Variability in the size of emerging drones and of drone and worker eggs in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies
Carol E Henderson
Forty honey bee eggs from two unrelated, similar- sized colonies were measured weekly from 1 June to 12 August 1990, in Ithaca, NY, USA. The eggs were obtained from a section of comb, containing both worker and dronesized cells, on which the queen was confined for 24 h. Egg length and width fluctuated significantly in both colonies throughout the experimental period. There was no statistical difference between sexes, and eggs destined to produce drones during the swarming season were not necessarily larger. Dry weights of drones were measured at 14day intervals during spring (1990, Lake Placid, FL) and summer (1989 and 1990, Ithaca, Ny), using a pool of 12-15 colonies. Weights varied significantly throughout all the sampling periods. The 1989 (NY) and 1990 (FL) data showed a tendency for drones to become lighter after swarming and heavier during swarming. The more extensive sampling in 1990 (NY) showed a mean drone dry weight varying from 56.86 mg to 30.71 mg, but there was no association with swarming and similar changes occurred also in worker weights.