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 al., 2013).

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.)

 

2.4.4. Disease control