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Nasanov's gland


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Pheromone-producing gland in the abdomen of a worker honey-bee (Apis species). It opens at the base of the last tergite via a partially eversible membrane, and is functional only in bees of foraging age (10 days old). During emission, the bee adopts a characteristic stance, with abdomen raised, gland exposed, and the wings beating to waft away a plume of scent. The gland secretes a mixture of scents (geraniol, nerolic and geranic acids, and citral) which have several functions according to the context in which they are released. Thus in combination with ‘queen substance’ the Nasanov's gland scents recruit additional workers to a settled swarm; in the presence of disorientated bees the scent attracts them back to the hive. The scents are also emitted by foragers at a food source that does not have a characteristic scent of its own, and additional workers are recruited. Thus the Nasanov's gland scents may augment information conveyed by the round dance and waggle dance. The scents are also used to recruit workers to sources of water.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.


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