
Population Dynamics of Honey Bee Colonies


The months of the year are laid out like a clock face with
January situated at one O'Clock. The centre represents the origin
and the coloured segments represent quantities. Each Pixel from the
origin represents 200 bees.
The red area represents worker bee numbers and the brown
area represents the difference between the swarming and non swarming
situation.
The diagram represents a situation
without the presence of varroa.
The data is an averaging
of the seasons 1984 to 1992 on the Leicestershire/Warwickshire border
at AshbyDeLaZouch. The numbers are estimated, but they are
consistant.
The number of foragers
available for nectar and pollen gathering affect both the future
brood numbers and the honey gathering ability. I do not have data
that gives forager numbers for a swarmed colony, but it would reach
it's peak about a month earlier and the numbers would be reduced. The
numbers would not be as depleted as you may think from the numbers
lost to the swarm as many young bees would turn to foraging earlier
to balance thing up a bit.
If I find suitable data I will add it here for completeness
sake.
The three diagrams below are (left) the number of eggs laid
(centre) the number of open brood
and (right) the number of cells containing sealed brood. For
consistacy with other pages the cells are counted as "open brood"
after 3 days from being laid. The scale here is 10 cells per pixel.
Sealed brood/open brood ratio
The two diagrams depict drone numbers, in the left one the
numbers are of drones in a given
colony. The drone availability diagram at right, shows relative
values rather than actual numbers.
It should be noted that
availability does not indicate ability to mate or fertility.
The representation is 20 drones per pixel.
Seasonal pressure on the size of cell constructed This data
is incomplete and the thinking behind it is a little obscure. There
are some people that are convinced that this is a significant reason
why cell sizes have increased in managed brood nests, but much more
data is needed to be certain of the effect and it's possible causes.
This diagram is incomplete and will be updated as more data
becomes available.
Basically The inner of the five circles represents the
"natural" cellsize for a given strain of bee (whatever that may be in
numerical terms).
The red line represents a colony that will
not swarm in a particular season or the parent colony of a swarmed
stock and the blue line represents the
swarm component of a colony that has swarmed.
The gaps between the circles represents about 0.1 mm per ring. I have
placed the incomplete diagram here in the hope that more information
will be triggered from other sources.
Revised... (In progress) 22 August 2001