Journal of Apicultural Science

Influence of the diameter of the inseminating needle tip on the results of bee queens' fertilization

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 50, Issue 2, Pages 137-145, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
The study was carried out in the Laboratory of Bee Breeding of the Institute of Pomology and Floriculture, Apiculture Division in Puławy in July and August of 2005 and 2006. Altogether 246 honeybee queens of Carniolan race, "Marynka" line were instrumentally inseminated when 7 days old with a single dose of 8 ľl of semen collected from free flying drones of Caucasian race. The glass inseminating needles with tips of 0.16 and 0.19 mm in diameter were used for insemination. Before insemination the queens were kept at room temperature in two-chamber mailing cages with attendant bees, after which they were placed in queenless colonies in the same cages with 25 attendants. All the queens were killed and dissected 48 hours after insemination and their oviducts were examined for the residue of semen and the number of spermatozoa entering spermatheca was counted. It was stated that a higher number of bee queens inseminated with a smaller needle (72.3%) cleared their oviducts within 48 hrs compared to queens inseminated with a bigger needle (50.4%). The highest number of spermatozoa in spermatheca (average 3.304 mln) was found in the group of queens that emptied both oviducts within 48 hrs, less (average 3.286 mln) in bee queens with semen remaining in one oviduct and a significantly lower number of spermatozoa (2.621 mln) in bee queens with semen remaining in both oviducts. Therefore, effort was made to explain the reasons for the lower rate of queens with semen residue in their oviducts in the group inseminated with the needle of 0.16 mm diameter tip.
Honeybee queen, insemination, inseminating needle, filling of spermatheca, residue of semen
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