Free access
Volume 21, Number 1, 1990
Page(s) 35 - 45
Apidologie 21 (1990) 35-45
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19900105

Nest sites of feral honey bees in California, USA

P. Gambino, K. Hoelmer and H.V. Daly

Department of Entomological Sciences, 201 Wellman Hall, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Abstract - Nest site characteristics are described for 94 honey bee nests in trees, 17 in the ground, and 82 in man-made structures. Nests were in trees of mean diameter 85 cm primarily in live hardwoods, especially oaks. Entrances were mostly single knots or cracks in the main trunk at ground level and up to a mean height of 2.5 m. Most nests in the ground were in treeless areas; half had partially exposed combs, possibly aiding ventilation. Nests in buildings differed from those in trees by having smaller entrances. Compass orientation of comb in natural nest sites was commonly from 145° - 195°.

Key words: Apis mellifera / feral colony / nidification / nest site