Lipid distribution in salivary glands of larvae and adult bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
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Cytochemical studies were carried out to establish lipid distribution in the salivary glands of larvae and adult bees, using the imidazole buffer technique. In the duct cells of the larval salivary gland, the reaction was positive in the epicuticle and negative in the glandular lumen. The absence of smooth endoplasmic reticulum and the presence of lipids in the intercellular space suggest that lipids absorbed from the haemolymph could be used in the constitution of the epicuticle, after having been conveyed through the epithelium. In adult workers (new-emerged, nurse and forager workers), the head salivary glands presented a positive reaction in the secretion in glandular lumen, identifying its lipidic nature.