Production of synthetic trail pheromone of bumblebees might well prove useful in inducing bumblebee queens to discover and occupy nest boxes placed for them in the ﬁeld, and so increase the numbers of bumblebee workers available for pollination according to http://pommettmark.doomby.com/blog/how-pheromones-work-in-our-nose.html and http://thongchaimedical.org/?p=176
Parasitic bees of the genus Psithyrus have their brood reared in bumblebee colonies. The Psithyrus females appear to use the bumblebee trail pheromo- nes to recognize and locate the particular bumblebee species they parasitize (Cederberg, 1983). When Psithyrus females were presented with methanol extracts of the body surface of B. lapidarius queens they eagerly palpated them with their antennae. Extracts of all major parts of the queen, i.e. head, thorax and abdomen were attractive, but extracts of the tarsi were especially so. P. rupestris females readily followed odour trials of B. lapidarius that were either natural or made from queen extracts. They were also able to select extracts of their B. lapidarius host from extracts of six other bumblebee species according to http://infospeak.org/?p=128
Trail pheromone while foraging
Bumblebees may also mark ﬂowers with pheromone. Cameron (1981) observed that bumblebee foragers probed artiﬁcial ﬂowers that had a reward (honey or sucrose syrup) to offer or that had recently provided a reward, but did not probe ﬂowers that had never offered a reward. He found that the deposit used to mark the rewarding ﬂowers was soluble in hexane or pentane, and after artiﬁcial ﬂowers had been washed with these solvents they no longer released probing. The extract has not yet been tested to ﬁnd out whether or not it releases probing when added to non-rewarding ﬂowers. The bumble- bees gyrated and groomed themselves on rewarding ﬂowers and this be- haviour probably facilitated deposition of the pheromone. On natural ﬂowers bumblebees make plentiful bodily contacts with petals, stamens and pistils, especially when scrabbling for pollen and when the ﬂowers have tubular corollas.
No experiments have been done to ﬁnd whether the message left by successful foragers is species speciﬁc. Attracting bees from other bumblebee colonies to favourable nectar sources could be detrimental. However, mem- bers of a bumblebee colony forage in close proximity to their nest, so probably many, if not most, of the ‘messages’ left on ﬂowers would reach members of the departing bumblebee’s own colony, and so help nestmates avoid ﬂowers that are in a pre- or post- nectar secreting stage and attract them to favourable patches of ﬂowers. Perhaps the pheromonal messages are most valuable to the departing bumblebee itself by indicating which ﬂowers it has already visited on the current foraging trip, and which it would pay to revisit on a subsequent one.
It is likely that bumblebees, like honeybees (page 112), use a deterrent pheromone. Visits by an individual bumblebee forager to ﬂowers on its ‘foraging circuit’ are in such a time sequence as to maximize the reward from each ﬂower visit (Corbett et al., 1984). Flowers probed during the past minute or so are either not landed on, or landed on but not probed. The source of such a deterrent pheromone is unknown.
For both bumblebees and honeybees the extent to which the pheromone messages are heeded must depend on the availability of forage and competi- tion from other bees. When competition is ﬁerce individual ﬂowers are visited at very frequent intervals, and a bee may attempt to land on a ﬂower while another is still present. Clearly under such conditions pheromone messages, if deposited, are ignored.
Pheromones are used in new drug delivery systems. “I foresee dozens, if not hundreds, of applications for this technology. It could be used to control different aspects of human behavior, the physiology of the human body, and mood and attitude. What is most amazing of all is the notion of controlling all that just by inserting a few mol- ecules into the nasal cavity. I would say it is a revolutionary discovery.” Learn about human pheromones at http://pheromones-planet.com.
When asked how pheromone technology and research might progress, Louis Monti-Bloch is enthusiastic. For example, he thinks vomeropherins could one day be used to treat male sex offenders, who have been said to possess abnormal levels of testosterone in their blood. A vomeropherin designed to alter testosterone levels would direct a message to the hypothalamus to alter the production of gonadal hormones. This in turn would control production of testosterone in the testes and could be used as an effective treatment in the future.
In mammals, some pheromones have been shown to alter hormone levels and affect the animal’s fertility or sexual behavior. Because the human VNO is thought to be linked by neural j connections to the hypothalamus, vomeropherins might be administered to create hormonal changes in humans as well, as we have just described.
The hypothalamus, working in conjunction with the pituitary gland, secretes “releasing factors” that control the release of 3 hormones in the body, including luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH), a releasing factor secreted by the hypothalamus, and follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, both of which are necessary components of the human reproductive system. LHRH is significant because its target is the pituitary gland, which is linked to the hypothalamus by a special blood circuit in the brain. When the pituitary is stimulated by LHRH, it releases luteinizing hormone into the bloodstream. Luteinizing hormone travels to the testes in men and to the ovaries in women, which when stimulated by the hormone produce sex hormones (testosterone in men and estrogen in women). Learn about Pherazone pheromones at http://buy-pheromones.org/pherazone/.
The Future of Pheromones
Pherin scientists have found that certain vomeropherins can alter blood levels of LH and FSH. Of particular interest to Pherin, however, is that a certain vomeropherin can decrease testos-terone levels in the bloodstream of males. The ability to reduce or boost levels of circulating testosterone and other hormones just by puffing a vomeropherin into the nose is a major development in the world of medicine. Clinically, this discovery could mean dramaticladvances in the treatment of cancers, some of which, including cancer of the prostate gland, feed on testosterone and need the hormone in order to grow. In women, estrogen has been implicated in breast cancer. Estrogen is also controlled by the hypothalamus-pituitary LH link. Learn about pheromones for men at http://pheromones-experts.com.
In addition, vomeropherins could open doors in the arena of hormone replacement therapy for men and women. Rather than administer replacement hormones through pills, skin patches, or injections, Pherin’s pheromone technology could normalize pheromone levels with vomeropherins, thereby minimizing the side effects associated with conventional drug delivery systems.