Bumble bee nest thermoregulation : a field study
ID Gradišek, Anton (Author), ID Bizjak, Jani (Author), ID Popovski, Aleksej (Author), ID Grad, Janez (Author)

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Careful control of brood temperature is important for successful colony development in social insects. Six bumble bee colonies of six common Central European species (B. hypnorum, B. hortorum, B. argillaceus, B. pascuorum, B. humilis, B. sylvarum) were continuously monitored for several weeks. We recorded the brood temperature as well as the air temperature in the nest and outside once per minute using a homemade electronic setup. Two colonies succeeded in producing new queens and males during the measurement period while the other four colonies were attacked by parasites at some point during the equilibrium stage. We discuss the nest thermoregulation in view of species and the number of workers in the colony. The results show that the strongest colonies were able to maintain very stable brood temperature over longer periods (standard deviations below 0.5 °C), which is in agreement with previous studies. Colonies with 25 or more workers typically kept the standard deviation below 1 °C. There are two main contributions to the paper. First, we discuss the applicability of a multi-sensor monitoring setup for an outdoor study. Second, due to fast temperature sampling, we were able to observe different thermoregulation strategies that colonies may apply, including keeping the temperature above 31 °C at night and letting it rise during the day in B. argillaceus and short heating cycles in B. sylvarum.

Keywords:bumble bees, thermoregulation, nest climate, wild bees
Work type:Article
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FU - Faculty of Administration
Publication status:Published
Publication version:Version of Record
Number of pages:Str. 634-642
Numbering:Vol. 62, no. 3
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-146036 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:2078-6913
DOI:10.1080/00218839.2022.2164651 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:137309187 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:18.05.2023
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Journal of apicultural research
Shortened title:J. apic. res.
Publisher:International Bee Research Association, Taylor & Francis
COBISS.SI-ID:520749337 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Description:The most restrictive Creative Commons license. This only allows people to download and share the work for no commercial gain and for no other purposes.

Secondary language

Keywords:čmrlji, termoregulacija, temperatura v gnezdu, divje čebele


Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:P1-0125
Name:Magnetna resonanca in dielektrična spektroskopija pametnih novih materialov

Funder:ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency
Project number:P2-0209
Name:Umetna inteligenca in inteligentni sistemi

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