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Colony development of stingless bees Heterotrigona itama cockerell (Hymenoptera: apidae: meliponini) using different hive models


Tan Shilan, Mohamad Syukri (2021) Colony development of stingless bees Heterotrigona itama cockerell (Hymenoptera: apidae: meliponini) using different hive models. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


The meliponiculture is an activity of beekeeping with stingless bees by which bee keepers maintain, propagate and utilize stingless bee colonies of various species for profit has increased. Heterotrigona itama is the most preferred species of meliponiculturists in Malaysia due its abundance and high in demand. However, the major constraints for meliponiculture were the non-availability of colonies to the interested people, the harvesting practice requiring cutting down trees and there were no standardized practices to manage the colonies. This study was conducted at Ladang 10, Universiti Putra Malaysia to i) describe the morphological characteristics of different caste in stingless bee H. itama, ii) to compare the different hive models for colony development of stingless bee H. itama, iii) investigate the best artificial propagation technique for stingless bee H. Itama. All castes of H. itama specimens namely queen, virgin queen, workers and drones were obtained in the study site. The morphological characteristics and morphometric measurements of the specimens were observed and measured. Ten layers of brood cells were transferred into four artificial hive models i) horizontal hive, ii) large vertical hive, iii) medium vertical hive and iv) small vertical hive were left for two weeks to enable adaptation to the new environment before all the particular parameters were measured and recorded for five consecutive months. Three artificial propagation techniques namely splitting, bridging and splitting-bridging were conducted for eight consecutive weeks. The successful of colony division under different artificial propagation techniques and the measured parameters were observed and recorded weekly. Results showed there were significant differences (P <0.05) for fifteen of the morphometric measurements of four different castes of H. itama. The morphological description on several characters of H. itama in four different castes namely queen, virgin queen, worker and drone were successfully described. Queen were recorded with longest body length and abdomen, widest abdomen and had shortest hind wing compared to other castes. There was a significant interaction (F=2.51, df= 12, P= 0.0096) between month and the hive model on the number of pollen pot. The colony development of H. itama developed well in horizontal hive model as compared to other hive models and pollen was the major and very essential for initial stage in term of colony development. New brood cells and queen of H. itama were obtained by splitting technique. There were new brood cells developed but without new queen in splitting-bridging technique while there were only pollen and honey pots obtained for the bridging technique. The presence of matured queen can failure the artificial propagation technique due to its pheromones function.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subject: Bee culture
Subject: Bees
Subject: Animal ecology
Call Number: FP 2022 8
Chairman Supervisor: Associate Professor Nur Azura Adam, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Agriculture
Depositing User: Ms. Rohana Alias
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2023 08:04
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2023 08:04
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/104460
Statistic Details: View Download Statistic

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