Free access
Volume 26, Number 5, 1995
Page(s) 395 - 406
Apidologie 26 (1995) 395-406
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19950505

Swarm movement patterns inferred from waggle dance activity of the neotropical African honey bee in Costa Rica

S.S. Schneider

Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA

Abstract - The movement patterns of neotropical African honey bee colonies were investigated by monitoring the waggle dance activity associated with nest site selection by 10 artificially created swarm clusters. Eight of the swarms carried African mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and 2 had European mtDNA. The latter were classified as Africanized hybrids, ie European matrilines mated to African drones. Scout bees performed recruitment dances for a mean ± SD of 12.2 ± 6.6 different potential nest sites located 3 429 ± 894 m from the swarm clusters. The mean distance communicated for the nest site ultimately selected was 4 693 ± 1 728 m. Neotropical African and hybrid swarms did not differ in the number of nest sites investigated or the mean distances communicated. Swarming behavior may account for 6-18% of the total distance traveled by neotropical African bees each year.

Key words: Apis mellifera scutellata / Africanized honey bee / neotropical African honey bee / swarm / waggle dance / mitochondrial DNA