Demography and life history characteristics of two honey bee races (Apis mellifera)

  title={Demography and life history characteristics of two honey bee races (Apis mellifera)},
  author={Mark L. Winston and Jennifer A. Dropkin and Orley R. Taylor},
SummaryIntra-colony demography and life history characteristics of neotropical Africanized and temperate European honey bearaces were compared under simulated feral conditions. Major differences in colony demography were found which nevertheless resulted in some similar reproductive characteristics. European colonies were larger than Africanized colonies, had more rapid initral growth rates of worker populations, showed better survivorship of brood and adult workers, and differed in patterns of… 

Factors influencing seasonal absconding in colonies of the African honey bee,Apis mellifera scutellata

The data suggest that migration is influenced by an interaction of intra-colony demographics, food reserves and foraging patterns, and that colonies that show decreased brood production, higher brood mortality and reduced food stores may be incapable of migrating, even when experiencing deteriorating foraging conditions.

Foraging differences between cross-fostered honeybee workers (Apis mellifera) of European and Africanized races

Two major factors determining differences in division of labor between Africanized and European bees are suggested: 1) the colony characteristics by which foraging age is determined, and 2) the responses of individual workers to hive environment.

Reproduction of Varroa destructor in worker brood of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera)

The fertility level of mites in this study was much higher than in AHB in Brazil, and similar to that found in EHB, and was not influenced by the amount of pollen, honey or worker brood in the colonies.

The habitat and nesting biology of the African honey beeApis mellifera scutellata in the Okavango River Delta, Botswana, Africa

The habitat and nesting biology were studied for naturally occurring colonies of the African honey bee,Apis mellifera scutellata, in the Okavango River Delta, Botswana to discuss as adaptations to the hot climate, long foraging season, and high predation rate experienced in the Delta.

Spatial and Temporal Distribution and Nest Site Characteristics of Feral Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies in a Coastal Prairie Landscape

The invasion of Africanized honey bees seemed to fragment the existing European population, corresponding to a decrease in the overall number of European colonies in the study area.

Population dynamics of European honey bee genotypes under different environmental conditions

It is found that colonies placed in Southern Europe tend to have lower adult bee populations compared to populations placed in colder conditions, while the brood population tends to be smaller in the North, thus reflecting the shorter longevity of bees in warmer climates and the shorter brood rearing period in theNorth.

Global invasions of the western honeybee (Apis mellifera) and the consequences for biodiversity

Although honeybee invasions seem to have had little if any effect on biodiversity of native pollinators so far, it is nevertheless caution against transporting honeybees around the globe, and particularly advise against importing foreign Apis species into tropical ecosystems.


It is suggested that although European mitochondria may eventually be driven to extinction in the feral population, stable introgression of European nuclear alleles has occurred.

The influence of nest site selection on the population dynamics of Africanized honey bees in an urban landscape

Tucson's feral honey bee population is driven by a relatively small number of ‘source’ colonies that escape termination, although immigrating swarms and absconding colonies from the surrounding area may have also contributed to the stability of the Tucson AHB population.

Honey bee sociometry: tracking honey bee colonies and their nest contents from colony founding until death

Each colony’s life history is described through its founding, ergonomic, and reproductive stages, and multiple colony parameters, including worker and drone populations, comb area and use, swarming rate, and colony death are tracked.



Intra-colony demography and reproductive rate of the Africanized honeybee in South America

  • M. Winston
  • Economics
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2004
Summary1.Demography and growth patterns of Africanized honeybee colonies in South America are described, and the influence of worker survivorship, rate of worker production, age structure, and colony

Age-Survival Curves for Workers of Two Eusocial Bees (Apis Mellifera and Plebeia Droryana) in a Subtropical Climate, with Notes on Worker Polyethism in P. Droryana

SummaryUnder the subtropical climate of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, the relationships between age and survival in worker bees were studied with Apis mellifera and a stingless bee (Plebeia droryana),

Studies in Animal Populations. II. Seasonal Population-Trends of the Honey-Bee

This honey-bee is a social bee with populous colonies, which under natural conditions dwell in caves of old trees, in clifts of rocks, etc, and a formation of new colonies takes place by partition of the original colony.

Factors preceding queen rearing in the Africanized honeybee (Apis mellifera) in South America

A new multifactorial hypothesis for the initiation of swarming in honeybees is presented, based on intrinsic (demographic) and extrinsic (resource abundance) factors acting as primary stimuli to initiate queen rearing.

Genetic Study of Aggressiveness of two Subspecies of Apis Mellifera in Brazil 1. Some Tests to Measure Aggressiveness

Five tests based on the use of small leather balls, kept in motion just outside the hive entrance, were used to evaluate the relative aggressiveness of Italian and Africanized bees in Brazil and showed that the latter were significantly more aggressive.

Absconding Behaviour of the Africanized Honeybee in South America

In pre-absconding colonies where disturbance was not involved, brood rearing decreased dramatically, with few or no larvae present in colonies about ten days before absconding, and colonies absconded within a day of the end of the sealed brood emergence.

The Past and Possible Future Spread of Africanized Honeybees in the Americas

Basic research is also now being done in Southern Africa, and before too long it should be possible to clarify some of the biological bases for observed behaviour, which will constitute a first step towards effective management.

Genetic Study of Aggressiveness of two Subspecies of Apis Mellifera in Brazil. 2. Time at Which the First Sting Reached a Leather Ball

The data from Fi colonies indicated dominance of the Africanized bees; other data emphasize the complexity of the method of inheritance of “aggressiveness”.

Seasonal brood-Rearing Activity of the cyprian Honeybee

The seasonal brood-rearing activity of a colony of Cyprian honeybees proved on investigation to be strikingly similar to that typical of colonies of Italian honeybees in the same apiary. Furthermore,

Variation in the incidence of swarming among colonies ofApis mellifera throughout the summer

Although the time at which swarming occurs seems to be largely determined by the direct action of environmental factors the possibility cannot be excluded that it is influenced to some extent by a cycle of physiological changes within the colonies.