The Polyandrous Queen Honey Bee: Biology and Apiculture

Retinue Behaviour of Worker Honey Bees

Author(s): Lovleen Marwaha

Pp: 163-174 (12)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815079128112010009

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Different queen pheromones attract colonial workers who respond by forming a surrounding group around the stationary queen. This specific behaviour is considered retinue behaviour. Workers lick, groom, and antennate the queen to get pheromones which influence workers' behaviour, physiology, development, hormones, reproduction, etc. Various pheromonal glands like the Mandibular gland components, the Tergal gland, Dufour's gland, etc., influence the retinue. Primary pheromones which influence the retinue process include (E)-9-oxo-2-decanoic acid(9-ODA), methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate(HOB), (R)-and (S)-(E)-9-hydroxy-2-decanoic acid(9-HDA), 4- hydroxy3-methoxyphenylethanol (HVA), 10-hydroxy-decanoic acid (10-HDAA) and10-hydroxy-2 (E)-decanoic acid (10-HDA), methyl oleate, coniferyl alcohol, palmityl alcohol, and linolenic acid. Furthermore, queen ester includes palmitates, oleates, ethyl stearate, ethyl, and methyl palmitoleate. Additionally, specific volatiles influence swarming, drone attraction, and general organization of the colony. This chapter comprehensively describes the retinue behaviour of workers, responsible elements, and the significance of retinue.

Keywords: Division of Labour, Pheromonal secretion, Reproduction, Queen Honey Bee

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