Monday, December 10, 2007 - 3:23 PM

Behavioral characterization of three honey bee races native to Turkey

Tugrul Giray,, University of Puerto Rico, Department of Biology, POB 23360, San Juan, PR and Aykut Kence,, Middle East Technical University, Department of Biology, Ankara, Turkey.

Turkey has 5 of about 25 honey bee races in the world. This provides an opportunity to compare genetic and environmental influences on behavioral traits. We have examined defenses against parasites(Varroa), defensive behavior against vertebrate enemies, and development of foraging behavior of bees of three different races both in their locations and in a fourth common location. Parasite defenses were grooming off of the ectoparasites, and removal of infested brood (hygienic behavior). Defensiveness has been measured by recording response of bees during standardized handling of colonies. These behaviors were evaluated to test hypotheses on environmental adaptations of honey bees.

Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (honey bee)