Crucial steps leading to social parasitism in the Cape honey bee, Apis mellifera capensis

J.N.M. Calis, W.J. Boot, M.H. Allsopp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Social parasitism of African honeybee colonies, Apis mellifera scutellata, by the Cape honeybee, A. m. capensis, has caused huge losses of African bee colonies in northern South Africa. Once inside African colonies, Cape workers start producing female bees parthenogenetically, which has led to pseudo-clones of the social parasites spreading in the African population. Crucial steps leading to parasitism are invasion into new colonies, development of ovaries without being killed by African workers and production of eggs that are accepted. In mixed apiaries of African and Cape bees invasion into new colonies seems to readily occur and in contrast to other bee races eggs from Cape laying workers are accepted by nest-mates. The interaction between Cape bees starting to develop their ovaries and African workers is crucial, however, in determining if a successful take-over of the colony follows.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinal programme and book of abstracts. XXXVIIIth Apimondia International Agricutural Congress, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 24-29 August 2003
Place of PublicationLjubljana, Slovenia
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventXXXVIIIth Apimondia International Agricultural Congress -
Duration: 24 Aug 200329 Aug 2003


ConferenceXXXVIIIth Apimondia International Agricultural Congress

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