Number of ovarioles

The number of ovarioles (in one ovary) can vary among honey bee races. For example it has been reported that there are an average of 130-155 ovarioles/ovary in A. m. macedonica (Hatjina et al., 2013). In A. m. ligustica, there are between 135-175 (Woyke, 1971; Casagrande-Ialoretto et al., 1984) and in A.m. carnica they range between 145-160 (Hatjina et al., 2013). The number of ovarioles can be evaluated at any time during the life of a fertilized queen but preferably a few months after mating. Left and right ovaries contain almost the same number of ovarioles, so there is no need to perform the count for both ovaries. It is recommended to always count ovaries on the same side of all queens. The number of ovarioles can be estimated by two main methods: histological preparations or real-time counting. The steps for each method are described below (Table 2; Fig. 46). These two methods have advantages and disadvantages as described in Table 3.