Comparative behavior and physiology of feral and domestic honeybees, Apis mellifera L.
AdvisorWheeler, Diana E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTo determine if temperature and water conservation/collection play a significant role in the success of feral honeybees, experiments in foraging behavior, temperature tolerance, water balance, hemolymph osmolality regulation and uric acid concentrations of both feral and domestic bees were conducted. This study shows that feral honeybees collect larger volumes of liquid and have higher critical thermal maxima (CTMs) than domestic honeybees. Feral bees may need more liquid for thermoregulation than do domestic bees. The rate of water loss did not differ significantly between the two types of honeybees. Hemolymph osmolality was slightly significant lower in feral bees. In response to desiccation, both feral and domestic bees showed reduced concentrations of proteins and amino acids in the blood. Therefore both types of honeybees maintained hemolymph osmolality during desiccation. There were no differences in mean concentrations of uric acid in feral vs domestic bees and no difference as a result of desiccation. This indicates that uric acid is regulated but is not an osmoeffector.