The influence of a colony's queen state, time of year, and drifting behaviour, on the acceptance and longevity of adult drone honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

publication date: Jun 8, 2011
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 27 (4) pp. 219-226
Date
June 1988
Article Title

The influence of a colony's queen state, time of year, and drifting behaviour, on the acceptance and longevity of adult drone honeybees (Apis mellifera L.)

Author(s)

R. W. Currie And S. C. Jay

Abstract

Groups of 100 marked drones of known ages were introduced into colonies on different dates throughout 1980 and 1981. The number of drones surviving was measured every 2-4 days. Drone acceptance ranged from 8--88% and was correlated with environmental conditions at the time of introduction. Most loss of drones occurred within 24 h after introduction. The initial acceptance of drones showed positive simple correlations with mean daily temperature (r = 0.82, P < 0.001, in 1980) and the number of hours of sunshine (r = 0.58, P < 0.0007, in 1980, and r = 0·39, P < 0.01, in 1981) and was negatively correlated with daily precipitation (r = - 0.44, P < O.OOO1, in 1980) and relative humidity (r = - 0.51, P < 0.0007, in 1981). Significant partial correlations were found between the initial acceptance of drones and temperatures (r = 0.67, P < 0.05, in 1980, and r = 0·51, P < 0.05, in 1981) and with relative humidity (r = - 0.58, P < 0·05, in 1981). Queenless colonies accepted more drones (66%) than did queenright colonies (33%), but the survival rates of drones in queenless and queenright colonies were not significantly different. The mean longevity of adult drones ranged from 13-15 days (median 11-13 days) and did not vary significantly with seasonal changes in nectar flow. Survival rates of drones were not reduced by their drifting behaviour.

Keywords

Drones, Drone survival, Drone acceptance, drone longevity, bee behaviour, Adult drone honeybees

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