Free access
Volume 38, Number 4, July-August 2007
Page(s) 390 - 410
Published online 10 October 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 390-410
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007029

Comparison studies of instrumentally inseminated and naturally mated honey bee queens and factors affecting their performance

Susan W. Cobey

Ohio State University, Department of Entomology, Columbus, Ohio, USA

(Received 10 August 2006 - Revised 10 March 2007 - Accepted 7 April 2007 - Published online 10 October 2007)

Abstract - Instrumental insemination, a reliable method to control honey bee mating, is an essential tool for research and stock improvement. A review of studies compare colony performance of instrumentally inseminated queens, IIQs, and naturally mated queens, NMQs. Factors affecting queen performance are also reviewed. The collective results of the data demonstrate that the different methodologies used, in the treatment of queens, has a significant affect on performance rather than the insemination procedure. Beekeeping practices can optimize or inhibit performance. The competitive performance of IIQs is demonstrated when queens are given proper care. The advantage of selection and a known semen dosage can result in higher performance levels of IIQs.

Key words: Apis mellifera / queen honey bees / instrumental insemination / colony performance

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007