Smoke and Target Color Effects on Defensive Behavior In Yellow jacket Wasps and Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Apidae) with a Description of an Electronic Attack Monitor

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The defensive behavior of colonies of Vespula pensylvanica (Saussure) and Bomhus sonorus Say is assayed with an easily-constructed electronic monitor that counts the number of impacts of insects attacking Ping-Pong ball targets. Black targets are attacked, and white targets are not. The administration of smoke to colonies before disturbing them greatly reduces the number of attacks. In B. sonorus, the reduction was >2-fold and in V. pensylvanica >10-fold. This suggests mechanisms of the effect of smoke besides those that have been described for honey bees. This effect may be useful to subdue these insects during insecticide treatments to destroy their nests.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1995

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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