Secretions from the mandibular glands of honeybees have been studied extensively, with those of
queens dominated by ώ-9 fatty acids and ώ-10 fatty acids dominating those of non-laying workers. Apis mellifera
adansonii (Latreille) is one of the widely distributed subspecies of African honeybees. However, its mandibular
gland pheromones have not been analysed previously. Using gas chromatography, we analysed the composition of
mandibular gland pheromones in workers and queens of A. mellifera adansonii from Nigeria. Qualitatively, workers
and queens have similar pheromone profiles to those previously reported in other African subspecies of honeybees.
We found 9-ODA and high amounts of its precursor 9-hydroxy-2 (E )-decenoic acid (9-HDA) in workers, thus
showing that they produce queen-like signals under queen-right conditions. We also found geographic variation in
the pheromone profiles and morphometric characters of these workers, suggesting different pheromone and
morphoclusters from the different ecological and climatological regions inhabited by A. m. adansonii in Nigeria.