Journal of Apicultural Science

Effect of queen caging conditions on insemination results

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 49, Issue 1, Pages 5-15, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
The study was performed in a honeybee breeding apiary at Teodorów in 2004. Honeybee queens were caged in queenless colonies or in an incubator. Temperature was compared in spaces between frames of colonies where either non-inseminated queens were kept in Zander cages without attendant bees or instrumentally inseminated queens in "Folchron" mailing cages were attended by bees. Temperature was also measured in cages with queens that were placed in beehives or in incubators. Temperature records were also taken outside the beehives and in the incubators. During the final investigations the manner in which the queens were kept before and after insemination was compared for its impact on the filling of queen spermathecae and on the evacuation of sperm from the oviduct.
The temperature in the frame spaces of honeybee nests in which the cages with instrumentally inseminated bees together with attendant bees were placed was found to average 34.5°C and to be significantly higher than that measured in the frame spaces containing cages with non-inseminated queens and without attendant bees. In each of the nurse colonies with inseminated queens different thermal conditions prevailed, with ambient temperature having a significant impact.
New attendant bees introduced to queens upon their instrumental insemination modified the temperature inside the cage by raising it within the first several hours following re-introduction of the queen into the colony to more than 35°C.
In the incubators, the temperature in the cages was higher than outside the cages. The temperature was also higher in those cages in which the attendant bees had been introduced a day before insemination than in those in which attendant bees were introduced after the insemination (35.4°C and 34.7°C, respectively).
The highest percentage of queens with well filled spermathecae and with emptied oviducts was found in the incubator-reared group in which, following insemination, the queen was re-introduced to the same attendants with which she was kept prior to the treatment. Possibly plausisterly the result can be linked to stable thermal conditions at which the queens were kept and to better care provided to the queen by the attendant bees which had already accepted the queen on the previous day and got used to being under confinement faster than by newly caged bees.
queen bees, insemination, filling of spermathecae, stasis of sperm, temperature
Submit your Manuscript to JAS
Use our Editorial System to submit your paper
JAS Current Articles
Current Issues