1Behavioral energetics of Africanized versus European honey bees

The invasion of Africanized honey bees into the southwestern United States was rapid and spectacular. In Arizona, AHB quickly replaced a long standing population of feral European honey bees and established themselves as the dominant honey bee subspecies.  What behavioral and physiological attributes allow AHB to outcompete European honey bees in this environment? One possibility is that Africanized workers have higher metabolic capacities, translating into potentially higher foraging effort. We are particularly interested in the link between metabolic rate and pollen foraging. Our data suggest that pollen foragers have higher metabolic capacities than nectar foragers, that that Africanized workers have higher metabolic capacities than European honey bees, and that Africanized workers prefer to collect pollen. Our current question is whether and how these differences may translate into higher pollen intake and colony growth by Africanized colonies. Read more by Feuerbacher et al. Bertram and Fewell; Harrison et al.