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Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 287–288 | Cite as

Honey bee guards, Apis mellifera, accept own subspecies non-nestmates more than other subspecies non-nestmates

  • F. L. W. Ratnieks
  • A. Lapish
  • L. Tann

Summary:

Honey bee nest entrance guards accepted a significantly lower proportion of non-nestmates of a different subspecies (5 %) than non-nestmates of their own subspecies (18 %). This result was consistent for 5 of the 6 study colonies (the sixth rejected all non-nestmates), 3 each of Apis mellifera mellifera and A.m. ligustica, and for each subspecies of guards (A.m.m. 5 % v 17 %; A.m.l. 4 % v 20 %). These data indicate that there are consistent recognition cue differences across subspecies.

Key words: Nestmate recognition, honey bee, Apis mellifera, guarding behaviour. 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. L. W. Ratnieks
    • 1
  • A. Lapish
    • 1
  • L. Tann
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK, e-mail: F.Ratnieks@Sheffield.ac.uk GB

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