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Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 177–191 | Cite as

Étude préliminaire des communications entre ouvrières d'abeilles au cours de la trophallaxie

  • H. Montagner
  • J. Pain
Article

Résumé

C'est au moyen du cinéma en vitesse accélérée (jusqu'à 500 images par seconde) que nous avons abordé l'analyse des communications antennaires dans la ruche, entre individus d'âge et de fonction déterminés. Nous recherchons quelles informations sont véhiculées par les touchers antennaires ou les sécrétions qui les accompagnent.

Nous avons d'abord suivi les premiers contacts trophallactiques des ouvrières naissantes, entre elles, et avec des congénères de 5 à 6 jours. L'apparition et l'évolution de quelques signaux ont été particulièrement étudiées: les signaux de sollicitation, d'acceptation, de refus ou de rupture de contact. Nous avons ensuite commencé à analyser systématiquement les rituels antennaires entre ouvrières de plus de 3 jours. Après cette étude préliminaire, il apparaît déjà que les signaux antennaires de l'Abeille sont mieux et plus vite acceptés que chez les Guêpes par les congénères qui les reçoivent. L'une des conséquences de cette intégration plus poussée est l'absence totale d'agressivité entre ouvrières d'une même ruche. Au contraire des Guêpes et de bien d'autres espèces, l'orientation des activités individuelles ne repose nullement sur une agressivité intra-spécifique.

Summary

Since we found that in social Wasps the antennary movements acted as signals which played a great role in establishing a social scale and directing the workers' activities, we started a systematic analysis of tactile and chemical stimuli which act as signals in trophallactic behaviour of social Bees.

In this paper, we study particularly the first motor patterns of the newly-hatched imago, when it meets another worker. The new-born or just a few hours old Bee worker often thrusts its proboscis. This pattern, which is perhaps attended by mandibular secretions, induces the coming of 5–6 days old Bees that spontaneously supply the young worker with food. In other respects, when the young Bee refuses the contact to a solicitating worker, it extrudes its proboscis. A few hours or one day later, it extends its antennae on the buccal parts and head of the begging Bee, then extrudes its proboscis, when refusing or breaking the contact. This extending of the antennae is a signal either of refusal or of rupture of contact in older workers.

The young Bee progressively acquires the antennary ritual of solicitation: the frequent and reiterated introduction of the extremity of one or of the two antennae between the mandibles of the begged Bee.

We just start a systematic study of antennary rituals between workers, aged more than 5 or 6 days. But we already find that particular antennary patterns act as signals for solicitation, other ones for acceptation and still other ones for refusal or rupture of contact.

It is interesting to find that in Bee society, the signals of each worker are received and accepted, and consequently well integrated, by the individuals they are aimed at, whereas their emission or their absence nerver release the slightest aggressive behaviour. This is very different of what happens in Wasp society, in which each worker begs the individual contact and the release of regurgitations for itself and shows aggressive behaviour towards the individual that refuses to regurgitate in a non-ritual way.

This important difference may account for the annual character of the Wasp society and the perennity of the Bee society.

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Copyright information

© Masson & Cie 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Montagner
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Pain
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire de PsychophysiologieFaculté des SciencesBesançon
  2. 2.Station de Recherches sur l'Abeille et les Insectes sociauxBures-sur-Yvette

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