Mating sign and multiple mating in the honeybee

publication date: Jul 8, 2011
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Bee World Vol.67 (3) 1986 pp. 141-150
Article Title

Mating sign and multiple mating in the honeybee


Gudrun Koeniger 


To mate, the queen leaves the hive and flies to a drone congregation area where she meets drones high in the air. By the time she returns to the hive, her sting chamber is filled with a 'mating sign' (Fig. 1 a, b). This mating sign consists of mucus from the male accessory glands and the expelled chitin plates of the drone's endophallus. Because this secretion completely fills the sting chamber, it has been regarded as evidence for monogamy* in the honeybee.

KeywordsBee mating, Bee mating signs, multiple mating, honeybee
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