Free access
Issue
Apidologie
Volume 36, Number 2, April-June 2005
the neglected gender - males in bees
Page(s) 279 - 284
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/apido:2005009
Published online 01 June 2005
Apidologie 36 (2005) 279-284
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005009

Variance in spermatozoa number among Apis dorsata drones and among Apis mellifera drones

Gudrun Koenigera, Nikolaus Koenigera, Salim Tingekb and Mananya Phiancharoenc

a   Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Faculty of Biology and Informatics, J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 61440 Oberursel, Germany
b   ARS Tenom, 8898 Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia
c   Chulalongkorn University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Bee Biology Res. Unit, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

(Received 29 Mars 2004 - Revised 14 May 2004 - Accepted 24 May 2004; Published online: 1 June 2005)

Abstract - Published estimates of the mean spermatozoa numbers for Apis dorsata drones vary from 1.2 × 106 and 2.4 × 106; the number of spermatozoa per individual drone vary from 0.22 × 106 to 2.65 × 106. Counts presented here revealed 1.19 × 106 + 0.25 × 106 spermatozoa in drones sampled near a colony and 1.59 × 106 + 0.18 × 106 in drones sampled at a drone congregation area (DCA) in Sabah, Borneo. The difference between the two sites is significant. Further, the degree of variation in sperm numbers among drones near the colonies was higher than at the DCA. Possible reasons are discussed for spermatozoa number variation between drone samples in A. dorsata and in A. mellifera (published estimates). Furthermore, it is discussed if differences in spermatozoa numbers among fathering males may contribute to differences in patriline proportions within colonies.


Key words: variation in sperm number / individual drone / Apis dorsata / Apis mellifera / average

Corresponding author: Gudrun Koeniger Gudrun.Koeniger@em.uni-frankfurt.de

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005