Female parasitism of European honey bees by Africanized honey bee swarms in Mexico
Carlos Vergara; Alfred Dietz; Adalberto Perez De Leon;
Female reproductive parasitism, or queen usurpation, was observed in honey bee colonies maintained in the Gulf coastal plain of Mexico between November 1987 and October 1990. Fifty-one of the European honey bee colonies managed during this study were invaded by Africanized honey bee swarms in two of three apiary monitoring lines, with annual invasion rates ranging from 0% to 40%. Queenless colonies were invaded with a significantly greater frequency than queenright colonies, in two of the three monitoring lines. The strength of the queenright colonies (weak, medium and strong) did not have an obvious effect on colony invasion. Invasions were not observed for one of the three monitoring lines, where no queenless colonies were maintained. Thus, queenless colonies appear to be most attractive to invading swarms of honey bees. Two takeovers are described in detail.