Juvenile hormone and division of labor in honey bee colonies: Effects of allatectomy on flight behavior and metabolism

Joseph P. Sullivan, Susan E. Fahrbach, Jon Harrison, Elizabeth A. Capaldi, Jennifer Fewell, Gene E. Robinson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    54 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Three experiments were performed to determine why removal of the corpora allata (the glands that produce juvenile hormone) causes honey bees to fail to return to their hive upon initiating flight. In Experiment 1, the naturally occurring flights of allatectomized bees were tracked with radar to determine whether the deficit is physical or cognitive. The results indicated a physical impairment: allatectomized bees had a significantly slower ground speed than sham and untreated bees during orientation flights, but otherwise attributes such as flight range and area were normal. Flight impairment was confirmed in Experiment 2, based on observations of takeoff made in the field at the hive entrance. The allatectomized group had a significantly smaller percentage of flightworthy bees than did the sham and untreated groups. Experiment 3 confirmed the flight impairment in laboratory tests and showed that allatectomy causes a decrease in metabolic rate. Allatectomized bees had significantly lower metabolic rates than untreated and sham bees, while allatectomized bees receiving hormone replacement had intermediate values. These results indicate that allatectomy causes flight impairment, probably partly due to effects on metabolic rate. They also suggest that juvenile hormone plays an additional, previously unknown, role in coordinating the physiological underpinning of division of labor in honey bee colonies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2287-2296
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
    Volume206
    Issue number13
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2003

    Fingerprint

    flight behavior
    Juvenile Hormones
    polyethism
    Honey
    honey bee colonies
    Bees
    labor division
    juvenile hormones
    honey
    bee
    hormone
    Apoidea
    flight
    metabolism
    Urticaria
    corpora allata
    experiment
    radar
    Corpora Allata
    Radar

    Keywords

    • Apis mellifera
    • Behavioral development
    • Corpora allata
    • Division of labor
    • Flight
    • Honey bee
    • Juvenile hormone
    • Metabolism

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Juvenile hormone and division of labor in honey bee colonies : Effects of allatectomy on flight behavior and metabolism. / Sullivan, Joseph P.; Fahrbach, Susan E.; Harrison, Jon; Capaldi, Elizabeth A.; Fewell, Jennifer; Robinson, Gene E.

    In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 206, No. 13, 07.2003, p. 2287-2296.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Sullivan, Joseph P. ; Fahrbach, Susan E. ; Harrison, Jon ; Capaldi, Elizabeth A. ; Fewell, Jennifer ; Robinson, Gene E. / Juvenile hormone and division of labor in honey bee colonies : Effects of allatectomy on flight behavior and metabolism. In: Journal of Experimental Biology. 2003 ; Vol. 206, No. 13. pp. 2287-2296.
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