Colony fissioning in honey bees: size and significance of the swarm fraction View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2012-06-05

AUTHORS

J. Rangel, T. D. Seeley

ABSTRACT

During colony founding in honey bees, a portion of a colony’s workforce (the “swarm fraction”) departs with the old mother queen in a swarm while the remaining workforce stays with a new daughter queen in the parental nest. There is little quantitative information about swarm fraction size and about how swarm fraction size affects the growth and survival of mother-queen and daughter-queen colonies. We measured (a) the swarm fraction in naturally fissioning honey bee colonies, (b) the growth and survival of mother-queen colonies as a function of swarm size, and (c) the growth and survival of mother-queen and daughter-queen colonies as a function of the swarm fraction. We found an average swarm fraction of 0.75. We also found a significant positive effect of swarm size and swarm fraction on the growth (i.e., comb built, brood produced, food stored, and weight gained) and the survival of mother-queen colonies. We found no effect of swarm fraction on the survival of daughter-queen colonies. Evidently, a honey bee colony must devote a large majority of its workforce to a swarm so that the mother-queen colony can grow sufficiently rapidly to survive its first winter. More... »

PAGES

453-462

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s00040-012-0239-5

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00040-012-0239-5

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1005449634


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