Performance of Bee Colonies Headed by Queens Instrumentally Inseminated with Semen of Drones Who Come from a Single Colony or Many Colonies

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of honey bee worker diversity within the colony on: development, honey productivity, and wintering. Two different levels of diversity within the colony were tested. The appropriate levels of diversity within the colony were obtained by selecting drones for inseminating the queens. Lower genetic diversity was obtained in the colonies headed by a queen inseminated with semen collected from drones originating from a single colony. Higher genetic diversity was obtained in the colonies with queens inseminated with semen from drones of 30 different colonies. Colonies with a higher genetic variation of workers in the colonies had greater levels of functional characteristics. However, apart from the number of dead bees in winter, the genetic diversity level of the workers on the colony development and honey production, did not have a significant influence. There was an averaging effect observed concerning that male component in the colonies with a higher genetic variation of workers - on honey yield, when compared to the non-additive effect of the best drones.

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