Timing of Package Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Production and Use of Two-queen Management in Southwestern British Columbia, Canada

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We examined two aspects of package honey bee, Apis mellifera L., production in southwestern British Columbia, Canada: 1) timing of production in spring and 2) use of two-queen management as a method of increasing colony growth following package removal. In the first study, three O.9-kg packages were removed from colonies at various intervals ranging from all three packages shaken on 7 April to one shaken on 15 April and two on 24 April. In the second study, a group of colonies was managed using two queens following package shaking. In both studies, we measured brood, honey, and pollen areas, colony population and weight, and surplus honey production; profit per colony was also calculated following these manipulations. For the timing experiment, only the treatment in which three packages were shaken on 7 April was not suitable for package production. All other treatments showed no significant differences in colony performance, and per-colony profits from package-producing colonies were more than double those of control colonies. This result demonstrated that packages can be produced in British Columbia during most of April, when they are required to stock hives in the northern United States and Canada. For the two-queen experiment, colonies managed with two queens following package shaking were superior to single-queen colonies in brood areas and adult populations at the end of the season, but additional cost, extra labor, and decreased profit did not justify use of this technique.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1986

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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