Genotype and task influence stinging response thresholds of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) workers of African and European descent

DOI: 10.4236/oje.2013.34032   PDF   HTML   XML   3,248 Downloads   5,170 Views   Citations

Abstract

The stinging response thresholds of individual European and Africanized worker honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) were analyzed. Workers of each genotype performing defense (guard and soldier bees) and non-defense (nest and forager bees) associated tasks were collected and exposed to an electric stimulus of 0.5 mA, and the time they took to sting a leather substrate was recorded. Africanized bees had significant lower thresholds of response than European bees. Guards and soldiers were faster to sting than nest and forager bees for the Africanized genotype, whereas for the European genotype, guards stung significantly faster than bees of the other three task groups. This is the first study that shows that individual bees specialized in two defensive tasks also have a lower response threshold for stinging. Our results fit a model of division of labor based on differences in response thresholds to stimuli among workers of different genotypes and task groups.

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Uribe-Rubio, J. , Petukhova, T. and Guzman-Novoa, E. (2013) Genotype and task influence stinging response thresholds of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) workers of African and European descent. Open Journal of Ecology, 3, 279-283. doi: 10.4236/oje.2013.34032.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

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