Maintenance and application of multiple queen colonies in commercial beekeeping
Huo-Qing Zheng, Shui-Hua Jin, Fu-Liang Hu, Christian W W Pirk and Vincent Dietemann
We have previously reported the artificial creation of stable multiple queen honey bee colonies in China. Here we describe, based on our experience and primary research, the techniques necessary to successfully maintain multiple queen colonies and how they can be used commercially. Special care including the provision of sufficient food, avoiding robbing and drifting, destroying newly built queen cells, and abandoning foragers before migration, are necessary for keeping sustainable multiple queen colonies. In practice, these colonies are used as supporting units for the faster build-up of productive colonies and for the production of royal jelly.