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Colony Performance of Selected Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Strains Used for Alfalfa Pollination

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High and low pollen-hoarding strains of honey bees were selected based on quantity of pollen stored in combs. Performance of strains in commercial alfalfa seed pollination is reported. After three generations of selection, colonies with instrumentally inseminated high-strain queens stored significantly more pollen (2.4-fold) than low-strain colonies. Similarly, colonies from naturally mated, outcrossed high-strain queens stored more pollen (2.4-fold) than outcrossed low-strain colonies. Selection did not change preferences for sources of pollen. After four generations of selection, colonies with naturally mated high-strain queens outcrossed with commercial drones stored significantly more pollen (l.4-fold) than commercial colonies. Rates of queen acceptance (54 and 61%) and overwintering survival (61%) in commercially managed colonies were surprisingly low, indicating 37% queen survival during a 10- mo period. Overwintered outcrossed high-strain colonies were more populous than commercial colonies at the beginning of almond bloom.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1995

More about this publication?
  • 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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