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Hygienic behaviour of the honey bee Apis mellifera in worker and drone brood cells Diferencias en el comportamiento higienico de la abeja Apis mellifera en celdas de cria de obreras y zanganos



Hygienic behaviour of the honey bee Apis mellifera in worker and drone brood cells Diferencias en el comportamiento higienico de la abeja Apis mellifera en celdas de cria de obreras y zanganos



Revista de la Sociedad Entomologica Argentina, 601-4: 203-208



In order to analyze hygienic behaviour of Apis mellifera L. in worker and drone brood cells, a number of worker and drone larvae, from six honey bee hives were killed with a needle through the cap. The work was done at Coronel Vidal, province of Buenos Aires during spring 1999. Results showed a different hygienic behavior between worker and drone brood cells. There were no significant differences between hives. However, nurse bees emptied significantly more drone brood cells than worker cells, with average remotion rates of 74.04 plus or minus 1.03% and 70.46 plus or minus 0.99% for drone and worker cells respectively. This high remotion proportion for drone cells is quite different to results observed for Apis cerana F., which did not hygienize drone brood cells. Results presented in this study could describe a strategy displayed by Apis mellifera nurse bees against the presence of abnormality in brood. In this way honey bees could eliminate rapidly possible pathogenic agents from hives.

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