Free access
Volume 30, Number 4, 1999
Page(s) 299 - 310
Apidologie 30 (1999) 299-310
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19990406

Short-term effects of simulated bad weather conditions upon the behaviour of food-storer honeybees during day and night (Apis mellifera carnica Pollmann)

Karl Crailsheim, Ulrike Riessberger, Birgit Blaschon, Richard Nowogrodzki and Norbert Hrassnigg

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

Abstract - In an observation hive with about 5 000 bees, food-storers were classified by their behaviour (taking food from foragers and transporting it to the food-storing region) and then observed during day and night under good and bad (rainy) weather conditions. All food-storers were 13-19 days old. They were highly active at times of nectar flow, spending most of their time on the dance floor. At times of no food income, they stayed mostly in the broodnest and on the food stores, and were inactive 70 % of the time, which might save energy for the colony; they did not take over any duties from other temporal castes. A pronounced day and night rhythm in food-storer behaviour was recorded only when there was a nectar flow. Food donations and receptions were most pronounced on good weather days, but regardless of weather and time of the day these mostly occurred in the broodnest. The importance of these patterns is discussed. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: social behaviour / division of labour / day and night / weather