A10: Packer, L. and G. Knerer 1986. The biology of a subtropical population of Halictus ligatus Say (Hymenoptera; Halictidae). I. Phenology and social organisation. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 18:363-375.
Abstract: A large population of Halictus ligatus was studied in the subtropical climate of Knights Key, Monroe County, Florida. The dissection of 858 female bees caught on flowers and 420 bees from completely excavated nests gives the following picture of phenology, colony development and social organisation. In the Florida keys, H. ligatus is continuously brooded and multivoltine. However, towards the coldest time of year young gynes may rest in their natal nests rather than found a new colony. This may result in a partial synchronisation of nest initiation when warm weather returns after a particularly cold spell. Most nests are started by a single foundress that usually survives until near the end of the production of reproductives. The first brood is very variable in size and males average 11% of the bees produced at this stage. This figure increases to 56% when the first brood workers begin provisioning. Queens are produced some time after the rise in male production and colony longevity is extended by the presence of some worker brood during this phase. Queens average 16% larger than their workers but appear to exert little inhibition of worker reproductivity: 57% of worker bees mate and 68% show ovarian development. This population is unique amongst social halictines in being continuously brooded, multivoltine and in having such weak physiological caste differentiation. It seems to represent an intermediate stage between the primitively eusocial colonies of H. ligatus found in temperate regions and the communal-like ones of the tropics.