Kin recognition and virgin queen acceptance by worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Robert Page, Erich H. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Virgin honey bee queens provide genetic cues that can be used by workers to assess genetic relationships. We found that groups of caged workers, taken directly from colonies containing a functional queen and two patrilineal subfamilies, could distinguish among queens of different degrees of kinship. The first virgin queen that an individual worker encountered was assessed by that worker on the basis of her kinship similarity to the individual interacting worker or her similarity to the caged group. When a second virgin queen was introduced, she was assessed by workers based on her similarity to the first virgin queen. The outcome of the ensuing fight to the death among the two introduced queens was dependent upon their relationship to each other. The resident queen had a strong advantage when the virgin queens were from different subfamilies but the outcome was nearly even when they were patrilineal sisters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1069
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

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kin recognition
worker honey bees
honey
queen insects
Apis mellifera
bee
kinship
queen honey bees
genetic relationships
death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Kin recognition and virgin queen acceptance by worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). / Page, Robert; Erickson, Erich H.

In: Animal Behaviour, Vol. 34, No. 4, 1986, p. 1061-1069.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Page, Robert ; Erickson, Erich H. / Kin recognition and virgin queen acceptance by worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). In: Animal Behaviour. 1986 ; Vol. 34, No. 4. pp. 1061-1069.
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