Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2006
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Cargel, R.A., Rinderer, T.E. 2006. Queen Cell Acceptance in Laying Worker Colonies of Russian and Italian Honey Bees. American Bee Journal 146(8):698-700. Interpretive Summary: It is generally thought that honey bee colonies that have been queenless long enough to produce laying workers cannot be requeened. A report from a beekeeper that Russian honey bee colonies with laying workers could successfully be requeened with queen cells led to this experiment. Both Russian and Italian colonies could be requeened with good success using queen cells. This new information may allow beekeepers to save colonies that have become queenless and have developed laying workers.
Technical Abstract: Honey bee colonies that have become queenless and developed laying workers are considered lost by beekeepers since they can rarely be requeened by introducing an adult queen. In a test of the hypothesis that such colonies could be successfully requeened showed that both Russian and Italian colonies could be requeened with queen cells. Overall, about 60% of colonies were successfully requeened with equal success for Russian and Italian colonies. Queen cells and newly emerged queens have fewer pheromones than mated adult queens and might be undetected by laying workers.