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Activity of Attendants After Licking and Palpating the Queen in Honeybee (Apis Mellifera Carnica)

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

A worker-queen contact in the retinue of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) enables transfer of queen pheromones to workers. Behaviours of workers attending the queen and post-contact behaviours were recorded. The most commonly observed activities of workers in retinue were licking and antennating the queen. Those activities were interrupted with bouts of self-grooming, which was the most frequently observed activity of licking attendants. Immediately after leaving, the queen workers which had licked the queen, self-groomed longer and more frequently than workers which had antennated the queen. Licking post-retinue workers walked significantly faster and rested less frequently than palpating post-retinue workers, which suggest that licking attendants are most effective in the pheromone transfer accomplished by accidental encounters with other nestmates.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Biotehnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, VeČna pot 111, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija


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