Queen Introduction, Acceptance, and Survival in Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colonies of a Tropical, Africanized Region

Ernesto Guzmán-Novoa, Robert E. Page, Daniel Prieto-Merlos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The acceptance and survival of queens in honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies located in a tropical region of Mexico were recorded. Four methods of queen introduction were compared: the traditional (Benton mailing-cage), the traditional plus smearing hexadecane on the cage, the traditional plus rubbing the old queen on the cage screen, and the traditional plus smearing vanilla essence on the cage. The highest rate of queen acceptance was obtained with the traditional method, which yielded 80.4% successful introductions. This method differed from the traditional plus hexadecane and from the traditional plus old queen rubbing methods, but was not different from the traditional plus vanilla essence method. Of the original experimental queens, 60.8, 39.6, and 28.1% were still in their hives, 6, 9, and 12 mo after being introduced and accepted in colonies. Queen replacement and queen loss increased over time. Six, 9, and 12 mo after queen introduction, 28.8, 46.2, and 56.5% of the experimental colonies had new queens; whereas in 10.4, 14.2, and 15.4% of them, no queens were found for the same periods, respectively. These results do not support the use of chemicals and queen substances to increase queen acceptance by workers in honey bee colonies. Therefore, it is suggested that beekeepers continue using the traditional methods of queen introduction, until more reliable methods are developed and tested. Results on queen survival suggest that colonies should be requeened every 6-9 mo in tropical, Africanized regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1290-1294
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1998


  • Africanized
  • Apis mellifera
  • Queen acceptance
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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