Madras Agricultural Journal
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September(7-9) 2023

Standardization of Mass Queen Rearing Techniques in Indian Honey Bees


                                except in the plains of north India. The queen bee is the mother of the colony, which rules over workers. As it is the source of all the hereditary characters, the colony can be improved by producing a good-quality queen. Even though biologically similar to A. mellifera, there were no ample studies on queen rearing in Indian bees than Italian bees. To unveil artificial queen rearing technique, queen cell cup size, type, and quality of the priming material were optimized based on acceptance and adult emergence. Queen cell cups of different sizes viz., 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm, and 7 mm in diameter, were used. Among them, 7 mm diameter cup showed the highest larval acceptance (28.33%) and adult emergence (25%). Priming media viz., water priming, royal jelly priming, diluted royal jelly priming, honey priming, and honey + royal jelly priming were fed to the colonies. Among them, diluted royal jelly showed the highest acceptance with 29.2% and adult emergence of 27.1% followed by, royal jelly (16.7% and 12.5%), honey + royal jelly (10.4% and 6.5%), honey (8.3% and 4.2%), and water (2.1% and 2.1%) respectively. The queen cell cups were prepared artificially from plastic cups too. But they were not readily accepted by worker bees. Hence, it is important to standardize queen rearing methodology in A. cerana indica in order to multiply a large number of queens and supply superior-character queens to the beekeepers in India.

Key words : Indian honey bee; Queen rearing; Cell cup size; Priming medium; Acceptance


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