SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
November 2015

Using errors by guard honeybees (Apis mellifera) to gain new insights into nest-mate recognition signals

Pradella, D & Martin, S & Dani, F 2015, 'Using errors by guard honeybees (Apis mellifera) to gain new insights into nest-mate recognition signals', Chemical Senses .

Abstract

 Although the honeybee (Apis mellifera) is one of the world most studied insects, the chemical compounds used in nestmate recognition, remains an open question. By exploiting the error prone recognition system of the honeybee, coupled with genotyping, we studied the correlation between cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profile of returning foragers and acceptance or rejection behavior by guards. We revealed an average recognition error rate of 14% across 3 study colonies, that is, allowing a non-nestmate colony entry, or preventing a nestmate from entry, which is lower than reported in previous studies. By analyzing CHCs, we found that CHC profile of returning foragers

correlates with acceptance or rejection by guarding bees. Although several CHC were identified as potential recognition cues, only a subset of 4 differed consistently for their relative amount between accepted and rejected individuals in the 3 studied colonies. These include a unique group
of 2 positional alkene isomers (Z-8 and Z-10), which are almost exclusively produced by the bees Bombus and Apis spp, and may be candidate compounds for further study

Authors

SEEK Members

External Authors

D Pradella

F Dani

Publication Details

Journal Name
Chemical Senses