Selection of nest cavities by Africanized and European honey beesJ.O. Schmidta and R. Hurleyb
a Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, USDA-ARS, 2000 E Allen Road, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
b Western Pulp Products, PO Box 968, Corvallis, OR 97339, USA
Abstract - Africanized honey bee swarms in Costa Rica displayed no size preference among pulp-based nest cavities molded to internal volumes of 13.5, 24 and 31 I. In a crossover experiment where only one cavity volume was available at a site, European honey bee swarms selected 68 cavities of 31 I volume and only 22 cavities of 13.5 I volume. When given a choice of either 31 or 13.5 I cavities, European swarms occupied the larger cavities in 84% of the choices. No correlations between swarm size, swarm date, and size of cavity inhabited by a swarm were observed among 82 European swarms measured in Tucson, Arizona during the 1993 spring swarming season. The results indicate that 13.5 I cavities are best for trapping Africanized bee swarms since they are rejected by most European swarms.
Key words: Africanized honey bee / Apis mellifera / swarm / feral bee / nest cavity / pheromone