Document Detail

Comb construction in mixed-species colonies of honeybees, Apis cerana and Apis mellifera.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20435816     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Comb building in mixed-species colonies of Apis cerana and Apis mellifera was studied. Two types of cell-size foundation were made from the waxes of these species and inserted into mixed colonies headed either by an A. cerana or an A. mellifera queen. The colonies did not discriminate between the waxes but the A. cerana cell-size foundation was modified during comb building by the workers of both species. In pure A. cerana colonies workers did not accept any foundation but secreted wax and built on foundation in mixed colonies. Comb building is performed by small groups of workers through a mechanism of self-organisation. The two species cooperate in comb building and construct nearly normal combs but they contain many irregular cells. In pure A. mellifera colonies, the A. cerana cell size was modified and the queens were reluctant to lay eggs on such combs. In pure A. cerana colonies, the A. mellifera cell size was built without any modification but these cells were used either for drone brood rearing or for food storing. The principal elements of comb-building behaviour are common to both species, which indicates that they evolved prior to and were conserved after speciation.
Ming-Xian Yang; Ken Tan; Sarah E Radloff; Mananya Phiancharoen; H Randall Hepburn
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  213     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-05-03     Completed Date:  2010-08-02     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1659-64     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa.
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MeSH Terms
Bees / physiology*
Nesting Behavior / physiology*
Species Specificity
Waxes / metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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