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Defensive behaviour of Apis mellifera against Vespa velutina in France: testing whether European honeybees can develop an effective collective defence against a new predator

Abstract : We investigated the prey-predator interactions between the European honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina, which first invaded France in 2004 and thereafter spread to neighbouring European countries (Spain, Portugal and Italy). Our goal was to determine how successfully honeybees are able to defend their colonies against their new predator in Europe. Experiments were conducted in the southwest of France-the point of entry of the hornet in Europe-under natural and semi-controlled field conditions. We investigated a total of eight apiaries and 95 colonies subjected to either low or high levels of predation. We analyzed hornet predatory behaviour and collective response of colonies under attack. The results showed that A. mellifera in France exhibit an inefficient and unorganized defence against V. velutina, unlike in other regions of Europe and other areas around the globe where honeybees have co-evolved with their natural Vespa predators.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02630496
Déposant : Migration Prodinra <>
Soumis le : mercredi 27 mai 2020 - 05:48:03
Dernière modification le : vendredi 12 juin 2020 - 10:43:26

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Mariangela Arca, Alexandros Papachristoforou, Florence Mougel, Agnès Rortais, Karine Monceau, et al.. Defensive behaviour of Apis mellifera against Vespa velutina in France: testing whether European honeybees can develop an effective collective defence against a new predator. Behavioural Processes, Elsevier, 2014, 106, pp.122-129. ⟨10.1016/j.beproc.2014.05.002⟩. ⟨hal-02630496⟩

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