Artificial rearing of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) selects against heavy queens

publication date: Dec 16, 2009
Send a summary of this page to someone via email.

Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 39 (1-2) pp. 61-65
DOI
--
Date
June 2000
 
Article Title

Artificial rearing of bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) selects against heavy queens

Author(s)

M Beekman; P van Stratum; R Lingeman;

Abstract

When the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, was reared under controlled conditions in the laboratory for many generations, queens with a wet weight of 1 g or more were no longer produced after several generations. At present it is unknown what causes the disappearance of these heavier queens. In this paper three possible explanations are given: (1) inbreeding, (2) altered energy allocation strategy such that more but lighter queens are produced, (3) a gradual build-up of a deficiency of scarce nutrients. No proof was found for a negative effect of inbreeding on the weight of queens, and colonies did not produce more queens. This suggests that the disappearance of heavy queens is caused by a deficiency of scarce nutrients.

Keywords

bumble bee queens, Bombus terrestris, rearing, weight, nutrient deficiency, inbreeding, energy allocation, chemical legacy hypothesis

Download