An observation study on the effects of queen age on some characteristics of honey bee colonies


Akyol E., Yeninar H., Korkmaz A., ÇAKMAK İ.

ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, vol.7, no.1, pp.19-25, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.4081/ijas.2008.19
  • Title of Journal : ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE
  • Page Numbers: pp.19-25

Abstract

This study was conducted to determine the effects of the queen's age on performance of the honeybee (A. mellifera anatoliaca) colonies at nomad beekeeping conditions. Performances of the colonies, which had 0, 1, 2 and 3 year-old queens, were compared. The number of combs, brood areas, wintering ability survival rate and honey yield were determined as performance criteria. The average number of combs with bees throughout the experiment in Group I, Group II, Group III and Group IV was 10.92 +/- 0.78, 14.68 +/- 0.55, 10.10 +/- 0.60, 7.88 +/- 0.45 number combs/colony; the average of brood areas was 3078 +/- 372.5 cm(2), 3668 +/- 460.3 cm(2), 2215 +/- 294.0 cm(2), 1665.38 +/- 241.8 cm(2); the average of wintering ability was 84.3 +/- 2.9%, 88.0 +/- 3.7%, 46.6 +/- 19.0%, 26.8 +/- 16.5%; the survival rate was 100%, 100%, 60%, 40%; and the average of honey yields was 31.4 +/- 1.89 kg, 41.5 +/- 1.05 kg, 20.4 +/- 2.62 kg and 12.0 +/- 1.41 kg per colony, respectively. A significant and negative correlation between queen age and brood production (r=-80.2), colony strength (r=-62.5), wintering ability (r=-66) and honey yield (r=-75.6) were calculated (P<0.01). The colonies headed by young queens had more brood areas, longer worker colony population, better wintering ability and greater honey yield in comparison to colonies headed by old queens.