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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Spatial Distribution of Asian Honey Bees in An Agroecosystem in Southeastern Thailand

Authors
item Rinderer, Thomas
item Oldroyd, Benjamin - UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
item De Guzman, Lilia
item Wattanachaiying, Wandee - CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY
item Wongsiri, Siriwat - CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2002
Publication Date: December 1, 2002
Citation: RINDERER, T.E., OLDROYD, B.P., DEGUZMAN, L.I., WATTANACHAIYING, W., WONGSIRI, S., SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF ASIAN HONEY BEES IN AN AGROECOSYSTEM IN SOUTHEASTERN THAILAND, APIDOLOGIE, 2002, VOL. 33, pgs. 539-543, EDITION #6.

Interpretive Summary: Arranging bee hives for mating queen honey bees, delivering pollination or producing honey has been controversial for decades. The key question, should they be grouped together or separated has often been empirically solved by the convenience of off-loading trucks in one place. This study offers biological evidence that this is also the most suitable solution to provide honey bee colonies the spacial proximity that they seek in nature. Several Asian species of honey bees are all shown to have this same aggregation tendency, providing the first evidence that the tendency occurs genus-wide.

Technical Abstract: Colonies of Apis andreniformis, A. cerana, and A. florea, had highly significant tendencies to establish nests near other nests of their own species in a southeastern Thailand agro- ecosystem. A. andreniformis and A. florea chose similar species of tree in which to nest, but the spacial correlations of their nesting sites were significantly negative, indicating either that they tended to avoid areas containing nests of the other species or that subtle habitat preference differences exist for these species. A. andreniformis nested at heights averaging about 6 m while A. florea nested at heights averaging about 4 m. Although a wide range of potential nesting sites were available for the cavity nesting A. cerana, colonies of this species also were significantly clumped in their distribution. The tendency of colonies of these species to establish their nest sites near existing nest sites of colonies of the same species may increase the probability that the newly selected nest sites are near suitable floral resources capable of supporting the survival and reproduction of the newer arrivals to the area. More importantly, spacial clumping probably helps assure that a colonies future reproductives will have potential mates within their mating range. Avoiding close association with colonies of conspecifics may help diminish interspecific interference with mating that may arise from the species having similar sex pheromones.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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