Standard methods for instrumental insemination of Apis mellifera queens
Susan W Cobey, David R Tarpy and Jerzy Woyke
Honey bee queens are highly polyandrous and mate in flight. Instrumental insemination is an essential tool that provides complete control of honey bee mating for research and breeding purposes. The technique requires specialized equipment to anesthetize and immobilize the queen and to collect and deliver semen from the drones. Semen is harvested from mature drones by hand eversion of the endophallus and collected into a syringe. The queen is placed in a chamber and anesthetized during the procedure of insertion of semen into the oviducts. Queens are introduced into colonies and their performance can equal to that of naturally mated queens, given proper technique and care.