The Polyandrous Queen Honey Bee: Biology and Apiculture

Quality Influencing Factors and Disease Resistance in Queen of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Author(s): Lovleen Marwaha

Pp: 83-110 (28)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815079128112010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Before the 4th instar larval phase, worker larvae exhibit totipotency to develop into either female caste. In subsequent larval stages, differential expression of various genetic elements occurs under the prominent induction of royal jelly, developmental hormones, and volatile queen emission. In the honey bee female caste, anatomical reproductive disproportionality establishes due to this diversification of genomic expression. Exponential fertility and pheromonal profiling of the queen regulate colonial strength, colonial productivity, submissive behaviour, and the development of workers. Different factors prevailing within the hive or outside of the colony premises influence the queen's quality. For example, the queen's fecundity is negatively proportional to the age of the worker larva before entering the queen differentiation pathway. Further, numerous additional factors like genomic content, physiology, quality and quantity of royal jelly, colonial food storage, social environment, queen pheromones, etc. influence queen reproductive potential.

Further, queens have differential immune protective characteristics for different pathogens and parasites. This chapter highlights influencing factors for nonsynchronous ovarian development and variant immune-protective measures in female honey bees. The subsequent chapters elucidate the details of workers' ovarian programmed cell death under the regulation of multiple factors.

Keywords: Female Caste Development, Influencing Factors, Queen Quality.

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