Foraging rates and hive contents during the establishment of honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera L.)
Steven A. Kolmes And Yacoba Sam
Four artificial honeybee swarms, as genetically similar to one another as possible, were established on the same day in the same apiary. Each contained a sister queen inseminated with 2 microlitres of mixed semen from seven drones. For each queen, the seven drones were taken respectively from each of seven drone-mother colonies. Each queen, accompanied by 0.91 kg of her own progeny, was placed in a 42-1 hive body provided with 1 frame containing approximately 40 x 30 cm of drawn comb, 9 undrawn frames of comb foundation, and 2'27 kg of sugar syrup. Foraging rates and hive contents were then periodically measured through the summer. The four colonies demonstrated synchronous fluctuations in foraging rates that were not generally associated with amounts of uncapped nectar, capped honey, pollen, or capped brood in the hives. Two colonies reduced their brood rearing early in the summer, and in these colonies there were no significant correlations between foraging rates and amounts of uncapped brood. The other two colonies reared brood at high levels throughout the summer, and the foraging rates were significantly positively correlated with their amounts of uncapped brood. The latter result is consistent with earlier reports of brood pheromone influences on foraging in larger established colonies.
Foraging rates, hive contents, honeybee colonies, Apis mellifera L.