Bumble bees alert to food with pheromone from tergal gland

Anna Dornhaus, A. Brockmann, L. Chittka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Foragers of Bombus terrestris are able to alert their nestmates to the presence of food sources. It has been supposed that this happens at least partially through the distribution of a pheromone inside the nest. We substantiate this claim using a behavioral test in which an alerting signal is transmitted from one colony to another by long distance air transport, so excluding all other modalities of information exchange. We then investigated the source of the pheromone and were able to show that a hexane extract from tergites V-VII of bumble bee workers elicits higher activity, like a successful forager does. Extracts from other glands, such as the mandibular, labial, hypopharyngeal, and Dufour's gland as well as extracts from other parts of the cuticle had no effect. This suggests that bumble bees possess a pheromone-producing gland, similar to the Nasanov gland in honey bees. Indeed, an extract from the honey bee Nasanov gland also proved to alert bumblebee workers, suggesting a possible homology of the glands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Volume189
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Bees
Pheromones
Bombus
pheromone
bee
pheromones
Food
Honey
food
extracts
honey
honey bees
Dufour's gland
air transportation
Bombus terrestris
information exchange
Hexanes
cuticle
lips
Lip

Keywords

  • Alerting
  • Bombus
  • Communication
  • Foraging
  • Tergal glands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Bumble bees alert to food with pheromone from tergal gland. / Dornhaus, Anna; Brockmann, A.; Chittka, L.

In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A, Vol. 189, No. 1, 01.01.2003, p. 47-51.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dornhaus, Anna ; Brockmann, A. ; Chittka, L. / Bumble bees alert to food with pheromone from tergal gland. In: Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 2003 ; Vol. 189, No. 1. pp. 47-51.
@article{d5d07bc691954c5fb2726af0572d94c4,
title = "Bumble bees alert to food with pheromone from tergal gland",
abstract = "Foragers of Bombus terrestris are able to alert their nestmates to the presence of food sources. It has been supposed that this happens at least partially through the distribution of a pheromone inside the nest. We substantiate this claim using a behavioral test in which an alerting signal is transmitted from one colony to another by long distance air transport, so excluding all other modalities of information exchange. We then investigated the source of the pheromone and were able to show that a hexane extract from tergites V-VII of bumble bee workers elicits higher activity, like a successful forager does. Extracts from other glands, such as the mandibular, labial, hypopharyngeal, and Dufour's gland as well as extracts from other parts of the cuticle had no effect. This suggests that bumble bees possess a pheromone-producing gland, similar to the Nasanov gland in honey bees. Indeed, an extract from the honey bee Nasanov gland also proved to alert bumblebee workers, suggesting a possible homology of the glands.",
keywords = "Alerting, Bombus, Communication, Foraging, Tergal glands",
author = "Anna Dornhaus and A. Brockmann and L. Chittka",
year = "2003",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "189",
pages = "47--51",
journal = "Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology",
issn = "0340-7594",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Bumble bees alert to food with pheromone from tergal gland

AU - Dornhaus, Anna

AU - Brockmann, A.

AU - Chittka, L.

PY - 2003/1/1

Y1 - 2003/1/1

N2 - Foragers of Bombus terrestris are able to alert their nestmates to the presence of food sources. It has been supposed that this happens at least partially through the distribution of a pheromone inside the nest. We substantiate this claim using a behavioral test in which an alerting signal is transmitted from one colony to another by long distance air transport, so excluding all other modalities of information exchange. We then investigated the source of the pheromone and were able to show that a hexane extract from tergites V-VII of bumble bee workers elicits higher activity, like a successful forager does. Extracts from other glands, such as the mandibular, labial, hypopharyngeal, and Dufour's gland as well as extracts from other parts of the cuticle had no effect. This suggests that bumble bees possess a pheromone-producing gland, similar to the Nasanov gland in honey bees. Indeed, an extract from the honey bee Nasanov gland also proved to alert bumblebee workers, suggesting a possible homology of the glands.

AB - Foragers of Bombus terrestris are able to alert their nestmates to the presence of food sources. It has been supposed that this happens at least partially through the distribution of a pheromone inside the nest. We substantiate this claim using a behavioral test in which an alerting signal is transmitted from one colony to another by long distance air transport, so excluding all other modalities of information exchange. We then investigated the source of the pheromone and were able to show that a hexane extract from tergites V-VII of bumble bee workers elicits higher activity, like a successful forager does. Extracts from other glands, such as the mandibular, labial, hypopharyngeal, and Dufour's gland as well as extracts from other parts of the cuticle had no effect. This suggests that bumble bees possess a pheromone-producing gland, similar to the Nasanov gland in honey bees. Indeed, an extract from the honey bee Nasanov gland also proved to alert bumblebee workers, suggesting a possible homology of the glands.

KW - Alerting

KW - Bombus

KW - Communication

KW - Foraging

KW - Tergal glands

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0037271421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0037271421&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 12548429

AN - SCOPUS:0037271421

VL - 189

SP - 47

EP - 51

JO - Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology

JF - Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology

SN - 0340-7594

IS - 1

ER -