|De Guzman, Lilia|
Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2014
Publication Date: 10/24/2014
Citation: De Guzman, L.I., Rinderer, T.E., Frake, A.M. 2014. The effects of diet, mating duration , female to male ratios and temperature on ovary activation, mating success and fecundity of Aethina tumida. Apidologie. 46(3):326-336.
Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Summary The destructive nature of small hive beetles (SHB) arises largely from feeding on brood, pollen, honey, combs and dead adult bees inside the colonies. These types of food, in addition to temperature, influence to their ability to survive and reproduce. In this study, we examined the fecundity and ovary activation of female SHBs as affected by diet, number of male partners, mating duration, temperature and male to female ratio. We observed that SHB laid more eggs when offered a complete diet of brood, pollen and honey. Protein-rich diet such as pollen or brood encouraged ovary activation and egg-laying while honey alone did not. High temperature accelerated ovary activation and egg-laying. SHB females mated with two males were more prolific than those mated with one or three males, which may be due to indiscriminate mating. Females showed episodic egg-laying pattern. This study illustrates factors that influence high reproductive success of SHBs and thus, reaffirms the seriousness of SHB infestations to honey bee colonies and some of the difficulties they present for effective controls.
Technical Abstract: The effects of natural diet, mating and temperature on the ovary activation and fecundity of small hive beetles (SHB) Aethina tumida Murray were studied. The natural diets evaluated were brood, pollen, honey and their various combinations. Duration of mating (1 day versus 2 days), ratio of female (F) to male (M) (1F:1M, 2F:1M and 1F:2M) and temperature (34ºC versus 27-29ºC) were also assessed. Our results indicated seven findings. 1) A diet of brood, pollen and honey supported the highest fecundity. 2) Intake of protein-rich diets encouraged ovary activation and egg-laying. 3) Diet of honey alone did not support ovary activation and egg-laying. 4) Females that were allowed to mate with two males for five days had higher fecundity than females mated by one male or three males. 5) Egg-laying varied through time. 6) Females experienced sperm depletion after laying eggs within 33 or 44 days; all (20 out of 20) of the surviving fecund females mated for one day, 4 out of 28 for those mated for two days, and 2 out of 28 for those mated for five days. 7) High temperature accelerated ovary activation and egg-laying. Knowledge of the factors influencing fecundity helps elucidate why SHBs are very successful pests of honey bees.