Intra- and interspecific brood recognition in pure and mixed-species honeybee colonies, Apis cerana and A. mellifera

Tan, K. and Yang, Ming-Xian and Radloff, S.E. and Yu, Y. and Pirk, C.W.W. and Hepburn, H.R. (2009) Intra- and interspecific brood recognition in pure and mixed-species honeybee colonies, Apis cerana and A. mellifera. Apidologie, 40 (2). pp. 184-191. ISSN 0044-8435

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Abstract

We studied the effects of mixed honeybee colonies of Apis mellifera and Apis cerana on the intraspecific and interspecific recognition of female brood stages in the honeybees A. cerana and A. mellifera by transferring brood combs between queenright colonies. In the intraspecific tests, significantly more larvae were removed in A. cerana than in A. mellifera, whilst significantly fewer eggs and pupae were removed in A. cerana than in A. mellifera. In the interspecific tests, A. cerana colonies removed significantly more larvae and pupae of A. mellifera than the same brood stages of A. cerana were removed by A. mellifera. We show there are highly significant differences in both intraspecific and interspecific brood recognition between A. cerana and A. mellifera and that brood recognition operates with decreasing intensity with increasing developmental age within species. This suggests that worker policing in egg removal is a first line of defense against heterospecific social parasites.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Free access article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Apis mellifera; Apis cerana; nestmate recognition; social parasitism; honeybees
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:4137
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:26 Nov 2012 07:55
Last Modified:26 Nov 2012 07:55
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