Swarming and migration in the honey bees (Apis mellifera) of Ethiopia
A Nuru, B Amssalu, H R Hepbern, S E Radloff
To determine the tendency and phenology of reproductive swarming and migration of the honey bee populations of Ethiopia, 240 beekeepers from 57 localities representing different ecological areas of the country were interviewed based on a pre-structured questionnaire. Extent of reproductive swarming and migration, number of swarms per colony, occupation rate of bait hives and periods of swarming and migration were assessed for about 3000 honey bee colonies. Significantly high reproductive swarming proportions were noted for Apis mellifera jemenitica and A. m. scutellata, and low proportions for A. m. bandasii, A. m. woyi-gambella and A. m. montico/a. Temporal distribution of swarming varies both within and between subspecies and is related to physiographic and climatic factors of the areas. The proportions of migrated colonies differed significantly among the five subspecies and resource depletion was the most persistent factor associated with migration.