Reproductive and morphological comparisons of drones reared in queenright and laying worker colonies
H Vasfi Gençer and Çetin Firatli
Drones reared in queenright colonies (QRC), in drone combs (DC) and in laying worker colonies (LWC) both in worker combs (WC) and in DC were compared with respect to their live weights at different ages, reproductive capacities, and morphological characters. Depending on the comb and colony type (DC-QRC, DC-LWC and WC-LWC), the weights of newly emerged drones varied. At emergence, the drones from DCQRC were 17.0% heavier than drones from DC-LWC, while the drones from WC-LWC were 36.6% and 23.7% lighter than drones from DC-QRC and DC-LWC, respectively. The drones sampled from DC-QRC, DC-LWC and WC-LWC lost 18.8%, 16.1% and 13.3% of their initial weights during maturation from emergence to 18-day old, respectively. The mean number of spermatozoa in drones from DC-QRC (12.01 × 106) was significantly greater than that of drones from DC-LWC (10.17 × 106) and from WC-LWC (8.62 × 106) The other reproductive and morphological characters, such as weight of mucus glands and seminal vesicles and extent of hamuli, lengths of hind leg parts, total length of hind leg and head width, all were significantly greatest in drones from DC-QRC and smallest in WC-LWC drones. This led us to assign individual drones to three distinct categories; large, medium and small drones.