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Effects of Queen Cell Size and Caging Days of Mother Queen on Rearing Young Honey Bee Queens Apis mellifera L.

Wu, Xiaobo, Zhou, Linbin, Zou, Chuibin, Zeng, Zhijiang
Journal of apicultural science 2018 v.62 no.2 pp. 215-222
Apis mellifera, animal ovaries, birth weight, eggs, larvae, queen cells, queen honey bees, rearing, reproductive performance, thorax, vitellogenin
This study aims to investigate the effect of queen cell size (9.4 mm, 9.6 mm, 9.8 mm and 10.0 mm) and mother queen caged time (0 day, 2 days and 4 days) on rearing young queens without grafting larvae. The birth weight, ovarian tubes, thorax length and width were significantly increased with the increasing diameter of queen cell size. The expression level of Vitellogenin (Vg) in young queen ovaries was also up-regulated with the increased queen cell size diameter. These results indicate that the queen cell size can strongly affect the rearing queen quality and reproductive ability. Moreover, the weight, length and width of laying eggs rose with the mother queen caging time, and young queens reared with the hatched larvae from these eggs were also increased in terms of birth weight, ovarian tubes, thorax length and width. Furthermore, the expression level of Vg in reared queen ovaries was also up-regulated with the caged time. These results reveal that the caged time of queens could significantly influence egg size and their relative queen quality.