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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #204773

Title: Acceptance of mated Queens and Queen Cells in Colonies of Russian and Italian Honey Bees


Submitted to: Bee Culture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2007
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Cargel, R.A., Rinderer, T.E. 2007. Acceptance of mated Queens and Queen Cells in Colonies of Russian and Italian Honey Bees. Bee Culture 135(6):27-29

Interpretive Summary: Honey bee colonies can be requeened naturally or by the beekeeper. Beekeepers are using Russian honey bees more and more because of their significantly better qualities compared to Italian honey bees. However, some have reported difficulties in requeening colonies with Russian queens. These experiments compared rates of introduction success of Russian and Italian queens placed in Russian and Italian colonies. All four combinations of queen stock and colony stock had similarly high success rates. Likewise, colonies could be requeened with Russian and Italian queen cells with similar success.

Technical Abstract: Requeening colonies is a standard beekeeping practice with both mated queens and queen cells. More beekeepers are requeening with Russian honey bees queens because of their significantly higher resistance to varroa and tracheal mites, their good honey production and their overwintering abilities. However, some beekeepers report difficulties when attempting to requeen colonies with Russian queens. This experiment investigated the scope of that problem. In an experiment having 120 requeening attempts, no differences were found between requeening with Russian or Italian queens. Similar results were obtained when requeening with Russian or Italian queen cells.