Development of an ethanol model using social insects: IV. Influence of ethanol on the aggression of africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Charles I. Abramson, Aaron J. Place, Italo S. Aquino, Andrea Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experiments were designed to determine whether ethanol influenced aggression in honey bees. Two experiments are reported. In Exp. 1, harnessed honey bees were fed a 1%, 5%, 10%, or 20% ethanol solution. Two control groups received either a sucrose solution only or no pretreatment, respectively. The dependent variable was the number of sting extensions over 10 min. Analysis showed that aggression in harnessed bees was not influenced by prior ethanol consumption. Because there was some suspicion that the extension of the sting apparatus may be hindered by harnessing, and the authors wanted to use a design that increased ecological validity, Exp. 2 was conducted with free-flying bees. Sucrose or 20% ethanol solutions were placed in front of beehives, and the number of stings on a leather patch dangled in front of the hive served as the dependent variable. The experiment was terminated after 5 hr. because bees exposed to ethanol became dangerously aggressive. A unique aspect of the study was that Africanized honey bees were used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1115
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Reports
Volume94
Issue number3 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

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