2.4.1. Body weight

The weight of a fertilized queen can vary considerably due to egg laying intensity, genetic factors (race) and environmental factors that affect egg laying. More uniform conditions can be assured by using very young unfertilised queens and respecting the following conditions: 

  • Electronic balances with an accuracy of 0.1 mg should be used.
  • If unfertilized queens are used, they should be as young as possible. Queens can lose almost 1-2 mg of weight per day after emergence (Skowronek et al., 2004; Kahya et al., 2008).
  • Queens can be placed into small cages to facilitate weighing (Fig. 6).
  • The genetic origin of the queen influences the weight standards and should thereby be known.
  • At least ten queens per line and apiary are collected on the same day when evaluating fertilized queens. Sampling is usually repeated twice during the reproductive season. This parameter can vary considerably due to egg laying intensity and various other factors and mechanisms (genetic, biochemical) that affect egg laying.

Fig. 6. A queen cage for weighing a queen. Photo: F Hatjina

Figure 6