6.1.3.3. Respiratory quotient (RQ): calculation of energy turnover from CO2 measurements

Since the respiratory quotient RQ = 1 in adult honey bees (Rothe and Nachtigall, 1989), energy turnover can be calculated directly from measurements of CO2 production. In honey bee larvae, however, the situation is not just different but, so to say, unusual. Typically, animal RQ values are in the range of 1.0 for carbohydrate combustion, 0.8 for protein and 0.7 for pure lipid metabolism. If carbohydrates are converted to lipids, and during growth, RQ may be >1. In growing honey bee larvae, however, RQ values are not only >1, but also variable (Melampy and Willis, 1939; Table 3).

Table 3. Dependence of the respiratory quotient (RQ) of honey bee larvae on age and mass (A. m. carnica). * from Petz et al. (2004); ** from Melampy and Willis (1939).

age (h)

mean mass (mg)*

RQ**

12

0.36

 

36

1.47

 

60

10.2

1.42

84

37.73

1.23

108

131.44

1.23

132

159.66

1.13

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