Honeybee nestmate recognition: Effects of queen fecal pheromones

M. D. Breed, T. M. Stiller, M. S. Blum, Robert Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous work has shown that queen honeybees, Apis mellifera, produce waxy esters composed of 8-14 carbon acids and 6-14 carbon alcohols in their feces. We tested these esters for effects on nestmate recognition; 11 of the 12 esters tested significantly modified the recognition characteristics of worker honeybees. Pairwise tests showed that workers can discriminate between at least some pairs of queen esters and that workers can discriminate between a queen ester and hexadecane (another known nestmate recognition cue). These results suggest that a queen may use the esters to enable workers to recognize her or to scent-mark her colony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1633-1640
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

nestmate recognition
honeybee
Pheromones
pheromone
queen insects
pheromones
ester
honey bees
Esters
esters
carbon isotope
Carbon
queen honey bees
hexadecane
worker honey bees
carbon
Bees
Apis mellifera
Feces
feces

Keywords

  • Apidae
  • Apis mellifera
  • esters
  • fecal
  • honeybee
  • Hymenoptera
  • kin recognition
  • pheromones
  • queen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Breed, M. D., Stiller, T. M., Blum, M. S., & Page, R. (1992). Honeybee nestmate recognition: Effects of queen fecal pheromones. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 18(9), 1633-1640. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00993235

Honeybee nestmate recognition : Effects of queen fecal pheromones. / Breed, M. D.; Stiller, T. M.; Blum, M. S.; Page, Robert.

In: Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 18, No. 9, 09.1992, p. 1633-1640.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Breed, MD, Stiller, TM, Blum, MS & Page, R 1992, 'Honeybee nestmate recognition: Effects of queen fecal pheromones', Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol. 18, no. 9, pp. 1633-1640. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00993235
Breed, M. D. ; Stiller, T. M. ; Blum, M. S. ; Page, Robert. / Honeybee nestmate recognition : Effects of queen fecal pheromones. In: Journal of Chemical Ecology. 1992 ; Vol. 18, No. 9. pp. 1633-1640.
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