The effect of queen insemination volume on the growth of newly established honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies
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© 2018, INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature. The number of female progeny that a honey bee (Apis mellifera) queen produces in her lifetime is directly dependent on the amount of semen she collects upon mating (i.e., insemination volume) and the number of viable sperm cells contained within the semen (i.e., sperm viability). Queen insemination volume has been shown to alter queen mandibular pheromone profiles, as well as worker behavior and physiology at the individual level. In order to determine if queen insemination volume has any colony-level effects, we compared the growth of newly established colonies headed by queens instrumentally inseminated with either a low volume (1.5 μL) or a high volume (9.0 μL) of pooled semen from May to October in 2013 and 2015. We did not find a significant effect of queen insemination volume on the production of worker comb, drone comb, stored food, worker population, or seasonal queen or colony survivorship. Therefore, we concluded that queen insemination volume does not seem to directly affect growth at the colony level, at least during a colony’s first year.
author list (cited authors)
Payne, A. N., & Rangel, J.