Individual Acclimatization of Apis mellifera L. to the Thermal Homeostasis of the Colony

Marcos Venâncio Lima, Leonardo Augusto Fonseca Pascoal, Edilson Paes Saraiva, Kilmer Oliveira Soares, João Paulo Araújo Fernandes de Queiroz, Adriana Evangelista-Rodrigues

Abstract


Bees play an important role in maintaining biodiversity by promoting the pollination of numerous plant species. Recent global climate changes are affecting the average air temperature, thereby altering the biological processes of many species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the adaptation of Apis mellifera L. bees to temperature increases and their responses to thermal homeostasis in the colony. Research was performed at the Federal University of Paraíba Laboratory of Bees using three treatments: Control, 33 °C and 40 °C. For the latter two treatments, colonies were kept in a 24 m² climate chamber with an opening at the hive entrance, giving the bees access to the outside environment. The following parameters were evaluated: difference between internal and external hive temperature, thorax surface temperature and total protein concentration in the hemolymph. Internal colony temperature varied according to the external hive temperature. Nurse bees that care for larvae exhibited higher heat production, expressed as thorax surface temperature. Total protein content in the hemolymph was highest in the 40 °C treatment and decreased with ambient temperature. External hive temperature influences internal hive temperature, and nurse bees have higher capacities for thermogenesis.


Keywords


behavior; hemolymph; total protein; thermogenesis; thermoregulation

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v66i1.3378

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