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Volume 32, Number 5, September-October 2001
Page(s) 407 - 416
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001140

Apidologie 32 (2001) 407-416

Apis dorsata drone flights, collection of semen from everted endophalli and instrumental insemination of queens

Jerzy Woykea, Jerzy Wildeb and Maria Wildec

a  Agricultural University - SGGW, Bee Division, 166 Nowoursynowska 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
b  WM University, Apiculture Division, Olsztyn, Poland
c  Dabur Apicultural Center, Jugedi, Chitwan, Nepal

(Received 30 November 2000; revised 28 April 2001; accepted 18 May 2001)

We observed drone flights of 16 colonies of Apis dorsata in Chitwan, Nepal. At the end of February drone flights occurred between 18:15 and 18:35 h. By April, as day length increased, drones flew gradually later. Within 2 months the start of drone flights was delayed by 42 min. High correlation (r = 0.99) was found between the sunset time and the start of drone flights. After the thorax or abdomen of drones were squeezed, seven stages of endophallus eversion occurred. Semen appeared as a small drop at the ventral side of completely everted cervix. We collected 8 mm3 of semen from 41 drones. Thus, one drone produced on average 0.2 mm3 of semen. Three Apis mellifera queens were inseminated with 2-3 mm3 of A. dorsata semen. All queens started to lay eggs. Larvae hatched from 3 were found. We speculate that embryos in rest of the eggs did not develop due to genetic incompatibility.

Key words: drones / drone flight time / eversion of endophallus / semen / instrumental insemination / Apis dorsata

Correspondence and reprints: Jerzy Woyke

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2001