The honeybee is an insect that has captured the public's imagination for centuries. These fascinating creatures have a wide range of characteristics that make them unique among their fellow insects. One of the most intriguing aspects of honeybees is the role that pheromones play in their social structure. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the royal pheromone of the honeybee and how it affects the behavior of these incredible creatures.
The royal pheromone is a chemical that is produced by the queen bee. This pheromone is secreted from a gland in the queen's head and is used to communicate with the other bees in the hive. The royal pheromone has several different effects on the bees in the hive, including affecting their reproductive behavior, inhibiting their ability to produce wax, and stimulating them to feed the queen.
One of the most interesting effects of the royal pheromone is its ability to influence the reproductive behavior of the bees in the hive. When a queen bee dies, the worker bees will begin to compete with each other to see who will become the new queen. During this process, the bees will produce more royal pheromone, which will stimulate them to compete more fiercely with each other.
The royal pheromone also has an inhibitory effect on the ability of worker bees to produce wax. Wax is used by bees to build their honeycombs and as a material for storing honey. When there is a lot of royal pheromone present in the hive, it inhibits the worker bees' ability to produce wax. This effect is thought to be beneficial to the hive because it prevents the worker bees from using up too much of their time and energy on wax production, which would otherwise be spent on tasks such as caring for the larvae or collecting nectar.
Finally, royal pheromones also stimulate workers to feed queens copious amounts of royalty-free food called "royal jelly." Royal jelly is secreted from special glands in worker bee heads and fed to all larvae in a process called "trophic cascade." However, when royal jelly feeding stimulators are present (such as when a larva hatches during emergency queen replacement), concentrated efforts are made to only feed said substance to larvae that show greater promise in developing into future queens—thus explaining its name. Not only does this ensure that future queens are better nourished than those not chosen for such “special” treatment but provides an evolutionary advantage for a colony’s maintenance and success over time.
The royal pheromone produced by queen bees plays an important role in communication within bee hives and also affects reproduction, wax production, and feeding behaviors among workers. This essential substance helps maintain order within colonies while also providing an evolutionary advantage for colonies that can successfully produce queens enriched with royal jelly.