The need for the increased production of honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens has led beekeepers to use different substrates in artificial queen cups where larvae destined to become queens are deposited (grafting). However, not enough scientific evidence exists that indicates that this practice is useful and what substance offers the best results. This study was conducted to determine with the Doolittle queen rearing method the acceptance rate of larvae deposited on different substrates during grafting and to determine if the sugar content and pH of the substrates used affect the acceptance of larvae in cell builder colonies. The evaluated substrates were coconut water, apple nectar, royal jelly, cola soda and distilled water, plus control (without substrate). Grafted larvae of the six treatments were introduced into cell builder colonies and their acceptance verified after 72 h. Apple nectar provided the highest rate of larvae acceptance with 81.06%, followed by cola soda with 62.93%, coconut water with 60.90%, royal jelly with 57.82% and distilled water with 58.99%. The larvae acceptance rates of all substrates were significantly higher than the control, which had an acceptance rate of 47.04%. No significant relationship was found between the sugar content of the substrates and larvae acceptance. However, although not significant, a high negative correlation was found between the substrate pH and the number of accepted larvae (Rho = - 0.90, p = 0.07). These results suggest that the use of liquid acidic substrates during larvae grafting, in particular apple nectar, may increase the production of honey bee queens.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Berk, Z. (2016). Citrus fruit processing. Amsterdam: Academic Press.
Caron, D. M., & Connor, L.J. (2013). Honey bee biology and beekeeping. Kalamazoo: Wicwas Press.
Chhuneja, K. P., & Gill, K. A. (2014). Influence of different factors on graft acceptance in Apis mellifera Linnaeus colonies during autumn in Punjab. Biological Forum, 6(1), 148-151.
Cobey, S. (2005). A versatile queen rearing and banking system-Part 1, the “cloake board method” of queen rearing. American Bee Journal, 145(4), 308-311.
Comisión Nacional del Agua (2016). Observatorio meteorológico nacional, archivos zona costa sur de Jalisco. Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco Mex. CONAGUA, 45-48.
Contreras-Escareño, F., Pérez, A. B., Echazarreta, C. M., Cavazos, A. J., Macías-Macías, J. O., Tapia-González, J. M. (2013). Características y situación actual de la apicultura en las regiones Sur y Sureste de Jalisco, México. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Pecuarias, 4(3), 387-398.
Curbelo, V. L., Curbelo, R. M. L., Rodríguez, A. M. I., & Ferrán, M. (2009). Factores que influyen en la calidad de las reinas de abejas (A. mellifera) criadas artificialmente. Revista de Producción Animal, 20(1), 59-61.
Delaplane, K. S., Van der Steen, J., & Guzman-Novoa, E. (2013). Standard methods for estimating strength parameters of Apis mellifera colonies. Journal of Apicultural Research, 52(1), 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.3896/IBRA.1.52.1.03
Doolittle, G. M. (1889). Scientific queen rearing. Chicago: Thomas G. Newman and Son. Ebadi, R., & Gary, N. E. (1980). Acceptance by honeybee colonies of larvae in artificial queen cells. Journal of Apicultural Research, 19(2), 127-132. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00218839.1980.11100011
Emsen, B., Dodologlu, A., & Gene, F. (2003). Effect of larvae age and grafting method on the larvae accepted rate and height of sealed queen cell (Apis mellifera L.). Journal of Applied Animal Research, 24(2), 201-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09712119.2003.9706457
Gene, F., Emsen, B., & Dodologlu, A. (2005). Effects of rearing period and grafting method on the queen bee rearing. Journal of Applied Animal Research, 27(1), 45-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09712119.2005.9706535
Guzman-Novoa, E. (2007). Elemental genetics and breeding for the honeybee. Guelph: Ontario Beekeepers Association.
Laidlaw, H. H., & Page Jr., R. E. (1997). Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding. Cheshire: Wicwas Press.
Macicka, M. (1985). The effect of several factors on the acceptance of larvae and on queen weigth. Pszczelnicze Zeszyty Naukowe, 29, 73-80.
Pickard, R. S., & Kither, G. Y. (1983). Acceptance of transplanted worker larvae by queen-cell starter colonies. Journal of Apicultural Research, 22(3), 169-74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00218839.1983.11100583
Skowronek, W., & Skubida, P. (1988). The effect of internal conditions in the honeybee colony on queen rearing and the quality of queens. Pszczelnicze Zeszyty Naukowe, 29, 73-80.
Winston, M. L. (1987). The biology of he honey bee. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Zheng, H. Q., Hu, F. L., & Dietemann, V. (2011). Changes in composition of royal jelly harvested at different times: consequences for quality standards. Apidologie, 42, 39-47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/apido/2010033.