Nervous And Chemical Integration

4.1.5. Trail-Marking Pheromones

Trail-marking pheromones are used by some insects to find mates, to communicate information on the location and quantity of food (and thus to recruit nest mates for food collection), and to ensure that a migrating group retains its integrity. The trails may be terrestrial, laid out on a solid substrate, or aerial, being released by a stationary insect and dependent on movement of the surrounding medium to generate a trail (in this sense, then, the sex and aggregation pheromones discussed earlier could equally be considered as trail-marking pheromones). Terrestrial trail-marking pheromones, which are laid as a solid line or as a series of spots, are produced from a variety of glands.

Trail-marking pheromones are especially well studied in social insects. In termites the sternal gland secretes the pheromone as the abdomen is dragged along or periodically pressed to the substrate. In ants trail-marking pheromones may be produced in the hindgut, Dufour's gland, poison gland, ventral glands, or on the metathoracic legs, and are released as the abdomen or limbs make contact with the substrate. Ant trail-marking pheromones are secreted as foraging workers return to the nest and serve to recruit other workers to a food source. However, they may be also used to direct other individuals to sites where nest repairs are necessary or during swarming. Most trails are relatively short-lived and fade within a matter of minutes unless continuously reinforced. Some ants, however, make trails that last for several days. Furthermore, when a source of food is good, more returning workers secrete pheromone, thereby establishing a strong trail to which more workers will be attracted. The pheromone-producing glands of the honey bee worker are distributed over the body and the pheromone is transferred during grooming to the feet. It is thereby deposited at the opening to the hive where it both attracts returning workers and stimulates them to enter. The cavity-inhabiting wasps Vespa crabro and Vespula vulgaris lay a pheromone trail between the cavity entrance and the entrance to their nest. The pheromone, which is

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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