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Washington State Entomological Society

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The number and kinds of cells, adults and brood were collected from each of 198 colonies of P. vulgaris (L.) and 55 colonies of D. sylvestris (Scopoli) showing normal development. Estimates were made of the number of adults each colony produced. A simulation model of normal colonial development based upon the compartmental system approach, with 253 parameters and variables for P. vulgaris and 228 parameters and variables for D. sylvestris, was produced to conform with the above data. The simulation model outputs values of the length of life of brood stages, of workers, and of the colony itself; and the rates of cell building, of egg laying, and of adult production. These output values were examined in relation to known values. The output data are shown to be the best available data describing colonial development. The developmental characteristics of the two species were found to be very different so that separate strategies for survival were suggested. A hypothesis is developed to explain the adaptive value of the two strategies. A hypothesis is also developed to show that queen quality is a major factor determining the final size of a colony.

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