Change in shape of Tropilaelaps clareae females and the onset of egg laying
Time was recorded in which brood cells were sealed in colonies infested with Tropilaelaps clareae. The cells were opened at successive 4-h intervals, and bee brood developmental stage was determined as well as presence of T. clareae females, eggs and developmental stages. The size of T. clareae females was also recorded as a measure of their readiness to oviposit. The first T. clareae egg was found 48-52 h after sealing, in a cell with a prepupa; the first larva, 64--68 h; the first protonymph, 68-72 h; and the first deutonymph, 88-92 h after sealing, respectively. The thickness of T. clareae females doubled from 0.3 mm for those moving freely on the combs up to 0.6 mm for females during the egg laying period. It is concluded that T. clareae females do not lay eggs in brood cells before they are sealed, but 40 or 48 h after sealing. Both sexes of T. clareae run freely on comb surfaces.