Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy detects queen honey bee inseminationThomas C. Webster1, Floyd E. Dowell2, Elizabeth B. Maghirang2 and Etta M. Thacker3
1 Land Grant Program, Atwood Research Facility, Kentucky State University, Frankfort KY 40601, USA
2 USDA-ARS Grain Marketing and Production Research Center, 1515 College Ave. Manhattan, KS 66502, USA
3 Land Grant Program, Atwood Research Facility, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY 40601, USA
Received 27 August 2008 – Revised 4 February 2009 – Accepted 10 February 2009 - Published online 30 September 2009
Abstract - The abdomens of honey bee queens and semen from drone bees were analyzed by visible and near-infrared spectroscopy. Mated honey bee queens could be distinguished from virgin queens by their absorption spectra with 100% accuracy. Spectra of semen showed that classifications of queens were likely influenced by the presence or absence of semen in the queen spermathecae. However, physiological or morphological changes that occur in the queens after mating probably influenced the classifications also.
Key words: Apis mellifera / drone semen / mating / queen bee / spectroscopy
© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2009