The effect of workers size frequency distribution on colony development in Bombus terrestris

J. Cnaani, A. Hefetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effect of workers size frequency distribution on colony development was studied in 12 young colonies of B. terrestris. By replacing the original workers with workers of determined size, colonies constituting small, large or mixed size nursing workers were created. The nursing workers size frequency distribution did not influence the average size of the newly emerged workers, nor their size frequency distribution. In contrast, the number of emerging workers and number of egg cells constructed by the queen in colonies with large workers were higher than in colonies with small workers. The small number of emerging workers is explained by prolonged duration of larval time in response to sub-optimal feeding in colonies of small workers. The higher number of egg cells constructed by the queens is supposed to be in response to the number of new cocoons available, or to better condition of the brood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalInsectes Sociaux
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1994

Keywords

  • Bombus terrestris
  • bumble bees
  • caste regulation
  • worker size

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