Small hive beetles are facultative predators of adult honey bees

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dc.contributor.author Pirk, Christian Walter Werner
dc.contributor.author Neumann, Peter
dc.date.accessioned 2013-11-12T08:33:01Z
dc.date.available 2013-11-12T08:33:01Z
dc.date.issued 2013-11
dc.description.abstract Foraging animals can choose to act as predators or not depending on the level of defensiveness of the potential prey. This requires prior evaluation of prey defensiveness, which can be variable, e.g. young insects are usually less able to defend themselves. Here we show that small hive beetles, Aethina tumida, which are scavengers and parasites of honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies, are facultative predators of young adult host workers. Adult female beetles mounted and attacked young workers more often than their older nestmates, indicating that the beetle is assessing the defensiveness of the host and is adjusting its behaviour accordingly. Since adult female beetles need proteins to activate their ovaries, predation on defenceless young alive host workers offers another rewarding food source, which can obviously not be exploited by beetle larvae. In conclusion, adult small hive beetles seem to be able to assess the trade-off between safety and food reward. en
dc.description.librarian hb2013 en
dc.description.librarian ab2014
dc.description.sponsorship Rhodes University, the National Research Foundation and the University of Pretoria. en
dc.description.uri http://link.springer.com/journal/10905 en
dc.identifier.citation Pirk, CWW & Neumann, P 2013, 'Small hive beetles are facultative predators of adult honey bees', Journal of Insect Behavior, vol. 26, no.6, pp. 796-803. en
dc.identifier.issn 0892-7553 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1572-8889 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1007/s10905-013-9392-6
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/32372
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Springer en
dc.rights © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013. The original publication is available at : http://link.springer.com/journal/10905 en
dc.subject Honeybee (Apis mellifera) en
dc.subject Aethina tumida en
dc.subject Behavioural plasticity en
dc.subject Parasites en
dc.subject Predators en
dc.subject Hive beetles en
dc.subject.lcsh Beetles en
dc.subject.lcsh Bees en
dc.subject.lcsh Predatory insects en
dc.title Small hive beetles are facultative predators of adult honey bees en
dc.type Postprint Article en


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