Winter absconding as a dispersal mechanism of the Cape honeybee

Hepburn, H.R. and Villet, M.H. and Jones, G and Carter, A and Simon, V and Coetzer, W. (1993) Winter absconding as a dispersal mechanism of the Cape honeybee. South African Journal of Science, 89 . pp. 294-296. ISSN 0038-2353

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Abstract

The dispersal characteristics of the African honeybee, Apis mellifera scutellata, resulted in a greatly mobile hybrid front in the New World, but in Africa its hybridization zone with the Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, appears very stable.The maintenance of stable hybrid zones is predicated on a balance between dispersal and selection Knowledge on the extent of gene flow from either race is in its infancy, and the probability of successful dispersal by either race has not yet been considered. Both capensis and scutellata are notorious for absconding, capensis the more so for resource-related seasonal absconding in winter. The two races also differ fundamentally in the ways they conserve heat both behaviourally and physiologically. We investigated the energy consumption and colony survival characteristics of capensis in terms of winter absconding in a climate with cycles of warm days interspersed with cold days. These are compared with calculated values for scutellata to assess whether capensis might have a directional gene flow advantage over scutellata in their zone of hybridization.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cape honeybee; dispersal; behaviour; Apis mellifera scutellata; Apis mellifera capensis; stable hybrid zones; survival; climate
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:1928
Deposited By: Prof Martin Villet
Deposited On:22 Jun 2011 14:13
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:21
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