Introduction

The development and reproduction of insects are greatly influenced by a variety of abiotic factors. These factors may exert their effects on insects either directly or indirectly (through their effects on other organisms) and in the short- or long-term. Light, for example, may exert an immediate effect on the orientation of an insect as it searches for food, and may induce changes in an insect's physiology in anticipation of adverse conditions some months in the future. Another abiotic factor to which insects are now routinely subjected (deliberately or otherwise) are pesticides. Apart from the obvious effect of lethal doses of such chemicals, pesticides may have more subtle, indirect effects on the distribution and abundance of species, for example, alteration of predator-prey ratios and, in sublethal doses, changes in fecundity or rates of development.

Under natural conditions organisms are subject to a combination of environmental factors, both biotic and abiotic, and it is this combination that ultimately determines the distribution and abundance of a species. Frequently, the effect of one factor modifies the normal response of an organism to another factor. For example, light, by inducing diapause (Section 3.2.3), may make an insect unresponsive to (unaffected by) temperature fluctuations. As a result, an insect is not harmed by abnormally low temperatures, but nor does it become active in temporary periods of warmer weather that may occur in the middle of winter.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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