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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Otis, G
item Koeniger, N
item Rinderer, Thomas
item Hadisoesilo, S
item Yoshida, T
item Tingek, S
item Wongsiri, S
item Mardan, M

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2000
Publication Date: 11/1/2000
Citation: Otis, G.W., Koeniger, N., Rinderer, T.E., Hadisoesilo, S., Yoshida, T., Tingek, S., Wongsiri, S., Mardan, M. 2000. Comparative Mating Flight Times of Asian Honey Bees. Meeting Abstract. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tropical Bees. pp. 137-141.

Interpretive Summary: Most areas of Asia have more than one species of honey bee. Yet, the mating biology of all honey bee species is similar, including the use of the sex pheromone, 9-ODA. How the reproductives of these species are able to find mates without interference from reproductives of the other species is a special problem in honey bee biology. This review paper summarizes the work of several scientists in different places, each having a different mix of honey bee species. In all cases, the different species use a different time during the day to mate, thereby reducing the interference from other species. However, the time of day is not perfectly fixed for each species. The time is adjusted in different locals so that the entire afternoon is utilized, regardless of the number of species in the local.

Technical Abstract: We compare data from six studies on the timing of drone flights of different assemblages of Apis species from different regions of Asia. Two major results are evident. First, there is extensive intraspecific variation in the temporal occurrence of drone flights between sites, suggesting that the timing of mating flights can be altered by selective forces. Second, there is almost no overlap in the flight distributions of sympatric species within a locality. This pattern is suggestive of reproductive character displacement through reinforcement, but there is little evidence that honey bees hybridize. A possible cause of this pattern of non-overlapping drone flight distributions is the attraction that drones of all species have to the sex pheromone compound 9-ODA, which may result in interspecific interference and a reduction in the efficiency of mating.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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