Valentina Cebotari

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IMPACT OF DROUGHT OVER MORPH-PRODUCTIVE FEATURES OF APIS MELLIFERA CARPATICA BEE COLONIES

Valentina Cebotari, I. Buzu, Olga Postolachi, V. Toderici, Olesea Gliga

Abstract
The research purpose was to establish the damage (variance) degree of the morph-productive characters value and also of other biological features of bee colonies, depending on weather conditions. Research have been done on Apis mellifera Carpatica bee colonies, grown up at the experimental apiary of the Institute of Zoology of Science Academy from Moldova. At the bee colonies were evaluated a series of morph- productive characters, such as prolificacy of the queen, colony strength, overwinter resistance, brood viability, disease resistance and production of honey, also a number of exterior morphological traits of the bees, such as tegument colour, specific (type) of covering cells with honey, bee behaviour by opening the nest and examining the honeycomb, tube length, cubital index and discoid dislocation of the bifurcation point of the lower rib from radial cell with distal rib of cubital cell of the right anterior wing. Research have shown that adverse weather conditions (drought) of 2012 had a negative impact, mainly on the morph-productive characters such as queen's prolificacy, family strength, brood viability, disease resistance and honey production. Thus, the power of bee colonies in 2012 was 0.6 kg of bee, or 20.2% lower (P<0.001) compared with 2011. This power decrease of bee colonies was due to the reduction of both, reproductive indices, such as the queens' prolificacy, brood viability, resistance to diseases and also honey productivity. Average queens' prolificacy in 2012 was 1740 ± 16 eggs/24 hours, which is 66 eggs, or 3.7% lower than in 2011 (P<0.01), which was stagnant reflected over the quantity of covered brood of which results the amount of working bees - the family power. Average viability of the brood in 2012 was significantly lower with 2.5 percentage points, or with 2.8% (P<0.001) compared with the brood grown up in 2011. Resistance to disease (determined by hygienic test) of bee colonies in 2012 was significantly lower with 2.0 percentage points, or 2.2% (P<0.001) compared with 2011, which increased the number of morbidity and mortality cases of the bees. On the background of the damage of the bee colonies general condition, the honey production collected in the nest by bee families in 2012 was only 23.9 ± 1.2 kg, which is 20.9 kg or 46.7% significantly lower (P<0.001) compared with 2011. However, there have been no significant changes in the behaviour of bees by the nest opening and by examining the comb, and the cubital index and discoid dislocation of the bifurcation point of the lower rib from radial cell with distal rib of cubital cell of the right anterior wing of the bees.

Key words: Impact, drought, morph-productive, features, bee