Free access
Volume 40, Number 1, January-February 2009
Page(s) 20 - 25
Published online 05 December 2008
Apidologie 40 (2009) 20-25
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2008059

Apis florea drone flight: longevity and flight performance

Ninat Buawangpang1, Prachaval Sukumalanand1 and Michael Burgett2

1  Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Entomology, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
2  Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

Received 17 May 2008 – Revised 8 September 2008 – Accepted 30 September 2008 - Published online 5 December 2008

Abstract - Mating flight records are presented for males (drones) of the Asian dwarf honeybee species Apis florea. These include observations on longevity, mortality and inclusive flight records for a cohort of known-aged males. Averages for flight performance show the flights/lifetime to be 15.3 ($\pm $ 11.8 SD); the number of flight days, 9.1 ($\pm $ 6.5 SD) and a drone mating flight lasting ca. 31 min ($\pm $ 9 min, 27 s SD). For a smaller group of known-aged males, for which complete daily flight performance was recorded for all days of flight, the mean summed flight time was 6 h 38 min ($\pm $ 5 h 53 min SD). Longevity and mortality data show the average age for commencement of flight to be 5.6 days ($\pm $ 1.3 SD) and the mean age for the final flight to be 15.6 days ($\pm $ 9.2 SD), providing an average reproductive flight window of 10 days. These observations for A. florea male longevity and mortality are significantly shorter than those reported for the western honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) as observed in temperate climates of North America.

Key words: Apis florea / drone / longevity / flight performance

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008