Cooperative wasp-killing by mixed-species colonies of honeybees, Apis cerana and Apis mellifera

Tan, K. and Yang, Ming-Xian and Li, H. and Zhang, Z-L. and Radloff, S.E. and Hepburn, H.R. (2012) Cooperative wasp-killing by mixed-species colonies of honeybees, Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. Apidologie, 43 (2). pp. 195-200. ISSN 0044-8435

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Abstract

The cooperative defensive behaviour of mixed-species colonies of honeybees, Apis cerana and Apis mellifera, were tested against a predatory wasp, Vespa velutina. When vespine wasps hawk honeybees at their nest entrances, the difference in the numbers of bees involved in heat-balling among pure species and mixed-species colonies was not significantly different. However, in the mixed colonies, the numbers of A. cerana and A. mellifera workers involved in heat-balling were significantly different. The duration of heat-balling among these three groups was significantly different. During heat-balling, guard bees of both species in mixed colonies raised their thoracic temperatures and the core temperatures of the heat-balls were about 45°C, which is not significantly different from that of the pure species. These results suggest that the two species of honeybees can cooperate in joint heat-balling against the wasps, but A. cerana was more assertive in such defence.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:cooperation defensive behaviour; mixed species; Apis cerana; Apis mellifera; honeybees; wasps
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Q Science > QL Zoology > Animal behaviour
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Commerce > Statistics
Faculty > Faculty of Science > Statistics

Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:4134
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:26 Nov 2012 07:19
Last Modified:26 Nov 2012 07:19
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