Free Access
Volume 30, Number 6, 1999
Page(s) 513 - 519
Apidologie 30 (1999) 513-519
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19990606

The pore in the hard conical Apis cerana drone capping results from a spinning process

Otto Boeckinga, Peter Rosenkranzb and Masami Sasakic

a  Institut für Landwirtschaftliche Zoologie und Bienenkunde der Universität, Melweg 42, 53127 Bonn, Germany
b  Landesanstalt für Bienenkunde der Universität Hohenheim, August-von-Hartmann-Str. 13, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany
c  Laboratory of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo, 194-8610, Japan

Abstract - A central, funnel-like pore in the conical cap (measuring 0.3 mm in depth and 0.25-0.50 mm in diameter) is typical for Apis cerana drone brood cells. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the spinning process and the origin of the pore from dated A. cerana drone brood cells. In contrast to earlier reports the pore in A. cerana drone cell caps is constructed by rotating movements of the drone larva during the spinning process. Unresolved questions concerning the biological significance of the pore are discussed. The reason why this hard conical cap with the central, funnel-like pore evolved only in A. cerana and in A. koschevnikovi, however, remains uncertain. © Inra/DIB/ AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis cerana / cocoon / drone