Free Access
Volume 31, Number 4, July-August 2000
Page(s) 525 - 530
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2000143

Apidologie 31 (2000) 525-530

A new, simple method for rearing diploid drones in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.)

Benedikt Polaczeka - Peter Neumannb,c - Burkhard Schrickera - Robin F.A. Moritzc

aFreie Universität Berlin, Institut für Biologie/Zoologie, Königin-Luise Strabe 1-3, 14195 Berlin, Germany
bRhodes University, Department of Zoology and Entomology, 6140 Grahamstown, South Africa
cMartin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Fachgebiet Molekulare Ökologie, Institut für Zoologie, Kröllwitzerstr. 44, 06099 Halle/Saale, Germany

(Received 7 September 1999; revised 15 February 2000; accepted 7 March 2000)


Seven Apis mellifera carnica queens were instrumentally inseminated with the semen of their own sons. Diploid drone offspring of these queens were raised using two established techniques including elaborate laboratory manipulations, and a new approach. The new approach, based on routine beekeeping, uses small mating nuclei, which rear diploid drones to the adult stage late in the season. No labour and cost intensive feeding, nor grafting and incubation steps are needed. The ploidy level of the drone offspring was evaluated using seven DNA microsatellites. All drones reared by the elaborate techniques and more than 90% of the drones reared in a small mating nucleus were definitely diploid. This technique allows for easy and simple diploid drone rearing even in research groups with no sophisticated equipment.

Keywords: Apis mellifera / honeybee / DNA microsatellite / diploid drone / instrumental insemination

Correspondence and reprints: Benedikt Polaczek

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