The application of smoke to honey bee (Apis mellifera) antennae reduced the subsequent electroantennograph response of the antennae to honey bee alarm pheromones, isopentyl acetate, and 2-heptanone. This effect was reversible, and the responsiveness of antennae gradually returned to that of controls within 10-20 min. A similar effect occurred with a floral odor, phenylacetaldehyde, suggesting that smoke interferes with olfaction generally, rather than specifically with honey bee alarm pheromones. A reduction in peripheral sensitivity appears to be one component of the mechanism by which smoke reduces nest defense behavior of honey bees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • Apis mellifera
  • alarm pheromone
  • electroantennograph
  • honey bee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Alarm pheromone perception in honey bees is decreased by smoke (Hymenoptera: Apidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this