Simplified apparatus for instrumental insemination of queen bees with the 'flexible insemination technique'M.E. Kühnerta and H.H. Laidlawb
a Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Fachbereich Biologie der JW Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 61440 Oberursel, Germany
b University of California, Department of Entomology, Davis, CA 95616-8584, USA
Abstract - With the usual insemination method the sting chamber is kept open by two hooks and the sting retracted with the dorsal hook (sting hook). With the new apparatus, and the 'flexible' insemination technique, hook supports are no longer required. The sting is simply grasped by a pair of forceps and pulled up to create a large opening into which the insemination syringe can be easily inserted. The sternite is kept in place by a small hook attached to the queen holding tube. In 10 pairs of queens inseminated with either the classical (A) or the new (B) method, no differences were found in the number of spermatozoa that reached the spermatheca. Queens inseminated with 5 μl semen had 2.7 + 0.3 million (A; n = 6), and 2.8 + 0.9 million (B; n = 6) spermatozoa in the spermatheca. With 10 μl semen the average was 4.7 + 1.0 million (A; n = 4), and 4.9 + 1.4 million (B; n = 4) spermatozoa in the spermatheca. Size and costs of the equipment are significantly reduced and the insemination routine becomes faster.
Key words: Apis mellifera / reproduction / instrumental insemination / equipment