The occurrence and possible significance of the "shaking" of honeybee queens by the workers

M. Delia Allen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


1. 1. The phenomenon of "shaking" in honeybee colonies is described, and is here considered in relation to the queen of the colony. 2. 2. The queen was rarely shaken in the spring but once swarm preparations had commenced the frequency of shaking rose rapidly, reaching a peak at about the time the swarm left. A newlymated young queen was shaken to some extent just after she first commenced laying, but within a few days the frequency had fallen markedly, and finally no shaking was observed. Since the queens were shaken only at times when they were likely to fly out of the hive it is concluded that there is a connection between the two events. Hammann (1957) gives results on unmated queens which also support this assumption, for these queens were shaken with increasing frequency before each mating flight. 3. 3. The ages of the queen's shakers ranged from 3 to 61 days but the greatest numbers occurred in approximately the fourth week of adult life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Jan 1959


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