The influence of various diets on the quality of Apis mellifera queens was assessed. Colonies intended for queen cell production were assigned to four groups fed on (1) sugar-only, (2) mix of sugar, honey and fresh pollen, (3) sugar and pollen substitute (FeedBee®), and (4) natural sources. In addition, a fifth group had queen cells obtained naturally, by swarming. Sugar-only diet exerted a significant (p < 0.05) stimulating effect on the acceptance of queen cells and the weight of newly emerged queens, not affecting mated queens. Among mated queens those raised by bees fed on the mix of sugar, honey and fresh pollen had significantly (p < 0.05) larger numbers of ovarioles in comparison with all the others. Their weight was significantly higher than that of the queens from groups given FeedBee® and swarming queens. Compared to the latter, they had significantly wider spermatheca. Given the parameters monitored, FeedBee® proved not to be advantageous for queens.
The effect of diet types on some quality characteristics of artificially reared Apis mellifera queens
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