Vespa velutina predation impacts on Apis mellifera colony dynamics and reserves
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- Master’s theses (BioVit) 
The honeybees play key environmental and economical roles as they contribute to the biodiversity preservation and to food production, through pollination. Nevertheless, Apis mellifera foragers are currently threatened by Vespa velutina predation, an invasive hornet species, in Europe. Therefore, it is important to understand to what extent the honeybees and the beekeeping activity are impacted, depending on the colony genetic line and depending on the hornet predation pressure. We studied during one season, in natural conditions, the honeybee behaviour associated with defence and the general and foraging colony dynamics, based on video recording. We also studied the amount of reserves per colony based on Colony Evaluation method. The results show that the colony genetic lineage has an impact on the colony activity and productivity under a low hornet predation pressure. The study proves that Buckfast colony dynamics are impacted by the hornet presence and that the amount of reserves available in the colony are negatively affected. Studying the long-term effects of the Asian hornet predation on weakened honeybee colonies may provide an interesting perspective.
Host institution: INRAE-Nouvelle Aquitaine, UMR SAVE 1065