Free Access
Volume 22, Number 5, 1991
Page(s) 523 - 531
Apidologie 22 (1991) 523-531
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19910505

Grooming behaviors and the translocation of queen mandibular gland pheromone on worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L)

K. Naumann

Dept of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A IS6, Canada

Abstract - Self-grooming resulted in the translocation of synthetic queen mandibular gland pheromone from the mouthparts and head to the abdomen of honey bee workers. The several observed grooming behaviors do not appear to function solely for pheromone translocation. Little if any, pheromone moved passively on the cuticle. This study provides evidence for an active mechanism of pheromone movement on individual social insects, and suggests that these behaviors play a significant role in the queen's communication with her workers.

Key words: grooming behaviour / queen pheromone / transfer / worker bee / chemical communication