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Thermo regulation of honeybee (apismellifera l.) Hives under extreme temperatures

Horticulture International Journal
Samantha Rodríguez-Vásquez, Alejandro Romo-Chacón J Antonio Orozco-Avitia, Jaqueline García-Hernández, Alfonso A Gardea

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Honeybees (ApismelliferaL.) like all insects are poikilotherm organisms, although hives as a whole behave like an homeotherm, to achieve that condition, they have developed mechanisms to regulate hive temperatures within a 33 to 36°C.1 therefore the hive acts like a superorganism.2 To raise the temperature within the brood chamber worker bees, produce endothermic heat by a series of involuntary quick contracting/liberating thoracic movements, liberating heat.3,4 On the other hand, evaporating cooling mechanisms are used to decrease temperatures. It consists in carrying water towards the hive, while another group of worker bees create circular air movements by ¨fanning¨with their wings. These behaviors acting simultaneously create and active circulation of fresh humid air throughout the whole chamber, lowering its temperature.5,6 However, it may not be sufficient enough and may cause a negative effect when the beehive is under extreme temperature conditions, since energy waste causes exhaustion.7 It must be considered that several studies suggest that Langstroth hives, traditionally used around the world, lack insulating capacity, which directly affect microclimate and makes thermoregulation more difficult.8-10


Thermo, regulation, honeybee, apismellifera l, Hives under, extreme, temperatures