Two experiments were conducted to determine whether the size of the cells in which bees develop affects the size of the cells they subsequently construct. The results indicate that when the size of bees has been modified through the use of foundation with larger or smaller cell bases, bees will construct natural cells of a size consistent with their genetic origin. When 22 Africanized colonies were hived on commercial European foundation, they subsequently constructed · natural cells which were not significantly different in size from those of 66 Africanized colonies hived on all natural comb. Also, eight European colonies reared on noncommercial foundation with small cell bases subsequently constructed natural cells which were significantly
larger than the cells from which they emerged. Therefore, averaging the width of 10 linear cells in three diagonal rows on naturally built comb is a relatively reliable and accurate method to distinguish between Africanized and European bees in the field. However, colonies with intermediate cell sizes, which may include some feral European colonies and "hybrids" between Africanized and European colonies, may not be evaluated with certainty.
Spivak, M., & Erickson Jr, E. (1992). Do measurements of worker cell size reliably distinguish Africanized from European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)?. American Bee Journal, 132(4), 252-255.
Spivak, M.; Erickson, E. Jr..
Do measurements of worker cell size reliably distinguish Africanized from European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)?.
American Bee Journal.
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