Observations on the behaviour of a repeatedly absconding Apis andreniformis colony in northern Thailand
Willard S Robinson
I observed a colony of Apis andreniformis in a mango orchard in northern Thailand over a period of 10 days in September 2009. Here I report on colour variability of the workers, and swarm shape and movement patterns as it absconded three times in that period. Twice the swarm built comb. Workers constructed resin bands to repel ants, and defended against hornets by shimmering and forming a tail. They were not aggressive toward me. Workers on the mantle ventilated, head downwards, in the heat of the day when struck by sunlight. Dancing occurred on the crown of the swarm, all but one observed dance of short (1-2 sec) duration. One longer, staggering dance may have indicated a pending relocation by the swarm.