Free Access
Volume 35, Number 3, May-June 2004
Page(s) 275 - 282
Apidologie 35 (2004) 275-282
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004014

Emergency queen rearing in honeybee colonies with brood of known age

Adam Tofilski and Krystyna Czekonska

Bee Research Department, Agricultural University, 29 Listopada 52 31-425 Krakow, Poland
(Received 25 April 2003; revised 14 July 2003; accepted 7 August 2003)

Abstract - In four honeybee colonies, queens were isolated on empty combs for 8 consecutive days, so that in every colony there were 8 combs containing brood of known age. Afterwards, the colonies were dequeened and the process of emergency queen rearing was observed. The average interval from egg laying to queen cell capping was 8.8 days and ranged from 7 to 12 days. The average interval from queen cell capping to queen emergence was 7.2 days and ranged from 5 to 8 days. The whole development time from egg laying to queen emergence was 15.7 days, ranging from 14 to 18 days. The age of brood at the moment of dequeening positively correlated with both the time of capping and the total queen development time. The average age of brood (at time of dequeening) around which queen cells were built was 3.0 days. However, higher proportions of queen cells with younger larvae were destroyed; in effect, the age of brood at dequeening from which queens emerged was 3.4 days.

Key words: Apis mellifera / honeybee / queen rearing / development time

Corresponding author: Adam Tofilski

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004