Insect Democracy: Do Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Select the Best Queens?

Monday, March 14, 2016: 11:06 AM
Hannover Ballroom III (Sheraton Raleigh Hotel)
James Withrow , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
David Tarpy , Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
In honey bees, (Apis mellifera), the queen is the most important individual and embodies the reproductive potential of the colony. Because of this, queen quality has an impact on every other aspect of colony functioning and is crucial to colony success. If the queen dies or becomes inadequate the workers must rear a replacement quickly or the entire colony will die. Despite this significance, emergency queen rearing remains a poorly understood aspect of behavior in honey bees. This research tests for the existence of purportedly “royal” subfamilies preferred for queen rearing and examines the possibility of queen selection based on caste-independent reproductive traits.