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The relationship between comb age and performance of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies

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  • King Faisal University, ALHasa, Saudi Arabia

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A study on the relationship between the age of comb and the activity of the hybrid Carniolan honey bee colonies in collecting pollen activity, worker brood production, colony strength, and honey yield was conducted. In comparison to colonies with combs aged 4-years, colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years significantly exceeded in the number returning workers, number returning workers with pollen loads, rate of storing pollen, rate of worker brood production, and size of colony population. Colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years produced significantly more honey than colonies with combs aged 4-years (5.25, 4.90 and 4.65 kg/colony vs. 4.45 kg/colony, respectively). It can be concluded that the foraging rate, gathering and storing pollen, brood production, colony population size, and honey yield significantly depended on the age of combs. Beekeepers can replace old combs with new ones to increase brood and honey production.
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Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences
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Original article
The relationship between comb age and performance of honey bee (Apis mellifera)
colonies
El-Kazafy A. Taha a, b, , Saad N. AL-Kahtani a
aArid Land Agriculture Department, Faculty of Agriculture & Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
bEconomic Entomology Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafrelsheikh, Egypt
ARTICLE INFO
Article history:
Received 13 March 2019
Received in revised form 25 March 2019
Accepted 8 April 2019
Available online xxx
Keywords:
Brood
Comb
Honey bee
Honey
Pollen
ABSTRACT
A study on the relationship between the age of comb and the activity of the hybrid Carniolan honey bee
colonies in pollen gathering activity, worker brood production, colony strength, and honey yield was con-
ducted. In comparison to colonies with combs aged 4-years, colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years sig-
nificantly exceeded in the number returning workers, number returning workers with pollen loads, rate of
storing pollen, rate of worker brood production, and size of colony population. Colonies with combs aged
1, 2 and 3-years produced significantly more honey than colonies with combs aged 4-years (5.25, 4.90 and
4.65kg/colony vs. 4.45kg/colony, respectively). It can be concluded that the foraging rate, gathering and stor-
ing pollen, brood production, colony population size, and honey yield significantly depended on the age of
combs. Beekeepers can replace old combs with new ones to increase brood and honey production.
© 2019.
1. Introduction
The color of beeswax when first built is near white. The main
components of comb beeswax are ester and hydrocarbons compo-
nents (Tulloch, 1980) that can absorb several materials. Food stor-
age in comb makes the color of wax yellowish over time because of
the pollen residual accumulation (Free and Williams, 1974). Rearing
brood in the comb several times makes it darker and almost black
(Hepburn, 1998; Taha et al., 2010), the cell walls become thicken and
the cells become smaller (Coggshall and Morse, 1984; Winston, 1987)
because of the accumulation of cocoons and fecal material that precip-
itated within the cell during the stages of larvae and pupae (Jay, 1963),
pollen and propolis (Free and Williams, 1974; Taha and El-Sanat,
2007; Taha et al., 2010). The darker color of the comb may also result
from unidentified contaminants absorbed in the beeswax by the time
(Taha et al., 2010).
The activity and performance of the colony of the honey bee are
influenced by several factors such as: nectar and pollen floral re-
source (Helal et al., 2003; Taha et al., 2006; Taha and Bayoumi,
2009; Awad et al., 2017), time of the year (Taha, 2000; Shawer et
al., 2003; Taha, 2015; Taha and Al-Kahtani, 2019), colony popula-
tion size (Taha and Al-Kahtani, 2013; Kasangaki et al., 2018), and bee
species/subspecies (Taha et al., 2016; Awad et al., 2017; Taha and Al-
Peer review under responsibility of King Saud University.
Corresponding author at: Arid Land Agriculture Department, Faculty of Agriculture
& Food Sciences, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.
Email address: etaha@kfu.edu.sa (E-KA.-A Taha)
Kahtani, 2019). In addition, the productivity of honey bee colonies has
been affected by feeding on proteinaceous diets (Pokhrel et al., 2006;
Mahmood et al., 2013; Taha, 2015; Puškadija et al., 2017)
The aim of the present study is to investigate the activity of the
honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies in storing pollen, brood produc-
tion, growth of the colony, and honey production in relation to the age
of comb age.
2. Material and methods
The study was carried out at the apiary of the Training and Re-
search Station, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa oasis, in eastern Saudi
Arabia during the summer and autumn seasons in 2017. Al-Ahsa lies
at longitude 49° 3719E, latitude 25° 2546N and an altitude of
121m above sea level. Twenty colonies of 14,000 bees (seven combs)
of hybrid Carniolan (A. m. carnica Pollmann) honey bees were se-
lected for this experiment. The colonies were equalized to be about the
same strength (brood, bees, and food) and were requeened by newly
mated sister queens. The colonies were divided into 4 groups of 5
colonies. The combs in these colonies have been replaced by empty
combs aged 1, 2, 3 and 4-years in groups 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively.
The number of returning workers into the colony within one minute
was counted to determine the activity of foraging. The number of re-
turning workers carrying pollen loads was recorded at the same time.
These procedures were done periodically a day weekly at 07000800
hrs from July to September, and at 09001000 hrs from October to
December. The flight activity reached the highest rates at the selected
times (Taha, 2014).
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2019.04.005
1319-562/ © 2019.
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A standard frame divided into square inches was used to measure
the areas of worker sealed brood and stored pollen at 12 days inter-
vals. The monthly number of combs covered with bees in each colony
was counted for determination the colony population size according
to bees Taha (2007). By the end of sidr (Ziziphus spp., Rhamnaceae)
season flow (September and October), honey yield was determined
by calculating the difference between the weight of combs before and
after honey extraction. Data were analyzed by the one-way analysis
of variance using SAS® software computer program (SAS Institute,
2003). A comparison between the means of treatments was done using
the Duncans Multiple Range Test (Duncan, 1955).
3. Results
The obtained data showed that colony performance including for-
aging activity, storing pollen, brood production, colony growth, and
honey production differed and significantly (p < 0.01) affected by
comb age. Colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years were sig-
nificantly (p< 0.01) more active in foraging rate in comparison to
colonies with combs aged 4-years (66.40, 64.20 and 61.60 workers/
min./colony vs. 59.20 workers/min./colony, respectively). The high
est number of returning workers carrying pollen loads (19.85 work-
ers/min./ colony) was recorded in colonies with combs aged 1-year,
followed by 18.94 workers/min./colony from colonies with combs
aged 2-years, while the lowest number of returning workers with
pollen loads (16.95 workers/min./colony) was recorded in colonies
with combs aged 4-years (Fig. 1). The stored pollen area could be
arranged in descending order: colonies with combs aged
1-year> colonies with combs aged 2-years >colonies with combs aged
3-years> colonies with combs aged 4-years (Fig. 2).
Data illustrated graphically in Fig. 3. showed that, colonies with
combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years significantly (p < 0.01) exceeded colonies
with combs aged 4-years in worker sealed brood area (2412.00,
2289.60 and 2092.80 sq. inches/colony vs. 1950.33 sq. inches/colony,
respectively). The largest colony population size (20,000 bees/colony)
was recorded in colonies with combs aged 1-year, followed by 19,200
bees/colony from colonies with combs aged 2-years, while the small-
est population size (18,000 bees/colony) was recorded in colonies with
combs aged 4-years (Fig. 4).
The largest amount of honey (5.25kg/colony) was obtained from
colonies with combs aged 1-year, followed by 4.90 kg/colony from
colonies with combs aged 2-years, while the lowest honey yield
Fig. 1. Foraging activity in relation to age of combs.
Fig. 2. Stored pollen area in relation to age of combs.
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Fig. 3. Worker sealed brood area in relation to age of combs.
Fig. 4. Colony population size in relation to age of combs.
(4.45kg/colony) was obtained from colonies with combs aged 4-years
(Fig. 5). The correlation between honey yield, number of returning
workers, number of returning workers carrying pollen loads, stored
pollen area, sealed brood area, and growth of the colony was signifi-
cantly (p< 0.01) positive (Table 1).
4. Discussion
The performance of the colony of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.)
was measured from the determination of foraging rate, gathering and
storing pollen, brood production, colony population growth, and
honey production. In comparison to the colonies with combs aged
4-years, colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years significantly
(p< 0.01) exceeded in the number of returning workers, and number
of returning workers carrying pollen loads by 12.16 & 17.10, 8.44 &
14.45, and 4.05 & 6.48%, respectively. The superiority of colonies
with new combs may be due the large bee population resulted from the
high rate of brood rearing. Significant (p< 0.01) positive correlation
was found between size of the colony population with the number of
returning workers (r= 0.94) and the number of returning workers with
pollen loads (r= 0.78). These results are in harmony with the results
obtained by Taha (2014).
Colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years stored significantly
(p< 0.01) more pollen than colonies with combs aged 4-years by
19.70, 13.06 and 7.79%, respectively. The large stored pollen area in
colonies had new combs in comparison to colonies had old ones may
be due to the large number of workers colleting pollen which occurred
from the high rate of brood production in new combs (Berry and
Delaplane, 2001; Dizaji et al., 2008) which correlated with the stored
pollen area. Strong positively correlation (p <0.01) was found between
stored pollen area with the number of returning workers with pollen
loads (r= 0.93) and colony population size (r = 0.74). Our results con-
firmed by those obtained by Taha (2015); Taha and Al-Kahtani (2019)
who found a positively correlation between stored pollen area and size
of the colony population.
In addition to the colony population size, brood production was af-
fected by egg laying ability of the queens and food providing (De-
Grandi-Hoffman et al., 1989; Taha, 2005; 2015). At the beginning
of the experiment, the experimental colonies were headed by sis-
ter queens, adult populations and brood areas were relatively simi-
lar in all colonies, so any variations should due to the age of combs.
Colonies had combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years reared worker brood sig-
nificantly (p< 0.01) more than colonies had combs aged 4-years by
23.67, 17.39 and 7.30%, respectively. These results endorsed the find-
ings of Berry and Delaplane (2001) and Dizaji et al. (2008). The
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4 Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences xxx (xxxx) xxx-xxx
Fig. 5. Effect of comb age on amount of honey yield (kg)/colony.
Table 1
Correlation coefficients between number of incoming workers, number of incoming
workers with pollen loads, stored pollen area, worker sealed brood area, colony popula-
tion size and honey yield.
Items
No.
incoming
workers
No.
incoming
workers
with
pollen
loads
Stored
pollen
area
Worker
sealed
brood
area
Colony
population
size
No. incoming workers
No. incoming
workers
with pollen
loads
0.89**
Stored pollen
area
0.86** 0.93**
Worker sealed
brood area
0.88** 0.94** 0.93**
Colony
population
size
0.94** 0.78** 0.74** 0.93**
Honey yield 0.92** 0.84** 0.96** 0.92** 0.89**
** Indicate correlation is significant at the 0.01 level, respectively (2-tailed).
correlation between bee population size and the area of worker brood
was strongly positive (r= 0.93; p < 0.01). These results were in line
with those of Jevtić et al. (2009); Taha (2015); Taha and Al-Kahtani
(2019) who found a positive correlation between colony populations
and the sealed brood area.
In comparison to colonies with combs aged 4-years, the colony
population size of colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years sig-
nificantly (p< 0.01) increased by 23.98, 13.06 and 7.79%, respec-
tively. The large population size in colonies with new combs re-
sulted from the higher brood production in new combs (Berry and
Delaplane, 2001). In addition, workers reared in new combs were big-
ger than workers reared in old ones (Al-Kahtani, 2018). Bigger bees
with larger wings can gather more nectar and pollen, and rear more
brood, which resulted in a large population size. Positive correlations
between length and width of the forewing, the hindwing length and
colony population size were found (Mostajeran et al., 2006).
The amount of harvested honey yield significantly (p < 0.01) de-
creased in parallel with the increase of comb age; i.e. honey yield
had an opposite relationship with the age of combs. In comparison
to colonies with combs aged 4-years, the amount of honey harvested
from colonies with combs aged 1, 2 and 3-years increased by 23.98,
13.06 and 7.79%, respectively. Our results confirmed by Taha and
El-Sanat (2007) and Dizaji et al. (2008) who obtained the largest
honey yield from colonies had new combs, while the lowest honey
yield was obtained from colonies had old combs. The superiority
of colonies with new combs in honey production in comparison to
colonies with old ones may be due to the higher brood production in
new combs (Berry and Delaplane, 2001; Dizaji et al., 2008) resulted
in large bee population size that gathered more nectar and produced
high honey yield. The correlation between honey yield with worker
sealed brood area (r= 0.92; p < 0.01) and with colony population size
(r= 0.89; p <0.01) were strong positive. Relatively similar results were
obtained by Taha (2015) and Taha and Al-Kahtani (2019). In addition,
old combs with smaller cells resulted in smaller workers. Body size
was significantly positively correlated with most body characteristics
(Al-Kahtani and Taha, 2014). The honey yield was significantly cor-
related with the wings and the leg characteristics (Mostajeran et al.,
2006), and the area of corbicula (Kolmes and Sam, 1991).
5. Conclusion
The foraging rate, gathering and storing pollen, growth of the
colony, and honey yield significantly depended on the age of combs.
Beekeepers can replace old combs with new ones to increase brood
and honey production.
Acknowledgments
The researchers want to extend their sincere thanks and apprecia-
tion to the deanship of scientific research, King Faisal University for
the financial funding and moral support for the project No. 150027.
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... The honey yield depends on some factors such as the availability of floral resources (Taha, 2000;Helal et al., 2003;Taha et al., 2006), colony strength (Jevtic et al., 2009;Taha and AL-Kahtani, 2013;Kasangaki et al., 2018), subspecies of the bees , and season (Taha, 2014;Brar et al., 2018;Taha and Al-Kahtani, 2020). Also, feeding on proteinaceous diets (Taha, 2015b;Puškadija et al., 2017), and age of comb (Taha and El-Sanat, 2007;Taha and Al-Kahtani, 2020) were reportedly affected. In addition, Valle et al. (2004) and Wakjira et al. (2020) used two-queen colonies to gain high honey yield. ...
... These variations due to the superiority of the colony population in the free queen colonies resulted from brood rearing during the banana flow season. A significant positive correlation has reportedly between storing pollen and the colony size (Jevtic et al., 2009;Taha and AL-Kahtani, 2013;Taha, 2014;Taha and Al-Kahtani, 2020). The developed ovaries workers appeared after 20 days of caging the queen with a rate of 15% of the total tested workers, then increased to 20% on both 30 September and 3 October, then increased and reached the highest percentage (35%) after 30 days of caging the queen. ...
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... Several factors influence the activity of the honeybee colony, but the availability of food resources has been reported as the most effective (Taha and Bayoumi, 2009;Awad et al., 2017;El-Seedi et al., 2020;Taha and Al-Kahtani, 2020). Feeding on proteinaceous diets, e.g., brewer's yeast, defatted soybean flour, pollen candy, and skimmed powder milk (Taha, 2015b;Puškadija et al., 2017) has considered. ...
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Objectives The honeybee mainly uses the wax comb for brood rearing and food storage. Repeated brood rearing in the comb changes the wax color and cell dimensions. Therefore, we aimed to study the decline of body size of the individual bees and its impact on colony productivity in relation to comb age. Methods Twenty colonies of hybrid Carniolan honeybees, each of 12000 bees, were used. Combs aged 1–3 years were used as new combs, and combs aged 4–6 years as old combs. The weight of the worker, queen, drone, and royal jelly (RJ)/queen cell, storing pollen and honey, and rearing worker and drone brood were determined. Results and conclusions: The body weights of the newly emerged worker, drones, queens, and nurse and forager workers of colonies with the new combs were significantly heavier than those of the colonies with the old combs. Colonies with the new combs were significantly more active in storing pollen and honey, RJ production, and rearing workers and drones. We concluded that the body sizes of the individual bees were declined, and the productivity was decreased in the colonies with the old combs. Replace combs after three years with new others is recommended to encourage colony growth and increase productivity.
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5- SUMMARY The present investigations were conducted in the apiary of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kafr El-Sheikh, Tanta University and other apiaries in Kafr El-Sheikh and El-Beheira Governorates, during the blooming periods of faba bean (1/1- 25/3), citrus (22/3- 16/4), squash (10/4- 4/5), Egyptian clover (26/4- 1/6) and cotton (1/7- 20/8) to study the effect of moving the colonies to rich-nectar and pollen sources locations during the previous blossoming periods on some activities of honeybee colonies, some traits of workers and drones and production and quality of queens throughout two successive years of 2002 and 2003. ¬Thirty two colonies (each five combs) of hybrid Carniolan honeybees were divided into two groups at the beginning of each blooming period. The first group was left in the apiary of the Fac. Agric. at Kafr El-Shiekh region without moving. The second group was moved to El-Khaleeg, Motobes and Ammya Village locations (Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate) during the blooming periods of faba bean and each of clover and cotton, respectively and moved to Rasheed and Hosh Essa locations (El-Beheira Governorate) during the flowering periods of citrus and squash, respectively. Obtained results could be summarized as follows: 5.1- Survey of nectar and pollen plants. Forty six plant species belonging to seventeen plant families in addition to the aromatic plants were recorded as pollen and/or nectar sources during the flowering periods in the different sites. 5.2- Some activities of honeybee colonies. The mean stored pollen area (sq. inch)/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area (sq. inch)/colony, mean weight of royal jelly/queen cell and mean honey yield/ colony were highly significant higher in moved colonies than non-moved ones during all blooming periods in both years. 5.2.1- Stored pollen. The largest mean stored pollen area (sq. inch)/12 days/colony (152.75 & 70.50) was recorded during clover blossoming period in Ammya region, while the largest total stored pollen area (sq. inch)/colony (629.25 & 635.12) was obtained from colonies located in Motobes region during faba bean flowering period in 2002 and 2003 years, respectively. Highly significant positive relationships between mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony and total stored pollen area/colony were noticed in 2002 and 2003 years. 5.2.2- Royal jelly production. The heaviest mean weight of royal jelly/queen cell (149.75 & 151.00 mg) was obtained from colonies located in Rasheed region during citrus blooming period in 2002 and 2003 years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations between royal jelly/queen cell and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony, weight of worker, length and width of mandibular gland, number of lobules/1 mm of hypopharyngeal gland and acinal surface area were observed in the first and second years. 5.2.3- Honey yield. The highest mean honey yield (kg)/colony (4.45 & 4.54) was recorded during citrus blooming period in Rasheed region in the two years, respectively. A highly significant positive correlation between honey yield/colony and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony was detected, while non-significant correlation was observed with total stored pollen area/colony in both years. 5.3- Honeybee worker. The mean worker sealed brood area (sq. inch)/12 days/colony, total worker sealed brood area (sq. inch)/colony, mean weight of worker, mean length and width of the mandibular glands, mean number of lobules/1 mm, mean acinal surface area and length and width of the four wax mirrors were highly significant higher in moved colonies than non-moved ones during all blossoming periods throughout the two years. 5.3.1- Worker sealed brood. The largest mean worker sealed brood area (sq. inch)/12 days/colony (292.25 & 299.63) was recorded during citrus flowering period in Rasheed region, but the greatest total worker sealed brood area (sq. inch)/colony (2016.00 & 2035.10) was recorded during faba bean flowering period in Motobes region in both years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were found between mean worker sealed brood area/12 days/colony and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony and honey yield/colony in the two years. 5.3.2- Worker body weight. The heaviest mean weight of worker (110.53 & 113.87 mg) was recorded in colonies moved to Rasheed region during citrus flowering period, while the lightest one ( 103.25 & 103.54 mg) was recorded in colonies located in Kafr El-Sheikh region during squash blossoming period in both years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations between mean weight of worker and each of mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony and honey yield/colony were found in the two years. 5.3.3- Mandibular glands. The highest mean length (2.61 & 2.62 mm) and width (0.93 & 0.96 mm) of mandibular gland were recorded during clover flowering period in Ammya region, while the least length (2.36 & 2.37 mm) and width (0.83 & 0.83 mm) were recorded during squash blooming period in Kafr El-Sheikh region during 2002 and 2003 years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were noted between length and width of mandibular gland from one side and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony and mean weight worker from the other side in the first and second years. 5.3.4- Hypopharyngeal glands. The highest mean number of lobules/1 mm (44.00 & 44.58) was found in colonies located in Rasheed region during citrus flowering period, while the highest mean of acinal surface area (0.038 & 0.038) was recorded during clover blooming period in Ammya region in both years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations between mean number of lobules/1 mm of the right hypopharyngeal gland and acinal surface area from one side and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony and mean weight of worker from the other side were observed in the two years. 5.3.5- Wax mirrors. The highest mean lengths of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th wax mirrors (1.37 & 1.37, 1.53 & 1.53, 1.54 & 1.54 and 1.45 & 1.45 mm) were recorded in colonies located in Ammya region during clover flowering period, while the highest mean width (2.24 & 2.25, 2.25 & 2.25, 2.15 & 2.15 and 1.44 & 1.45 mm) were recorded in colonies located in Rasheed region throughout citrus flowering period in the two years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations between weight of worker and mean length and width of the 1st wax mirror were noted in both years. 5.4- Honeybee drone. The mean drone sealed brood area (sq. inch)/12 days/colony and total drone sealed brood area (sq. inch)/colony, weight of drone, external characters of drone, mean size of testis, seminal vesicle and mucus gland and mean number of sperms/drone were significantly higher in moved colonies than non-moved ones during all flowering periods in the two years. 5.4.1- Drone sealed brood. The largest mean of drone sealed brood area (sq. inch)/12 days/colony (10.13 & 10.63) was obtained from colonies located in Rasheed region during citrus blooming period, but the largest total drone sealed brood area (sq. inch)/colony (64.25 & 64.38) was recorded during faba bean blossoming period in Motobes region in the first and second years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were found between mean drone sealed brood area/12 days/colony and honey yield/colony in the two years. The correlations between mean drone sealed brood area/12 days/colony and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony were significant in the first year and highly significant in the second one. 5.4.2- Drone weight. The heaviest mean weight of drone (227.33 & 229.73 mg) was recorded in colonies moved to Rasheed region during citrus flowering period, while the lightest one (197.46 & 201.54 mg) was recorded in colonies located in Kafr El-Sheikh region during squash blooming period in both years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were found between mean weight of drone and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony and honey yield/colony in the two years. 5.4.3- External characters of drone. The highest mean length of the right fore-wing (12.22 & 12.22 mm) was recorded during clover flowering period in Ammya region but the highest mean width of the right fore-wing (4.32 & 4.35 mm) and number of hamuli on the right hind wing (23.53 & 24.25 hamuli/wing) were obtained during citrus flowering period in Rasheed region in the first and second years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations between mean weight of drone and length and width of the right fore-wing and number of hamuli on the right hind wing were detected in the first and second years. 5.4.4- Reproductive system. The largest mean size of testis (35.41 & 36.91 mm3), seminal vesicle (1.50 & 1.54 mm3) and mucus gland (5.31 & 5.50 mm3) were found during clover flowering period in Ammya region in both years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were noticed between mean volume of testis, seminal vesicle and mucus gland from one side and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony, honey yield/colony and weight of drone from the other side in both years. 5.4.5- Number of spermatozoa. The highest mean number of spermatozoa/drone (12.35 & 13.21 million sperms/drone) was found in colonies located in Ammya during clover flowering period, while the least one (8.12 & 8.22 million sperms/drone) was recorded in colonies located in Kafr El-Sheikh region during faba bean blossoming period in 2002 and 2003 years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were observed between number of spermatozoa/drone and mean stored pollen area/12 days /colony, total stored pollen area/colony, honey yield/colony, weight of drone, size of testis and volume of seminal vesical in the two years. 5.5- Honeybee queen. The percentage of accepted queen cells, weight of queen, volume of queen cell, external characters of queens, volume of spermatheca, mean length of the right ovary and number of ovarioles/ovary were significantly higher in moved colonies than non-moved ones during the all flowering periods in both years. 5.5.1- Acceptance of grafted queen cells. The highest percentage of accepted queen cells (62.22 & 63.33%) was obtained from colonies located in Rasheed region during citrus flowering period in the two years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were found between mean percentage of accepted queen cells and each of mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony, mean worker sealed brood area/12 days/colony, total worker sealed brood area/colony, royal jelly/queen cell and honey yield/colony in the first and second years. 5.5.2- Queen weight and size of queen cell. The heaviest weight of queen (161.20 & 161.67 mg) and largest size of queen cell (8.72 & 8.73 mm3) were recorded in colonies moved to Rasheed region during citrus flowering period, while the lightest weight of queen (152.00 & 151.80 mg) and the smallest size of queen cell (8.17 & 8.13 mm3) were recorded in colonies located in Kafr El-Sheikh region during citrus blooming period in the two years, respectively Highly significant positive correlations were found between mean weight of newly emerged queen and each of mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, honey yield/colony, royal jelly/queen cell and size of queen cell in the two years, respectively. Also, a highly significant positive correlation was found between size of queen cell and length and width of the 1st wax mirror in both years. 5.5.3- External characters of queens. The highest mean length (10.00 &10.01 mm) and width (3.38 & 3.39 mm) of the right fore-wing, length of abdominal 3rd and 4th tergites (6.35 & 6.36 mm), width of 3rd tergum (10.18 & 10.21 mm), width of 4th tergum (10.08 & 10.12 mm) and number of hamuli (19.62 & 19.93 hamuli/wing) were obtained from colonies located in Rasheed region during citrus flowering period in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were observed between length and width of the right fore-wing, length of T3+4, width of T3, width of T4 and number of hamuli/wing of the newly emerged queens from one side and queen weight and size of queen cell from the other side in both years. 5.5.4- Volume of spermatheca. The largest size of spermatheca (0.882 &0.905 mm3) was obtained from colonies located in Rasheed region during citrus flowering period, while the smallest one (0.660 & 0.672 mm3) was recorded in colonies located in Kafr El-Sheikh region during squash blossoming period in both years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were found between volume of spermatheca of newly emerged queens and each of mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony, honey yield/colony, weight of royal jelly/queen cell, weight of queen, number of ovarioles/ovary and size of queen cell in the first and second years. 5.5.5- Measurements of the ovary. The highest length of the right ovary (3.29 & 3.30 mm) and number of ovarioles (150.31 & 151.60 ovarioles/ovary) were found in colonies located in Rasheed region during citrus blooming period in 2002 and 2003 years, respectively. Highly significant positive correlations were observed between mean length of the right ovary and the mean number of ovarioles/ovary from one side and mean stored pollen area/12 days/colony, total stored pollen area/colony, honey yield/ colony, weight of royal jelly/queen cell, weight of queen and size of queen cell from the other side in 2002 and 2003.
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