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Journal Articles Apidologie Year : 2017

Honeybee worker larvae perceive queen pheromones in their food

Michal Woyciechowski
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Karolina Kuszewska
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Jędrzej Pitorak
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Justyna Kierat
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AbstractHoneybee workers develop from fertilised eggs, but those reared in a queenless colony develop into ‘rebel’ workers, which are more queen-like than typical workers. Rebels develop after an old queen leaves with a swarm and before a new queen hatches. We hypothesised that larval food lacking queen mandibular pheromones trigger the rebel phenotype. Larvae reared under queenright or queenless conditions were additionally fed with water or a drop of macerated queen mandibular glands. After following development of the bees and subjecting them to dissection, we found that those reared with a queen or fed the macerated glands under queenless conditions developed into typical workers. Only those workers reared without a queen and without macerated glands added to their food developed into rebels; these rebels had more ovarioles, smaller hypopharyngeal glands, and larger mandibular and Dufour’s glands than did typical workers. This is the first evidence that larval perception of the presence or absence of queen pheromones causes an alternative development strategy.
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hal-01562481 , version 1 (14-07-2017)



Michal Woyciechowski, Karolina Kuszewska, Jędrzej Pitorak, Justyna Kierat. Honeybee worker larvae perceive queen pheromones in their food. Apidologie, 2017, 48 (2), pp.144-149. ⟨10.1007/s13592-016-0459-1⟩. ⟨hal-01562481⟩
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