Original Article

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 371-377

Worker policing and worker reproduction in Apis cerana

  • Benjamin P. OldroydAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  • , Luke A. HallingAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  • , Gregory GoodAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  • , Wandee WattanachaiyingcharoenAffiliated withBee Biology Research Unit, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
  • , Andrew B. BarronAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  • , Piyamas NanorkAffiliated withBee Biology Research Unit, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
  • , Siriwat WongsiriAffiliated withBee Biology Research Unit, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
  • , Francis L. RatnieksAffiliated withLaboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

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Abstract.

Workers of the Asian hive bee, Apis cerana, are shown to have relatively high rates of worker ovary activation. In colonies with an active queen and brood nest, 1–5% of workers have eggs in their ovarioles. When A. cerana colonies are dequeened, workers rapidly activate their ovaries. After 4 days 15% have activated ovaries and after 6 days, 40%. A cerana police worker-laid eggs in the same way that A. florea and A. mellifera do, but are perhaps slightly more tolerant of worker-laid eggs than the other species. Nevertheless, no worker's sons were detected in a sample of 652 pupal males sampled from 4 queenright colonies. A cerana continue to police worker-laid eggs, even after worker oviposition has commenced in a queenless colony.

Apis cerana Worker policing Oophagy Laying workers Worker sterility