Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Allogrooming behavior of European honey bees Apis melliferal L. Public Deposited

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  • Workers in colonies of European honey bees Apis mellifera L. clean their nestmate's body by allogrooming behavior. This behavior may be initiated by either grooming dancers or by the allogroomers themselves. The first occurs less frequently (ca. 17 %) than the later (83 %). By using the inner edge of mandibles, allogroomers comb the hairy parts around the receiver wing bases, sites around which are unreachable by the receiver herself, and where adult females of the tracheal mite Acarapis woodi and the ectoparasite mite A. dorsalis commonly harbor. There are two groups of allogroomers : the specialist, which grooms six or more nestmates within one bout of allogrooming, and the non-specialist, which grooms fewer nestmates. A specialist that groomed 132 nestmates in one bout was observed in this study. Although allogrooming may be initiated by the grooming dancer, the relationship between the two behaviors is negligible. Worker bees perform allogrooming behavior more as a routine task rather than as a response to the grooming dance. Sunlight intensity, and probably temperature, outside the hive influence allogrooming intensity. The intensity increases during sunny days and decreases at night. It also decreases when the day is cloudy or rainy. An intensity of fourteen events per 1000 workers every two minutes was observed during sunny days, so that all the workers in the colony would be groomed ca. eight times within 24 hours. There is very little temporal basis for allogrooming behavior. It is performed by workers of any age above two days. Any nestmate, regardless of age, can be groomed. However, it was observed that bees of foraging age were groomed less frequently.
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