Effect of queenlessness on worker survival, honey gain and defence behaviour in honeybees
Keith S. Delaplane And John R. Harbo
The effects of queenlessness on worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) were tested with 50 colonies in groups of 10 (five treatments and two replicates) in August, October and December, 1984 and February and April, 1985 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The 10 colonies in each group were all from a single heterogeneous mixture of bees, and each colony began with about 6000 workers and no brood. The five treatments each lasted for 28 days and consisted of (1) caged queen for 28 days, queenless for 0 days; (2) caged queen for 21 days, queenless for 7 days; (3) caged queen for 14 days, queenless for 14 days; (4) caged queen for 7 days, queenless for 21 days and (5) caged queen for 9 days, laying queen for 19 days (control). With prolonged queenlessness worker survival, colony weight gain and defence behaviour (number of stings) decreased. Queenlessness did not induce drifting.
queenlessness, worker survival, honey gain, defence behaviour, honeybees, bee behaviour