TitleTropical and montane Apis cerana show distinct dance-distance calibration curves.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsK BKumar A, George EAntony, Brockmann A
JournalJ Exp Biol
Date Published2024 Jun 10

Social bees have evolved sophisticated communication systems to recruit nestmates to newly found food sources. As foraging ranges can vary from a few hundred meters to several kilometers depending on the environment or season, populations of social bee species living in different climate zones likely show specific adaptations in their recruitment communication. Accordingly, studies in the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, demonstrated that temperate populations exhibit shallower dance-calibration curves compared to tropical populations. Here we report the first comparison of calibration curves for three Indian A. cerana lineages: the tropical A. indica, and the two montane Himalayan populations A. c. cerana (Himachal Pradesh) and A. c. kashmirensis (Jammu and Kashmir). We found that the colonies of the two montane A. cerana populations show dance-distance calibration curves with significantly shallower slopes than the tropical A. indica. Next, we transferred A. c. cerana colonies to Bangalore (∼ 2600 km away) to obtain calibration curves in the same location as A. indica. The common garden experiment confirmed this difference in slopes, implying that the lineages exhibit genetically fixed differences in dance-distance coding. However, the slopes of the calibration curves of the transferred A. c. cerana colonies were also significantly higher than those tested in Himachal Pradesh indicating an important effect of the environment. The differences in dance-distance coding between temperate and tropical A. cerana lineages resemble those described for A. mellifera suggesting that populatiInons of both species independently evolved similar adaptations.

Alternate JournalJ Exp Biol
PubMed ID38853597
Grant List12P4167 / / NCBS-TIFR institutional funds /
12-R&D-TFR-5.04-0800 and 12-R&D-TFR-5.04-0900 / / Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India /