A preliminary study on the development of colonies of Melipona beecheii in traditional and rational hives
Jose Javier G Quezada-Euan; Jorge Gonzalez-Acereto
Seventeen colonies of Melipona beecheii were collected from different parts of Yucatan, Mexico, and housed in rational (box) hives or in traditional log hives. Two designs of rational hive were used: the Nogueira-Neto hive (P) and the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas de Amazonia hive (I). The internal volumes of the P, I and log hives were 14.30, 14.52 and 10.06 litres, respectively. Food stores in the original nests were not transferred to the hives and the colonies were fed on sugar syrup and supplied with cerumen. Brood volumes and numbers of food pots were determined every 15 days for 3 months following the colony transfers. The amount of brood which developed in the log hives (mean 848.21 cm3) was significantly greater than in P (mean 543.64 cm3) and I (mean 413.84 cm3 ) hives, but there were no significant differences between domiciles in the number of food pots built, indicating that colonies need to build up food stores before producing brood. It is suggested that the volumes of the P and I hives should be reduced by at least one-third, to allow better control of temperature and environment by the bees.