Fatty acid esters extractable from the surface of honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), larvae, called brood pheromone, significantly increase rate of colony growth in the spring and summer when flowering plant pollen is available in the foraging environment. Increased colony growth rate occurs as a consequence of increased pollen intake through mechanisms such as increasing number of pollen foragers and pollen load weights returned. Here, we tested the hypothesis that addition of brood pheromone during the winter pollen dearth period of a humid subtropical climate increases rate of colony growth in colonies provisioned with a protein supplement. Experiments were conducted in late winter (9 February–9 March 2004) and mid-winter (19 January–8 February 2005). In both years, increased brood area, number of bees, and amount of protein supplement consumption were significantly greater in colonies receiving daily treatments of brood pheromone versus control colonies. Amount of extractable protein from hypopharyngeal glands measured in 2005 was significantly greater in bees from pheromone-treated colonies. These results suggest that brood pheromone may be used as a tool to stimulate colony growth in the southern subtropical areas of the United States where the package bee industry is centered and a large proportion of migratory colonies are overwintered.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 101 • No. 6