Mating flight characteristics of reproductives of neotropica lAfrican and European honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were studied in eastern Venezuela. For queens, mean exit times of all flights and midpoints of mating flights differed significantly between the subspecies, with the midpoints of mating flights by European queens occurring an average of 47 min earlier in the afternoon. Queens of the two subspecies did not differ in other aspects of their orientation and mating flights. Flights of European drones also occurred significantly earlier than those of neotropical African drones. Mating flights of queens and drones of the same subspecies were approximately synchronous. These results are sufficient to explain the weak positive assortative mating that has been reported previously.
Byers, G. W., R.H. Hagen, and R. W: Brooks (eds.), Entomological Contributions in Memory of Byron A. Alexander. University of Kansas Natural History Museum Special Publication 24. (1999) Pp. 103-109
Otis, Gard W.; Taylor, Orley R., Jr.; Spivak, Marla; Winston, Mark L.; Katz, Susan J.; Kukuk, Penelope F..
Timing of Mating Flights of Neotropical African and European Honey Bee Queens and Drones (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Eastern Venezuela.
University of Kansas Natural History Museum.
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