Drone Production by the Giant Honey Bee Apis dorsata F. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Bajaree Chuttong, Ninat Buawangpong, Michael Burgett


This study investigates male (drone) production by the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata F.). The entire brood populations from 10 colonies were counted to determine the immature population of drones relative to workers. As the condition of each cell was determined the cell’s position and content were noted using the Microsoft Excel platform. The contents of the brood comb, including eggs, larvae, prepupae, capped worker pupae, capped drone pupae, pollen storage cells and finally empty brood cells were recorded. Results reveal the percent of pupal drones averaged 5.9 ± 6.2% of the total pupal cohort with a range of 0.1 to 17.3%. The size of the drone pupal population relative to the worker pupae was highly variable and displayed no correlation (r2 = 0.076).  Pupal drone distribution was scattered throughout the brood comb in a random manner when drone populations were low; in instances of higher drone production, the drones appeared in banded patterns concomitant with the worker pupal distribution.


Apis dorsata, Drone, Giant honey bee, Male investment

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v66i3.4355


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