Occurrence and size of laying worker eggs in Apis florae colonies
J Woyke; S Wongsiri
The occurrence of laying workers in Apis florae colonies in Thailand was observed. Laying workers were active in 'hopelessly queenless' colonies, and deposited eggs in large numbers even in colonies rearing queens. Laying worker brood disappeared after virgin queens emerged, well before they started to lay eggs. Thirty eggs were collected from each of three colonies with queens and three queenless colonies with laying workers. The average lengths of eggs deposited by queens were 1.540, 1.558 and 1.618 mm, and by workers 1.633, 1.694 and 1.783 mm. The average widths were 0.348, 0.374 and 0.392 mm, and 0.418, 0.438 and 0.452 mm, respectively. Thus, laying worker eggs were larger than those deposited by queens, although the length of the worker abdomen is about half of that of the queen. A high correlation was found between the average length and width of eggs from different colonies. However, the correlation was weak for eggs deposited by particular queens.