The development of laying workers in field colonies of the Cape honey bee

publication date: Dec 21, 2010
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 30 (2) pp. 107-112
Date
June 1991
Article Title

The development of laying workers in field colonies of the Cape honey bee

Author(s)

H R Hepburn; P Magnuson; L Herbert; L A Whiffler

Abstract

Colonies of Cape honey bees (Apis Mellifera capensis) were assessed for the effects of various queen states (queenless, with a virgin queen, with a mated queen, with access to the head and thorax of a queen, with access to the abdomen of a queen) on the development of laying workers.  The effect of queenlessness on workers of different ages was also studied.  The highest frequency of laying workers in the laying population (5%) occurred in queenless colonies, followed by virgin-queenright (2.5%) and mated-queenright (<1%) colonies.  The frequency of laying workers did not increase with longer periods of queenlessness; however, the younger the bees were on dequeening, the greater the ovarian development.  Thus, with respect to queen suppression of worker ovarian development, the Cape honey bee differs from other races of Apis mellifera only in degree, not in kind.  

Keywords

Cape honey bee, Apis Mellifera capensis, ovarian development, queenlessness, queenrightness, age, laying workers

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