Standard methods for rearing and selection of Apis mellifera queens.

Authors: Ralph Büchler, Sreten Andonov, Kaspar Bienefeld, Cecilia Costa, Fani Hatjina, Nikola Kezic, Per Kryger, Marla Spivak, Aleksandar Uzunov, Jerzy Wilde.

Table of contents


1. Introduction
2. Queen production
   2.1. Queen rearing techniques

      2.1.1. Short history of queen rearing
      2.1.2. Basic principles of queen rearing
      2.1.3. Equipment for queen rearing Cell cups, bars and frames Grafting tools Queen rearing kits Protection of queen cells
      2.1.4. Queen rearing methods and management of nurse (or cell builder) colonies
      2.1.5. Obtaining larvae for grafting
      2.1.6. Grafting procedure
      2.1.7. Acceptance of larvae
   2.2. Mating control
      2.2.1. Criteria for establishment of mating stations
      2.2.2. Maintaining mating boxes and mating stations
      2.2.3. Drone colonies
      2.2.4. Evaluation of a mating station: environmental conditions
      2.2.5. Evaluation of a mating station: biological conditions Traps to estimate worker presence Pheromone traps to estimate drone density
      2.2.6. Assessment of honey bee queen and drone behaviour
   2.3. Handling of adult queens
      2.3.1. Marking and clipping queens
      2.3.2. Shipment of queens
      2.3.3. Storage of queens
      2.3.4. Requeening colonies
   2.4. Queen quality control
      2.4.1. Body weight
      2.4.2. Number of eggs per day (fecundity)
      2.4.3. Brood solidness
      2.4.4. Disease control
3. Performance testing of bee colonies
   3.1. Preconditions and general recommendations

      3.1.1. Location and organization of testing station
      3.1.2. Size of testing station
      3.1.3. Queens: origin, marking, distribution
      3.1.4. Timing and duration of test
      3.1.5. General recommendations
   3.2. Colony management
      3.2.1. Hives (types, painting, hive components, identification) Type of hive Painting and colouring Hive components Hive and colony identification
      3.2.2. Water supply
      3.2.3. Wax source
      3.2.4. Establishment of test colonies
      3.2.5. Feeding
   3.3. Testing criteria
      3.3.1. Honey productivity and feed consumption
      3.3.2. Gentleness and behaviour on combs
      3.3.3. Swarming behaviour
      3.3.4. Hygienic behaviour Freeze-killed brood assay: cutting brood out of comb to freeze Freeze-killed brood assay: freezing brood within comb using liquid N2 Pin-killed brood assay
      3.3.5. Varroa infestation
      3.3.6. Other diseases
      3.3.7. Colony development and wintering Bee population Brood area
      3.3.8. Additional test characters
4. Selection tools
   4.1. Genetic evaluation with BLUP

      4.1.1. Access to the data input feature
      4.1.2. Pedigree data
      4.1.3. Outcome of genetic evaluation: breeding values
   4.2. Selection indexes and scores
   4.3. Molecular selection tools

5. Breeding designs
   5.1. Closed-population breeding
   5.2. Open population breeding
   5.3. Special designs for scientific purposes

      5.3.1. Bi-directional selection
      5.3.2. Single drone mating