Free access
Volume 23, Number 3, 1992
Page(s) 211 - 216
Apidologie 23 (1992) 211-216
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19920303

Structural features trigger capping of brood cells in honey bees

B. Goetz and N. Koeniger

Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft) Fachbereich Biologie der JW Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a M, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 637 Oberursel 1, Germany

Abstract - The effect on capping behaviour of the distance between the larva and the cell opening was examined. Shortened brood cells (with reduced depth) were capped earlier than normal cells. After capping, larval weight in shortened cells was lower than in control cells. Larvae of elongated cells were heavier than control larvae after capping. The results indicate that mechanical stimuli play an important role in triggering capping of cells.

Key words: Apis mellifera / brood care / cell building / capping behaviour / pheromone / mechanical stimulus