Effect of honey bee (Apis mellifera) primer pheromones on worker bee mandibular and hypopharyngeal gland size and protein content
Lizette Peters, firstname.lastname@example.org and Tanya Pankiw, email@example.com. Texas A&M University, Entomology, TAMU 2475, 421 Heep Center, College Station, TX
Only two social insect primer pheromones have been chemically characterized: honey bee queen mandibular (QMP) and brood (BP) pheromones, communicating queen and larva presence, respectively. Primers gradually change endocrine, reproductive, and neurosensory systems of workers. Previous studies have shown an increase in hypopharyngeal gland protein content of worker bees in response to a brood pheromone and pollen diet rearing environment. However, the development of the mandibular gland, also involved in the production of brood food and in royal jelly, has not been examined in relation to primer pheromones and pollen diet. Newly emerged bees were collected into cages and reared 12 days with the following pheromone treatments: no primer pheromone, QMP, BP, or QMP and BP. Each pheromone treatment was conducted both with and without pollen resulting in a total of 8 treatments. Subsamples of 20 bees per treatment were collected every 3 days. Mandibular gland size, and mandibular and hypopharyngeal protein content were measured. The individual and combined roles of honey bee primer pheromones on larval food production will be discussed.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apismellifera (honey bee)