Inhibition of queen cell construction in the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensisL.A. Whiffler and H.R. Hepburn
Rhodes University, Department of Zoology and Entomology, PO Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
Abstract - Queen cell construction by Cape honeybees, Apis mellifera capensis, was analyzed with respect to queen status (mated, virgin, dead queens and queenless), source of pheromones (mandibular and abdominal tergal glands) under different test conditions (free-running queens, queens in division boards and queens in cages). The greatest inhibition of queen cell construction occurred in colonies having intact, mated and free-running queens while least inhibition occurred in queenless colonies or colonies with dead queens. The results indicate that emergency queen cell construction is inhibited by pheromones of the mandibular gland present on several different body parts.
Key words: Apis mellifera capensis / queen cell / mandibular gland / tergal gland / pheromone