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Hoarding behaviour and lifespan of workers of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana

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Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 33 (4) pp. 204-208
December 1994
Article Title

Hoarding behaviour and lifespan of workers of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana

R S Rana; L R Verma

Wooden cages (1 0 x 8 x 8 cm), each containing 50 cm2 of empty comb and 50 newly emerged workers of either Apis mellifera or A. cerana, and equipped with feeders supplying 50% sugar syrup and water, were kept in an incubator at either 15°C, 20°C, 2rC or 35°C (n =6 cages/treatment). Hoarding, the amount of syrup consumed plus syrup stored, was measured by weighing the syrup feeders every 24 h and was expressed as a 6-day average for days 1-6, 7-12, 13-18, 19-24 and 25-30 of the experiment. Dead bees were counted and removed from the cages. Hoarding was maximal between days 7 and 12, e.g. at 2rC it was 80.68 ± 1.55 mg/bee/day for A. mellifera and 60.80 ± 1.29 mg/bee/day for A. cerana. Hoarding decreased steadily after this, reaching 49.98 ± 0.87 and 41.08 ± 0.83 mg/bee/day for A. mellifera and A. cerana, respectively, after 25-30 days (at 2rq. A. mellifera bees hoarded significantly more syrup (P < 0.01) than A. cerana, probably because of their larger size. Hoarding was maximal at 35°C for both species; between days 7 and 12 it was 131.94 ± 1.98 mg/bee/day for A. mellifera and 106.57 ± 3.24 mg/bee/day for A. cerana. In both species, lifespan was highest (A. mellifera, 28.45 ± 0.74 days; A. cerana, 28.57 ± 2.17 days) at 35°C.


honey bees, Apis mellifera, Apis cerana, cages, hoarding behaviour, temperature, lifespan

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