File(s) not publicly available
Reassessing the role of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) Dufour's gland in egg marking.
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 06:24 authored by Stephen J Martin, Graeme R Jones, Nicolas Châline, Helen Middleton, Francis Ratnieks
Dufour's gland secretion may allow worker honeybees to discriminate between queen-laid and worker-laid eggs. To investigate this, we combined the chemical analysis of individually treated eggs with an egg removal bioassay. We partitioned queen Dufour's gland into hydrocarbon and ester fractions. The bioassay showed that worker-laid eggs treated with either whole gland extract, ester fraction or synthetic gland esters were removed more slowly than untreated worker-laid eggs. However, the effect only lasted up to 20 h. Worker-laid eggs treated with the hydrocarbon fraction were removed at the same rate as untreated eggs. The amount of ester which reduced the egg removal rate was far higher than that naturally found on queen-laid or worker-laid eggs, and at natural ester levels no effect was found. Our results indicate that esters or hydrocarbons probably do not function as the signal by which eggs can be discriminated.
Department affiliated with
- Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications
Full text available