2.4. Queen quality control
“Quality” is a subjective term used in relation to queens and drones to describe certain quantitative physical and performance characteristics. It is generally believed that a queen of “high quality” should have the following physical characteristics:
- high body weight (described in section 2.4.1.),
- large number of ovarioles (see the BEEBOOK paper on anatomy and dissection (Carreck et al., 2013))
- large size of spermatheca, (see the BEEBOOK paper on anatomy and dissection (Carreck et al., 2013))
high number of spermatozoa
(see the BEEBOOK paper on
miscellaneous research methods (Human et
Once active as the queen of a hive, some of the colony performance traits such as the following can be used as quality criteria:
- high brood production (including number of eggs per day) and large bee population (section 2.4.2. and the BEEBOOK paper on measuring colony strength parameters (Delaplane et al., 2013)
- brood solidness (section 2.4.3. and the BEEBOOK paper on measuring colony strength parameters (Delaplane et al., 2012)3
- disease control (Laidlaw, 1979; Cobey 2007; see the BEEBOOK papers on honey bee diseases: De Graaf et al., 2013; De Miranda et al., 2013; Dietemann et al., 2013; Forsgren et al., 2013; Fries et al., 2013; Jensen et al., 2013).
- increased honey yield (see section 3.3.1.)
- low defensive behaviour (see section 3.3.2.)
- low swarming tendency (see section 3.3.3.).
- intensive hygienic behaviour (see section 3.3.4.)