The fraction haemolymph vitellogenin of a honey bee colony, derived from a pooled haemolymph sample, a colony vitality parameter

The number of bees, amount of brood and haemolymph vitellogenin titre are parameters to establish the vitality of a

honey bee colony. Increasing numbers of bees during summer until autumn; increasing amounts of brood in spring

towards summer followed by a decrease; and low haemolymph vitellogenin titres in foraging bees and high vitellogenin

titres in nurse bees and winter bees are typical courses over the bee season. In contrast to the number of bees and

amount of brood, determined at the colony level, vitellogenin is determined in individual bees. To turn the factor vitellogenin

from the mean of individual data into a colony parameter, a protocol was developed to determine the colony

fraction vitellogenin in a pooled haemolymph sample of 30 bees, sampled from a defined location in the colony. This

colony fraction vitellogenin is a parameter for honey bee colony vitality.


Jozef J M van der Steen, Anne-Claire Martel & Patrick Hendrickx. 2015.Journal of Apicultural Research, 2015

Pooled samples vitellogenin JAR 2015 Steen, Martell, Hendrickx.pdf