Congregation of Apis cerana indica Fabricius 1798 drones in the canopy of trees in Sri LankaR.W.K. Punchihewaa, N. Koenigerb and G. Koenigerb
a Sri Lanka Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Station, Makandura, Gonawila (NWP), Sri Lanka
b Institut für Bienenkunde, Polytechnische Gesellschaft, Fachbereich Biologie der Universität Frankfurt a M, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, D 637 Oberursel, FRG
Abstract - Drone congregations of Apis cerana in Sri Lanka were found in the canopy of trees. The space in which the drones were flying had distinct borders demarcated horizontally and vertically by the canopies of trees: the area was about 10 x 6 m and the height of flight was between 4 m and 8 m. Some drones (n = 118) were caught and marked at the congregation area. Marked drones were found within a radius of 100 m of each drone colony. The rate of recovery was 92% after 24 h. Therefore, the flight range of the drones was very limited. The differences between the drone congregation areas in Sri Lanka and the DCAs of Apis mellifera in Europe are discussed.
Key words: Apis cerana / reproduction / mating behaviour / drone congregation / Sri Lanka