Apis dorsata F.: diurnal foraging patterns of worker bees in northern Thailand
Prakaimuk Saraithong, Michael Burgett, Kitiphong Khongphinitbunjong and Panuwan Chantawannakul
The giant Asian honey bee, Apis dorsata, is a species native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. It builds a large single comb nest from anoverhead substrate such as tree branches, rocks or buildings (Oldroyd and Wongsiri, 2006). The foraging phenology of this species is one of the least studied aspects of colonial life history. A study that focused on A. laboriosa foraging in Nepal (Woyke et al., 2003) reported that A. dorsata workers commenced foraging at an ambient temperature of 18°C, while A. laboriosa commenced foraging at an ambient temperature of 10°C. For A. laboriosa the number of foraging bees increased after the first flight in the mid-morning to a peak in the early afternoon dropping sharply thereafter.