The impact of recent queenloss and colony pheno-type on the removal of small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray) eggs and larvae by African honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera capensis Esch.)
Journal of Insect Behavior
Institut für Zoologie, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Hoher Weg 4, D-06099 Halle (Saale), Germany; Swiss Bee Research Centre, Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Swiss Federal Research Station ALP, Schwarzenburgstrasse 161, CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland; Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa; Eastern Bee Research Institute, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China
The removal of small hive beetle [=SHB] eggs and larvae was studied in queenright and recently queenless Cape honeybee, Apis mellifera capensis, colonies over a range of phenotypes. The overall removal efficiency was not influenced by phenotypes or queenstate, because all introduced eggs and larvae were removed within 24 hours. Queenless colonies removed them merely slower than queenright ones. The latter ones rejected up to 300 larvae within one hour. However, colonies undergoing preparation for absconding did not completely remove SHB offspring, suggesting that removal efficiency was reduced. Since even small and recently queenless colonies effectively removed immature SHB, and no differences in the overall efficiency was found compared to A. m. scutellata we conclude that this defense behavior is well developed in African honeybees. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Aethina tumida; Apis mellifera; Apis mellifera scutellata; Coleoptera