Effect of Improved Hive Cover Designs on Internal Microclimate and Colony Establishment of West African Honeybees (Apis mellifera adansonii L.) in Awka, Nigeria

B. U. Ononye *

Department of Zoology, Honeybee Research Centre, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

C. E. Akunne

Department of Zoology, Honeybee Research Centre, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

E. O. Ogbuefi

Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

T. E. Okeke

Department of Biology, Alex Ekwueme, Federal University, Ndufu-Aliko Ikwo, Ebonyi, Nigeria.

K. P. Okafor

Department of Zoology, Honeybee Research Centre, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

E. I. Azaka

Department of Zoology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

G. E. Obiyo

Department of Zoology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

C. O. Aniefuna

Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

P. C. Akwuaka

Department of Zoology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

C. A. Chidi

Department of Zoology, Honeybee Research Centre, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Hive cover designs majorly affects the microclimate and colony establishment of African honeybee colonies in Nigeria. It became pertinent therefore to assess the effect of modified hive cover designs on the internal microclimate and colony establishment of West African honeybee (Apis mellifera adansonii L.) Colonies in Awka, Nigeria. Four insulating materials were used to construct the covers of twelve modified frame bar hives and designated: Control (plywood); T1 (warped boards); T2 (PVC) and T3 (foam). Each hive treatment was replicated three times. Data on ambient and hive microclimate as well as the colonization of honeybees’ colonies were observed and reported. The results indicated that the control had the highest temperature (31.86 ºC) while T1 (30.40ºC) had the least. The hive temperature was higher in March, 2023 (32.72°C) while August (29.87°C) had the least. The highest relative humidity (73.18%) was recorded in T1 while the control had the least (64.38%). The hive temperature and relative humidity was significantly affected by hive cover designs and different months of the study period (P<0.05). The highest colonization by African honeybees was observed in the control (100%) but none occurred in T2 (0.00%). Colonization of the Control hives occurred in July, October, and November, 2022 while that of T1 and T3 occurred in December, 2022. Colony establishment of African honeybees was not significantly affected by hive cover designs (p=0.26) and different months of the study period (p=0.24). It was concluded that beekeepers should adopt the insulation of hiver covers with plywood wood since it had 100% colonization of West African honeybees’.

Keywords: Hive cover designs, internal microclimate, colony establishment, African honeybees


How to Cite

Ononye, B. U., C. E. Akunne, E. O. Ogbuefi, T. E. Okeke, K. P. Okafor, E. I. Azaka, G. E. Obiyo, C. O. Aniefuna, P. C. Akwuaka, and C. A. Chidi. 2023. “Effect of Improved Hive Cover Designs on Internal Microclimate and Colony Establishment of West African Honeybees (Apis Mellifera Adansonii L.) in Awka, Nigeria”. Journal of Applied Life Sciences International 26 (5):1-16. https://doi.org/10.9734/jalsi/2023/v26i5614.

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