Increased food supply to all larvae after dequeening honey bee colonies

publication date: Mar 19, 2010
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 38 (3-4) pp. 117-123
Date
December 1999
 
Article Title

Increased food supply to all larvae after dequeening honey bee colonies

Author(s)

J Woyke

Abstract
Five queenright honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies were divided into equal queenright and queenless subunits, two in the autumn and three in the spring. Brood food was measured from a total of 10 850 cells with larvae identi-fied as 1, 2, 3 and 4 days old. Larvae in queenless subunits received more food than similar aged larvae in queenright colonies. In the autumn, 10 larvae, 1 and 4 days old, received on average 12.8 vs. 16.6 mg of food (130%) and 145.4 vs. 163.0 mg (112%) in queenright and queenless subunits, respectively. Larvae of intermediate ages received intermediate amounts of food. The largest differences in ratios of food were noted the day after the subunits were formed. In queenright colonies, larvae of all ages received 124% of the nourishment received in queenless colonies. With time, the amount decreased to 108%, the sixth day after dequeening. In the spring, 10 larvae, 1 and 4 days old, received an average of 32.1 vs. 43.9 mg of food (137%) and 126.3 vs. 144.7 mg (115%) in queenright and queenless subunits, respectively. Larvae of intermediate ages received intermediate amounts of food. The largest differences in ratios of food were noted the day after the subunits were formed. In queenright colonies, larvae of all ages received 175% of the nourishment in queenless colonies. The largest increase of 201% was recorded in cells with 1- day-old larvae, the next day after dequeening. As time passed, the relative food amount in queenless colonies decreased to 105% the seventh day after dequeening.
Keywords

Apis mellifera, larvae, royal jelly, rood food, larval food, queenless colonies

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