Journal of Apicultural Science

Effect of different factors on the efficiency of honey bee queen rearing

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 46, Issue 1, Pages 41-50, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of selected environmental factors on the efficiency with which honey bee queens are reared. The research material collected over the years 1990 - 2001 comprised nearly 31 thousand grafted larvae and over 14 thousand isolated queen cells reared in 623 replications. A substantial variation in queen rearing success was recorded as measured by the percentage of isolated queen cells vs. grafted larvae over the study years caused mainly by different time of queen rearing. The highest efficiency rate occurred at the beginning of the season in the second decade of May (55.8%) and then declined until the second decade of July (25.8%) to rise again in the first decade of August (44.6%). Rearing success rate was influenced slightly but significantly by air temperature, solar radation and relative humidity on the day of larva grafting. The site of larva introduction and the multiple use of a nurse colony had no impact. Queen rearing was best stimulated by moderate nectar flow whereas there was an unequivocal negative impact of both the very high flow (24.4%) and of the absence of flow (36.1%). Over the successive years of the study from 33.8 to 45.4% of the grafted larvae emerged as queens. Out of 311 non-emerged queens 32.8% died at the light pupa stage and 20.2% at the imago stage. Sporadically, the failure to emerge was caused by the presence of two individuals in a cell, each of them having died at a different development stage (2.6%).
queen rearing, time of season, flow conditions, death of queen cells, weather conditions
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