In honey bees, queen replacement has a dramatic impact on colony genetic structure and worker inclusive fitness. Workers exhibit a variety of interactions with queen cells that could influence queen development and emergence success. Queen cells initiated within 48 hours after the loss of the laying queen were significantly more likely to produce an emerged virgin queen than were cells initiated later in the re-queening process. Cells initiated within 48 hours tended to contain 24-48 h old eggs, while those initiated later tended to contain larvae. Early-initiated cells were fed and incubated at significantly higher rates compared to later-initiated cells. Cells that developed to emergence received more "vibration signals" from workers compared to cells that were destroyed before emergence. Emergence order was not influenced by the worker interactions examined, nor were these interactions influenced by the paternity (African vs. European) of the developing queens. Workers may therefore influence the outcome of queen rearing by affecting the timing and brood age of queen initiation and by vibrating queen cells.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (honey bee)
Keywords: queen rearing, worker-queen interactions
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA