The Brood Food Theory of Swarming

From David Morland, ADBKA Chair:

I learnt recently that my Grandfather was the first bee scientist at Rothamsted and one of the founder members of the International Bee Research Association (IBRA). His books and papers were passed on to Eva Crane whose own collection was the foundation of the IBRA library.

He was succeeded as Head of the Bee Section at Rothamsted in 1939, by Dr Colin Butler.

At Rothamsted, he initiated studies into the causes of swarming, so our members might be interested in a paper he had published in the Journal of Applied Biology in 1930 entitled ‘The Brood Food Theory’. I believe this is the reference at the start of Snelgrove’s book about swarming.

The article is taken from a photocopy of the original typescript he submitted and includes the diagrams and table from this original.  (Click here to view the full paper in PDF, or here to see a photocopy of the original.)

A paper copy of the paper will be found within the library at Crathes for members to borrow.

Below is a quote from D.M.T Morland’s paper, On the Causes of Swarming in the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera l.): An Examination of the Brood Food Theory:

…  It is considered that when nurse bees, having the brood glands in a state of activity, exist in excess of the requirements of the brood in the hive, there is a tendency to build queen cells. Crudely stated, it may be said that the surplus is given to certain favoured larvae in order to get rid of it. These larvae develop into queens, and when the cells are sealed the colony is liable to give off a swarm.

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