The effect of short-term storage methods on the weight of queen honeybees
Donald L. Nelson
In each of two years' queen honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) imported from California were stored using one of three methods: (I) a four-frame queenless nucleus hive (NH), (2) a strong two-chamber queenless queenbank (QB) or (3) a temperature-controlled incubator (IN). In the first 17-19 days NH-queens were laying and gained an average of 59 mg in 1984 and 92 mg in 1985; the QB-queens lost 1 mg in 1984 and gained 20 mg in 1985 and the IN-queens lost 27 mg in 1984 and 11 mg in 1985. After being switched to another method of storage (from NH to QB, from QB to NH or from IN to NH) queens in the NH-QB sequence lost 55 and 58 mg, queens in the QB-NH sequence gained 30 and 54 mg and queens in the IN-NH sequence gained 53 and 66 mg in 1984 and 1985, respectively. As 10-14 days were needed for QB- or IN-queens to gain substantial weight after transfer to NH, it is important that any storage technique maintains queens in a laying condition to minimize delays in colony development.