Acceptance percentage of larvae from different genetic groups of Apis mellifera in the queen production.
Honeybee renewal depends on the reproductive process, in which the queen plays a dominant role, thus fostering beehive survival and maintenance of hive characteristics and productivity. Royal jelly, secreted by the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of worker honeybees, constitutes the queen’s diet, both in the larval stage and the adult. The goal of this study was to evaluate the percentage acceptance of larvae, of different genetic groups of Apis mellifera, in the production of queens. The work was carried out at the Beekeeping Section, FMVZ, UNESP, Campus de Botucatu –Sp– Brasil. Three treatments were included: T1 (larvae from the same genetic group and the same colony), T2 (same genetic group and different colony), and T3 (different genetic groups). The two genetic groups used were Africanized and Italian. Queen cells were placed in three different bar positions: A (in front, close to the entrance), M (in the middle), and F (at the rear, far from the entrance). In the process of queen production, the genetic groups and treatments showed no significant differences in percentage acceptance of larvae and weight of royal jelly for queen cells. Bar positions had no significant effect on the acceptance percentage of larvae, but the M position resulted in greater weight of royal jelly for queen cells than positions A and F. Greater percentage of larvae acceptance was associated with greater weight of royal jelly for queen cells and greater weight of larvae produced, in both genetic groups (In Portuguese).