Free Access
Volume 21, Number 2, 1990
Page(s) 153 - 159
Apidologie 21 (1990) 153-159
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19900209

On the relative importance of queens and workers to honey production

B.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