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Volume 35, Number 5, September-October 2004
Page(s) 493 - 502
Apidologie 35 (2004) 493-502
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004042

Temperature correlated dorso-ventral abdomen flipping of Apis laboriosa and Apis dorsata worker bees

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 Centre, Jugedi, Chitwan, Nepal

(Received 19 September; revised 12 January 2004; accepted 23 January 2004)

Abstract - Observations were conducted in Nepal, on A. laboriosa nests in the Himalayas, and A. dorsata in Rampur, Chitwan. At low temperatures, A. laboriosa worker bees of the whole nest curtain repeatedly raised the abdomen up and down with its tip at the peak up to 30-40°. Frequency of those movements was correlated with ambient temperature. With the increase in temperature, from 10 °C to 17 °C, the percentage of workers performing the temperature correlated dorso-ventral abdomen flipping (AF) dropped significantly from 51.4% to 7.5%. The duration of particular AF decreased from 0.62 s at 10 °C to 0.27 s at 17 °C. The workers repeated successive AF every 1.75 s at 10 °C and every 6.00 s at 17 °C. A. dorsata performed similar movements. However, the duration of single AF was shorter in A. dorsata than in A. laboriosa, and A. dorsata repeated those movements more frequently than A. laboriosa.

Key words: Apis laboriosa / Apis dorsata / abdomen flapping / body movements / temperature correlation / Nepal

Corresponding author: Jerzy Woyke

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004