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Performance assessment of honeybee (Apis mellifera bandasii) queens reared by different queen rearing techniques

Author: 
Tadele Alemu, Zewdu Ararso and Gemechis Legesse
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

The experiment was conducted to assess the performance of honeybee (Apis mellifera bandasii) queens reared through different queen rearing techniques at Holeta Bee Research Center. A total of 20 local honeybee colonies with first super and uniform strength were selected and assigned randomly to splitting, Miller, overcrowding, grafting, and natural cell cup of queen rearing techniques. The success rate of the tested queen rearing techniques showed remarkable variations. But, those colonies assigned to overcrowding method did not totally respond. Brood area, brood solidity, swarming tendency and honey yield for colonies resulting from different queen rearing techniques were also evaluated. The result revealed that the highest hatchability was for the grafting and natural cell cup while the highest proportion reaching nuclei colony formation being for grafting. However, the highest rate of young queens starting egg laying was observed for those which were reared using splitting technique. The result also showed that, there was a significant (p<0.05) difference in the activity of brood rearing among the rearing techniques over the active seasons. Accordingly, Miller technique in the September-November active season exhibited significantly (P<0.05) higher brood rearing compared with the rest techniques except that of splitting. The solidity of brood of honeybee colonies reared by the four queen rearing techniques had no difference in the count of the empty cells in brood nests rather it was affected by the interaction of the rearing techniques and breeding seasons. Similarly, the number of queen cells constructed during brood rearing season showed no variation among colonies reared through different queen rearing techniques as well as between the two breeding season. Moreover, the variation in honey yield was not significant, it was comparatively better for the colonies obtained through splitting technique. Therefore, splitting can still be a useful technique as it doesn’t demand additional equipment and facilities like that of the other queen rearing techniques.

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