The behavior of honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) during queen duels.

Authors
Citation
Dc. Gilley, The behavior of honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) during queen duels., ETHOLOGY, 107(7), 2001, pp. 601-622
Citations number
28
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ETHOLOGY
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Volume
107
Issue
7
Year of publication
2001
Pages
601 - 622
Database
ISI
SICI code
0179-1613(200107)107:7<601:TBOHB(>2.0.ZU;2-B
Abstract
Conflict is rare among the members of a highly cooperative society such as a honey bee colony. However, conflict within a colony increases drastically during colony reproduction ('swarming') when newly produced queens fight e ach other until only one queen remains in the nest. This study describes th e behavior of queens and workers during naturally occurring queen combat. T he duels of five pairs of queens were observed in three observation colonie s. A typical duel is described qualitatively and the events of all five due ls are described quantitatively. Several aspects of duels that are of parti cular interest are examined in detail, including the behavior of queens nea r capped queen cells, worker aggression toward queens, queen tooting, and t he relation of queen and worker behavior to the outcome of the duel. The re sults of this investigation serve as a foundation for rigorous tests of hyp otheses regarding the adaptive significance of queen and worker behavior du ring queen combat. The results presented suggest that: young queens patrol queen cells to kill rival queens while they are vulnerable; workers aggress queens to prevent them from destroying queen cells; queens toot to inhibit worker aggression; workers immobilize queens to make them easy targets for rival queens; and queens eject hind-gut contents to cause their rival to b e immobilized by the workers.