Treatment With Synthetic Brood Pheromone (SuperBoost) Enhances Honey Production and Improves Overwintering Survival of Package Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies
Authors: Lait, Cameron G.; Borden, John H.; Kovacs, Ervin; Moeri, Onour E.; Campbell, Michael; Machial, Cristina M.
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 105, Number 2, Pages 297-737 , pp. 304-312(9)
Publisher: Entomological Society of America
Abstract:We evaluated a year-long treatment regime testing synthetic, 10-component, honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), brood pheromone (SuperBoost; Contech Enterprises Inc., Delta, BC, Canada) on the productivity and vigor of package bee colonies in the lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Fifty-eight newlyestablished 1.3-kg (3-lb) colonies treated three times with SuperBoost at 5-wk intervals starting 30 April 2009 were compared with 52 untreated control colonies. Treated colonies produced 84.3% more honey than untreated control colonies. By 8 September 2009, SuperBoost-treated colonies had 35.4% more adults than untreated colonies. By 28 September, net survival of treated and control colonies was 72.4 and 67.3%, respectively. On 5 October, treated and control colonies were divided into two additional groups, making up four cohorts: SuperBoost-treated colonies treated again during fall and spring build-up feeding with pollen substitute diet (BeePro, Mann Lake Ltd., Hackensack, MN; TTT); controls that remained untreated throughout the year (CCC); colonies treated with SuperBoost in spring‐summer 2009 but not treated thereafter (TCC); and original control colonies treated with SuperBoost during the fall and spring build-up feeding periods (CTT). There was no difference among cohorts in consumption of BeePro during fall feeding, but TTT colonies (including daughter colonies split off from parent colonies) consumed 50.8% more diet than CCC colonies during spring build-up feeding. By 21 April, the normalized percentages of the original number of colonies remaining (dead colonies partially offset by splits) were as follows: CCC, 31.4%; CTT, 43.8%; TCC, 53.59%; and TTT, 80.0%. The net benefit of placing 100 newly established package bee colonies on a year-long six-treatment regime with SuperBoost would be US$6,202 (US$62.02 per colony). We conclude that treatment with SuperBoost enhanced the productivity and survival of package bee colonies and hypothesize that similar results could be achieved with established colonies.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2012
- 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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