Submitted to: International Union for the Study of Social Insects Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: When a honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colony undergoes a disturbance resulting in queen loss the colony begins "emergency" queen rearing to replace her. This production of new virgin queens in a colony can range in number from one to 20 or more but only a single queen will eventually head the colony. The fitness of each queen is tested either by direct conflict between virgins or through influence of the worker bees within the colony. Any stress during the rearing of queens could result in the production of inferior queens that may threaten colony survival. Recent research (Haarmann et al. 2002, J. Econ. Entomol. 95:28-35) has demonstrated that chemicals applied to commercial honey bee colonies resulted in poor queen rearing success. In the current study we tested the ability of newly established colonies to produce wax combs and then rear queens in the presence or absence of chemical stresses. Additionally, we examined the relationship between queen cell location and chemical residues in wax combs. Finally, we determined the mating success of queens reared under the varying stress levels. The effects of chemical "stress" on both the number and fitness of queens reared will be discussed.