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Entomology

Giant honeybees return to their nest sites

Abstract

The Asian giant honeybee Apis dorsata forms massive single-comb colonies which usually hang from a tree branch or the eaves of buildings. Although colonies regularly migrate over many kilometres, we find that they often return to their original nest site — even after an absence of up to two years. How the bees do this is unknown, as workers live for only a few weeks.

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Figure 1: Inferred genotypes of queens (A–Q) heading colonies of Apis dorsata at two sites in India.

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Correspondence to B. P. Oldroyd.

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Paar, J., Oldroyd, B. & Kastberger, G. Giant honeybees return to their nest sites. Nature 406, 475 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/35020196

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