Mandibular glands

honey bee, mandibular gland

Left mandible (inner side) and mandibular gland (marked red) of honey bee worker. After Snodgrass (1956, fig. 23c) [1].

Mandibular glands consist of a pair of saclike glands. Each of the glands is located inside head above the base of mandible. The gland opens through a short duct at the base of the mandible. Its secretion runs along shallow groove into deeper channel surrounded by hairs.
Mandibular glands differ between castes. They are very large in queens, relatively large in workers and small in drones. Volume of the gland in workers of A. m. capenis is twice as large as in A. m. carnica [2]. In workers secretion of the gland changes with age [3][4].