Introduction to Queen Rearing

Introduction to Queen Rearing

    In a normal bee colony, there is only one queen and raising of new queens is inhibited by pheromones secreted by the queen. Mated queen inhibits queen raising by workers only if it is able to move freely over brood area by distributing a pheromone from its tarsi on the combs by foot pads
    • This pheromone in combination with secretions from mandibular glands inhibits raising of queen cells. When used alone, neither of these secretions inhibits construction of queen cups
    • Natural periods for colony to rear queens attributed to inadequate queen movement over brood area
    • Crowding of workers restricts queen movement.

    Under natural conditions bee colonies raise queen cells during:

    • Swarming period
    • If queen becomes inefficient (due to old age, injury or disease)
    • If a colony becomes queen less.

    Production of queen
    Queen rearing can be taken up during the periods when the queens are raised naturally. For quality queen production there should be abundance of drones for mating and plenty of floral sources for bees to collect nectar and pollen.

    • Spare queen cells produced during swarming season can be used but the colonies raised from these queens may have more swarming instinct, hence generally discouraged.
    • Few queen cells can be raised by removing the queen from a strong colony making it queen less
    • For large number of queen cells: Doolittle (1889) method of queen rearing is used which involves transfer of young larvae from worker cells to artificial queen cups by grafting.

Last modified: Monday, 16 July 2012, 11:03 AM