Foragers inhibit the behavioural development of young adult worker honey bees, delaying the age at onset of foraging. But the similar effect caused by pheromones produced by both the queen and brood raised the possibility that some of the previously attributed forager effects might be due to queen, brood, or both. Here we studied whether physical contacts between young bees and old foragers can inhibit behavioural development while controlling for queen and brood effects. Results demonstrated that foragers inhibit the behavioural development of young adult worker bees independent of the queen and brood, via a mechanism that requires physical contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-394
Number of pages3
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Apis mellifera
  • Division of labour
  • Pheromones
  • Social inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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