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Swarming and migration in the honey bees (Apis mellifera) of Ethiopia

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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 41 (1-2) pp. 35 - 41
June 2002
Article Title

Swarming and migration in the honey bees (Apis mellifera) of Ethiopia

A Nuru, B Amssalu, H R Hepbern, S E Radloff


To determine the tendency and phenology of reproductive swarming and migration of the honey bee populations of Ethiopia, 240 bee­keepers from 57 localities representing different ecological areas of the country were inter­viewed based on a pre-structured questionnaire. Extent of reproductive swarming and migration, number of swarms per colony, occupation rate of bait hives and periods of swarming and migra­tion were assessed for about 3000 honey bee colonies. Significantly high reproductive swarm­ing proportions were noted for Apis mellifera jemenitica and A. m. scutellata, and low propor­tions for A. m. bandasii, A. m. woyi-gambella and A. m. montico/a. Temporal distribution of swarm­ing varies both within and between subspecies and is related to physiographic and climatic fac­tors of the areas. The proportions of migrated colonies differed significantly among the five sub­species and resource depletion was the most persistent factor associated with migration.


Apis mellifera, swarming, migration, survey, Ethiopia