I was wondering, with the AMM (Apis Mellifera Mellifera) the tongue length is shorter. AMM also build 4.9mm cells naturally. What about other races that are raised on 4.9 like Italians...etc. does the size of the cell effect the tongue length?
In another post about regression of bees, it was commented about with smaller bees "a wider range of flowers are available". I can't pinpoint the writer or post, but know it was said. I wondered why a bee based on the size(Body?) would collect from other flower sources. Didn't seem 5.2 range to 4.9 range would make that much of a difference. Perhaps that comment had to do with the tongue length??
A smaller body and different flowers, hard to imgaine but I do not have the research. A smaller tongue would based on common sense say you would perhaps limited necture collection(?)
I see where perhaps small cell would help with mite control, but are there any advantages of a smaller body/tongue sizes?
I didn't do much to answer the original question but thought this was a good place to piggyback and ask some questions I also had.
The smaller body allows a bee to get into flowers that they would not fit in before. A lot of new flowers? I don't know, but I do know that some of the smaller pollinators such as the leaf cutters and mason bees can get into flowers that honey bees cannot.
Actually tongues get longer as the cell size gets smaller, in proportion to other parts of the bees body.
That is why caucasian bees in the 4.7-4.9 range are said to have some of the longest tongues in the world for getting honey from red clover.
Dee A. Lusby
I'm not asking "in proportion to the other parts of the bees body", I'm just simply asking or are you suggesting that the tongue is longer as the cells get smaller. (Comparing a tongue for a tongue from both sized bee.) Thank you.
Wedmore compares tongue lengths of different bee races; there was a time when people wanted long-tongued bees. He says that when cels are 'too small' - he doesn't say what he means by this - an increase of 5% in cell width can give an increase of 1/16 inch in tongue length.If he's on the right lines, then the tongue might get shorter in absolute terms as the cell size decreases. Try it and see.