The Effect of An Alternative Diet Fermented by Bee Bread Microorganisms on Hypopharyngeal Glands Development and Acini Size of Honey Bee Workers, (Apis mellifera L.)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Plant Protection Research Institute - Agricultural Research Center - Dokki – Giza

2 Zoology and Entomology Department - Faculty of Science – New Valley University


The hypopharyngeal glands of worker bees located in the head; consist of thousands of two-cell units that are composed of a secretory cell and a duct cell and that are arranged in sets of about 12 around a long collecting duct. The glands contribute to the production of the royal jelly fed to queens and larvae. They are highly sensitive to the quantity and quality of the food as pollen and pollen substitutes that the nurse bee consumes. The role of the worker honey bee Apis mellifera L. changes depending on age after eclosion (age polyethism): young workers (nurse bees) take care of their brood by synthesizing and secreting brood food (royal jelly), while older workers (foragers) forage for nectar and process it into honey.
In our experiment, we tested how diets impact hypopharyngeal gland development and their acini size, where our diets compared were (bee bread diet; unfermented diet; fermented diet in a simulation method for nature; and sucrose syrup). Also, we mentioned understanding the role of these glands in hive health. For this study, we have examined the morphogenesis of the hypopharyngeal gland during different ages of workers honeybee Apis mellifera L. that fed on the different diets; we measured the size of glandular acini in a robust measure. These results obtained indicated that the hypopharyngeal gland development has flexibility and can depending on the condition of the colony as the pollen substitute diet we prepared in the periods of food shortage in nature. This described the hypothesis that feeding plays an important role in the development of HG according to diet nutritional values, ensuring the importance of the fermentation process for the better health of honey bees.