Hatching rates and some characteristics of Yemeni and Carniolan honey bee eggs
Ahmad A. Al-Ghamdi, Hossam F. Abou-Shaara* and Abdelsalam A. Mohamed
Few studies have been performed on honey bee eggs to date, particularly on egg hatchability and other egg characteristics. In the harsh environmental conditions of Saudi Arabia, it has been found that honey bee eggs from different subspecies are impacted by low relative humidity (RH). Therefore, the hatching rates of eggs of two subspecies, Yemeni (Apis mellifera jemenitica) and hybrids of Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica), were studied under ifferent RH gradients, and various egg characteristics (morphology, egg surface chemicals and egg water content) were described for these two subspecies. The results of these analyses demonstrated that Yemeni honey bee eggs isplayed higher hatching rates than Carniolan honey bee eggs across the humidity gradient, although no eggs were able to hatch at a relative humidity of 30%. Differences in egg morphology were detected between the two ubspecies. The egg surface chemicals were approximately the same for Carniolan and Yemeni honey bee eggs, while the Yemeni honey bee eggs exhibited a higher water content. The differences between the two subspecies in gg atching rates could be attributed to differences in egg water content as well as to some internal factors within the eggs.