Mated queens were confined individually in mailing cages and provided with water, and food containing honey and royal jelly. They were stored in incubators kept at 27 ± 1°C and 40-50% relative humidity, and exposed to three photoperiod regimes: 15 h light and 9 h dark, resembling long-day summer conditions, 8L : 16D representing short-day winter conditions, and OL : 24D, continuous darkness. Photoperiod preconditioning seemed to affect the results: queens conditioned to a long day length survived better under 'summer' conditions, and queens preconditioned to a short day length better under 'winter' conditions. Queens in complete darkness survived as well as those in the more favourable photoperiod regime in each case. About 84% of the queens survived 80 days of confinement, about 17% living as long as 180 days. A state of physiological stability with respect to body weight, fat-body lipid and blood protein appeared to be attained during a 78-day period of solitary confinement. Holding singly confined queens for periods up to 130 days did not seem to impair their subsequent acceptance by colinies, their pattern of egg laying, or the amount of brood reared.