Are sperm traits of drones ( Apis mellifera L.) from laying worker colonies noteworthy?
H Vasfi Gençer and Yasin Kahya
Laying worker colonies and small drones derived from the eggs of laying workers are a part of the complex reproductive biology of honey bees. This study was carried out to compare sperm traits of small drones from laying worker colonies (LWC) with those of large drones from queenright colonies (QRC). The drones from QRC (221.6 mg) were 50.4% heavier (P < 0.001) than the drones from LWC (147.3 mg). The mean volume of ejaculate of drones from QRC (1.01 µl) was 53% larger (P < 0.001) than that of drones from LWC (0.66 µl). The mean sperm number in drones from QRC (7.320 X 106) was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than that of drones from LWC (4.425 X 106). Sperm concentration of drones from QRC (7.256 X 106 / µl) was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than that of drones from LWC (6.661 X 106 / µl). In addition, the drones from QRC (33.155 X 103 / mg) produced 3.189 X 103 more sperm cells per mg body mass (P < 0.05) than the drones from LWC (29.966 X 103 / mg). No significant differences were found between drones from QRC and LWC in sperm viability and sperm length.