2.5.5. Recognising the age of pupae

When queen caging or marking freshly capped cells are not an option, it is possible to recognise the approximate age of pupae based on their morphology and colouration of body parts. Figure 8 can be consulted for identification of worker pupa age as well as Table 5, compiled from the observations of Jay (1962) on pupa appearance. Jay (1962) also describes the appearance of immature drone (Table 6) and queen (Table 7) pupae. The body parts described by Jay (1962) are annotated on Fig. 9. The work of Jay is presented here since it describes the appearance of pupae according to days of development. Others describe colour changes more precisely since they base their description on colour standards, but they only mention the appearance of different stages without linking it to age (Rembold et al., 1980; Michelette and Soares, 1993).

Fig. 8. Timing and duration of sealed worker brood development. Y-axis starts at capping time. Morphological categories after Martin (1994) for UK honey bees. For simplicity black vertical bars are represented without overlap, but developmental time of each stage can vary. Photos: S Camazine


Fig. 9. Anatomy of the worker honey bee pupa with annotations corresponding to Tables 5, 6 and 7. Adapted from Dade (2009).