Impact of different comb age on morphological and biological characteristics of honeybee workers (Apis Mellifera L.)

Mohamed B. Shawer, Elsaid M. Elnabawy, Kareem M. Mousa, Sahar Gaber, Takatoshi Ueno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A variety of environmental and physiological factors are involved in honeybee health and honey yields. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of wax comb age on the morphological and biological characteristics of honeybee workers and their relationship with comb morphology and honey production. For this purpose, we used combs with different age ranging from new (0 year old) to 7 years old. The results revealed that hexagonal cell volume, inner cell diameter, etc., significantly became smaller with increasing comb age. As the consequence, honeybee workers produced from older combs significantly had a lighter body weight, shorter proboscis, smaller tibia, tarsus and forewings. Also, the sizes of mandibular glands, hypopharyngeal glands, and second wax glands were significantly decreased when bees were emerged from older combs. However, the exuvium and wax weights, and the height of hexagonal cell base were significantly greater in older combs. Furhter, comb age had a significant impact on brood rearing; worker and drone brood areas were smaller in older combs. Finally, total honey yields were found to decrease significantly with increasing comb age. The present study thus highlighted the importance of comb age management in maintaining honeybee health and maximizing honey production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University
Volume65
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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