Original Article

Apidologie

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 23-28

First online:

Sperm utilization in honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis) in South Africa

  • Michael J. HolmesAffiliated withBehaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney
  • , Michael H. AllsoppAffiliated withHoneybee Research Section, ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute
  • , Lee-Ann Noach-PienaarAffiliated withDepartment of Botany and Zoology, University of Stellenbosch
  • , Theresa C. WosslerAffiliated withDepartment of Botany and Zoology, University of Stellenbosch
  • , Benjamin P. OldroydAffiliated withBehaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney
  • , Madeleine BeekmanAffiliated withBehaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab, School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney Email author 

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Abstract

We artificially inseminated queens of Apis mellifera scutellata and A. m. capensis with equal numbers of drones of both subspecies to determine the effects of sperm genotype on rates of sperm utilization. Contrary to a previous study we did not find a consistent overrepresentation of workers sired by A. m. scutellata males in the first four months after insemination. Interestingly, our study does suggest that there is a significant interaction between drone and queen genotype in both subspecies, with queens of each subspecies producing more workers sired by drones of the same subspecies.

Keywords

Apis mellifera scutellata Apis mellifera capensis sperm competition Africanization hybrid zone