2.1.7. Acceptance of larvae

The number of accepted larvae depends on different factors, as described in detail by Ruttner (1983). The most important factors are: quality, strength and developmental stage of the nurse colonies, age of the workers, age of the grafted larvae, presence or absence of queen in the rearing colony and duration of the queenless stage, presence of open brood in the cell-starting colonies, number of grafted cells, rearing sequence and method of rearing.

Environmental conditions are of major importance for final queen rearing success. Essential factors are: regulation of humidity and temperature by the rearing colony or in the incubator, and vitality of queen cells and the feed supply (nectar flow, supplemental feeding) of the nurse colony. There is also some indirect influence of the weather conditions and of the season. Under well managed conditions at least 80 % of the larvae should be accepted even in bad weather conditions.