NEST CAVITY SELECTION BY SWARMS OF EUROPEAN AND AFRICANIZED HONEYBEES
THOMAS E. RINDERER, KENNETH W. TUCKER AND ANITA M. COLLINS
The overall pattern of nest-box occupations by European bees in Louisiana indicated a minimum acceptable volume of c. 10 litres, a maximum acceptable volume of c. 40 litres, and no preference between these extremes. Africanized bees in Venezuela had a nest-box occupation pattern indicating a minimum acceptable volume of c. 20 litres, no maximum acceptable volume within· the limits of the sizes available in the experiment, and no clear preference between volumes from 20 to 120 litres. These data suggest a model of nest-cavity selection formulated as a hierarchical set of choices. Africanized swarms weighed more, although the individual bees in them weighed less, and they always built a smaller total area of comb and tended to include fewer drones, than swarms of European bees.