Unusual queen cell construction and destruction in Apis mellifera from far-eastern Russia
Robin A Cargel and Thomas E Rinderer
Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies produce queen cells during three fundamental reproductive processes. (1) Queen cells (swarm cells) are produced by colonies prior to colony reproduction by swarming. (2) Queen cells (supersedure cells) are also produced by colonies that are replacing an existing queen. (3) After a queen is lost, workers construct emergency queen cells. In both the swarming and the emergency queen replacement processes, developing queens generally mature to emergence or until they are detected by a virgin queen that emerged earlier (Winston, 1987). However, the fate of queen cells during an apparent supersedure process is more varied. Allen (1965) observed that some colonies occasionally destroyed unsealed queen cells and more rarely destroyed sealed queen cells. Subsequently, some of these colonies built new queen cells and then successfully superseded. Also, several colonies destroyed some but not all of their sealed queen cells prior to supersedure (Allen, 1965).
Apis mellifera, honey bees, races, queen cells, Russia