Studies on the life cycle and morphometrics of honeybees, Apis Mellifera adansonii (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a Mangrove Area of Lagos, Nigeria
The life cycle of the honeybee, Apis mellifera adansonii, was studied in mangrove area by monitoring the
developmental stages and morphology of the castes. It was observed that the fate of the eggs were predetermined at the onset leading to drones, queens or workers. It was also established that the three different castes (drone, queen and worker) exhibit similar patterns of complete metamorphoses. The mean developmental period of the drone from egg to adult stage was the longest (24.97±1.77 days, n = 60) followed by that of worker (20.22 ± 2.20 days, n = 60) and the queen (15.5 ± 2.08 days, n = 60) in that order. The body length and head capsule width varied within the different castes. The general pattern of the studied life cycle of A.mellifera adansonii in Mangrove area of Lagos is similar to A. mellifera scutellata and Africanized A. mellifera studied in other regions. It was concluded that the knowledge of the life cycle of A. mellifera adansonii by bee farmers in their locality may enhance their apicultural practices for better productivity.
Key words: Honeybees, Caste Differentiation, Larval Instar Determination, Life Cycle and Apiculture.