Skip to main content
Presentation
Regulation of behavioral maturation by a primer pheromone produced by adult worker honey bees
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2004)
  • Isabelle Leoncini, Universite d'Avignon
  • Yves Le Conte, Universite d'Avignon
  • Guy Costagliola, Direction Generale de l'Alimentation
  • Erika Plettner, Simon Fraser University
  • Amy L. Toth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Mianwei Wang, Simon Fraser University
  • Zachary Huang, Michigan State University
  • Jean-Marc Becard, Universite d'Avignon
  • Didier Crauser, Universite d'Avignon
  • Keith N. Slessor, Simon Fraser University
  • Gene E. Robinson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract

Previous research showed that the presence of older workers
causes a delayed onset of foraging in younger individuals in honey
bee colonies, but a specific worker inhibitory factor had not yet
been identified. Here, we report on the identification of a substance
produced by adult forager honey bees, ethyl oleate, that
acts as a chemical inhibitory factor to delay age at onset of
foraging. Ethyl oleate is synthesized de novo and is present in
highest concentrations in the bee’s crop. These results suggest that
worker behavioral maturation is modulated via trophallaxis, a
form of food exchange that also serves as a prominent communication
channel in insect societies. Our findings provide critical
validation for a model of self-organization explaining how bees
are able to respond to fragmentary information with actions that
are appropriate to the state of the whole colony.
Keywords
  • division of labor,
  • Apis mellifera,
  • chemical communication,
  • social insects
Disciplines
Publication Date
2004
DOI
10.1073/pnas.0407652101
Comments
This is an article from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (2004): 17559, doi:10.1073/pnas.0407652101
Posted with permission. Copyright 2004 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
Citation Information
Isabelle Leoncini, Yves Le Conte, Guy Costagliola, Erika Plettner, et al.. "Regulation of behavioral maturation by a primer pheromone produced by adult worker honey bees" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2004)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amy-toth/12/