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Open access

Dariusz Teper, Piotr Skubida, Piotr Semkiw and Wojciech Skowronek

Summary

The aim of the study conducted in 2009 - 2011 was to estimate the differences in the nectar and pollen oilseed rape flow exploitation by bee colonies kept in the stationary apiary (permanently located on the rape field) and in the migratory apiary. The migratory apiary was transferred to the rape field at the appropriate time and situated on the same area as the stationary apiary. Every study year, 8 bee colonies per apiary, in two apiaries of different types (stationary and migratory apiary), were prepared. The colonies from the migratory apiary were placed on the rape field when about 10% of rape flowers were blooming. During that time, bottom pollen traps were inserted into the hives of both apiaries. The pollen loads were collected every day, separately from each colony. After the end of the flow season, honey was extracted separately from each colony. The honey was weighed and samples were taken for the palynological analysis. The weather conditions were monitored during the whole study period.

The average harvest of pollen loads from one bee colony during one day, was similar in both apiaries. The content of Brassica napus pollen was significantly higher in the pollen loads harvested from the migratory apiary. Despite the fact that the amounts of honey extracted from both apiaries were similar, the microscopic pollen analysis showed significantly higher percentage content of rape pollen in the honey from the migratory apiary. The results confirmed that placing the migratory apiary in the winter rape field at the time when about 10% of flowers were blooming resulted in a better exploitation of the rape flow by the bee colonies from this apiary in comparison to the colonies from the stationary apiary.

Open access

Dariusz Gerula, Paweł Węgrzynowicz, Beata Panasiuk, Małgorzata Bieńkowska and Wojciech Skowronek

Abstract

Honey bee queens were inseminated with diluted, homogenised semen collected from a few dozen drones. This procedure was carried out to increase the diversity of the queens’ offspring, which is in comparison to the offspring of queens inseminated with semen from only a few drones coming from one colony. Queens and drones were mated within carniolan bee (Apis mellifera carnica) subspecies, but 3 selected lines were used. Queens were reared from one line and drones from the same line, and two additional lines differing in hygienic behaviour wherein in one of them that trait was strongly evident. The aim of this study was to examine whether the level of enhanced genetic variability in colonies and simultaneously the participation of hygienic bees, would increase the performance of hygienic behaviour. Overall hygienic behaviour of colonies with a lower and greater genetic variability did not differ significantly and amounted to 52.1 and 47.0%, respectively. Colonies within the lower variability group, in which drones from line selected in hygienic behaviour performance were used for inseminating queens, had a significantly greater percent of cleaned pupae than other colonies (63.2%). Hygienic behaviour in other colonies was more dependent on the gene quotas of hygienic bees in the colonies rather than on the level of polyandry.

Open access

Dariusz Gerula, Paweł Węgrzynowicz, Beata Panasiuk, Małgorzata Bieńkowska and Wojciech Skowronek

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.