Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 89, Issue 10, pp 479–482

A non-policing honey bee colony (Apis mellifera capensis)

  • Madeleine Beekman
  • Gregory Good
  • Mike H. Allsopp
  • Sarah Radloff
  • Chris W. Pirk
  • Francis L. Ratnieks
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00114-002-0365-4

Cite this article as:
Beekman, M., Good, G., Allsopp, M.H. et al. Naturwissenschaften (2002) 89: 479. doi:10.1007/s00114-002-0365-4

Abstract.

In the Cape honey bee Apis mellifera capensis, workers lay female eggs without mating by thelytokous parthenogenesis. As a result, workers are as related to worker-laid eggs as they are to queen-laid eggs and therefore worker policing is expected to be lower, or even absent. This was tested by transferring worker- and queen-laid eggs into three queenright A. m. capensis discriminator colonies and monitoring their removal. Our results show that worker policing is variable in A. m. capensis and that in one colony worker-laid eggs were not removed. This is the first report of a non-policing queenright honey bee colony. DNA microsatellite and morphometric analysis suggests that the racial composition of the three discriminator colonies was different. The variation in policing rates could be explained by differences in degrees of hybridisation between A. m. capensis and A. m. scutellata, although a larger survey is needed to confirm this.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madeleine Beekman
    • 1
  • Gregory Good
    • 3
  • Mike H. Allsopp
    • 4
  • Sarah Radloff
    • 5
  • Chris W. Pirk
    • 5
  • Francis L. Ratnieks
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Sheffield University, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2. Schools of Biological Sciences and Mathematics & Statistics, University of Sydney, A12, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  3. 3.School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, A12, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  4. 4.Honeybee Research Section, ARC – Plant Protection Research Institute, Private Bag X5017, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
  5. 5.Departments of Statistics and Zoology & Entomology, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa