Eur. J. Entomol. 108 (4): 673-676, 2011 | 10.14411/eje.2011.085

Morphometry and number of spermatozoa in drone honeybees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) reared under different conditions

Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Entomology, Cairo University, Egypt; e-mail:

The effects of three factors operating during pre-emergence development period on some characteristics of drones were studied. Weight of newly emerged drones, length of forewing, length of tibia, length of femur, length and width of basitarsus and number of spermatozoa in drones from colonies in which the workers had access to drone brood (A), the size of brood cells differed (B) or the colony had a queen or was queenless (C), were determined. For this purpose, 9 colonies were chosen at random from the test apiary and prepared so that each contained one empty Langstroth frame with six small sub-frames containing drone combs, three of which were used to test the effect of one level and the other three the other level of each factor. The results showed that, colony status had a greater effect on the parameters measured than either the size of the brood cells or whether the workers had access to sealed brood cells. Most of the parameters were significantly different in C, whereas only a few in B and non in A were significantly different. The distance between discriminant scores in each experiment enhanced the previous results, as it was highest in C, followed by B and then A. Optimal drone characteristics may be recorded for colonies in which the queens were induced to lay unfertilized eggs in newly built drone combs, and then removed and the drone brood reared in a queen less colony.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Apidae, drones, drone brood, morophometrical characters, number of spermatozoa

Received: February 8, 2011; Accepted: April 5, 2011; Published: October 3, 2011

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