Evaluation of commercial honey bee queens quality in Egypt
To evaluate numbers of morphological characteristics of virgin honey bee queens, a total of 720 queens were obtained from five queen rearing stations were used. Queen samples were collected in March and August during seasons of 2015 and 2016. General characters as wet weight, thorax width and length, sum of third and fourth tergites length, abdomen length, number of ovarioles and volume of spermatheca were measured. The present result indicated that the queen weight was ranged from 134.33 to 156.34 mg in all tested samples. Insignificant difference of queen weights between the two trials in March or August was recorded. The averages of ovariole numbers were ranged from 118.93 to 130.11 in March, whereas they ranged from 125.32 and 131.26 in August. Both queen characters, weight and ovariole numbers were under the international standard for queen quality. The general mean of queen's acceptance percentage in August (83.33%) was differed significantly from the acceptance percentage in March (69.35%). The percentage of successful natural queen mating was ranged from 81.33 to 88.8 % in March and August, respectively. The present results Manifest a lack of queen quality and queen rearing practices in queen rearing stations in Egypt.
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