Effects of synthetic 9-oxodectrans-2-enoic acid on the foraging activities of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j098zd70k

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  • An experimental formulation of 9 -oxodec-trans-2-enoic acid, the major component of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) queen pheromone, was tested for its effect on worker foraging behavior in the pollination of sweet cherries (Prunus avium L. ). The test formulation consisted of a solid beeswax cylinder impregnated with a measured quantity of pheromone. The experiment was conducted in two parts: the first, to test several concentrations of pheromone (3 mg, 9 mg and 15 mg of 9-oxo); the second, to compare the chosen concentration (15 mg 9-oxo) with queenright and queenless hives. Percentages of nectar and pollen foragers, effects on worker otigenesis, inhibition of queen rearing activity and drone attraction were tests of the efficacy of the wax-pheromone formulation. The results of the experiments showed that while the presence of the pheromone initially stimulated pollen foraging to a greater extent than in the queenless hives, the effect was negated by the development of laying worker brood in the queenless colonies and the subsequent increase in pollen foraging in those units. The queenright colonies collected significantly more pollen and had a significantly greater total number of foraging bees than either the queenless or pheromone treated hives. There was no significant difference between the queenless or the pheromone treated hives in any type of foraging activity. The percentage of bees surviving after three weeks was significantly greater in the pheromone treated hives than in the queenless units. Worker ovaries were inhibited to some extent in the pheromone treated hives, but queen rearing activities were not. Drones were attracted to all concentrations and formulations of 9-oxo used in the experiments.
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