Free Access
Volume 33, Number 6, November-December 2002
Page(s) 539 - 543
Apidologie 33 (2002) 539-543
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2002034

Spatial distribution of the dwarf honey bees in an agroecosystem in southeastern Thailand

Thomas E. Rinderera, Benjamin P. Oldroydb, Lilia I. de Guzmana, Wandee Wattanachaiyingchareonc and Siriwat Wongsiric

a  USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Honey-Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Research Laboratory, 1157 Ben Hur Rd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70820, USA
b  School of Biological Sciences A12, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
c  Bee Biology Research Unit, Department of Biology, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

(Received 17 January 2002; revised 5 March 2002; accepted 19 March 2002)

Colonies of Apis andreniformis and A. florea, had highly significant tendencies to be located near nests of their own species in a southeastern Thailand agro-ecosystem. A. andreniformis and A. florea chose similar nest sites, but the spatial correlations of their nesting sites were significantly negative, indicating that colonies may avoid areas containing nests of the other species. A. andreniformis nested at heights averaging about 6 m while A. florea nested at heights averaging about 4 m. The tendency of colonies of these species to establish their nest sites near existing nest sites of colonies of the same species may increase the probability that the newly selected nest sites are near suitable floral resources capable of supporting the survival and reproduction of the newer arrivals to the area. More importantly, spatial clumping probably helps assure that a colony's future reproductives will have potential mates within their mating range. Avoiding close association with colonies of conspecifics may help diminish interspecific interference with mating that may arise from the species having similar sex pheromones.

Key words: Asian honeybees / Apis andreniformis / Apis florea / spatial distribution / Thailand

Correspondence and reprints: Thomas E. Rinderer

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2002