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Hemolymph Juvenile Hormone Titers in Worker Honey Bees under Normal and Preswarming Conditions

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Swarming is an important mechanism by which honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies reproduce, yet very little is known about the physiological changes in workers that are preparing to swarm. In this study, we determined the endocrine status of worker honey bees in preswarming colonies and in normal (nonswarming) colonies. Juvenile hormone (JH) titers in worker bees were similar in both groups before queen cells were present, but they became significantly lower in preswarming colonies compared with normal colonies when queen cells occurred in preswarming colonies. The lower JH titers in the preswarming colonies suggest that behavioral development is delayed in these colonies, consistent with previous reports that preswarming colonies have reduced foraging activities. Understanding the endocrine status of bees preparing for swarming will help us to better understand the biology of swarming.

Keywords: Apis mellifera; behavioral development; juvenile hormone; swarming

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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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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