Free access
Volume 28, Number 6, 1997
Page(s) 385 - 398
Apidologie 28 (1997) 385-398
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19970606

Seasonal and daily variation of honeybee dancing temperature under constant feeding conditions

M. Germ, A. Stabentheiner and G. Kastberger

Institut für Zoologie, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Universitätsplatz 2, A-8010 Graz, Austria

Abstract - The seasonal and daily variation of the thorax temperature of dancing honeybee foragers, which gathered sucrose solutions from feeding places of constant quality (concentration and distance), was investigated by infrared thermography. Dancing temperature varied significantly between different days of the foraging season and depended on the time of day. In the morning and evening it varied much more than during the rest of the day. Part of this variation was caused by the hive temperature. The degree of cloudiness had no effect. In addition to intra-individual variations, some bees differed in the level of thermoregulation throughout the whole day (= inter-individual variation). Dancing temperature correlated neither with the stores of honey or pollen nor with the number of brood cells or empty cells. Since no correlation was found between the rate of recruited bees and dancing temperature it seems improbable that the dancers' body temperature acts as a predominant signal of food source profitability for the recruited bees.

Key words: honeybee / dancing / season and daytime / thermoregulation / thermography