The mechanism of queen elimination in two queen honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies

publication date: Sep 17, 2010
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Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 33 (2) pp. 87-94
Date
March 1994
Article Title

The mechanism of queen elimination in two queen honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies

Author(s)
Vivian M Butz; Alfred Dietz
Abstract

Observation hives were used to study queen and worker interactions in two-queen honey bee colonies after removal of queen excluders. Aggression between queens involving stinging attacks was the principal mechanism of queen elimination. Workers were not aggressive towards queens. Queens appeared to recognize other queens only at short distances (<3.5 cm), or upon direct contact. Characteristic fighting postures and general fighting patterns were identified. Younger queens survived most aggressive encounters (86%). Aggressive encounters between queens did not always result in the death of a rival queen.

Keywords

queen honey bees, Apis mellifera, two-queen colonies, aggression, fighting, stinging, death

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