Honey production and underlying nectar harvesting activities of Africanized and European honeybees
T. E. Rinderer, A. M. Collins And K. W. Tucker
Comparisons of Africanized and European honeybees (Apis mellifera) were made during two periods of different nectar availability in tropical dry forest in Venezuela. Field colonies were used to study honey yields, nectar-load characteristics, and flight activity including flight initiation and cessation. Observation-hive colonies were used to study dance communication and recruitment. Throughout these various measurements significant interactions occurred between geographic type of bee and period of nectar availability. Generally, in conditions of good nectar availability, European bees collected more and larger nectar loads, and produced more honey/colony/day than Africanized bees, possibly because of their more intensive recruitment of foragers. Africanized bees were marginally superior for some variables in conditions of low nectar availability. The results support the conclusion that, based on honey production alone, the European honeybee is the more desirable bee for use' in commercial beekeeping.