Bee hair structure and the effect of hair on metabolism at low temperature

publication date: Aug 24, 2011
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 24 (2) pp. 144-149
Date
June 1985
Article Title

Bee hair structure and the effect of hair on metabolism at low temperature

Author(s)

Edward E. Southwick

Abstract

Thoracic hair on honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) occurs in two distinct forms, short and long. Both forms are branched but differ in their branching morphology, and together provide an efficient insulating layer against heat loss in clusters of bees. Hairless honeybees (mutant Apis mellifera carnica) in small clusters exposed to 2°C consumed significantly more oxygen and dissipated more metabolic energy than their normal hairy relatives. They also more frequently fell into chill coma.

Keywords

Bee hair, Thoracic hair, temperature, Apis mellifera carnica, hairless

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