Remarkable uniformity in the densities of feral honey bee Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758 (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies in South Eastern Australia
Jonathan Arundel, Peter R Oxley, Alen Faiz, John Crawford, Stephan Winter, Benjamin P Oldroyd
Austral Entomology | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2014
It is often assumed that the density of feral honey bee colonies in Australia is sufficient to provide adequate pollination services to the many agricultural crops that require pollination. In contrast, there is concern that the density of feral colonies is sufficiently high to have inimical effects on Australian biota. For both these reasons, it is desirable to have robust estimates of the density of feral honey bee colonies in Australian landscapes. In this study, we mated four to five queens with wild drones at disturbed and undisturbed sites in three of the major ecosystems in Victoria Australia and examined the paternities of worker offspring to estimate the density of feral colonies wi..View full abstract
We acknowledge the financial support of the Sustainable Futures initiative of the University of Sydney, and the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Bob and Peter McDonald, commercial beekeepers from Castlemaine, Victoria provided nucleus hives and assistance for the field experiment, and their support is greatly appreciated. Michael Duncan assisted with the field work and queen rearing. We are also grateful to Sean-Paul Smith from Puckapunyal Military Area for his help.