Comparison of the colony development of two native bumblebee species Bombus ignitus and Bombus lucorum as candidates for commercial pollination in China.
Jilian Li, Jie Wu, Wanzhi Cai, Wenjun Peng, Jiandong An, Jiaxing Huang
Studies of the colony development of the Chinese bumble bees Bombus ignitus and Bombus lucorum found that there were four oviposition phases. The average number of workers produced per colony of B. ignitus and B. lucorum was 107 and 104 respectively, there being no significant difference between them (p>0.05). Colonies produced daughter queens in Phase 4 and the average number of new queens produced per colony of B. ignitus was smaller than that of B. lucorum (p<0.05). The proportion of B. ignitus and B. lucorum queens which established nests was on average 89% and 84% respectively (p>0.05). The average time to the emergence of the first workers in B. lucorum was longer than in B. ignitus, and this was significantly different (p<0.05), but the percentage of successful colony production of B. lucorum was lower than that of B. ignitus, and the number of workers which had emerged at above 30 days after first the oviposition in B. lucorum was more than in B. ignitus.