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The Nonrandom Distribution of Foraging Honey Bees Between Apiaries1

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How distance affects the distribution of forging honey bees (Apis mellifera L) was studied without having the results confounded by variation in the food supply. In the first experiment colonies were positioned at two locations ],9~5 feet apart in a low-bush blueberry (Vaccinium lamarckii Camp) field; in the second experiment the colonies were 800 feet apart in an apple orchard. Bees from each apiary were distinguished by either genetic markers or radioactive phosphorus. The ratio of bees from one apiary to bees from the other was determined at various distances between the two apiaries. In both eXperilllt'J1ts the ratio or bees from Apiary A to bees from Apiary B increased significantly as the distance to Apiary A decreased. Regression analysis showed that this was due to both an increase in bees from Apiary A and a decrease in bees from Apiary n. Therefore, but are not distributed at random in the area between apiaries, hilt, relative to the food supply, forage in greater numbers close to their hive.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1961

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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