Advertisement

Apidologie

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 618–623 | Cite as

Differences in foraging and broodnest temperature in the honey bees Apis cerana and A. mellifera

  • Ken Tan
  • Shuang Yang
  • Zheng-Wei Wang
  • Sarah E. Radloff
  • Benjamin P. OldroydEmail author
Original article

Abstract

This study aims to explore the effect of ambient temperature on foraging the activity of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera colonies. We recorded ambient temperature, the time at which foraging commenced, worker thoracic temperature, and brood nest temperature at the same apiary in Kunming, China. We found that A. cerana start foraging earlier and at lower temperatures than do A. mellifera. A. cerana foraging (departures per minute) also peaked earlier and at lower temperature than did A. mellifera foraging. At the same ambient temperature, departing A. mellifera foragers and workers sampled from the brood nest had a higher thoracic temperature than departing A. cerana foragers and brood nest workers. A. mellifera colonies also maintained their brood nest temperature significantly higher than did A. cerana. Our results suggest that the larger A. mellifera foragers require a higher thoracic temperature to be able to forage.

Keywords

Apis cerana Apis mellifera foraging temperature thoracic temperature 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Financial support was granted by Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yunnan Agricultural University of China.

References

  1. Bartholomew G.A., B. Heinrich (1981) A matter of size: an examination of endothermy in insects and terrestrial vertebrates, In: Heinrich B. (Ed.), Insect thermoregulation, pp. 46–78. Wiley, New York, Google Scholar
  2. Bishop J.A., W.S. Armbruster (1999) Thermoregulatory abilities of Alaskan bees: effects of size, phylogeny and ecology. Funct. Ecol. 13, 711–724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bujok B., M. Kleinhenz, S. Fuchs, J. Tautz (2002) Hot spots in the bee hive. Naturwissenschaften 89, 299–301PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coelho J.R. (1991) Thee effect of thorax temperature on force production during tethered flight in honeybee (Apis mellifera) drones, workers, and queens. Physiol. Zool. 64, 823–825Google Scholar
  5. Corbet S.A., M. Fussell, R. Ake, A. Fraser, C. Gunson, A. Savage, K. Smith (1993) Temperature and the pollinating activity of social bees, Ecol. Entomol. 18, 17–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dudley R. (2000) The biomechanics of insect flight, Priceton University Press, Princeton NJ.Google Scholar
  7. Dyer F.C., T.D. Seeley (1987) Interspecific comparisons of endothermy in honeybees (Apis): deviations from the expected size-related patterns. J. Exp. Biol. 127, 1–26Google Scholar
  8. Dyer F.C., T.D. Seeley (1991) Nesting behavior and the evolution of worker tempo in four honey bee species. Ecology. 72, 156–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dyer A.G., H.M. Whitney, S.E.J. Arnold, B.J. Glover, L. Chittka (2006) Bees associate warmth with floral colour. Nature. 442, 525PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goulson D. (2003) Effects of introduced bees on native ecosytems. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 34, 1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harrison J.F., J.H. Fewell (2002) Environmental and genetic influences on flight metabolic rate in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A-Mol. Integr. Physiol. 133, 323–333PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Heinrich B. (1979) Thermoregulation of African and European honeybees during foraging, attack, and hive exits and returns. J. Exp. Biol. 80, 217–229Google Scholar
  13. Heinrich B. (1993) The hot-blooded insects, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MAGoogle Scholar
  14. Ji R., B. Xie, G. Yang, D. Li (2003) From introduced species to invasive species—a case study on the Italian bee Apis mellifera L. J. Chin. Ecol. 5, 70–73Google Scholar
  15. Johnson R.A., D.W. Wichern (2002) Applied multivariate statistical analysis, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River NJGoogle Scholar
  16. Jones J.C., B.P. Oldroyd (2007) Nest thermoregulation in social insects, Adv. Ins. Physiol. 33, 153–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones J., M. Myerscough, S. Graham, B.P. Oldroyd (2004) Honey bee nest thermoregulation: diversity promotes stability, Science 305, 402–404PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones J., P. Helliwell, M. Beekman, R.J. Maleszka, B.P. Oldroyd (2005) The effects of rearing temperature on developmental stability and learning and memory in the honey bee, Apis mellifera, J. Comp. Physiol. A. 191, 1121–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kevan P.G. (1975) Sun-tracking solar furnaces in high arctic flowers: significance for pollination and insects, Science 189, 723–726PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kleinhenz M., B. Bujok, S. Fuchs, J. Tautz (2003) Hot bees in empty broodnest cells: heating from within, J. Exp. Biol. 206, 4217–4231PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Norgate M., S. Boyd-Gerny, V. Simonov, M.G.P. Rosa, T.A. Heard, A.G. Dyer (2010) Ambient temperature influences Australian native stingless bee (Trigona carbonaria) preference for warm nectar, PLoS ONE 5(8), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012000
  22. Oldroyd B.P., S. Wongsiri (2006) Asian honey bees. Biology, conservation and human interactions, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  23. Oldroyd B.P., T.E. Rinderer, S. Wongsiri (1992) Pollen resource partitioning by Apis dorsata, A. cerana, A andreniformis and A. florea in Thailand. J. Apic. Res. 31, 3–7Google Scholar
  24. Ruttner F. (1988) Biogeography and taxonomy of honeybees, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  25. Yang G.-H. (2005) Harm of introducing the western honeybee Apis mellifera L. to the Chinese honeybee Apis cerana F. and its ecological impact. Acta Entomol. Sin. 48, 401–406Google Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag, France 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Tan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuang Yang
    • 2
  • Zheng-Wei Wang
    • 2
  • Sarah E. Radloff
    • 3
  • Benjamin P. Oldroyd
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesYunnanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Eastern Bee Research InstituteYunnan Agricultural UniversityKunmingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of StatisticsRhodes UniversityGrahamstownRepublic of South Africa
  4. 4.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations