Honey production in Venezuela: effects of feeding sugar syrup on colony weight gains by Africanized and European coloniesD.G. Pesantea, T.E. Rindererb, A.M. Collinsc, D.L. Boykind and S.M. Bucoe
a Department of Animal Science, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00708, USA
b Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Laboratory, USDA, ARS, 1157 Ben Hur Road, Baton Rouge, LA, 70820, USA
c Honey Bee Research, USDA, ARS, 2413 E Hwy 83, Bldg 205, Weslaco, TX 78596, USA
d J Whitten Research Center, USDA-ARS, Statistical Unit, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA
e Statistical Resources, 7338 Highland Rd Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA
Abstract - Honey production by Africanized and European colonies as influenced by different rations of sugar syrup prior to the nectar flow was studied through a complete honey production season in Venezuela. A significant interaction of apiary, honey bee type and feed ration was detected. In the apiary with highest colony weight gains overall, European colonies had significantly higher weight gains than Africanized colonies. This general trend interacted with feed ration, the difference being most pronounced among colonies fed the 1 liter ration. Under the less favorable nectar flow conditions of the second apiary, significant differences in colony weight gains were not observed between geographical types. Significant differences in colony weight gains were detected between colonies fed 1 or 3 liters of syrup twice a wk. Colonies fed 1 liter of syrup had higher colony weight gains. Feeding honey bee colonies 3 liters of syrup twice a wk proved detrimental to colony development by restricting brood nest expansion.
Key words: Africanized honeybee / European honeybee / feeding / honey production / Venezuela