The relationship between hive productivity and honeybee flight activity
J. Marceau, R. Boily And J. M. Perron
A relationship between daily honey production, as reflected in increased hive weight, and the flight activity of honeybees Apis mellifera L. was identified. This relationship confirmed that productivity mainly depends on bee activity (R2 = 0.79). Experiments were conducted in the summer of 1987 with digital honeybee counters at hive entrances, which detected incoming and outgoing bees. The minimum activity rate to get a positive daily honey gain was 14 000 bees/h. At 20 000 bees/h, the estimated daily honey gain was 0.34 kg and at 60 000 bees/h, the gain reached 5.7 kg. A three-fold increase in activity rate resulted in a 17-fold increase in honey production.