Free access
Volume 29, Number 4, 1998
Page(s) 315 - 325
Apidologie 29 (1998) 315-325
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980402

Nitrogen and mineral constituents of honey bee worker brood during pollen shortage

Anton Imdorf, Matthias Rickli, Verena Kilchenmann, Stefan Bogdanov and Hans Wille

Apicultural Division, Federal Dairy Research Station, Liebefeld, 3003 Bern, Switzerland

Abstract - Bee colonies were prevented from collecting pollen, and the effect on brood rearing and on the N, P, K, Ca, Na and Mg contents of pupae was studied. Under these conditions brood rearing was reduced and fully stopped, which lead to a decrease in population size, whereas control colonies with access to pollen developed normally. Only a few significant differences were found in chemical analyses in pupae and worker bees of colonies with and without access to pollen. We conclude that the major feature of honey bee response to pollen shortage is a termination of brood rearing, and that those pupae still reared contain similar quantities of nitrogen and of most minerals as pupae reared during good foraging conditions. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis mellifera / brood rearing / pollen / nitrogen / minerals