The effects of brood ester pheromone on foraging behaviour and colony growth in apicultural settings

Marianne Peso*, Andrew B. Barron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Brood ester pheromone (BEP) is a pheromone emitted by developing larvae in a honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony. It has been shown to have multiple potential commercially beneficial effects on worker physiology and behaviour, but like other bee pheromones, its effects are likely context dependent. To better understand the utility of BEP treatment, we examined the effects of BEP treatment in an apicultural setting (using a SuperBoost BEP treatment) in two contexts: in newly established colonies from bee packages in the summer and on large, established colonies in the autumn. We found that in small, newly established colonies, BEP treatment had no effect on colony growth (measured as brood cover). Further, BEP treatment decreased overall foraging activity and the proportion of pollen foragers. In established colonies, BEP had no effect on brood cover or foraging behaviour later in the season. Our data show that BEP treatments can change the behaviour of bees, but these can only translate into improved colony conditions if other factors are not limiting of colony performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-536
Number of pages8
JournalApidologie
Volume45
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • brood ester pheromone
  • colony growth
  • foraging

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of brood ester pheromone on foraging behaviour and colony growth in apicultural settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this