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 Biogeography and taxonomy of honeybees,
, Berlin, (1988)
. In workers secretion of the gland changes with age Ontogeny of the fine structure of the mandibular glands of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) workers and the pheromonal activity of 2-heptanone,
, Volume 37, Number 11, p.789–804, (1991)
Proteomic Analysis Reveals the Molecular Underpinnings of Mandibular Gland Development and Lipid Metabolism in Two Lines of Honeybees (Apis mellifera ligustica),
, Volume 15, Number 9, p.3342–3357, (2016)