Seasonal Variations in the Organization and Structure of Apis cerana cerana Swarm Queen Cells
Keywords:honey bee, diameter, length, swarming, swarming season, swarm cell
This paper describes the organization and structure of the swarm queen cells of Apis cerana cerana in spring, summer, and autumn in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. We measured the following indices to reveal the organization rule of swarm cells: number of swarm cells built by each colony during different seasons; the shortest distance between two adjacent swarm cells on the comb; distance between swarm cell base and bottom bar of movable frame. We revealed the swarm cells structural characteristics using the following indicators: maximum diameter of swarm cell, the length between mouth and bottom of swarm cell, depth between maximum diameter and bottom of swarm cell, and the ratio of maximum diameter to depth between maximum diameter and bottom of swarm cell. Regarding seasonal differences, results indicated a significant variation in the distance between the swarm cell base and the bottom bar of the movable frame. Still, no such effect was observed in the shortest distance between two adjacent swarm cells. The maximum swarm cell diameter was not considerably influenced either, while the distance between the maximum diameter and the bottom of the swarm cell had substantial variation. The detected ratio of the maximum diameter to the depth between the maximum diameter and the bottom of the
swarm cell indicated seasonal changes in the bottom shape of the swarm cell. This study clarifies the temporal and spatial distribution and structure of swarm cells of A. c. cerana. It establishes the basis for predicting the time and position of appearing swarm cells, thus allowing for a more precise determination of the shape and size of queen-cell punch and the ideal position of a cell cup on the bar of queen cup frames in artificial queen rearing.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Shunhua Yang, Dandan ZHI, Xueyang GONG, Yiqiu LIU, Wenzheng ZHAO, Kun DONG
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