4.1.4. Queen status of source colonies used to obtain adult workers for laboratory experiments

A queen is the typical reproductive phenotype in honey bee colonies. Not only is she responsible for egg production, but also for producing pheromones that can greatly influence worker behaviour (e.g. queen rearing) and physiology (e.g. worker ovary development) (Winston, 1987; Winston and Slessor, 1992; Slessor et al., 2005). Health and age of queens are critical, as Milne (1982) observed that progeny of some queens exhibited early death in laboratory cages; this likely had a genetic component, and could be avoided when young laying queens were used.. Experimental honey bees should be obtained from colonies that possess a young, mated, laying queen.