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  • Author: Hajnalka Szentgyörgyi x
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Open access

Hajnalka Szentgyörgyi, Krystyna Czekońska and Adam Tofilski

Summary

Starvation during larval development has a negative effect on adult worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.), but much less is known about the quality of drones starved during their development. We verified how starvation on the second day (early starvation) or the sixth day (late starvation) of larval development affects body mass, ejaculated semen volume and forewing size, shape, size asymmetry and shape asymmetry in drones after emergence. The larvae were starved for ten hours by being separated from nursing bees with a wire mash for 10 hours either early or late during larval development. Drones starved both early and late were smaller (254.1 ± 1.97 mg and 239.4 ± 2.12 mg, respectively) than the control regularly fed individuals (260.9 ± 2.01 mg), and their wing size changed as well (control: 889.76 ± 1.06; early: 880.9 ± 1.17; late: 868.05 ± 1.48). Starvation at a later phase of larval development caused more pronounced effects than at an earlier phase. On the other hand, ejaculated semen volume (control: 0.7 ± 0.043 μl; early: 0.88 ± 0.040 μl; late: 1.08 ± 0.031 μl), wing size asymmetry (control: 0.49 ± 0.025; early: 0.51 ± 0.026; late: 0.52 ± 0.03) and wing shape asymmetry (control: 17.4 ± 0.47 x 10-3; early: 16.9 ± 0.41 x 10-3; late: 17.6 ± 0.43 x 10-3) were not affected by starvation. This suggests that drones attempt to preserve characters which are important for their future reproduction.