Interspecific rearing and acceptance of queens between Apis cerana Fabricius, 1793 and Apis koschevnikovi Buttel-Reepen, 1906N. Koenigera, G. Koenigera, S. Tingekb and A. Kelitub
a Institut für Bienenkunde (Polytechnische Gesellschaft), Fachbereich Biologie der JW Goethe-Universität Frankfurt aM, Karl-von-Frisch-Weg 2, 61440 Oberursel, Germany
b Agricultural Research Station, Lagud Seberang PO Box 197, 89908 Tenom, Sabah, Malaysia
Abstract - Artificial queen cells with grafted young worker larvae of Apis cerana and Apis koschevnikovi were simultaneously introduced into queenless colonies of either A cerana and A koschevnikovi. All colonies preferred to rear conspecific larvae. The degree of this larval preference was different: A cerana colonies were more selective than A koschevnikovi colonies against alien larvae. In contrast, the A koschevnikovi colonies destroyed most of the introduced mature A cerana queen cells and killed all the queens that were able to emerge. A long term acceptance of alien queens occurred in A cerana colonies. The A koschevnikovi queens performed successful mating flights from A cerana colonies and the time of mating flights of these queens did not differ from A koschevnikovi queens flying from conspecific colonies. The mated A koschevnikovi queens laid eggs and the emerged bees were successfully reared by the A cerana worker bees. The A cerana host colonies were gradually transformed into A koschevnikovi colonies.
Key words: Apis cerana / Apis koschevnikovi / queen / interspecific relation / reproduction