Free Access
Volume 35, Number 4, July-August 2004
Page(s) 383 - 388
Apidologie 35 (2004) 383-388
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004028

Queen honey bee introduction and early survival - effects of queen age at introduction

John W. Rhodesa, Douglas C. Somervilleb and Steven Hardena

a  NSW Agriculture, RMB 944, Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340, Australia
b  NSW Agriculture, PO Box 389, Goulburn, New South Wales, 2580, Australia

(Received 15 April 2003; revised 12 September 2003; accepted 8 October 2003)

Abstract - The survival of honey bee Apis mellifera queens to 14 days and 15 weeks after introduction into an established bee colony increases with increasing age of the queen at introduction. Survival rates increased strongly to high levels for queen bees introduced between 7 and 24 days of age and at a slower rate for queens introduced at ages up to 35 days. The survival rates were similar for sister queens introduced into two unrelated apiaries suggesting that apiary site and beekeeper management differences had minimal effect on survival rates. A year effect was found but the response to increasing age was similar for the three years.

Key words: Apis mellifera / queen age / queen introduction / queen survival

Corresponding author: John W. Rhodes

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004