On the relative importance of queens and workers to honey productionB.P. Oldroyd, R.D. Goodman and M.A. Allaway
Plant Research Institute, Burnley Gardens, Swan Street, Richmond Vic, 3121, Australia
Abstract - Colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera) with different queen genotypes, but identical worker genotype, were established. The 2 groups differed significantly in both weight gain and brood area, indicating that queen genotype influences honey production. In a second experiment, 2 groups of genetically similar queens were inseminated with genetically dissimilar semen. The sire groups did not differ significantly in their honey production over a period of 3 months. It is concluded that queen genotype plays a significant part in colony genotypic merit for honey production, and that selection schemes which do not evaluate queen performance are likely to be only partially successful.
Key words: Apis mellifera / honey production / queen genotype / queen fecundity / selection scheme