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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Nest Odor Changes Following Queen Loss in Apis Mellifera L.

Author
item Gilley, David

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2006
Publication Date: December 20, 2006
Citation: Gilley, D. C. Nest odor changes following queen loss in Apis mellifera. J. Apiculture Research 45: 159-161. 2006.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript investigates the effects of queen loss on the nest odor of honey bee colonies. I sampled the nest odor (using solid-phase microextraction fibers which were then injected into a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer) of 15 colonies immediately after removing their queens and then again 10 days later when production of a new queen was well underway. Comparison of the next odor profiles on Day 10 and Day 0 showed ten compounds that changed significantly over the ten days following queen loss. These changes in nest odor associated with queen loss may be used by Africanized honey bee swarms to locate susceptible European colonies. These results may also provide beekeepers with an accurate and non-invasive diagnostic of queen status.

Technical Abstract: This manuscript investigates the effects of queen loss on the nest odor of honey bee colonies. I sampled the nest odor (using solid-phase microextraction fibers which were then injected into a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer) of 15 colonies immediately after removing their queens and then again 10 days later when production of a new queen was well underway. Comparison of the nest odor profiles on Day 10 and Day 0 showed ten compounds that changed significantly over the ten days following queen loss. These changes in nest odor associated with queen loss may be used by Africanized honey bee swarms to locate susceptible European colonies. These results may also provide beekeepers with an accurate and non-invasive diagnostic of queen status.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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