Observations on the temperature regulation and food consumption of honey-bee (Apis mellifica)

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Free, J. B. and Spencer-Booth, Y. 1958. Observations on the temperature regulation and food consumption of honey-bee (Apis mellifica) . Journal Of Experimental Biology. 35 (4), pp. 930-937.

AuthorsFree, J. B. and Spencer-Booth, Y.

1. Bees have been kept in groups whose numbers ranged from 10 to 200 bees, at temperatures ranging from 0-40° C. 2. At 40° C. bees in groups of 200 had a higher death-rate than bees in smaller groups. At temperatures of 25-35° C. the death-rate was low and about the same in all groups . Below 25° C. the more bees in a group, the longer they survived. 3. The temperatures of all groups increased with that of their environment, the larger a group, the higher its temperature. The difference between the external temperature and that of the groups decreased with increase in the former until at 35 and 40° C. groups of all sizes were at or slightly below environmental temperature. 4. At temperatures from 20-40° C. the percentage of bees in a group that were clustering was directly related to the size of their group, bees in groups of 10 or 25 hardly clustering at all. At each temperature at 15° C. or below, about the same high percentage of bees clustered in all groups. 5. The amount of food (sugar syrup) consumed per bee increased with decrease in the environmental temperature. Very little water was drunk at environmental temperatures of 25° C. or lower but, at 35° C. and above, relatively enormous quantities were taken. 6. These results have been discussed especially in relation to information on the temperature regulation and food consumption of colonies in winter.

Year of Publication1958
JournalJournal Of Experimental Biology
Journal citation35 (4), pp. 930-937
Open accessPublished as non-open access
PublisherCompany Of Biologists Ltd

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