Not the Honey Bee (Apis mellifera L.) Queen, but the Drone Determines the Termination of the Nuptial Flight and the Onset of Oviposition - The Polemics, Abnegations, Corrections and Supplements

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Abstract

This paper emphasizes the topics concerning honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) mating biology, which have not been described in the recently published book of Koeniger et al. (2014). At the beginning of natural mating, the drone becomes paralyzed. However, the muscles in the abdomen continuously contract shrinking the abdomen till mating has ended and the pair have separated. It is not the queen that ends the nuptial flight. The termination of the nuptial flight is determined by the drone, which fails to remove the mating sign of the previous drone from the sting chamber of the queen. The mating sign originates from two or more drones. The queen also does not determine the age at which she starts oviposition. It is the last drone, which tried to mate, but failed to remove the mating sign of the predecessor, that determines the age that the queen starts oviposition. The book of Koeniger et al. (2014), together with this paper, present the current knowledge of the mating biology of honey bees.

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