Free Access
Volume 28, Number 6, 1997
Page(s) 449 - 460
Apidologie 28 (1997) 449-460
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19970611

Body size and reproductive success of drones (Apis mellifera L)

S. Berg, N. Koeniger, G. Koeniger and S. Fuchs

Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Fachbereich Biologie der Universität Frankfurt a. M., Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, D-61440 Oberursel, Germany

Abstract - We compared drones of different body size. Small drones were reared in worker cells while large drones originated from drone cells. We used the cordovan (cd) mutant as a marker. The distribution of drone types in a drone congregation area was monitored by pheromone traps. No significant differences in temporal, horizontal and vertical distributions of large (cd) drones were found, either in comparison with large (+) or in the experiment with small (+) drones. The offspring of homozygous cordovan (cd/cd) queens which were mated during the experiment by (cd) and (+) drones was examined. We compared the ratio of (cd/cd) and (cd/+) workers to the drone ratio at time of the mating flight. Small drones had a reproductive disadvantage compared with large drones. Large (cd) drones had a lower reproductive success compared to large (+) drones.

Key words: Apis mellifera / drone / body size / reproductive success / offspring analysis