Absconding in the African honeybee: the queen, engorgement and wax secretion

publication date: May 25, 2011
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 27 (2) pp. 95-102
Date
June 1988
Article Title

Absconding in the African honeybee: the queen, engorgement and wax secretion

Author(s)

H. R. Hepburn

Abstract

An experiment was performed to assess the relationships among repletion of the honey stomach, wax secretion and queen status in relation to absconding in A.m. scutellata. Absconding is associated with engorgement of the honey stomach and increased secretion of wax scales, but not with the numbers of wax-bearing bees. Wax secretion is correlated with engorgement of the honey stomach, but not with tactile access to the queen. Colonies headed by A.m. capensis pseudoqueens swarmed more readily than those headed by conspecific A.m. scutellata queens. It is inferred that the A.m. capensis pseudoqueen lacks pheromonal parity with A.m. scutellata in terms of colony cohesion but is an adequate mimic of the A.m. scutellata queen for purposes of wax secretion.

Keywords

Apis mellifera scutellata, queen behaviour, absconding, wax secretion, pheromones, engorgement

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