Sladen (1901) was the first to recognize its true nature. He observed that bees had exposed the scent gland while they exhibited the so called “joyful hum”, that behaviour by which they produce a stream of air through rapid fanning of the wings, the head being bowed deeply forward and the tail raised sharply (Fig. 1). At the same time an pleasant smell can be perceived, which has been proven to be produced by the Nassonoff gland. The odour is quickly dispersed through the rapid fanning of the wings. That it is an odour with an alluring effect on other bees was demonstrated in 1923/24 by v. Frisch. Moreover, he found that the bees make use of their scent organs not only during fanning and scent dispersal (in German “sterzeln”) but also that they expose it at plentiful crops. In the latter case a rapid vibration of the wings does not take place (Fig. 3).

In 1926 v. Frisch and Rösch tried to find out whether the odour of the scent gland is specific for each colony and attracts only the hive-companions of that bee, which makes use of the scent gland, or wether it is of a general nature and has an alluring effect on all bees, regardless from what colony they come. Based on the results of this experiment, which pointed to a colony-specific effect, and on the grounds of a surmise which was made by v. Buttel-Reepen in 1915, many beekeepers and zoologists were up till now convinced that the colony odour of the bees receives its individual note through the odour of the scent organ. Also Kaltofen (1951) and Kalmus and Ribbands (1952) found the attractant to be colony-specific, while the experiments of Wojtusiak (1934) gave contrary results.

My observations and experiments brought the following results: an analysis of those situations in which the bees make use of their scent gland, makes it probable that the workers always fan and disperse scent — sterzeln —, after they have had lost for some time the customary (gewohnten) contact with their companions or with the queen. The ending of this situation, that is to say the renewal of contact, apparently causes the fanning and scent dispersal. A series of observations, which are reported, speak for the correctness of this hypothesis.

The scenting of the feeding place and the fanning (with scent dispersal) of bees at the hive-entrance and at the nesting place (of a swarm) serves in all cases to attract companions. In a few cases the purpose of the scent dispersal becomes only obvious, if one takes into consideration that the bees are insects, whose entire behaviour is directed to the society.

The colony odour of the bees is composed of at least 12 different components. That it receives its colony-individual note from the odour of the Nassonoff gland is unlikely, because the bees expose their scent organs only outside of the hive and never in it.

Twelve Zwei-Völker-Versuche according to the methods of v. Frisch and Rösch (1926) showed on the average a colony-specific behaviour of the newcomers, but the preference for the population's own feeding place was relatively insignificant. In 5 cases one of the two test colonies flew to the feeding place of the foreign colony.

This method (which also was used by Kalmus and Ribbands) has a disadvantage: since the recruits alight where the foragers with their functioning scent glands are collecting sugar water, it is not possible to separate the effect of the odour of the Nassonoff gland from the effect of the smell adhering to the bodies of the bees. On the other hand, unanimous results would be expected if the alluring odour could be obtained free of other components. This is relatively easy done in the following way: if one squeezes fairly firmly the abdomen of a bee held between the thumb and index finger, the scent gland becomes exposed. The odiferous substance can now easily be wiped away with a piece of filterpaper held with a pointed forceps (Fig. 6).

Both training and spontaneous choice experiments were carried out with odiferous substance obtained in this manner. In the case of the former, 20 to 30 forager bees were trained for several hours to the odour of the scent gland obtained from recruits from their own colony and thereafter they were tested in a choice-experiment, whether they were capable to distinguish the attractant on which they were trained from that which was obtained from bees of an other colony. Also reverse experiments — training to the scent gland odour obtained of bees of another colony — were carried out.

The spontaneous choice experiments are a type of Zwei-Völker-Versuche but by suitable provisions it was arranged, that the feeding places of the both groups of foragers (from A and B, which were alarming the newcomers) were seperated from those places where the newcomers sought for sugar-water. There 3 feeding dishes were set up in linear arrangement. One contained scent gland odour taken from recruits from colony A, the other the same from bees of colony B. The middle dish was free of alluring substance. Since in these experiments (as in most Zwei-Völker-Versuchen) colonies of different races were used, which differed distinctly from one another in their coloring, it could be recognized without further ado from which hive an arriving newcomer originated. Immediately after alighting they were caught and killed.

Both methods yielded unanimous results: again the strongly attractting effect of the scent gland substance was demonstrated. In the spontaneous experiments of the year 1954, for example, 1260 bees flew to the dishes with the odour and only 49 (less than 4%) to those dishes free of it. The odour of the scent gland definitely is differentiated by bees from the odour of stinger-poison and from other odours; it is, however, neither colony nor race specific. It attracts without distinction all races which I investigated (Apis mellifica ligustica, A. m. nigra and A. m. carnica). If one scent gland odour is given preference, this is an expression of the quantitative differences of both alluring substances used. The effect can be reversed by variation of the quantities.

Kalmus and Ribbands (1952) believed to have proven with their experiments that the type of crop influenced the quality of the odour of the scent gland or other surface-glands. The “kombinierten Versuche” which I made in 1954 (see p. 455) show, however, that a colony-specific behaviour of bees is to be attributed to the colony odour adhering to the surface of their bodies. With purebred Italian and Nigra colonies I carried out alternately Zwei-Völker-Versuche, in which the body odour of the forager bees could influence the decision of the newcomers as to where they would alight, and spontaneous choice experiments, in which these odiferous components were excluded. First of all I tested the untreated colonies, then the Nigra colony — and later both colonies — were scented in the hives with geranium oil; finally these odiferous substances were removed and a mixture of a half pound of honey and two tablespoons of black treacle was placed in the Italian colony in such a way that the bees could not feed on the sweet substance, nevertheless the smell of the treacle was able to exercise its effect. After additional experiments I removed the wire screen blocking the access to the mixture, so that Italian bees could now eat and store it. Then the behaviour of the bees was tested anew. Table 10 shows distinctly the different effects of body odour (in this case = colony odour) and the odour of the scent gland. If the colony odours are the same, the distribution of the newcomers to both feeding places in the Zwei-Völker-Versuche is approximately 1∶1; if they are differrent, the colony's own feeding place is preferred. In the spontaneous choice experiments the distribution of the newcomers in every case is nonspecific, for even then, when one of the odours was preferred, it always was preferred by the newcomers of both colonies, and this surprisingly universally.

The reported experiments show that if bees are able to distinguish the companions of their own colony from foreigners, this is to be attributed to the colony odour, which adheres to their bodies. The odour of the scent gland is nonspecific; it attracts without distinction all bees.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literatur

  1. Adam, Brother: Das Zusetzen der Königinnen. Schweiz. Bienenztg. 86, 267 (1950).Google Scholar
  2. Barth, R.: Herkunft, Wirkung und Eigenschaften des weiblichen Sexualduftstoffes einiger Pyraliden. Zool. Jb., Abt. allg. Zool. u. Physiol. 58, 297 (1937/1938).Google Scholar
  3. Becker, Lore: Untersuchungen über das Heimfindevermögen der Bienen. Z. vergl. Physiol. 41, 1 (1958).Google Scholar
  4. Berlepsch, A. v.: Die Biene und die Bienenzucht. Mühlhausen 1860.Google Scholar
  5. Bethe, A.: Dürfen wir den Ameisen und Bienen psychische Qualitäten zuschreiben? Pflügers Arch. ges. Physiol. 70, 15 (1898).Google Scholar
  6. Butenandt, A.: Zur Kenntnis der Sexualstoffe bei Insekten. Jber. preuß. Akad. Wiss. 1939, 97 (1940).Google Scholar
  7. Butler, C. G.: The world of the honeybee. London 1954.Google Scholar
  8. Butler, C. G., and J. B. Free: The behaviour of worker honeybees at the hive entrance. Behaviour 4, 263 (1952).Google Scholar
  9. Buttel-Reepen, H. v.: Sind die Bienen Reflexmaschinen? Biol. Zbl. 20, 1 (1900).Google Scholar
  10. Buttel-Reepen, H. v.: Leben und Wesen der Biene. Braunschweig 1915.Google Scholar
  11. Eckert, J. E.: The pollen required by a colony of honeybees. J. econ. Ent. 35, 309 (1942).Google Scholar
  12. Fischer, W.: Untersuchungen über die Riechschärfe der Honigbiene. Z. vergl. Physiol. 39, 634 (1957).Google Scholar
  13. Free, J. B.: The drifting of honeybees. J. agric. Sci. 51, 294 (1958).Google Scholar
  14. Frisch, K. v.: Der Farbensinn und Formensinn der Biene. Zool. Jb., Abt. allg. Zool. u. Physiol. 35, 1 (1915).Google Scholar
  15. Frisch, K. v.: Über den Geruchsinn der Biene und seine blütenbiologische Bedeutung. Zool. Jb., Abt. allg. Zool. u. Physiol. 37, 1 (1920).Google Scholar
  16. Frisch, K. v.: Über die „Sprache“ der Bienen. Zool. Jb., Abt. allg. Zool. u. Physiol. 40, 1 (1923/1924).Google Scholar
  17. Frisch, K. v.: Versuche über die Lenkung des Bienenfluges durch Duftstoffe. Naturwissenschaften 31, 445 (1943).Google Scholar
  18. Frisch, K. v.: Die Tänze der Bienen. Öst. zool. Z. 1, 1 (1946).Google Scholar
  19. Frisch, K. v.: Duftgelenkte Bienen im Dienste der Landwirtschaft und Imkerei. Wien 1947.Google Scholar
  20. Frisch, K. v.: Gelöste und ungelöste Rätsel der Bienensprache. Naturwissenschaften 35, 12 (1948).Google Scholar
  21. Frisch, K. v., H. Heran u. M. Lindauer: Gibt es in der Sprache der Bienen eine Weisung nach oben oder unten? Z. vergl. Physiol. 35, 219 (1953).Google Scholar
  22. Frisch, K. v., u. G. A. Rösch: Neue Versuche über die Bedeutung von Duftorgan und Pollenduft für die Verständigung im Bienenvolk. Z. vergl. Physiol. 4, 1 (1926).Google Scholar
  23. Götz, B.: Die Sexualduftstoffe an Lepidopteren. Experientia (Basel) 7, 406 (1951).Google Scholar
  24. Hazelhoff, E. H.: De Luchtverversching van een Bijenkast gedurende den zomer. Maandschr. Bijent. 44, 1 (1941).Google Scholar
  25. Herold, E.: Zur Vorspielfrage. Imkerfreund 7, 377 (1952).Google Scholar
  26. Huber, F.: Nouvelles observations sur les abeilles. Paris u. Genf 1814.Google Scholar
  27. Jacobs, W.: Das Duftorgan von Apis mellifica und ähnliehe Hautdrüsen sozialer und solitärer Apiden. Z. Morph. Ökol. Tiere 3, 1 (1925).Google Scholar
  28. Jessup, J.: Ventilation by the bee colony. Rep. Ia. St. Apiar. 1924, S. 35–37. Zit. nach Ribbands 1953.Google Scholar
  29. Kalmus, H., C. R. Ribbands: The origin of the odours by which honeybees distinguish their companions. Proc. roy. Soc. B 140, 50 (1952).Google Scholar
  30. Kaltofen, R. S.: Das Problem des Volksduftes bei der Honigbiene. Z. vergl. Physiol. 33, 462 (1951).Google Scholar
  31. Karlson, P.: Pheromones. Ergebn. Biol. 22, 212 (1960).Google Scholar
  32. Karlson, P., and A. Butenandt: Pheromones (ectohormones) in insects. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 4, 39 (1959).Google Scholar
  33. Karlson, P., and M. Lüscher: “Pheromones”: A new term for a class of biologically active substances. Nature (Lond.) 183, 55 (1959).Google Scholar
  34. Karlson, P., u. M. Lüscher: „Pheromone“, ein Nomenklaturvorschlag für eine Wirkstoffklasse. Naturwissenschaften 46, 63 (1959).Google Scholar
  35. King, G. E.: Drifting bees may make production records of little value. Amer. Bee J. 72, 141 (1932).Google Scholar
  36. Kleine, G.: Das Ventilieren der Bienen. Bienenztg Nördlingen 1858.Google Scholar
  37. Lecomte, J.: Sur le marquage olfactif des sources de nourriture par les abeilles butineuses. C. R. Acad. Sci. (Paris) 245, 2385 (1957).Google Scholar
  38. Lindauer, M.: Über die Einwirkung von Duft- und Geschmackstoffen sowie anderen Faktoren auf die Tänze der Biene. Z. vergl. Physiol. 31, 348 (1949).Google Scholar
  39. Lindauer, M.: Bienentänze in der Schwarmtraube. Naturwissenschaften 22, 509 (1951).Google Scholar
  40. Lindauer, M.: Temperaturregulierung und Wasserhaushalt im Bienenstaat. Z. vergl. Physiol. 36, 391 (1954).Google Scholar
  41. McIndoo, N. E.: The scent-producing organ of the honeybee. Proc. Acad. nat. Sci. (Philad.) 66, 542 (1914).Google Scholar
  42. McIndoo, N. E.: Recognition among insects. Smithson. misc. coll. 68, 1 (1917).Google Scholar
  43. Nixon, H. L., and C. R. Ribbands: Food transmission in the honeybee community. Proc. roy. Soc. B 140, 43 (1952).Google Scholar
  44. Otto, E.: Untersuchungen zur Frage der geruchlichen Orientierung bei Insekten. Zool. Jb., Abt. allg. Zool. u. Physiol. 62, 65 (1951).Google Scholar
  45. Pasedach-Poeverlein, K.: Über das Spritzen der Bienen und die Konzentrationsänderung ihres Honigblaseninhaltes. Z. vergl. Physiol. 28, 197 (1941).Google Scholar
  46. Pérez, J.: Notes zoologiques. Act. Soc. Linnéenne de Bordeaux 47, 245 (1894).Google Scholar
  47. Rauschmayer, F.: Das Verfliegen der Bienen und die optische Orientierung am Bienenstand. Arch. Bienenk. 9, 249 (1928).Google Scholar
  48. Renner, M.: Die Haltung von Bienen in geschlossenen, künstlich beleuchteten Räumen. Naturwissenschaften 42, 539 (1955a).Google Scholar
  49. Renner, M.: Neue Untersuchungen über die physiologische Wirkung des Duftorganduftes der Honigbiene. Naturwissenschaften 42, 541 (1955b).Google Scholar
  50. Renner, M.: Neue Versuche über den Zeitsinn der Honigbiene. Z. vergl. Physiol. 40, 85 (1957).Google Scholar
  51. Renner, M.: Über ein weiteres Versetzungsexperiment zur Analyse des Zeitsinnes und der Sonnenorientierung der Honigbiene. Z. vergl. Physiol. 42, 449 (1959).Google Scholar
  52. Ribbands, C. R.: The behaviour and social life of honeybees. London 1953.Google Scholar
  53. Roeder, K. D.: Insect Physiology. New York a. London 1953.Google Scholar
  54. Schröder, C.: Handbuch der Entomologie. Jena 1928.Google Scholar
  55. Sladen, F. W. L.: A scent-producing organ in the abdomen of the bee. Glean. Bee Cult. 29, 639 (1901).Google Scholar
  56. Sladen, F. W. L.: A scent-producing organ in the abdomen of the worker of Apis mellifica. Ent. mon. Mag. 38, 208 (1902).Google Scholar
  57. Snodgrass, R. E.: Anatomy of the honey bee. Ithaca, New York 1956.Google Scholar
  58. Steinhoff, Hildtraut: Untersuchungen über die Haftfähigkeit von Duftstoffen am Bienenkörper. Z. vergl. Physiol. 31, 38 (1948).Google Scholar
  59. Synge, Ann D.: Pollen collection by honeybees. J. anim. Ecol. 16, 122 (1947).Google Scholar
  60. Todd, F. E., and R. K. Bishop: Trapping honeybee-gathered pollen and factors affecting yields. J. econ. Ent. 33, 866 (1940).Google Scholar
  61. Unhoch, N.: Anleitung zur wahren Kenntnis und zweckmäßigsten Behandlung der Bienen nach drey- und dreyßigjähriger genauer Beobachtung und Erfahrung. München 1823.Google Scholar
  62. Weiss, K.: Vom Verfliegen der Bienen und der richtigen Markierung der Bienenkästen. Imkerfreund 7, 211 (1952).Google Scholar
  63. Wigglesworth, V. B.: The principles of insect physiology. London 1950.Google Scholar
  64. Wojtusiak, R.: Unveröffentlicht. Manuskript liegt vor. 1934.Google Scholar
  65. Wolf, E.: Über das Heimkehrvermögen der Bienen. Z. vergl. Physiol. 3, 615 (1926); 6, 227 (1927).Google Scholar
  66. Zander, E.: Das Leben der Biene. Stuttgart 1947.Google Scholar
  67. Zander, E.: Die Zucht der Biene. Stuttgart 1949.Google Scholar
  68. Zoubareff, A.: A propos d'un organ de l'abeille nun encore decrit. Bul. Apicult, Suisse Romande 5, 215 (1883). Englisch in Brit. Bee J. 136, 296 (1883).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1960

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Renner
    • 1
  1. 1.Zoologischen Institut der Universität MünchenDeutschland

Personalised recommendations