In laboratory colonies of Lasioglossum zephyrum, derived from unrelated pupae and in nests with identical soil and food sources, guards recognize non-resident conspecifics on the basis of odor discrimination. Odors which are important in this recognition mechanism seem to be individual bee odors. The system of recognition may be one of the following: 1. The guard recognizes the summation of odors emitted by all resident bees, and a non-resident intruder emitting an odor which is not part of this repertoire elicits aggressive responses by the guard, or 2. the guard becomes habituated to the odors of each resident bee, and a non-resident intruder emitting an odor to which the guard is not habituated, elicits aggressive responses.
Bell, William J., "Recognition of Resident and Non-resident Individuals in Intraspecific Nest Defense of a Primitively Eusocial Halictine Bee" (1974). Ba. Paper 46.
Available for download on Friday, January 01, 4500