Tropical Bees



BEES are well known for their endothermic heat generation, and they are subjects of numerous comparative studies. For example, one study of 55 species of bees from 6 families showed that both body mass and thermal environment are important factors in endothermy (Stone and Willmer, 1989). Smaller species generally have a relatively greater rate of heat production (and lower T thx ) per unit mass than larger bees, but rates of heat production are relatively constant per unit mass within any one species, regardless of body mass. This general relation is often blurred by the effects of the thermal regime in the field, however. In general, those species that encounter lower minimum air temperatures have a greater capacity for endothermy at the minimum temperatures to which their thermogenic system is adapted (Stone and Willmer, 1989).


Heat Production Flight Speed Convective Heat Loss Forward Flight Head Temperature 
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© Bernd Heinrich 1993

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