Journal of Apicultural Science

The suitability of native Bombus terrestris dalmatinus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) queen for mass rearing

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 53, Issue 1, Pages 67-73, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
We examined the suitability of mass rearing native Bombus terrestris dalmatinus queens in the laboratory. A total of 50 naturally mated and aestivated B. t. dalmatinus queens were collected in autumn, from the Mediterranean coastal region. The queens were allowed to start a colony in the laboratory under standard conditions (28EC, 60% R.H.). The first generation colonies were thus obtained. Newly emerged young queens and males were collected from these colonies and mated in a cage. After mating, queens were put into artificial hibernation at 4EC for 45 days. They were then allowed to start a colony following the same procedure. The second generation colonies were thus obtained. The timing of colony initiation, the number of egg cells in the first brood, the timing of first worker emergence and the total number of queens appear to be similar in both generations. The average number of workers in the first and second generation colonies were 71.90 " 13.30 and 121.10 " 22.70 respectively. Colony production ratio was also lower in the first generation colonies (46%) than in the second generation colonies (74.1%). Results show that this native population is suited to mass rearing. Colony development characteristics can be improved by increasing breeding techniques and selection.
bumble bees, Bombus terrestris dalmatinus, Mediterranean population, mass rearing, colony development
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